July 4th, 2011
11:22 AM ET

Atheists explain flying ad campaign

On the Fourth of July across the U.S., American Atheists are taking to skies with a flying banner ad campaign.

They will be flying over busy holiday hot spots like beaches and parks with banners that read: "Atheism is Patriotic" and "God-LESS America."

Some pilots balked and would not fly the banner ads. 

Justin Jaye of Fly Signs Aerial Advertising, told the Belief Blog last week,  "I've been in this business for 20 years and I've never run into so much resistance on people flying," Jaye said. "I've had pilots who are actual atheists who said, 'Justin, I am an atheist and I won't fly it because I can't wear a bulletproof vest.'"

In the video above, Rick Wingrove from the Virginia chapter of American Atheists explains to CNN's T.J. Holmes more about the campaign and why they picked the Fourth of July.

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- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Content Partner • Faith • TV-CNN Newsroom • United States

soundoff (1,760 Responses)
  1. Chris Mankey

    "Funny.. I hear atheists ALL THE TIME saying... "We don't like you cramming your beliefs down our throats!"

    Yeah, making a banner is like burning a heretic at the stake. Or stoning someone to death.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yep, been when a child gives out Christmas cards to her classmates and Atheist lose their ever lovin' minds, you would think the kid had a torch and a pitchfork.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:07 am |
    • Scanland

      As an atheist, I didn't "lose my mind" over getting Christmas cards whether I got them or some girl I never heard about got them.

      Maybe you are painting atheists with too broad a brush, hmm?

      July 7, 2011 at 3:44 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Thank You Scanland. Check out some of my other post about Atheist painting those of Faith with the same broad brush. I wanted to try doing the same right after posting such a post to see if a Atheist would accuse me of the same.

      So, Scanland.... the next time folks on the Atheist or our side do such can we ..sorta point to all sides as this being wrong?

      July 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  2. Chris Mankey

    "y premise is that humankind's desire to discover the divine could originate in an innate knowing that there is something beyond what we perceive with our intellect, emotions and physical senses."

    Whatever that means.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:37 am |
    • Rhonda

      Have you never 'known' something that is perceived beyond what science can prove to you?

      July 7, 2011 at 3:33 am |
    • Rhonda

      Thanks for the tip. It seems like most of the posts here are intentionally 'inflamatory, extraneous or off-topic". Is this Belief Blog or Troll Blog?

      July 7, 2011 at 9:12 am |
  3. Laughing

    Don't bother answering Odessa/Adelina/Fair Garden/Zelda ect... ect.... Just a troll and nothing more.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • Rhonda

      I am new to posting on a blog. I am curious to know what is meant by 'troll' in this context.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:37 am |
    • Scanland

      Google "troll" and find out, troll.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:41 am |
  4. ab_contador

    Religion in all forms is a bad thing. I always gauge someones intelligence by how religious they are.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      I normally judge by the insulting and intolerant things that they say or post.

      Any person can say words to provoke, to find peaceful existence and tolerance is hard work.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:10 am |
    • Scanland

      Mark, that is one of the most idiotic things I have ever read. You don't gauge someone's intelligence by what they say!
      And their perceived antagonism by you is not a gauge of their intelligence, either.
      You are apparently confused about intelligence. And how and why people say nasty things.
      I could suggest a course of study to help you understand where you are wrong, but I rather doubt you would bother.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:48 am |
  5. Chris Mankey

    "Jesus loves you, atheists. As horrible as you are,"

    Sorry, I don't know you. Moronic bigot.

    "You are such pitiful, most miserable things"

    You're a bigoted piece of tubercolotic sputum.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  6. Odessa

    Jesus loves you, atheists. As horrible as you are, you are His creation. You are such pitiful, most miserable things. Pagans didn't know about Him; the reason we could not worship Him sooner. You knowingly blaspheme Him like pure mad men. Repent of your most stupid evil sin called willful denial of God, while you still have time.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:14 am |
    • ab_contador

      joking? you must be. If not, its people like you that make me sick to may stomach.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:34 am |
  7. David Johnson


    I don't knowingly argue with underage people. If they read what I have stated, then so be it. I don't really understand why this bothers you. LOL

    Keep in mind BG, that I don't usually turn down a debate. In fact you might have noticed I was really getting into it, before I was informed Evan was young. I did not say his argument was juvenile. If those are his beliefs, I don't want to interfere with them.

    I will not knowingly argue with a minor. I was like a kid in a candy factory, before I learned Evan was a minor.

    You aren't a minor. So... pick one: Jesus didn't actually exist. The Christian god is no more likely than Santa. There is no free will. God is not moral. Prayer doesn't work – Jesus is a liar. The bible is not inerrant. Or whatever you wish.


    July 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • Scanland

      You don't have kids that argued with you as they were growing up?
      Why would you refrain from arguing with a minor? Do you always lose the arguments? LOL

      July 7, 2011 at 3:53 am |
    • Scanland

      Nevermind, I have now read some of Evan's posts. His arguments are not worth debating and his mind appears closed to everything but what reinforces his locked-in beliefs. Not a mature outlook regardless of age.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:29 am |
  8. Muneef

    Can atheists be as well among those so called Zionests ?

    July 6, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I'm sure there are atheist Zionists. What of it?

      July 6, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Muneef

      Thanks I just want to know if Zionism was a religious movement or just another Mafia.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:16 am |
  9. JohnQuest

    Rhonda, it seems to me that there is about as much evidence that the God\s of the Bible exist as there is that the God\s of the Greeks exist or that the Easter Bunny exist.

    My understanding is that God (any and all Gods) does not have intrinsic value, without us there would be no Gods. If I "believed in you or not you still exist, that's not the case with Gods, when we stop believing in them they no longer exist.

    Joe Blow from Idaho says that God is existence I don't know what he means by that, maybe his idea about God is not the same mine which mean that we could be talking about different things, concepts, ideas. If he considers all life and everything else "God" then he is not talking about the God of the Bible, what do you mean by God?

    July 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Rhonda

      Your premise is that God was created by people. If that is true then I suppose that He could not exist without people. I offer that perhaps people universally look for God because He created them in His image. My premise is that humankind's desire to discover the divine could originate in an innate knowing that there is something beyond what we perceive with our intellect, emotions and physical senses.
      As for evidence for the existence of God... I could show you my evidence for. You could show me your evidence against. We can bring in persuasive and articulate experts for both sides. In the end each of us will either teeter on the edge of mystery or choose an explanation by faith.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
  10. ME ME


    July 6, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  11. ME ME

    You guys cry too much. If you are atheist then so be it. If you are christian then so be it. The problem is that everyone is so worried what everyone else is doing and not what they are doing. You are all ignorant. Just do what you want. If you see something you dont like then look the other way because there is nothing you can do about it. Atheist are just like Christians in the since they try to spread the word. HMMMM You are all the same.

    July 6, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Laughing

      Yeah, you're right, when injustice is happening, everyone should pretend it's not there. maybe if I shut my eyes and yell "lalalala" evil will stop in its tracks.

      What wise words.

      July 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Laughing. It is not fighting injustice what folks are doing here. If it was such, folks would be discussing politics and application of the laws or amendments of the law.

      All many folks here are doing is debating philosophies not fighting injustices. Those who feel that such a debate will cure injustice are fools. The folks on all sides of a religious debate are too strong in their views and neither side will bend.

      People are posting, “My way, My View is better than yours” post over and over. Neither changing minds or hearts, just venting out anger.
      You are right...shutting eyes will not get things done but in the same instance folks going muzzle fire to muzzle fire will not do anything either.

      If you want to fight injustice, the first step is open dialogue, not streams of insults coming from both sides.

      July 6, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Russ

      "Just do what you want. If you see something you dont like then look the other way because there is nothing you can do about it. "

      So you think it's fine that the Christians are repudiating gays based on a book written thousands of years ago even though new facts have come out showing these people don't deserve the prejudice being shown them by this group.

      July 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Laughing


      Sorry to give you the impression that this concerned you in anyway. When ME ME says, "Just do what you want. If you see something you dont like then look the other way because there is nothing you can do about it. " I wanted to say that that's basically the exact WRONG thing to do. you are right that there needs to be open dialogue and I'm all for it, I try to restrain myself as best as possible though I'm not terribly thrilled when I'm told I'm going to burn in hel.l, but hey, that's just me.

      July 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Russ, my Gay and Lesbian friends, family and co-workers who are also Christian wonder if you could say, there are some Christians but not all.

      July 6, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  12. Pedantic Digression

    I do not respond to minors on these boards, Evan. Especially ones who do not understand what they are reading.

    July 6, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Awww.....but if he held your views he would be the greatest thing, wouldn't he.

      Now that he is kickin' tail, you do not want to discuss things with him. Well, some of the others are and it looks like a good conversation. I guess you could not "hang" with decent respectful conversation or he was starting to get to you and you needed to run.

      July 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • BG

      @ MMR

      They're funny that way. It's their penultimate, inarguable defense.

      "I don't have to talk with you -because- (insert excuse here)"

      You fail, Dude.

      July 6, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • JohnR

      Actually, Mark, there are reasons to be hesitant about debating with minors on the internet. But I'm not sutre what good conversation you are talking about. All I saw was someone defending the claims of the bible on the basis of eyewitness accounts in the bible.

      July 6, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • FYI

      BG: "They're funny that way. It's their penultimate, inarguable defense."

      Do you really mean that it's their "second to last", inarguable defense? You might want to look up 'penultimate'... it does not mean *more ultimate* than ultimate 🙂

      July 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  13. Joe Blow from Idaho

    Good for those God-fearing pilots who refused to fly those banners. People like that are lights in a very dark world.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Seems that you only think that because you agree with them

      July 6, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Well it is their right to fly or not to. If they did, folks on the Athiest side would be saying pretty much the same "You are the light, in a dark world of the Faithful" type of stuff and saying good for them.

      I am telling yall' find your way to the middle. Some of you Atheist are sounding more and more extremist every thread.

      Not aimed at you J.Q. ...well not today 🙂

      July 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Scanland

      Mark, perhaps you could explain how a lack of a belief in a god can be used as an extremist view beyond the mere definition?

      And where are all these extremists? I don't see any viewpoints that could be characterized in such a way.
      Not even JohnQuest's post is extreme.
      What paranoid delusions are you suffering from, anyway?

      July 7, 2011 at 4:00 am |
  14. Wife2AtheistSteve

    Unfortunately you have been brainwashed by your parents. Your facts are not right and it is unfortunate that you are so closed minded because of the way your parents raised you. Atheists don't make up the facts...we consider everything and base what we believe on the evidence provided. There is no evidence supporting a god of any form You can quote-mine all you wish but it is all circular...the only solid proof (and I use the term proof very loosely here) that you have comes from the Bible...all of your statements go right back to something written in that book. You might wish to research that book and read it thoroughly before arguing with people who have read it...it was written by many many men who never met one another, it has been translated many many more times and the original scriptures were picked over to decide which ones would be included in the fairy tale.
    I do not require false beliefs to make me feel good or do good in this world and since coming out as an Atheist my life is much better. I no longer fear death; I no longer worry about anyone's soul and whether it ends up in heaven or burning in hell...is it too much to ask that you accept that the life you have now is the only one you are guaranteed of and thus you are best to live it to the fullest mistakes made or not?
    I do feel sorry for you...you didn't ask for the brainwashing and your parents should be admonished for doing so.
    I hope that when the time comes and you get away and off to college, you will open your eyes and realize how wonderful life can be without the fairy tale involved.
    Good luck

    July 6, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Evan

      "Unfortunately you have been brainwashed by your parents"

      Actually, I haven't. I've only been Christian for about a year now.

      "Your facts are not right"

      That is the weakest objection ever. Why aren't my facts right? making a valid argument requires more than just stone-throwing. You have to explain why each and every one of these facts is incorrect for your argument to be valid.

      "Atheists don't make up the facts"

      1) Wow, we have so much in common.

      2) Except that's not true. As I have shown, the Resurrection is an almost undeniable historical fact. You don't reject it because "It's not sufficient evidence", but because you don't want the Resurrection to be true. Atheists are products of will, not intellect. That why Friedrich Nietzsche and Thomas Nagel are my favorite Atheist philosophers: at least they admit this.

      "the only solid proof (and I use the term proof very loosely here) that you have comes from the Bible. all of your statements go right back to something written in that book"

      1) Actually, that's false. I'm not using the Bible to prove the Bible. For more information on what I actually said, read what I wrote.

      2) You are assuming apriori that the Bible does not record the facts accurately. This is a circular argument. The fact is the facts I have provided are historical facts that are agreed upon by biblical scholars.

      "You might wish to research that book and read it thoroughly before arguing with people who have read it"

      I've read it more thoroughly than many Atheists have.

      "the original scriptures were picked over to decide which ones would be included in the fairy tale"

      The common misconception is that there were many ideas in early church about who Jesus was. The fact is that is not true.

      The books that were selected in the canon had to have the following qualities: 1) Apostolic authorship or endorsement, 2) Must be recieved as authoritive by the early church, 3) they must be in harmony with all of the other books (not heretical). The fact is virtually no early Church Father even considered including any book other than the 27 that are currently included in the canon. All the books that were rejected were written well after the lives of the Apostles, accepted by virtually no one in the early Church, and were heretical. The Church did not invent the canon; rather it recognized the canon.

      You still have not refuted a single one of my facts. Ad Hominem arguments do not win debates.

      July 6, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Scanland

      Evan, arguments win debates whether or not they contain some ad hominem attacks.
      After reading your post, I see what David Johnson is talking about higher up on this page.
      You are a mental child. I have seen old people with childish mindsets as well.
      Age is not a factor here, it is your lack of maturity. I will not debate you either, for this reason. Your age doesn't matter to me.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:07 am |
  15. JohnQuest

    Joe Blow from Idaho, you are making a lot of as-sumptions without any proof. What makes you think that your God is "real" and all other Gods are not?
    God does not have any intrinsic value, without us their would be no Gods, consider the following:
    For thousands of year people believed in, worshiped, fought and died for their Gods (Zeus, Ba'al, Thor and so forth), when people stopped believing in them they "died out" with no repercussions . If you (all people) stopped believing in the God of the Bible he/she/it would die out as well.
    If the numbers are correct, more than a third of the world are believers of the Gods of Abraham, that means that two thirds do not and those non believers are getting along just fine without the Gods of the Bible, how do you explain that?

    July 6, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      I have all the proof I need in the bible. As far as those who believed in Zeus, Ba'al, Thor, they were believing in the wrong god. You said it yourself that they died out. That is what happens when a society gives up on God or has a false god.

      I will accept your numbers for the purposes of this response although you did not provide a source. The fact is that if those people have heard the word of God and still don't believe, they will burn in hell. Also, history is not over so they may in fact "die out."

      July 6, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Joe Blow from Idaho, just to be clear you "believe" in more than one God, you just don't worship the others?

      July 6, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Stevie7

      And your proof that the bible is true ... is because the bible says so? Is the concept of circular logic lost on you? I might as well say that I have all the proof in the world that orcs based on the Lord of the Rings – doesn't make it any more real just because some ancient book says so.

      And there are plenty of older gods and religions than those of Abraham that still exist today. They haven't died out yet – they've been around a lot longer.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      I can't say whether those other gods exist or not. All I know is that they are false gods. Only Yahweh is the one true God. You would know that if you opened a bible.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho


      Every day the bible is proven to be true. Even the fact that you are arguing as you do is foretold in the bible.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • Stevie7

      I've read the bible cover to cover. My conclusions after reading it is either that Yahweh is a bipolar, petty, narcissistic, insecure, sadistic, irrational, abusive god who likes to pick favorites and is a bit over-obsessed with genealogy, or he/she/it doesn't exist. The latter seems much more likely.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Joe Blow from Idaho, suppose you are wrong, by your own admission you don't know if those are gods are real? What are you going to do on "judgment day" and find yourself in front of Loki, say oops I didn't know. But just said that you did know you just choose not to worship Loki.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho


      So what if God is all the things you describe? What, you don't think he has the right? He's God after all. (and no, I am NOT admitting what you say is true)


      No sense in supposing because I am not wrong.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Joe Blow from Idaho, I guess you have the right to say what is and is not real to you, but how do you define existence?

      July 6, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho


      Existence comes about when God creates a soul. Existence is not a physical body which will grow old and die. Existence is that essence dwelling inside of you that will have to answer to God when your physical body dies.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Rhonda

      JohnQuest says "without us there would be no gods". I think what you are saying is that people created God rather than the other way around. That is one possibility to explore. But, we could also consider that the human penchant for seeking the divine could be an innate homing device for a creature created in the image of the Divine. You can stand on logic and scientific explanation all you want, but there is plenty of mystery left to contemplate. As for evidence, there is plenty of that, too; both for and against the existence of God. Evan presented the pro evidence very well for the existence of Jesus. But evidence will take us only so far. Proof, whether scientific or not, very often leaves us at a point where we are left to move by faith. All humans make decisions and choices by faith daily. If I lived strictly by logic I wouldn't eat that fast food, commute without a medical and employee report on the bus driver, sit in a chair without a safety inspection or close my eyes at night with the expectation that the sun will rise tomorrow.. Only a debilitated neurotic would attempt to live by logic alone. It is arrogant to claim that human intellect without a balance of faith (intuition, instinct, experience, educated guessing, etc.) is the only way to discover the 'truth'. That tree that falls in the forest where there are no ears to hear does indeed make a sound.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Joe Blow from Idaho, That's strange, God does not fit into your own definition of existence, by your own words God can not exist or am I missing something?

      July 6, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Rhonda, I agree we need more than logic to get through a day. As for Jesus existing or not, does not prove that God exist, it only proves that Jesus exist or not. I don't think people are seeking the divine I think people are seeking answers and when logic, science or other natural factors fail to provide a ready answer, people fill the void with the supernatural.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Tony

      Rhonda what you are also forgetting is those that believe in divine need that sense of feeling special, feeling unique to this crazy planet we live on. Without the feeling of belonging to the divine people would have to face the bleakness of our reality that would make many become severely depressed. Men created the concept of Gods to give people a sense of purpose, rules to follow so their lives would have structure, hope that once you die that there will be more than a pile of bones. To comprehend yourself you need to let go of the concept of God, face yourself in the mirror and the reality of who you are. Not many people want to face their true reality because without the sense of a God loving them, their incapable of just loving themselves or the lives they have created by their choices. It’s easier to say a God put them into their situations without taking responsibility of how they got there.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Rhonda

      I cited Evan's evidence for the existence of Jesus as an example of using evidence. There is evidence for the existence of God. There is absolute scientific proof neither for nor against the existence of God. You said, "I think ... people fill the void with the supernatural". That is a reasonable conclusion. And I suspect it is true for more 'believers' than are aware of their own motivation. But, my point is that my conclusion that God exists is just as valid as your conclusion that He does not. Both of us take a leap into a void that science alone cannot bridge.

      July 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Rhonda

      It can be true that believing that simply being created in God's image is a reason to feel 'special'. Although I think there is reason to celebrate the 'unique'ness of every creature. And, truth be known, I cope with diagnosed chronic depression with or without God (It's a chemical thing :-}). "Purpose ...structure ...hope" these needs do separate us from the other earth creatures. Whether or not it is you or I find that find those things in the right place is still debatable. But, I assure you that when I look in the mirror I see a whole person. I love myself because I am lovable. In fact, love is my creed. I do take responsibility for my choices and decisions. Where my comprehension of reflection may differ is that the person I see in the mirror is more than flesh, emotions and intellect.

      July 6, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho


      God does not simply exist – God IS existence. No one exists but for Him.

      July 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Eldensword

      Tony – What was that? "Men Created", let's just take that portion of the statement. Do you even just kind of understand the implications in those two words? What is "created"? What is creation? It's an intended act and effort coming to fruition in some sort of result, correct? So, it's thought into action? And thought and originality – that to you is just a series of neurons and electrons firing in sequence which is somehow connected to a nervous system which then feeds instructions to a set of motor skills which leads into an action of some kind, right? Do you know that one, single action from your brain to your hand is the result and equivalent of trillions of terabytes of information by your scientific standards? Now, let’s briefly dissect the likelihood that somehow, in this sea of complexity, we can comprehend that a thought can be more than a motor function. You can “create” an entire “story” that will supposedly be PERFECT for creating ideology, order and endless faith in another man. At what point do you, yourself, reflect on the fact that your Atheist mouth spat the words “Men Created”? Maybe this is that moment. We create Tony. We create all day, every day – Stories, plots, characters, books, movies, artwork, music, babies and ideas. Our creations are homage and a small bit of obvious proof that we seek to know the Father. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Creation is fact as seen hands on, every day. Evolution is a theory and has become a religion that has its self confused with adaptation. Yep, we were designed to adapt and be creative. So, men created the idea of God to sustain order and get us through…what, life? But animals get through life just fine without intelligent, creative ideas and actions…Hhhmmm…It's not tough to listen to from a religious stand point as I am not religious...But when you start throwing extremely large implications as that around to make your point about a Godless existence, you look so utterly foolish.

      July 6, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Scanland

      JoeBlow, if your "god" is existence itself, then we are all "god" for we all exist.
      So you are worshiping existence? That makes me laugh. Existence is just existence.
      No particular importance accrues to existence when the universe just exists along with everything within it.
      Things just are. There are no discernible reasons beyond physics for the existence of anything.
      Physics are just the natural results of the existence of this universe. No design can be seen.
      You might have something like a soul, but there is no reason to suppose anything else about it until we have found it and examined it. You have no proof that you have a soul. All you have is supposition without any reason to think it is true.
      But of course you accept it wholeheartedly. Look up the words, "gullible" and "fool" in the dictionary, and you'll find the definition of a religious believer.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:26 am |
    • Eldensword

      Scanland – "All you have is supposition without any reason to think it is true." Well stated, and so totally back at ya.

      July 7, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  16. Bernie

    Why do we cling to a book of fables written thousands of years ago by goat herders and nomads? Just maybe they were a bit nuts?

    July 6, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      And maybe you don't want to give up sin so you deny HIS existence.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • Stevie7

      One doesn't need a 2000+ year old book of questionable morals to tell one how to be a good person.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      Then show me one good atheist. Everyone I know leads a life of sin. What you think is good and what God thinks is good are two different things. Even if you gave 3/4 your salary away to charity, but still broke His commandments, you are a sinner and not a good person.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Joe Blow is Stupid

      Yeah, Joe, maybe there's a little problem in your gating, when several of your ten commandments involves worshipping your bearded old fairy in the sky. Of course an atheist isn't going to pass your idiotic "good" test when you define it that way. Knock out those criteria, and there are many overall good atheists. Similarly, many Christians would not pass either, but without those kowtow tests. And BTW, there are no true Christians.,,

      But whether atheists are good or bad does not say anything about whether your Christian fables are true. They aren't true, and they don't even agree with themselves.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      Nothing like a personal attack in the morning. Sin is sin. You'd best get right with God and give up your sin.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Let's see...

      Without meaning to brag as there are many many more like me and many many more that are better (for BG, yes my opinion, no 0.0001% accurate data as you seem to require to refer to)...

      Married for nearly 25 years, two children, none of us have every been arrested, TheWife and I continuously employed for 30+ years each, both children have completed high school and are in or have completed post secondary education and have held full or part time jobs since they were old enough to do so, all taxes and bills paid up to date, house paid for, passed numerous police background checks as part of coaching certification in two sports, recognized by national and international sporting bodies for contribution, accreditted to officiate internationally at the highest level.

      So I think I'm a pretty good atheist!

      July 6, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  17. Odessa

    Christian – 2.3 billion, Non-religious – 0.9 billion

    July 6, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • AmazingSteve

      People on here who go by the tag Odessa: 1
      People on here who go by tags involving "Steve" in some way: ~10

      Looks like you just lost all your rights then, Odessa. I guess you should have chosen the one true internet tag of "Steve". I demand you change your preferred tag immediately, and until you do, I'll assume you're just one of those angry Steve-haters.

      July 6, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Odessa

      @AmazingSteve, I don't understand what you are saying. I chose the name Odessa from a name list because it sounds lovely and not very common, and wanted to remind CNN readers such a name exists. My user name get hijacked by thugs regularly. I've seen a few fakes of Odessa already. I may change my user name soon. I don't hate anyone. I don't know Steve. I usually ignore writers of lengthy comments.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:08 am |
  18. Reality

    Third place and gaining as we type and fly our banners:-––

    As noted at http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

    o"Religion >>Adherents

    Christianity 2.1 billion

    Islam 1.5 billion

    Irreligious/agnostic/atheism 1.1 billion

    Hinduism 900 million

    Chinese traditional religion 394 million

    Buddhism 376 million
    Animist religions 300 million
    African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
    Sikhism 23 million
    Juche 19 million
    Spiritism 15 million
    Judaism 14 million
    Baha'i 7 million
    Jainism 4.2 million
    Shinto 4 million
    Cao Dai 4 million
    Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
    Tenrikyo 2 million
    Neo-Paganism 1 million
    Unitarian Universalism 800,000
    Rastafari Movement 600,000"

    1.5 million Conservative Jews and there rabbis have concluded that Abraham, based on lack of text and architectural evidence, probably did not exist. Therefore Christianity, Islam and Judaism have no foundation and fail as religions moving irreligious, atheists and agnostics to the top of the list.


    July 6, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • Eldensword

      Thank you for the reminder of how statistically insignificant the Atheist Religion is! Yep, RELIGION – The Atheists in this forum are an absolute crack up! I know 3, actual Atheists that wouldn't spend 2 seconds in this forum for the very reason that they wouldn't spend 2 seconds in a church! What are you freaks thinking?? You're turning your love of nothing into a following by making fun of people that have a following?? Box of flippin' rocks! Get back on topic! Atheists can be patriotic, they can die for a good cause and they can fight for their right to be completely lost morons! What they can't do is REMOVE the writings, symbols and inscriptions from our fore-fathers. Nor can they CHANGE crosses at cemeteries into anything else other than a cross, just because it makes them uncomfortable. We ALL have rights here folks! And the first come, first served rules apply. Go back in your faithless holes and wait for the embrace of eternal darkness and leave the faithful to their faiths. Why? We run EVERYTHING. We're EVERYWHERE, and we're willing to get our message across any way we have to – You cannot win.

      July 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Eldensword

      Reality – You've got yourself roped in with Agnostics and "Irreligious" folks. What's your actual count then? At least Agnostics have the decency to be undecided! I'm in the "Irreligious" category and choose not to be seated anywhere near your sorry, defeatist butt on the bus when it crashes. So again, how many Agnostics are there out there? Very, very few...

      July 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the those interested in a religious update:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment.

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      3. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac ministers, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      4. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.
      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      5. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current crises:
      The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

      6. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."
      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      July 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  19. Joe Blow from Idaho

    How are atheist going to explain themselves to God on Judgement Day? "Oops, God, I was only kidding?"

    God's existence doesn't depend on whether you believe in him or not. The believer and the unbeliever will have to answer to God. There is no getting around the judgement of God.

    July 6, 2011 at 1:36 am |
    • LinCA

      @Joe Blow from Idaho

      You asked "How are atheist going to explain themselves to God on Judgement Day?"

      In the highly unlikely event that you are correct and that I will come face to face with that monster that you call your god, I will flip him the bird, and tell him to go fuck himself.

      I will gladly take an eternity in hell over having to spend a day in heaven, if it has to be in the presence of your god and his followers.

      July 6, 2011 at 2:00 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho


      Once again you blaspheme. For sure you will burn for that among other things.

      July 6, 2011 at 2:03 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho


      I don't think you have a correct understanding of hell. You're not just going to a different place from believers where it is all fun and games. We are told that hell is a place where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. This is not something that you just have to endure and it will be over. This is for eternity.

      You seriously need to get right with God.

      July 6, 2011 at 2:10 am |
    • Bible Bob, Knight of Infallibbibillility

      Oh, I hope the gnashing of teeth is really extra gnashy for people who don't agree with me! Really gnashy!!!

      July 6, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • Bernie

      Did the Greeks ask that about Zeus? The Egyptians about Isis? Germanic tribes about Thor?

      July 6, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • Civiloutside

      Joe, you might as well ask what we'll do if it turns out we're wrong about Odin, and our failure to die gloriously in battle condemns us to Hel. It really doesn't matter how horrible a mythical punishment is if, at the end of the day, it's mythical.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Joe Blow is Stupid

      Joe, read up on Pascal's Wager. Come back when you understand it.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • Wife2AtheistSteve

      "Joe Blow from Idaho
      Once again you blaspheme. For sure you will burn for that among other things."

      And thus one more reason people stop accepting the Christian belief system! How dare anyone threaten anyone else? I thought the book preached 'judge not lest ye be judged' or does that only apply to those of us who refuse to accept the book? I'm tired of being told how horrible Atheists are when we are not the ones using threats of eternal damnation to get people to believe. You can't use something Atheists don't accept as fact against them-when is this going to be realized? Those threats are futile...they mean nothing more than exactly what they are...horrible threats.

      Joe is right though, I will burn...in a furnace for cremation not in a fictional hell....such a more pleasant and reasonable way of looking at the end of my life.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  20. David Johnson


    You said: "Atheism is the worst sin in the universe because it is ignoring God the Creator consciously."

    Define "consciously" in this instance, please.

    You said: "Nothing except for Christianity provides salvation to mankind."

    How do you know that Christianity provide salvation?

    You said: "All other religions and ideologies don't deserve to have advertisements."

    There are about 14 major religions in the world. Why is Christianity deserve "advertisements"?

    Bored in Arizona

    July 6, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Odessa

      @David: "consciously" = "on purpose" American atheists are not forcibly brainwashed by others but freely chose not to acknowledge God because they want to keep immoral lifestyles.
      Christianity alone has assurance of salvation because of the atonement by the Divine Savior Jesus that salvation is given for sure by placing faith in Jesus, through God's grace. All other religions and philosophies on earth are betting on human merits thus you can live pretending they don't even exist. But not so with Christianity. The Bible condemns everyone as a sinner( it is irrefutable reality) and you need Jesus as your Savior and Lord for salvation.

      July 6, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • Civiloutside

      Odessa, you statement about atheists choosing not to acknowledge god suggests we believe in him and choose to ignore him. That's wrong. We do not believe he exists at all.

      Our views on morality tend to be a consequence of accepting the nonexistence of gods, not the other way around.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Odessa

      Civiloutside, your behavior betrays your statement. You guys are like mad men who have to deny the Creator God, knowing fully that He exists, only to establish your filthy autonomy. If what you said about yourselves is true, you would never act the way you do.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Wife2AtheistSteve

      Carl Sagan stated 'Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence'. We are not not claiming to know 100% sure that there is no god(s), we claim that there is no solid evidence to prove the existence of one/any. The burden of proof lies on the believer, not the non-believer. The bible is such a contradictory work of fiction, as are most religions.
      There are as many 'bad' people within non-believers as there are within believers. Belief has nothing to do with whether a persons psychological make up is positive or negative. Even if I believed in something that can't be evidenced to be true, there is no guarantee's that my wrong doings would not see me punished in the end...we are only human and humans make mistakes no matter what you may think. You don't get to play the 'I am better than you' card b/c you believe...it doesn't work that way. I don't believe and I am a good person without it. The bottom line is this...we should be living in a peaceful society where everyone accepts the other no matter what. The problem is that if I say I don't believe, Christian's/ believers threaten me with eternal dam-nation. So please tell me which of the numerous Gods I should be falling for...you can't possibly answer that b/c you have no way of knowing which, if any, is the true one.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.