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Atheists challenge ‘Heaven’ on New York City street sign
July 6th, 2011
04:47 PM ET

Atheists challenge ‘Heaven’ on New York City street sign

By Samantha Stamler, CNN

New York (CNN) - A new street sign that reads “Seven in Heaven Way,” and that was recently unveiled in Brooklyn, New York, to commemorate seven local firefighters who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 attacks has drawn the ire of some atheists, who say they’re prepared to go to court to have the sign taken down.

New York City Atheists, a group that opposes the public use of religious references, is challenging the new sign, which was erected in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood.

“We’re supposed to be a secular nation - there really should not be any religious symbolism or signage in public places,” said Kenneth Bronstein, President of New York City Atheists. “We feel that any and all people who died in 9-11 should be remembered and honored. That’s not the problem.”

Bronstein calls the sign a violation of the separation of church and state, arguing that the word “heaven” is a clear reference to Christianity.

Bronstein has contacted the city with his complaint and has proposed an alternative street name: “We Remember the 7-911.”

Groups dedicated to honoring 9/11 victims did not immediately reply to requests for comment on Bronstein’s campaign.

But some New Yorkers told CNN New York affiliate WPIX that they disagree with the New York City Atheists.

"That's nonsense,” said Anbriena Insausti, who lives in Manhattan. “The families should honor their loved ones anyway they want."

Bronstein says the group is prepared to sue the city over the sign and what it says are other unconstitutional government endorsements of religion.

“This is not a matter of faltering patriotism or public ignorance, but rather an effort to promote secularism,” he said. “We want [the sign] to be neutral. Anyone can believe whatever they want to believe.”

“We’ll die for the right to believe,” he continued. “Just don’t shove it down our throat.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • New York

soundoff (3,096 Responses)
  1. Katie

    Stop being a hater Derp! Just respect our beliefs as I respect your non-beliefs!

    July 7, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • derp

      A "hater" ? Really, that is all you can come up with. When your argument falls completely on its face, just call the other guy a hater.

      I have a better idea, how about one of you myth believers explain to me how this is, or ever was a christian nation. Explain how your faith that REQUIRES acceptance of a doctrine can possibly jive with the concept of personal liberty that demands that you do no be required to believe anything.

      The philosophies are opposite. This not, and never has been a "christian" nation.

      You could try presenting a rational rebuttal.

      Or just call me a hater.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • The Bobinator

      Ideas are not meant to be respected. They're meant to be challenged and investigated.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • TriciaB

      Derp, you are a hater im sorry you are!! You bash our beliefs cause they dont fit yours and accuse us of doing the same! We Christians are suppose to shut our mouth about our beliefs while you can just run yours about your beliefs. We that believe in God and truely follow the bible understands that God gave all man free will to believe what they want so yes if our laws have taken God out of the land then so be it we have no right to put it there either, however according to our great book America in fact IS founded on relgion as I have stated before God blessed America and Britian to be great nations, so yes according to OUR beliefs OUR nation was founded on Christianity. While believeing in MY GOD I have just as much right to scream religion and Church and State as you do to scream against it!! Is it not also the land of the free? Isnt our Country based on freedom of speech, freedom of religion???? Why does everyone have to try to take these away from us?? And yes MY GOD does tell us to be proud of our nation and to follow and OBEY the laws of our land!!

      July 7, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Grizzly Bear

      TriciaB, it's ironic that you're complaining that atheists are making fun of your beliefs when you had the audacity to call Catholicism "false Christianity." You are a hypocrite in the highest degree.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • derp

      "America in fact IS founded on relgion as I have stated before God blessed America and Britian to be great nations"

      Wow, just wow.

      You do realize that the first settlers came to America, to escape Britain and the oppression of the church of England?

      You also realize that America was created because we wanted out from under the DEVINE rule of the theocratic monarchy that ruled America at the time?

      Do you have any idea how stupid it makes you look when when you call this country a Christian nation in spite of the fact that the founding fathers created this nation to escape the non democratic rule of a a christian theocracy?

      I hope that you are not able to breed.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • derp

      "Stop being a hater Derp! Just respect our beliefs as I respect your non-beliefs!"

      So when you say 2 + 2 = 5, I should just be quiet and respect that?

      July 7, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Grizzly Bear

      Tricia B,
      Your message to derp: "You bash our beliefs cause they dont fit yours and accuse us of doing the same! We Christians are suppose to shut our mouth about our beliefs while you can just run yours about your beliefs."
      Your message to me (Grizzly Bear): "Just the fact that you are Catholic is bearing false wittness, find anywhere in the bible where it says its ok to call your preachers father? It actually states not to call anyone your father for the Lord is your father. Try finding where its ok to call sunday the lords day? Saturday is the true sabbath not Sunday. Where does it say to worship idols? Or to go through Mary to get to Jesus? Come on your religion is based upon false christianity, so dont begin to even start by saying that people are bearing false witness to anything you have no right to even state that. Look in a mirror and clean up your own home first."
      So, it's not okay for others to question your beliefs, but it's totally okay for you to bash other people's religious beliefs? Got it.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • TriciaB

      YUP I DID BREED I HAVE 3 KIDS!!!!!!!!

      July 7, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • TriciaB.

      GrizzlyBear, K im sorry for bashing you. I can admit when im wrong and I was wrong for bashing you not sure why I did it but I apologize. Im only human and I make mistakes but that dont make me a hypocite either just not perfect.I can be a big girl when I need to be. But to the athiest out there its like this we will NEVER AGREE on this topic. I wont change my views and I dont expect you to change yours. Done have a good day all I have better things to do then to sit here and argue about topics that will never be resolved

      July 7, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Grizzly Bear

      Tricia B,
      Hopefully, your children will grow up to be more intelligent and respectful of others. Unfortunately for you, you can't spell, you don't use grammar properly, you're incapable of following a logical argument, and you profess to do one thing while actually doing another (i.e. You say that people shouldn't condemn others for their religious beliefs, while you had the nerve to insult another person's religious creed). No wonder people have problems with Christianity (people like you ruin their expectations based on the boorish, slack-jawed behavior that you're demonstrating). Stay smart and classy, Tricia B...it's not like you've proved to be otherwise, or anything. Way to go.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • bobbyganoosh

      "however according to our great book America in fact IS founded on relgion"....which great book are you referring to? please don't say the bible.
      @TriciaB
      "God blessed America and Britian to be great nations"....At what point did god say that? I'm gonna need to see a source on that one...
      "Just the fact that you are Catholic is bearing false wittness"...wow...so your saying everyone should respect religion....as long as its yours....classy

      July 7, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Grizzly Bear

      TriciaB, Please disregard my last post. It takes a strong person to admit their mistakes, and I accept your apology, and I hope that you can accept mine.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Mel

      'You do realize that the first settlers came to America, to escape Britain and the oppression of the church of England?'

      That is true. The first settlers did come to America to escape the oppression of the church of England. BUT that was because the Church of England was saying only if you believe this exact way are you a Christian. As well all know, there are many different denominations of Chrisitanity. It was the different denominations that wanted freedom from being told this was the only way they could practice their religion. Chrisitianity was very much a part of our country's history and I don't think anyone can logically deny that with 'God' being mentioned in our Pledge and in numerous Patriotic songs.

      This country does also represent liberty...liberty to follow any religion you want or no religion at all. I don't think that means that there is no way our country wasn't founded by Christians, just that these Christians all agreed that if you don't want to believe exactly how I do, then it is ok here.

      In one of the posts, someone mentions if we would find it offensive it a sign was posted and it said 'One Allah Way' or something to that effect. If a group of Muslims found the need to post a sign that stated something like that, why would that be wrong. I don't see why it would be. Why can't we all be proud of what we believe in and celebrate it anyway we want to. I am not offended by any other religion or by someone who does not practice any religion at all. It's your choice, I may not believe in it, but that is why America is supposed to be so great.

      I find debating very interesting and learning why certain people believe the way they do, but the attacking of the beliefs of Christians, Athiests, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, etc is horrible.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Larry

      TrishaB. Where do you get the idea that god blesses America and Britain? I'm pretty sure that's not in the bible...

      July 7, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Christian

      @ Larry,

      The story of America and Britian in bible prophecy is to much to explain on here. If you really have time and want to know go to http://www.thercg.org. On the side go down to books/booklets and look for America and Britian in Bible Prophecy. If you are really interested to know how we fit in to the bible then you will be amazed at what you discover. other websites are also http://www.lcg.org and http://www.ucg.org. Yes these are church sites. Plus ALL the books can be ordered free of charge if you wish to get them and do some real study. However I will prolly be slandered and called an idiot and be dropping IQs down to 0 by making this statement to you seeing as to how im a big idiot and all cause I choose the study of religion over the study of science which makes no sense at all!!! Apes HAHAHAHA!

      July 8, 2011 at 7:09 am |
  2. Puzzled

    I've always wondered why atheists are so intimidated by any sign of religion. If you don't believe any of it what is the big deal? Why does is bother them so much to see any sign of God or religion? A sign doesn't try to change your mind – it's just a sign. Why is tolerance a one-way street. If you want to be an atheist be one. If you are a Christian, Muslim or Jew or anything else be it. This is America, we are guaranteed religious freedom whatever that might or might not be.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • The Bobinator

      So you'd be fine with "Seven with Allah Way" then? No?

      July 7, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Stevie7

      I'm not intimidated by a sign of religion – just as believers shouldn't be intimidated by a sign of atheism. I don't get intimidated driving by a church, and I'm not intimidated by whatever particular religious group shows up at my door giving me a pamphlet detailing the various ways that their god wants to torture me for eternity – annoyed, but not intimidated. What I'm vehemently opposed to is having my tax payer dollars fund religious signs.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Civiloutside

      By and large, atheists aren't intimidated by overts sign of religious belief. They are annoyed by having a government that is legally required to be religiously neutral posting signs in support of a particular religious belief. Do you see the difference?

      July 7, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Jake

      Dude. "Richards" is going to be so p!ssed

      July 7, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Megan E

      I posted that I am an atheist and the sign doesn't bother me. Your post is awesome!! I totally agree. 🙂

      July 7, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • fxjm

      if it is just a sign why dont they simply take it off and end the ordeal.. ?..

      July 7, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
  3. TriciaB

    So let me get this straight, atheists can fly flags around the states declaring that this is a God-less America and Atheism is Patriotic, BUT a Christian cant post anything religious without offending them and Christians are just suppose to be ok with this? Why wipe out religion? Our Country was founded on the belief of religion like it or not! Our founding fathers were religious and once apon a time ruled the USA with God in mind like it or not its true. The pilgrams gave thanks to God for their first harvest on this land that is where Thanksgiving cave from, so all you atheist out there that celebrate Thanksgiving every year with your Godless family is in fact giving thanks to God for our abundance in this land lol dont believe me? look it up lol so your theories of a Godless America has only come about by people who wish to take God out of a God founded Country. Christopher Columbus even prayed upon discovering this great land. Try as you might you wont succeed or even convince everyone that God doesnt exist in our Country. Secular societies are only brought about by people who are striving to change what use to be in to what they want it to be. Like I have posted before be who you want to be but dont try to change what is or what use to be to fit your own desires or beliefs. Let athiest fly their flags and let christians post their blessings through religion where ever you all will, this is a free country and BOTH parties have the right and free will to believe and excersise their beliefs how ever they want too! God even granted everyone free will so why cant we all as mere mortals do the very same thing? To each and everyone I say this: Have a great day and all get along and love each other no matter what one believes or dont believe!

    July 7, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • derp

      "Our Country was founded on the belief of religion like it or not!"

      No it was not. This is from my post below. Every time one of you history challenged riligiots makes that same stupid statement I am going to repost it.

      Actually, this country was founded on a principle that is absolutely and directly opposite of christian ideology.

      America was and always will be about personal liberty. The right to think, believe and express what you choose to. This principle goes directly against the principles of the christian faith. Christian faith requires that you believe in the bible unequivocally. Christian faith requires that you believe in god, and that you believe in christ as the saviour. Anything less and you are going to hell.

      The christian doctrine requires that believe what you are told to believe. There is no room for debate. The bible is the word of god and absolute truth. If America was founded on "christian principles" there would be no personal liberty.

      Christianity = believing without question that jesus is the saviour sent from god. Period. No room for debate.

      America = individual liberty and the self evident right to believe anything you darn well please. Debate welcomed.

      American liberty and christian faith are diametrically opposed. They are opposites. This nation was founded on a philosophy that is nowhere near anything christian.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Stevie7

      The government – and your tax payer dollars – did not pay for those atheist banners. That's the difference and the issue that atheists have.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Adam

      Regarding you first point, Tricia, about the banners, is that those were privately funded advertisements in the public square, whereas this is the official renaming of a public street which is paid for and maintained by taxes levied by the government and paid by all citizens. This is a crucial distinction.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > So let me get this straight, atheists can fly flags around the states declaring that this is a God-less America and Atheism is Patriotic, BUT a Christian cant post anything religious without offending them and Christians are just suppose to be ok with this?

      There's a difference here. Atheism is secular by definition. Christianity is not. If a government action promotes Christianity over any other faith, they are in violation of the first amendment. The end.

      > Why wipe out religion? Our Country was founded on the belief of religion like it or not!

      The US economy was helped by slavery. Are you suggesting we keep that too because "it's historical"?

      > Our founding fathers were religious and once apon a time ruled the USA with God in mind like it or not its true.

      Yes, and our founding fathers were probably also racist and ruled with a racist mindset. Doesn't mean we should still hold onto it.

      > The pilgrams gave thanks to God for their first harvest on this land that is where Thanksgiving cave from, so all you atheist out there that celebrate Thanksgiving every year with your Godless family is in fact giving thanks to God for our abundance in this land lol dont believe me? l

      The pilgrims also oppressed other people of different faiths.

      > look it up lol so your theories of a Godless America has only come about by people who wish to take God out of a God founded Country.

      Godless america is supposed to represent how the country should act given it's own rules.

      > Christopher Columbus even prayed upon discovering this great land.

      So what? Are you done rambling like a moron yet?

      > Try as you might you wont succeed or even convince everyone that God doesnt exist in our Country.

      As opposed to existing in other places? We're not saying the idea of God doesn't exist either btw.

      > Secular societies are only brought about by people who are striving to change what use to be in to what they want it to be. Like I have posted before be who you want to be but dont try to change what is or what use to be to fit your own desires or beliefs.

      Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

      > Let athiest fly their flags and let christians post their blessings through religion where ever you all will, this is a free country and BOTH parties have the right and free will to believe and excersise their beliefs how ever they want too!

      Yes, they do.

      > God even granted everyone free will

      The Christian God by it's very definition cannot allow for free will.

      > so why cant we all as mere mortals do the very same thing? To each and everyone I say this: Have a great day and all get along and love each other no matter what one believes or dont believe!

      You have a right to your faith. You do not have a right to be insulated from criticism for your belief. You're confusing the two. Religion isn't to be respected. It's to be challenged, like all ideas should be.

      The truth has nothing to fear from rational inquiry.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • TriciaB

      Adam, dont christians pay taxes too? Its not right for one to say I pay taxes this is an outrage while the other paying party has no say in what happens. All im saying is that its the right of BOTH parties. In response to the rest of the replies Im Chirstian and I have the right to believe what I want and to post what I want in regard to my faith as well as you do. I believe in the bible plain and simple not what man wishes or thinks. America according to religion was given a birthright blessing to be a great nation so yes according to my faith America was founded on religion and yes Abraham Lincoln started a Fast day for all nations. But more importantly MY GOD says we are his so there fore we are his and he is bout to take his blessings away from us and break the pride of our power that is a prophacy for you and when you see it happening cause its happening then you will see!! Oh just so you can have some studying look up the seagates for America and Great Britian. It has been said that we will possess all the seagates and be great, and the prophacy states in the end that our seagates would be given to our enemies and the pride of our power will be broken hmmm...Britian already cut back on military and America is about to and not to mention that our Countries are going down at the head and Europe is on the rise!!!! Good luck all!!

      July 7, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • TriciaB

      Bobinator you say im rambling like an idiot but I believe that you are as well so who wins?? I wont convince you and you wont convince me! Im led by God your lead by Man oh well to each their own. You dont believe in God and I dont believe in the theory of evolution!!

      July 7, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • The Bobinator

      Bobinator you say im rambling like an idiot but I believe that you are as well so who wins??

      I do, because I dissected your post and showed you how your claims were wrong. You decided to shift your position.

      > I wont convince you and you wont convince me!

      Because you refuse to think about a different viewpoint.

      > Im led by God

      There's the proof of my above statment.

      > your lead by Man

      No, I'm not. I reach my conclusions based on logic.

      > You dont believe in God and I dont believe in the theory of evolution!!

      Probably because you haven't bothered to actually learn anything about it. Evolution is a theory, fact and law. When you figure out why that is, you'll have started to a much larger, more interesting world.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • TriciaB

      So Bobinator why do you think I have never been open to the theory of Evolution?? Is this your retort to accuse me of not being open minded? I assure you I have studied it!! Alot actually. I just dont grasp the idea of coming from Apes that just dont make sense to me. As far as religion it also didnt make sense to me so I guess I use to be Agnostic, till I started studying BOTH ideas and hmm...I guess Gods way made more sense to me then MANS way!! And you didnt dissect my post to show me I was wrong those are just YOUR ideas and theories!! Just because you say its so doesnt mean its true. And no there is no convincing each other cause you are just as stubborn in your ways as I am in mine. As for me being led by God sorry but I am and yes you are led by what man thinks and claims. You believe the theory of evolution which is a MAN MADE theory. I can say the same thing about God and the bible its a theory fact and law and if you tried to open one and actually read it and pray for understanding you just might be open to a much greater world and understanding for life! Alls fair dude I can say the same thing about you!!!

      July 7, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Frogist

      @TriciaB:
      Just because you pay taxes does not mean you have the right to have your religion raised up by the gov't over all other religious or non-religious beliefs. That goes against the very principle of religious freedom to which you are appealing. Or do you not see that having the gov't endorse Christianity is a violation of the separation of church and state?

      I often wonder if easily offended Christians who take your line of argument simply don't understand that they are going against our const!tutional rights or if they don't really care so long as their religion comes out on top. Is it simply a matter of ignorace or are they really that zealous? Do they never see the danger in starting a fight they would easily lose if the population was majority jewish or muslim or hindu? Do they consider what it might be like to really be a persecuted minority being told you have to live according to some other religion's tenets? I would think Christians, of all people, would be the first to jump on the secular bandwagon.

      BTW I have a really hard time taking you seriously once I read that bit about seagates and whatever...

      July 7, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > So Bobinator why do you think I have never been open to the theory of Evolution?? Is this your retort to accuse me of not being open minded?

      No I said that you have never studied evolution. There's a difference. You can be open minded to a lot of things and not study them.

      > I assure you I have studied it!! Alot actually. I just dont grasp the idea of coming from Apes that just dont make sense to me.

      No, you haven't. Because if you had, you wouldn't make such simple mistakes. We do not come from apes. We are apes. We share a common ancestor with Chimps and Bonobos. Humans, Chimps ans Bonobos share a common ancestor with Gorillas.

      > As far as religion it also didnt make sense to me so I guess I use to be Agnostic, till I started studying BOTH ideas and hmm...I guess Gods way made more sense to me then MANS way!!

      Agnostic and atheist are not two different things. I'm an agnostic atheist. So there's another thing you don't get. Furthermore, don't you think it's silly to adopt a concept "because it makes more sense"?

      > And you didnt dissect my post to show me I was wrong those are just YOUR ideas and theories!!

      Actually I did. I showed you how you were wrong. I'm sorry if you cannot understand what I'm saying.

      > Just because you say its so doesnt mean its true.

      First smart thing you've said all day. Just because anyone says anything doesn't make it true. Demonstratable facts make things true. Without demonstratable facts, you should accept no concept as true. That's why evolution is a fact.

      > And no there is no convincing each other cause you are just as stubborn in your ways as I am in mine.

      Except that my stubbornness is based upon demonstratable facts of the world. Your stubbornness is based on silly concepts like "I accept concepts based on what I think makes sense."

      > As for me being led by God sorry but I am and yes you are led by what man thinks and claims.

      No, I'm not. I'm led by logic and confirmed observances. I'm sorry if you don't understand how to accurately observe reality.

      > You believe the theory of evolution which is a MAN MADE theory.

      Based on observable facts that can be tested and have been tested for 150 years and never been shown to be wrong.

      > I can say the same thing about God and the bible its a theory fact and law

      If you think you can, you have absolutely no idea what those words mean. I wish I could say I was surprised.

      > and if you tried to open one and actually read it and pray for understanding you just might be open to a much greater world and understanding for life! Alls fair dude I can say the same thing about you!!!

      I've read the bible. Several times. I was a Christian. Then I got smart and said "If God is true, then no investigation of fact would prove him wrong." The sad thing is, that when you look at claims made by the bible, they are demonstratably wrong. Noah's Ark didn't happen. The world was not started in the garden of eden and despite God's statement, I don't consider wearing clothes of more then one fabric as a sin.

      The problem here is that you have a preconcieved notion of what reality is and you're unwilling to put it to the test. You believe in God and need God. I on the other hand do not need God and I don't reject God. If there is evidence for God I'll believe in God.

      I have no reason to misrepresent or avoid facts. You do. Which is why you lie in your posts about how you've studied evolution. Which is why you avoid learning about logic and what evidence is.

      The reality is that you limit your knowledge because that's the only environment your concept of God can thrive in. Prove me wrong.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Sheila

      Christianity is a doctrine of free will. Christianity states that if you do not choose to believe, you will be condemned. But you will be condemned by a God you don't believe in, to a Hell you don't believe in, rather than going to a Heaven you don't believe in. So, if Christianity is so wrong, and says you are free to join or not join, why do you care that they believe something impossible will happen to you if you don't?

      July 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Libra Lisa

      Columbus discovered America?

      Now, I know you you are stuck in 1971 text book. You need to stop you are making a fool of yourself with every post.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • phil

      TriciaB,

      Please stop. The more I read your posts the lower my IQ goes.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Larry

      Ok, again, I have no serious problem with the sign. You are missing the point. Atheists don't give a cr*p about the sign. We just don't want to pay for it. (For me, I don't care. It's for a good cause, so I can't see making a big deal out of it.)

      July 7, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  4. stevie68a

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster is the Truth, the Light, and the Way. All other Gods are false. Smite all infidels, such as christians,
    jews, and muslims. Praise me for everlasting life (send money).

    July 7, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Stevie7

      RAmen

      July 7, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • derp

      Mmmmm.....meatballs. I am going to behave here on earth so that when I die, I can forever indulge in spaghetti and meatballs in the land of pasta.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • Frogist

      @derp: Are they non-fattening spaghetti and meatballs that don't cause heartburn? Cuz I'm on the brink of converting!

      July 7, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Stevie7

      @Frogist,

      Holy meatballs cause no adverse side effects. However, jesus blood can get you drunk, so the catholics have a good argument here as well.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Lucy

      "The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance. But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming." - Psalm 37:12-13

      July 7, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Frogist

      Oh Stevie7, you're speaking my language! But the Catholics just have too much guilt about drinking their wine. And all they have to go with it is some crac-kers that don't even have any cheese on them! They say it turns into meat but I just don't buy it. That is just not the way to live.
      Didn't realize I couldn't say "crac-kers"! LOL!

      July 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Libra Lisa

      You're killin' me over here! I almost spit out my coffee on that one Stevie!

      July 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  5. Katie

    Everyone just needs to stop hating and repsect our beliefs and non-beliefs! Everyone just be decent! -Also seriously this new york sign is a private matter, if that get changed because not "everyones" happy what's next our legal tender that says "In God We Trust" -don't be a hypocrite non-believers everyone uses this everyday. Just because we believers can't see a higher authority doesn't mean it's not there, it's metaphysical it's in our hearts and in our souls. So respect our beliefs as we respect your non-beliefs

    July 7, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • bobbyganoosh

      You say respect non-believers but then follow it up with "don't be a hypocrite non-believers"....So you're basically saying, respect your beliefs because, by gods will, you are right. Anybody with a differing view is just a hypocrite....now that's what i call respect...

      "Just because we believers can't see a higher authority doesn't mean it's not there, it's metaphysical it's in our hearts and in our souls."-Same goes with any other religion...but i bet you think those other religions are wrong, too because they don't accept your jesus as their savior.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Adam

      What was unclear in this article is that this is not merely a "sign" that you can see in public, but in fact a sign that renames a previous (Richard Street) public street. I had to google to find this out, but that is the crucial distinction, I believe. A non-Christian already living on this street would have to use this name for all mail/etc. and that, I feel, is where you get a tacit governmental endorsement of a specific metaphysical claim about the universe that necessarily imposes itself (however mildly it may seem) upon a citizen.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  6. derp

    "Adelina thinks there's a god that must live up in the sky"

    I always wondered what happens to people on the other side of the earth when they look up. They are looking in opposite direction as people who look up on my side of the earth. If god is above me, wouldn't that mean he is below them.

    Oh nevermind, I forgot that the faithful believe the earth is flat. God is above all of us.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • Parkerman

      Your comments are ignorant and offensive. People of faith are not stupid, many are intelligent and thoghtful people that also recognize issues of science. Why can't you just leave us alone to believe in a higher being, I support your belief in nothingness so leave us alone and live with us in peace.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • derp

      Ok genius, then answer my question. How can god be above me while simultaneously above someone on the other side of the earth.

      Oh right I forgot, he can be everywhere at once because he's all magic like that.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Frogist

      @derp: That's kinda the Bugs Bunny philosophy as applied to religion. Dig far down enough and someone's God becomes someone else's Satan. LOL! Must be having to pass through the earth's core that does it...

      July 7, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Libra Lisa

      No Parkerman, we just think you are delusional, not stupid.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  7. CW

    To all the Atheist's and Nonbelievers,

    I have read over some of the responses and some of you are saying that this is not something that you need to fight. I appreciate that....b/c just as you don't want christians to force things down your throat we christians DON'T want you to force your lack of faith in God down ours. The point is that these families deserve to be able to honor their loved ones...if doing that means that they show their faith in this sign...then so be it. Another point is this...this nation ISN'T a nation that is secular but was founded on christian beliefs. Case in point....when the first settler's moved here they didn't build mosque's, statue's to zeus or worship any other false god...THEY did build church's though to worship the only true God though.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • Sue

      CW, nice redefinition of founders away from the accepted usage. Good trick.

      Nice covering it up with the cheesy polite start too. Now, about the Founding Fathers, do you think that they were Christians?

      What a deceitful shill you are. You stink.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Grizzly Bear

      Sorry, CW. The United States was not founded on the premises of Christianity. I'd advise you to check out Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Grizzly Bear

      By the way, CW, before you accuse me of being an atheist, I have to inform you that I'm a Catholic. I just think that bearing false witness is a sin, and for you to say that the United States was founded on Christianity is a compete fabrication. If you didn't get my first two messages, I'd told you to consult Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, written in 1797:
      "As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, — as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, — and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

      July 7, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      CW is right. The street sign is not about the subject of faith, but it is just a memorial for brave firefighters.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • derp

      "this nation ISN'T a nation that is secular but was founded on christian beliefs."

      Actually, this country was founded on a principle that is absolutely and directly opposite of christian ideology.

      America was and always will be about personal liberty. The right to think, believe and express what you choose to. This principle goes directly against the principles of the christian faith. Christian faith requires that you believe in the bible unequivocally. Christian faith requires that you believe in god, and that you believe in christ as the saviour. Anything less and you are going to hell.

      The christian doctrine requires that believe what you are told to believe. There is no room for debate. The bible is the word of god and absolute truth. If America was founded on "christian principles" there would be no personal liberty.

      Christianity = believing without question that jesus is the saviour sent from god. Period. No room for debate.

      America = individual liberty and the self evident right to believe anything you darn well please. Debate welcomed.

      American liberty and christian faith are diametrically opposed. They are opposites. This nation was founded on a philosophy that is nowhere near anything christian.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • TriciaB

      @Grizzly Bear

      Just the fact that you are Catholic is bearing false wittness, find anywhere in the bible where it says its ok to call your preachers father? It actually states not to call anyone your father for the Lord is your father. Try finding where its ok to call sunday the lords day? Saturday is the true sabbath not Sunday. Where does it say to worship idols? Or to go through Mary to get to Jesus? Come on your religion is based upon false christianity, so dont begin to even start by saying that people are bearing false witness to anything you have no right to even state that. Look in a mirror and clean up your own home first. You may be right in what you said but according to the bible the USA was given birth right blessings to be a great nation SO even though men didnt include God in our rights and laws God did have a hand in founding our Country and blessing it to be great. Even our admendments say "the freedom of religion". So no I dont think its bearing false witness or (lying) to say that our Country was founded on God and religion, even the pilgrams prayed and thanked God for their first harvest hense Thanksgiving! They even built a Church upon entering the land so they could worship God!!! The ways of man to me isnt more important then the ways of God. To all you athiest out there this comment was not directed at you so dont get offended this was a comment directly to Grizzly Bears comment!

      July 7, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Civiloutside

      Is it really so hard to see the difference between the country being founded by people who happened to be majority Christian, and the country being founded to be a Christian country? It doesn't matter what any individual founder believed, what or whom they worshipped – what matters is that they explicitly wrote into law that religion and government were separate.

      These were not ignorant men. They were well aware that non-Christian religions existed in the world, as well as that there were people who believed in no gods whatsoever. They used the word "religion" in full knowledge that it extended to non-Christian outlooks as well as Christian ones. Had they intended a Christian government, they would have said so, and to imply otherwise is to denigrate the intelligence of the very men whose authority you look to as the basis of your claim.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Grizzly Bear

      TriciaB, it would be easier to reply to your comment if it wasn't riddled in grammatical errors.
      "Just the fact that you are Catholic is bearing false wittness, find anywhere in the bible where it says its ok to call your preachers father? It actually states not to call anyone your father for the Lord is your father. Try finding where its ok to call sunday the lords day? Saturday is the true sabbath not Sunday. Where does it say to worship idols? Or to go through Mary to get to Jesus? Come on your religion is based upon false christianity, so dont begin to even start by saying that people are bearing false witness to anything you have no right to even state that. Look in a mirror and clean up your own home first."
      I mean, I feel as if I've walked into the middle of a conversation. And what is "false Christianity"? Before you call out other people for being stupid, it's probably a good idea if you proofread your posts before submitting them. Holy hypocrite.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • melvinslizard

      Did I miss something? Was the US government based on the Treaty of Tripoli? Which came first the country or the treaty?

      July 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Frogist

      @CW: Just thought I'd say thanks for your civil words towards the atheists in our midst. I won't adress the rest of your post as the others seem to have done that quite well.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Dee

      the problem is whenever the state gets involved, we do feel that it is being shoved down our throat. Would you be offended if the sign read, "7 no longer existing" in a widely known reference to our lack of belief? You may not be, but many christian's would feel that we are "imposing" our belief's on them, that the "atheist agenda" forced them to spend their hard earned dollars on something that does not represent what they believe. In tact, the people who are proposing this lawsuit are asking the city to refrain from representing their belief (or lack there of) on a street sign. I would think this would be something christian's would respect, however, it's obviously the case.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Dee: I kind of think "7 No longer Existing" is rather eloquent. It is a reminder that people were lost. It would be nice if the sign also referenced that they are firefighters too.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  8. Rainer Braendlein

    OMG!

    Mr. Bush once said about the terorrists of 9/11: "They represent evil and war!"

    I say about this atheists, challenging this lovable street sign: "They represent destructiveness and backwardness!"

    Atheists say: "There is no God!"

    I say: "Atheists have no brain, because I don't see it."

    July 7, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • The Bobinator

      Wow, that is the most incoherant and pointless post I've seen in a while. Not only do you get what atheists say wrong, it appears you don't even articulate your point. Congrats.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  9. Katie

    I think this is just too petty and attacking a 9-11 memorial, wow that's really stooping low, what's next are the athiest going to change what it says on our legal tender "In God We Trust" -seriously this athiest group needs to get a life and stop being so oppositional. Can't we just all get along!

    July 7, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Bill

      Katie, actually, the "In God We Trust" was added to paper currency in 1956. The original slogan of the United States was "E Pluribus Unum", which means "From many, one". Just using the officially endorsed currency doesn't make any atheist a hypocrit, but just shows that the separation of church and state is becoming less and less defined, and doing so is actually a threat to our overall existence as a nation. We're a nation built with many people, of many beliefs or no beliefs, and to endorse one over the other is to alienate those who make our country so special because they're different from others. We're a nation built on it's people and the desire to express themselves individually, not a religion of a few.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  10. DiamondSky

    Atheists can do any insane, stupid things in America with a total peace of heart. The said majority, Christians, only pity them, pray for them, and keep loving them and blessing them. What a nice, safe country USA is for atheists!

    July 7, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • derp

      "What a nice, safe country USA is for atheists!"

      Yes, thankfully we are safe from delusional sky fairy worshipping zealots who would otherwise strip us of our civil rights in the name of their bronze age myths.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • blah9999

      @derp Stop the hate

      July 7, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      atheists aren't the ones that have been killing people in the name of their god since the dawn of time.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • The Guy

      Or condemning the way of life for others, forcing them to believe in their doctrine and telling them AIDs is spread by the use of contraceptives. What great work missions have done across the world – keep up the good fight that's resulted in a hundred years of tribal war throughout the African continent.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:55 am |
  11. downtown dave

    No matter how hard they try to convince themselves that there is no God, God is still there and He is the One we will all come face to face with one day and give an account. Denying it won't make it not happen. http://atheistlegitimacy.blogspot.com/

    July 7, 2011 at 9:24 am |
    • JohnQuest

      downtown dave, you are correct, no matter how much we deny Zeus he will always be there waiting to judge us.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The Church of the Subgenius offers eternal salvation or triple your money back, all for a one time investment of $30.
      Should you find yourself at the gates of Hell, J.R. "Bob" Dobbs himself will refund your money, then sell you a book "How to Survive in Hell on 5 Cents A Day" for only $89.95

      July 7, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • Ben

      John Quest can you people just not shut up, even for once? Do you have no sense of perspective?

      July 7, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Ben, did I offend you in some way?

      July 7, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • The Guy

      You're in the dark, dave. I'm more likely to come face to face with Santa than I am with your "god".

      July 7, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Ben
      Sense of perspective about what?
      Thinly veilved threats of eternal damnation?
      The schadenfreude of the faithful, waiting on tenterhooks for the punishment they fervently hope will me meted out to those who don't adhere to their dogma?

      July 7, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • derp

      "God is still there and He is the One we will all come face to face with one day and give an account"

      Awesome!! I have always wanted 72 virgins!!

      July 7, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  12. Doc Vestibule

    I think the town of Valhalla, New York should change it's name.
    By allowing that name, the government is advocating violence since death in battle is the only way to get to Valhalla.
    I also find the township's moniker to be racist as it implies that only blue eyed, blonde haired people of Nordic descent are welcome.
    I am also deeply offended by angel food cake, deviled eggs, and the video game Halo.

    Fellow atheists – there are times when we are justified in railing against religious interference in public insti.tutions, but this is not one of them.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • Blandalf the Grey

      You are correct, Doc. Maybe they are doing this to test the waters, though. To learn what sort of things to do in a court case like this so they can move on to bigger and better things.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:08 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Doc Vestibule I agree this appears to be a waste of time and counterproductive.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • JohnQuest

      I think we need to start a PAC, we can get our points across by engaging in intelligent civil discourse.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:25 am |
    • The Guy

      But I have to agree with the NYCA – they are technically correct as much as it's nit picky.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:40 am |
    • Jamie

      Agreed. As an atheist, I have to say that these folks are being petty. Naming a street after "heaven" is not REALLY an endorsement of Christianity by the government. Many cultures believe in an afterlife of some sort, and "heaven" is often just a general term for a good place ("The biologist convention was heaven!"). If we remove a street name because it contains the word "heaven" then she should also remove all streets named after Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, James, Joseph, Mary, Abraham, Ruth, etc. Come on, fellow atheists! Being this petty is doing nothing for our credibility.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Frogist

      LOL@Doc: I can't say I disagree! This is a bit of a stretch. You always make a good point.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  13. Buddy R

    It is sad how idiotic the actions of atheists have become. And they wonder why atheists are the most poorly thought of group in America.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:00 am |
    • The Bobinator

      The reason they're not liked is because they take away people's fanciful and silly notions of a cloud based theme park that they go to when they die. Heaven forbid!

      July 7, 2011 at 8:07 am |
    • Buddy R

      No, the reason they are not liked is they want to impose their own delusion beliefs on the rest of society. The anti-theist denomination of the religion of atheism tries to inhibit the right of people of other faiths to worship freely. Almost all people who have ever lived have been intelligent and wise enough to believe in a deity.

      Atheists are in the awkward position of opposing science while claiming to be followers of science. They must make the claim that the universe produced itself out of a steady state of absolute nothing–something that could not have occurred based on known science.

      Every time atheists have gained any political power over a nation they have oppressed the population and engaged in mass murder. Consider Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, and a dozen lesser known atheist tyrants who were responsible for over 250 million deaths in the past 100 years. Far, far more than all other religions combined for all of recorded history.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • John Richardson

      @BuddyR The real enemies of religion tend to be other religions, each eager to take over and make their "believe or burn" doctrines come to life (and death) in the real, workaday world. There was centuries of that within Christianity, you still see it within Islam (Shia ve Sunni being only the most prominent example) and of course it's all over the place where there are larger doctrinal splits like Christian vs Muslim, Hindu vs Muslim, Hindu vs Buddhist (early history of Buddhism and recently in Sri Lanka), the Muslim persecution of Baha'is in Iran and on and on and on. And while theists like to point to communists as murderous atheists, which they unquestionably were and still are, the auspi-ces under which communists subjugated both religions and non-religious philosophies (including rival leftist philosophies) was their own establishment of whichever brand of communism their leaders espoused as the "one true philosophy", and in that sense were a lot more like religious people who wish to establish any one faith than they are like the secular humanist atheists who oppose the establishment of any belief system.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:30 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > No, the reason they are not liked is they want to impose their own delusion beliefs on the rest of society.

      What beliefs would those be? You mean like the belief that the first amendment should be adhered to? What if the sign said "Seven with Allah." Would you be ok with that? If not, you're a dirty filthy hypocrite.

      > The anti-theist denomination of the religion of atheism tries to inhibit the right of people of other faiths to worship freely. Almost all people who have ever lived have been intelligent and wise enough to believe in a deity.

      So, by preventing a government sponsored sign from saying "Seven in Heaven", I'm taking your right away to religion? I'd have to say, even for the internet, a pretty damn stupid position you hold there. How do "anti-theists" prevent you from exercising your rights?

      > Atheists are in the awkward position of opposing science while claiming to be followers of science. They must make the claim that the universe produced itself out of a steady state of absolute nothing–something that could not have occurred based on known science.

      You can only adhere to this position if you are ignorant about what science really says about the origin of the universe. Had you actually taken the time to read and learn what physicsts say about the origin of the universe, you'd see that what your saying is not only wrong, but silly.

      > Every time atheists have gained any political power over a nation they have oppressed the population and engaged in mass murder. Consider Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, and a dozen lesser known atheist tyrants who were responsible for over 250 million deaths in the past 100 years. Far, far more than all other religions combined for all of recorded history.

      You're either a troll or a moron. I hope it's the former.

      Let me show you how stupid your statement is by changing two words in your paragraph.

      Every time ANTI-PIXIESTS have gained any political power over a nation they have oppressed the population and engaged in mass murder. Consider Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, and a dozen lesser known ANTI-PIXIEST tyrants who were responsible for over 250 million deaths in the past 100 years. Far, far more than all other religions combined for all of recorded history.

      The salient point here is that not believing in something isn't a motivation for doing something. Of course, rational intelligent thinking isn't your forte, so I don't expect you to understand this.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:34 am |
    • John Richardson

      Those damned anti-pixieists are at it again, eh?

      July 7, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • The Bobinator

      @John Richardson

      The mild and meek approach doesn't seem to work. You'll never change the minds of people like Buddy R and other fanatics. The reality is that if they were really interested in learning about the world they'd have done it a long time ago. Instead, they're happy living in ignorance and accepting that "My God is watching over me." It makes them feel safe, much like how a child feels safe under the blanket when he thinks there are monsters in the room.

      The only real benefit from debating people like this is to show how baseless, stupid and illogical their positions are, in hopes that when people on the fence read the comments they say "Hey, I really don't want to be as stupid as that guy. Perhaps I should think about what it is I believe."

      July 7, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • John Richardson

      Yes, Bobinator, I don't expect to convince the people I'm directly debating, though sometimes some points of worthwhile common ground have been found. It's all about third parties. Lots of posters around here and always more lurkers than posters.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • Hurr

      Yes, we all lurk until we post. Duh.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Buddy R, As far I can tell no one has been killed in the name of Atheism. I think you are also wrong about people being killed by theist vs. atheist, you left out both world wars, Korea, Vietnam, the conflicts in the middle east (like them or not Muslims are your fellow theist). All of the conflicts in Africa and South America both are very religious.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • The Guy

      "And they wonder why atheists are the most poorly thought of group in America." Really? Christianity is the fastest declining religious philosophy in the United States. Check your facts, "buddy", before you speak.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Frank

      I thought preists were the most poorly thought of group in America, because of all the molesting?

      July 7, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Stu

      "What beliefs would those be? You mean like the belief that the first amendment should be adhered to?"

      The separation of church and state is not in the consti.tution. It originates from the letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists. Furthermore, its intention was to keep government from forcing a particular religion on Americans, allowing us freedom to choose. Thomas Jefferson had no intention of allowing the government to limit, restrict, regulate, or interfere with public religious practices. He believed, along with the other Founders, that the First Amendment had been enacted only to prevent the federal establishment of a national denomination.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • Just Looking

      Bobinator-

      "The only real benefit from debating people like this is to show how baseless, stupid and illogical their positions are, in hopes that when people on the fence read the comments they say "Hey, I really don't want to be as stupid as that guy. Perhaps I should think about what it is I believe."

      Are you saying that your belief system makes you more intelligent than anyone who holds different beliefs?

      July 7, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > Bobinator- "The only real benefit from debating people like this is to show how baseless, stupid and illogical their positions are, in hopes that when people on the fence read the comments they say "Hey, I really don't want to be as stupid as that guy. Perhaps I should think about what it is I believe."

      > Are you saying that your belief system makes you more intelligent than anyone who holds different beliefs?

      Who said that I held beliefs? Me telling someone that their beliefs are stupid and baseless doesn't mean I have ones of my own. Logic 101.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Just Looking

      "Who said that I held beliefs? Me telling someone that their beliefs are stupid and baseless doesn't mean I have ones of my own. Logic 101."

      This is most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. It's impossible for you NOT to have any beliefs. Just by stating that infers that you believe that you don't believe. I question your ability to understand stupid and baseless. Common sense 101.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Stevie7

      "you believe that you don't believe."

      That actually makes sense in your head?! Or do you believe that you don't believe in the tooth fairy? Non-belief is not a belief. Just as bald isn't a hair color, not collecting stamps in not a hobby, and not playing golf is not a sport.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > This is most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. It's impossible for you NOT to have any beliefs. Just by stating that infers that you believe that you don't believe. I question your ability to understand stupid and baseless. Common sense 101.

      What do I believe in then?

      July 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Just Looking

      "What do I believe in then"

      Well, for starters, you believe you're right. Correct? Or do you believe you're wrong and just spreading propaganda?

      July 7, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Turtle

      This group DOES NOT speak for all atheists. The group referred to in the article sound like a bunch of nitpicking whiners to me. Most atheists don't give a rats butt about the word "heaven" but references to God and sin do get their knickers in a twist.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Libra Lisa

      Wrong Buddy, they are a growing group. I suspect that that in a hundred years they will laughing at the Jesus Freaks more than we are on this forum. Religious people will be considered the 'quacks' of their day. Like we think of the folks and some of their beliefs from a hundred years ago.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  14. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Oh, and as for the rest of you: this is a secular nation. Not a theocracy. The rest of this issue is too stupid to warrant comment.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:54 am |
    • Odessa

      Tom, USA is a Christian nation that got corrupted into a filthy secular nation. "Nothing stays gold."

      July 7, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Big E

      The USA is not and never was a Chistian nation. Many of our founding fathers were deists,not Xhristians and yes, there was even an atheist or two..

      July 7, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      As usual, Addlebrain, you're wrong.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Rachel

      "The USA is not and never was a Chistian nation. Many of our founding fathers were deists,not Xhristians and yes, there was even an atheist or two.."

      Do you have any sound docu.mentation to back this up? Or did you read it from another post on CNN?

      July 7, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yes. It's called American history. I've studied it. You might want to try that sometime.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Stevie7

      @Rachel – this is a well known fact. If you don't want to educate yourself, then continue to live in your blissful ignorance. Just consider this little tidbit – Jefferson rewrote the new testament and condensed it to some 40 pages. He removed all of the hocus pocus and left only what he considered to be valid moral teachings. Does that sound like a Christian to you? We revere Jefferson, but how ironic that if a politician were to do that today his consiti.tuents would likely run him out of office as fast as possible

      July 7, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Rachel

      So, no, you don't is the proper answer.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  15. Reality

    Getting down to the "nitty-gritty":

    "John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

    The Situation Today
    Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed." J. Somerville

    It is very disturbing that such religious violence and hatred continues unabated due to radomness of birth. Maybe just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:23 am |
  16. Holly

    OK atheists, since this troubles you so much – you really should also be suing cities like St. Louis, St. Pete, St. Mary's City, Los Angeles, Hell (yes, there really is a town called Hell), St. Paul, San Francisco, the entire state of Maryland, etc if public references to religion bother you so much. Oh, and since the days of the week are named for Heathen Gods, you need to do like the Quakers do and say "First Day" for Sunday, "Second Day" for Monday, etc. For example, today is Thursday. Thursday's name comes from Thor. So you can't call it Thursday. Call it "Fifth Day." AND...it gets better...many of our months of the year are also named for Pagan Gods. January is one of them, so call it "First Month." February is another, so call it "Second Month" I think March is too (named for the Celtic Goddess Macha) so call that "Third Month." Et cetera. Otherwise, you're just being idiots.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:51 am |
    • John Richardson

      You will note that several of the more frequently contributing non-believers do not support this lawsuit. That said, you make a good point. There is a road near me called Purgatory Road. I've always thought that it would be kinda fun to have that as part of my address! Names are not the sort of thing one ought to get worked up about.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:06 am |
    • The Bobinator

      As an atheist however, I'm actually a little surprised about the fervor that is caused over this sign. It should be changed because it's pandering and idiotic, not because it's religious. I mean, how do the christians know the firefighters are in heaven. Couldn't they be in hell? Do Christians know God's standard of judgement?

      Clearly they name the sign to make themselves feel better about the loss of brave men and women. And that's just silly.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:12 am |
    • John Richardson

      I'm sure that many Christians and Muslims do believe that these guys are in hell – or will be after judgment day. (It's actually very obscure when damnation and salvation are supposed to occur. Most Christians I have heard both speak as though you are carried off to your eternal fate immediately after death and as though we will all be judged on some grand judgment day and that that is when most of us will get tossed into the lake of fire. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by this muddled conception of entry into the afterlife. Coherence has never been the strong suit for the religious amongst us.)

      July 7, 2011 at 8:36 am |
    • Frogist

      @Bobinator & John Richardson: The sad thing is should one of those firefighters have come on this blog and stated that they were atheist or, heaven forbid, muslim, they would get the same backlash from Christian and other religious folks that we get now. And just like we are told none of our good deeds or sacrifices will get us into their heaven, the fundies would dismiss their day-in day-out profession of actually, literally saving people's lives. But now that they are dead, it doesn't matter to the people like Odessa, TriciaB, BuddyR who all want to claim them. And claim that they have gone to their Christian heaven BECAUSE of their sacrifices on 9-11. The hypocrisy in that is astounding.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  17. Jim

    I found this on another site:

    “They are heroes and should be rewarded in a place like heaven,” said Tom Miskel of Community Board 6, which unanimously supported the name change in December 2009.

    Since when has entry into heaven been democratically decided?

    July 7, 2011 at 1:52 am |
    • The Bobinator

      Since when hasn't it? People use heaven so that they can not face the emotions of loss and sadness they feel when they lose someone close. They pretend that they're actually "Up there, smiling down on us."

      No matter how bad a person is, you never hear at a funeral. "He's down there. Smiling up at us."

      Honestly, I consider avoiding feelings of sadness and loss a disservice to the memory of the person. It's healthy to confront and deal with these issues rather then hide behind some sort of self constructed nonsense.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:15 am |
  18. njff

    PLAIN AND SIMPLE:

    HEROES GO TO HEAVEN

    heaven can be what ever they want, it doesn't matter what religion i don't care it just means these men went to a good place, leave it at that.

    p.s. this who lawsuit is very disrespectful to the men and their families

    July 7, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • njff

      *whole

      July 7, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Higzee

      What's being disrespected is the right to be free of religion in a public place.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:02 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Do heathen heroes go to heaven too?
      I thought that the only way into heaven was to accept Jesus Christ as your personal saviour, no matter how good your deeds in this life.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • John Richardson

      It may be silly, but it's a benign form of silly. And let those Christians or Muslims or whoever who object to this signs because they don't think these guys passed muster for entry to heaven according to THEIR religious beliefs bring their own lawsuit. That lawsuit would offend even more than this one does, and that would not be a bad thing.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • The Guy

      So you personality know the families? You assume they are all believers of a religion where heaven exists. If one of those firefighters is an atheist, he would find this sign disrespectful, not the law suit.

      You're thinking in terms of your own beliefs, and not others. Look in the mirror to find who is committing the disrespect.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Jo

      "So you personality know the families? You assume they are all believers of a religion where heaven exists. If one of those firefighters is an atheist, he would find this sign disrespectful, not the law suit."

      I think one thing we can agree on is all the firefighters have the answers of whether or not a heaven or hell exists.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Jim

      Doc Vestibule
      It's simplistic, really. These men did something people consider good and heroic, so of course they want to claim them as a product of their ideology. On another level, 9/11 is still viewed as an attack within a holy war against Islam. So all victims are considered martyrs, like the saints of old.

      Honest Christians who believe in justification by faith ALONE, however, must consider the likelihood that any of these men did not actually accept Christ fully in time, and are suffering the consequences of that choice.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  19. Brun

    There's that "shove it down our throat" thing again.
    Is this because so many Americans are overweight?

    July 6, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
  20. Odessa

    American atheists are so religious like Kim's followers in North Korea. Atheism and secularism should be registered as a religion in USA.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What's the matter, Adelina? Couldn't get a date tonight?

      July 6, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • Odessa

      Can American non-believers think of anything other than money and dating? Tom, I have told you look up to the sky. Sometimes.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:13 am |
    • Odessa

      An American poet said there is a poem in the sky. It's true. Tom, read literature if you cannot get up early enough to watch the sunrise. You need God. God loves you. I never understand why you reject Him so. Repent.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:16 am |
    • Free

      Odessa
      Most atheists I know are the people least likely to get caught up in any personality cult like the Kims enjoy. Hell, I can't think of any who would even make an effort to cross a street just to meet a celebrity. I know I wouldn't. For the most part we're just not followers, I guess.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:30 am |
    • Higzee

      Atheism is a lack of religion. I guess you have a hard time with the concept of people being non religious because your world view is skewed to that perspective. Atheists don't believe in a god and in that we have common ground and are forced to gather together to fight the religious bigotry so prevalent in America. Keep your beliefs private and I will keep my not belief private.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:11 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It cracks me up that Adelina thinks there's a god that must live up in the sky. I look up at the sky all the time-I see beautiful clouds, amazing thunderstorms, and stars. Never saw anything that said heaven was 'up there'.

      Really, Adelina, you are hilarious.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:51 am |
    • Civiloutside

      Some people can't seem to imagine life without worshipping something. So they invent things to claim that atheists worship and call us a religion.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:58 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      When I look up into the sky, I'm seeking the ISS – not God.
      But of course, to Odessa (and her hundred other pseudonyms) the ISS is nothing short of a modern Tower of Babel taunting God to smite us down.
      Odd the he never sent a lightning bolt at Sputnit.
      Is Laika in puppy heaven or hell?

      July 7, 2011 at 8:21 am |
    • John Richardson

      Watch the skies! Watch the skies!

      July 7, 2011 at 8:43 am |
    • DrMatrix

      Atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • melvinslizard

      Dr Matrix-
      Your statement assumes that the "hair" exists... clever haha

      July 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • lala

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qv_44wBOEc&w=640&h=360]

      July 7, 2011 at 8:06 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.