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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. John

    Isnt there an ice cream called chocolate heaven that the athiests should be out there protesting. I mean, my heavens.. Oops, strike that. I mean, my god, oops.. I mean, gosh, forbid..what about the children that are going to eat this ice cream and fall into the hands of the spaghetti monster.. Or is it sky fairy.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Stevie7

      Was that ice cream flavor named and paid for with tax payer funds?

      It never ceases to amaze how believers continually miss the point entirely.

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

      I could sit here and read these comments all day. Christians get so offended when people get offended over christianity. The point of this article is atheists are upset because it this sign (and the process to develop, approve, etc) is all funded by tax payers money. Ice cream is a privately owned business – who cares. If people don't want to buy ice cream with the word 'heaven' they don't have to. Clearly you're missing that point.

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

      Yeah, sure stevie. Thats the point. Im sure athiests are REALLY upset that this is about tax dollars. It never ceases to amaze ME how athiests will go on attack to spread their religion, and hide behind logic as the motive. If you would just be honest and say it affends your religious beliefs youd have it taken down. It offends your god – YOU!

      July 7, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Funnystuff

      John you really just don't get it. For most atheists it IS about tax dollars. Christians have such a warped sense of history and really believe that our founding fathers meant for this country to be a Christian country when that just isn't true. So yes, we do get upset that our dollars are being used to further spread a religion we know to be false. You can do whatever you want – whatever floats your boat is always my motto. Some of my best friends are devout Christians. I sit there and listen patiently when they tell me how I am wrong – I usually don't even go into why I know I am right. I don't have a problem with Christians, I have a problem with my money being used to further spread a religion that I believe was carefully and purposefully created to control the masses. Stevie has it all right – there is so much more in this universe than what the bible says. Enjoy your life, be a good person and do what makes you happy – don't live in fear for the future.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • melvinslizard

      Okay, Stevie, so by your logic, if the group applied for a permit and paid a fee to name the street (whether it was Mickey Mouse Way or The Milky Way), then would you be okay with it?? Because then it (the sign) wouldn't be taxpayer funded...

      July 7, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Stevie7

      " Im sure athiests are REALLY upset that this is about tax dollars."

      Um, yes, it is. Please see: The First Amendment.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Laughing

      @ John

      Poor john, you still think Atheism is a religion, also who's hiding behind logic? Sorry that we use logic, though I didn't think that's such a bad thing, then again I guess it's hard for believers to use logic when they believe in something so illogical it makes spock cry.

      @Melvin – If someone really felt the need to privately fund a street sign name I would be happier than having to contribute to it, then again I don't think the gov. allows people to do what you propose so the hypothetical is moot.

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

      Dont let the athiests take our angel food cake or our devil snacks!! Yes, you guys are VERY religious. And before you go copynpasting websters first one, look at the number two and three definitions of religion. Youll find it describes your cult to a T.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Laughing

      @ John, it's funny you liken religion to a cult....interesting

      and secondly,
      "
      1. beliefs and worship: people's beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature, and worship of a deity or deities, and divine involvement in the universe and human life
      2. system: an inst.itutionalized or personal system of beliefs and practices relating to the divine
      3. personal beliefs or values: a set of strongly-held beliefs, values, and att.itudes that somebody lives by
      4. obse.ssion: an object, practice, cause, or activity that somebody is completely devoted to or obsessed by"

      Let's go through these shall we?

      1. Well lets throw that one out because you and I both know atheism is the opposite, but we've both agreed on this one haven't we?

      2. Again, at the end, relating to the divine, since there are no practices or inst.itutionalized belief system, that too makes atheism NOT a religion

      3. I take it this is the definition in which you base atheism as a religion, but there you are also wrong for this reason alone, I don't live by atheism, and many people don't since the only uniting factor of atheism is the belief there are no gods or god, It's certainly a strongly-held belief, but not one that I live by, nor is it a value, it's just simply a fact, and nothing more.

      4. You could probably argue that some people are obsessed with atheism and spreading its message (many of the articles about atheism on this blog point that out) but at this point the term religion would apply to only a few individuals, NOT atheism the concept as a whole. Get it? Someone like Richard Dawkins can make his own religion out of atheism and publish books about it, BUT not all atheists follow or give credence to Dawkins, nor do people who do believe in Dawkins necessarily completely follow the guy. Dawkins also does not demand that atheist in turn follow him.

      To end, Atheism is not a religion even if you so very much want it to be. However, what believers don't really get is that when they point out to an atheist that atheism is a religion, or they need faith to believe in something like the big bang, how does that at all undermine the message of an atheist? If you want to describe specific atheist as following their own brand of atheism as a religion.....ok so, does that make god exist? Answer: no, no it does not.

      and angel food cake is delicious, as long as I don't have to pay for you and everyone to eat it.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  2. The LORD

    It would be so embarrassing if others perceived us as a "Christian Nation"...which we certainly are not.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  3. Civiloutside

    "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."

    It doesn't say "denomination," it says "religion." The Founders knew the difference. They were fully aware that by saying the government couldn't establish a religion that said restriction included Christianity even in the general sense. These men were not ignorant of the fact that the term "religion" is not restricted to subsets of Christianity.

    Also, these atheists are not asking the government to restrict public religious practice. They are asking the government not to *engage* in public religious practice. I hope you see the difference. If this were a privately funded memorial on private property, regardless of how publicly viewable, there would be no lawsuit.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  4. Katie

    Thank God for the Faithful!

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

      Stop being a troll. Read a book. Think for yourself.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • The LORD

      Don't thank me, I have nothing to do with those lunatics....

      July 7, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • DF

      here here,
      I'm new to the whole faith thing,,i will say that a feel a peace inside that i never felt before. After letting go of the hate and trying for the first time to not understand and prove anything but just go with it,,and you start to experience things I've only ever heard others talk about.

      I'm glad to be counted amonth the faithful...its much to depressing to think that this is it.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Stevie7

      "its much to depressing to think that this is it."

      I find it awe-inspiring and humbling. The world – not too mention the universe – described in the bible is small and self-centered. When I look up at the sky I see something unimaginably greater than myself. I wonder and marvel at its beauty. I'm not so narcissistic to think it was all created for me. I choose to live my life to the fullest – not wait for something after this life – and encourage others to do the same.

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

      When in Rome Stevie7

      July 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  5. Scott

    I don't see any mentioning of a religious organization in the phrase "Seven in Heaven Way". This is just like "In God We Trust" used on our currency. Its an expression of hope and faith, neither of which are a religion, they are a state of being. Atheist feel the same way about the word Reason, should that word be stricken from the public too?

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

      careful... you're making sense

      July 7, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  6. Gina

    When in Rome

    July 7, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  7. russ

    God dosn't believe in athest's, so they don't exsist.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • melvinslizard

      now that's funny

      July 7, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  8. SHRIKE

    While we're at it, I hate those wretched church signs that I have to see everyday on the way home cajoling everyone to 'fall on your knees and pray' so that their petty god can forgive them. Totally offensive to anyone other than to those who buy-in to their particular brand of psychosis.

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

      You should have your eyes on the road

      July 7, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • melvinslizard

      And let's add all the billboards for strip clubs, wet t-shirt/$1 drink nights, raunchy morning radio shows... all the "atheist" stuff.

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

      Shrike,

      What do you think of the street sign that the Church is on? In our town we have a street named ‘Church Street’; It’s the street that has the Catholic Church on it.

      Streets with the names Faith, Hope, and Charity, too, also remind me of my Christian Faith!

      If you were so blessed to live on a street named Love St. or Eternity St., what joy could fill your heart to return home each day after work or after a wonderful vacation visiting the Apostle Islands!

      Really, would you rather live on Dead Beat Path, Lost Road or Empty Place? Would you rather live on Hardened Heart Avenue or Killjoy St?

      Let’s be honest here…if you had to change all the names of things that remind us of our Christian Faith you would have to deal with all the people who love their cities…St. Louis, St. Paul, Los Angeles, to name a few which have large signs announcing the city; then think of all the counties with Christian names…. San Bernardino, St. Mary’s, and Marquette County, just some of the many.

      Then are you going to go after people who give their children Christian names…..John, Matthew, Mark, and Luke just because your ears have to hear words from the Bible every time you say their names?

      July 7, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • SHRIKE

      @melvinslizard – I agree. However, I presume you are insinuating athiests are the reason such things exist. I would venture to say that the purveyors of said establishments and activities are most likely people who claim to be of the same faith as you, christians. The words christian and hypocrisy are synonyms.

      @CatholicMom – The fact that you self-profess to be catholic makes you pitiable. I would no sooner taunt a mentally handicapped child than you. Do you still let your children give confession to the priests in private vestibules? How's that faith working out for you?

      July 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Shrike
      "priests in private vestibules"
      I can assure you that no clergyman has come near THIS doctor's privates!

      July 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  9. Katie

    @Derp, well you are being a hater! You're making fun of our beliefs, and past post about making fun of angels, it's very offensive and uncalled for! I'm not going to stoop to your level and make fun of you, but I know you have a heart and a head and hopefully you'll find it someday- and realize putting down religions is mean and cruel!

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

      "and past post about making fun of angels"

      Huh? Exactly where did I make fun of angels? Why would I make fun of something I don't even believe exists. I might make fun of people who believe in them, but I would not make fun of them.

      You are apparently as deluded as the rest of the faithful.

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

      Katie, how would you feel about a group wanting to promote someone else's religion – let's say that someone wanted to add "and Allah" to "In God We Trust" on our money?

      July 7, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • SHRIKE

      @Katie – wahhh. Derp 1 – Katie 0

      July 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  10. tallulah13

    I'm not a fan of any street renaming (messes with navigation) and I think this is a silly name. However, as an atheist, I have no problem with it personally. The only problem I would have is if one of the dead were an atheist or a member of a faith that didn't believe in heaven. Then it would be an insult. If all those who are being honored were christian, then this atheist group should consider the circu.mstance and the sacrifice, and just let it go.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • westcoasterner

      It doesn't offend me either, but the point being made is that the state is issuing a religious-based billboard in favor of Christianity. That's the offensive part.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • tallulah13

      I disagree. The sign is honoring people who sacrificed their lives to save others. Yes, there is religious content, but it's not about religion. It's about honoring the dead. This is not a battle atheists can win or open minds with. It has every appearance of picking nits at the expense of dead heroes. This atheist group should be more wise about choosing their battles.

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

      In four years the govt. will offciailly declare athiesm a new religion and all hell is gonna break loose. Oops. I mean all craziness will prevail. No religious references intended

      July 7, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • melvinslizard

      You are awesome and deserve a raise! haha As a rational "believer" I welcome the chance to hear your opinion and I appreciate the tone of your response. Sincerely wishing you the best!

      July 7, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  11. TN

    don't shove it down your throat??? give me a break

    July 7, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  12. DF

    I'm a recent convert and my chest feel smuch lighter than it did when i fought the feelings inside.

    even if you dont believ in god break it down to mathmatics–universal understanding

    basically no one on earth knows for sure,,so given that there is even .0000001 percent chance of his existence, thats enough for me. God bless!

    July 7, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • westcoasterner

      That's ridiculous. There's a .00000001% of ANYTHING happening. No one has disproved that there are leprechauns out there, does that mean you should proclaim your faith and devotion to leprechauns? NO. Only an idiot would believe in something simply because it hasn't been 100% disproven.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • DF

      break it down in something other than your opinion and im willing to listen...

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

      DF also believes in bigfoot, unicorns, the tooth fairy, yehti, Batman and Robin, yoda and Ziggy Stardust.

      After all, there is an equal chance of those things actually existing as well.

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

      DF,
      I applaud you for standing up, even as a new believer. I hope and pray that your faith in something that has scared so many becuase they do not understand will not deter you from continuing the walk. For what we believe only in faith, we will one day see in truth. God is alive and no one can take that away- they already tried...

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

      Westcoasterner has proclaimed his faith in leprechauns. There goes the St Patty's Day parade and all the fixin's... no more Lucky Charms in the public school cafeteria!! I guess Count Chocula would still be okay, tho.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • DF

      Thanks Terry,
      Its actually strange being on this side of the fence. I used to side with these guys believing in nothing that i cant touch, taste or hear. It was only at my worst moment that something other than myself picked me up and brushed me off. I could not do it myself. In that i have a new found trust and comfort. I cant say that God is in the form of a man in a robe granting wishes. I think mankind has painted him this way so we can relate. It probably revolves around energy...but im not hear to argue any of this. Jeses died on the cross for my sins and in this i place my faith.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • DF

      and actually westcoasterner actually subscribes to my same thoughts.

      there was only but a .00000001 chance that life would be created by the big bang...but thats what these idiots believe as well. go figure.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
  13. Jumper

    This is ridiculous. If it offends the people that live on the street, okay. They have a right to ask to change it. But some random atheist group that demands to have it removed because it has a Christian reference? That's essentially attacking the belief of the of the families who lost members. And you wonder why Christians throw hissy fits over atheists; it's because they feel like they're getting attacked at every turn. Have some humanity, people. >>Freedom of religion<< We have a right to express it, just like atheist have a right to fly banners attacking religion.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • kimba

      You're right – you DO have a right to express your religion. The government should not be in the business of doing that for you. Atheists may make advertisements "attacking religion" (horrible attacks like: "don't believe in god? You're not alone"...*shudder*) but, guess what? They pay for those privately.

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

      Yes, you do have the right to express it, but the government (who makes and posts street signs) does not. The atheists are just trying to get the government to obey its own laws – for the sake of ALL religions (not just the few who believe in heaven), as well as for those who don't believe in any religion.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • John

      Public or govt, doesnt matter. Athiests are on the move, banding together. Having meetings. Taking collections to spread their message, attacking the other faith because they dont believe like them.. Wait, sort of sounds like religion to me. Hmmmmmm..

      July 7, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Stevie7

      "Athiests are on the move, banding together. Having meetings. Taking collections to spread their message"

      Sounds also like, say, The Leukemia and Lymphoma society. Hey – maybe battling blood cancers is a religion, too!!!

      July 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  14. Katie

    @Jamie, I totally agree with you Jamie! This is really petty! @Derp God is not a physical being, he is metaphysical he is in all of us!!! -stop putting down our beliefs!!! -respect ours and we'll respect yours, it's just that simple. Oh and America was found on a basis of religion, remember we escaped europe and England to be able to practice protestant religion without the influence and persecution on the pope and King of England.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Kim

      America may have originated by a group of beings escaping religious persecution but we were not founded to be a Christian nation. I respect your beliefs, but I do have them shoved down my throat on a daily basis – from the cash I used at starbucks this morning to the Pledge of Allegiance that is written on my classroom wall to my state (Ohio) attempting to outright ban abortions on a mostly religious reason. While I do believe that every soul who lost their life in 9-11 should be honored, public money should not be used to do it in a religious manner. It's that plain and simple. We're NOT a Christian nation.

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

      @Katie: Saying the people who came here were religious does not mean this country was founded on religion. They came here to escape religious persecution by their own religious govt. So shouldn't the lesson be not to make the same mistakes and try to persecute others through our own gov't? Besides if we want to go back to talk about the religion of the people at the start of this country, you wouldn't be talking about Christianity, but one of the many Native American religious traditions.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  15. Patrick

    @Janet. Your argument does not makes sense from the perspective of modern physics. In fact, theoretically you can get something from nothing. Regardless, where did your God come from? Talk about an ad-hoc hypotheisis!

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

      Patrick-
      Did you just say "In fact, theoretically..." to "prove" your point??? If it is theoretical, then it is not FACTUAL. Theoretically I should be able to put my hand THROUGH my keyboard, after all, both are majority empty space between neutrons, protons and electrons... but it doesn't work when you try to make it "fact."

      July 7, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Stevie7

      Gravity is a theory, too. I'm guessing if you drop something, you don't expect it to fall upwards. And quantum fluctations (getting something from nothing) has been verified by experimentation.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • melvinslizard

      Stevie-
      Your "law of gravity" forcing things to fall "down" is a skewed perspective... Things don't fall "down" they fall "in" unless you're too far away from "the center" in which case you will fall "out" or "away". This is fun... keep 'em coming.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Gravity is still a theory – but nice of you to completely miss the point. You knowledge of basic science is clearly severely lacking. There is no 'law' of gravity. It doesn't take more than a few brain to see that my use of the phrase 'down' is clearly just convenient reference point for those of us living on earth. And theoretically you can't put your hand through your keyboard – unless you just like making up theories.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  16. Zach

    I guarantee that if this sign didn't have Christian undertones the athiests wouldn't care. Not so much atheism as anti-christianity

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

      Bulls**t

      July 7, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • kimba

      Atheists think other religions are just as stupid and should be left out of government. The problem is that Christianity is the one being shoved down our throats constantly. If it were an Islam-based sign, the Christians would be protesting louder than anyone.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • westcoasterner

      @Kimba Exactly. Americans are so adamant about making the U.S. a "Christian nation," when our nation was actually founded on secularism. Although I am opposed to all god-based religions, Christianity can be a particularly frustrating one here in the U.S.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  17. Patrick

    I consider myself an evangelical atheist, but even I think this is silly. I can't imagine there are that many people offended by this. More than likely a couple of rabble-rousers, but somehow this makes it in a blog about faith. Perhaps a chance to make atheists look bad?

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

      Stevie-
      your "principle" isn't a fact. It's a glorified theory. You don't "know" you can create something from nothing any more than I "know" God exists. I have faith in God. You believe in Science.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Stevie7

      I don't believe in science. I rely upon the mathematics beyond theoretical physics and experimental validation of theories. It's not like just one experiment has been done on this. This is a fairly heavily studied phenomenon in quantum mechanics and has practical applications in various technologies. Unlike your god – we can actually see this phenomenon. Your ancestors believed the earth was flat. We can show that this isn't the case. If you want to go on continuing to believe the earth is flat that's your choice, but it is one that lacks understanding of physics.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • melvinslizard

      so does your concept of "up and down" in an infinite universe, dingo.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Stevie7

      So you reply to my reasoned, fact based argument is a nonsensical ad-hominem attack. Nice work.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  18. Janet

    And yet – after all of the rhetoric is spoken – all that we see did not create itself. You cannot get " something" from " nothing". To say that " we don't know how it happened but one day we will, is simply an opinion. Even if you believe in the Big Bang theory, you must answer three questions:
    1. where and how did that singularity get there?
    2. how did all the " stuff " that forms star and planets and stuff get in this self-creating singularity? and
    3. what was the mechanism that caused it to " explode "?
    I think it will boil down to your worldview, and just how determined you are to defend it. Scientists can make up a bunch of hypothetical conditions as " proofs " on paper, but the real " proof " is in proving that these conditions naturally existed at the beginning of all things, not just in a laboratory, or in somebody's brain. I am convinced that it was all created, only because it is the only thing that makes sense without a lot of ad-hoc theories supporting the athieist worldview. Anyway, why would a man ( or woman ) complain, ridicule, and despise something or someone that they don't even believe exists? Now that is something that doesn't make sense to me.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Janet

      You said: "You cannot get " something" from " nothing".

      Hmm... So, where did your god come from?

      Curious in Arizona

      July 7, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Stevie7

      "You cannot get " something" from " nothing".
      -------------
      Not true. Quantum fluctuations show us that we can indeed get something from nothing. Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle shows us that the conservation of energy can be violated. That throws your whole argument out the door.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Frogist

      @Janet: Have you read the Harry Potter books? Or seen the movies? Isn't Voldemort scary? Do you feel sad when the Deatheaters kill off Harry's friends? Doesn't Dolores Umbridge make you really angry? Well you do know they aren't real people, right? But you feel that emotion anyway.
      Now think if people went around proclaiming that the world of Harry Potter was real. And wanted to make laws saying animals must be genetically spliced to make hippogriffs, and every person had to carry a wand or get a Deatheater tattoo? And that the country was founded on magic so we must change the schools so every child learns necromancy and alchemy. You might think those people were a little mad. But you would also complain, ridicule and despise the way they were trying to get the govt to force their crazy beliefs on every little part of your world. It's only natural.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  19. Katie

    @stevie7 -well look what it says on your tax dollars, "In God We Trust!" -hypocrite!

    July 7, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Stevie7

      I'm the hypocrite? How? Grab a history book – that phrase was added during the red scare in 1957 by a bunch of Christians who had an irrational fear of communism. That doesn't make it right. And says nothing about how our country was founded.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Vader

      Exactly right.

      E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One) was the original, de facto motto of the United States, and it should have stayed that way. Kind of like the Pledge of Allegiance, which originally did NOT include the words 'under God' [added in 1954, again during the height of the 'godless' Red scare] but read as 'one nation, indivisible'. Both sentiments apropros of the secular basis upon which the country was founded.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  20. JimInTX

    Religion was necessary thousands of years ago, but not since the Enlightenment. Reason, thinking, and facts trump fairy tales, magic, and mumbo jumbo. If I'm wrong, oh great Invisible Sky Friend, strike me down. Nope, still here.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      You're awesome JimInTX. 🙂

      July 7, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • couldn't resist

      In the news: JimInTX passed away unexpectedly yesterday. Services will be at the local funeral home with a reception following at the family home.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:07 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.