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. Lee

    "When are we going to wake up to the fact that Atheism is itself a religion?"

    Atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color. Disbelief in a god is not a religion. Afterall you disbelieve in millions of gods.

    "Their god is "self"."

    I don't have a god. I already have a word for my self and it is my self.

    "Simply because they don't believe in the Christian God or whatever deity you wish to mention does not make their point any more valid than a "religious" person's. By forcing the removal of "religious" concepts from "public" displays, they are, in fact, enforcing and promoting their own religious doctrine, which is exactly what they are complaining about."

    So you would be okay with Allahu Akbar 9/11 signs? Our government is forbidden from endorsing religion. This shouldn't be hard to understand.

    "Remember: "freedom OF religion" is NOT "freedom FROM religion"."

    How is it possible to obtain freedom of religion if you don't have freedom from it? You are free from the other 38000 sects of christianity, just as I am. I am also free from yours.

    "As for the display, to my knowledge, all of the people it is intended to honor were Christian, so why in the world would the mention of "heaven" be inappropriate?"

    I don't see it as inappropriate so much as unconst.itutional and ironic. Ironic in the sense that the 9/11 hijackers thought they were also on their way to heaven.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  2. Jason

    Did they pay for the billboard? No. Those who did have the right to free speech. There are limitations to free speech as we all know so the next question is "Is the statement offensive to the MAJORITY of people?" If so, then take it down.

    I am a Christian. I don't like the atheist billboards I see, but in no way do I feel it is being "shoved down my throat" nor do I feel they are offensively written, so it falls to the rights we all enjoy.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "Did they pay for the billboard? No."

      It's not a billboard, it's a street sign, which is funded by tax payer dollars. So yes, they did pay for it.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Jason

      Stevie7: Photo wasn't up and I missed that... point ceded. But I come back to my question, "Does the majority find it offensive?" I'd be okay paying with that. Take the extreme point... I find "Elm" offensive. They are ramming trees down my throat. I don't want it as a street any more. Take it down. Does that mean I should be listened to?

      You can't please everyone all the time and we spend too much effort trying to.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Stevie7

      There's no clause in the consti.tuion stating that the government shouldn't respect a tree. The problem is the first amendment. A majority on anything does not trump the consti.tuion. While I think the sign is wrong, however, attempting to pick a battle on something as emotional as firefighters who died on 9/11 seems like an amazingly bad idea to me.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  3. SilentBoy741

    They could just amend the sign to read "Seven In Heaven Way - Except For The Atheists". That should please everyone.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      How about "Seven with Vishna." That shouldn't cause any uproar at all.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • pw

      its Vishnu

      July 7, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  4. LaLa

    Have the atheists looked around ?? Half the towns in California & the West would have to change their names to keep from having a religious link. They should get over themselves already. References to religion are every where. Why ? Not because we ( the religious of any form) are trying to shove it down their throats ! It's because humans put names on things that have deeper meaning to those who name them. If we were going to be totally logical then streets would be named strictly with numbers & letters for ease of location & towns would be known not by name but geographic coordinates. But we are human & we put our beliefs out there for everyone else to see. Don't like it ? Don't look. Or just get past it.

    Silly atheists.

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

      I see what you're saying, but I think I would prefer streets and towns to be named the way you described, I think it would be much easier to find my way around a city I didn't know. But I'm also an engineer so numbers and stuff like that come easier to me than names.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Chris

      This is an excellent point, Lala. I just went through the major cities in California and they ALL have religious affiliations.

      Sacramento (Sacrament), San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Los Angeles (The Angels)...

      July 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Have the atheists looked around ??

      Did you bother to use your brain before posting? It doesn't matter how many things there are, it doesn't mean they're consti-tutional. Look at "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" For years they had it. And for all those years it was unconst-itutional. The reason these names exist is because people don't put up a fight.

      Numbers of occurances =/= correctness.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
  5. Bill

    I agree with ElfOdin, it's a damn sign. And who put the sign up anyway? If it were families of the deceased that have Christian beliefs, who cares, let them grieve how they wish. One of the foundations of my atheist beliefs is that people should believe what they choose, provided they do not impose their beliefs on others. While people like Michele Bachmann are clearly of the latter, those putting up a sign commemorating their loved ones surely do not fall into that category.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Stevie7

      "And who put the sign up anyway? "

      That would be the government. With tax payer dollars.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:58 am |
  6. David Johnson

    For those you who are prattling "You can't get something from nothing", here is a really fantastic video. I know most believers won't watch it all, or even most, but at least I brought it to your attention.

    For freethinkers, this is required reading. The universe is too awesome to ever be created by a god.



    July 7, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Phil2810

      Whoa whoa whoa. You do realize that religious debates are a thinking-free zone right? Don't go and bring your truth and logic into this!!

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

      Well, I would have to say that I disagree with his thought that people of faith have to know everything. I am a firm believer that God is a mysterious God who has given us a great deal of information, yet has kept the great mysteries just that, a mystery. If we were able to know everything as he insists then why would we need God and have a Faith in him. I am also dissappointed that he took a point to insult not only believers' but that which they hold to- the biblical point of views...

      July 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Sybaris

      @ Terry

      "God is a mysterious God"

      That's just an excuse a.k.a. The Almighty Caveat .................. used by believers to move goal posts in order to keep their faith intact in the face of undeniable facts. It's easy to ascribe supernatural traits to fictional characters.

      Regardless, even if you did know everything that doesn't mean you would have the power to do anything and would still need your god.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Thanks I watched the entire lecture, I am not a scientist but I could follow the logic. We are here not because of God but because of timing, it makes sense, we are nothing more than the products of our environment. The Universe (unlike God) is intrinsic.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • David Johnson


      Yep. Random chance. No god required.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Terry: I respect your belief in your God. But I have to say I don't understand why your God would deliberately keep mysteries from you only to preserve the necessity for faith. That seems unnecessarily tedious for a being who knows everything about everything to be so worried about a finite being. And particularly cruel to have created human life with intelligence then thwart that very gift in order to hide himself.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  7. Phil2810

    II find it amusing that you can easily tell the difference between a post created by an athiest, and one created by a religious nutjob. Most of the athiests use proper grammar, punctuation, and sound logic to support their arguments. The fanatics on the other hand, have posts full of errors, misspellings, and very energetic ranting. Do none of them see how crazy they sound? If I told you that I had dug up an old book that told me invisible blue elves created the universe, and that I believed it, you would call me a psychopath. That's the way we athiests see all of you.

    Religion is antiquated and not necessary anymore. Do away with is sooner rather than later. It does my heart good to read articles about how religion is on the decline.

    Also, I agree that it is offensive to have the government fund anything to do with religion. I also believe that "In God We Trust" should be removed from currency. I trust my own eyes and my thinking brain. That's it.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • SilentBoy741

      If you don't like "In God We Trust" on your currency, then give it to me. I don't mind.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Lettuce Prey

      Phil, you state "That's the way we athiests see all of you." I'm an atheist. Please do not presume to speak for me.

      More than 90% of human beings believe in god in one form or another. Do you really see all those billions as psycopaths? That's an incredible world view.

      The only time I am bothered by the beliefs of others is when those beliefs do possible harm, or when laws by which I must abide are written in accordance with someone's religious beliefs.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • RJF1222

      If you are going to be self righteous and say that all religious people use poor grammar, you should first take the time to proofread your own post.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Phil2810: I do see a lot more spelling and grammar mistakes out of believers than I do non-believers. But I don't really try to focus on that as much as what the person is trying to say. It's a troll tactic when people harp on grammar and spelling but don't provide any other argument to refute what the person said.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  8. Chris

    When are we going to wake up to the fact that Atheism is itself a religion? Their god is "self". I'm not making this up. In 2005, a federal court in Wisconsin found in favor of an inmate and established this as legal precedence. This was further reinforced by other federal court rulings.

    Simply because they don't believe in the Christian God or whatever deity you wish to mention does not make their point any more valid than a "religious" person's. By forcing the removal of "religious" concepts from "public" displays, they are, in fact, enforcing and promoting their own religious doctrine, which is exactly what they are complaining about.

    Remember: "freedom OF religion" is NOT "freedom FROM religion".

    As for the display, to my knowledge, all of the people it is intended to honor were Christian, so why in the world would the mention of "heaven" be inappropriate?

    July 7, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Phil2810

      That's wrong. For athiesm to be a religion, there would have to be BELIEF that there is no god. I don't THINK or BELIEVE that there is no such thing. I KNOW. How do I know? The same way you know unicorns and fairies are not real: It's ridiculous.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • Chris

      To Phil2810:

      Your statement is meaningless, legally. The courts have ruled Atheism as a religion. Period. Ergo, pushing Atheistic demands is pushing a religious demand just as surely as if a Christian were to force communion or baptism on people who do not believe the way the said Christian does. The legal stance of the courts and the precedence set by it invalidates any argument to the contrary, no matter how well-versed. If you want that changed, you'll have to take it back to court and reverse several decisions. Until that happens, sorry, but Atheism IS a religion as defined by law and, as such, is covered under the same restrictions as any other religion.

      By the way, I would be willing to bet that far more people are insulted by the fact that they must defend an innocuous mention of a religious concept that is shared by most religions throughout time than are offended by the word "heaven" on a sign. If we go by simple majority vote, most Atheists would simply have to be quiet, or protest by putting their own "non-secular" signs up. I'm not saying that all religions believe in the same "heaven" mind you. Simply that almost every religion has a place where the "good" or "righteous" go after they die, a concept defined in Christianity as "heaven".

      July 7, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "Chris
      When are we going to wake up to the fact that Atheism is itself a religion? Their god is "self".

      Can't speak for all atheists, but for me, Atheism is a lack of belief in the supernatural. I don't sing atheist hymns. I don't pray to myself. I don't think I can work miracles for myself. I don't think of myself as a god.

      You said: "Simply because they don't believe in the Christian God or whatever deity you wish to mention does not make their point any more valid than a "religious" person's. By forcing the removal of "religious" concepts from "public" displays, they are, in fact, enforcing and promoting their own religious doctrine, which is exactly what they are complaining about."

      No. The const_itution prohibits the government from making any religion the state religion. The government can't put up crosses or the ten commandments, or any other religious trappings. If you were Muslim, you would approve of this.

      At the present time, the Christian Right is making a huge attempt to establish a theocracy, with Jesus as head of state. So, I am more sensitive to any violations of the 1st amendment.


      July 7, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Chris

      No, you don't KNOW. You can't KNOW. You believe you know. This is a semantical argument.

      But I'd like to point you to Merriam-Webster's definition of atheism: "2a : a disbelief in the existence of deity b : the doctrine that there is no deity "

      There. By definition, atheism is a belief system.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Stevie7

      disbelief = belief. So you have a belief system for all of the following: a disbelief in Santa, a debelief in mermaids, a disbelief in the flying spaghetti monster? If that's the case, than all of us have an infinite amount of beliefs, which makes the whole argument rather pointless, doesn't it?

      July 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Chris

      Stevie, the difference is, athiests categorize them into a group of people who disbelieve in any diety. If you can find the formal organization that defiantly objects to the belief in a flying spaghetti monster, then yes, I suppose one could call that a religion.

      That's the difference between a commonly held belief and a religion. A religion is organized.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Stevie7

      If people were pushing to have fly spaghetti monster-centric doctrine taught in religion, or to use tax payer money to erect statues to pastafarian dogma in public places, my guess is that non-pastafarians would organize to oppose this. This would not make non-pastafarians a religious group.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      Please link descriptions of those court rulings, though all it really indicates to me is that even some court judges fail to understand atheism. "religion" does not mean "any system if beliefs."

      But even I it did, the fact that atheists ask the government not to promote religion is not "pushing atheism" onto people through the government. Trying to get the government to name a street "There is no God Road" would be. Please try to grasp the difference.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Chris

      No, you're right. It wouldn't. But atheists don't just not believe in Jesus, or Allah, or Vishnu. They disbelieve in ALL dieties. It's not what you don't believe that makes you a religious group. It's what you do believe. And since atheists have a belief that no dieties exist, that's what makes them a religious group.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Chris

      A Google search of "atheism as a religion by court rulings" will return a number of hits including:



      No need to list them all. You can do your own search to see the rest of them. It is indeed an incendiary topic, but I still stand by my position that whether or not you choose to believe Atheism is a religion, the courts have ruled it as such and, therefore, any argument to the contrary is meaningless until the court decisions are reversed. Until then and as such, the insistence upon "non-secularism" is itself enforcing a "religious" viewpoint upon others.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Stevie7


      Did you actually read the links you provided? The first case basically says that atheism is PROTECTED AS a religion, not that atheism is a religion. In that case, the appellate court said that an atheist could not be court order to attend a religious-based alcohol treatment program. Other cases I find essentially say the same thing – that atheists can have freedom from religion. I find no court that has definitely stated that atheism is a religion.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      "They disbelieve in ALL dieties. It's not what you don't believe that makes you a religious group. It's what you do believe. And since atheists have a belief that no dieties exist, that's what makes them a religious group."

      That's a ludicrous definition. If it covers "belief in gods" and "no belief in gods" the word becomes meaningless, or at leas completely distorted from what people understand the word to mean.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Chris


      Yes I did. In part:

      Begin quote:

      A federal court of appeals ruled yesterday (August 19, 2005) Wisconsin prison officials violated an inmate's rights because they did not treat atheism as a religion.

      "Atheism is [the inmate's] religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being," the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said.

      The court decided the inmate's First Amendment rights were violated because the prison refused to allow him to create a study group for atheists.

      End quote.

      Further, begin quote.

      The Supreme Court has said a religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being. In the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, the court described "secular humanism" as a religion.

      End quote.

      Sorry, but I take those statements made by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals accompanied by the stance of the supreme court in the quoted case to be a rather plain statement that Atheism is considered by the courts to be a religion. And that's only two of the hits you can find in a few scant minutes of searching.

      I've only been using items in argument that can be supported, with exception of my own ad lib at the beginning of "their god is Self". I should have recused that sentence and I apologize for it. I have other arguments about the intentions of the founding fathers that I don't care to go into detail providing support for, so I'm leaving them out entirely. They are unnecessary to support my continued statement: Atheism is a religion according to the courts.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  9. Grizzly Bear

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

    July 7, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • TriciaB.

      Grizzly Bear, I accept your apology but you have nothing to apologize for I bashed you therefore I deserve what you said and I wont disregard your post you was right and sometimes we need stuff like that thrown in our faces to see the errors of our ways. I did leave the website but came back cause I felt crappy about what I said to you so I needed to see your response! Thanks for accepting my apology now I can truely get on with my day. God bless

      July 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
  10. Fupped Duck

    As an atheist, I take offense to any signs...This includes STOP signs and crosswalk signs.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  11. Stevie7


    Yes, why wouldn't I? That wouldn't be at odds with our Consti.tution.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • melvinslizard

      which post are you referencing, Steve-O?

      July 7, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Must have been too click-happy – it was this one:

      "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??"

      July 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • melvinslizard

      Can you prove or disprove that an application was entered for this customized signage? Was a fee paid to have it named/renamed?? What paid for the 1 ft piece of painted aluminum? Was it the fee?

      July 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • melvinslizard

      Did you notice that it still has a second sign for "Richards St" on the same street?? Still not enough of a seperation for ya?

      July 7, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Separation is separation. This is a pretty black and white issue. If you want to rewrite the Consti.tution so state that " "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion ... except where such law would only cost tax payers X amount of dollars" then feel free to write your congressperson.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  12. Katie

    @Don I would not find a problem with athiest signs or muslim signs. I believe that everyone should be able to express their religion and non-religion freely! I just think it's petty to want to have something about the 9-11 memorial removed, heaven is a broad term for a better place. It doesn't just exist in Christianity but in many other mono and polythistic religions too! -yeah your tax dollars probably paid for this sign, but then our tax dollars have been used in much evil and worse ways! I mean just look at the on-going war in the Middle East. Just look at the big box corporations, just look at the lobbyist! Then tell me that you'd rather see your tax dollars go towards killing and pure indecency and hatred rather than a compassionate 9-11 memorial sign!

    July 7, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  13. DJ

    it says "In God we Trust" on our currency which is Federally backed. I don't see this going anywhere. I'm a taoist so i'm good either way.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  14. Jan

    Is there any way private citizens can raise money to pay for this sign? Can someone please give the cost so we can start contributions? I have friends who are willing to raise the money to pay for it.
    Thank you....(MomInLR1@aol.com)

    July 7, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  15. Mark

    How did we let these cretans obtain such a voice? You know, if I hear one more athiest scream and cry about "having religion shoved down their throat" I do believe I'm just gonna vomit. VOMIT I tell ya! What a bunch of moronic hypocrites.
    What possible, rational, reasonable difference does it make to any "athiest" whether or not the word "Heaven" is put on a sign?? DON'T LOOK AT IT! DON'T READ IT! WALK PASSED IT!

    Truth be told, these would be the same fools that stood up and decried "censorship", or preached "freedom of speach". Yeah right!! As long as my speach lines up with their falacious belief system, then they're all for freedom of speach.

    So, what's next? Are all the vegetarians gonna demand that we stop putting the word "steak" on restaurant menus just because they don't believe in eating meat?

    I just love the way athiests are determined to re-write American history. America may be a secular nation NOW, but that wasn't always the case. America was founded on the religious principles found in the Bible. You can deny that all day long, but it doesn't change it. Now, go on back outside and shout at the rain...

    July 7, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Stevie7

      "America was founded on the religious principles found in the Bible."

      Please, please, please go read a history book. And then please go back and read about the ten commandments – specifically the one about not bearing false witness.

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


      Which one would you like me to look in? A history book with actual historical facts about America's foundational beginnings, or one that has all that stuff edited out by folks like yourself and your other athiestic brood??

      Please advise...

      July 7, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Phil2810

      LOL. A religious person talking about things being edited. Newsflash: THE BIBLE HAS BEEN EDITED AND RE-WRITTEN MORE TIMES THAN YOU OR I CAN COUNT.

      Oh the irony.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Ricky Bobby

      You are absolutely hilarious. Incredibly ill-informed, but hilarious.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Stevie7

      Well, for starters, why not start with the treaty of tripoli:

      "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,"

      Or do you think there's a vast atheist conspiracy which has invented time travel, gone back into the past, and rewritten that treaty?

      July 7, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Mark


      You don't read much do you? You haven't done a lot of researching the history of the Bible huh? I mean, it's OK. There aren't too many picture books on the subject, but if I stumble on one, please let me know where I can forward it.

      Research on the history of the Bible has demonstrated that the Bible we have today is AMAZINGLY accurate and true to the oldest texts that we have to compare it to. The lie about the Bible being written, and re-written by this priest or that priest, or this group of people etc etc are very simply ways that people like yourself use to create doubt and susp-icion.

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

      Would this be the same "research" that shows there really was a world wide flood, or that the Red Sea ever got parted, or that the jews were ever enslaved by the egpytians, or ... shall I continue to go on? Such "research" is anything but – it's a weak attempt to find evidence that doesn't actually exist to support an absurd position. And has been widely debunked and discredited.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Eva

      It doesn't matter whether the bible is amazingly accurate to the original or not – it's still a work of fiction.

      Mark – you seem amazingly unattractive. You represent yourself as a well educated yet clearly bigoted, intolerant, and incredibly close-minded individual. I'm sure all of your bad karma you release into the universe will one day smack you in the face.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Phil2810

      The bible has been found to be accurate how exactly? Did they interview the friends and neighbors of Jesus? Did people photograph Moses parting the Red Sea? Have scientists positively identified the shroud of turin? I thought not. Nothing has been proven other than a lot of ancient people were led to believe whacky things.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Mark


      See, right there. You just proved a point that I always make regarding "athiests" like yourself. You see the "evidence" that you want to see and toss out what you want to ignore. The anwer to your question...

      Did they interview the friends and neighbors of Jesus?

      is YES! Geez, have your ever heard of the 4 Gospels??? Mathew, Mark, Luke, John were indeed friends of Jesus and wrote what they SAW firsthand. The only problem with this is that in your personal worldview, the Bible doesn't "qualify".
      So, alas...no problem...just toss that out. Easy enough...no more evidence.

      Thanks for illustrating my point so perfectly...

      July 7, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Vader

      Ummmm... sorry, but no, the authors of the Four Gospels were not all 'friends of Jesus'.

      It is generally agreed that Matthew (probably) and John were likely the Apostles of the same name, but Mark and Luke are thought to have been disciples/friends of an Apostle, so attibution of eyewitness status to them would be incorrect.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Mark

      And 'Vader' makes two...


      July 7, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  16. Katie

    So do you want to change the name of Mt. St. Helens too? Or what about the restaurant Heaven on 7, -seriously how petty can you athiest be! Why don't you just cahnge our whole nation and we'll make a golden Statue to look like Issac Newton, Michaelangelo why stop there!!! -seriously all thsi pettiness you athiest need to get a life. I weep for the future, if continies to have ninnies like you!

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

      Grammar errors, spelling errors...the usual Right-Wing ranting.

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

      Are you calling God illiterate?? 8)

      July 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Llama Llama Duck

      KateB, logical fallacy: personal attack. It isn't necessary for one to be able to spell "valid argument" to be able to build one. Stick to the relevant facts, leave the smear campaigns to the politicians.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  17. uos_spo6

    If God didn't have anything to offer you (i.e. Salvation, whatever that is), you wouldn't care what he thought. It's quite peculiar that man is the sole beneficiary of religions rewards don't you think? All it takes is a little disassociative critical thinking to sort it out for yourself that all religion is nonsense. Withdraw your personal emotional investment from the bank of god and suddenly the idea of existence without him isn't so scary. It's only when your fragile little world is built out of a house of holy cards that it seems to make sense.

    What if the Christian God is really rotten and has been running this awesome PR campaign for nearly two millenia now, instead of food he needs peoples prayers and faith to stay alive and thrive.

    You really have no idea, it's just as plausible as the garbage believers accept as truth. Religious faith ought to be synonymous with delusion and weakness. Mass hypnosis. People are content to live a comforting lie rather than face the somber truth of mortality head on with a zeal. To be honest the world isn't ready to shed it's safety net of religion yet, there are still too many simpletons out there.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "What if the Christian God is really rotten and has been running this awesome PR campaign for nearly two millenia now, instead of food he needs peoples prayers and faith to stay alive and thrive."

      You are right! The gods need faith. It gives them life!

      We don't believe in the ancient gods. But if you did, Zeus would spring to life. Your faith and belief is what powers the gods.

      Have faith and Aphrodite will answer your prayers – if she thinks it would be good for you and if it is her will – just like the Christian god. No difference!

      Once, the Greek gods were prayed to, loved and feared. Believers strived to know and to obey their wants. But now they lie silent, because no one believes...

      If all the gods, that have come before the current batch of gods, are classified as myths, what evidence do you have that the gods now in vogue should not also be in that column?

      I claim there is no god, with the same confidence that I claim there is no Santa or Zeus, or Poseidon.

      If extraordinary evidence surfaces, that the goddess Athena exists, I will embrace her, 'cause she looks hot!

      Every adult should take this stand. God is just the Santa for adults. If belief were withdrawn, God would crumple to the ground, like a puppet whose strings were cut.


      July 7, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Ryan

      well said David!
      and that reminds me... I have a goat to sacrifice.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  18. ElfOdin

    Idiots like New York City Atheists make me ashamed to be an atheist. Live and let live; it's just a sign.

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

      Paid for by tax dollars hence the issue.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • BPink

      You said it.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  19. thes33k3r

    Religion strikes again.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  20. Katie

    Thank God!

    July 7, 2011 at 11:20 am |
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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.