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. Matt

    Evangelical atheism makes no sense to me. If you really believe in no god in any form whatsoever, why does it even matter if others do? Ultimately we just get engulfed by the sun sooner or later and humanity gradually dwindles away. Why waste your short time alive fighting against someone else's belief in something more? I think it's fair that the country does not get into a mixture of church and state. I wouldn't support ten commandments appearing on courthouse buildings or required bible classes when we are a diverse nation of many different faiths or no faiths... But a street named seven in heaven being offensive? Those folks need to find something to do.

    July 8, 2011 at 8:04 am |
    • Bible Clown

      It's the NYC effect; there are so many people that if only .00001% believe some crazy thing, they still make a good crowd when they all show up at once to say the Earth is flat, or Barack is from Mars. I think they are crazy, too, and if I think you are crazy you probably are.

      July 8, 2011 at 8:19 am |
    • Nonimus

      Because your beliefs and the beliefs of those like you prevent my fellow countrymen from practicing their beliefs as they choose.
      For example, the Park 51 center, the Mosque in Temecula, CA, the Murfreesboro Mosque, and that's just in the last year or so.

      July 8, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  2. Reality

    Education and learning requires reiteration:

    Only for the those interested in a religious update:

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

    "New Torah For Modern Minds

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Current RCC problems:

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

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

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

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

    This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

    And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

    Current crises:

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

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

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

    Current problems:

    The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

    6. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

    "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

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

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

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


    July 8, 2011 at 8:03 am |
    • well

      Secular Humanism and Atheism.
      Historic achievements:
      Under Stalin and Mao, in the form of atheistic communism slaughter more human beings than any previous ideology, including any religion.
      Devaluation of the human being and lack of moral foundation has lead to record suicide, divorce and abortion rates throughout the secularized west.

      Current problems:
      Focus soley on man as a material being has naturally lead to rampant consumerism with devestating effects on global environment and resources.

      Widespread use of anti-depressants, illicit drugs and alcohol.

      July 8, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • JohnR

      Stalin and Mao weren't secular humanist. Wow, the ignorance around here is amazing.

      July 8, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • Reality

      From: http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm

      The 20 Worst Things Humans Have Done to Other Humans:

      o The Muslim Conquest of India
      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank Death Toll ....Cause .........Centuries ..............Religions/Groups involved*

      1 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")
      2 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)
      40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)
      4 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)
      5 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)
      6 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)
      7 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C
      8 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)
      9 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C
      10 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)
      11 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)
      12 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians)
      13 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C
      14 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C
      15 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C
      16 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)
      17 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans)
      18 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)
      19 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)
      20 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      *:" Is religion responsible for more more violent deaths than any other cause?

      A: No, of course not – unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century – Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union – no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion."

      Q: So, what you're saying is that religion has never killed anyone.

      A: Arrgh... You all-or-nothing people drive me crazy. There are many doc-umented examples where members of one religion try to exterminate the members of another religion. Causation is always complex, but if the only difference between two warring groups is religion, then that certainly sounds like a religious conflict to me. Is it the number one cause of mass homicide in human history? No. Of the 22 worst episodes of mass killing, maybe four were primarily religious. Is that a lot? Well, it's more than the number of wars fought over soccer, or s-ex (The Trojan and Sabine Wars don't even make the list.), but less than the number fought over land, money, glory or prestige.

      In my Index, I list 41 religious conflicts compared with 27 oppressions under "Communism", 24 under Colonialism, 2 under "Railroads" and 2 under "Scapegoats". Make of that what you will."

      July 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  3. Hibbs

    The sign is about 7 fallen firemen.

    It isn't about anything else.

    July 8, 2011 at 5:54 am |
    • Biff

      The sign is a street label. It doesn't need to be about 7 god-damned firemen no matter how awesome they were!

      July 8, 2011 at 6:26 am |


    July 8, 2011 at 4:39 am |
    • Wow

      @cynthia, It's a shame that your child was suspended from school - that meant that he most probably had to spend more time with YOU - aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh! (He really needs to get back there so that perhaps he can teach you some spelling and grammar.)

      July 8, 2011 at 4:46 am |
    • Atheist b/c Truth is Better Than Fiction

      God is just a word...it has no meaning to anyone who is secular

      July 8, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • Scott

      No we can't get "GOD #@###" printed on street signs which is why we want christians bound by the same rules.

      July 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      Commenting on someone's spelling and grammar makes you look soooooooo brilliant.

      July 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Wow

      JoeBlow: Re: spelling & grammar: You might just have a point there. I should just let these illiterates rant and rave and sink themselves. cynthia has the brain of a gnat.

      July 8, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  5. DiamondSky

    Atheists, don't fear your fellow atheists. Come out of closet and honestly admit you are actually mis-informed theists.

    July 8, 2011 at 4:08 am |
    • Biff

      Care to explain what you mean, Adelina?

      July 8, 2011 at 6:27 am |
  6. well

    Modern cosmology tells us that one of the following is true:

    Against odds of many billions to one, the universe exists able to support life.
    There are many billions of universes, and ours happens to be one that can support life.
    There is a creative force that guided the universe in its creation to be supportive of life.

    Atheists, mostly with little real thought, claim that there was no creator. Considering that there is no evidence for any of these, it seems a leep of FAITH to believe one over another. At least theists admit that they take their beliefs on faith.

    July 8, 2011 at 2:23 am |
    • Biff

      Hey, if you have proof that your god exists, then why not share it with us so we can join you in your "beliefs"?
      You aren't going to convince anyone but fools like yourself. Why not show us your have something instead of nothing?

      July 8, 2011 at 6:29 am |
    • well

      Biff, you are a very sad little man. If you have proof that multiple universes exist, why not share it? Oh yeah, you have chosen your belief system with no emperical evidence. Welcome to the world of faith.

      July 8, 2011 at 8:34 am |
  7. alnoodle

    Fact: every athiest prays to god they are just afraid to come out of the closet. Its just a sign w.t.f.

    July 8, 2011 at 1:33 am |
    • Kim

      That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

      July 8, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  8. Spiffy


    God isn't real.

    July 8, 2011 at 1:22 am |
    • Lycidas

      Thanks for expressing your faith, such as it is.

      July 8, 2011 at 7:27 am |
  9. john

    i am 8,268. is this over now. can we call it a night?

    July 8, 2011 at 1:09 am |
  10. kingnpriest

    As a side note, the athiest community may want to sue most cities in California as well. San Francisco? Saint Francis Las Angelas, The Angels What about New Mexico, Los Cruses The Cross LOL

    July 8, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • FYI

      Los Angeles is short for El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciúncula or The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of the Little Portion, although its official name was simply El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles.

      So, it is not named for angels, but for the Spaniards Catholic version of the virgin Mary.

      July 8, 2011 at 3:52 am |
    • Scott

      Just wait. We can't do everything at once

      July 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  11. Ray

    I'm an atheist, but I disagree with the atheist group that wants to sue over this sign. FSM knows there are much more serious violations of church-state separation going on all the time. However, I just hope the theocrats won't be emboldened and next demand a sign that says "The Seven Saved" or "Seven Jesus warriors" or something like that.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:47 am |
    • JohnR

      With ya on that one, Ray!

      July 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  12. Joe Blow from Idaho

    LMAO. How do atheists ever expect to get the rest of the country to respect them when they pull this stuff. They are just shooting their "cause" in the head. To prevent cr.ap like this is exactly we need to amend the const.itution to establish formally America as the Christian nation she always has been.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • Biff

      Blow, Joe....

      July 8, 2011 at 6:31 am |
    • Atheist b/c Truth is Better Than Fiction

      You're a moron Joe. America is not a Christian Nation nor has it ever been...get over it, your tiny delusions are not going to change anything. Separation of Church and State is vital if the country is ever to live peacefully.

      July 8, 2011 at 7:46 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @Atheist b/c Truth is Better Than Fiction

      You apparently do not understand that America is de facto Christian while not at present de jure. There was never a question that America was a Christian nation until recent times, a treaty with Islamists notwithstanding. I would have liked to have seen someone try to pull this even 50 years ago.

      I am suggesting to make America a de jure Christian nation via a const.itutional amendment.

      July 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  13. MoonChild02

    If they want to change the sign, they have to change the names of all the streets and areas in New York that have religious connotations. Not just Christian ones, either, like Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Ave., Trinity Place, Luther Road, Penn Street, and Hell's Kitchen. They would have to include the pagan named streets and areas, as well, such as Neptune Ave, Athena Court, Diana's Triangle, and Odin Street. Also, if they take this nationwide, the District of Columbia would have to change it's name to the District of Uncle Sam, as Washington D.C. was named for the pagan goddess Columbia, specifically made up as a goddess for the US.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:08 am |
  14. Relax

    I'm an atheist, but I'm not an anti-theist. To me, religion is like baseball. I don't care about baseball. I don't watch it, I don't follow any teams and I don't care who wins. That doesn't mean I hate baseball players and baseball fans, it's just something I don't really care about. Thoughts on that?

    July 7, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • Taoist

      Relax: Amen to that. I have not heard it put better than that. Especially because I'm not interested in baseball either.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • kingnpriest

      Relax, it is kind of a contemporary, groovy position you have taken. Unfortunately, indifference does not make the issue go away. The reason there is so much hostility toward Jesus Christ is because He Himself stated that He was the only way to the Father...John 14:6 This flies in the face of all other religions, and the thing that seperates Christ from all others is that He has paid the price for you!! You can't earn your way to being reconciled with Him, it is a gift. Galatians 2:16 So, if you are not interested in it, you may want to become interested quick! Don't leave earth without Him.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:37 am |
    • kingishere

      I know atheists don't want to believe that there is a God who has the right to judge them based on their life on Earth, but if there was a 1% chance that God existed, I would believe in God because by simply believing and living a righteous lifestyle, there could be a chance to live in Heaven for eternity. Although God does not want to be literally feared, He does want to be revered for simple things like creating us and waking us up everyday. By stating that God does not exist, that is 100% irreverence. The "possibility" of an eternity in Hell is just not worth it to me. The good thing about God is that everyday that He allows us to wake up, we have an opportunity to accept him and his Son Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

      July 8, 2011 at 3:46 am |
    • cynthia TURNER/CHRISTAIN


      July 8, 2011 at 4:17 am |
    • Atheist b/c Truth is Better Than Fiction

      "cynthia TURNER/CHRISTAIN


      wow, you need a spelling lesson!! speak=speech; atheista=Atheists; too=to

      and no you do not have a right to impose your belief's on the education system or anywhere else that is public for that matter...thus the separation of church and state

      we have not taken anything away from you...all we do is speak what has been proven with evidence to be true, while you spew on about some creature that can't be verified. You want the Lords Prayer said in schools but yet we are the ones stepping on your toes??? What happened to equal rights? Did it occur to you for one second that not everyone believes in the same god you do and therefore not everyone should have to endure the ramblings?
      As for your child...my sympathies are extended to that poor child...you are brainwashing him/her with fairy tales...technically speaking you should be condemned for child abuse but instead you get away with it b/c it is your 'religious' right.
      Just a bit of info for you: America is a secular nation with approximately 20% of the population being Secular...this number is quickly rising and will some day over-power the fairy tales.

      July 8, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  15. Darforthewin


    I'm an atheist joining the army soon... Have any advice?

    July 7, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • Dominique Bastille

      Let's see how you feel after your time in the service. It may be different.

      July 8, 2011 at 3:33 am |
    • cynthia TURNER/CHRISTAIN


      July 8, 2011 at 4:23 am |
    • Biff

      Focus, adapt, overcome, and improvise. In short, kick some ass and do a good job. Try not to think about who's really behind these wars we seem to have gotten the US into, and do what you can. Or not. It's up to you and how you want to do things anyway. Advice is a strange thing to give and a strange thing to take.

      July 8, 2011 at 6:38 am |
  16. Dan Watson

    The phrase is 'separation of church from state' not "separation of faith from state" or even "separation of G-d from the state". If you cannot wrap your mind around the difference between a church and a believing individual then you will keep arguing yourselves in circles. Churches should not run state governments, but that doesn't mean that G-d cannot enter the fray or that his believers can now be silenced through the oppressive arm of the government.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
    • frank

      So by "church," they meant the actual bricks and wood?

      July 7, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • Dan Watson

      It is a group of people who file for tax breaks, not for profit status, and have their own leadership either domestic or foreign. I believe in G-d and would love to see more street names that honor His work, though I am not a church nor do I belong to one. Separating my desire to have street names to honor G-d has little to do with the idea or power of the "Church".

      July 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • Kyle

      I am an atheist and no we do not all secretly pray in our free time. lol

      This is a non issue, I don;t agree with the stance of changing the street sign, this isn't about church and state in this scenario. It is simply a commemoration of seven individuals who sacrificed themselves for others, and the word "heaven" carries the connotation of bravery and success in life.

      But on the same token the church should not claim this as seven people going to heaven for their beliefs in Jesus Christ. that is no more correct.

      This is just the memorial to seven very courageous special individuals, and it should be the joint decision of the families as to what to name the memorial.

      Simple as that.

      July 8, 2011 at 2:17 am |
  17. Scott

    I wouldn’t have a problem with this sign if Christians actuary believed that every brave, noble, kind and courageous person who gives up his live while trying to save others goes to heaven; but, they don’t believe that. They believe that the only way to heaven is to dedicate your life to the undetectable sky fairy and your gona’ burn in hell if you don’t. My problem with the sign is that it is false advertising.. Just another big Christian PR stunt

    July 7, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • Dominique Bastille

      You post shows your ignorance of Christianity. Please do your homework before you embarrass yourself again.

      July 8, 2011 at 3:36 am |
    • Christian

      K first of all a simple study of the bible will tell you that:
      1. There is nobody in heaven, you dont go to heaven or hell upon death. You sleep hence the term R.I.P. The Lord says for it will be like a blinking of an eye when he returns. Also Jesus will raise the dead at his coming. How can he raise you from the dead IF you are already in heaven or hell? He says for you are made of dust and when you die you return to dust, not souls going to heaven or hell.

      2. There is NO ever burning hell. I have been decieved on this my whole life till I understood on simple passage. The wages of sin is death, period. Not ever burning for eternity but death. The Lord will cast you into the lake of fire. Dead gone no more.

      3. The reward is not heaven to at all. The meek shall inheret the Earth not heaven, nobody is going to heaven period. The bible says plainly that Jesus will reign on the Earth not heaven. Heaven is Gods throne and earth will be Jesus throne. Think about it, if we are all in heaven then what is God really giving Jesus? A chance to sit on a throne on Earth with nobody to rule?

      Everyone says the bible is to contradictory BUT many fail to see the big picture. Simply letting scripture interpret scripture will result in less contradictories, and possibly more people finding the faith of the real true God.

      July 8, 2011 at 6:50 am |
  18. S. G. Lear

    Organized religion and Atheism; two sides of the same extremist coin. The bickering never really ends, does it? One side wants the whole world to be nothing but Christian and the other wants to the world to be totally and utterly devoid of any spiritual belief whatsoever. Seems to me that people on both sides need to calm down and cool the jets. I'm a pagan and I find myself equally annoyed by both every single day, for Christians call me a devil worshipper and shove their beliefs down my throat and Atheists tell me I'm a fool because their rational mindset cannot fathom that perhaps there are forces in the world that Science cannot, and will never be able to, explain.

    And for the record, both sides have given half-truths in regard to historical accuracy. The founders were in fact religious, but they weren't Christian: a distinct, and important, point to keep in mind. They were Deists and their philosophies about individual liberty and finding the spirit through hard work and dedication were heavily influenced by their Freemason associations. Furthermore, one cannot include the pilgrim settlers as "founders", because they didn't found this nation: they just showed up one day and set up shop. George Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and the other signers of the Declaration of Independence were the founders.

    Separation of Church and State is a crucial element of Liberty that needs to be represented and enforced. That said, it can be taken to the extreme. If those 7 firemen were Christian, then I feel the sign is entirely appropriate. Yet, on the other hand, it wasn't just Christian heroes who gave their lives on 9-11. I agree with some of the other posters: Atheists and Christians need to focus their energies on solving real problems, not sweat the small stuff. For instance, City Halls using local taxpayer money to put monuments of The Ten Commandments on the lawn and trying to sell it as nothing more than historical "tradition" (laboring under the false assumption that this is, or ever was, a Christian nation)

    Damn, both sides are obnoxious, annoying and utterly intolerable in civilized society. Now go sit in separate corners, have a time-out and allow those of us who are spiritual AND secular to live our lives peace. Bunch of damn children...

    July 7, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • DrDiomedes

      I don't want world to be void of spiritual belief; I just want equality for Atheists. I think for the most part the nation is getting better at this, but its people are not.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • Dan Watson

      Then you have your equality. There are plenty of streets named after scientists and their laboratories. Look at Edison, he was just a schmuck in the patent office, but he still gets legitimate respect and streets named after him even though he was a liar and a thief.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Biff

      Quite a lot of mentally blind blanket statements in your retarded post, S.G.Lear! When you learn how to think clearly, be sure and say so, okay? Otherwise we'll have no choice but to see you as an idiot who cannot keep things straight in your own head.

      July 8, 2011 at 6:48 am |
    • Christian

      @ Biff,

      Yeah that seems to be norm on here. When one cant think of a logical comeback they have to resort to intellegence bashing, name calling, and telling people to learn how to spell etc. etc. I happen to think he made an excellent point, which was to shut up and stop fighting, cause its a two way street. He is right about the signs there are plenty of pagan, athiest, and religious signs to go around, and guess what? CHRISTIAN TAX PAYERS PAID FOR THE ATHIEST SIGNS AS WELL!! The point is get over it move on and complain about something MORE important!!

      July 8, 2011 at 6:59 am |
    • Wow


      Really?... like what? Is there a Mythical Deity Drive somewhere? Or do you think that Main Street and Elm Street are atheistic?

      July 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Wow

      S. G. Lear: "one cannot include the pilgrim settlers as "founders", because they didn't found this nation: they just showed up one day and set up shop. George Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and the other signers of the Declaration of Independence were the founders."

      Correct. So many people trumpet religious reasons as the only ones for settling this new country. People came from all over - British Isles, France, Germany, Holland - beginning in the early 1600s for all sorts of social, economic and yes, some for religious freedom.

      The American Revolution from British rule didn't occur until 1776 - over 150 years and many generations later. British rule included adherence to the Church of England, but that was just one of many oppressive rulings that we revolted against.

      July 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  19. Aiki

    Really? He seemed to talk a lot about the issue & actually got rid of it on his own website as if the issue never happened. You can find his answer here: skeptics.com.au/publications/articles/the-information-challenge/
    I think it's very accurate. If there was so much information on evolution on that subject he would have answered with a clear "yes" answer & gave many examples. To not give 1 example says a lot.

    You completely misunderstood. Had you actually watched the #18 video you would have seen some of those points covered in the books you wanted me to read. For the record not all evolution is wrong, just those addressed in the video on origins. Don't expect me to look at your point of view if your not willing to look at mine lol.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • Spiffy

      I was referring to your YouTube video.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • Nonimus

      You completely misunderstand.
      Evolution is not a "belief" it is an extremly well tested and well substantiated scientific Theory that is the best explanation of the diversity of life we see, based on the evidence we have. My point is that a single video by anyone, let alone a former "science teacher" that calls himself Dr. Dino, is not going to overturn ~150 years of scientific research and discovery in multiple fields of study that all confirm, or are consistent with, the scientific Theory of Evolution.

      Please, cite a specific claim of evolution that you have a problem with and the evidence that you have to support your point of view. Alternatively, present an alternative hypothesis that provides a better explanation than Evolution of the evidence, including the genetic, geological, fossil, biochemical, and biogeological evidence.

      July 8, 2011 at 11:35 am |
  20. Jan

    Why oh why does this even bear further discussion .. extremists of any hue, race, religion, creed or persuasion are the ignorant fringe, to be ignored by rational men and women .. they are why some areas of the world are the way they are .... because rationality does not prevail. Common sense is perhaps not so common sometimes.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:36 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.