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Atheist billboard: Christmas is a myth
November 26th, 2010
10:21 AM ET

Atheist billboard: Christmas is a myth

CNN iReporter Lulis Leal sent photos of this New Jersey billboard that she spotted while driving into New York City this week. “It actually upset the group of people in my car," she said.

Check out the full iReport.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Ads • Atheism • Christmas • Faith Now • Holidays

soundoff (560 Responses)
  1. steve88

    that doesn't say Chrismas is a myth.. it doesn't even go as far as to say that a certain red jolly man is a myth. Just that Reason doesn't hurt. Nor does it say that there is something wrong with people who do get into it. Obviously christmas exists, even many of us Atheists celebrate "Christmas", for lack of a better word. Obviously not as a celebration of a christ, a supernatural savior, but rather to enjoy life and to celebrate charity; to give to others. The Christmas season is about love and giving to one another. =)

    November 27, 2010 at 3:36 am |
  2. Q

    Feel free to address any of the points...

    November 27, 2010 at 3:18 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      I have been. Are you saying you don't appreciate disagreement? How about criticism? How're you with that?

      November 27, 2010 at 3:23 am |
    • Q

      What I see from you are mostly ad hominems. The closest you've come to a real point was that weak response to GSA (which the short reply would be "wouldn't mind at all given all the one-true-god signs already littering most neighborhoods"). Perhaps you'd care to address my "awkward" post on omniscience and free will or the difference between theist and atheist dictators rather than speculate on what recreational chemicals I might have taken? I certainly do appreciate disagreement and criticism when they represent some level of thought...

      November 27, 2010 at 3:30 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      First, re: the Sikh example – it's one thing to 'advertise' a religious perspective. It's quite another to publicly question or disrespect someone belief. I've seen signs saying ex. 'come to Jesus or you're lost', but I've never seen one saying 'you're wrong.' Seems like a deal-breaker to me. I'm sort of big into respecting peoples' choices. And if they 'offer' me something, I just politely decline. But, to date, no one has outright 'insulted' me to the degree of offense that this sign does.

      Second, no, I'll pass on the 'omniscient' post – I have this thing for coherency. Without it, I'm kind of lost.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:45 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      and as far as 'ad hominems' go, I can't hold a candle to some of the attacks by the atheist community on these blogs. Please, please, don't pot-n-kettle.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:48 am |
    • Q

      The point is no one is ent-itled to live free from insult, particularly when it concerns a purely subjective belief set. The language you reference as acceptable or unacceptable is again a matter of subjective degree. I suspect your "respect for people's choices" breaks down rather quickly under modest scrutiny. Given your responses thus far, the "coherence" issue seems more a reflection of your capacity to comprehend than my capacity to write. Your latter post is called a "tu quoque" fallacy. Perhaps you'd enjoy the threads under the "Entertainment" or "Living" sections. You'd likely find them far more "coherent" and less...you know...complex.

      November 27, 2010 at 4:21 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      You really are a funny guy. I'll look for your act at, where? Dangerfield's ? Christmas week, right? The 'sublime and cerebral comedy stylings of Q." Ten bucks at the door – good deal. Bring your own eggnog.

      "no one is ent-itled to live free from insult, particularly when it concerns..." Go get 'em, Triumph. Problem is, when you get off the stage, you might get quite a different response. And that is not a 'tu quoque' statement.

      November 27, 2010 at 4:41 am |
    • Q

      Again, not a semblance of actual response, just the inference that unpopular views should be kept silent or else.

      November 27, 2010 at 4:50 am |
    • Q

      "no one is ent-itled to live free from insult, particularly when it concerns..." Go get 'em, Triumph. Problem is, when you get off the stage, you might get quite a different response. And that is not a 'tu quoque' statement."

      Clearly you've never heard of George Carlin, Lewis Black, Lisa Lampanelli, etc, etc...

      November 27, 2010 at 4:55 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ Q

      Loved Carlin. Have the complete set, including the "you're going to burn in hell, but he loves you" routine from You're All Diseased. Saw him many years ago – Think I paid about $45.00 for a mediocre seat. And I knew exactly what to expect. Loved Rickles in his time too. Point is, both the stage activism of Carlin and the pure put-on of Rickles were 'by request.' I asked for it. I paid for it. I went in the theater and sat through it and laughed. In Rickle's show everyone, including those who were black, jewish, his-panic, oriental, etc all laughed. We all laughed ourselves sick.

      But – I don't need it put in my face without my consent.

      Put that billboard up in Vancouver stating "Gurus are False." Put another one up in Dearborn stating "Mohammud is a Myth." See what happens. Your argument against personal belief is the moral equivalent of you hanging over a cliff yelling "I don't need your stinkin' rope !" You can't win – those you're trying to 'convince' don't care – and they would just as soon not hand you the rope in any case because you're being an insensitive ass. But there's the rope being held out anyway.. contrary to your understanding.

      So just save your breath... no 'or else.' Oh, and I wouldn't tell anyone that you actually think Lisa Lampanelli is funny..

      November 27, 2010 at 5:20 am |
    • Q

      Your consent is not required and personal belief is not an una-ssailable virtue, particularly when it's a belief founded on mythology espousing subjective moral proclamations, elevating obedience over empathy. Your "moral equivalent" analogy employs a magic invisible rope to save one from a non-existent cliff. You'd likely preferred the child made no comment to the naked emperor for fear of being "insensitive". True, minds won't be changed on a thread, but every kid who sees that billboard is one step closer to a healthy, rational skepticism. That you don't see the connection between Rickles and Lampanelli is not surprising in light of your analogy and other "points".

      November 27, 2010 at 6:52 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ Q

      "personal belief is not an una-ssailable virtue"

      Congratulations. You've transcended from annoying young atheist to self-righteous ass hat.

      November 27, 2010 at 8:05 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      BTW – the rope is not religion, it's opinion. Try again.

      November 27, 2010 at 8:07 am |
    • Q

      You claim my posts are incoherent? Again, in the absence of any substance, you resort to ad hominems. Earlier in the thread you suggest I take myself too seriously. Your chit-chatty style and avoidance of any actual arguments would suggest someone whose come to accept not being taken seriously at all themselves. Given your analogy (of course, because opinion is what "saves" people) and other "arguments", it's no wonder how this might have come about.

      November 27, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      The cliff analogy was a reference to you losing an otherwise futile and non-winnable argument. I still don't understand your intent? It seems that you and your buds are trying to present atheist reasoning to faithful folks by demeaning and denigrating their belief structure without even listening or appreciating why believers value their god. Where's the effort for 'Interfaith' conversation? If being plain, outright, dismissive is you're M.O., your destined to lose to their entrenchment at being attacked. Over the cliff you go! And to that I say "Good Riddance!"

      If anything, you and your ilk are doing more damage to your cause than you imagine. Atheism will just be another passing fad; relevant as parachute pants and just as comical.

      November 27, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
    • Q

      LUP- Your analogy stunk. Your arguments all over this thread are no better. You whine that precious sacred beliefs might be offended. What do you say when a child with diabetes dies due to a lack of medical care because faith healing is the "belief" of the parents? All beliefs are not equally valid and certainly not inherently deserving of respect. While people deserve some basic level of respect, their beliefs simply do not. They can be as-sessed for their veracity and the pros and cons weighed from the level of the individual to the level of a global population. You project your entrenched position onto everyone in as-serting beliefs cannot be changed or modified in these discussions. But you go further to as-sert that the discussion shouldn't even take place if their is a risk to some one's feelings. Like any discussion, there are without question those who are impermeable to contrary arguments, but also like any discussion, there are those who may encounter a statement, often a blunt statement, that will significantly shift their position. Both sides are ripe with the sudden conversion anecdotes. Who are you to define the terms of this exchange? Given your demonstrated inability to provide a decent argument, you are in no position to dictate what is and what is not acceptable and what is and what isn't productive. Cue the saltatory attempt at wit and more ad hominems...

      November 28, 2010 at 1:08 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ Q

      With this premise:

      "All beliefs are not equally valid and certainly not inherently deserving of respect. While people deserve some basic level of respect, their beliefs simply do not."

      ... you have succeeded in invalidating YOURSELF as a person capable of serious thought. Your parents probably just hang their heads in shame – as well they should. I could write a long response but, a) you are incapable of appreciating it, and b) you need to get on a regular schedule with a qualified mental health professional, and c) you're just not... worth it. Ya' know? Having a conversation with you is like watching a very bad movie, in a genre you don't even like.

      Well, march on, kiddo. And try not to embarrass yourself too badly as you ply your pop-culture insults so deftly among a society of reasonable people. And check your word usage.. saltatory? Leaping, dancing, or electro-physiological conduction? There's better choices.

      November 28, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
    • Q

      As predicted, no actual argument or response to the points made and a couple of nice ad hominems thrown in. My beliefs aren't inherently deserving of respect either, but should be as-sessed as previously described. Having "invalidated" myself, I'm sure you could have pointed out where exactly, but thanks nonetheless for sparing me from another of your long vacuous posts. Saltatory can describe those who flippantly dance around points made in discussions rather than addressing them (e.g. free will, supernatural beliefs vs physical evidence, theist vs atheist dictators, belief "equality", etc) and this word fits your behavior here quite well.

      December 1, 2010 at 2:37 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ Q

      "Having "invalidated" myself, I'm sure you could have pointed out where exactly... "
      I'll tell you exactly when I stopped taking you seriously. When you said:

      "The point is no one is ent-itled to live free from insult, particularly when it concerns a purely subjective belief set."

      ... that. What I found especially offensive was the 'no one is enti-tled' part. Sort of a p!ssy, superior rationalization for you to declare open-season. I knew then that I was dealing with someone who was either immature, arrogant, or both. It really doesn't matter – I doubt we'll be crossing paths again.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  3. Enoch

    Of course, atheists and Islamic Jihadists do have a lot of things in common; they both attempt to terrorize peace loving Christians during the most peaceful and marry Christmas season. Islamists threaten with bombs Europeans at Christmas markets, they murder priests inside churches, burn crosses in Egypt, and the atheists, they aggressively continue showing their hatred towards Christians. Well, soon they will start doing exactly what the Jihadists, the Nazis and the Bolsheviks do: murder. Even Russia's lower house of parliament has condemned Soviet atheist dictator Joseph Stalin for ordering the mass killing of Poles at Katyn.

    November 27, 2010 at 12:47 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @Enoch

      I won't post the standard and truthful response to your tired and dis-honest list of atrocities you've been brainwashed (as part of your delusional supernatural tribal myths) into believing were committed in the name of atheisms. I will simply ask that you "grab a mirror" and reflect upon the millions that your sick religion has harmed over centuries, and continue to harm. You are a delusional, non-thinking hypocrite! If you had any sense, you would shut up, quit the "poor picked on christian" crap and seek help for your mental illness. THERE ARE NO GODS – NOT EVEN JUST ONE – NO SATAN EITHER – POPE-A-DOPE SHOULD BE CHARGED FOR HIS PART IN THE SYSTEMIC ABUSE OF CHILDREN!!

      November 27, 2010 at 1:58 am |
    • Q

      You are comparing bombing, murder and other forms of violence to a billboard. Really? Besides the fact that Hitler employed clearly Lutheranesque anti-Semitic language and religious imagery (e.g. "Got Mitt Uns"), Stalin was acting not to serve the edicts of atheism but rather to brutally exert control. Atheism is a position statement and does not entail specific behavioral "rules" nor does it specify eternal penalties for disobedience. On the contrary, theism does indicate specific rules and declares disobedience will result in eternal punishment. When an atheist behaves badly, we understand that they are solely responsible whereas when a theist behaves badly according to their understanding of divine revelations, there is an extension of responsibility to the magical all-knowing and all-powerful source which could not clearly articulate their edicts and failed to act to prevent atrocities in their name (i.e. the problem of evil).

      A bad analogy might be: two kids are bullies. One is an orphan and the second bullies because they believe their dad would be proud. Both cases could be tied to any number of influential factors but in the second case, the dad clearly bears significant responsibility.

      November 27, 2010 at 2:14 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ Q

      Thanks for qualifying that 'analogy.'

      November 27, 2010 at 2:59 am |
    • Q

      I would offer that it wasn't a "qualifying", but rather a "normalizing", i.e. all else being equal, the "dad" bears significant responsibility resulting from either action or inaction in the second case.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:08 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ Q

      That's ok. Whatever you're on should wear off in a couple of hours. Your posts are sort of – awkward, aren't they? Especially that earlier one about omniscience. Very entertaining.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:17 am |
    • CatholicMom

      HotAirAce,

      We have met before….and I am starting to understand you as an individual a little more each time I read one of your posts.
      When you are calm you are almost able to get your thought out but then you are interrupted by anger for some reason and use caps and resort to name calling. If we could have a little Christmas spirit on these comment pages we could all be happy for each other…no need to get upset…these all are just words but some wish to turn them into stones, it seems.

      This is the season to imitate Jesus…show forth your absolute love of neighbor, forgive any transgressions, make peace with all people of the world--knowing we all have faults-and must forgive again and again. This is love…this is Christmas. Please forgive me of my offenses…..and as we say…let us then have a Happy NEW Year, too….NEW….in that the love of Christmas will live on.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:00 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Enoch

      You said: "Of course, atheists and Islamic Jihadists do have a lot of things in common; they both attempt to terrorize peace loving Christians during the most peaceful and marry Christmas season."

      The Jihadists strap on bombs and kill as many infidels as possible. Atheists point out how silly a belief in god is.

      I fail to see the comparison. The atheist terrorists seem to be a tad more laid back. LOL

      To show there are no hard feelings: May Jesus and all his elves bring you lots of presents this Holiday Season! HO, HO, HO!

      November 27, 2010 at 10:45 am |
    • David Johnson

      @CatholicMom

      Have you ever read: "Journal of A Soul" by Pope John XXIII?

      I read it once long ago. I found it extraordinary.

      Cheers!

      November 27, 2010 at 11:22 am |
    • Don

      Project much, Enoch?

      November 27, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      David Johnson,
      No, but I will check the Church library soon. Thanks for the suggestion….!

      November 27, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @CatholicMom

      You should not interpret my use of uppercase letters as anything other than an attention getting/emphasis device – I have been around the computer business long enough to know that it is the equivalent to shouting, and I clearly think on occasion it is required to stand the slimmest chance believers will open their eyes and minds and drop their infantile tribal myths. Their is no anger in my message.

      With respect to time of the year, I wholeheartedly agree that "doing unto others..." is a noble goal, but I even more so disagree with doing it in the name of your man-made supernatural being. In fact, I can think of no better time, except perhaps Easter or Ramadan, than now to embarass, expose, irritate and otherwise call into question believer's silliness. To do otherwise would be the same as coddling and enabling a drug abuser, when a serious intervention of reality is what is really needed..

      November 28, 2010 at 3:34 am |
    • CatholicMom

      HotAirAce,

      You said to Enoch, ‘I won't post the standard and truthful response…’

      If you would chose to post your beliefs rather that scolding others for their beliefs, you might have a better chance of showing people what you believe to be the Truth. Instead, you chose to try ‘to embarass, expose, irritate and otherwise call into question believer's silliness’…your words to me.
      If I were into drugs in anyway, as you say, your method would be quit a difficult way to persuade me to quit it….show a good alternative and maybe I would listen…that is a much better approach, I would guess, so why not give good details and reasons why people should see ‘it’ your way. OK?

      November 28, 2010 at 11:46 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @CatholicMom

      Enoch's opening comment contains claims made and responded to numerous times, and much like other's comments about the repeti-tive trotting out of Pascal's Wager, I didn't, and still don't, see the point of typing in the well known rebuttal. Similarly, my views are well known, but here's the short form: There, Are No Gods – Not Even Just One and if you believe in supernatural beings and are old enough to think for yourself, then you are in need of assistance from a mental-health professional. Any questions?

      November 28, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ HotAirAce

      Just one.. exactly how long have you been a dismissive sanctimonious nit, and, if you'll allow me a followup...

      When was the last time you got laid? You seem to have a lot of pent-up energy.

      Oh.. sorry. Well, there's a first time for everything I suppose.

      November 28, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ HAA

      Do your folks know that you're using their computer to insult and denigrate people? An adult in your family needs to take you aside and slap some courtesy into you. Then go through your room and confiscate your 'stuff.'

      November 28, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Let Us Prey

      I am merely replying to the bullsh-it put forth by believers. They have enjoyed hundreds of years of "Polite people don't talk about s-ex, politics and religion in public." Those days are over, and if my truth (yes my opinion) hurts, too bad. When the believers (of any cult) go back to quietly following their stupid beliefs behind closed doors, and quit trying to force them on others and trying to make them public policy, I will consider doing the same. Until then, I will vigorously oppose them at every opportunity.

      I believe that your naive request to respect eveyone's beliefs is simply a dodge to stop any conversation about religion – more of the same "Polite people...". And I find it interesting that you, and other aplogists for religion, haven't been pleading your case in the article about arson at the mosque attended (on some ill-defined basis) by the accused bomber in Portland.

      Re: your childish questions about my s-ex life, parental control, etc, all I will say is that I am well past the age of consent and I know precisely what I am saying. The other questions and attempts at humour say more about you, than I.

      November 29, 2010 at 1:39 am |
    • CatholicMom

      No, questions, HotAirAce, unless you would like to explain yourself.

      November 29, 2010 at 9:33 am |
    • Frogist

      @Let Us Prey: I hope you're not a Christian, or you are perpetuating the stereotype of hypocritical, rude, arrogant believer. Quite frankly, I doubt anyone would want you on their side. I wonder why Catholic Mom and other believers didn't bother to slap you down ages ago for representing faith so poorly.

      November 29, 2010 at 10:11 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ HotAirAce

      " I am well past the age of consent " We'll just file that under "modern Christmas miracle."

      @ Frogist

      On the contrary, I'm just answering the incessant, unyeilding provocations of Ace, David, Don and the like in an expressive style that they can better identify with. Productive dialogue is one thing, open season for believer-bashing is another (especially when done under the guise of 'dialogue.' )

      There's no respect or consideration on these boards from the atheist community toward individual need, personal choice, belief, strength, weakness, community, fulfillment, emptiness, powerlessness, or anything-the-hell-else. Just simplistic insult. Nothing more. There is no semblance of a productive, respectful dialogue on these blogs that anyone would even remotely care to enter into without being armor-plated.

      This isn't an issue of turning a cheek. It's one of being treated as others have treated you. If you're good at dishing it out, but poor at taking it... to damn bad. And rather than presume my belief structure, why not just ask me instead?! I'll save you the effort... here: It's personal. I don't care to share it, advertise it, or proselytize about it. But it does involve a clear unassailable right to individual determination, contrary to what our resident Orwellian philosopher Q and others in here would like to tolerate.

      So these blogs really can't be considered a forum for respectful sharing of thoughts, can they? It's really just a game. A virtual playground for the social tempering of one's vulnerabilities and aggressions.

      November 29, 2010 at 11:28 am |
    • Frogist

      @LetUsPrey: So you have decided it's better to answer like for like, than being kind or considerate, like you want others to do? Sounds like a hypocritical stance to me. I have had many a polite and informative conversation on here with believers and non-believers alike. But if you represent yourself with vitriol, how can you expect anything better to come to you in return? You seem to personify the hypocrisy you say you despise, and that's unfortunate, because I share your stated point of view of wanting respectful discourse. But your actions don't match your goal, which tells me your only reason for being here is to put your armor to good use. Maybe the reason you have not found respectful dialogue here is because you choose not to engage in any.

      November 29, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ Frogist

      Please see my response to GSA. In the body of that post I was obviously referencing my first response to you.

      November 29, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      .. and if it's vitriol you're concerned with, I certainly rank pretty low on the list of offenders.

      November 29, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  4. kybucki

    No one knows1% of the Universe's knowledge. To deny that God might exist in that unknown99% ISNT scientific- it's arrogant!

    November 27, 2010 at 12:19 am |
    • Don

      No it's not; it's proper. It's just like denying that square circles or married bachelors might exist. And by that I mean that the definition of god renders the existence of god both logically and metaphysically impossible.

      November 27, 2010 at 12:23 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ Don

      MMM my. Omniscient much?

      November 27, 2010 at 2:56 am |
    • David Johnson

      @kybucki

      Don is right on this. Atheists will never be able to prove god does not exist. Atheists also cannot "prove" Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or fairies do not exist. But, you don't believe Santa really exists. Right?

      Society uses a preponderance of the evidence, to decide if something is real or not. There is a ton of evidence that Santa Claus does not exist. No evidence that he does.

      God exists only because believer's faith animates Him. There are hundreds if not thousands of gods in man's history. Zeus, Odin, Isis, Ra etc. All these gods were prayed to, feared and loved. These gods are forgotten now. People took away their belief and the gods fell silent.

      Do you believe in these god? I bet you don't. But, you can't prove these gods don't exist. If people started believing in Isis again, she would spring to life! And if people stopped believing in the present day gods, they would fall as silent as the ancient gods.

      If you need help to kick your god addiction, I have put together a 12 step program that will help. It is reasonably priced. Your mantra will be: "Get the silly out".

      Cheers!

      November 27, 2010 at 8:16 am |
    • Don

      Let Us Prey, how does one have to be omniscient to say that there are no square circles? Please enlighten us all who actually understand the concept of logical impossibility and know that one does not have to be omniscient to understand logical impossibility? In other words: you're a complete tool.

      November 27, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ Don

      " the definition of god renders the existence of god both logically and metaphysically impossible."

      Which definition might that be? Religion is one-size-fits-all? Or maybe it's just a reeaaal long, all inclusive definition.
      Further, exactly what does logic have to do with religion? The modern atheist agenda of forcing logic to overwhelm the frailty of human emotion is presumptuous and unrealistic. It's just not going to happen, folks. 'Especially' if you say it should.

      BTW, the formal terms are 'logical possibility' and 'proof of' impossibility. 'Logical Impossibility' was a phrase coined by Darwin, and is now considered a colloquial.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      So.. you really shouldn't let your 'belief' interfere with someone else's, should you? Just say, "religion? No thanks" and be satisfied that you've taken the high road.

      And if you're afraid that the 'fundies' are going to take over the country.. then run an atheist for office. Sure. Vote one in. What's that? It won't work?

      Really? Imagine that.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
    • Don

      btw, Let Us Prey, the proper term is "logically impossible", but that's ok, smooth-brain. You can keep trying to be a poseur if you like. I'll just keep laughing at your pathetic trolling.

      ta-ta.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      ok, Don. Good to know about 'logically impossible.' I guess we should consider that as a self-correction to your earlier post, right?

      what a putz.

      November 27, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
    • Don

      Let Us Pray is quite the obvious troll.

      November 27, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ Don

      You're in a 'belief' blog, denigrating the concept of religious deity, and I'm the troll? No, I'm just the guy calling you out for being a bunch of disrespectful, self-righteous, pontificating adolescents.

      You are, indeed, a putz of the most major grade.

      November 27, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
    • Don

      Fascinating: the troll believes that it is causing some sort of commotion. What an audacious, yet completely failed, tactic.

      November 27, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      Time to roll another one, Don. I need to hear more about Cyanide.

      November 27, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  5. A Christian

    If the billboard was against the Jewish religion, we would say it is anti-Semitic. If it was against Islam, well I doubt they would even try that. It would not be "politically correct". But it is against Christianity, so I guess we must meekly accept it.
    However, the definition of bigotry goes like this: A bigot is intolerant of others. A prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinion differing from his own. One who treats members of a group with hatred or intolerance.
    Why can't the atheists just let the Christians have Christmas? No one is forcing them to observe it.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
    • Don

      Oh, so you think it's ok for christians to bash everyone else, but if christians get a little of it, it's wrong? Talk about hypocrisy!

      November 26, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
    • A Christian

      There are hypocritical Christians just as there are hypocritical atheists, etc. Do NOT put that tag on all Christians.

      November 26, 2010 at 9:50 pm |
    • Don

      I put that tag on YOU specifically, not all christians.

      November 26, 2010 at 9:53 pm |
    • Q

      Well, you see, non-believers don't hate the sinners they hate the sin of irrational deference to mythology.

      November 27, 2010 at 1:25 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ A Christian

      I *completely* agree with you. Well said. To allow each their own without condemnation.
      Atheists who bash others are bigots.

      November 27, 2010 at 2:49 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ Don

      Umm.. you are aware that Jews were 'specifically tagged,' right? I try and make a point not to 'tag' anyone – especially groups. 'Tagging' is sort of a, well – bad idea.

      November 27, 2010 at 4:07 am |
    • Sharon

      I totally agree!!!!! GET YOUR OWN HOLIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DECEMBER 25TH IS OURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IF YOUR NOT A CHRISTIAN, YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!! THERE ARE 364 OTHER DAYS FOR YOU TO PICK FROM.....FIND ONE AND LEAVE OURS ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      November 27, 2010 at 11:41 am |
    • Don

      I!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EXCLAMATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MARKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! USING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      November 27, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
    • A Pagan

      Because the winter solstice was ours first. Get your own holiday.

      Oh yeah. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      November 30, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  6. CatholicMom

    Why didn’t the atheists say “I know it’s a myth” instead of “You know it’s a myth”?
    Because they don’t know [and they want to use ‘you’.]

    Why did atheists use Christmas imagery on their billboard?
    Because IT”S CHRISTMAS and they didn’t want to pay for a blank billboard.

    Why did atheists use the 3 Wisemen and the manger scene?
    To show they actually do know something about Christmas.

    Why did atheists say they were ‘reasonable since 1963’…?
    The ones they counted seemed reasonable to them.

    November 26, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
    • Reality

      The Three Wise Men myth was developed from all types of analogous legends and OT passages pre-Jesus. See http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=369_Star_of_Revelation for a lenthly review.

      An excerpt:

      Gerd Luedemann

      "Commenting on the infancy narratives overall, Luedemann [Jesus, 124-29] concludes that Luke and Matthew represent "two equally unhistorical narratives." He cites the occurrence of a miraculous heavenly sign at key points in the life of Mithridates VI in a history written by Justinus (active in the reign of Augustus, 2 BCE to 14 CE). "

      John P. Meier (Notre Dame professor)

      "Meier [Marginal Jew I,211ff and 376] considers these traditions to be "largely products of early Christian reflection on the salvific meaning of Jesus in the light of OT prophecies" and concludes that their historicity is "highly questionable."

      November 26, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
    • Reality

      The Three Wise Men myth was developed from all types of analogous legends and OT passages pre-Jesus. See http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=369_Star_of_Revelation for a lengthy review. (might have to remove the hypen in "t-itle" to access the site)

      An excerpt:

      Gerd Luedemann

      "Commenting on the infancy narratives overall, Luedemann [Jesus, 124-29] concludes that Luke and Matthew represent "two equally unhistorical narratives." He cites the occurrence of a miraculous heavenly sign at key points in the life of Mithridates VI in a history written by Justinus (active in the reign of Augustus, 2 BCE to 14 CE). "

      John P. Meier (Notre Dame professor)

      "Meier [Marginal Jew I,211ff and 376] considers these traditions to be "largely products of early Christian reflection on the salvific meaning of Jesus in the light of OT prophecies" and concludes that their historicity is "highly questionable."

      November 26, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      "Why didn’t the atheists say “I know it’s a myth” instead of “You know it’s a myth”?"

      The billboard's first purpose was:
      "1) To address those atheists who “go along to get along”, and to encourage them to come out of their closets."

      That's why the 'you.' Fellow atheists, and many believers too, know in their hearts that the nativity was just a made up story. Maybe it was necessary to quell rumours about who Jesus' father was, or just to square exactly how a Nazarene came from Bethlehem. Both versions come up with a different explanation for this, so something obviously seems funky with the whole thing.

      Not sure if I understand what point you were making with the rest of your post, sorry?

      November 27, 2010 at 12:08 am |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,
      So atheists need to see what other atheists believe so they can hopefully make a commitment one way or the other. Something obviously is funky [as you said] and it is the billboard! My comments were made because the whole thing was amusing to me. Sorry if it ruffled some feathers.

      November 27, 2010 at 8:59 am |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      "So atheists need to see what other atheists believe so they can hopefully make a commitment one way or the other."

      No feathers ruffled at all, it's just that there are many, many people out there who do not believe in God who nevertheless go to church, baptize their kids, and claim belief on PEW surveys because it's easier than 'coming out' as an atheist in our society. Face it, you religious folks have painted us as the great evil just for accepting what our intelligence tell us is true. Of course, the first step in any authoritarian regime is to round up the intellectuals.

      Imagine if you were one of those original underground Christians back in ancient Rome, unable to openly declare your beliefs out of fear, so you graffiti crucifixes onto walls just to let others like you know they are not alone. This billboard serves a similar purpose, I think.

      November 27, 2010 at 9:51 am |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,
      Thank you for clarifying.

      I agree there are people who do things just because someone else is doing it. I guess that is one reason why some parents are concerned about the ‘company’ their children associate with. But it also seems these days, many parents do not know where their kids are most of the time and expect the schools and the Church to keep their kids in line [as long as the discipline is directed at the neighbor’s kid, not theirs]. Children do imitate their parents in many instances and our penal system seems to be over-loaded. Once the children ‘are of age’ they go out into the world with what they have come to know as Truth…

      So what is causing this break-down in our society? I call it Godlessness and the Me-Me-Me mentality. People do not know their neighbors…even if they live in the same building! Not to mention the ones who live on the other side of the fence… How does that happen? No bonding to anyone except the immediate family and that bond seems to be thinning. Kids hear that their parents don’t want any more kids and some hear their parents wish they never had them! Babies are to be done away with by abortion because they are worthless. The only ones who count are the ones born already and they have to make their foothold early on or the bullies who can live in their very own families will put them in their place.

      So this Christmas is really an important one….we have to get out and show our neighbors love…smile at the shopper who bumps into you instead of pulling out your gun, and excuse yourself. Sure, you didn’t cause the bump but it might help the unstable one to feel a little love there. All people are our neighbor.

      Sorry, NL, I rattled on like the old woman that I am. I didn’t mean to sound like you don’t show any love because I have known you to have a good heart on these postings….

      November 27, 2010 at 10:36 am |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,

      You said, ‘Imagine if you were one of those original underground Christians back in ancient Rome, unable to openly declare your beliefs out of fear, so you graffiti crucifixes onto walls just to let others like you know they are not alone. This billboard serves a similar purpose, I think.'

      I have not heard of one atheist being fed to a lion in this day or time…has someone harmed an atheist for announcing his belief?

      November 27, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      First you equate Godlessness to "the Me-Me-Me mentality" and then you ask who has ever hurt atheists? It seems that you, and others like you, delight in creating some kind of atheist boogieman to fulfill the 'evil infesting the world' role once reserved exclusively for Jews and black men. It's this propaganda and bigotry that makes getting elected as an atheist in this country near impossible, and you ask me what harm is being done? If your congressperson were to come out as an atheist tomorrow how much would you bet on their chances of reelection?

      Remember, the Romans use to say the most scandalous things about the first Christians, even calling them atheists for not worshipping the state gods. Should the Teabaggers succeed in making this country become a theocracy how long do you think it will be before declared atheists are thrown to the modern-age version of lions? About as long as a Dutch cartoonist has of surviving after being dropped into Iran, I'd say.

      November 28, 2010 at 12:48 am |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,

      Most everything I have read that an atheist has written is all about ‘no God’ and how they have no conscience or inner voice -maybe a gut feeling?…but that it is of their own doing…they gift themselves with their every breath…any good they do is because they do it out of evolutionary reasons and they have evolved smarter than 80% of the population. In their eyes they sit pretty high on the pedestal and they give no credit to God for the grace of a good and happy life…it is all their own doing.

      If Iran had more Christians one could safely travel there.

      November 28, 2010 at 11:23 am |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      Yes, atheists writing about atheism do tend to mention there not being a God, but I've never read, or heard any atheist say that they have no conscience or inner voice. We acknowledge that there is no outside supernatural being tugging our strings, and that our evolution is tied to our social development. Sometimes evolution and our social development compliment each other nicely, however the impulses that were appropriate while still in small bands became problematic as we gathered into city life. That's when we began writing laws and, unfortunately, inventing gods as the all-seeing law enforcers.

      I don't consider us any smarter than the average person. All it takes is an openness to honestly examine the actual foundations of religion. Many, if not most atheists wouldn't put humanity on any pedestal that separates us from the rest of life on earth. We give no credit to God because we see no God to give credit too, and if God is a human creation any credit given to him is actually owed to us anyway, right?

      Perhaps you need to begin reading books about atheism from actual atheists, not from clergymen, or lapsed Christians who 'got angry' at God for awhile only to 'find' him again, write a book about the experience, and presume to speak for actual atheists.

      "If Iran had more Christians one could safely travel there." No bigotry there, eh?

      November 29, 2010 at 8:30 am |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,

      You were the one who mentioned how long a Dutch cartoonist has of surviving in Iran…no bigotry there, eh?

      Over the months of reading these posts on Belief Blog I have had atheists tell me flat out that they do not have a conscience and that they act out in public the way they do out of evolutionary reasons of ‘learning’ behavior as to what gets the best results…not from a conscience. When I asked questions about whether or not their conscience ever ‘bothered’ them and told them that was a sign or signal to help them choose right over wrong and that God had placed a conscience in every soul as a guide in life…they claimed to not have that. If they had a conscience but didn’t believe it was a gift from God, they could have said that, but, no, they flat out said they did not have one. I did tell them they could ‘kill’ their conscience off by never listening to it….similar to people who never listen to their ‘you are full’ signal and keep right on eating. Maybe they forgot they had a conscience at one time but it is less than a va-gue memory anymore.

      You said, ‘and if God is a human creation any credit given to him is actually owed to us anyway, right?’ I think that pretty much does sound like what I have heard atheists say but perhaps in different ways but which boils down to the same thing. The atheist gives himself the credit and that is why so many say that atheism is a religion of self worship.

      I have so much good reading to do I wonder if I will ever get through it all. I think I am getting a pretty clear picture about atheism right here on these blogs…what could be better than getting it straight up from a real one?

      November 29, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
  7. riverrunner

    sadly they don't know its a myth. a lot of people seriously believe this stuff (I was once one of them) with no evidence just parents telling kids and preachers preaching lies. there are no miracles, no answer to prayer, yet these things were supposedly commonplace? sorry christians, you'll have to do better.

    November 26, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
  8. Captain Sanity

    Aethiests can still celebrate christmas. I mean it really is not a Christian holiday anymore. It is a tradition more than anything. Do we even really talk about Jesus at Christmas.We just talk about Santa Claus (another mythical creature) I think less people would celebrate Christmas if they knew what it all really was about (which is why the majority of Americans celebrate it as tradition rather than a religous ceremony. Personaly I am sick of Christians. Look at the news everyday. It really isn't even news any more. Another pastor is really a pedophile (shocker!). . . , pastor cheats on wife(AGAIN!!!). . . . Catholics cover up abuse so they can keep comitting acts of pedophilia (after the 1000th time it is not news anymore). Who really cares any more. Most reasonable people see religion for what it really is, and others cling to one sect or another as a crutch in life or as a smoke screen to get away with their vile behavior. This is not news anymore people. Christians and aethiests are not that different. Christians think that all other religions are goofy and false, but that THEIR religion is the "REAL" religion. Well, aethists think that all religions are goofy, far fetched and false. Aethiests have just realized that there are no goblins, angels, demons, ghosts, devils, gods or smurfs. After that realization there is not really anything else that needs to be done. We don't need to pray to a magic telophone pole to reafirm these beliefs. We don't try to sway others of this truth because we know it is imposible.

    November 26, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  9. TheRationale

    I doubt most people would believe anything supernatural if they had not been brainwashed into believing some sort of it as a child.

    November 26, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  10. A Different View

    I don't have time right now, but later this evening, I am going to post something that you athiest who say you have heard the same ole from Christians, and never a challenge to your standard thinking.

    I hope you will read it, and then we can hopefully, civilly debate it, should it come to that. At least leave your opions.
    Have to run, need to visit someone in the hospital.
    Peace!

    November 26, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
    • Don

      And it will be the same ol' same ol'.

      November 26, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ Don

      Yeah, you strike me as a real 'open-minded' kinda guy. Hope you never have to sit on a jury.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:03 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @Let Us Pray

      THE last person I would want a on a jury would be a "believer"! If you can convince yourself to believe in supernatural tribal myths, you can be erroneously convinced of anything and are very likely to ignore facts and the law.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:12 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ Hot Air Ace

      Let's see.. I say something is possible. I may or may not choose to participate in acts of respect – but I say it's possible and it's fine with me if you do. You – say it's impossible, and further, castigate and demean others for their line of thought.

      Sure. You're a terrific jury candidate. Hummmph.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:54 am |
    • Q

      Defense Attorney: "...and so ladies and gentlemen of the jury, without any physical evidence to support this position, we contend the defendant's DNA, wallet and the video of him committing the crime left at the scene are the result of a conspiracy of leprechauns and aliens."

      Let Us Prey to the other jurors: "It's certainly possible. Don't disrespect my beliefs by laughing!"

      November 27, 2010 at 4:30 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      Drunken Irish juror #6 and geeky-looking juror #10 wearing a SETI button proceed to hang the decision.

      November 27, 2010 at 4:59 am |
    • Q

      Precisely why supernatural beliefs devoid of evidence are dangerous constructs.

      Prosecutor: "...and so ladies and gentlemen of the jury, while the physical evidence linking the defendant to the crime graciously provided by leprechauns and aliens has been, uh...misplaced..., we implore you to rely upon your personal beliefs in the supernatural to convict."

      Let Us Prey to the other jurors: "It's certainly possible. Don't disrespect my beliefs by laughing!"
      Drunken Irish juror #6 and geeky-looking juror #10 wearing a SETI button concur.

      November 27, 2010 at 7:06 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      Q, you take yourself far to seriously.

      November 27, 2010 at 7:57 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @Let Us Pray (NOT!)

      First you criticize me for ridiculing your infantile beliefs and then you stereotypically demean the Irish, and take a shot at science...

      Does your dictionary include "hypocrite"? If not, you merely need to look in a mirror – just after you pull your head out f your a$$.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:14 am |
    • Don

      Let Us Prey, are you open minded to the idea that 1 gram of cyanide is healthy for you? No, you're not? Then you're a hypocrite! Why? Because your line of thought means one has to be "open minded" to the most ludicrous of claims.

      November 27, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ HotAirAce

      You're right. My name is not Pray. And don't be so naive as to presume my beliefs. Oh, and you can say 'ass' in here. It's ok. Really. As in "you're an ass hat." I think religious folks would be less upset by that than by your demeaning their beliefs. Sort of a more honest expression, don't you think?

      @ Don

      Let us know when the weed wears off.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Let Us Prey

      My sincerest apologies for getting your name wrong – a "reading for comprehension" problem on my part.

      Re: offending believers, while that is not my "mission", I'm not the least bit concerned about doing so. I truly believe we are well past the point where tolerating religion (of any ilk) has positive benefits for society. It's time to recognize religion for the collection of man-made supernatural tribal myths that it is and to debunk it at every opportunity. I don't think there is a way to sugar-coat this. As alluded to elsewhere, like drug addiction, we don't need a discussion about the disease/problem/cult, we only need to talk about getting rid of it.

      November 28, 2010 at 3:49 am |
  11. Reality

    "Atheist billboard: Christmas is a myth"

    Said co-nclusion is supported by the studies of many NT and historic Jesus exegetes.

    e.g.

    Professor Crossan with great tho-ro-ughness examined all the existing scr-iptural writings from the first and second ce-nturies AD/CE. If you do not have his 505 page book, The Historical Jesus, see -.faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf.

    Using these doc-uments plus the co-nclusions of the major NT exegetes in the past two hundred years, he compared Jesus' reported acts and sayings to when they were reported and how many reports were made. Those acts and sayings with single or later att-estations along with the current biblical scholarship negativity, were judged not to be done or said by the historical Jesus. Approximately 67% of the NT was judged to be in that category, i.e. embellishments of the facts typically made to compete with the "Caesar", "Al-exander" and Egyptian gods. See faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf

    Use this latter site to analyze your NT references for "Crossan" acceptance, e.g. Matt 1:23
    26±. Jesus Vi-r-g-inally Conceived: (1) Gos. Heb. 1; (2) Matt 1:18-25; (3) Luke 1:26-38; (4a) Ign. Eph. 7:2; (4b) Ign. Eph. 18:2a; (4c) Ign. Eph. 19:1; (4d) Ign. Smyrn. 1:1b., was judged to be not from the historical Jesus but of th-eolo-gical importance.

    These same passages also are in direct conflict with
    (!5a) John 6:42
    (!5b) John 7:40-44
    (!5c) John 8:39-41

    (!6) Luke 2:27,33,41,48

    where Joseph is reported to be the father of Jesus.

    "In Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography (2000), Bruce Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a ma-mzer; someone whose irre-gular birth circu-mstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the co-mm-unity. He argues for the natural pat-er-nity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous co-nception. In his subsequent reco-nstruction of Jesus' life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus' self-identi-ty, his concept of God and his spiritual quest."

    "John P,Meier [Marginal Jew I,220-22] discusses the vi-rginal conception as part of his larger chapter on Jesus' origins. He earlier notes that both infancy narratives "seem to be largely the product of Christian reflection on the salvific meaning of Jesus Christ in the light of OT prophecies (p. 213). At the end of his examination, Meier concludes:

    "The ends result of this survey must remain meager and disappointing to both defenders and opponents of the doctrine of the vir-ginal conception. Taken by itself, historical-critical research simply does not have the sources and tools available to reach a final decision on the historicity of the vi-rginal conception as narrated by Matthew and Luke. One's acceptance or rejection of the doctrine will be largely influenced by one's own philosophical and theological presu-ppositions, as well as the weight one gives to Church teaching."

    You might also say that here was a man whose simple teachings were embellished to compete with the gods of Rome, Greece, Ba-bylon, Pe-rsia and Eg-ypt to the point that only about 30% of the NT is historical.

    November 26, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      "of the major NT exegetes in the past two hundred years"

      Now your up to Major, before it use to be most and then when I called you out on the 29 -2 that were wrongly in there like Wright you started to use the phrase "a large number of", how did it get up to major?

      November 27, 2010 at 8:33 am |
    • Reality

      The major NT and historic Jesus exegetes in the last two hundred years:

      R. Bultmann
      E. Kasemann
      Earl Doherty
      Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy
      Alvar Ellegård
      G. A. Wells
      Gregory Riley
      Robert Eisenman
      John Dominic Crossan
      Robert Funk
      Burton Mack
      Stephen J. Patterson
      Marcus Borg
      Stevan Davies
      Geza Vermes
      Richard Horsley
      Hyam Maccoby
      Gerd Theissen
      Bart Ehrman
      Paula Fredriksen
      Gerd Lüdemann
      John P. Meier
      E. P. Sanders
      Robert H. Stein
      Karen Armstrong
      Albert Schweitzer (The Quest for the Historical Jesus)
      Mahlon Smith
      Karen Pagels
      And members of the Jesus Seminar not noted above

      http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/Works_Cited

      Some conclusions by said experts:

      :Jesus the Myth: Heavenly Christ
      Earl Doherty
      Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy

      Jesus the Myth: Man of the Indefinite Past
      Alvar Ellegård
      G. A. Wells

      Jesus the Hellenistic Hero
      Gregory Riley

      Jesus the Revolutionary
      Robert Eisenman

      Jesus the Wisdom Sage
      John Dominic Crossan
      Robert Funk
      Burton Mack
      Stephen J. Patterson

      Jesus the Man of the Spirit
      Marcus Borg
      Stevan Davies
      Geza Vermes

      Jesus the Prophet of Social Change
      Richard Horsley
      Hyam Maccoby
      Gerd Theissen

      Jesus the Apocalyptic Prophet
      Bart Ehrman
      Paula Fredriksen
      Gerd Lüdemann
      John P. Meier
      E. P. Sanders

      Jesus the Savior
      Luke Timothy Johnson
      Robert H. Stein
      N. T. Wright

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      November 27, 2010 at 10:04 am |
    • Reality

      References to peruse to gather background information on Christianity:

      1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–
      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"

      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."

      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria

      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html

      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm

      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

      10. 7. The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm

      11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2

      12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database

      13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
      faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html

      14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

      15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

      16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/

      17. Diseases in the Bible:
      etd.unisa.ac.za/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-08022006-125807/unrestricted/02dissertation.pdf

      18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      religion-online.org/

      19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
      mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria

      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/

      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/

      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      members.aol.com/DrSwiney/seminar.html

      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php

      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf

      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf

      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf

      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html

      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html

      29. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/

      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm

      31. See amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.

      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.

      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.

      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.

      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      November 27, 2010 at 10:11 am |
  12. Reality

    Once a day WARNING for new commentators:

    • The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

    • More than one web address will also activate “waiting for moderation”. Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

    November 26, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
    • Little Jjohn

      Everyone here has faith, it's just in different things. We have faith that love is real, and atheists believe that the "sensation" of love comes from a particular firing of synapses and chemicals in a brain that evolved from simple cells in a warm puddle.

      (Atheism says that there is no God, for those posters here who seem to be confused by that. If you believe in God, you're not an atheist. If you don't like organized religon, you're in good company. neither did Christ).

      It takes a tremendous amount of faith to believe that this was all an accident, and that there are no moral or ethical absolutes,

      November 30, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  13. GSA

    Nice. I think it's good that these billboards are up. I do believe in a higher power but I also believe that Atheists have there opinions, voices and there right to express them. Also these billboards start a good dialogue.

    November 26, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ GSA

      So you wouldn't mind if we put a big billboard up in your neighborhood that said

      SIKH'S ARE FAKES – GURU'S ARE MYTHS

      That'd be ok with you, huh?

      November 27, 2010 at 3:06 am |
  14. Raytheist

    Christmas is far older than Christianity. Everything about it – the tree, gift giving, carols, yule logs, feasting etc. etc. – derives from older "pagan" cultures that were attuned to the cycle of the seasons and celebrated the winter solstice in order to have some brightness and cheer during the shortest days of the year. As an atheist who celebrates Christmas, I resent how the Christians have hijacked it to preach hatred and divisiveness over a non-existent "War on Christmas". By the way, if the shepherds were watching their flocks at the time of the birth of Jesus, it must have been spring, not winter.

    November 26, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  15. Doc Vestibule

    Even the most devout Christian must realize that December 25th is not the actual day of Jesus' birth. The bible itself mentiones sheperds tending their flocks on the eve of his birth... and there weren't many sheep out grazing the fields during the frigid Judean winter!
    It wasn't until 350AD that Pope Julius I declared Christmas to be December 25th, and that was to assure pagans that they wouldn't lose their feasts and holidays. Stuff like the feast to honour the Son of Isis in ancient Babylon, when people would spend Dec 25th partying, feasting, drinking and exchanging gifts.
    Or the Roman celebration of Saturnalia – weeks of revelry in honor of the God Saturn when slaves and masters would ostensibly switch roles, which concluded December 23rd.
    In Northern Europe, those wacky pagans were getting down for the winter solstice ages before they ever heard of Jeebus.
    If you're Christian and burn a Yule Log, that actually the sin of Idolatry as it is meant to honor the sun god Mithras.
    Have a Christmas tree? That also began in pre-christian northern europe and wasn't a part of xmas until the early 1500's – when many of the clergy (especially Lutherans) believed the symbol to be blasphemous.

    November 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Doc Vestibule

      You can't fool us Doc. I asked my pastor about that Christmas thing. He said it was ridiculous! Would god let us believe a lie? Of course not...

      Why little Jimmy and Sarah Folley, were blowing up balloons and brother Zeb was on a ladder putting a party hat on Jesus. Some say a party hat isn't appropriate, with Jesus being on the cross and all. But brother Zeb told 'em that was why god had put the crown of thorns on Jesus. To make it easier to keep the hat from falling off.
      Everyone sort of froze when I told pastor about your comment.
      When pastor gave thumbs up, everyone went back to getting the birthday party ready.

      Last year sister Beulah, played a prank. She showed us a tray of ginger bread men dressed like Jesus. She passed the tray around once and then left. She promised to be back again with the tray. But, she never came back! LOL! LOL 'till our sides ached! She promised a second coming, but it never happened! Ow! I hurt from laughing!

      Cheers!

      November 26, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @David Johnson
      You just made my day, sir!
      Now I have to go and buy a crucifix so I can put a party hat on it.

      November 26, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
    • jonathan

      the only gripe I have against Christmas is it is only for one day when everyday should be Christmas... :)

      November 26, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @jonathan

      Everyday Christmas, you say? My god man! I can barely pay for a Christmas that comes once a year!

      I think if gifts were not included every day, your Christmas would fail. Commercialism is the true meaning of Christmas.

      Cheers!

      November 26, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  16. Crystal

    I thought these billboards were offensive when I first heard about them until I saw the reasons why on the American Atheist website. I think it sparked something inside of me and now I totally agree with them. Last year they put up the "You're not alone boards" and got plenty of controversy to with a billboard response from the Catholic groups of "Why do atheists hate America?" It's a bunch of BS. AA were right when they said that Christians don't care if they hurt our feelings, so why should we care about theirs. I used to be all about mutual respect, but from now on it will only be given on an individual basis because I certainly don't feel respected by the group. Yeah, I now plenty of wonderful Christians that say they don't have anything against nonbelievers (or the outcasts from their own religion). But do they defend them against all the people that think otherwise? Usually not....A silenced opinion only makes people assume you agree with them and you are just as responsible for the discrimination that goes on.

    November 26, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
    • jonathan

      If ever i see an atheist billboard I'll be sure to rejoice..and that's because I am immune to atheism ...I down loaded Jesus 32 years ago, even over loaded in him so that I will never run out... :) :) :)

      November 26, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Johnathan
      Hmmm... 32 years ago the fastest modem was 300 bits per second.
      Human genome is approximately 750 MB, so it would've taken about a month to download Jesus. I wouldn't want to guess how long it took to compile the code. ;-)
      I think you just inspired a motto for Christian geeks: "Jesus is my firewall"

      November 26, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Johnathan
      Woopsy! I got my bits and bytes confused there for a minute.
      Your Lord and Saviour must've taken around 8 months to download.

      November 26, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I am offended...

      by all religions!

      November 27, 2010 at 2:46 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ Hot Air

      That's ok. I'm sure that most religions are offended by you. So it's a break-even deal. Feel better?

      November 27, 2010 at 3:20 am |
  17. Barry

    Oh, by the way, Happy Holidays! Sincerely, :-)

    November 26, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
    • jonathan

      Every day's is a holiday in Christ! :) :) :)

      November 26, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
    • Scott

      Jonathan,
      I was raised in a Christian home, was a Christian until my early teens and most every day was a living hell until I got out.

      November 26, 2010 at 9:37 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ Scott

      "most every day was a living hell until I got out."

      Would that be for you – or your parents? Poor sots.

      November 27, 2010 at 2:42 am |
  18. Barry

    Keith, it's unfortunate that one of our species' many weaknesses is that people who are facing death seek the comfort of the irrational. Even for the healthy, the knowledge that we and our loved ones will someday cease to exist turns the majority of us into religious believers. This speaks nothing of truth, only human weakness.

    November 26, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
    • NL

      Yes, people seem to forget that we will all die. One of the best things about accepting atheism is that you evaluate your life as the only one you will ever have and, in so doing, make the best with what you have, live each day to it's fullest and as if it were your last. Much better than letting this life slip by waiting for death.

      November 26, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
    • jonathan

      Ok , i'm like a computer , and God is like the internet..Ok ok so I down load Jesus into me..and start running with that.. because I am so full of Him cause he not the kind to just fill me but like david said he over fills my cup, I'm overloaded so no virus can get in..ever! Therefore I rejoice even look forward to oppisition cause the Jesus Program has been running for 32 years and becoming more powerful all the time.. :) :) :)

      November 26, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
    • Bob

      Sounds like that's more of a virus. You download Jesus and use it to direct your actions. You're incapable of taking other actions contradictory to the Jesus program.

      Yeah, virus.

      November 26, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @NL

      Yes! Exactly! You get it! Well said my friend!

      Cheers!

      November 26, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
    • Keith

      Barry, It is appointed to man once to die and after this the Judgement. If you try to stand before a holy and righteous God on your own merit-you're screwed. God reveals Himself to all men. Problem is we ignore Him. That is why even those who've never even heard of the Bible are without excuse. Perhaps my friend KNOWS deep down inside that just perhaps God is real and maybe he better get to know Him before he dies.

      November 26, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
    • NL

      Keith-
      How would anyone know that God exists unless someone told them that he does, or they read that he does in the bible, or some other book? By looking at nature? Seriously?!?

      November 27, 2010 at 12:26 am |
    • David Johnson

      @jonathan

      Why won't you share your evidence that god exists with me? I thirst, for your knowledge. Enlighten me.

      November 27, 2010 at 7:42 am |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,
      If I may respond to your questions to Keith…………..
      We all know God exists because of the just questions that come to our minds……….how could we exist in our amazing bodies and minds if not created by a creator? Even hidden tribes in secluded areas of the world know that there is such a Being….they know there is Someone they should be giving thanks and worship to. We were created to know and seek.

      November 27, 2010 at 9:08 am |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      So, God must exist because some people imagine that our bodies are amazing when they're not when you look at them compared to all of nature. Because primitive people also invent gods when helicopters buzz them? Interesting...

      November 27, 2010 at 10:01 am |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,
      The whole of me…..body, mind, and spirit…..actually make up ‘me,’ and the same for you. Yes, you are amazing no matter what I compare you to.

      November 27, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
    • Don

      CatholicMom, how could this amazing god exist if it wasn't created? Your specious and hypocritical line of thought is thus demolished.

      November 27, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Don,
      Think for a minute, Don, if there is no God nothing could exist…it is that simple. It is not for our human brain to understand this fully but we know enough to have faith in God. Try to think back to where there was no world, no universe, nothing. Now start creating….you have nothing to work with. Only a God could create by His Word. Even if you wish to say there was a speck that somehow held all the intelligence to ‘bang’ into all of creation as we know it today…that speck needed a beginning first. So ultimately we are smart enough to come to a conclusion about God. He is so awesome we cannot comprehend Him fully but we know that He has to have been the One Who Is, Was, and always will Be. God is Spirit. I grant you, it is amazing but it is absolutely believable when you consider what you have if you don’t!

      I hope to see my God when I die and come to a greater knowledge about Him than I have right now; for now I am perfectly happy with His Plan as it is.

      Thank you, God!

      November 27, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ CatholicMom

      "Think for a minute, Don"

      CM, Desirable, but not very realistic. You're probably asking for too much there.

      November 27, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
    • Don

      CatholicMom, there is no god and things exist. To beg the question by presuming that there must be a god for everything to exist right from the get-go dooms your argument as fallacious, and your belief as nonsense. Do you have anything else?

      November 27, 2010 at 9:55 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ Don

      You know, I really was just kidding when I told you to roll another one.

      Your posts just keep getting better and better.
      Almost sounds like you're taking this stuff verbatim from your spiral notebook.

      *channels Lewis Black's face-shake

      November 27, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      Well I see no reason to separate mind from 'spirit', or personality, and this may be the only area where we outshine our fellow earthlings. Plenty of other creatures are faster, stronger, can see and hear better, have fewer weaknesses, suffer fewer diseases, and have far better body structures.

      When we invented them isn't it interesting that we picked elevated intelligence and knowledge, our own best features, as our god's best features too?

      November 28, 2010 at 12:30 am |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,

      There is much we know about God and one of those things is that we don’t know everything! If we did, we would be God.
      Of all the Truths He has revealed to us, we accept them in Faith. That is what Faith is. For instance, the Trinity is hard for our minds to fully grasp …how the Trinity can be-3 distinct Persons in One God- but we understand that it is true because we have faith in the Bible, the Church, and the Magisterium. That is what Christianity is. When we do not have words to explain exactly how something ‘can be so’ it is called a ‘mystery of faith’. Answers come from God as He reveals them.

      Non-Christians have mysteries also and are waiting for the answers…for instance…how to prevent all diseases. [Which Christians are searching for the answers to also.] They are ‘mysteries of life’. Science is a great avenue to Truth but there will most likely be some mysteries we will never know until we are living in our eternal life where Truth will be known to its fullest. Sometimes an answer is given which reveals another mystery! This keeps life from becoming robotic or boring…and, oh, so thrilling!

      I thank God for all the scientists and people working towards finding answers to mysteries of life and for His Church for revealing fullness as we can bear to know it.

      November 28, 2010 at 10:36 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Let Us Prey,

      No, it is not too much to accept. It is absolutely logical.

      November 28, 2010 at 10:40 am |
    • Don

      Faith is believing that which you know isn't true. It is the anti-thesis of epistemology.

      November 28, 2010 at 11:11 am |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      "There is much we know about God and one of those things is that we don’t know everything! If we did, we would be God."
      Or, we define 'God' as that which we do not know the answer to, ...yet! So 'God' serves as the great catch all answer to serve as a place marker until science and reason discover the real, natural answer. Think of all the things that use to be specific acts of God, unexplainable otherwise, before the natural explanation was discovered, like rainbows and lightening. Eventually, all may not be needed to be revealed before most people throw out the non-answer 'God' altogether and have confidence that science is our best hope for understanding.

      Perhaps the Trinity is so difficult to grasp because it's utter nonsense? It was a convoluted solution that resulted from hundreds of years of Christian theologizing how Jesus could be God while God was still 'one.' Forcing the Jewish God of a monotheistic system into accepting a 'Son'.

      "I thank God for all the scientists and people working towards finding answers to mysteries of life and for His Church for revealing fullness as we can bear to know it."

      Does that include evolution, stem cell research, and research that suggests that ho.mose.xuality is natural, or only 'science' that manages to fit Christian doctrine?

      November 29, 2010 at 3:30 am |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,
      Anything that science has ‘proven’ to be true is true. In matters of Faith the Church has Her Truth which does not conflict with science.

      November 29, 2010 at 9:30 am |
    • Mike, not me

      Probably for the same reason you do not provide evidence for self realization and autonomy

      November 29, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      So, I take it that you reserve the right to judge just what consti.tutes something being ‘proven’ by science, which leaves us back to whatever does not conflict with 'Truth', right?

      November 29, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,
      I am not a scientist but fully enjoy hearing about theories and then theories that have been proven to be facts. Name something that is fact, proven beyond a doubt and is no longer a theory in science, that the Church does not agree with.

      There are many clergy who are also fine scientists; the Church has regular meetings with top scientists and rejoices over discovery and continues work on projects to take ideas out of the theory stage. Knowledge is a gift from God. Not all are scientists, not all are farmers, not all are parents, not all are clergy, etc., etc., etc. but each has the gift of knowledge suited to their vocation or job in life.

      November 29, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  19. Bob

    "It actually upset the people in my car."

    Yep, no one likes having their faith questioned. Because if the fatih is untrue, they've pished a good amount of time and money away for nothing.

    November 26, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
    • Lisa in San Jose

      Well, you know, it upsets me too whenever some government official swear-in (like for census employment) defaults to 'so help me god' and the legal option for atheists to say 'I affirm' isn't even mentioned and appears only as a footnote and is not even mentioned aloud by the orientation people.

      I think that's a lot more important context for religion-based intimidation than a billboard along a highway. The societal message is clearly that all religions are equal, but non-religion is not an acceptable philosophical position in this country and makes you immediately suspect and second-class.

      November 26, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
    • jonathan

      Why upset??? Do you not have proof??? Jesus came to give believer in him proof....after two thousand years with lots of errors I find so many Christians reluctant to proof.... so the Question I have for many is why is resistance so unpleasant to you??? Should we act as though defiance is not their right? Who are they to question us? Is our faith so weak that we are afraid to be challenged???? I believe that atheists provide a valuable service to Christians; Do we really believe? I therefore rejoice when and if I ever see one of their billboards...i'll be laughing too..

      November 26, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
    • NL

      I think this reaction was more like the one you would suspect a couple and their little kids of having upon seeing a billboard declaring that Santa is a myth. Some believers keep themselves and their families so isolated from any doubt that God exists that this kind of thing just shocks them. Best if you can ignore that some people actually don't believe, I suppose?

      November 26, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @jonathan

      Golly! You sound as though you have proof your god exists? Want to share?

      November 26, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
    • riverrunner

      Spot on NL. do I fell sorry for the upset car people? absolutely not. they are in our faces all the time with bible this and god that. nothing like a dose of reality is there?

      November 26, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,

      The shock is more from learning that some have doubt….wouldn't you think?

      November 27, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
    • Jack

      But think about it...Just what if Faith is actually true????? what will you think then?

      November 27, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      Wouldn't a car load of people who were completely firm in their faith not simply laugh at this billboard? It obviously touched a nerve, wouldn't you say?

      November 28, 2010 at 12:17 am |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,
      Yes, as I have said, I found the whole thing amusing but I can understand how some may view it as an uncivilized step to take…sort of like a baby who is just beginning to crawl but attempts walking instead.

      November 28, 2010 at 10:27 am |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      But all healthy babies do end up walking eventually. It's part of maturing, isn't it? We all need to learn to stand on our own two feet some time, right?

      Are you arguing that atheism is inevitable for our civilization, but that the people behind this billboard as simply pushing too hard?

      November 29, 2010 at 3:11 am |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,
      As babies grow up hopefully they learn how to be civil and most do. They do have the Me-Me-Me mentality until they mature, if they ever do. They are adorable but growing pains are inevitable…not to mention some poor judgment which can cause tumbles and falls. They do grow up into adults and learn that standing on their own two feet will not happen if they step on people’s toes, and any downfalls are caused by their own poor choices.

      November 29, 2010 at 9:21 am |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      There is a saying amongst the atheist community that someone is labeled a radical Muslim when they blow something up, a radical Christian when they kill a family planning doctor, and a 'radical' atheist when they dare to say they are an atheist. ;-)

      I understand that many believers would prefer that we just shut up and remain in the closet, but that really isn't in the spirit of the freedom to believe what one wants that defines this country, is it? Surely billboards are far more civilized than training kids to proselytize on the playground using threats of hell? More civilized than if we went go door-to-door spreading our message? Honestly, I doubt that many would bother. It's not like we think we can earn brownie points by converting people like others do.

      Freedom from religion is just as much a part of religious freedom

      November 29, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  20. David Johnson

    The article said:
    According to the American Atheists website, the billboard serves three purposes:

    1) To address those atheists who “go along to get along”, and to encourage them to come out of their closets

    2) To attack the myth that Christianity owns the solstice season

    3) To raise the awareness of the organization and the movement.

    Those are some fine purposes! I wept when I read the this article. I felt it in my heart!

    God bless the atheists, one and all!

    November 26, 2010 at 10:42 am |
    • Keith

      Just got a call from a friend whom the doctors have given a 4% chance of survival from pancreatic cancer. In the past, he's threatened to throw me off his boat for trying to" preach that Bible b.s." to him. Now he wants me to tell him about the Lord. I pray the Holy Spirit gives me the right words to say. When you're facing death, and you and God are strangers-I can imagine it's going to be scary. I hope someday that you will someday come to know the Lord, David. If you ask Him, He will forgive you for all your smart a$$ comments. Until then, you only continue to store up for yourself wrath. The Lord doesn't desire that any should perish, but that ALL would come to repentance. My friend has rejected the Lord for his entire life, but at least now he's turning to his Maker before it's too late. Today is the day of salvation. Don't put it off. Tomorrow is a date only on a fool's calendar.

      November 26, 2010 at 11:43 am |
    • Bob

      So your retort to the obvious fact that the Christmas event is a myth is "My friend who's been diagnosed with prostate cancer is looking for the lord because he's afraid of death." What an intelligent rebuttal.

      November 26, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
    • Bob

      PS Keith: There is no such thing as free will if you believe in the bible. God created the universe, created the human mind with flaws and the ability to sin. In short, he writes the script, places the actors and watches the show.

      Then, according to your bible, God punishes the actors for fulfilling their role. If God so hates sin, why did he make it. Better question, if he wants people to be saved, why did he directly damn people to hell.

      Makes sense to me!

      November 26, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Keith

      I am sorry for your friend. Dying is a scary prospect. It is most of the reason god was invented.

      There is a saying: "There are no atheists in foxholes". I cannot blame this fellow for grasping at straws when facing death.
      This fellow's desire to be saved from death, is not an advertisement for god. It is just a human's fear of the dark.

      Will I cry out for a god, when I am breathing my last? Maybe. To say it would not be tempting, would be a lie.

      There was a time in my life, when my 18 year old niece lay dying. She was very dear to me, having grown up with my daughter. I felt so helpless. I prayed that day. I offered to die in her place.

      She died. As we left her hospital room, I glanced at the room across from hers. A man was there. He must of been 90 or better. He was a husk. He was alive. My niece was a child. She was dead.

      God works in mysterious ways. She is in a better place now. This will be her best Christmas ever. Were all phrases I heard used to console those who mourned her.

      So, no one is immune from desperation.

      Prayer does not work, Keith. There is no god.

      Cheers!

      November 26, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
    • NL

      "God bless the atheists, one and all!"

      Channeling Tiny Tim, David? ;-)

      November 26, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
    • NL

      David-
      If we ever manage to do away with the Christian claim to this solstice season I still want the right to put pagan holiday lights up outside my place.

      There will be one added benefit as well: The option of celebrating another solstice season marking the longest day of the year. It'd be like having two Christmases every year, but instead of Yule logs and another turkey dinner how about beer and barbecue?

      November 26, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
    • Don

      Nothing fails like prayer, Keith. And your purile sky-daddy myth is laughable.

      November 26, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
    • Keith

      Bob, first off my rebuttal was aimed more at David than the article itself. Therefore it was in the 'reply' category and not a new post. Some people think Christians can't wait to see unsaved folks go to hell. Perhaps some do. I don't. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I don't like it when David mocks my Savior, but I realize that I was once lost like him, too. I know he may not appreciate it, but I honestly hope he realizes that he(like every one of us) needs a savior. So, from time to time, I will reach out to David.

      November 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @NL

      Beer AND barbecue? There is a Heaven!

      November 26, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
    • Keith

      Bob, furthermore, the Bible and free will go hand in hand. God gave us free will. We are free to either reject or accept Him. There are, however, severe consequences for rejecting Him. The angels weren't 'robots' either. That's why when Satan rebelled, one-third of them went with him. You are solely responsible for your eternal destination, Bob. God did not create some people just to send them to hell and others to go to heaven. That's Calvinism and that's error.
      Also, God did not make sin. God is holy, sinless. Sin separates us from God. Knowing this, God sent His Son to pay the penalty that we couldn't pay. For the wages of sin is death. If we repent(turn from our sinful ways) and place our faith in Jesus as our Savior, then God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. God only gives us justice by sending people to hell. If He didn't, He wouldn't be a very righteous judge, would He? Who would want to spend eternity with unrepentant, unremorseful child murderersfor example? Not me.

      November 26, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
    • Keith

      Bob, if you would like me to comment on the billboard, I will. Printing KNOW in ALL CAPS doesn't make it so. Sorry. That seems to me to be the opposite of "reason". You have settled the issue without first completely examining it. That's not reason, it's foolishness. "The fool has said in his heart, 'there is no God'." Nice try, though. Jesus was more likely born in the spring. The Bible never commands us to recognize and celebrate His birth. It is His death and resurrection that is important.

      November 26, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
    • Don

      Keith, it's impossible for your god and human free will to exist. Your god supposedly knows everything AND created everything. I know you're going to leave one of those parts out when you respond, which just shows how wrong your stance is. Since your god supposedly knows and created everything, nothing happens that god doesn't know about and didn't create to do just that. Thus, there is no free will. I know you're going to say that just because someone knows what will happen doesn't mean the person causes it, which means that you've done what I said: forgotten that your god supposedly created everything. So please just stop trying, as you'll only end up flailing around and looking like a fool.

      November 26, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Keith

      If your god is all knowing, then there is no free will. Sorry.

      November 26, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
    • NL

      David Johnson-
      What kind of sacrilegious barbecue wouldn't be serving beer?

      November 27, 2010 at 12:12 am |
    • NL

      Don-
      Actually, the argument goes that if God exists outside of time, and is all-knowing, then everything that has happened is already known to him. This would be like how your knowing what decisions the subject of a biography has made after reading the book does not negate the fact that they had free will to make those decisions during their lives.

      November 27, 2010 at 12:21 am |
    • Q

      However, in this case, as both omniscient and the first cause, inside or outside of time, this creator knew all that would follow. Omniscience requires the story of the subject of the biography was already known to the first cause, from the moment of birth to the moment of death and all the choices to be made in between. Imagine a trip driving from L.A. to New York. There are infinite possibilities, but only one path will be chosen. That this route is already known by an omniscient creator requires that no "choice" of the driver can conflict with what is already known to the infallible omniscient creator. Again, inside or outside of time doesn't change what is known by the infallible omniscient creator and the driver can make no choice not already known (otherwise the creator is both fallible and not omniscient). That the driver doesn't know these choices are predetermined still doesn't change the fact that the one single route that must be taken is already known.

      November 27, 2010 at 1:20 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Q

      Yep! Good answer. May God or one of His elves bless you.

      November 27, 2010 at 7:38 am |
    • NL

      Q-
      I was just musing on how it wouldn't be difficult to imagine a being who could exist outside of time, but of course the whole thing breaks down when God (the reader) injects himself into the story as a character himself, interacting within our lives. Surely he would already know what effect his own actions would have upon us. Therefore, it is valid to assume that we do not have free will if we do not live within a random universe, and God is not simply a passive observer. Supposedly he 'enters into' certain people's lives, thus triggering them to believe. It cannot be argued then that he does not 'fix' outcomes, right?

      November 27, 2010 at 11:31 am |
    • Don

      NL, that still "forgets" that god supposedly created everything. You can't leave out one part and think you're dealing with the whole claim. Further, existing apart from time is ontologically meaningless.

      November 27, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
    • Lucy

      I am waiting for the day when religion realizes that the Gods they worship are in fact alien beings from another world. Just like animals in this world probably look at us as Gods which we simply are not. I wonder how many Christians would go into shock to realize alien beings created Jesus by the artificial insemination of Mary. Then all the miracles Jesus preformed were simply remedies and things aliens have already achieved which they provided to him. The reason he looked to the sky and said father was because his father is truly from another planet. If you really think about why governments hide the information about other beings is simply it would turn our society upside down including religion. The God you worship is listening to you but actually from a spaceship on the backside of the moon circling mars. I think that makes more sense than an invisible God that seems not to show his presence in this era of technology nor come forward to stop the destruction of earth. Come on now makes about as much sense as the bible stories, but at least in this version of the story science might actually prove it. LOL!

      November 27, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
    • Joseph

      What atheists fail to understand is that we know you all don't believe in God. That's fine, but guess what? We do believe in God and your not going to stop us from celebrating. You atheists are nothing but haters and grinches trying to steal the joy out of Christmas. We believe in Christ and we are not ashamed to celebrate. We are tired of being harassed for our beliefs by you unbelievers. Let us worship, praise, and sing praise in PEACE! All we ask for is respect, and peace. We have nothing but love for everyone. Merry Christmas!

      November 27, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
    • Don

      Joseph, why are you a hater and a grinch? Why do you hate atheists so much that you would lie and say atheists are trying to take christmas from you and prevent you from celebrating it?

      November 27, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
    • QuestionMe

      The idea of no Jesus, no God, no afterlife is quite soothing. You can do what you want say what you want create your own rules. It's lovely. It's an escape from guilt. It's nice. You live, you die, no regrets after you're gone. Beautiful. So, why is there a threat from people who do believe. I guess you just want to free people from the matrix...it's the love of people. Or it's just that religion is the cause of all man kinds issues, because life on earth was roses before religion.

      I'm a believer...I'm one of the ones who's had a miracle. I was heal of leukemia with NO treatment what so ever. Why me...I can't say. Some things don't have answers readily available. No, people will say... 'all those test were probably wrong' or 'having be prayed for wash just a coincidence' or 'you were just lied to by doctors all those months you were in the hospital' or 'you've just been in remission for 30 years'. Or I'm just lying. Everybody has to come to an understanding for themselves. Take their own chance. But why try to destroy people on the crusade to destroy Christianity. There is something truly EVIL there.

      November 27, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
    • NL

      Don-
      God creating everything would be the first of those instances where he 'fixed' people's destines, right?

      If you freeze time at any given instance does everything simply stop 'being'?

      November 28, 2010 at 12:14 am |
    • Q

      NL- If I understand you correctly, then I certainly agree that an interventionist God fixes the game. The "outside of time" God is, for myself, more difficult to imagine, but I would suggest that regardless of whichever "relative" position to time God might occupy, if God is the first cause creator, is omniscient and infallible, then the game is still fixed even without further intervention given as the first cause creator, there was at least one intervention for which God must know the single actual course of all subsequent events. I suspect some might offer a multiverse argument, but omniscience knows no bounds. In other words, as far as I can gather, for humans to truly have free will to make a choice not already required to concur with God's infallible foreknowledge, there must be some restriction on God and then God is no longer God.

      November 28, 2010 at 12:36 am |
    • Don

      Yes NL, the creation act instantiated the complete knowledge that the christian god is claimed to have, and even the bible states that nothing happens which god did not intend. So this whole free-will thing that christians like to toss around is just some add-on that has no business being there.

      November 28, 2010 at 10:14 am |
    • misty

      False religion interprets hell as a horrible place. Hell is " the common grave". Yes, Christmas is all a hype. Google the true meaning, what you find is very gross! Christ death, his blood, was the gift, not his birth! Ive done my research. Im glad to not be blinded in Satan's system.

      November 28, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
    • Jim Doyle

      Athiesim is the real myth. "They traded the truth of God for a lie." Romans 1:25

      November 28, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
    • Don

      bible babble won't get you anywhere, Jim.

      November 28, 2010 at 9:16 pm |
    • Teeneagle

      I love your last line, My Dad made a funny joke last night (we're atheists)...
      "I swear to God I'm an atheist!"

      November 28, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
    • NL

      Don-
      "So this whole free-will thing that christians like to toss around is just some add-on that has no business being there."

      Yes, the response to the criticism that such a powerful god robbed us of our free will was simply to say that 'he could do it, but wouldn't.' It's just a matter of economy in keeping the story plausible, like how the creators of Star Trek made up transporter technology because they hadn't the budget to film shuttle landings frequently.

      November 29, 2010 at 2:39 am |
    • NL

      Jim Doyle
      "They traded the truth of God for a lie." Romans 1:25
      Wasn't Paul referring to the Romans with this, worshipping anthropomorphized gods and graven images? Atheists don't worship any gods.

      November 29, 2010 at 2:50 am |
    • NL

      Q-
      I read a lot of science fiction so this God really isn't too difficult to imagine, if he were simply an observer, but he isn't. He created the universe, then occupies it completely (explaining his omniscient claim) and acts within specific people's lives, 'entering into the hearts' of some, sending others as prophets, 'hardening the hearts' of Pharaohs, 'inspiring' bible writers, and even sending his own avatar to interact with us in human form. This God is manipulating the game board, empowering some pawns more than others, and directly controlling others, like Pharaoh, for a specific end. The God who does all this is fixing outcomes no matter what Christians say.

      November 29, 2010 at 3:04 am |
    • reason1

      keith it is incredibly condescending and immature to say that someone who does not believe in god is LOST. i have recently discovered atheism and i am anything BUT lost. i was more lost trying to pretend like god and the bible are real. look around you. god is nothing more than man's excuse.

      November 29, 2010 at 9:16 am |
    • marconi darwin

      That does not make sense. There is no God to bless anyone, let alone atheists

      November 29, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
    • marconi darwin

      @Keith. The one dying of pancreatic cancer will die. If there was a God who cared, he would not.

      Thanks for providing one more example of the non-existence of a caring God

      November 29, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
    • Lucky

      Regarding the belief that an omniscient God negates free will: I would like to offer another theory. Every decision generates a parallel universe. God, being infinite, knows all possibilities, but it is still up to us to decide what to do. Cheers!

      November 29, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
    • ann roe

      "There are no Atheists in Foxholes", said my grandpa, a veteran of WWII. He was pulled to safety by a fellow soldier, unconscious, wounded by shrapnel. Grandma thought it was the prayers she and others back home were praying daily. Grandpa said when the bullets start flying and the bombs are dropping all the men were saying-"GOD help me please".

      November 29, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • baffled by hatefullness

      I will start out stating that I am a firm believer in Christianity. I am 52 years old, and not a child. I show the utmost respect to all people, and I find it baffling as to why Atheism cannot just have their own belief system without tearing Christianity down? I am not stating this hatefully, but I find this billboard offensive to my beliefs and totally disrespectful of other peoples beliefs and view points. You have a right to believe what you want, just as I do, and I can assure you that I would be ashamed to post a billboard like this attacking your beliefs.... just share what you believe without intentionally causing hurtful and hateful feelings for other people. Is this a hate group or a group of believers? I will pray for you......

      November 29, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
    • TheCruxDefender

      Keith says (translation):

      I am afraid of dying although it is the inevitable fate of all living things. I cannot process the reality of my existence, hence I believe in the myth of afterlife to provide the psychological strength I lack otherwise. I will ignore all of the rather obvious logical fallacies embedded in the fictional reality I have created. I will tolerate no probing into the rationality of my beliefs as this would imperil my fragile hold on the idea that I will live forever in some unknown form in an unknown land with unknown rationales for existence.

      November 29, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
    • Skeptical Analysis

      @ baffled by hatefullness
      You just keep on praying for Atheists... We'll be thinking for you!

      November 29, 2010 at 10:02 pm |
    • civiloutside

      Not only are there atheists in foxholes, they're organized.

      http://www.maaf.info/expaif.html

      December 1, 2010 at 12:20 am |
    • Colleen Godshall

      I am very upset about this billboard. I am truly shocked that an organization would pay to advertise against a core Christian belief.

      And the wording is so upsetting too. The persons who prepared this billboard capitalized the word KNOW in "You KNOW it's a myth". What are we all supposed to know? Do we KNOW there is no God? Do we KNOW that the supernatural is impossible?

      America really does provide absolute opportunity. If we don't believe that Jesus was God Himself who came to earth, we can purchase an expensive billboard and tell people they KNOW it's not true.

      I want to ask America if they are willing to let this billboard go unanswered. Is there an organization out there preparing a rebuttal? How can we drive by that billboard every day and not react?

      I believe Jesus came to earth for the sole purpose of dying on a cross for us. I think it is so insulting to God (forget about my feelings) that the people He came to save purchased a billboard against Him. I would like to respond.

      Sincerely,
      Colleen Godshall

      December 9, 2010 at 10:02 am |
    • NL

      Colleen Godshall-
      So, you are arguing that people cannot claim to know that the nativity narrative is a myth? Well, do you know for sure that Heracles being Zeus' son is a myth, or that Romulus and Remus being weaned by a wolf is a myth? Like it or not, the nativity cannot be proven to be historical so, by default, it is best classified as something less than historical, like myth.

      "Do we KNOW there is no God?"
      Saying there is a God is a claim. Rejecting that claim because of a lack of evidence is just using reason. Choosing to believe in God based on what we can prove presently is a rejection of reason for wishful thinking. Same goes for the supernatural. Things that can entirely be explained as products of our imagination are best left as such until evidence proving otherwise can be produced. If not, are we to live in actual fear of such things as werewolves and vampires, just in case they might be real?

      December 9, 2010 at 11:38 am |
    • katallist

      im on the fence with the whole Jesus thing. i think there is a higher power, but the more research that i dig on christianity( or any of the "big three", ie. jews islam, and christian), i lean towards an agnostic view. I am more apt to believe in aliens. if there is this Jesus that is the son of god, then why is the details of his life shrouded.

      December 15, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.