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March 22nd, 2012
06:36 PM ET

Atheist rally billed as 'coming out' moment for nonbelievers

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – A coalition of atheist and secular organizations are coming together on Saturday to hold what is being billed at the largest gathering of atheists in history.

David Silverman, chairman of the event committee and president of the American Atheists, said the rally is aimed at uniting atheist organizations and letting the religious know that there are nonbelievers among them.

“We need to stress to the theists that we are here,” Silverman said. “Atheism is growing in all 50 states. What people don’t seem to understand is all we demand at American Atheists is equality.”

Silverman initially told CNN that the rally would draw anywhere between 10,000 and 20,000 people to the National Mall, and the National Park Service has planned for 30,000 people. With thunderstorms forecast for Saturday, however, Silverman told CNN on Thursday that he expects somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 people.

The cost of the event is around $300,000, Silverman said, but philanthropist Todd Stiefel, Founder of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, is supplying half the money.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

The rally has been a catalyst for protests by the Westboro Baptist Church, a group well known for its picketing of funerals of American servicemen and servicewomen. Westboro Baptist has been granted a permit for the “grassy area between 14th and 15th” streets, according to Carol Johnson, a communications officer for the National Park Service.

Though a press release for the reason rally touts 17 groups planning to protest, only the Westboro Baptist Church has applied and obtained a permit. Johnson said rally organizers have notified the Park Service of other possible protest groups, but none of those have applied for a permit.

The rally's long list of speakers and presenters runs the gamut from intellectuals to celebrities to comedians. The event is headlined by Oxford professor and author Richard Dawkins.

Dawkins, who is widely regarded as the most respected figure in atheism, is lending his voice to this event because he says freedom for atheists is “constantly under threat from people who would like to turn this country into some sort of a theocracy.”

“The Reason Rally is part of an effort to combat the attack of the theocrats,” Dawkins told CNN. “There is in this country at the moment a great revival of atheism, and the number of atheists in the country is much larger than people realize.”

Atheist organizer takes ‘movement’ to nation’s capital

At a press conference for the event, Silverman was adamant that the rally won't be the last. He didn't say whether it will be become an annual tradition, but he intends a higher profile for atheists in the future.

“The next step after the rally is all eyes on the election,” Silverman said. “We want to post hard questions to the candidates.”

Dawkins, too, related the rally to politics.

“The nonbelieving constituency has not been vocal enough, and it therefore has been politic for them to be ignored by their congressmen, by their senators,” Dawkins said.

Directing his comments at Congress, Dawkins said, “You have been neglecting them, overlooking them and riding roughshod over them as though they didn’t exist. Well, they do exist and they outnumber some of the other lobbies that you have been so assiduously sucking up to all these years.”

The America Atheists also are holding their annual convention in Bethesda, Maryland, and the Secular Coalition for America has scheduled its “Lobby Day for Reason” on Friday.

The weekend is part of a larger blitz by a coalition of atheists to “win” equality in American culture, Silverman said.

“We are the last group against whom it is politically correct to be bigoted,” he said. “That is something that needs to change and I am very confident that we will within 20 years.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Politics

soundoff (3,073 Responses)
  1. Julie

    Well Mr. Silverman, I do feel very sorry for your very negative out look on Christianity .... Faith has nothing to do with INTELLIGENCE at all. It is thinking bigger than yourself and getting out of your brain and into your heart.

    To believe in Jesus Christ is a privilege ... an honor ... and goodness ... to want model our lives after a man that has a GOOD and GENTLE HEART, that LOVES UNCONDITIONALLY and IS ALWAYS ABOUT PEACE!!!! Well for me, I don't understand that ... however, you your rights to believe as you will but to rally against God .... Stumps me ...

    I don't understand why I as a Christian ... by the way I am not into organized religion but Christianity YES ... that we need to defend what we believe and why you need to defend why you don't ... I suppose when you recognize the Grace of God and have felt the Grace of God only then will you know the peace of knowing Him ... and I will say collect ally as Christians that we just want to share this amazing faith and why we are so passionate about God.

    JUST A QUESTION TO ALL THE NON BELIEVERS ~ WHY IS IT THAT WHEN SOMETHING HAPPENS ... VERY BAD HAPPENS THE FIRST PERSON OR THING TO SAY IS "OH MY GOD"

    I believe that inside we ALL know deep in our hearts that there is A GOD and that He is REAL ....

    Kirk Cameron .... I mean really, he has to justify his words ... why ... if he were not a self professed Christian I don't think anyone would think twice about his personal convictions ... not for a minute .. just sayin ...

    We are held to higher standards and every one of us, each fall everyday .... this WE AS CHRISTIANS KNOW AND WILL ADMIT .... how about you .... We know we need more love, grace and humility and where to find that and that is in our ROLE MODEL .... JESUS CHRIST ....

    March 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • boocat

      Why is it when something good happens it's because of "god" according to believers? The word "god" is a noun. The word "god" does not only mean an invisible man in the sky. Got a dictionary? Look it up.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • hurdlethedead

      Julie,
      I commend you on your faith. I, and most other athiests, have no issue with everyone being free to believe what they wish. We simply do not want to be stereotyped as uncarring/immoral/haughty. Most of us want an America very similar to what I think you want: the freedom of religion and from religion, where everyone is treated equally. I think this march is unneccessary, but it is their right to march and voice their opinions, exactly as you have every right to have a national day of prayer.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • mandarax

      "Faith has nothing to do with INTELLIGENCE at all. It is thinking bigger than yourself and getting out of your brain and into your heart."
      Ridiculous! You believe that you are created in the image of the most powerful force in the universe and that he fusses over your every action and prayer and you accuse OTHERS of not being humble? You think believing you are the crown of creation and God's special purpose means you are thinking of things bigger than yourself? Absurd.

      JUST A QUESTION TO ALL THE NON BELIEVERS ~ WHY IS IT THAT WHEN SOMETHING HAPPENS ... VERY BAD HAPPENS THE FIRST PERSON OR THING TO SAY IS "OH MY GOD"
      That's just silly. Does the exclamation "Holy Cow!" indicate that we all deep down know that cows are sacred? What about "Holy Crap?" Hmmmm....

      March 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • John

      Julie. We are all atheists . I just believe in one god less than you do. Tell me why you are sure that Allah or Norse or any of the other thousands of gods don't exist and you will understand why I don't believe in yours.
      Most christians do not understand the origin of "one true god" or even who it was that proclaimed it.
      You are deluded and what is worse, you delusion originated in a time when people believed in witches and dragons.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • ak2k

      To believe in Jesus Christ is a privilege ... an honor ... and goodness ... to want model our lives after a man that has a GOOD and GENTLE HEART, that LOVES UNCONDITIONALLY and IS ALWAYS ABOUT PEACE!!!! Well for me, I don't understand that ... however, you your rights to believe as you will but to rally against God .... Stumps me ...

      .....Sigh...As atheists – we do not rally to tell the world that these good character traits are bad, or wrong. The bible, torah, and quran have many good ideas about how to live one's life...it also has many bad ideas – like slavery, and inequality for gays and women. All we are saying is that we are a group that rejects the idea of a God, or Gods – an all powerful being that makes this world what it is. We have come to the conclusion that based on all the facts that have been presented over the last several hundred years, that this is impossible. We have confronted this reality and have realized that we, and only we are responsible for what happens in our lives and to this world. We undestand that we can't and shouldn't use "God" as a cop-out when things go wrong. And when we decide to do the right and good things in our lives – it's because we want to be a good person, not because of fear of "God" and pergatory. GOT IT??????????

      March 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • DarkDrew

      Just a question, and unlike many of the trolls on these belief blogs, Im not trying to offend, but you said
      "We know we need more love, grace and humility and where to find that and that is in our ROLE MODEL .... JESUS CHRIST ...."
      My Question is, How come you cant find these qualities in yourself?
      These qualities are in all of us, just about as much as many of the Negative qualities your so quick to separate yourself from.
      Also in light of one of your Christian teachings, Man Was created in Your Gods image. Wouldnt that mean that God was at times somewhat of a jerk and have some of those Negative qualities you try so hard to separate yourself from?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  2. Mike

    No it is quite impossible for you to tell Hitler he was evil without an absolute moral standard that is set from an external/eternal perspective not our own. It would be like trying to tell a neutron that it is a proton or that the speed of light is not really as fast as it is. Just trying to make up in our own minds what is good or evil because of what feels good or what we like or don't like will lead to abject failure for the world. Yet it is where we are likely heading to a large extent.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • midwstrngrl

      so prove to me that bible was not written or inspired by men. who says the bibles perspectives are not those of men?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Sean

      Is it then your position that "god" ( you'll have to be specific here, as there are so many ) is the well spring of morals and ethics?

      I hate to be the one to break this to you, but morals and ethics are founded on a much more material ( and thus objective ) basis; money. Or, more accurately, the economy, which is little more than a fancy name for greed. But we aren't talking about the all consuming greed the word brings to mind, but rather a more enlightened form of it; the desire for an easier life with more stuff. Indeed, that is the basis of any society; the sharing of the burden to increase your own personal resources.

      However, successful societies can not exist without rules and norms. Laws cover this, to a certain extent, but more is needed to "grease the wheels", so to speak; hence morals, ethics and etiquette. Take many of the acts you consider evil, now compare them in light to the damage they do to the economic viability of their host society.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Why

      It is perfectly possible according to the standards set by the society you live in and are part of. Any behavior may be deemed moral or immoral relevant to the standard a society sets. There is no god's eye point of view for any event. There is no "truth." The exact same event may be viewed or experienced by two people who offer two opposing explanations and both explanations will be true relevant to each person. Therefore, it is up to us as a people/society/family to define what is moral and relevant.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • AnAtheist

      Mike you should look into "euthyphro's dilemma" It effectively nullifies the perspective that morality is absolute and must come from god.

      It was the work of Plato, of course it wouldn't be a shock to me that a person advocating theism as the only source of morality wouldn't be up to speed on such recent developments in thinking. /sarcasm off

      March 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  3. Mindlayr

    The time is coming when people will be able to see past the myth to the mind control that religion really is. No matter how well intentioned the lie it's still a lie. When will these hypocrites see that the things they do out of fear of eternal punishment are things they should do out of compassion. I question the motivation of anyone who does something under duress. If you perform a virtuous act out of fear you nullify your virtue.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  4. at atheist

    If you believe this, "constantly under threat from people who would like to turn this country into some sort of a theocracy," you are naive.

    That's what cracks me up about Dawkins. Such a clear double standard it's disgusting. If atheist are under 'threat' than clearly so too is theism. And this is one of the most respected atheist in the world? That's embarrassing.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Ed

      Ever heard of Rick Santorum or his plans for America?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  5. GodFaithLove

    And HOW much of the human brain are we humans capable of using???? I believe that's 10 to 12%.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • AntMan

      Actually that's an old wives tale. New research indicates we use much more.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Mike D

      In your case I'd say it's a bit less than that. The whole "we only use X percentage of our brains" thing was long ago proven baseless, and paints a very inaccurate picture of how the mind actually works.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • WilliamB

      And to those who believe in unsubstatiated fantastic claims.. all but 2% of our DNA separates us from our closest relative, the chimpanzee. And frankly it shows.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Johnny Blammo

      Stop insulting chimpanzees like that, William!

      March 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Joe

      I'm not sure how much of your brain you use, I assume it is pretty low, but I use 100% of mine.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • AGuest9

      That was an assumption made prior to fMRI.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  6. Peter T

    I support this movement. I think a lot of people fear/distrust atheists for the same reason they have feared and distrusted other groups of people: lack of exposure to them, and so too easily believing the negative things they are told about them. Atheists largely have to remain "in the closet" because of prejudice and so even though most people have good relationships daily with atheists, they may not even realize it.

    Atheists are just like other people: most are good, some are bad. There are hundreds of different gods that people have believed in at some time or that people still believe in now. Theists disbelieve in the vast majority of those gods and believe in one of them. Atheists simply extend that disbelief by one more god.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  7. tree

    I am an atheist and I plan on attending. I look forward to many more events like this in the future. :-)

    March 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Fufu

      You look forward to spending your time and money on events that center around something you don't believe in? Sweet.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Patrick

      Fufu, do you think Christian gather to celebrate that fact that they don't believe in Allah or Zoroaster?

      Shouldn't you be in class?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Fufu

      Uh Patrick, you contradicted yourself (read the comment and reply again slowly), which is especially funny since you tried to insult me.....

      March 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • mandarax

      Fufu, I think people are standing up for their right to believe what they do. Many of us see religion as dangerous (gee, wonder why?) and feel like it is important to stand up for the right to question authority.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  8. Clos

    Silly athiests. Silly faithful. There is no way for any of us to know whether there is a god except when we die.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Patrick

      and probably not even then.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • John

      Silly Clos, there is no way to know if there are 72 virgins or little green men waiting either. Why don't you worship green tea just in case?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • AGuest9

      How can you know anything "after you die"? Brain death occurs a few minutes after your heart stops.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Clos

      Green men? Why not, it's just as believable.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Clos

      Perhaps I should have said, "When we die, we'll either know everything or we will know nothing."

      Well, AGuest9... let's say there IS a god. And if there is a god than there must be a place called hell. As a non-believer, you will go to hell and then you'll know THEN that the religious faithful were right.

      If there isn't a god then we just die and we will know nothing due to our brain dying.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  9. DarkDrew

    In this country there are the religious, the Non Religious, and the Pagans, those of us that still follow the old ways. And ALL should be treated equally and have the same representation in our government. As a Pagan myself all I keep seeing is the Religious and Non Religious argueing back and forth as to if there is or isnt a God. Dont you all realize the Freedom of Religion means ALL Religions? Live and let live. You'll be the wiser for it. We have far bigger problems in this world right now and dont need to be divided simply on the grounds of what a person believes is waitting for them in the afterlife. Your path to your higher power is just that, YOUR PATH, No one else's. So Stop shoving it down each others throats.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • hurdlethedead

      This is the most sensible post I've seen on the topic yet.
      Thanks DarkDrew.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Clos

      Agreed.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Patrick

      As an atheist, I support this comment.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • John

      I could not agree more. I am sick of hearing that someone is spreading the word of god or handing out flyers trying to save me. If you don't pray in my house, I won't think in your church !

      March 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  10. Davis

    What a sad lot!

    March 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Rich

      A sad lot of what?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • The Amazing Insights of Alvin Sklunkman, Christian

      Yes, anyone who proclaims his or her views is truly sad. It's very unAmerican, too.

      They should just stop thinking, obey and be Christians.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  11. reality

    I'm going down to take pictures of the Cherry Blossoms tomorrow. I hope they don't ruin my day.

    Seriously, bigotry against Atheists is running rampant. The police profiling. The inability to visit relatives on their death beds. Neighborhoods won't allow them to buy a house. The corporate hiring practices making it so hard to find a job....and when they do, paid less than a God believer for the same job. And I can see how people look down at them when they see them walking the streets. It's horrible what they must have to go through on a daily basis.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Ed

      You are confusing biggotry with actual discrimination. There does, however, appear to be a movement by many conservatives to impose religious based moral standards on the electorate at large.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • mandarax

      I think the President (Bush Sr.) saying you shouldn't be allowed to be a citizen of this country if you are an atheist pretty much qualifies as valid discrimination.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • John

      How about your religion demands a tax exemption while my non-belief does not?
      Why should I or anyone else subsidize the spreading of your nonsense with tax dollars?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Primewonk

      48% of adults in the US said they would never vote for an atheist for public office. Still think ther's no discrimination?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  12. Rosslaw

    "thunderstorms predicted for Saturday-well, pray for sunshine!

    March 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Like praying would change atmospheric complexity, barometric pressure, temperature, fluid dynamics and chaotic behavior? That's funny.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  13. WilliamB

    Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody—not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms—had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance, and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion.
    - Christopher Hitchens

    March 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  14. swohio

    Curious....exactly WHY are atheists demanding equality? It's not exactly as if THEY are being discriminated against. I mean, Christians aren't forcing the removal of anything atheist from the public, or trying to prevent them from teaching their beliefs in school. It's not like atheists don't have the right to get married. Stop whining and realize that just because YOU don't believe, there are people who DO believe. And in the end, I'm extremely confident of which one of us is going to be proven right.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Patrick

      As an atheist, I have been discriminated against. But I don't think that is the point of the rally.

      The issue is that we are looked down upon by the majority of society (you obviously are an exception) who, in some polls, regards us as having the moral values of a rapist. Atheism has been demonized and you can see by the many posts here and on other boards the vitriol with which theists can lash out.

      It is easier to be gay than to be an atheist in the fundamentalist US.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • JustSayin'

      Equality? Then why isn't my organization tax-exempt like your organization is?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Rich

      Oh really? there are currently 16 states in our nation that do NOT allow atheists to run for public office. We are constantly being bombarded by theistic ideals. A study performed a few years ago, stated that Atheists are less trusted than Muslims, and Witches. But no... go on pretending that they aren't discriminated against... and why? Just because they don't believe in your version of god... for which you have no evidence of his/her existence.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • What Now

      Actually, you are wrong. One reason they now feel the need to take a stand is because many believers are now attempting to teach their religious beliefs in our public schools. If you wish to teach religion, do so in your churches and homes. There are too many different beliefs to teach in schools. We are already falling behind the rest of the world in math and science.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • boocat

      "Pride goeth before a fall." Guess you missed that part in your bible.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • WASP

      @boocat: that isn't even in the bible. reciting things from memory that your preacher taught you shows you haven't truly read the bible yourself. look up common quotes not found in the bible.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  15. Reality

    A money-making scheme by the Silvermans (the atheist version of the Graham family)?? Probably since internet media networking is doing the same job at no cost and no trip to Washington and $1000 front row seats required.

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS–

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (references used are available upon request)

    And then augmented by the following:

    Putting the final kibosh on religion to include Mormonism:

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    March 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  16. Unafiliated

    One point I would like to make that is that an Atheist is not someone that "doesn't believe in God". I am an Atheist. I have a specific belief called Atheism, "No-God-ism" I believe that there is no God. I find it offensive for my beliefs to be categorized as someone that is "lacking" anything, which is common. But someone that "doesn't believe in God" is probably more accurately termed a part of agnosticism ("Don't-Know-ism").

    March 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"I find it offensive for my beliefs to be categorized as someone that is "lacking" anything, which is common."

      So when some radical Atheist use terms like brainwashed and sheep ... think we feel offended as well?

      Trust in that no one of the other side is concerned about your or anyones feelings. Unless you count pure bliss when they hear you say you are offended by they words or actions. It just means that it worked to get you upset.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Patrick

      Believe and fact are different things. Agnosticism is a lack of knowing. Atheists an theists alike are agnostic, or they think they know and are just in denial of it.

      Using agnosticism as a statement of belief is a cop-out. When it comes to a tenant, you either believe in it or you don't.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • *

      Patrick,

      tenant = renter
      tenet = belief

      March 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  17. JCMars

    "Everyone should believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink." WC Fields

    March 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • boocat

      He also said (on his "deathbed" reading the bible) when asked by a friend – "WC, I thought you didn't believe in God and WC replied, "Just checking for loopholes."

      March 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  18. WASP

    @rainer (from an earlier post): disproving god is simple.....any god for that matter. 1) if i burn their book, and no one hears anything else about that god, then collectively that god dies due to the fact no one worships it any longer. 2) to have faith in a single god, and place other gods as mythology is being a hypocrite;to believe in one you have to believe in the existance of them all. 3) throughout history gods were created and destroyed by man, thus mythology.
    -also you are using the very thing i said can not be used to prove that that thing exists. it's called circular reasoning. if the writtings of some book are the thing being questioned to be true you can not use that book to say what is written in that book is real. to prove the bible stories correct you have to use a source outside the bible to prove god or anything within it's pages exist. you can name people, but those people are in question and most of the time lack outside proof they ever lived. you can name places but so can other works of fiction.
    -your statement in that just looking at the universe proves god, is an opinion due to the fact that for me and others like me, we view existance without the need of a creator. i see how much more special humans are for even coming out of all this chaos to merely be standing here, aware of the fact that i do exist to be wonderous considering humans could have never been created to begin with. saying a god placed humans here with no other purpose then to punish us for "sins" of merely wanting to know what we were told we can not know. " tree of knowledge of good and evil." so how could god rightfully place an object in the garden,not to mention he knew we wold eat the fruit, and just tell us no, with no other reasoning. it's like me placing matches near my kid and saying don't play with those, they're bad. then leaving the room.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  19. J in FL

    It's about time atheists come out of the closet as the gay/lesbian population has. Why should someone feel they have to cater to the religious, which has been the cause of more killings than anything else in history. You can be a good-honost-hard working-compassionate-generous person without a god in your life.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yep, not what types of Atheist do you hope to be. The Ellen kind who has folks from all walks of life tuning into her show.... or the Rosie O'Donnell type whoses constant stance and views have her not being able to even keep a show on the Oprah Network.

      Or better question .... are you Malcolm X or Martin Luther King?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Susie

      Why do atheists try to perpetuate this lie? It is a well established fact that China and the USSR, both atheistic governments, were responsible for more dea ths in one century than any group in the history of the world.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Ituri

      Plenty of people in the USA can't "come out" because of the consequences with their religious families, which is kind of a side issue to the confidence as an atheist and all that. The factor of family, or possibly losing your family, is a massive social pressure that keeps plenty of atheists in the closet.

      Not to mention the external pressure. I've been targeted by enough religious people who weren't my family to know that pressure is enough to make plenty of atheists hide as well.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Ituri

      Btw, Suzie, atheism is not communism. Communism is a government style based on power of the state. Communist governments do not create "atheist citizens" by stamping out religion, which competes for that governments power. This has exactly ZERO to do with atheism itself, and the comparison is kind of ridiculous.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Rich

      Susie... Atheism has never been the causation of anything. You may as well say that China and Russia persecuted their own people because the leadership didn't believe in pixies. One thing I would also like to point out... China and Russia both replaced their religions with another one... State as Religion.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • boocat

      Hye Susie – ever hear of the Spanish Inquisition? Ever hear of the Crusades? You need to start studying history before you make ignorant comments like yours.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • boocat

      Hey Susie – ever hear of the Spanish Inquisition? Ever hear of the Crusades? You need to start studying history before you make ignorant comments like yours.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • midwstrngrl

      religion as a whole has caused more death in the wars it produced or encouraged...sorry you fail

      March 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • longlive humans

      II have had in the past 3 or so years have had such a dislike for religion and the hypocrisy that goes with it. I truly respect that comments that have been made here in this forum by non-believers. Just because I do not believe in Christianity or any other religion, and by the way I hope someday I can see clear evidence that God does exist nothing would make me happier, but I just don’t see it. This non-belief does not make me a bad person. I love Christmas; I don't have a problem with Christmas Trees in Town Halls or Public Land or Christmas Carols or Jewish symbols to me it does not matter what the holiday is supposed to be about, to me it’s about family friends loving and respecting each other. Please don't push your religious agenda down my throat it only makes me more convinced that religion is a cult. I’m a smart, fun, educated (ex girl scout LOL) liberal woman, who loves and respects all of her family and friends and yes I believe in pro-choice and anti-war; which is why I could never be a registered Republican or ever vote Republican; until they learn to separate church and state. I will vote only for a Democrat or an Independent which is sad because I would like to vote for the best person but I don’t believe there exists an open minded Republican amongst the lot!!

      March 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • lee s

      @Susie, awww nice try. Their structures of govt were ideologies none the less. No different that religion.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Nekkark

      Suzie,

      Those goverments are communist/Totalitarian which purged political foes, not believers. They are atheistic only to prevent power groups outside of the goverment. They are really against the churches and their power.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  20. MrHanson

    Reason Ralliers: If you have to contrast yourself with Westboro Baptist Church in order to sound reasonable …
    … you’re not reasonable.

    That’s like contrasting yourself with grand inquisitor Torquemada to prove you support civil rights.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • QS

      And the families of the dead soldiers who Westboro pickets as well, they are contrasting themselves with Westboro too, right? I mean, if Westboro shows up to protest something it must be because the group they are protesting invited them there to protest just to draw a contrast to what they are supporting, right? Eesh!

      March 23, 2012 at 12:13 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.