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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. Primewonk

    Rich wrote, " Atheists also have books they adhere to, books on the theory of evolution"

    No. This is a creationist lie. There are 2 billion Christians on earth. Of that number, 1.8 billion – 90% – belong to Christian sects whose position is that there is no problem with a faith in your god, and an understanding that evolution is a fact. It is only amongst you wacky nutter fundiots that we see this problem.

    March 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      Yes indeed. I had an uncle who was a Biology professor at a college – he felt that that the beauty of evolution and life gave him MORE faith than he had previously.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      your statistics are way off. 95% of scientists believe in evolution, but only about 40% of the U.S. believes in evolution. and of christians, only about 24% believe evolution.

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/114544/darwin-birthday-believe-evolution.aspx

      March 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Among the American Academy of Sciences the rate of acceptance for evolution is 99.86%. In other words, 0.14% of our top scientists disagree with biological evolution.

      That doesn't make evolution a religion any more than believing in plate tectonics is a religion, or that geology books are religious texts. It's simply a matter of accepting what is demonstrably true.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Booty – I was speaking of christians worl-wide, not the US. 90% of the 2 billion world-wide belong to sects with no problem. It only amongst the remaining 200 million fundiot nutters we see this problem – and unfortunately, the majority of these fundiot nutters live in the US.

      March 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • H. Smith

      The quesiton needs to be more narrowly defined. What do you mean by evolution? I don't believe man came from apes but I do believe that there are changes (evolutions) WITHIN species that change to help it better survive.

      March 23, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @H. Smith,
      In science the Theory of Evolution is the biological evolution of species from a common ancestor. It would not be just within a species. That would, I think, be considered adaptation, not evolution. So, you don't really believe (accept, is more accurate) evolution.

      March 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  2. HawaiiGuest

    I've forgot how much of a troll Rainer is. I forgot how often he doesn't respond to post directed at him and just makes a new post spouting the same thing over and over.

    March 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  3. Rainer Braendlein

    The funny thing is that Genesis 1 and Epistle to the Romans 1 fit very well together.

    Romans 1: Like Adam (read Genesis 1) we are surrounded by sweet animals and sometimes kind human beings, we see the stars and the sun and the moon, we enjoy good weather and good harvests, but we fail to regard all this as visible signs of God's love, who offers friendship.

    It's only that Adam's mistake was much worse than our mistake, because he was created very good, but we are descendants of the Adam, who degenerated voluntarily. Adam was a sheep and became voluntarily a wolf. We are descendants of a wolf and thus our sin is not as heavy as Adam's sin.

    March 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • LMAO

      It doesn't matter since the bible is work of fiction.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Wayne

      Adam was fictional. Never existed.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • mandarax

      The funny thing is that Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back fit very well together...

      They must be True!

      March 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • BinMesa Former catholic

      I read two different scifi stories. By different authors. Done 25 years apart. Does that prove the stories are true. NO, and your logic falls short as well.
      Look please go ahead and believe what you want. Just make sure you leave me out of it. Quit trying to shove your mumbo jumbo down my throat.
      62% of catholic charity work come from US government funding. That needs to stop. Let the believers and their churches fund their charity work. I do not want one dollar of my tax money going to a church for anything.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      there are so many contradictions in the bible it's unbelievable - really, it's unbelievable.
      here's one for ya:
      Genesis 1:25-27
      (Humans were created after the other animals.)
      And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image.... So God created man in his own image.

      (The first man and woman were created simultaneously.)
      So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      simultaneously is Genesis 1:27

      March 23, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  4. BinMesa Former catholic

    I pray everyday. Here is my prayer: LORD PROTECT ME FROM YOUR FOLLOWERS!

    March 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  5. Rob

    The absurdity of religion in a relaxed view. Priests are men of god and preach against sin and evil. One question I always wonder, if they believe in god they must believe in satan. So, with the knowledge of eternal damnation at their hands they still continue to molest children ? Wouldn't the possibility of an eternity in hell not be enough to deter this ? Or could it be, they just do not believe either...

    March 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      It is a cult of mental illness.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  6. WachetAuf

    There are at least two fundamental problems with religion of any kind.

    First, what the religious say they believe in theory is not what they practice. What they practice is a misbegotten and evil mixture of politics, popular culture, religion and fragile egos which is supported only by tribal impulses. It appeals to none, and serves none, but those within an insular self-righteous group of those with co-dependent personalities.

    Second, religions have at least two elements. The first element is the teaching of a set of rules to regulate relationships. The second element is the mystical one. I respect the first element. Christianity has a great set of rules for the regulation of human relationships, the best of them being the Golden Rule. Unfortunately, these rules are not respected by the Christians, as a whole, whom I know either up close or afar. What they do promote, instead and most ferevently, is the mysticism, Jesus' resurrection, an afterlife, etc. While I respect their right to these beliefs, I do not subscribe to them. They are entirely dependent on deeply emotionally charged primitive rituals, no different except in form to the rituals of the most ancient primitive tribes. I think that I maintain my respect because I do love the rituals, especially the music which carries me away emotionally. The best I can determine, God, whether he is an embodied spirit or simply a "force" of nature, created us for this earth and no other. This is both our "heaven" and our "hell". We must make the best of it while we still have one more day.

    March 23, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Why does there have to be a god?

      March 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Occam's razor. God is unnecessary.

      March 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  7. Pipe-Dreamer

    Responsibilities given up to God is disgraceful and outright soulessness. The soul of one's emotional tenure obligates the self to consider consequentialisms. As a singularity, respondencies for being a responsible unitarian decides one's fate soulfully speaking. Living an honest and socially harmonious Life is all anyone should be considering to embellish.

    March 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The grandomilitenti.tudinous quantum fluctuations of secondary tachyon particulate matter in the neo-plankian constant prevent the positive oscilations of the phurfinatorial constant.
      Me likey big, made-up words too.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Crad

      Someones been spending too much time on "dictionary dot com" ha ha

      March 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  8. Rainer Braendlein

    @WASP

    Long before the Fall Adam felt somewhat lonely, altough God had made him very good. Adam failt to appreciate the community with his great friend God, the source of life. Thus, God made Eve and the animals, to give Adam some friends and in order to show him his love. But Adam ignored also this visible signs of God's love. All this peaked in the Fall. By leaving God, Adam left the source of life and thus he had to perish. By the Fall it was only sealed that Adam was a man, who wanted to live outside God. By the Fall Adam submitted to the death (the powers outside of God) and thus degenerated. We are the descendants of the fallen, degenerated Adam and thus we are sinful.

    March 23, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      It isn't Adam's fault!
      Blame his rib clone.
      "Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die" Ecclesiasticus, 25:19
      As I Timothy 2:11-14 reminds us, "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."
      Calvin described women as
      "... more guilty than the man, because she was seduced by Satan, and so diverted her husband from obedience to God that she was an instrument of death leading all to perdition. It is necessary that woman recognize this, and that she learn to what she is subjected; and not only against her husband. This is reason enough why today she is placed below and that she bears within her ignominy and shame."

      March 23, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Rainer

      That is your belief, and it is not shared by everyone. If you want to believe you are a degenerate because your ancestor ate a fruit, then go ahead. But don't try to tell others who they are based on your own beliefs.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Atheist

      Rainer is now rewriting the Bible. LOL.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Atheist

      Rainer the godbot says "Long before the Fall Adam felt somewhat lonely, altough God had made him very good."

      Sounds like your god is neither omnipotent nor omniscient. As a matter of fact, he sounds downright mistake-prone.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Wayne

      Adam wasn' t real. So we are not fallen and there's no need for Jesus. Your house of cards falls apart.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • LMAO

      "By the Fall Adam submitted to the death (the powers outside of God)"

      LOL! "God instructed Adam to eat from any tree but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, "for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die"

      Your bible says, "except a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." And since seeds and fruit were part of your God's original creative act (Gen. 1:11), then it stands to reason that your God intended these to bring forth greater fruit through death.

      So death was created by your god too. It's amazing that xtians don't even know their own bible.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  9. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Jesus

      ~~~`You've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!~-

      March 23, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Christianity is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer is useless.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Fat Albert

      "Nothing fails like prayer."

      -George Carlin

      March 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • just sayin

      Prayer changes things as long as you look like Jesus and wear a diaper when you pray

      March 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  10. Mennoknight

    Atheism- the belief that there was nothing & nothing happened to nothing & then nothing magically exploded for no reason creating everything & then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason which then turned into dinosaurs and people.
    And you mock my beliefs! :)

    March 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • OldSchool

      Since you require a creator to justify existence, then who created your creator?

      Yeah, I didn't think so...

      March 23, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Thanks for showing you're clueless about science.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Peter

      "then who created your creator"

      It came from nothing to create things that came from nothing...how and I doing? LOL!

      March 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Mike D

      Yes we do, Menno, because you've also got magic sky gods, boats that hold every animal on Earth, seas parting, people coming back from the dead, and on and on. Furthermore, you demonstrate considerable ignorance in that post of how the Big Bang cosmological model and how evolution work.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • mandarax

      Wow, mennoknight, that's a lot of misunderstanding in one sentence. Congratulations.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yes, you're definitely representing the atheist side fairly, lol.

      we have this thing backing up our beliefs that christians hate: FACTS. explain away all the evidence for evolution. when you can do that without using the words "Goddidit", then we'll listen to you. all you have to do is show a theory that explains the diversity of life on this planet without saying "it was magic", which means "i don't know". there is a mountain of evidence for evolution.

      "we didn't come from monkeys!" you know that all humans grow a tail while in the womb?

      March 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      People like these actually believe that if Noah and his wife threw the jar of spiders over the side of the ark we wouldn't have any spiders today. I am completely serious, I know of someone who believes that.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • MennoKnight

      Sorry guys, but I bated you and I got exactly the response I wanted form you.

      Do you not see that this is how view Christianity? It is a ridiculousness oversimplification and that is EXACTLY what you do with Christianity.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Nice move bowels! You just proved how deceitful the likes of you are!

      March 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Mike D

      Menno, the fact that you trolled doesn't prove your point, and it doesn't disprove any of the excellent counterarguments that were leveled at you. If "LULZ I TROLLED U" is the best you've got, you've got nothing at all to stand on.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • mandarax

      No I don't see it. Mainly because your description was not oversimplified – it was absolutely incorrect.
      BTW, I think you mean "baited."

      March 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Mennoknight

      How is it any different my oversimplification than what you say about Christianity?

      March 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • LMAO

      "How is it any different my oversimplification than what you say about Christianity?"

      Because your god actually doesn't exist and the bible is a work of fiction.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Mike D

      Menno, what is the difference between hard science and Bronze Age fairytales? Answer that for yourself and you'll know the difference between our perspective and yours.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Root post by Mennoknight contains multiple instances of Straw Man fallacies and concludes with a form of Non Sequitur fallacy.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      March 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • mandarax

      Menno, because when you say "there was nothing and then nothing happened..." that is not what atheists believe.

      When someone says Christians believe in an invisible magic being based on 2,000 year old folklore, that is actually what Christians believe.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      fallacry spotting, i love you.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  11. kim

    the bible aside, god is being used as away to help people in need. these days asking for help or even needing a helping hand is beyond comprehension for most who work they're hands to the bone,and would not even consider the thought of being thankful,yes when the people in the goverment and in god we trust on our dollar do leave a bad taste in some mouths, give the people the respect everyone needs,these days just a hug wont do.if we had a better way of inlighting people and a better way to ask for donations maybe god could stay in the bible

    March 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • PumpNDump

      Please, for the "gods" sake, STFU. Lol

      March 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yes, i can see that the Westboro Church is definitely using Christianity in a way that helps people. g.a.y..s everywhere should be thankful to the book that tells its members to murder them. the bible is a terrible guide for ethics.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  12. HeHasRizen

    Do you worry? Are you scarred of dying? Are you afraid of terriots/united states? do you have hate towards others? do you complain? if you do all of these you are not living for the lord because he protects you. next you will say blah blah blah he creates all these bad storms... some yes but others are created by all countries through HAARP. Katrina the joplin tornado all man made storms. But yet most of you believe every single thing a president or offical tells you. Seek God first then the rest will follow.

    March 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • PumpNDump

      You're on some great drugs.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      we did seek god. and we found out there was no monster in the closet. atheists don't believe in a place where people are tortured 24/7 for eternity, so we don't fear death as much as christians. and if you say you know you are going to heaven, you are guilty of Pride. and if you don't definitely know you are going to heaven, you must fear the possibility of hell. atheists don't have to live in fear like that.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • jgthinker

      HeHasRizen
      Whoa, some much fodder here:
      Do you worry? Who doesn't? No God will take that emotion away.

      Are you scarred of dying? No, it's going to happen to all of us. Western religion often tends to candy coat death with the myth of afterlife. The brave realist Atheist does not fear death and "knows" when they die, that is it. No pearly gates, no wings, no fluffy clouds, no St. Peter. That's brave and humble.
      Are you afraid of terriots/united states? Why? Is God going to protect me from them? How many Christians perished in the Twin Towers? Should I be afraid of the United States? Didn't know I was supposed to be scared....
      do you have hate towards others? there are people I dislike, can you tell me you don't dislike some people? What does that have to do with religion? Some people are outright jerks.
      do you complain? And you don't? Who gives a flying flip?

      If you do all of these you are not living for the lord because he protects you. next you will say blah blah blah he creates all these bad storms...

      I am not living for the Lord because I see no evidence of Him. I also don't feel that if there was some all mighty power junkie that created the universe, he or she would be so simple minded as expect me to grovel down and thank him/her for my existence and that everything that happens – good and bad was done by him or her for a very good if totally illogical reason.
      some yes but others are created by all countries through HAARP. Katrina the joplin tornado all man made storms. Are you saying that hurricanes and tornadoes are created by man? Where do draw the line at what is man-made vs. what is God's creation? That WOULD have me worried.....

      But yet most of you believe every single thing a president or offical tells you. Seek God first then the rest will follow.

      Atheists are probably the last group (statistically speaking) to believe anything we are told – especially politicians of which church leaders could easily be lumped. I've seeked God a bit, with no sign in sight, I seek knowledge and truth. Those have never failed me yet.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Cobra6

      I'm definitely afraid of "Teriots". Are they some kind of small, aggressive dog?

      March 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  13. PumpNDump

    I don't care what religious myth anyone believes in provided they:

    Keep their myths and beliefs in religious myths to themselves.
    Keep their myths out of public schools, science, math & academia and quit trying to treat "intelligent design/creationism" as being a valid option and scientific, when it's neither.
    Don't treat their myths as fact and promote/push them accordingly.
    Keep their myths out of public policy, law/jurisprudence, government administration/governance and foreign policy since it offers nothing of merit.

    If it makes you feel good to believe these things, great. Keep them to yourself, otherwise people like me will be forced to demonstrate how truly stupid you are and tune you up.

    March 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Telling people to shut up is not very moralizing P-N-D1111 All of Ur negamocities are just that, transparentisms of revoltismismatisms.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • PumpNDump

      Pipe dreamer, speak engrish. Lol Dolt.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • wcovenant

      Evolving science is about finding dead stuff in the dirt and then making a story out of it and call it man evolving. Creationist is about origins of life, looking into how a man was born, died and left with his body intact, no remains to be studied because he is alive. It must be because life is higher law than death. I will stick to studying life; you can keep playing in the dirt.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @ wcovenant – Huh? How do you think we found out about dinosaurs? Studying the living? Please re-work your thought process.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • jgthinker

      wcovenant:
      Evolution has been proven to take place right before our eyes. Ask any biologist. Digging in the dirt still provides plenty of real, hard evidence. Dinosaur bones, what are they? How old are they? Why aren't dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?
      "Creationist is about origins of life", (ooh, like the big bang and all the evidence physically found in space?)

      "looking into how a man was born" (biology, anthropology and archeology have plenty to say about this. If they show evidence of where Christ may have been put on the cross, will you believe them?

      "Died and left with his body intact, no remains to be studied because he is alive. It must be because life is higher law than death." Only mentioned in one book written by a group of men, promoting their ideals. Not one shred of scientific evidence, absolutely no way to corroborate it.
      "I will stick to studying life; you can keep playing in the dirt."
      What you are studying is an ancient text written by a rather primitive civilization. Our digging in the dirt has answered far more about the lives of the people that lived during the Bible than the Bible will ever cough up. What science studies is life, the universe, how our bodies work – all kinds of things. If you have cancer, need "treatment" to be totally cured, can be totally cured, and only had one choice – to get medical treatment or go to church, which would you choose? Faith or science?

      March 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Crad

      Pumpndump. This is exactly why i thnk the atheists are super religious. They do all of what you said and it can easily be interpreted as you talking about religion..

      March 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  14. Atheist

    Why the belief that yours is the One True God and One True Way is ridiculous:

    http://www.cosmicsnark.com/2012/03/and-yours-is-right-god-why-exactly.html

    March 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  15. Rainer Braendlein

    @rstlne

    God did not create the Original Sin, but Adam left his state of confident community with the loving God. He failt to be contemplative. We are descendants of the fallen, degenerated Adam. We have inherited Adam's fallen nature. Because of this fallen nature we commit sins.

    March 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Nonimus

      How does one inherit sin?

      March 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • WASP

      @rainer: didn't eve start all this by eating of the fruit god forebade adam to eat from? and seeing god is all knowing why even put the tree of knowledge there to begin with knowing we would eat the fruit. your god is one sick puppy that enjoys tormenting his playthings.lol ofcourse in a male dominated faith, the women that were viewed as property would be in the wrong.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Atheist

      If the bible is true (which it's not), then your god set mankind up to fail in the first place, since supposedly he is omniscient and knew what the outcome would be when he placed the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden.

      Yours is a truly ridiculous religion.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      long before christianity ever reared its ugly head, towns/cities/countries had outlawed murder and stealing. christianity tries to take credit for making people 'moral', but christianity didn't give laws for good living to anyone. they copied it from other civilizations and pretended they made it up. you think in Rome or Babylon that you could just walk up to anyone and stab them? sorry, you don't get credit for giving the world rules for good living. the golden rule was written down by Confucious a thousand years before christianity was even a blip on the map. christianity plagiarized other cultures/traditions.
      and you want to hold the bible up as a way of good living? it tells its followers to murder h.o.m.o.s.e.x.u.a.l.s, disobedient children, etc. it tells women to remain 2nd class citizens (did you know you are forbidden to wear men's clothing or to teach to gospel?) it says all sorts of heinous things. thank 'god' people aren't real christians aren't these days, you guys practice christianity light. if anyone actually followed the bible, they would rank among the most vile murderers in human history. read the bible for yourself. nothing i'm saying is false.
      but of course, atheists generally know more about the bible than christians, surveys show. maybe we're just making a informed decision? maybe christians should too. read your bible. it's likely you'll be an atheist before you get to the new testament.

      try Humanism if you want a better ethical system. it's atheistic and far more compassionate than christianity.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • What Now

      Well said, Bootyfunk.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @WASP

      God did not create the sin, but Adam chose death instead of life.

      Long before the Fall Adam felt somewhat lonely, altough God had made him very good. Adam failt to appreciate the community with his great friend God, the source of life. Thus, God made Eve and the animals, to give Adam some friends and in order to show him his love. But Adam ignored also this visible signs of God's love. All this peaked in the Fall. By leaving God, Adam left the source of life and thus he had to perish. By the Fall it was only sealed that Adam was a man, who wanted to live outside God. By the Fall Adam submitted to the death (the powers outside of God) and thus degenerated. We are the descendants of the fallen, degenerated Adam and thus we are sinful.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • QS

      "Sin" is simply regret all fancied up with religious guilt.

      As for the supposed "tree of knowledge", I never even got this one as a kid....why would god "tempt" humans with knowledge and then punish them for getting it?

      This is the epitome of what religion can and does do to people; it makes them believe that they are "bad" and "sinful" for seeking knowledge that might, maybe, perhaps bring much doubt into their otherwise ironclad beliefs.

      I'm sure religious people make all kinds of convenient justifications for why "god" would punish us for seeking knowledge, but the fact remains that religion as an organization seized upon this concept a very long time ago and has since used it to keep believers blind and deaf to the reality that the very act of seeking knowledge outside of your own beliefs can and does lead a person to the conclusion that maybe this whole "god" idea is just that....an idea.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  16. sharkfisher

    If atheist want to reject God and Jesus The Living Son of God that is their right. As for me I choose to Accept Jesus as my only means of Salvation. That is also MY right. Iwill pray for those that choose to reject Him.That is my right. They can choose to not to pray for me . That is their right.

    March 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Salvation?

      March 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Atheist

      Fine by me, but non-christians neither want nor need your useless silly prayers.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Koji

      And as an atheist I applaud your right to all of those things. Just know it's not a right to put your faith into the same school my child goes to. That is all I want, for my child to be able to make the same choices in life I did without having the beliefs of others pushed upon her. If she chooses to be a devout fundamentalist, all the more power to her... but I want her to be able to make that decision on her own, not predetermined by a mandated school teacher.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Marc Parella

      It is your right and any conscientious person would recognize you have a right to believe in a faith. Faith is important to many people and Atheists have no greater justification to tell people what to do. But also understand there are rights of individuals to criticize, even in public, any idea they choose. People of faith must not interpret these attacks on their faith as a sign that faith itself will be outlawed. And as an Atheist, you won't find a stronger proponent in the right to believe as you will with me.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      reject just one more imaginary god and you'll be an atheist. thinking for yourself is among the most liberating feelings a human can experience. try it, you won't regret it. dump fear, guilt and ignorance for compassion, reason and knowledge.

      look up Humanism for a better ethical way of living.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • PumpNDump

      It's my right NOT to have you shove your religious stupidity down my throat. Keep it to yourself.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  17. wcovenant

    What is the American Atheists path of equality?

    March 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Koji

      I've thought on that, and I think the path we need to take is one that requires a big PR firm. The problem is not that we need the laws changed (though, we do need to defend the CURRENT laws we have protecting religion and keeping creationism out of schools) but rather we need to let the communities of the US to know more about us and to see that we aren't some sort of hidden monsters sent by the devil to put their children in hell. Right now, the only way atheists get our voices heard is when we stand up against religious laws, this makes us appear both threatening and somehow "anti-faith" which most of us aren't (though, we nearly uniformly are against organized religion as they are the ones trying to change laws and force themselves down our throats)

      This makes it seem like the only goals atheists have is to thwart religious people... unfortunately, really good PR requires a really large amount of money... and unlike Churches who are constantly being fed donations, we don't have any real centralized office that remind people on a weekly basis to give a little to the cause.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • closet atheist

      Very well said, Koji. We need a mega millions winner among our ranks.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Crad

      Koji, sounds like you need to start a religion.. Ha ha

      March 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  18. 1ofTheFallen

    I don't have all the answers but I also know that neither does science.

    I promise not to call evolutionist stupid (Christian Theory) for choosing to believe in the Big Dirt Ball in the sky if you promise not to call people of faith stupid for choosing to believe in the Man in the Sky.

    March 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • mandarax

      Sorry, can't accept that bargain. Matter is observable. Gods are not. They are not equally probable.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • mandarax

      Besides, for the 7 millionth time, big bang cosmology has nothing to do with evolution. Learn what evolution is.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Crad

      Uh. I observe god on a daily basis. Just because you dont doesnt mean a thing. If i close my eyes matter doesnt cease to exist

      March 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • mandarax

      Sorry, Crad, that does not const.itute observation. Take a picture and post it....

      March 23, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Sorry Sparky, but you fundiot nutters purposefully choose to be ignorant. And you're a small minorty of Christians. 90% of the world's 2 billion Christians have no problem with a faith in your god, and an understanding that evolution is a fact. The problem is that a majority of the remaining 200 million Christians are nuts, and unfortunately, live in the US.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  19. Truth

    I hope someone at the conference call out the 9/11 truth movement.....they are the only ones logical enough

    March 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  20. Marc Parella

    Prayer for some is a chance to reflect and to peer into their conscience. As an Atheist, prayer for me is different – much different, but the idea is the same: to reflect on a problem and cognitively engender a solution.

    March 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • mandarax

      Absolutely. The difference is, when you arrive at a conclusion you take responsibility for it, rather than claiming God spoke to you.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • QS

      Disagree. People aren't trying to solve a problem by praying, they are simply asking something that isn't there to solve it for them.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Crad

      Prayer isnt asking for anything. Atheists and people who dont understand god thinks prayer is like a genie granting wishes. Its simply a form of communication with god. Thats all..

      March 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • mandarax

      Crad – right, a form of communication with yourself wherein you attribute your intuition and subconscious thoughts to an external magical being.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:49 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.