home
RSS
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. NeedsBeano

    I don't understand the venom of some people who call themselves 'believers' in a God. Atheists do not stand in the way of faith. On the contrary, we defend the right of each individual to worship, or not worship as they choose. Our concern is not that you have faith in whatever God it is you choose to worship, it is that your choice remain yours and yours alone. I do not want you to become an atheist. Why do you want me to become a Christian?

    March 24, 2012 at 4:31 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Needs, I think that there will always be different factions within each group. Just like you have Westburo Baptist that has major issues with Gays and Lesbians in society we also have Churches elected their first openly Gay and Lesbian clergy. There are even Gay and Lesbian churches.

      Within Atheism there are factions as well. Some Atheist have even attempted to define the varying views of Atheist. We have Atheist that have good friends in the Faiths and we have others that support outlawing all of the Religions.

      Remember when Hitchen's died and the Belief Blog ran a article that was from one of friends who was a person of Faith? Some Atheist felt that allowing this guy to speak of Hitchens was a insult to Hitchen's Atheist credability. It did not matter that he was known to have been a friend of Hitchens, that the article was not another Atheist carrying the "Atheist Torch", was wrong.

      March 24, 2012 at 4:41 am |
    • NeedsBeano

      Mark – you impressed me with your previous comment, and now I am impressed again. You are quite right. There are jerks everywhere. You are clearly not one. I will say however, that it seems to me that in terms of rancor, the dialogue on this subject from the 'faith' camp tends to get nasty more quickly from those of us who simply don't believe that there is a sentient God paying attention to our every move and whim. I have to admit that I am often afraid to talk about my personal beliefs because I fear the reaction I might get. I think militancy is less prevalent among those who identify as atheist...and might I add that militancy is wrong no matter what your worldview. Not only is it unproductive, but it also prevents a person from experiencing all the wondrous diversity that being human has to offer. Thanks for the frank response!

      March 24, 2012 at 4:55 am |
  2. geronimo jones

    it's about time. i am a life long agnostic, and am tired of explaining my beliefs to the blind faithful and jehovites. enough already! go to your churches and pray all you want. just keep it to yourselves, and pay your taxes, like every other business!

    March 24, 2012 at 4:27 am |
  3. Joe

    "What proof do you have that God doesn't exist? It takes waaay more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian!"

    The phrase "I don't believe in God." is not a positive claim and doesn't require proof.

    The phrase "There is no God." is a positive claim that DOES require proof. Most atheists don't make this claim.

    The phrase "There IS a God." is a positive claim that DOES require proof. So... where's your proof?

    If you can't understand that then think of this:

    "What proof do you have that THOR doesn't exist? It takes waaay more faith to not believe in THOR than it does to believe in him!"

    March 24, 2012 at 3:00 am |
  4. Watchman

    Atheism: Belief that nothing created everything out of nothing for no particular reason.
    Atheist: "I know beyond all possible doubt that which is unknowable based on a total lack of evidence in support of my position." J. Kinsella

    What proof do you have that God doesn't exist? It takes waaay more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian!

    When you see a building, you know there was a builder. When you see a painting, you know there was a painter. When you see an incredibly complex, interrelated creation whose attributes such as light have still to be understood, a reasonable person would deduct there's a Creator far above any human intelligence responsible.

    Conscience proves there's a God who made us in His image, as does the fossil record. Biblical accuracy and prophecy have never been disproved despite huge rewards to the person who can locate an error. If nothing else, the continuing existence of the Jews, God's chosen people, is proof there is a God who has protected them for centuries, from pogroms, the Holocaust, the Crusades and all the wars they've won since Israel became a state when they were vastly outnumbered. They are the oldest people group and language today, despite nearly the entire world hating them, their economy is thriving and they continue to produce the most Nobel prize winners and inventions such as the cell phone, Intel chip, and on and on.

    God says we're all sinners and that the penalty for sin is spiritual death or hell. (If you don't agree that we're all sinners, are you aware of any parent ever needing to teach their children how to disobey, lie, throw tantrums or fight with other kids?) Each of us will stand before Jesus one day soon for judgment. No one is good enough to get into heaven on their own merits because the only perfect person was Jesus. All you have to do is ask Him to please pay your sin penalty for you, which He already did on the Cross. Jesus said there was only one way to heaven; through Him and He wasn't a liar.

    The only rational reason someone would refuse this, the most outrageously generous, loving gift in all history, is because being a rebel ("Nobody's gonna tell ME what to do!!") is their most important value in life, or because they've already fallen victim to the delusion of the last days described below:

    "And then shall that Wicked (Antichrist) be revealed, even him whose coming is after the working of satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause shall God send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

    If Jesus is right and you're wrong, you'll be spending eternity in a place of utter torment, a lake of fire. I'll be praying you make the right decision.

    March 24, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • Joe

      Actually, you're off.

      Atheism = Lack of a belief in gods.

      Thats it. There is no consensus among atheists regarding any kind of belief, philosophy, or acceptance of any particular scientific theory. These things have nothing to do with the fact that we simply don't accept the claims made by theists.

      March 24, 2012 at 2:55 am |
    • wow

      this flawed reasoning of yours for why god exists can be used for anything, why don't you then believe in Yahweh? Allah? Thor? Wotan? Zeus? Isis? Osiris? Loki? Odin? Mithra? Lolth? Aphrodite? Poseidon? Cronos? Horus? Beddru? Krishna? Zarathustra? Baal? Dagon? Dionysus? Enki? Gaia? Helios? Hermes? Marduk? Quetzalcoatl? Ra? Seti? Vishnu? Shiva? Xenu? Akuma? Raiden? Gekka? Bumba? Eshu? Jupiter? Romulus? Ilia? Venus? Abaangui? Ewah? Imhotep? Periboriwa? Dagda? Ishtar? Baldur? Tyr? Ixchel? Qi-Lin? Dievas? Adonis? Xanthus? Kali? Akka? Anubis? Sif? Mercury? Juno? Brahma? Frith? Eric Clapton? Or one of tens of thousands of others?

      all of these have just as much evidence as god, so why not believe in them too? or Santa, or the Easter bunny and tooth fairy, there's more evidence supporting the existence of Bigfoot and the loch ness monster do you believe in them?

      here, if god exists let him strike me down right now at my keyboard before i can post this, oh look at that I'm still here.

      March 24, 2012 at 3:10 am |
    • ciroc2323

      Atheism
      The belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason whatsoever into self-replicating bits.
      Makes perfect sense
      (sic)

      March 25, 2012 at 12:28 am |
  5. Ted

    Deuteronomy 20:10-14 – As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.

    Deuteronomy 22:28-29 – If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.

    Exodus 21:7-11 – When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.

    And those are just a few reasons why the Bible should not be our moral guide and that the separation of church and state is a must. And Christians like to call atheists immoral?

    March 24, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Deuteronomy and Exodus.... Old testament … Talk with our Jewish brothers and sisters.

      Mark 11:25
      And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

      Luke 6:35-38;42
      But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

      Colossians 3:13
      Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

      James 5:16
      Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

      And of course John 8

      7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
      8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
      9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.
      10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
      11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared.

      And those are just a few reasons why the Bible also makes a great moral guide :)

      March 24, 2012 at 1:10 am |
  6. 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 11:38 pm |
    • Tanya

      I hope you know that American Atheists is actually a nonprofit organization. And that there is no price to pay to attend the Reason Rally. I don't know where you found (or thought) of such information, but I hope you know that ignorance is born out of an unwillingness to google things before you post.

      March 24, 2012 at 3:50 am |
  7. wow

    You can't see your brain does that mean it doesn't exists?

    March 23, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Actually, that's a solid analogy because absolutely I can see my brain. It can be imaged with an MRI, it can be x-rayed, my head can be cut open and it will be right there. We can study the way the neurons fire and the hemispheres interact. We can not only see brains, we can measure them, test them, and learn about how they work. That is exactly what is not true of gods.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • brains

      actually there are many records of brains being exposed we have images of them, I've actually had brain surgery (removed a tumor) and got to see a video of it, so i saw my brain, i know it exists.... now show me god.... oh by the way you just got outsmarted by someone who is missing part of his brain how does that make you feel?

      March 24, 2012 at 3:17 am |
    • AGuest9

      Apparently, you've never had an fMRI.

      March 24, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  8. Liz Pritchard

    It's about time!

    March 23, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
  9. timothyclee

    For all of their misty-eyed talk of religious freedom in this country, religious people continue to be intolleant and prejudiced against secularists who don't believe in any of it.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • yes!

      exactly religious freedom is the freedom to believe or NOT believe whatever you want.

      March 24, 2012 at 3:21 am |
    • ciroc2323

      What a cute little comment. Think of it this way.
      Freedom from religion should also mean freedom from atheists with their overzealous attempts to squish any and all religious expression. Obviously these aren’t tolerant people; they are bullies and bigots who use the threat of legal action to squelch freedom OF religion of all U.S. citizens. If someone doesn‘t want to believe in God they don’t have to; don’t expect the 90 pus percent that do believe in God to silence our beliefs for you.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:31 am |
  10. Atheist

    This comment thread is a great illustration of how fundamentalist Christians lie, evade, deceive, throw out strawmen and red herrings in debates. That is because their beliefs are false and they can't back them up rationally.

    The Fundamentalist Internet Debate Handbook:
    http://www.cosmicsnark.com/2008/12/fundamentalist-debate-handbook.html

    March 23, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Absolutely. There seems to be some unwritten rule that it's okay to say absolutely anything in order to further the creationist cause, and whether it is true or not is irrelevant. The dishonesty is so pervasive and is in relation to so many subjects that it's often hard to know where to begin to address it.

      The one thing I am never quite sure of is if a particular individual is knowingly lying, or if they are innocently ignorant and merely perpetuating the lies of others. A number of people, somewhere along that chain of propaganda have to be aware of the dishonestly and freely perpetuate it anyway...ironically, knowingly lying in the name of "Truth."

      March 23, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Atheist

      False Dichotomy – some of them are absolutely lying. Case in point, the old creationist canard "Evolution is just a theory". Many times in discussion forums I have seen a creationist say that. I painstakingly explain that "theory", when used in its scientific context, does not mean "guess", "hunch", "speculation", or other colloquial definitions of the term. I inform them about the scientific method, and direct them to sites that show just how difficult it is for a scientific idea to be elevated to the level of "theory". The next day I see the same creationist on another discussion thread saying "Evolution is just a theory". They simply do not care about the truth, they only care about their delusions and spreading the god virus.

      I've given up trying to educate these fundamentalist godbots for that reason. They don't want education, they want fantasy.

      March 24, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • AGuest9

      It is. That's why I love to see the posts about "you militant Atheists". If the religious could only open their eyes.

      March 24, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  11. Varmit 1

    One thing everyone should remember is that freedom of religion also means the freedom from religion. Anyone can believe what they want but don't have any right to impose their beliefs on others or assume that their beliefs should be the only accepted beliefs everyone should live by. We are coming closer to being like a large portion muslims in that some don't want to accept a different belief of others and that their beliefs are the only way for everyone to live and believe. This shift in our society should scare the living crap out of everyone that has a brain that can think for itself and not be a herd type.

    March 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  12. tyler

    For so much talk against atheism, people seem to forget that christianity is a cult following. If one were to drop their beliefs, take a step back, and actually look at the teachings of christianity they would realize how absurd such teachings are. I am baffled as to how these views and teachings can actually be taken seriously. How do people actually believe such teachings? Science is a natural force that helps prove existence logically, rather than just reading a fictional novel that offers a mystical idea of creationism. People lets be serious, stop being so naive it is ridiculous, when you are on your death bed and nothing happens, you are going to realize how foolish you were to follow such beliefs and realize christianity is like any other cult out there. All those christians who make fun of other religions should realize that your beliefs are just as ridiculous.

    March 23, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • ndrthrdr1

      You're right. Christianity is a cult, and it's members worship a dead person. That's like North Korea – a necrotheistic cult following. How any member of the jesus cult can claim to believe that they're friends with a guy that died twenty centuries ago and expect to be taken seriously on anything at all is beyond me.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • ciroc2323

      You don’t know anything, because you don’t want to. The cult as you say? Let's review the patterns of the atheist cult.
      Atheists are a strange and divisive bunch. They spend large hunks of their adult lives getting all hot and bothered about someone they claim does not exist. They spend zillions of hours informing us how lousy, bad, twisted, putrid and rotten God is.
      It is about as sensible as me continuously telling everyone how wicked, demented, harmful and poisonous the tooth fairy is – and then promptly informing one and all that no such thing as the tooth fairy even exists. Duh.

      Atheists are obsessive personalities who can’t get the God-idea out of their heads. They are particularly upset by the idea of an angry or punishing god. Never underestimate the shallow emotional charge behind atheism. And always note how they present themselves as people of “superior” rationality, scientific “brights”. But it is a narcissistic veneer with many holes.
      With luck, these obsessive atheists will keep the God-idea alive for centuries.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:35 am |
  13. Seriously

    Freethinkers are convinced that religious claims have not withstood the tests of reason. Not only is there nothing to be gained by believing an untruth, but there is everything to lose when we sacrifice the indispensable tool of reason on the altar of superst|tion.

    Most freethinkers consider religion to be not only untrue, but harmful. It has been used to justify war, slavery, se.xism, racism, ho.mophobia, mutilations, intolerance, and oppression of minorities. The totalitarianism of religious absolutes chokes progress.

    Religion does not have a monopoly on good deeds. Most modern social and moral progress has been made by people free from religion–including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Charles Darwin, Margaret Sanger, Albert Einstein, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Marie Curie, H. L. Mencken, Sigmund Freud, Bertrand Russell, Luther Burbank and many others who have enriched humanity.

    Most religions have consistently resisted progress–including the abolition of slavery; women's right to vote and choose contraception and abortion; medical developments such as the use of anesthesia; scientific understanding of the heliocentric solar system and evolution, and the American principle of state/church separation.

    http://ffrf.org/publications/nontracts/What-Is-A-Freethinker/

    March 23, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • mandarax

      Word.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • AGuest9

      I would be careful adding Andrew Carnegie to that list. His "charity" came on the backs of underpaid workers who were more in debt to Mr. Carnegie's company AFTER they received their wages than before.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • ciroc2323

      Only someone as dishonest as you could possibly write the tripe that you do.

      ffrf website? seriously? And you think that gives you credibility?

      March 25, 2012 at 12:37 am |
  14. William

    Congratulations Atheists! President Obama, why don't we give them a National Holiday? April Fool's Day, as "Whoever denies God is a fool".

    March 23, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • ndrthrdr1

      Anyone who believes that they are telepathically communicating with a superfriend who has magical powers by praying is not sane, unless they have evidence that withstands reason. Do you pray ? What's your evidence that it has any effect at all outside of your mind?
      Google heart patient prayer study and see that prayer does absolutely nothing to help or hurt others who face heart surgery.

      Yet another strong piece of evidence that you are not telepathic and nobody can directly read your thoughts – not even your deity. Gee,I wonder why...

      March 23, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Soak my Cork

      Mockery of religion is one of the most essential things... one of the beginnings of human emancipation is the ability to laugh at authority.
      Christopher Hitchens

      March 23, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Atheist

      William is a good example of the raw hatred of Christianity.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Matthew

      Matthew 5:22 "..but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."

      March 23, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yep... and when some Atheist says there is no God ... we laugh our rear ends off at the statement. Espeically when we ask them to prove it.

      Mockery is a interesting weapon... sadly until it stops working and more effective weapons are deployed.

      March 24, 2012 at 1:23 am |
  15. georgex

    People who don't realize that evolution was the process by which all the species developed on Earth are either not well educated or politicians looking for votes.
    I once saw a billboard saying "You can be good without God". I bet that caused some people to think about it.
    knowledge vs. imagination
    science vs. relevation
    reality vs. the unseen

    March 23, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
  16. Leslie Birk

    My faith is the result of a "relationship" that was built on trust. It developed into love and became belief. This is what I will teach my children. I can only pray they will experience the same.

    March 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Soak my Cork

      If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.
      Christopher Hitchens

      March 23, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Atheist

      You can't have a "relationship" with something that doesn't exist. You are delusional.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  17. Julie A

    Thomas Jefferson's edit of the Bible is a great book that atheists should be promoting in order to educate Americans about (1) religious diversity (including the NON-Christian beliefs of some Founding Fathers) and (2) about the separation of church and state.

    Jefferson was very wise on both topics and "The Jefferson Bible: What Thomas Jefferson Selected as the Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth" is excellent for giving both "The Jefferson Bible" (so that you can really read it) AND a great introduction to Jefferson's life and thinking–many great quotes throughout the introduction. For those interested: http://www.amazon.com/JEFFERSON-Thomas-Jefferson-Selected-Nazareth/dp/1936583216/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332542753&sr=1-6

    March 23, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 23, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Atheist

      Prayer is useless, as is your constant spamming of this site with the same meaningless tripe every day.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • PsiCop

      Prove it. I dare you.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven .

      March 23, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • just sayin

      Truth is never spam

      March 23, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Just spewin "Atheism" is – there he is, right on time.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
  19. William

    Religion,cigarette hook them while they are young

    March 23, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  20. Mennoknight

    Atheism – the belief that there was nothing, and then for no reason somethings happened. The Big Bang. Then for no reason at all everything arranged itself just right for life to from inorganic material. This simple inorganic material for no reason at all miraculously rearranged itself (again for no reason) into all the life we see and we ended up with hairless apes that can think and reason, (again for no reason at all).

    And you mock my beliefs!

    March 23, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • mandarax

      You just posted this earlier and it was painstakingly explained to you by a number of people why it is inaccurate. Yet you just post it again anyway. That's the infuriating thing about fundamentalist creationists, they will knowingly lie over and over in the name of "Truth" and never think twice about it. Absolutely, shamelessly, dishonest.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Chad

      rephrased a bit, perhaps, but same thing:
      – there was nothing
      – for whatever reason, that nothing somehow became a point of infinite density containing all of the matter in our present universe (singularity)
      – then, that point began to expand rapidly (big bang)
      – then, after a time and the universe had started to cool and condense, suns/planets formed
      – then, the first life form on earth just happened by random collision of molecules
      – then, that first life form entered a series of cycles where it would remain stable for millions of years, then in one grand paroxysm of perfectly necessary genetic mutations, it would change into a different form.
      – this cycle repeated itself endlessly, always with the same pattern, nothing happens for tens of millions of years, sometimes hundreds of millions,.. then WHAM a new organism develops
      – strangely enough, that WHAM is never actually once, in all of those series, captured in a fossil.. odd that..

      weird..

      March 23, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chad=dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Chad..to summarize then, in a nut shell,,,god did it. and did god come out of nowhere or only after his mum and dad got together?

      March 24, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Wow TomTom....was that what felt was a legitimate argument against Chad? I mean really, are insults the only thing left in your empty bag of tricks :)

      When is the last time you actually tried to put up points and counterpoints Ma'am?

      March 24, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Chad
      My knowledge of cosmology and astrophysics is limited, so I'm not qualified to refute your earlier points. I am, however, well versed in evolutionary biology. You have seen my postings explaining darwin's 5 laws many times, but it seems you miss the point.
      One of those five laws is gradualism. There is no mutational singularity that spontaneously forms new species.
      Perhaps you simpl fail to grasp the immensity of the time frames involved, but over hundreds of millions of years and billions of generations, plenty of things change.

      March 24, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Chad

      @Doc Vestibule "One of those five laws is gradualism. There is no mutational singularity that spontaneously forms new species."

      =>hmm, well here's the thing though. The fossil record doesnt support phyletic gradualism, right? Punctuated equilibrium is the only "theory" that agrees with the fossil record, right?
      I'll spare you the quotes from Gould on precisely that, the unsubstantiated bias towards phyletic gradualism that colored the imagination for 120 years, etc etc..

      Here's what WHAM is:
      Lets say stassis is somewhere between 10million and a 100million years.
      Lets say cladogenesis is somewhere between 10thousand and a 100 thousand years.

      that means, that speciation occurs on the low end in .01% of the species life time, and at the high end in 1% of the time.

      So, this "significant evolutionary change" occurs in from .01% to 1% of the total species lifetime.

      I would say by any measure, that certainly qualifies as a WHAM. Wouldnt you?

      now, if you are of the opinion that phyletic gradualism isnt dead, and we just have an incomplete fossil record, I recommend that you read "Punctuated Equilibria: An Alternative to Phyletic Gradualism" – by Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould

      March 24, 2012 at 11:21 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.