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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. The Corrector

    I've heard so many confessions about bad parenting.
    Let's bring the Devil down with this one.

    June 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  2. JayLo

    Conversation between Susan and Death in "Hogfather:"

    Death: Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.

    Susan: With tooth fairies? Hogfathers?

    Death: Yes. As practice, you have to start out learning to believe the little lies.

    Susan: So we can believe the big ones?

    Death: Yes. Justice, mercy, duty. That sort of thing.

    Susan: They're not the same at all.

    Death: You think so? Then take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder, and sieve it through the finest sieve, and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. And yet, you try to act as if there is some ideal order in the world. As if there is some, some rightness in the universe, by which it may be judged.

    Susan: But people have got to believe that, or what's the point?

    Death: You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?

    May 23, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • JayLo

      Conversation between Susan and Death in "Hogfather" :

      Susan: Tell me ...

      Death: What would have happened if you hadn't saved him ?

      Susan: Yes.

      Death: The "sun would not have risen."

      Susan: Then what would have happened ?

      Death: A mere ball of flaming gas would have illuminated the world.

      Susan: Alright, I'm not stupid... you're saying that humans need fantasies to make life bearable ?

      Death: No. Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.

      Susan: With tooth fairies? Hogfathers?

      Death: Yes. As practice, you have to start out learning to believe the little lies.

      Susan: So we can believe the big ones?

      Death: Yes. Justice, mercy, duty. That sort of thing.

      Susan: They're not the same at all.

      Death: You think so? Then take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder, and sieve it through the finest sieve, and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. And yet, you try to act as if there is some ideal order in the world. As if there is some, some rightness in the universe, by which it may be judged.

      Susan: But people have got to believe that, or what's the point?

      Death: You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?

      May 24, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  3. Kindness

    A thought to consider without a typical ego response

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Let go and let god".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from som other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    Your all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome .

    May 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Your all smart people . I tell the truth."

      LMAO! Your all smart people . I tell the truth. = EGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      May 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Don

      Watch COSMOS

      June 23, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • FreeXenu

      you mean sacrifice our basic dignity and emancipations as human beings to be an abject to god's ego, that's what the subtext of your graceful passage meant.

      July 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Irusa

      "Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc ."
      These are just basic human emotions that you should not oppress. And what's wrong with desiring knowledge! It's only shows that Christianity doesn't want people to gain more knowledge, if they do, they'll quickly convert to atheism. Knowledge is wonderful! Church is where the ignorant people are.

      July 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  4. William

    Dawkins is agnostic, and he is an idiot. So is David Silverman. Atheist do not need proof thru science that god does not exist, and that is what Dawkins preaches, among other things, like hate towards people who believe in god. I am as atheist as they come, and I can see that this guy is a charlatan. I may disagree with people of faith, but now matter how irrational I may think it iis, they have a right to their opinion. If ANYONE has been a respected figure in atheism it is Ayn Rand. I don't agree with everything she says, but she was ahead of the curve in the 50's.

    May 13, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Don

      I used to hate Dawkins as well. I found him exceedingly arrogant, but recently, I'm understanding his value and charm. He is not meaning to deconvert a single person, it seems. I think he is intent on firing up the people who are already atheists or afraid to admit it by pointing out all the stupid we are forced to deal with in education, politics and daily life. This leads to people being more outspoken and standing up for their rights instead of being quiet and taking it up the rear as atheists have done throughout history until just this decade.
      He is not trying to offend anyone, he merely speaks to the religious in the same tone they speak to us, as in informed person trying to show the less informed why they should listen. Calling someone an idiot is sometimes true and he doesn't sugar coat.
      Thanks to people like Dawkins, in the past 10 years, Atheism has exploded (Though, I, Like Dawkins, suspect it has not grown at all, merely been exposed) and we will soon see a breakdown of the power of religious dogma in these three areas (education, politics and daily life).
      I give most of that credit to a few key figures:
      1. Richard Dawkins is unquestionably the top force. He pushes like crazy and is not afraid of being criticized.
      2. Christopher Hitchens was the most articulate and well spoken atheist in history and exposed many religious faults.
      3. Bill Maher. Like him or not, his fan base has largely come to feel more comfortable with their non belief due to his humorous anecdotes.
      4. Penn Jillette. This guy has done for atheism what Mother Theresa did for Catholicism. Reached out to the needy and held them under his arms during the tough times. One of my heroes.
      5. James Randi has made skepticism an art form.
      6. Youtubers – Aron Ra, Thunderfoot and DPR Jones are obscenely well informed and connected to todays youth.
      7. Matt Dilahuntey (Spelling?) has lead by example taking on any conversation, and spreading truth. In Texas no less.
      8. Stephen Fry has made it cool to be smart and skeptical.
      9. Sam Harris is the master of seeing every aspect of an issue and then destroying what makes us complacent in it.

      These 9 sources, like them or not, are the fuel that has started the skeptical revolution.

      In the coming centuries, when religion has gone the way of the dodo, if it happens peacefully and humans survive, these guys will be historical figures.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  5. Chad

    The real problem that atheism faces, is that they dont have a compelling argument at any level...

    May 8, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • mandarax

      Except for that very well-supported one that religion is bullshlt.

      May 8, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Eeesh

      PREACH! (that was for Mandarax..... Chad is an idiot)

      May 8, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @mandarax "Except for that very well-supported one that religion is bullshlt."

      =>that is a fascinating response on a couple different levels, that response is precisely what atheism is all about.

      Atheism is a reaction to and anger at the lousy performance of organized religion. It has nothing to do with the facts all around us that demonstrate the truth of God and His creation. The origin of the universe, origin of life on earth, resurrection of Jesus, historicity of the Jewish nation, historicity of the biblical narrative. That statement isnt based on knowledge, rather it's based on anger against an earthly institution.

      You are making a horrific eternal mistake, because of your anger at a group of people.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • TheMostWise

      Chad,
      Atheists hardly need compelling arguments to prove what doesn't exist. There is not a shred of evidence to prove anything to the contrary. You, in fact, are an atheist yourself. There are over 3000 gods and you are an atheist regarding them all save for the one you were "taught" to believe without evidence. It's quite easy for you to recognize the ridiculous and silly nature in all the others but somehow you are unable....or more likely "unwilling" to see the ridiculous and silly nonsense in your own. Why do you suppose that is so? Is it because there is no ridiculous and silly nonsense in yours ....or that your just too brainwashed in your own delusions to even want to recognize them? I think you know this and I further think that you are all too aware that your own religion and gods are equally as ridiculous and silly as all the others. All that's left for you to do now...is to "admit it".

      May 10, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • Chad

      @TheMostWise "Atheists hardly need compelling arguments to prove what doesn't exist."
      @Chad "you sure need to address the compelling arguments that DO exist for the God ;-)
      Don't always just run and hide behind "we dont know"

      =========
      @TheMostWise "There is not a shred of evidence to prove anything to the contrary. "
      @Chad "?? Origin of the universe, fine tuning of the universe, origin of life on earth, resurrection of Jesus Christ. All of these things clearly point to the divine.

      =========
      @TheMostWise "You, in fact, are an atheist yourself. There are over 3000 gods and you are an atheist regarding them all save for the one you were "taught" to believe without evidence.
      @Chad "sorry to burst your bubble of pure speculation, however I grew up in an atheist family, I was taught atheism. The evidence convinced me of the truth of the God of Abraham.

      atheism isnt about data, it isnt about investigation, it's about anger at religious institutions.

      May 10, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      They don't need one. They have you on the other side. With that, they've got a lock, Chard. Any side that opposes a dolt like you automatically wins.

      May 10, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • AJ Johnson

      I guess any person of reason can assume Chad is the brightest student of his remedial English class

      May 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Leslie

      The bible is a novel written by men, get over it!

      May 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • books28

      and the strong argument of religious people is.... faith???

      May 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Chris Balambao

      Some atheists are angry, so are some theists. Me, personally, I would like to know what it is that you believe and why you believe it.

      May 23, 2012 at 2:35 am |
    • TheMostWise

      Chad ..You're assertion reegarding anger at religion is just as silly as your non-existent god...Religions are based on non-existent gods. Beiing angry at what simply does not exist is just a silly as believing in something which does not exist. Your remark is both silly and pointless. It makes absolutely ...no sense whatsoever. How can someone hate what isn't there? I no more hate your god or any god any more than I hate Mother Goose....Sorry sport., but you'll have to do better than that.

      October 6, 2012 at 12:46 am |
  6. kindness

    A thought to consider without ego
    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Trancend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ will result in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Currently.... your constructing your own path that suits your sin lifestyle.

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find a truth you can take with you in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life. You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf, the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed, your good deeds are forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated, your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over .
    Trancend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Relise your a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent....

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth.

    Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment. You don't get what you want you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Down is up. Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.

    Your all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • TheMostWise

      Jesus is nonsense.........as a person...as a "savior"..as a god...as an idea....A few of the alleged sayings of Jesus were useful...but not all....Exaggeration is not helpful. .A reasonable person will nix the "jesus is a god" notion...rather quickly..It's just a lame idea ....Reality is much more beautiful, satisfying and fullfiilling. You should try it sometime.

      May 10, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Chris Balambao

      Interesting, now why would this argument not work with other religions as well as yours? The idea that you must first accept as truth something that has not provided adequate evidence to justify that position is, to say the least, intellectually dishonest. In many cases we atheists are atheists because the evidence as presented to us does not make a strong case for a given religion. The same reasons that we reject all the other religions are the same reasons that we reject yours.

      May 23, 2012 at 2:43 am |
  7. gary

    Atheists of all walks need to come out of the closet, and into the light. It's OK, we out number the god-nuts .. stand up, stand out, and claim our political power.

    May 6, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Truthseeker

      I don't know about other states, but you can not be elected to public office in Tennessee if you don't believe in "a higher power"Probably best if I keep quiet about my disbelief and not be the target of christian hate groups

      May 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  8. tony

    How about the Pope deciding on his own that US Nuns need "reforming". Too much helping the poor and not enough forcing them to have more babies than they want.

    Ain't modern religion wonderful!!!

    April 23, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  9. tony

    Atheism is like choosing "organic" and "green" We are all born that way and healthier if left unpolluted when growing up.

    April 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  10. TheMostWise

    The weed available to the biblical writers must have been of phenomenal quality.

    April 21, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  11. smk

    In Quran God speaks to the whole humanity ....

    “Proclaim, He is the One and only GOD. The Absolute GOD. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him." [112:1]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is. [19:35]

    God will say, "O Jesus, son of Mary did you say to the people, `Make me and my mother idols beside God?' " He will say, "Be You glorified. I could not utter what was not right. Had I said it, You already would have known it. You know my thoughts, and I do not know Your thoughts. You know all the secrets.[5:116]

    The Messiah, son of Mary is no more than a messenger like the messengers before him, and his mother was a saint. Both of them used to eat the food. Note how we explain the revelations for them, and note how they still deviate! [5:75]

    (they are condemned) for disbelieving and uttering about Mary a gross lie. [4:156]

    Subsequent to them, we sent Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming the previous scripture, the Torah. We gave him the Gospel, containing guidance and light, and confirming the previous scriptures, the Torah, and augmenting its guidance and light, and to enlighten the righteous. Quran [5:46]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to clear your misconception by going to whyIslam org website.

    When My servants ask you about Me, I am always near. I answer their prayers when they pray to Me. The people shall respond to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided. Quran [2:186]

    April 20, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • Atheist4Evr

      You can quote verses from the Quran all day long, but nothing will change the fact that your beloved Muhammed is a pedophile and that legions of Islam's followers treat women with less regard than dogs. Islam is a religion of hatred, violence, and death – Nothing more. There is nothing peaceful about it. The only truly peaceful religion are those devoid of deity or prophet.

      May 4, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • gary

      bible or keran (sic) who care, it's all pretend, myth make believe anyway. .. it's all ancient BS

      May 6, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • jungleboo

      coo coo ran

      August 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  12. Trancend

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Trancend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ will result in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Currently.... your constructing your own path that suits your sin lifestyle.

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find a truth you can take with you in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life. You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf, the greatest minds knowledge fate or are eventually plagerzed, your good deeds are forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated, your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over .
    Trancend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Relise your a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent....

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth.

    Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment. You don't get what you want you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Down is up. Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.

    Your all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • GodPot

      You cant trancend your own egoism by cutting and pasting. We are all smart people, 'your' the one with a screw loose. Indoctrinating your children is the worst kind of in-box thinking and limits a persons reasoning skills and allows persons like yourself to be easily manipulated. I don't feel sad for you, just your children.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Transcend

      For Me,
      I trust the word of God as the infallable repository of redemptive revelation. Im not trying to Judge anyone.... For myself ...reading the word combined with sincere prayer.... yeilded an unmistakable presence within me of the Holy Spirit. Ive led quite a life of questioning and pushing boundrys... Ive had lots of man made "experiences"... this was different..... Way different....
      I know it's not popular... and some would say fairy tales etc. I've heard it all.... and was once on the other side.( For ME)... It's like seeing a new colour. Cant explain it to anyone else.... and thats the way its meant to be... so that you have the free will to decide to trust Jesus Christ as your saviour. I will say that afterward...the scriptures made sence to me . After God enabled me to Itranscend my own egoistic ordering of the "unknown dark matter" that surrounds us all. . read what I wrote (Trancend) and feel what Im saying without an ego defense.
      Why would someone take such a position unless they were truly changed by Christ. .......All I can say is...Its real.buddy.
      Let go and let god.

      April 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Atheist4Evr

      Jesus was gay. True story.

      May 4, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • gary

      god=pretend, jesus=dead, religion just myth

      May 8, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  13. Cousin Death

    Anyone, give me proof of the things that you believe in. Justify your religion beyond the fact that it was taught to you as a child (why are you right and why is everyone else outside your religion wrong?).

    April 15, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  14. Armenia

    How disrespectful of Richard Dawkins to assume that because someone is educated they be atheists. I feel so very sorry for him. All of those years wasted studying God's creation, using God's laws of physics and gravity to come up with theories all for naught.
    Atheism will never take over as long as there are intelligent, reasonable, honesthearted people alive!!!

    April 13, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Intelligent and reasonable people do not believe books like The Babble without independent, factual, verifiable and objective evidence.

      April 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Faithful

      Dawkins, in his mediocre opinions in The God Delusion:-
      [1] Fails to support debunked assertions [i.e.can't defend his opinions when they are argued against by real scientists and Theologians!]
      [2] Quotes out of context, which is a ploy used by the less able
      [3] Shows a marked desire to escape moral accountability and
      [4] Relegates man to animal status

      He's just a bloke who wrote a low level book with big ideas! But they are ONLY his ideas; they carry no weight in the scheme of things.

      April 14, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • SmarterthanU

      God's laws of physics? What the heck are you talking about?

      April 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Kelly

      @Faithful: "He's just a bloke who wrote a low level book with big ideas! But they are ONLY his ideas; they carry no weight in the scheme of things."

      The entire Bible is ONLY the ideas of several "low level" writers with big imaginations. It carries no weight in the scheme of things with any rational and logical person.

      April 18, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • tony

      I wonder where the theory of the "scheme of things" is published and evidenced?

      April 23, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  15. Armenia

    What I find absolutely amazing is how atheists go about demanding respect from christians, believers, theists etc by being so disrespectful it jars the brain. Everyone has a right to believe that there is a God or not, but the name calling and bitterness is a reflection a vacuous mentality.Many people believe that there is a God and no one can convince them otherwise because it is a matter of faith based on experiences and in the bible. Atheists have beliefs that there is no God, perhaps no one can convince them otherwise, but my thing is, why talk so much about something if it does not exist? Who are you trying to convince, yourself or others. Atheists are the biggest advocates of the idea of God after believers. Keep up the billboard work, thinking people are converting to christianity because of your advertisements.

    April 13, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Hillman

      No No No No No. That is not the issue. Please understand this. WE ATHEISTS DON'T CARE THAT YOU BELIEVE IN GOD. We don't want to prevent you from worshipping, praying or doing whatever it is that you do, So pray at church, pray at home, pray in your car, at your friends house, in the street, on top of a mountain, wherever, whenever, however you want. What we are asking for is that in the few places we have to coexist such as in schools and government places like the courts. We ask that we are not forced to participate. That's all. Is this really too much to ask?

      April 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • tony

      Religious feelings maybe, but how many people have had "god experiences" that are credibly witnessed, authenticated and of public record? OTOH, Comets seem to be the results of Physics.

      April 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  16. jon

    Why does Richard Dawkins get pulblicity for what would otheriwise be labled as "hate speech" except it is against Christains? Then its ok.

    He has the temerity to label anyone who disagrees with him as ignorant, unreasonng and uneducated, yet listen carefully to what he says and you will soon understand who is the bullying, bigioted one.

    I know what Richard Dawkin's against. What positive values is he for and can he be inclusive of those who respectfully disagree without being demeaning or insulting?

    Personally i think here is a man who does not understand his limitations or that of mankind as a species.

    We can not know the truth, we can only know in part.

    As a Biologist he should know the iterizations of error science goes through to get even one "fact:" remotely close to do something useful with as technology. for example newtonian physics are superceded by Relatistic Theory... and so on. yet neither are the Truth.

    So Why does he worship at the Altar of Darwin and not Wallace who co-developed the theory of evolution? better yet why not hold Medel in highest esteem as his work in genes lays the true foundation for the Modern theory of Evolution, which owes much more to gene theory than Darwin's. I think we all know why, Richard Dawkins faith is athiesim and Darwin is its High Priest.

    Richard Dawkins is the very thing he says he hates, an insensitive religious zealot.

    April 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • jon

      i meant all religions not just Christians. however if you read his earlier writings he targeted them exclusively.

      Also i do not believe all athiests conduct themselves as he does.

      Finally a study of Philosophy will show that assigning one domain of human knowledge and study to be a fallacy, as it the thought a creature with limitations can understand ultimate Truth.

      please excuse my spelling... i miss the spell checker :)

      April 10, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
  17. Susan

    Typo alert:On the Christina Rad page: and compliments our exiitsng list of distinguished and entertaining names That word should be complements (with an E after the L)!Looking forward to it, keep up the good work!

    April 4, 2012 at 1:42 am |
  18. NickZadick

    “We need to stress to the theists that we are here,” Silverman said.

    Huh?? The sane, rational humans have to let the childish retarded sky fairy beleivers we are here?

    I am glad I live in Québec where most people aren't brainwâshed and delusional!!

    April 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Wishwon

      "I am glad I live in Québec where most people aren't brainwâshed and delusional!!"

      I am glad that I live in Alberta where we know most people in Quebec are brainwashed and delusional.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  19. OpenEyes

    @ Mike, though you are correct on many points and I am proud to see how much you remembered of the sanitized legends handed us in school, I would like to mention for starters that the Pilgrims were NOT the first to land here from Europe. The settlers of Jamestown,Virginia hold the honor of creating the first colony, and were comprised mainly of convicts and treasure hunters. There were several other colonies long before the pilgrims came here. I should also point out that they didn't choose to come here as much as were exiled here. They didn't come here for "religious freedom", but rather for their last chance at not being executed. They had been banished (under pain of death) from pretty much every European country when they lastly arrived in England hoping to convert them (thinking that the protestants might sympathize with them more then the Catholics). The King eventually lost his patience after a few years of trying to help them and dealing with all the trouble they caused. He told them that he would not just banish them (as the others had since there wasn't any place left for them to go in all of Europe). He offered an old rickety boat that was about to be decommissioned named the Mayflower (that was likely to sink halfway there) under the promise that they never return and that their colony would send taxes to him (if they survived). It was a win-win for the King, since they either perished at "god's hand" or he'd make some money off of them. A storm threw them off course and the sailors (who were sick of them at this point) dropped them off at the first town they landed in. That town then thew them out as well, so that they were forced to travel north to make a settlement in what was considered Indian country ( still south of Plymouth Rock). They never actually made it to or landed on Plymouth Rock. That was a fairytale just like Paul Bunion and his Blue ox. The Indians did take pity on them and teach them farming. The Pilgrims may have even shared a meal with them in thanks, as legends say.. They also later re-payed that debt to the Indians by mercilessly harassing them to convert, driving them off their land, persecuting them until they all left or were killed. They are the perfect example of religious zealotism at work and how no one can reason or expect reason from the insane.

    April 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  20. iclark

    I sense that the atheist groups are walking a thin line. They want to be seen as "equals" – respected as anyone else. Fair enough. But they, themselves, have taken to targeting the beliefs of religious groups and people, showing them no such respect. Just recently, they posted billboards, written in Hebrew, proclaiming Jewish beliefs to be a myth – and they placed it in heavily Jewish neighborhoods. They've done the same with Christians and Muslims.

    If you want respect and equality, show it.

    April 2, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Really?

      "If you want respect and equality, show it."

      Dude try again, xtians have put up far more billboards than atheists, so your point is moot!

      April 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • NickZadick

      I do not see myself as your equal at all !! To believe in childish sky fairies takes an I.Q. of lower than 80... which you seem to have!

      April 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Conservative Atheist

      I agree with what you're saying, but just like Christians and Muslims, many Atheists do not want to be associated with their extreeme members.

      For example, comparing billboards that say "God loves you." and "Your beliefs are myths." isn't really fair at all.
      Even worse, people will call believers stupid, and refer to your dieties as sky fairy, invisible man, etc etc.

      I am an Athiest because it is what I believe.
      It is not a part of my dogma to hate christians.
      Science and Logic are great, but they have nothing to do with what I believe.
      I can admit my own fallability, even while stating things I believe to be true.

      I am not the only atheist out here who is tired of these pompous loudmouthes that claim to represent us.

      April 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Navin Johnson

      The billboard was targeted at secular Jews and Jews that are atheists but are in the closet and have not told anyone. You're very vain if you think it was targeted at you if you are a believer. Just like a vegetarian might be angry at a Burger King billboard. The billboard isn't meant to change a vegetarian into a meat eater. It is targeted are people that DO eat meat and eat hamburgers and to entice them to eat at Burger King. These billboards are enticing atheists in the closet to come out. Nothing more, nothing less.

      April 7, 2012 at 3:43 am |
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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.