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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. DLD

    I don't know what I believe, but I probably lean towards atheism. That being said, I have respect for people of all faiths and I am awed and horrified by the wonderful and horrific things that religion inspires people to do. Walk into Notre Dame in Paris, the pyramids in Egypt, the temple ruins that litter Greece and Italy, or even our own National Cathedral or Basilica in DC and you will feel the presence of *something* greater than yourself – the admiration of artisans and craftsmen who had enough faith to dedicate their life's work to building these monuments. Turn on the news any hour of any day and you will be horrified by the atrocities committed by human beings against each other in the name of faith. It's amazing really.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • HamsterDancer

      I agree with you. Human beings have two sides to their brains: a rational & logical side and a non-rational & creative side. People are not non emotional Vulcans from Star Trek and have both these aspects and they make us human. With them we develop great science and technology and the most beautiful art. Part of the non-rational (and by that I don't necessarily mean irrational) is a feeling of something greater and transcendent that they are a part of and it is literally hard-wired into our brains. Now whether this is just an evolutionary advantage of some kind or it really is a sensing of something "out there" people can decide for themselves. But the positive and negative interpretations of this also bring very good things and very bad things to the table.
      Hopefully, we will do our best to keep the bad stuff at the far end of that table.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "I know I'm part of something greater than myself
      Don't know the meaning, but I hope that matters less
      I don't know anything when I'm factored out of scale
      I know I'm part of something greater than myself
      We're all engaging in a game of attrition
      Maybe God is just a chemical fiction
      I'm a monkey with a madding affliction
      Fact checking for a mental condition"
      – Dr. Greg Graffin

      March 23, 2012 at 10:48 am |
  2. OldSchool

    This is certainly not the first of it's kind. I was at the Godless Americans March on Washington (GAMOW) in 2002 with my family, although the turnout for that may have been slightly smaller. It was a refreshing counter soon after the "Faith Based Initiatives" of 9/11. I wish I was able to attend this rally, seeing Mr. Dawkins speak would be a treat.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • NJBob

      Same here! I also attended the 2002 rally and I thought it was great!

      March 23, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  3. Meade21

    Hey...what's an atheist tomb stone say? All dressed up with no place to go.....lol Hey as a Christian I am all for free speech....if you don't want to believe in God – well there are eternal consequences to that – if you want to spit on the face of the creator – well that's your personal choice – but again – consequences will follow.......

    March 23, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • bob

      " but again – consequences will follow......"

      more threats from the loving religious people.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Mike D

      Ha ha, you're funny. Can you find Taiwan, say, on a map? Probably not, at least without Google. But you know all about what happens after we die.

      This is the crowning fallacy of theists: that you know the unknowable. It's compounded by the fact that most of you are so ignorant of so many other topics.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Gaunt

      The arrogance in this statement, and in the statement of almost all zealots, is ironic. There are tens of thousands of religions, past and present, all believing in different gods, pantheons, spirits, what have you. Within religions there are tens of thousands of versions of that religion. Within each version there are tens of thousands of interpretations: every individual chooses some rules from their holy book and ignores others, ijn different permutations from his fellow zealots.

      Yet each person, beliving in different versions of interpretations of different versions of different sects of different religions, every one believes only THET have the right way down pat and are going to heaven.

      Arrogance AND lunacy all in one.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • My Cat

      My tombstone would say, "Lived his life in reality following his true beliefs, making up his own mind, maximizing each day, and courageously accepting that there is nothing after death and living his life accordingly."

      March 23, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • derp

      Bigfoot is going to sit on your head and blast egg f arts forever in the great afterlife because you refuse to acknowledge him as supreme creator.

      See how dumb you sound.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Andrew

      No, they won't.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Meade21

      it's not a threat – it is reality – and it's funny how atheists think that Christians are all angry little people – as I wrote my comment I was quite calm – drinking a coffee....but the venomous way you guys responded is quite hypocritical....you guys seem like the angry nut jobs lol...enjoy your rally

      March 23, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Mike D

      Meade21: Prove it. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, so let's see what you've got.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Fox me? Fox you!

      Atheists tend not to worry about those banalities (what is on a tombstone) like believers do Meade. Who cares? You go back to the earth from whence we all came. Also, it is not that atheists do not believe in a supreme being. There is no supreme being. It is merely a statement of fact, not belief (or disbelief).

      March 23, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • BRC

      @Meade,
      Your perception of reality, not reality. There is no proof of an afterlife. YEs, many people overreact to those of faith expressing their beliefs at them; but it does get old having people tell you they're sure "you're going to hell because you are, and that's a fact", when it's not a fact, it's a guess. Many of us get cranky because people are using words incorrectly and innacurately, and it bothers us. But, we should do a better job of keeping our cool, and letting you have your beliefs, just try to leave us out of them.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • DJL

      "... there are eternal consequences to that." No, there aren't.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Owlman

      Well thats silly of you to say, Meade. We athiests may seem angry, but the way you calmly threaten with "consequences", you seem more like a psychopath, and I know what I'd rather be.
      On a side note, all you rallying athiests, this british athiest supports you.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  4. White

    Normally I don't bother attending events like this because I am a lazy atheist, but if it includes the opportunity to troll the WBC, it seems like a worthwhile cause.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  5. Phil

    Every person on earth is an atheist. Even religious persons - they believe in their god while being atheists about all the others. I just choose to go one more. Try it. It's not hard.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Fred Evil

      Exactly true. MOST humans are 99% atheists. There have been tens of thousands of gods invented over the millenia, from tree gods, to earth gods, to sky gods. MOST humans only believe in one of them, and deny the existence of the others.
      Good luck getting a theist to admit or understand that, however.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • HamsterDancer

      Wow! I never thought of it that way. That's a pretty good analogy. If I use it somewhere I'll have to give you props!

      March 23, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Darwin

      Nice!

      March 23, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Dictionary

      I'm afraid you're a bit off on the logic of your statement. Because I do not believe in 99% of all other gods does not make me an atheist. There is no 99% atheism. It is 100% or nothing. The mere fact that you believe in A God makes you a monotheist. Believing in every god makes you a polytheist. Being an atheist is not a relative term by its very definition. By its very definition it is not a relational concept based on percentages. But I guess since you are using the logic it's something you want to believe in so I shouldn't be too critical of your beliefs. Sorry for calling you "wrong". In your perception of reality it must be right to be wrong sometimes.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  6. Perplexed

    150,000 or more can march in support of life and receive ZERO coverage on CNN. However, let 10,000 or so atheists come to Washington during cherry blossom time, and that's "news."

    March 23, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Mike D

      Pro-lifers marching for their cause isn't news...they do it constantly. A large gathering of atheists, demanding to be seen, heard, and regarded, is a first for America, and thus more newsworthy.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • EatYouAlive

      Don't be afraid.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Jim McDonald

      I' have seen that exact thing on the Mall! There were at least 30K+ pro-life protesters, and a 'counter' protest that had about 25 people. CNN staged the pro -abortion folks in a semicircle and put the camera at an angle to make them look bigger. That night on TV, when CNN ran footage of the pro-life crowd, it was shot to make the crowd look smaller.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  7. Religiosity

    The concept of god is the comforting replacement to the facts people don't yet know or the questions/answers they don't understand. I don't believe in fairy tales. God is a fairy tale.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  8. Russell Hammond, Hollywood

    Ironic how religious freaks HATE atheists. Shouldn't they just turn the other cheek? And it's not even as though atheists are doing anything to these religious zealots. They just want to be heard. More and more Americans are coming out as atheist. Why? Would YOU want to be like Santorum?

    March 23, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  9. Harry

    "Who is more irrational? A man who believes in a God he doesn't see, or a man who is offended by a God he doesn't believe in?" - Brad Stine

    March 23, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • JJ Jukebox

      I don't like you.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • John Chellemi

      Awesome!

      March 23, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Fred Evil

      I'm not offended by a god that I can't see, I'm offended by the irrationality of those who do. Big difference from your straw man.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • DLD

      This is great!

      March 23, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Bageldog

      I'm gonna go ahead and say Brad Stine is the most irrational, since has no idea what the atheist position is.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • jeremy

      what fred evil wrote.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • derp

      Who is more if a delusional idiot? A man who believes in talking snakes, magic apples, virgin births and resurrections, or a man who says "I don't believe that really happened".

      March 23, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Jim McDonald

      Brilliant Brother! It is sad that so many atheists can't see their obsession is a doppelganger to the worst of religious zelots.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  10. Darwin

    Dawkins is the man. I hope westborough gets hit by a bus.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  11. Sir Ivanhoe

    For more information on religion and different religious views check out the novel - king of Bat'ha - and sequel - Tales from the East: Return of Ivanhoe. One will learn alot about current world events

    March 23, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  12. moondawn

    Great! Another religion to have to defend myself from. Wonderful.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • HamsterDancer

      LOL! Technically, atheism isn't a religion but I see your point. It's another special interest group who says they are being oppressed and are demanding their fair share. While I agree with them it does seem like every week somebody somewhere is making a fuss.
      But this is the joy and privilege of being in America. Everybody can speak their piece for their cause.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • OldSchool

      Atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  13. Gaunt

    Quote: "While Ranier can't prove the existence of God, no atheist has ever been able to disprove the existence of God."

    Actually, providing evidence against god, at least the god as defined by Christianity, is easy.

    Juvenile leukemia. A horrific, agionising disease that causes indescribable suffering and pain only in children.
    Could someone please tell me where that fitrs in 'god's plan'?

    There is actually a LOT of evidence against the concept of an all-good, all powerful god. Such a being is in fact a logical impossibility. Theists dont LIKE the evidence, so they ignore it, or use meaningless escape clauses (eg: 'you cant understand god') to avoid this evidence.

    Proof? No. Evidence? Plenty.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Joshua Ludd

      There is no need to disprove the existence of god. If it can't be proven to exist, then there is no need to disprove its existence. That is the point of all the satirical fictional gods such as the flying spaghetti monster (may His noodly appendage cleanse the universe). They can't actually be proven not to exist, even though they are an admitted fiction and cannot be proven to exist in the first place.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • G

      While Science has proof of evolution, you discount that scientific proof completeley because to believe it would meen that what you have learned about god is wrong. I drove by a billboard telling me that the theory of evolution is wrong, that billboard is extreamly hipocritical. You do not want us telling you there is no god, but you have no problem telling me that my beliefs are wrong. Believe what you want, but don't push your religious beliefs on others, thats what the taliban does and you should be better than that.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Skeptial33

      Not all Christians see it that way. Those who deny free will might, but open theists who believe God doesn't micromanage the world, but rather allows mankind to exercise free will (and make horrible mistakes, kill, pollute, etc.) as an inherent risk necessary to open the door to a loving relationship. One is only free to love to the extent that they are also free not to love – you can't have one without the other. Check out Greg Boyd's "Is God to Blame?"

      March 23, 2012 at 10:48 am |
  14. mfx3

    Wait, a coming out event? Lame. I'm agnostic, which means I don't accept a higher power. Why would anyone need a coming out party to profess their adherence to logic and reason over fantasy and magic?

    March 23, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • JJ Jukebox

      because the believers in fantasy and magic need to be told to get the f*** out of the way and leave behind their childish beliefs.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • NJBob

      Because in this country the people who believe in magic have the upper hand.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Fred Evil

      Why would anyone need a reason to keep other's belief in magic out of our schools, our courts, and our government?
      Because if we didn't, they would continue to run roughshod over us.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  15. ah292801

    Very soon they will organize and meet once per week. They will elect from among themselves a leader who will speak at these weekly meetings to keep them updated on what is happening with Atheism in the world. Then they will pass a plate and collect money to pay for his salary and the outreach efforts of their organization. Hmm, that sounds a bit familiar.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • TrueAtheist

      And yet we still won't believe in a fairy tale.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • LMAO

      Hey idiot atheists have been around since your bible was written and it still hasn't happened. DUH!

      March 23, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  16. Mennoknight

    Atheism has caused more death in the 20th century than any other world view.
    Mao – 60 + million
    Stalin – 40 + million
    Pol Pot – 8 = million
    Abortion – Hundreds of Millions

    March 23, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • bob

      What about the christian burnings, crusades, molestings, ignorcance mistreating 6 million animals on a cramped up wooden boat taken care of only 8 people.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • BRC

      None of those things were caused by ATHEISM, though many were innitiated by people saying they were atheists (though your abortion thing is way off the mark as they are undergone by believers and non-believers alike). Also abortion doesn't take a human life, it just prevents a potential human life from forming.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Bryan

      Yes, because everyone who has had an abortion must be an atheist.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Dave

      Now if only atheism was a motivating factor in any of your false examples, you might have an argument. Not that I expected rational or educated thought from one of your stripe.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Communist leaders like Pol Pot and Stalin would not have been charismatic enough to gain converts had they not learned the discourse of dogmatic persuasion from religious inst/itutions.
      Pol Pot spent 8 years at a Catholic school in Phnom Penh and Stalin 5 years at a Russian orthodox seminary. Historians have noted their speaking and writing styles ape those of the Church in being 'declamatory and repet.itive, with liturgical overtones”.
      While they both sought to eliminate traditional religions from their kingdoms, they did so in order to divert the common man’s fervour to their own cults of personality.
      As Karl Marx himself noted “Atheism as a denial of this unreality; has no longer any meaning, for atheism is a denial of God and tries to assert through this negation the existence of man; but socialism as such no longer needs this mediation...”
      Hitler’s Third Reich, on the other hand, was no friend to atheists and encouraged religion in Germany. Having been exposed to religious methods of persuasion in school at a Benedictine cloister, Hitler recognized religion’s power to keep the people compliant.
      Instead of purging faith like the Communist regimes, he purged atheism:
      "We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out".
      The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, Oxford University Press, 1942
      While Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot put themselves into the Godhead position, Hitler publically professed his Christianity until his dying day and used Christian arguments to whip his people into a frenzy. This is why Nazi uniform belt buckles were emblazoned with the slogan “Gott mit uns” (God is with us).
      Each of these leaders wielded their people’s predilection for faith like a weapon. Atheism is not the prime cause for these tragic regimes – the misdirection of faith is.
      Like religion, they demanded blind obedience and obsequious submission from their followers. They tolerated no free-thinkers and enforced dogmatism – a trick they learned from their religious educations.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Gumby

      Atheism had nothing to do with the murders those fascists you mentioned committed. Why do Christians lie?

      March 23, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Gaunt

      You are, of course, lying.

      Hitler was a catholic, raised and attended mass as a Catholic. When he came to power his first foreign treaty was with the vatican before all others. He compelled every person in Germany to swear an Oath to God, and made every soldier wear a belt-buckle saying 'God is With us'.

      Of the three people you listed, only Mao was an actual athiest.

      Those errors of fact however, are irrelevant. None of the three did what they did because of, in the name of, or in futherance of atheism. It was neither a cause nor a contributor. You might as well blame moustaches for Stalin and Hitler's genocides because they both had one.

      There will always be good people and evil people. However the only force that can make good people act evil cheerfully and happily, is religion.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Gumby

      Christians account for the vast majority of abortions in this country.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • jeremy

      all of those guys being atheist or not is debatable. don;t leave out other horric historic events just because they were not in fact atheist. such as hitler, suddam, osama, etc, etc, etc. good ole religion has caused far more deaths. the inquisition?

      March 23, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • LMAO

      "Atheism has caused more death in the 20th century than any other world view.
      Mao – 60 + million
      Stalin – 40 + million
      Pol Pot – 8 = million
      Abortion – Hundreds of Millions"

      Religion has killed over 480 million people in human history, it might help if you actually knew the real facts before posting your drivel. Thanks for showing the world how stupid Christians can be.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • kenny

      sorry but your logic is deeply flawed. Those people didn't KILL IN THE NAME OF ATHEISM, THEY KILLED FOR THEIR OWN PERSONAL REASONS.... whereas xtians KILL in the NAME of their beliefs and justify ALL kinds of evil against those that don't believe what they do.... YOU LOSE MORON...

      March 23, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Caveman73

      Curious, did any of those you listed KILL in the name of Atheism?

      Religion however has millions...BILLIONS killed in the name of gods.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Mennoknight

      Sorry guys, facts are facts. The most dangerous world view to peace is Neo-Darwinism

      March 23, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • TrueAtheist

      Whoa, Doc. This must be your first rodeo with the fundies. While the logical around you are incredibly happy that someone such as yourself joins in the argument, you're way too logical for these people. Ya gotta keep short answers, direct, clear and concise. You make a rebuttal too long, they'll pull a bait and switch and change the subject on you and direct a question your way that might make you stumble on the ludicrousness of the question and then profess to have stumped you. It's an easy trick because unlike the sheep, we don't just say "Duh, god did it" to things we don't know. It just becomes a neverending circle of silly strawman arguments. Best way to stump them is with questions like this: If God has a plan for everyone, then why would his plan include making me an atheist? Then they usually answer something about freewill. Then you hit em with: Well if we have freewill, then how could he have a plan for all of us? Seems contradictory to have a plan but also give freewill. I have asked to countless theists, still no answer.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • YouAreWrong

      Hitler's Mien Kampf: "... I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews. I am doing the Lord's work."

      Sounds like he's a creationist. Whoops!

      March 23, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Joshua Ludd

      Hitler was not an atheist. The rest may have been atheists, but they didn't kill because they were atheists. They killed over their politics and to gain and maintain power. It is akin to trying to blame all the deaths of every war started by political leaders who are Christian on Christianity. Also, abortion does not in any way correlate with atheism. Taking the number of atheists in this nation with the number of abortions performed annually, the math simply doesn't work out.
      In closing, your argument is incredibly ignorant and incredibly dishonest.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • impartial_observer

      How do you come to the conclusion that atheism had anything to do with those events in history?

      The common denominator in all those cases was COMMUNISM, which in istelf is an ideology the represses free thought and individualism and obligates "group-think" and herd-behavior just as all major religions do. Communism WAS in fact a surrogate for religion. I say again : COMMUNISM was a stand-in for THEISM. Just as bad for the development of liberty and freedome in a society. I think that SECULARISM (not Communism) is the notion that needs to be understood here as a societal model that allows for the primacy of the Individual in society and not the other way arround while allowing EACH INDIVIDUAL to seek spiritual solace wherever and with whomever he/she chooses to. I defend your right to believe in fairy tales; just keep it private as I do my secularism because, respectfully, I don't care what you believe in and don't want to know. What's more, I don't want to have it shoved in my face just like I don't care what you eat for breakfast.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • LMAO

      "Sorry guys, facts are facts. The most dangerous world view to peace is Neo-Darwinism"

      No idiot religion is since it has killed far more people to date and continues to spread hate and bigotry around the world.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @TrueAtheist
      Thanks for the tip.
      I've been posting on this board for a long time now and realize that most of the respondents here have the attention span of a gerbil with ADHD.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • just sayin

      Quoting Hitler for truth in his beliefs is like quoting an atheist on how to find salvation. Hitler was his own god, the god of national socialism and the ultimate atheist. Hitler would bomb a church as readily as a synagogue. Doc Vestibules acceptance of Hitlers remarks as truth speaks more about the deceptive power of atheism and the personally low character of Doc itself.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Cap'n Sayin Atheism Isn't an Angry Pervert
      As I stated – those leaders wielded the common man's predilection for faith as a weapon and turned it to their own cults of personality.
      Do try and read what's written before you unleash your ad-hominem salvo.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • memyself

      @DocVestibule Nicely written!

      March 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  17. John 3:16

    Comments (312 comments)
    Permalink

    Atheistism is a religion not founded on faith nor facts.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • LMAO

      "Atheistism is a religion not founded on faith nor facts."

      First you can't spell atheism and second atheism isn't a religion so you whole post is moot. What an idiot. LMAO!

      March 23, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • bob

      Religion is the convenient answer for those who dont think

      look below, they dont want atheists saying anything , but religious people can cram their bs down everyones throat
      any chance they get, you want people to respect adults that believe in fairytales then show the same respect back.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Gumby

      More "atheism is a religion" drivel from another unthinking Christian. Yawn.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Fred Evil

      Atheism is NOT a religion, it is a lack of one, and it is ENTIRELY based on facts. Feel free to prove me wrong.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Joshua Ludd

      Not a religion.
      Not found on faith.
      Founded on the fact that no can objectively prove any god to exist.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • impartial_observer

      Religious faith is a drug.
      Reason (call it atheism, seclarism..whatever) is abstinence.

      You point to abstaining from a drug to just be "another drug". That's how little sense this poster makes.

      Note to everyone: As someone who travels the world A LOT, I can say this: We (Americans) are more religious than any other G20 country I know, and also the less educated, most materialist and easily distracted by novelty. Connect the dots.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  18. The way, the light, and the life

    "... all we demand at American Atheists is equality.”

    Hogwash!

    What you really demand that they who are religious acknowledge that their God, their beliefs, and their faith are non-existent, and that your views are the only views.

    You're actually a religion unto yourselves. I'll bet you just love that thought.

    Look up the Ninth Commandment. You'll be the better for it. God bless.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Corey

      This is a really foolish comment. Religions have been demanding for thousands of years that people accept their way of thinking. The reason that atheism and secularism didn't take over long ago is because atheists and secularists have never called for the mass murder, subjugation, burning, torture and oppression of those who don't agree with them in the way that religions always have done. What is threatening to little people like you is the idea that religions is optional. Deciding to believe in one sky god or another is optional. That option is threatening to you, because you never have been nor will you ever be content with a private, personal, optional faith, which some of us can and do choose to reject in its entirety. There is no personal, anthropomorphic god. If you choose to believe in one, fine, as long as it leads you to live a happy and open hearted life. You don't seem very happy or open hearted to me. I recommend you broaden your mind and do some personal reflection, and I hope you are able to overcome your dark age ideology.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • MIKE

      These people have the right just the same as you so stop complaining. Your making yourself look ignorant!

      March 23, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • KAS

      "You're actually a religion unto yourselves. I'll bet you just love that thought."

      Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.

      Dawkins is right when he says there are people trying to turn this country into a theocracy. Just look to folks like Rick Santorum who say our laws should either be replaced by or used in conjunction with what is written in the bible. Which is highly amusing because the argument against countries like Iran, Iraq, Israel, et al are that they have a dual system of laws: one man-made and one based on religion.

      Yet apparently it's bad when that happens in other countries but it's ok to happen here. It would be nice if the religious folks could make up their mind what's good and what's bad. But then we are talking religion which isn't known for its leaps of logic.

      C'est la vie. You just can't cure ignorance.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Art

      @Corey: Look at your post. Look at the phrasing you use: "little people like you"? You are the one who appears unhappy. You appear very much to be a hypocrite.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Sean

      It's so hilarious reading all of these responses from religious people framing atheists point of view in their own terms. Just because you don't understand a world with out a magical god being controlling everything doesn't mean others can't.

      The point is that non-religious people are viewed as inferior by religious people, instead of being tolerated like other groups, we're derided and called names and described in ways that aren't true. Dawkins is right, atheists are the last group it's ok to be prejudiced toward for the majority of Americans.

      NOTE TO CHRISTIANS: Just because there's more of you doesn't mean you're right or that you have more rights than others, and just because you believe in god or jesus or whatever doesn't mean everyone should or that they should be treated differently. This is America, and freedom of religion is and should also be freedom FROM religion.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • jgthinker

      Why would an atheist look up something in a religious book? The whole point is that atheists don't follow Christianity, Judaism or any other religious texts.
      In God We Trust is a late 1900th century (late 1800's) concept. The founding fathers never used this phrase. The ten commandments where plastered all over courthouses as a publicity stung by Cecil B DeMille for the movie Ten Commandments. Is Cecil one of your founding fathers?

      March 23, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  19. Gary

    Atheists need to take a chill pill; this country was founded on religios principles. If you don't like having "In God We Trust" and other religious sayings on money, buildings, etc; THEN move somewhere and start your own country.

    Your arguments are shallow. I am a Christian and I believe in God. Let's say, for arguments sake that I am wrong and, when I pass from this Earth, that is it; no kingdom in heaven. When one of you Atheists pass and you are wrong, which would you rather be. For me, I would rather be in my shoes than yours! If you are wrong and there is a judgement, what then?

    March 23, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • bob

      So your just playing it safe ? sounds like a frontrow ticket to your own hell

      March 23, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Jim

      a typical atheist response would be "even if god exists, i still wouldnt worship him. he must be an @sshole"

      reason being: they dont like the idea of their sins being accounted for.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @gary
      Your country was not founded on religious principles as evidenced by the introduction to the Treaty of Tripoli, circa 1796 that reads "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..."
      "In God We Trust" was added to US money at the height of the Red Scare when Joe McCarthy and his cronies did their best to conflate atheism with communism.
      Pascal's Wager is a poor reason to be a Christian. If afterlife judgement is what you fear, then you'd best appease ALL of the Gods. What is Maat weighs your heart after death and find it heavier than a Shu feather? What if you die in bed instead of gloriously in battle and don't get to Valhalla? What is Joseph Smith is waiting to usher you into the Celestial Kingdom, but you didn't ti.the to the Mormons?

      March 23, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • MIKE

      What an ignorant post! This is the US fruitcake! We are all free to believe what we want. Just because you have some book that man wrote does not make you right! Have some sense!

      March 23, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • ReadABook

      Gary,
      The motto, "In God We Trust: did not appear on coinage until over 100 years after this country was founded, and did not appear on paper money until 1957. The Pledge of Allegiance also did not include the phrase "under God" until the 1950s as a response to the perceived threat of communism.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Chad

      'Pascal's wager?" Really? That's the best defence you can come up with? Really.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • joe

      What if you're wrong and the Jewish are right? Or the Muslims? Or the Buddhists? Or any other of the hundreds of people, all just as sure as you, they're right?

      Also, read the Treaty of Tripoli
      "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;

      Don't take my word...look it up.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Blue Girl

      Gary..you are wrong...."In God we Trust" wasn't added to our dollar bills until 1957. The founding fathers were pretty specific about a separation between church and state, and rightfully so. Religion has no business in government. I am a proud atheist. I don't believe in heaven and hell...but I respect those that do. I just don't want ANYONE to dictate my morals on their so-called religious grounds. I just wish I would have known about this march sooner.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Kelley

      Actually, this country was founded with separation of church and state, by people seeking to escape religious persecution. And "in God we trust" was added in 1954, not by the founding fathers...

      March 23, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Gumby

      "Pascal's Wager Faith" is no faith at all.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Lee

      Fun fact: "In God We Trust" wasn't mandatory on money until the 1950s

      March 23, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Fred Evil

      So you're saying your god will punish me because I have a higher threshold for belief than you? I CANNOT CHOOSE to believe, I am either convinced by the evidence or NOT. If I LIE, and SAY I am convinced, will god allow me into heaven because I lied?
      Of course god won't let me in on a lie, will he? But if I SAY I believe, I am lying.
      How is that fair?

      March 23, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  20. Joe citizen abroad

    So all these different religions have been vying with each other for millennia to recruit, convert or wipe-out non-believers...through missionaries, wars, media empires and politics...and this is a march to convince the religious that there are non-believers? What are you guys smoking?

    March 23, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • MIKE

      Sounds like they are smoking 'HATE'! So much for religion!

      March 23, 2012 at 10:27 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.