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Atheist rally continues in spite of rain; students highlighted throughout
March 24th, 2012
05:44 PM ET

Atheist rally continues in spite of rain; students highlighted throughout

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN)– Billed as a watershed moment in the atheism movement, a gathering of atheists, agnostics and humanists drew large numbers of non-theists to the Washington Mall Saturday despite bad weather.

Put on by a coalition of atheist and humanist organizations, the rally was touted as the largest gathering of non-theists in the history of the world. Headlined by a number of high-profile speakers, including Richard Dawkins, the author of “The God Delusion,” organizers said the event shows that atheism is a powerful minority in American life.

“We will never be closeted again,” said David Silverman, the rally’s head organizer. “In years to come, the Reason Rally will be seen as the beginning of the end to the religious right’s grip” on American life.

With thunderstorms moving through the area, rain had threatened to dampen the event. However, Silverman and other organizers said they were elated by the turnout, especially in light of the rain.

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

The idea of thousands of atheists gathering drew the ire of religious groups. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, a controversial group known for picketing and protesting at funerals of U.S. service members, were in attendance and chanted at the rally-goers.

In large part however, protests were rare and not aggressive.

Silverman had said prior to the event that the rally would not be an exercise in “religion bashing,” but in a number of instances, religion and the belief in God was, in fact, denounced.

Taslima Nasrin, the author of “Shame,” categorized the Muslim prophet Mohammed as a charlatan, a pedophile and a rapist. A wooden cross was constructed in the middle of the crowd and a sign that read “Banish the 10 Commandments to the dustbin of history,” was hung from it.

An iReporter takes on the Reason Rally

Under umbrellas and ponchos, college insignia and fresh faces dotted the rally crowd.

For many of the students in attendance, the event was more than just a large gathering; for them, it was a coming-out party.

“The reason why events like this help is because of the confidence people get in seeing other people that think like you,” said Mark D. Hatcher, founder of the Secular Student Alliance at Howard University in Washington. “It is important to realize you are not alone.”

Hatcher and other atheists have co-opted much of the same lingo used in the gay rights movement. “Coming out” and “in the closest” are both terms regularly used because, according to Hatcher, telling people you are an atheist is comparable to telling people you are gay.

“Being younger, you are especially exposed to being labeled a pariah when you come out of the closet,” Hatcher said.

Rebecca Cunningham, a graduate of the University of Michigan, said that her freshman year at college was that moment for her. Cunningham was raised in a Christian family, but a few months before leaving for school, she started to doubt her belief in God.

Shortly after arriving at Michigan, Cunningham went to a Secular Student Alliance meeting.

“It helped me come out,” Cunningham said. “It was the first group of people that I met who weren’t religious in some form. They taught me that it was OK; they taught me that I was OK.”

Jesse Galef, the alliance’s communications director, said stories such as Cunningham’s show why his group tries to mobilize on campuses.

“One of the biggest things we do at the Secular Student Alliance is connect them [local groups] with a larger movement that is supporting them and giving them a grass-roots presence,” said Galef.

Jessica Ahlquist, a 16-year-old high school student who won a lawsuit against her city for a prayer banner that was displayed in her high school, was also a speaker at the event.

She touched upon the need for more student groups in high schools and colleges during her remarks. After the speech, she told CNN that students are a critical place for the atheism movement to focus its efforts.

“This community is all about bringing people together and talking about a secular future,” Ahlquist said. “I think that future comes from the students.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism

soundoff (1,305 Responses)
  1. JP

    Organized atheists, like those who gathered today on DC's Mall, fit the description of a “hate group,” as defined by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an accepted authority on the subject. More: http://christiandiarist.com/2012/03/24/atheists-are-well-organized-hate-group/

    March 24, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Christ Denier

      Yet you took your pseudo-information from ChristianDiarist instead of southern Poverty Law Center.

      Well done, moron.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • Christ Denier

      Additionally, "hate" groups are typically predisposed to committing crimes in the name of their belief set, which, as Brendan Beckett pointed out in a previous reply, is completely untrue of atheists.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • tallulah13

      JP is a typical Const.itution-hating christian.

      March 25, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      "Additionally, "hate" groups are typically predisposed to committing crimes in the name of their belief set,"

      that would fit the descriptions of Atheists to a tee. The communist purges have killed TENS OF MILLIONS of people in the past 100 years ever since atheism has reared its ugly head these past 150 years.

      March 25, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Otto

      Name one atheist that has killed someone in the name of 'atheism"

      March 25, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • memyself

      @Otto. Exactly. Compared to say, Hitler's, "in defending against the Jew, I am doing the work of the Lord."

      March 26, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • rick cutrone

      when you die, remember me telling you its the cruelest joke that will ever visit you, and in your weakest moment, youre screwed, nice eh? its gonna happen.

      March 30, 2012 at 12:51 am |
      • JP

        God bless you Rick. I will meet your capacity to hate with my capacity to endure hate.

        March 30, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • GPC

      Communists killed in the name of communism. Communism was actually a state religion. I'm not aware of anyone who has ever killed in the name of atheism. Many communists weren't atheists. In many communist states, the leader was a godlike figure. North Korea is a perfect example of this. Although many communists did believe in a traditional god as well. Some were Christian or Jewish, but others believed in pantheism and the like.

      April 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  2. † In God We Trust †

    Prayer changes things to good/better. However, you must trust and love God from your heart!

    March 24, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • dilberth

      Yea, but Jesus doesn't love me. He keeps bringing me pain and sorrow. I think he is sadist.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      be a cult member or think for myself...

      damn, hard choice, but i'm gonna go with thinking for myself.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • unit63x

      When prayer doesn't make things better (which is most of the time) believers will fault the method or sincerity as if they have a lock on the sincerity meter. George Carlin said it... if god has an unchanging plan, what are you praying for in the first place?

      March 24, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Christ Denier

      @ † In God We Trust †:

      If you believe that God is omnipotent, then you also have to believe that he knows everything about me, including what I willl and will not accept as evidence for his existence.

      If you believe that prayer works, then you must also believe that he will do what is asked of him.

      If you believe that your calling as a Christian is to share (and prove) the "good news," then you must use the tools at your disposal (i.e., prayer).

      So how about praying to God to have him materalize in front of me and say, "Hey, dude, I do exist!"

      According to your worldview, this should not only be possible, it should be likely.

      Twerp.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Ick

      Obey!

      March 24, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Ick

      Atheism is for non-free thinkers.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Ick

      Atheism – faith based on nothing bu the laws of nature

      March 24, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Christ Denier

      @ Ick:

      Wait, what?

      "Atheism – faith based on nothing bu the laws of nature"

      Do you have "faith" that 1 + 1 = 2?

      Preposterous. Simply preposterous.

      One cannot have "faith" in a (natural) "law."

      Go back to your drawing board and come up with a better statement.

      March 25, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • Oooga Boooga

      Ick,

      Why don't you go ahead and give gravity some human emotions too, while you're at it. Gravity is showing his love for you when you walk across the room without falling down, but Gravity is showing his wrath and is punishing you when you trip and fall.

      March 25, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • rick cutrone

      why not trust in mankind, sure you will get burned by some, but its whats real that interests me, i hate being lied to, im not a child who will accept any snakeoil that is being sold. it would be great id the whole fantasy was true. i treid to believe, i couldnt live the lie. if it helps people, if theyre able to stomach the details, the craziness, and theyre able to jsut accept and not question, then thats their right. but i have to yell out the emperor has no clothes, thats just me, i have that need to find the truth, turn over rocks, get to the bottom of things, i would like to say god made me that way, but i am a product of this earth, as you are. in the future man will continue evolving, bigger brains, etc and their ability to reason will prohibit them from living a fantasy, they will have longer lives, possibly a thousand years, and that will be from science, learning, not fantasy. it would be great to live forever, until you realize that were not built that way, we need to strive, to struggle. i met a woman who was so in love with god, she saw the love for a man as secondary, and thats sad, since she could haev found a real loving person to share her life with, you cant share your life with something fake, thats one of the amny pitfalls of cults

      March 31, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  3. † In God We Trust †

    Jesus is the way, the truth, the life.

    Unfortunately, not everybody wants to enter kingdom of heaven.

    March 24, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      I sure don't. What a bunch of creepy fuks!

      March 24, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      ain't that the truth. who wants to sit on a cloud and kiss God's @ss all day. i'd rather be tortured in hell than that.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Christ Denier

      Yep, † In God We Trust †, I'm getting the sense that I was completely correct in my earlier statement: You could never have been an atheist.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • dilberth

      OK, a cook, a bartender or a maid could have said as much as you. HA! You are just like an eight-year kid kicking a can down the sidewalk because he has nothing better to do and that is all he knows how to do.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • rick cutrone

      you say that with a striaght face? kingdom? early man needed more, they were ignorant, uneducated, and life was extremely hard, and short. in short, people needed a god, so they created one in their image, a man, the ultimate partiarch, an authority figure, with jesus, the ultimate martyr, look everyone he died for your sins, lol. if that isnt a lie, then there are no lies, jsut your fantasies. where is this kingdom, remember when man thought heaven was the stars? Not True. noen of it is true. people who trust in reason cant run for political office, unless they lie to jughead born again fruitcakes in order to get elected, like bush, 43, the war criminal judged by the world court for crimes against humanity, but you have no qualms about killing innocent iraqi children, though, huh? some christian, which is another point: many christians are war mongers, that isnt what christ taught. athiests

      March 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  4. NJ

    They all look ugly, retarded and white trash on that picture

    March 24, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      see your mom?

      March 24, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • NJ2

      yeeuh them stoopid

      March 24, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      I resempble that remark!

      March 24, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • NJ2

      ...them stoopid on that picture

      March 24, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • Me

      No just seeking answers not ugly people.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      well basically, they are children of white trash, who unlike their parents have managed to get to college, and now think they are smarter than mom and Dad and Jesus!

      March 25, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  5. JLo

    What would an atheist rally be without God? That signs says it all.
    Proves atheists think more about God every single day that any other group.

    March 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • NJ

      They will face their creater one day... hopefully soon

      March 24, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Craig

      The reason for that rally was God.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • unit63x

      Could be 'cuz we think more to begin with...

      March 24, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      More beer and less god.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • NJ2

      yeeuh them face "creater" one day soon. hope them die.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Christ Denier

      @ JLo: No, we're here because of the unfounded and silly BELIEF in a god, not God itself (which doesn't exist).

      @ NJ2: Way to show that Christian "love," moron.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • NJ2

      why am I obligated to show NJ love? NJ just clearly said he hopes they (we) die soon.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      The vast majority of atheists on Earth — about a billion Chinese — never think about God at all. They've never been exposed to the concept, which is why they're atheists.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      that makes sense! since the chinese don't believe in God, they have killed like MILLIONS and MILLIONS of their own people in the communist purges of recent past. Atheism in Action!

      March 25, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • memyself

      @ NJ Hoping people who do not share your beliefs die... a lovely Christian thought.

      March 26, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • memyself

      @B(iraq) Hussein Osama The belief that communism and atheism are the same thing is a$$inine. Cite some mass murders in the name of atheism. Not because of some misguided notion of autocracy, the cult of personality, or absolute centralized government control.

      March 26, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • rick cutrone

      lets boil it down to this: i'M A GOD AND I SAY IF YOU BELIEVE IN ME, YOU CAN LIVE FOREVER...AFTER YOU DIE. BUT IF YOU DONT BELIEVE IN ME, ALL OF YOUS GO TO HELL!. DOES THAT SOUND LIKE A WISE GOD OR SOME GARBAGE PAIL. IF THATS GOD, SHOVE HIM UP YOUR FAT ASS, TUBBY. THE TRUTH IS THIS: IF THERE WAS A GOD, HE WOULD BE ALL FORGIVING AND NOT THREATEN LIKE A SPOILED TEENAGER. none of your garbage is believable to anyone with the ability to think, which means, you are a troglodyte, a cave dweller, a fantasy hound

      March 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • GPC

      Unfortunately, belief in mythology is all around us, even when we don't believe in it. It's 2012 and people still believe in mythological beings and those beliefs do very real harm to societies all over the world. Just look at the fact that the most religious parts of the US have the highest divorce and teen pregnancy rates. And religion is largely to blame for that. It made sense for stone age people to believe in supernatural beings because they didn't understand what caused forces of nature. With their limited understanding, they assumed that some invisible beings must be behind nature. Yet we know this is no longer true and beliefs in gods, omens and other nonsense still persists. It's stunning.

      April 4, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  6. EX atheist

    Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things...

    † Atheism is a religion that makes you stupid, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here are posted by closet Atheists)
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists causes problem in our religious society.
    † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    † Atheism making you agree with Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders.
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
    † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
    † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most Atheists are uneducated... No Atheists could run for presidency.
    † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
    † Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate!

    †† Our Prayers goes to Atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator ††

    March 24, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Greyhound37

      It seems it took you a long time to create that list. How is life in your altered reality?

      March 24, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • unit63x

      marvelous satire there.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • unit63x

      oh, wait you were serious?....

      March 24, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      You are beyond boring and stupid. If you are sincere, tell me why I ahould not be an athiest. Be sincere.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Christ Denier

      Ther eis no way that you were ever an atheist. You're not intelligent enough.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Brendan Beckett

      "Atheism is a religion that makes you stupid, ignorant & blind."

      Atheism is by definition not a religion. Just like there is no religion based on not believing in Unicorns.

      "Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated."

      Really? All babies are born atheists and have religion put into their head. Seems like religion is more analogous with disease.

      "Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle."

      Haha. Is that so? Look at the picture for this very article. See any goths? Is Richard Dawkins a goth? Thomas Jefferson? Albert Einstein? Stephen Hawking? The guys from Mythbusters? Bill Nye the Science Guy? Penn and Teller? (As opposed to the Christian Criss Angel, look up a picture of him LOL). Are they all gothic satanists? Come on bro.

      "Atheists causes problem in our religious society."

      The most atheistic countries on earth are the happiest with the lowest crime rate.

      "Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith."

      Well you already said that, didn't you. But it's worth shooting down again, because it's so stupid. Faith is believing something FOR NO REASON. Often, these beliefs involve fantastical notions, and even visions, of spirits, angels, Gods who talk to them, delusions of grandeur, etc. Which of those seems like mental illness?

      "Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise."

      Indeed, and neither will Islam, Taoism, Scientology, Christianity, or Zoroastrianism, because there is no such thing.

      "Atheism making you agree with Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders."

      Atheists agree with them on the question of whether there is a God, and possible some other things such as favourite foods, opinions on music, etc., I have news for you bud, you probably agree with them on things too, it does not imply you agree with their insane genocidal political ideologies. By the way, thanks for not including Hitler, as most theists do despite him being a confessing Catholic who was allied to the Church.

      "No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'"

      First 4 things all totally false, especially the boring part. Atheism opens you up to the excitement of science and discovery, as well as lets you indulge in Earthly pleasures without some contrived notion of sin holding you back. As to the last thing being an outsider – that's true, and it's thanks to people like you. That's why this rally is happening, to stop the oppression.

      "Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime."

      Atheists make up 1% of the prison population in America, and about 15% of the overall population. So... yeah. Totally false.

      "Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet."

      No, because the internet is a great tool for spreading knowledge. The religious do it too.

      "Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people."

      Uh... I assure you, I exist.

      "Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved."

      Some, probably. Some not. In fact, the horror stories of religious abuse of children leads me to suspect atheist children have much happier lives.

      "Most Atheists are uneducated... No Atheists could run for presidency."

      The second part is true, because American voters are bigoted and wouldn't vote for an atheist. But uneducated? Sorry bud, but higher education correlates with atheism. 93% of the National Academy of Science in America are atheist. College graduates are more often atheists than non-graduates. And this includes education about religion. A study found that atheists were more knowledgeable about religion than most religious people.

      "Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history."

      Do you know what the French Revolution was?

      "Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists."

      Is that a joke?

      Non-belief in unicorns cannot explain the origins of the universe either, so I guess therefore unicorns must exist.

      "All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals."

      We do act like animals because we are animals, and one of the things human animals do is act morally.

      "The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)"

      I hope I haven't spent all this time replying to these points only to realize this is a big troll post.

      "Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate!"

      I don't know if that's true, but it might be. Several possible reasons: People like you oppress us. Atheists in small towns are very alone and if found out, shunned. Gays are tormented by religious bigots, and gays are often atheist. Atheists also see the logic in suicide at the end of life when terminal illnesses reach their final stages.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Greyhound37 observed: "It seems it took you a long time to create that list."
       
      Yeah, but he's shooting for maximum return on that investment by copying and pasting it on the Belief Blog about every 3-4 pages whenever the subject of atheism comes up. Frankly, I'm convinced he copied it from elsewhere, because the grammar and spelling are good, quite unlike stuff he actually posts in his own words.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      I would argue the EXACT OPPOSITE!!!
      I would say Atheism makes you so smart, that you forget basic human dignity, and start doing all manner of crazy things in the name of science and mathematics. Like gassing Jews in Custom-built Ovens like they are Bar BQ chicken or something or purging humans like the communists, BY THE MILLIONS!

      Notice ever since these so-called Intelligent Atheists have started appearing the past 200 years, the amount of killing and mega wars has gone up a few hundred fold. Until the came along, the only comparable example in ancient history to such carnage was the MONGOLS! also atheists!

      March 25, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • christina knight

      I could easily refute every one of your statements, but I figure why dignify stupidity. You are obviously not a former atheist, and by the way I am a former Christian. I rejected the the religious beliefs I was indoctrinated into because I could not defend them any more in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence.

      March 25, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • memyself

      @B(iraq) Hussein Osama Gengis Khan, like most mongols of the time, was a monotheistic deist and worshiped the "blue sky god" Tengri. Read much?

      March 26, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Mike

      By looking at your name you where at one time a atheist. Well I'm glad to see that you are now on god's side. Love your post keep looking to god and he will show you the way.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • GPC

      If you really believe what you wrote, you have absolutely no right to call others stupid, ignorant & blind.

      April 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • rick cutrone

      you remind me of the guy that used to give head to other guys, then got religion. atheism is not a religion, it states that your beliefs belong is a dumpster. you believe in nothing that can be proved, in fact, the followers of your cult seek proof all the time. your stupid religion is responsible for untold millions of deaths which you try to justify by doing good deeds. you seek a theocracy, so we would be no better than some very conservative muslim country, but we are getting close to that, no thanks to ignorant fools like yourself who benefit from science and medicine, then believe in hocus pocus. you believed the world was flat, the stars were heaven, and that man will become immortal after he dies, hahahahahahahah, what about the easter bunny, santa clause, and the tooth fairy? you tell kids lies and they believe them till they die, scarecrow brain

      April 5, 2012 at 1:29 am |
  7. Mahesh

    I am OK with the expression of non-belief in public, but the quote "Banish the 10 Commandments to the dustbin of history" was a bit too much. Although the 10 commandments themselves have strong religious connotations. Some of the actual commandments are pro-humanism. I find it ironic that humanists who value traits such as compassion and fidelity (which are mentioned in the 10 commandments) would want them in the dustbin. I think the idea is to not have a religious monopoly on these traits. I still think the statement could have been expressed differently.

    March 24, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Which Ten Commandments? There were two I believe. Moses smashes the first ten and then, regardless of the Thou Shalt Not Kill Commandment, instructs his followers to commit genocide and slaughtered hundreds of innocent people.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • spike91

      It is difficult to know what the intent was behind the making of that sign regarding the ten commandments. I took it to mean that there was no need to look to a magical authoritarianism for these principles and that we are capable of finding the truth for ourselves. Clearly the "no god before me" and "sabbath day" bits are suspect as only promoting justification for the very religious idea being propagated in the commandments. That they are commandments instead of principles that we have determined to hold value, establishes them as authoritarian and patriarchal. They sound as if they were produced by a rather insecure sort of person with a rather limited understanding of the nature of social species and a concrete conception of moral philosophy. Surely we can do better than to assume the posturing of a dictatorial parent speaking down to simple minded children.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • † In God We Trust †

      Atheists = :devil:

      They are against the 10 commandments because they want to steal, murder etc. just look at Mao and Pol Pot, as well as Stalin; they killed hundreds of millions of people!

      March 24, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • Christ Denier

      @ † In God We Trust †

      Hey, Wingnut!

      Hitler was a Christian! (First Catholic, then Lutheran.)

      March 24, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      haha, the first 4 commandments are about worshiping god. so i'm pretty sure atheists would at least disagree with that. and the other commandments are stolen from civilizations/cultures before that, so maybe we should put a previous religions version. the golden rule was written down a 1000 years before christianity was a fart in the wind.

      and commandments like "You shall not covet your neighbor's wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor's house or land, his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." are terrible. for one thing it equates women with household objects owned by their husbands. for another 'manservant/maidservant meant slave. the 10 commandments supports slavery.

      how many more reasons do we need not to follow this craziness?

      and Humanism is superior to ethically to Christianity. i challenge any theist to show differently. and don't bother with "cause you don't have God's light" non-sense. for one thing, humanists don't want to kill g.a.y.s. compare them and you'll find Humanism to be a much more compassionate and logical ethical system.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • MC Hammer

      Hitler was a christian as much as Richard Dawkins is.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Hitler was a staunch Catholic. Religious fanatics with no regard for the truth have been promoting the lie that he was an atheist for years. Finally fed-up atheists assembled an entire website of photographic proof to the contrary:
         http://www.nobeliefs.com/nazis.htm

      March 25, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • Christ Denier

      @ MC Hammer:

      Yes, Hitler was a self-professed Christian, and he promoted it when it served his purposes. Look it up.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • rick cutrone

      i have no problem with the 10 commandments, but i see the result of false beliefs. believing that youre gonna be saved implies that you need saving since youre flawed, youre weak and youre not capable of taking care ofyour own business, and thats the danger, like the fairy tales that ive seen women still cling to in their 30s, not kidding, it doesnt empower women, it sends the message you need a man to save you, to protect you, to think for you, to take care of you, very damaging, undermining. and thats just one fairy tale. children are susceptible to being brainwashed, and they are. kids would handle the trith fine, they would accept it, if explained properly that death is a part of life, i can understand no parent wanting to tell thier children the facts of life, but as a parent, parents are aware of how things reflect on them rather than the big picture,. i dont want to hurt kids, i want a better world and that can come from a world that is based in reality, a world where man beleives in now, in each other. oif we only have each other, there will be less hate, and i have a lot of hate and anger towards ignorance, walmart types who want to tell you what they heard, for them, thats research. they spread rumours, which is a form of ignornace unless you take it as amusement, we need to get off this planet, at least some of us, so man can continue to live in other solar systems, god didnt talk about mediciine, but hes all knowing. i know he didnt write anything, he never was, he doesnt exist, and he never will, its just us, and someday, that will be not only okay, but it will bring people together. and, the three abrahamitic religions are repsonsible for most of the killing since their inception

      March 30, 2012 at 1:07 am |
  8. Reality

    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.

    March 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Mahesh

      I think there are several misconceptions you have about Hinduism and Buddhism. What you have mentioned are not believed by many Hindus and Buddhists. Even if they are, it is metaphorically expressed. Now, I think your comment was a big fail, because even if religions stopped believing in Abraham, Moses, Gabriel, sacred cows etc. their foundations would not be shaken. The impulses to seek the transcendent are ubiquitous, they are expressed ubiquitously in different ways.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Easter

      Thanks for the Resurrection sunday, Christianity is very much alive!

      March 24, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the those newcomers interested in a religious update:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current problems:

      The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

      5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      March 25, 2012 at 7:59 am |
  9. John Stefanyszyn

    The people who are "atheists" are not so different in their primary way of life than those who claim the "Christian religion", than those that claim the "Islam religion", than those that claim the "Jewish religion", than those who claim "any other religion", because, for all these different "personal beliefs", their true way of life is based in their primary core belief in freedom of self-rights and universal human values...the desire to serve one's self-interest.

    The president of the USA advances this way of life...so does the UN...so do all the democratic leaders....so do all the nations in the middle east...so is quietly China...and those that are resisiting are not able to buy or sell until they embrace this self professed righteousness of man.

    But there is only one truth to creation, because its beauty and complexity did not come about without awareness, design, and purpose.

    It is our One Unique Creator who gave existence to all that exists and who, because of his love for man, gave His Son, the Christ, as the One and Only True Way of Life and Hope to Him and to a continued existence.

    ...but it is man who decided to know good and evil in his own eyes for his own self-interst.

    March 24, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Christ Denier

      Wrong.

      Read Lawrence Krauss' "The Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something, Rather Than Nothing."

      As far as mankind "deciding" on anything at all, mankind "decided" on absolutely everything at all (including attributing a "creation" event, to a super-deity.

      March 24, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Nope

      Who created the Creator? He could not have come about without awareness, design, and purpose, so he must have had a creator. Who was that, and who was that creator's creator?

      The core of Christianity's concept of creation requires an infinite chain of creators, each more capable than the one that followed, which argues for the same conditions for existence that evolution and scientific cosmology are based upon – creationism is thus necessarily a paradox, impossible.

      March 24, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Reality

      Who created the creator? Good point!!!

      March 24, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • spike91

      You are mistaken in your assumption. Atheism so values other persons that they are comitted to changing their philosophical position if a coherent rational argument to do so is advanced and if evidence is demonstrated. Science and reason are socai comitmnets to a rigorous group determination of truth rather than mere authoritarianism. Religion on the other hand asserts certainty detrmined by an individula's personal experinece and as such ensures a form of self indulgent authoritariansim. Relious social activity frequently appears as actsemployed to increase the liklihood of rewards and status in the eyes of god. Atheieist, on the other hand, can perform social good for its own sake, rather than in service of a secondary gain of their personal salvation. So I would suggest a reconsideration of your assumptions and be less inclined to simplistic judgements.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Paul

      Simple answer guys, He has always been.
      I know you will find that hard to believe, but just think about it. The creator made the universe, which at some point possibly billions of years ago he started and continues to maintain the universe. We have very little conception of this period of time based on our short life span.
      Don't start judging something you have zip knowledge of. You have been on this planet for a exhalation, or the tinniest of fractions and you feel you have a right to judge someone who has lived eons.
      You speak as foolish ones without knowledge or understanding.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • mandarax

      "Don't start judging something you have zip knowledge of."

      ...and yet you are judging with absolute certainty how it all came about. No need to check evidence, no need to test or question. You've got it all figured out already, right?

      March 24, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • mandarax

      ...and everyone who doubts or questions your judgment is foolish?

      March 24, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "...but it is man who decided to know good and evil in his own eyes for his own self-interst."

      one of the most destructive parts of christianity is how they are taught extreme self-loathing.

      leave the cult and think for yourself. you won't regret it.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • spike91

      The issue is more serious than "who created the creator", as the idea of a coherent deliberative act performed with intent and demonstrating coherence requires a break in temporal symmetry to already be in existence before any god could formulate an intention or act upon that intention. If god were to exist in some manner, it/she/he would be as dependent upon a mechanics of symmetry breaking, space and time, as physical reality appears to be in the current physical theories. God would, in most respects, be an irrelevant addition to an explanation that must extend beyond the space of god in order for that space to be attributed any distinction from chaos and chance. God could not, in any coherent fashion, formulate a first cause without temporal asymmetry already being established. If, on the other hand, the assertion is to the mystery of god not demonstrating characteristics that are contained in such rational analysis, then it appears that god's thinking and intent are indistinguishable form chaos and chance and the "mystery" part is how one anthropomorphically projects intent upon chaotic systems.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
  10. Chewbacca

    Here's my video of the Reason Rally, there was a decent turnout considering the rain and all.

    In the video, there are people arguing at the end.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2QEjZwg1BQ&w=640&h=390]

    March 24, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Cool! Thanks!

      March 25, 2012 at 12:43 am |
  11. Religion is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer is delusional.

    March 24, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    March 24, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • mandarax

      I get the sense that a lot of Christians were praying for lightning strikes at the rally – as Phelps said, "For God, it's a target-rich environment!"

      And yet, fail.....

      March 24, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      Unfortunately for all the "you have to be Christian" folks out there, prayer is equally effective no matter what deity or ancestor or whatever you pray to. Studies in hospitals have shown that folks who are very likely to recover who say they pray and ask people to pray for them recover a day or two more quickly than those who don't. However, it works equally well for Hindus, Christians, Muslims, etc.

      March 24, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • RockAndRollah

      Prayer can't even change my underwear.

      March 24, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • F Toomsch

      Once more we are aflicted with the common lie that studies indicate intercessory prayer aids in health issues. In fact, studies indicate quite the opposite.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16569567

      Doctors will readily affirm that one's state of mind impacts recovery, so it makes sense that for believers, the awareness of prayer on their behalf may positively affect an outcome. Worthwhile studies done without such knowledge by the patient indicate NO POSITIVE EFFECTS from intercessory prayer. That is, where the patient had no awareness of prayer, there was no difference in their health outcome.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Prayer changes nothing except the reading on your watch as it ticks off the time you're wasting.
       
      But don't take my word for it. Put it to the test. Ask for some generous benefactor to donate a million dollars on Monday to build a homeless shelter in your city. That's certainly praiseworthy and unselfish, isn't it? And you're a true believer in the Bible, aren't you? Then you should believe THIS:

      = = = = = =
      (23) ... Verily, verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
      (24) Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

      — John 16:23-24

      = = = = = =

      And then come back here and let us know the name of that generous benefactor, so we can properly thank God for having worked thru him.

      Or, if your sincere, fervent prayer remains unanswered, come back and let us know that, too, please.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:39 am |
  13. Seriously

    WHY ARE FREETHINKERS OPPOSED TO RELIGION?

    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 supersti.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.

    HASN'T RELIGION DONE TREMENDOUS GOOD IN THE WORLD?

    Many religionists are good people–but they would be good anyway.

    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.

    For more, see http://ffrf.org/publications/nontracts/What-Is-A-Freethinker/

    March 24, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • rick cutrone

      good? christians, many are war mongers, who think its okay to murder people who are not like them. if your faith is so strong, then why are you nutjobs always looking for proof, like the shroud, like bleeding statues, etc. thats cause deep down ,some of you arent retarded, most of you are mindless drones who never had an original idea in your lives, you spew up what has been fed to you, thats a fact. you were taught garbage and you live garbage. now, religion has done far more killing in the name opf god than it gas done good, youre trying to rationalize the crusades, the modern day wars, the prejudice agaianst clear thinkers, since that rattles the cage you live in, you are a prisoner of your beliefs, you have closed minds in general, just like the republicans, who follow the leader, a trait of a religious fanatic, and inflict harm on citizens of other nations, for no good reason. you dont care about justice, you attack a blck teenager after hes gunned down. you like iraqis being killed for no good reason, you dont offer bush up for crimes against humanity. im for truth and justice, not murder and injustice like you'all.

      March 31, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  14. Ungodly Discipline

    The evil of religion can only be confronted on the front lines. Hey, I love those folks for standing in the rain and pointing out to America that there are intelligent people left in the world, but it won’t change anything.

    Atheists have to ADMIT they are atheist at work, at home and at school. Sure, you feel safe at a rally, but one on one with your boss, co-worker or teacher, family, not so much.

    Atheists, DON’T BE ASHAMED OF WHO YOU ARE.. Being smart is not a bad thing!

    Hey, this is cool and a nice step, but it is up to each of us as INDIVIDUALS, to spread the word. Enough of this religious nonsense.

    Does that mean be intolerant? NO! tolerate them and INSIST that they tolerate YOU.

    Secular country. End of story.

    March 24, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  15. international

    Looks like a white power rally. Seriously. They're all white.

    March 24, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Urafkntool

      and of course you have to make a hateful remark. What if they had all been black? Would you have just nodded your head in satisfaction? Ra-c-i-s-t.

      March 24, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • international

      Maybe white power was a little strong. They just look kind of weird and colorless when they group together like that.

      March 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Kim

      Do not presume anything unless you were there. Please keep your judgements to yourself. I was at this rally and there were more than just whites. Your comment is racist and shows your lack of knowledge about what this was about.

      March 24, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Bob

      @Kim What exactly do you mean by "just whites"? What is wrong with being white? You wouldn't happen to be a person of color yourself would you?

      March 24, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      1. They are all athiests and the picture was taken to get the banner in the shot.
      2. You judge the entire rally on this tiny fraction of people? Wow. Moron.

      March 24, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • JiminTX

      Actually, the "out" atheists are mostly white at this time. And they're mostly male. Blacks and hispanics have very deep cultural ties to organized religion so it is more difficult for them to come out of the closet and publicly express their beliefs. We're getting there though! Its only a matter of time.

      March 24, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      @JiminTX
      No offence but that is BS. Have some sack and and be who you are. Otherwise you are the problem, not the solution. LAME.

      March 24, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Yeah, I think it's a fair observation (not the white power part – that's a nearly polar opposite set of values). Currently, African Americans and Latinos are underrepresented. I suspect there is more pressure in those communities against coming out. As for Asian Americans, I think there is little enough religious pressure that there is no big deal in the first place. White Americans seem to be at a sort of ethnic cross-roads where there is just enough pressure to cause tension, but not so much that everyone feels absolutely powerless to come out. Hopefully they can provide support and encouragement to their non-white brothers and sisters. Just my thoughts and opinions.

      March 24, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • JiminTX

      @Ungodly. Seriously?? Do some research, look around. This article is a good starting place: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/fashion/african-american-atheists.html?pagewanted=all It doesn't help to ignore these cultural issues, we need to understand and overcome them. If you think being a white atheist has its difficulties, try being a black/hispanic/woman/arabic atheist!

      March 24, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      @JiminTX
      Yeah seriously. Being an athiest means throwing off your bonds. Suck it up or shut up.

      March 24, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Atheist4_35years

      Actually you're wrong, only your mind sees what it wants to see!
      It was truly a melting pot of people and the age range was from about 2 to 70 years old. It's good to see young people but I'm glad more older people showed up also.
      1976 was the year I told my classmates that I didn't believe in gods, been out of the closet ever since. I'm not afraid of who I am and I care less what the opinion is of religious co-workers, I mean come on, they cling to some nonsense dude in the sky....rational? Not hardly!! If they worshiped the Sun, I'd at least give them a little bit of respect, since there's outstanding evidence (besides being able to see it) that there IS a Sun. Not sure I could go as far as believing it listens to humans that pray to it. LOL

      March 24, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  16. nokadota

    Why are so many people having a negative reaction to the reason rally? I think it is a necessary event in a country where an outspoken atheist cannot be elected into office. Sure, it's not going to cause any immediate change, but at least its a step closer. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech didn't abolish racism, but it proved to be significant enough to cause change in the long term. One day we're going to look back on the reason rally as being a huge advance in tolerance towards atheists.

    March 24, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • momoya

      Absolutely! Well stated.

      March 24, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      I hope so. But it is up to us. Don't hide your beliefs to avoid conflict. WE must be heard and quit hiding.

      March 24, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • † In God We Trust †

      MLK was a priest and was influenced by Christ. An atheist is totally different and unhealthy!

      March 24, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • mandarax

      MLK was a priest?!? Since when was MLK Catholic? Some advice: learn more, talk less.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • † In God We Trust †

      He was a REV. and DR. look it up!
      Not only Catholics have priests.... Orthodox and Protestant Christians have priest too. You should look it up and be educated.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Oooga Boooga

      "Not only Catholics have priests.... Orthodox and Protestant Christians have priest too"

      So does Voodooism, Druidism and Shamanism, Zoroastrianism and others...

      March 25, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • rick cutrone

      Hi, i will tell you why they get religion and attack. these so called believers are threatened, their bubble might burst. these are not good people, they cheer when this country bombs other innocent women, men and children in other countries cause they figure theyre not christians. as far as im concerned, if there was a hell, which there is not, they would be first in hell since their carpenter was no prowar. i thought all people according to the frauds, are gods children, apparently not since these mutts like to PLAY god themselves, remember, they want revenge, they want the death penalty, they want to rule women since they cant control anything else. thats why they want to spend all the countrys money on the military, it lifts them up to know america can rule over other peoples, disrespecting their sovereignty. but theyre always looking for proof, the shroud, the statues and paintings, they want proof, i would hate to see how agnistics feel. im not on the fence, as far as im concerned, there is nothing more to think about, im not playing it safe or the odds, its a fairytale, a scam,a hoax

      April 1, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • GPC

      Rick,

      Of course, believers are scared. They can no longer burn nonbelievers at the stake. Religion is a house of cards and will tumble down easily when more people get exposed to reality. Believers know this. They know that in Northern Europe, nonbelief has spread like wildfire. Once the seeds of doubt are planted, it's very hard to continue to believe. They are scared and persecution of nonbelievers is the only tool they have to prevent the inevitable end of mythological beliefs. You just have to read up on Jessica Ahlquist's story to see how they use persecution to try to shut people up.

      April 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  17. Dawkins_Fan

    I wish I could have been in DC today. Time to change the negativity associated with the word Atheist. Time to illuminate the absurdity of faith over science. It's a good time...

    March 24, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Wilson

      I imagined Richard Dawkins and Fred Phelps thrashing around on the ground in mortal combat. Didn't happen. I guess the rain put a damper on things.

      March 24, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Atheists, stand up for yourselves. That is the ONLY thing that will work. Stick up for your beliefs and quit fearing the repercussions.

      March 24, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
  18. Ace

    As a Roman Catholic, I believe they are attacking us because of our faith. I also believe that Atheist should NOT celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas, because if they do that's waked up. Christmas has the word CHRIST in it. It also celebrates the birth of Christ, so I believe that that they celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas because the know they can get presents, that's why I also think they are selfish and to the people who are Atheist and don't respect our religious and political beliefs, OR make fun of them, BURN IN HELL!!!!

    March 24, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Dawkins_Fan

      I am an Atheist. I have been raised in a Christian culture. I celebrate Christmas. I look at it as a time of family, peace and love. I am a moral person, a loving mother, and a caring nurse. Most of my family are Christians. We exchange gifts at Christmas, hunt for eggs on Easter, go trick or treating on Halloween (pagan origin I believe on that one...). This is my culture. Nothing less, nothing more. No reason to get upset when you run across people with different views.

      March 24, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Kim

      How very christian of you to hate us and wish your gods wrath upon us. While you hate and presume my fate, I will continue to live a moral life because I choose to. I need no fear of your god, I help make a difference because I believe you should treat everyone as you would like to be treated. I volunteer in my community for soup kitchens, clothing drives, helping the homeless, etc. How dare you presume anything about us. You really concern yourself with whether we celebrate Christmas? That's really laughable and a prime example of the narrow minded thoughts we do not wish to be caught up in.

      March 24, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Robert

      What does Christmas have to do with the birthday of Jesus? It's a well known fact that Jesus was not born on this day. December 25th was chosen to coincide with an existing Roman holiday. That way it would be easier to convert Roman pagans. Even if you ignore that most of what people do for the holiday has little to do with Christianity. You decorate a tree, exchange gifts, and decorate your home. None of these are exclusively Christian. So unless you spend a bulk of the day praying in church then what is Christian about it?

      March 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • explainist

      i celebrate Christmas. It means only one more week of sappy insipid music on the radio.

      March 24, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • gsbet

      Ace we are not attacking the people of religion we are attacking the religion it's self.
      also We celebrate Christmas or x-mas not because we believe in Christ but because it is a great time to get the family together and have a great time( also it is a holiday by the U.S gov so that makes it easy for every one to get together) not for anything to do with Christ. my family get's together every x-mas, not for Christ but for the family, if you don't want atheist's to celebrate at the same time take it out of are gov.
      Third think about burning in hell forever and then wish it upon on some one you know(maybe stick a hand a frying pan hot for a second or two you would get the pic) if you wouldn't set it upon some one you know then why some one else? just because we think a little different then you.

      March 24, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Ace
      Want to hear the good news? I can do whatever I please! You can live in bondage if you wish.

      March 24, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • JiminTX

      Why do Christians celebrate Christmas?? It's a PAGAN HOLIDAY. Christians only changed the name to gain converts, since it was such a popular holiday they had to throw out a bone to lure people in. It's actually Saturnalia – a feast/gathering to celebrate the winter solstice, which used to be on Dec. 25 until they fixed the calendar to account for leap days. We call it Christmas for the same reason the days of the week are named after Greek/Norse gods. We don't celebrate Christ on Christmas any more than we celebrate Thor on Thursday!

      And surely Christians don't use a "Christmas" tree, since it is explicitly forbidden by the bible! Jeremiah 10:2-8

      Easter is just Eoester – a celebration of spring, birth, renewal. Where do you think the bunnies and eggs come from? They're Pagan symbols of fertility.

      I suggest you do some research on Mithra and the many other gods that people made up – they all happened to be "born" on the winter solstice, were crucified, and rose from the dead. Christianity is just another religion based on a long line of copycat fables and fairy tales.

      March 24, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Christ Denier

      Hey, Ace!

      Christmas – The early Christian church co-opted the holiday of Saturnalia (origin: pagan).
      Easter – The early Christian church co-opted Ostara (origin: pagan).
      Hallowe'en – The early church interpolated the holiday of All Saints' Day (Nov. 1) to conincide with Samhain (origin: pagan).

      Virtually every holiday you have is the result of pagans, not any sequence of original events specifically tied to Jeebus. Your whole belief system is pagan in origin.

      And what exactly is "waked up"?

      (Oh, we're not really likely to burn in hell either, since there is no such place.)

      March 24, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Otto

      Congradulations ACE, your view that people deserve to burn in hell for eternity, and your excitement over it, is the reason I started questioning Christianity and its "truth and love" message. I wouldn't want my worst enemy to suffer for eternity and you seem to relish the idea. I think you need to review your morality before your message converts more people to atheism.

      March 24, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Otto

      Oh and Ace, I was Catholic too.......they are their own worst enemy, if there is anyone you should be mad at for attacking your religion it is your church leaders.

      March 24, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • † In God We Trust †

      Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Everybody knows it including those atheists but try to be arrogants.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Christ Denier

      @ † In God We Trust †:

      Actually, it's to celebrate Horus, or Mithra, or Buddha, or any one of a dozen "saviors" born on December 25. Jeebus is irrelevant, and if you knew anything about the Holy Babble, you would also know that when the "shepherd were in the fields, watching their flocks by night," you would also know tha this happens in the spring and summer, not on December 25.

      What the hell is the matter with you???

      March 25, 2012 at 1:00 am |
  19. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
    Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
    Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    Someone's singing Lord, kumbaya
    Someone's singing Lord, kumbaya
    Someone's singing Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbayah

    Someone's laughing, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone's laughing, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone's laughing, Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    Someone's crying, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone's crying, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone's crying, Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    Someone's praying, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone's praying, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone's praying, Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    Someone's sleeping, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone's sleeping, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone's sleeping, Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    March 24, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Someone's trolling here, kumbaya.

      March 24, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  20. TheRationale

    I would hope that in the future this event eventually becomes boring because nobody actually believes in any sort of ridiculous religion anymore and it's no longer an issue.

    But you have to start somewhere I guess.

    March 24, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
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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.