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Atheist billboard attacks Romney’s faith, but Mormons say it's misleading
This billboard on wheels, sponsored by American Atheists, will follow the Romney campaign throughout southern Florida.
October 21st, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Atheist billboard attacks Romney’s faith, but Mormons say it's misleading

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – When he campaigns in southern Florida on Monday, Mitt Romney will have an unwelcome traveling partner: a mobile billboard attacking his religion.

The billboard on wheels, sponsored by American Atheists, attacks the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its treatment of African-Americans and gays, though the church says the attacks are inaccurate.

The billboard, which American Atheists says will follow the Romney campaign for seven days, features two messages on Mormonism: “No Blacks Allowed (until 1978)” and “No Gays Allowed (Current).”

The first line is a reference to the church’s practice of denying lay priesthood to black male members until 1978.

Though the church did not allow black male members to be ordained before that year when the church head says he received a revelation to reverse the policy it did allow blacks and members of all racial and ethnic groups to be church members. According to The Second Book of Nephi, a part of Mormon doctrine, “Black and white, bond and free, male and female; … all are alike unto God.”

The billboard’s second line refers to what American Atheists President David Silverman says is the religion's “intolerance” and “bigotry” when it comes to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

But the church denies such categorizations. It accepts gay members, though church doctrine condemning homosexuality has not changed and the church strongly opposes same-sex marriage. Some gay rights activists say the church is subtly growing friendlier toward the LGBT community, including voicing support for some gay rights.

"People are surely free to disagree with us on the facts," Dale Jones, a church spokesman, wrote in an e-mail to CNN. "This group seems not to know that there have been black members of the Church since our earliest history, and there are many faithful gay members of the Church today."

Jones continued: "We would be happy to introduce the (American Atheists president) to any of our millions of members of different ethnicity who would be happy to educate him on our racial diversity."

Silverman denies the billboard, which is costing the group $8,000, is an attack on Romney specifically. A spokeswoman for the Romney campaign said she would not comment on the sign.

“Nobody seems to be talking about the implications of having a very religious Mormon president,” Silverman said. “There are a lot of things about Mormons that people don’t know, including the fact that racism is an important part of their dogma.”

The LDS Church has largely tried to stay out of the politics surrounding the presidential campaign, even though it has received increased attention due to Romney’s candidacy. This billboard, writes Jones, is "obviously" about the "personal politics" of American Atheists.

"We have consistently kept out of the political campaign," Jones wrote. "People can see this (billboard) for what it is."

American Atheists has a long history in using billboards to call out religion and get its message out. During the political conventions in August and September, the group put up billboards attacking Mormonism and Christianity, taking aim at the faith of both presidential candidates.

This mobile billboard, however, is a departure from the standard American Atheist tactic of multiple billboards on multiple religions. According to Silverman, this is because Romney’s faith hasn’t been addressed enough in the 2012 election.

“We all understand the implications of having a Christian president. We do not understand the implications of having a Mormon president,” Silverman said. “We are not taking a position on the election, we are taking a stance on ignorance.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Atheism • Florida • Homosexuality • Mitt Romney • Politics • Race

soundoff (2,468 Responses)
  1. davedave2

    so, we are shaming Mormonism for admitting they were wrong in 1978 - what were they supposed to do?

    October 22, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • 4Yearsoffailures

      Shame on you for taking this long to elect a black president. You hypocrite!

      Let's stay on last 4 years and review the record, prior to making the same mistakes.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • EdwardTr

      No, their ALL KNOWING god was wrong... can you see the paradox now?

      October 22, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • gladiatorgrl

      they're supposed to have MORALS to begin with you know "in the beginning"..... NOT when it's expediant.

      p.s. I specifically use the term morals b/c that's all you see bantered around by "believers" . The Great Apes share they even bring back what they borrow (unlike some humans who claim to have morals). WHAT church/religion did they learn sharing from?

      October 22, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  2. M

    Please... there are plenty of better reasons to attack Mitt Romney. His Mormon faith, while ridiculous, would be about number 2,419 on my list.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:57 am |
  3. EdwardTr

    The faithful fear reason the most, not the other faiths.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:57 am |
  4. Obama2012

    “We are not taking a position on the election, we are taking a stance on ignorance.” Intolerance of others who do not share your beliefs or opinions is also ignorant Mr.Silverman, You can't have it both ways.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Primewonk

      And what if those "beliefs" are batshit crazy? If a candidate announced that the Holocaust was a great idea, should we be tolerant of that belief?

      Mormons have a long history of racism, misogyny, hômophobia, etc. So do fundamentalists. Why should we be tolerant of those beliefs?

      October 22, 2012 at 9:32 am |
  5. carolstrick

    What, no mention of unequal treatment of women in Mormonism?

    October 22, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  6. gladiatorgrl

    Ace

    Gandhi once said about Atheists: “It amazes me to find an intelligent person who fights against something which he does not at all believe exists.”
    _______________________________
    Atheists fight against having someones fairy tale shoved down their throats and put into laws that govern them.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Mike

      Someone has to combat the influence of unjustified belief in this country. I would like for nothing more than not to have to think about other's silly (IMO) beliefs, but since they are continually thrust upon me through politics and the social doctrine, it must be couterbalanced.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  7. Taskmaster

    Atheist are no better than Liberals Nazis and Muslims. They want to force their beliefs on everyone else. They would deny all other people the freedom they CLAIM to want for themselves. God gave every person free will but Atheist say " you have free will as long as it's mine". That is the same mind set of Muslims Nazis and Liberals. They would destroy everyones personal freedoms except for themselves.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • gladiatorgrl

      pot calling kettle black? Atheists just don't want someone's fairy tale shoved down their throats and put into public policy.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Mike D

      Well, thank you for providing us the short bus opinion, Taskmaster. Isn't it your turn to put the alphabet blocks away today?

      October 22, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Goodgriefness

      Taskmaster, how could you say anything about someone taking away someone's personal freedoms? Isn't that what the Republicans are trying to do...a woman's right to choose what's best for her own body...how about the right to vote without the republican's suppression tactics? Stop trying to throw stones before your own house collapses in on you...

      October 22, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  8. harinder

    If mormon got waited till 19768 to reveal to the leader of mormon church that blacks and woman are Ok, than there is something serioulsy wromg with him. Was asleep or on a long vacation? What a jhoke.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • gladiatorgrl

      I guess the Morman version of Rip Van Winkle :-) since they're all fairy tale what's the difference if we blend a few?

      October 22, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • EdwardTr

      come on, just had a bad century and a half, that is all.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  9. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Does Mitt Romney's son get secret service protection or does he feel invinsible enough to threaten assault on the President because his dad has provided him with a good healthcare plan? Perhaps someone should tell this coward troll that an attack on the President is an act of war and France won't protect his little hiny the way it protected his dad during the Vietnam war.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Argh

      Holy exageration, Batman! Look, there's this expression "making mountains out of mole hills." You should look into it.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • 4Yearsoffailures

      Your name says it all. Blah Blah Blah. Big Bird,Binders, now this..listen to Obama 4 years ago- when you don;t have a record to run on, you throw any and everything at the other, hoping it will stick. Guess what he should listen to his speeches of 4 years ago – the ones that got him elected!

      October 22, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  10. a dose of reality

    Ten Reasons You Know you are an Atheist.
    1. You were likely brought up a theist (probably a Christian if you live in the USA) and had to do your own thinking to rise above the beliefs that still occupy the mind of the believer. This usually involved being smart and working hard at school and college so as to get a good, accurate view of the natural Universe and overcoming significant social pressure to dumb yourself down and conform. In short, you had the guts to ask the hard questions and the brains to spot the weak answers. The more you came to understand the Universe, the less reason there was to believe in a god and the more you came to appreciate human nature, the more you understood why billions of us still do.
    2. While rejecting the supernatural elements of the Bible, you nevertheless retain a large amount of the morality taught today by mainstream Christianity. To the extent you reject Christian morality, it is where it is mean spirited – such as in the way it seeks to curtail freedoms or oppose the rights of $exual minorities. In most other respects, your basic moral outlook is indistinguishable from that of the liberal Christian – you just don’t need the mother of all carrots and sticks hanging over your head in order to act in a manner that you consider moral.
    3. You know a great deal more about the Bible than most believers. This is because you took the time to read it yourself and did not rely on the primary-color simple stories you learned in Sunday school. You have also probably done some research into the historical Jesus and have a good handle on where he REALLY fit in to the broader picture of the Middle East at the time. Needless to say, his miracles and other magic powers soon started to look pretty unlikely.
    4. Your knowledge of basic science and history is much stronger than that of your average believer. You likely have a basic working knowledge of physics, astronomy, evolutionary biology and cosmology and a good idea of the history of life on this planet. This acc.umulated knowledge puts you in a position to judge the claims of the Bible in a critical light and they are almost always found wanting. To the theist, this makes you “elitist” and ‘arrogant”.
    5. You relish your role as a religious minority in the USA, as this gives you an impetus to fight and you understand how others with unpopular, but doubtlessly correct views have felt throughout history. There is something altogether satisfying to you about having a deep conviction you are right and being viewed with disdain for your views by the errant majority. You feel a quiet confidence that future generations will look back on you as a member of a class of trailblazers, as religious supersti.tions go into inevitable decline in popularity.
    6. You are likely more environmentally aware than your theist friends and colleagues and unlikely to fall for claims of industry and wind-bag politicians concerning the impact of man’s activities on the environment. You could no more act in an environmentally irresponsible manner because “god will keep us safe” than you could jump of a ship, believing King Neptune will keep you safe.
    7. You generally have a live and let live atti.tude, but will fiercely defend any attempts by theists to thrust their views on you or your children, directly or through control of school boards, the legislature or the executive. While you are prepared to debate and argue passionately with the theist on an intellectual level, you would never wish them harm or ill will. You know you are likely to be smugly told you will “burn in hell for all eternity” for your healthy skepticism. This highlights what you despise about religion, as you would not wish a bad sunburn on another, simply because they have a different religious view to you. You have never heard of an evolutionary biologist strapping a bomb to himself and running into a church yelling “Darwin-u akbar”.
    8. You likely know more about other religions than your average theist. This makes you less fearful of them and enables you to see parallels. You realize that, if you were born in India, you would have been brought up with a totally different religion. You realize that every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. They cannot all exist and you see the error all faiths make of thinking only theirs exist(s). This “rising above” the regional nature of all religions was probably instrumental in your achieving atheism.
    9. You likely have a deep, genuine appreciation of the fathomless beauty and unbelievable complexity of our Universe, from the 4 nucleotides that orchestrate every aspect of you, through to the distant quasars, without having to think it was all made for you. You likely get more out of being the irrelevant ant staring up at the cosmos than you do in having to pretend that it was all made to turn in majestic black-and-white pirouette about you.
    10. While you have a survival instinct, you cannot fear death in the way the theist does. You know that the whole final judgment story, where you may be sent to hell if you fail, is Dark Ages nonsense meant to keep the Church’s authority. You also know that you were dead for 13,700,000,000 years before you were born. It is impossible for you to fear death, for the simple reason that you know the capacity to fear (or to feel pain or discomfort) itself dies. You will not even know you are dead. Fear of death is as meaningless to you as is the fear of a vacuum, the fear of not being born. You feel a lot more secure, and indeed a deep comfort, in this knowledge, than you would in trying to yoke yourself to some quasi-hope that every part of your intellect tells you is untenable.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • gladiatorgrl

      OR we're just thinking beings that don't believe in fairy tales, just like when we discovered there's no Santa or Easter Bunny. Didn't fall apart just moved forward.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Goose66

      And...you don't have any children, spouse, family, friends, or life to occupy your time so you spend it on CNN forums bashing the 90+% of the people of the World that believe in a creator.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • crbianb

      This post is awfully similar to a preachers sermon. It tells you what to believe, regarding religion. Tells you how to think, regarding religion. Athiesm is it's own religion of non-beliefs. This sermon of non-belief brought to you by "a dose of reality."

      October 22, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  11. Kate

    I've been concerned about the possibility of a Mormon president ever since I knew about Romney's religion. My oldest sister was a Mormon, by choice, not birth. Because I wanted to understand her better, I took lessons from the Mormons for a short time as a teenager. Even then, I was shocked at their beliefs. Back then, black people were allowed to attend the church but were not eligible for the priesthood. As I remember it, the Mormons believe black people are descended from Cain, who'd killed his brother Abel, and were 'marked' by God for this reason. I never thought this was fair or kind (just as I never believed we're all born sinners). The Mormon story of the angel, Moroni, and the story about the golden plates all sounded phony to me. Later, I read more about Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and learned that they'd created this big hoax of a religion for their own, rather unsavory, reasons. I don't like Mitt Romney for his politics....but the fact that he's a Mormon and has lived all these years as an educated man with these strange beliefs makes me concerned about his judgment and his mental health. And, no, while I wouldn't call myself a Christian, I'm not an Atheist.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • blighter

      Nobody is a Mormon by birth. All people of ALL religions are that way by choice. Just most of them have it beaten into their heads when they are an impressionable child, so it doesn't feel like a choice.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:49 am |
  12. Mike

    How about a retort....

    No GOD allowed*

    *Only in America are you permitted to exercise your religious freedom, so return the favor and let others do the same.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  13. Savoy

    If this isnt cut and dry and straight down the middle, I dont know
    what else to call it! That cult is so slick and so cunning. I challenge people, especially the blacks to do something really simple, google the words, "morman and black skin".I'd put a Muslim in the Whitehouse before a freakin' Morman!!

    October 22, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Argh

      If your comment isn't ignorant and misinformed, I don't know what is.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  14. Mark H

    I've been screaming about this for years! They should make him comment on this.

    http://www.ExposeRomney.com

    October 22, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Ryan M.

      The Presidency: No Blacks Allowed (until 2008). Well, unless you count Bill Clinton.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • snowboarder

      ryan – i am curious where you found that rule? i'm pretty confident it doesn't exist.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  15. lrich_9

    These people are not atheists, the are nothing short of political activists and I find it amusing that they even call themselves atheists when the include language such as this: “Black and white, bond and free, male and female; … all are alike unto God.” Atheists don't believe in god so that makes no sense at all! I grew up in a very, very Irish Roman Catholic family but as an adult I have become a full blown atheist (as much as I hate the term) and atheism is not about attacking other people's religions which is one of the easiest things to do since every single religion in the world all have many different facets of craziness within their guidelines. Not to mention that this particular billboard is not very truthful and very misleading, it's meant to lead people to believe that blacks were not allowed to be mormons at all which is in no way the case, it also makes them sound like they hate gays when that couldn't be farther from the truth either and their stance on the matter is almost identical to that of Christianity, Catholicism & even lsIamic beliefs, in fact lsIam not only doesn't allow gays into their faith but their faith tells them to hurt these people physically. It's amusing to me how no one dares to point out the flaws in the lsIamic church where women have no rights at all, girls are not even allowed an education, gay people certainly are not allowed and unlike all of the other main stream faiths, I can't think of a single instance where anything good has come out of lsIam yet these dopes are worried about mormons.

    Lets be clear about the mormons in the first place, the vast majority of mormons are just like the vast majority of christians/catholics whom profess their faith but rarely actually attend mass or follow all or any of the rules put forth by the church, instead they pick and choose which rules to follow and which ones to ignore. The only place in the world where you will find large groups of Mormons that are even beyond what I would called devout, is in Utah where the religion was founded by Smith whom was a con man just like every other prophet I've ever heard of except even slightly sillier than most. I'm not going to delve into the origins even as absurd as they are but they are not pertinent to the vast majority of Mormons today.

    Every religion and even these absurd atheist organizations, all have their own fringe groups that are completely out of their minds and everything they do, no matter how bad, is done in the name of god or allah, jesus, muhammad, etc.... It would be beyond easy to attack Obama's faiths, no one is really sure what faith he actually belongs to though so since Reverend Wright is out of the picture no one knows where to start. Heck, more than half of the nation actually believes that Obama is a musIim, he was born and spent his young life in a nation with more musIims than any other nation in the world so it's all that far fetched. Not to mention the fact that the current President had no problem completely turning his back on his beloved church along with his beloved pastor once it came to light that it was closer to an anti-american hate group than a church.

    Unlike Obama who's faith is and has always been very much in questions, it's rare to hear Romney say anything at all about the the Mormon church and even as my governor (was not a fan) I don't recall him ever discussing his religion and it sure as heck has never had any bearing on the way he conducts business.

    There are so many things that Mormons are not supposed to be able to do that it's absurd, I mean kissing before marriage is not allowed, caffeine is not allowed and many other things but the fact of the matter is that it's the fringe Mormons that truly follow all of the rules. I've been very close to a number of people who are mormons but the only reason I ever knew what any of their religion's happened to be was because of other bigoted people who seemed to think that it actually means something. None of the mormons I know spend any time talking about or trying to stuff their religion down other people's throats, in fact they are probably some of the most tolerant and well liked people that I know.

    Back to the so called "atheists" who are trying to start a controversy that doesn't exist just like pretty much everything the Obama camp has done. Any person calling themselves an atheist who joins an "atheist group", is not an atheist at all, they are merely sad & lonely people who are looking for attention. Being an atheist is all about individuality and the moment a group is formed, that goes right out the window. Atheism is not an should not be about attacking other people's beliefs, that's what lowlifes do! It's about abstaining from religion all together, most people need their faith just to get through their day to day life almost like a crutch (not meant to be insulting) and without that crutch they will feel almost hollow. So when I hear people who claim to be of the same belief system as I am trying to tear down other people's faith's, it makes me very angry because these people think they are just so smart and so righteous when in reality they are just insulting to everyone around them. Why these people feel the need to make the beliefs of others into their own business is beyond me, I don't believe in god & I certainly don't believe in the church but in all honesty, it sounds like some of these dopes would be far better off if they went out and joined a church, maybe they would learn something. If you are going to insult the religions of others then it might be a good idea to actually learn about the religions that you hate so much, I myself despise lsIam which is my right as an American and because I despise it so, I have a copy of the Koran sitting right next to me at the moment just as I have shelf after shelf filled with religious texts from every denomination I've been able to find. It's called knowing thy enemy, that and the history behind religion fascinates me because religion has changed the world for both better and worse over thousands of years.

    These people with this billboard are the very reason why I rarely discuss my beliefs, because I do not in any way want to be associated with these fools, have they not ever heard the old saying "to each his own"? GROW UP!

    October 22, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Mike D

      tl;dnr

      And what I did read was a waste of time.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • snowboarder

      rich – very true. religion for the majority of the american population is little more than a social club. if only the activists of every sort would take a break.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • Jerry

      Just to clarify, the Atheists didn't use the words " According to The Second Book of Nephi, a part of Mormon doctrine, “Black and white, bond and free, male and female; … all are alike unto God.” The article was commenting on Morman teachings.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Andy in Minneapolis

      Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah much? They're atheists. I agree the ad is misleading but it's not as thought their singling out Gov Romney, they've released ads critical of Christianity and Obama as well. Cheese and rice, do you actually expect peopel to read that entire rant? Meh.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Alex

      "“Black and white, bond and free, male and female; … all are alike unto God.”" is Mormon doctrine not Atheist.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  16. Techie

    The "Null" Faith is attacking another faith.... I'm not religious and I am not atheist. Atheism is just another faith of a different persuasion. When they achieved power in the Soviet Union they slaughtered millions just like other religions did and today they just bash other faiths as all the other faiths do. The more things change the more they stay the same.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Mike

      Actually, Atheism is the lack of a belief, not the belief in nothing. Look it up.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • Mike

      Athiests did not run the Soviet Union, communists did. They combated belief as a means of control, not as a front for athiesm. Idiot.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Primewonk

      If atheism is a "faith", then bald is a hair color and not collecting stamps is a hobby.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Techie

      @Mike: Even your excuses are the same. "We didn't do it, it was *enter individual/group* that did it, not true atheist/catholics/jews/muslims/etc".

      October 22, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • Techie

      Atheism runs around telling everybody they are better then everybody else and when you get in power you kill millions. Sounds like any other religion.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • snowboarder

      not one person has ever been killed for the tenets of atheism.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Goose66

      Atheism is the belief that there is no gods. Agnosticism would be lack of belief.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Techie

      At snowboarder: Atheists killed millions of Ukranians. Dress it up any way you like, your faith killed millions.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • lrich_9

      The slaughter in the Soviet Union had nothing to do with faith and everything to do with communism and socialism. When Stalin socialized the farming industry (as did Moa Ze Dong with the same results) it resulted in an average of anywhere from 25,000-35,000 people starving to death each an every month. I believe this is the slaughter you are referring to but there has never been a religious "cleansing" in the old Soviet Union, politicians & Stalin were the mass murderers of the day, not atheism.

      Other than that I agree with you whole heartedly even though I am by definition an atheist but I already explained my point in a comment that's just before your original comment. The moment a group is formed, they can no longer be considered true atheists because atheism is about individuality and it's not our job as individuals to attack the beliefs of other people, why people feel the need to do so is beyond me and it's juvenile.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • snowboarder

      tech – you use atheism as a convenient excuse for a population who would have committed the same atrocities for any other cause. you will probably find that those doing the killing were overwhelmingly not atheist.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Techie

      Irich_9: You seems to get it a little bit anyway. Although the first part is a lame excuse...as I wrote to Mike: " @Mike: Even your excuses are the same. "We didn't do it, it was *enter individual/group* that did it, not true atheist/catholics/jews/muslims/etc"."

      October 22, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Seansa

      Wrong. You are confusing Atheism with agnostic Mike. Atheists have a staunch belief of no God.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Andy in Minneapolis

      Are you an idiot? Atheism is not a faith, atheism is the reject of the god claims of others that fail to meet the burden of proof. For example, if you were to say "god existis", I would reply "prove it", and because you can't prove it you would then say "I can't", to which I would reply that "you have failed to meet the burden of proof and therefore I reject your claim of a god". Atheism has no dogma, no set of beliefes, no holy book, no saints, no idols, no burnish bushes, no voices from the heavens, no death and resurrection stories, no parting of the seas, no feeding the masses froma single fish and loaf of bread, it is not a religion, at all, in any way, shape, form, in any time or place, it is not a religion, mearly the refusal to believe what you cannot prove.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Techie

      @Snowboarder: Read the post of the others in your faith, you are just regurgitating what they say. It's like you all follow some sort of doctrine...maybe you should codify it and put it in a book....

      October 22, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • snowboarder

      tech – it's called reason. try it sometime.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Techie
      The leaders of whom you speak did not wave a flag of atheism for the people to rally around.
      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.
      These leaders wielded their people’s predilection for faith like a weapon.
      Like religions, 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.
      Atheism is not the prime cause for these tragic regimes – the misdirection of faith is.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Techie

      @Andy in Minneapolis: The atheist faitful getting beligerent when their faith is under review. You want to be better then everybody else but when somebody points out your behavior is just like everybody else you get upset and start name calling...just like all the other faiths.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Techie

      I've got to work: Your responses are that of any other faith. You get upset when people review your faith. You make excuses for others that kill under your faith, you bash other faiths. You are true believers in the atheist faith–"there is no God but Null, the supreme nothingness".

      October 22, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  17. Atheist Are Hypocrites!

    Atheists don't believe so why bother? It doesn't matter to you. Again, you do not believe!

    That is my ultimate rebuttal to any Atheist out there to which there is no argumental defense from!

    It is so nice of them to infringe on Romney's religious beliefs where they have none to infringe upon! Atheism should be banned because it seriously is a non-productive waste of time.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Mike

      Yea, cause believing in fairy tales is sooo productive.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • blighter

      Hilarious. You know if we took all the money, time and resources that go into churches and religion and spent it on something useful, we'd have the cure for cancer and condos on Mars.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • Mike

      Had Einstein believed in God, perhaps we would not have the theory of relativity and his other great works. Athiesm is the most productive of the lines of thinking for it demands evidence and justified belief...which takes work. "Just believing" takes no work whatsoever.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      There has only been one leader thoughout history who has successfully made atheism illegal.
      Once those non-believers were eliminated, the people of his country joined together under one mighty banner and set about spreading their good Christian word, going so far as to incorporate allegiance to God into their military uniforms.
      "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

      October 22, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Primewonk

      Of course it matters. These fundiot nutters keep trying to force their religious myths into our secular laws and our public schools. They seek to turn us into a right-wing theocracy.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Goose66

      @Primework – What world have you been living in. Things are becoming more secular, not more religious. What you see as religious zealots trying to force religion on everyone is the desperate acts of religious people trying to retain some semblance of the religious morality and traditions that have permeated our cultures for millennia.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • lrich_9

      Wow! You are f ing looney tunes! I'm voting for Romney too but it saddens me that links me to people like you. You want to ban atheism? LOL! How exactly do you go about banning a belief system, no really, I'm curious? Your lgnorance is astounding.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • gladiatorgrl

      1) Didn't Ryan say in the VP debate one cannot separate their faith from their work? Apparently he missed the memo on No State Sponsored Religion. Apparently the entire "Family" missed it also.
      2) Atheists just don't want anyone "infringing" on their right to NO STATE SPONSORED RELIGION!!

      October 22, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Primewonk

      Goose – are you nuts? How many states are enacting laws or amendments to make sure that gay folks are denied their civil rights? How many state legislatures each year pass new laws regulation women's uterouses? How many states each year try and introduce legislation to teach creationism as science?

      You have half of all republicans in states like Mississippi saying that interracial marriage should be illlegal. Wanna bet how many of them are fundamentalist nutters? In these same sttes you have up to 90% of republicans stating that Obama is not a christian – again, how many of these are fundiot nutters?

      October 22, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Andy in Minneapolis

      A rebuttal, cited from http://www.dictionary.com is a noun, it is noun, an act of rebutting, as in debate, from rebut, a verb, to refute by evidence or argument, to oppose by contrary proof, to provide some evidence or argument that refutes or opposes. This is typically done with fact, not phrasing an opinion in the form of a question. You asking "why botther" does not a rebuttal make, it is a question, one easily answered, argumental defense in response to your question is not required. I think the greater question you're trying to get at why an atheist would comment on a relgion if they do not believe in one themself, which might I add is a completely fair question. Let me preface it saying I think the advertisement is very misleading and I do not support the ad. Neither statements in the ad are factual or accurate in any way. Also let me say that religion in general is very silly to me, any religion. I was born into a religion Christian family, I've attended many different churches such Lutheran, Methodist, and a few others. I would like to be religius and have faith, I really would, but I don't. I guess you could call me an atheist, but even this non-religion of not believing and not practicing requires too much work and effort on my part making me generally abivilient towards it. But not having a faith does not exclude me from either President Obama's policies or Govenor Romney's policies should he be elected. Their faith will continue to be a guiding light in how he makes decisions. In general Americans don't know or understand much about the Morman faith and there is legitimate discussion that is being raised surrounding his faith and the impact it has on social policy. Everyone deserves to know more about what he believes and how he would treat people should he be elected, and thanks to the freedom of speach everyone has the right to complain about it. So, in short, that's why, that's why they bother. As to your statement regarding atheism being banned, well that's just silly. Even if atheists were not organized, advocating any social issues or educating others, they would still be atheists. Atheists can no more stop being atheists than a Mormon or a Christian can stop being a Morman or Chrstian, they would still be atheists. How would you even administer a ban on atheism? Would you round them up and put them into camps, exterminate them, imprison them for life, force them to believe in a god? No, these things have only been done in the name of a god.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  18. a dose of reality

    Faith that could stand up to any form of reason is long gone. Our knowledge of the world from 2000 years ago to what we now know about the world has irrevocably changed the need for religion. We do not need God to explain things; and religion becomes obsolete as an explanation when it becomes optional or one among many different beliefs. We now see that the leap of faith is not just one leap; it is a leap repeatedly made, and a leap that becomes more difficult to take the more it is taken, reaching its pinnacle in blind allegiance and active denial and rejection of any other possibilities. At that point, the credibility of the faithful is entirely lost.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    A Mormon man without the priesthood has no authority in the Church, and cannot lead his family in the way Mormonism says a family should be led. So, the argument the Church is using to defend its former stand on denying black men the priesthood is weak, to say the least. That, combined with the way they have restricted and denied access to Church archives to prevent their own historians from producing real, scholarly works on the Church's history, should make anyone ask what/why they are hiding? Are they that frightened by their members exercising their free agency in examining the unvarnished truth?

    October 22, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • billy davis

      Because like Romney they are prolific liars....

      October 22, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  20. MrBeenThere

    @ huh?: Please provide evidence.
    ........................................ Just there to start with, Please Read very carefully, one is about the Great Grand daughter or the exalted Wizard/ founder himself...........

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/08/07/exclusive-brigham-young-s-great-great-granddaughter-on-mormonism-and-mitt-romney.html

    http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/joannabrooks/6267/does_mormonism_encourage_lds_people_to_lie/

    http://ideas.time.com/2012/06/13/the-root-of-mitt-romneys-comfort-with-lying/

    October 22, 2012 at 8:33 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.