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First on CNN: Atheists ratchet up rhetoric, use billboards to attack Republican politicians
March 3rd, 2013
05:00 AM ET

First on CNN: Atheists ratchet up rhetoric, use billboards to attack Republican politicians

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – An atheist organization known for being provocative plans to take that reputation to the next level this week by putting up seven billboards that call out prominent politicians and religious leaders.

American Atheists plans to target three Republican politicians: former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former House Speak Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

The seven signs will go up around Dallas and Austin, Texas.

In one billboard, a picture of Palin is featured on the left, with a quote attributed to her. "We should create law based on the God of the Bible," the quote reads. Underneath the graphic is a tag line "GO GODLESS INSTEAD."

The billboard, however, misquotes Palin. In an interview with Fox News’ Bill O'Reilly, Palin addressed the growth in American secularism by saying America's founding fathers "would create law based on the God of the Bible and the Ten Commandments," not "should."

Each of the billboards has a similar format and includes a pitch for the group’s 50th anniversary convention in Austin.

Santorum is condemned for when he told an Iowa crowd last November that, "our civil laws have to comport with a higher law: God's law," while Gingrich is criticized for a remark he made at a CNN debate on October 18, 2011, in Las Vegas. "How can I trust you with power if you don't pray," Gingrich posited.

Virginia Davis, spokeswoman for Santorum, thanked American Atheists for the publicity.

"At a time when many are trying to remove God from the public square, the senator is appreciative of someone helping him very publicly express his strong belief that we are one nation under God," Davis wrote in an e-mail to CNN.

American Atheists President David Silverman, however, sees the billboards as a way to shame the targets.

"We at American Atheists are shaming these leaders for their bigoted and backwards remarks and attitudes, and conveying a message to today's atheists that we need not take it anymore," Silverman wrote in an e-mail to CNN.

Two religious leaders, the Rev. Robert Jeffress, pastor at the First Baptist Dallas, and Benedict XVI, now the pope emeritus, also are featured on billboards.

Jeffress' billboard includes a quote the pastor said during a 2008 sermon titled, "Gay Is Not OK." "What they [homosexuals] do is filthy," reads the billboard. Under the quote is the phrase "Go Godless Instead" and a rainbow flag, a symbol of gay rights.

This will be the only ad placed in Dallas, featured in a busy stretch of Interstate 30 and only a few miles from Jeffress' large church.

The First Baptist Church of Dallas is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention. Jeffress, who has been in its pulpit since 2007, is no stranger to controversy, including comments about Judiasm and Catholicism. After introducing Texas Gov. Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit in Washington in October 2011, Jeffress told reporters he believed Mormonism was a cult, expressing a personal position and one held by his denomination. The move was seen as a particular slight to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a lifelong Mormon.

The billboard featuring Benedict XVI, who stepped down Thursday, cites a New York Times article entitled, "Vatican Declined to Defrock U.S. Priest Who Abused Boys." "The Church Protected Priests Who Abused Children," reads the billboard.

Silverman says the group plans to spend $25,000 on the billboards, which will go up on Monday and remain up for the rest of March.

"Everyone should be allowed to profess their faith, of course, but that does not shield them from criticism," Silverman wrote. "Everyone has the responsibility to lead moral lives, and 'It's my religion' is not an excuse for bigotry or immorality."

Silverman continued: "Some Americans seem to think that bigotry in the name of religion is somehow permissible. It is not. We hope that the believers of Austin place anti-atheist bigotry in the same category as anti-Semitism or racism - a relic of the past that needs to be jettisoned for all the right reasons."

Six of the billboards will be dispersed around the Austin area, with four placed on high traffic freeways.

This is not the first time American Atheists has used billboards to get its message out.

Last March, the group targeted Muslims and Jews with billboards that called God a "myth" in both Arabic and Hebrew.

In November 2010, the same group posted a billboard around the holiday season that read, "You KNOW it's a Myth. This Season, Celebrate REASON."

Silverman, who has been criticized for this in-your-face atheism, has long defended the tactic, saying that the confrontation is meant to "grow the cause and benefit the country."

"That's why companies buy billboards - to get attention," Silverman wrote.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Catholic Church • Newt Gingrich • Politics • Pope • Rick Santorum • Sarah Palin

soundoff (3,513 Responses)
  1. Margaret

    How can Rick Santorum have a name whose definition is "a frothy mixture of semen and feces" and claim to be deeply religious? He might want to consider changing his name...I saw this on line and thought it was a joke...but its not. Gross....

    March 3, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • palintwit

      That's why they call him "the frothy one".

      March 3, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  2. Steve

    Why stoop to their level? Everyone has the right to believe what they want. Whether you believe Jesus was the son of God, he did have a good message, "He who is without sin, cast the first stone" Let's all put our rocks down and get along.

    March 3, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  3. ;)

    Sometimes it's hard to tell which side of the debate is holier than thou.

    March 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  4. I am god

    Just kidding. But I have as much proof that I am god as the religious nuts have proof that their god exists – zero

    March 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  5. HeinzM

    Gingrich's quote is hilarious. If the main reason our reps have been chosen because they believe and pray to the spaghetti monster in the sky, based on the mess hey have produced and keep making worse, there prayers have been a useless waste of time which would have been much better spent to actually work on the problem rather than praying about it.

    March 3, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • HeinzM

      Meant 'their prayers'.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  6. Margaret

    I am an atheist (for the record); but my belief system...or lack thereof...shouldn't be an issue...ever. I don't expect folks to like or accept my views...nor do I openly discuss them or challenge others with them. They are in short "my beliefs". This is precisely the problem with the Christian right...there has become this de facto requirement of politicians to be not only believers...but Christian believers...and in my lifetime have watched the Christian right work hard to make this country into a theocracy as best they can. I respect the Christian faith...as I do all faiths...more so, I deeply respect that others believe differently than I...and see religious tolerance as a defining (and shining) social value of this country (despite recent efforts to narrow this view).

    March 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • HeinzM

      You are very generous with your thoughts. And more power to you. Personally I am an atheist based on much thought, not because of any belief, which atheism, ain't. 😉
      And having been conditioned to a specific belief by your parents does not wring any special admiration from me, particularly since it was only used as an excuse, NOT to have to start thinking for oneself after leaving puberty.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  7. Roger Waters

    Conservatives are on the wrong side of history. Two hundred years from now they'll be the laughingstock of all history books.

    March 3, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • YeaOk

      The fact that you troll these types of stories and then post insults to those who don't agree with you is more of a joke than anything else. Christians have been around for 2,000 years and they will be 200 years from now.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • _

      Your assertion is ridiculous considering God existed before the universe did.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • scranton

      You have not idea what anyone is going to think in 200 years. Just another troll spewing..

      March 3, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Roger Waters

      @YeaOk – Implying there's something to disagree/agree about. If you can't process logic than it's not my fault you take it as an insult. Although stupidity seems to be a curse in this country, I hope your children don't suffer the same consequences when you breed.

      @_ – What existed before God?

      @Scranton – They certainly won't be the role of imaginary beings in governmental.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
  8. palintwit

    We arrive in rusty 1964 motorhomes.
    We bring our bibles and loaded assault weapons.
    We wear ridiculous clothing and have teabags dangling from our earlobes.
    We carry misspelled racist signs as we stomp all over the WhiteHouse lawn.
    We eat Chick-fil-A and wash it down with Everclear.
    We are Sarah Palin's real Americans.
    We love the baby jesus but we love to boink our cousins even more.
    We believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old and that early man walked with the dinosaurs.
    We believe that nascar is a real sport and that Dale Earnhardt was a great American athlete.
    We are the birthers. We are tea party patriots.
    We are bigots and inbreds. We are morons and we are proud.

    March 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • YeaOk

      Your comment's are laughable, your hypocrisy is glaring.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Joe

      God bless.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • I am god

      Dont forget to include

      " We dont believe in science"
      "We dont believe in education"
      "We DO care about life of 'children'... until they are born"

      March 3, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
  9. DrPhill

    Famous Atheists/Heathens in history – Hitler, Attila, Mao, Tojo, Ghengis Khan, Stalin, Pol Pot, every mass murderer who ever lived, ad nauseum. What a proud tradition.

    March 3, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • 12ax7

      Atheists will deny that. It is very familiar of them denying all the time, and lying as well.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Roger Waters

      Hitler was a Christian actually. As for the rest, yeah some were Atheist, but they didn't do what they did because they were Atheists. They were just as bad as any totalitarian regime should be. If you do good only because you think God is watching you are you really being moral or are you just being an obedient slave afraid of punishment?

      March 3, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Austin

      I will deny it because it isn't true.

      Hitler was a Christian, for one. He wrote of doing "the lord's work," and Nazi uniforms and propaganda were replete with Christian symbolism.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Margaret

      Hitler claimed to be a Christian...quite vehemently...and since there is no acid test for Christianity (all Christians argue that "he/she's not a "real" Christian)...then Hitler might be the most famous Christian of all Christians...besides Jesus of course.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Austin

      Genghis Khan designated the mountain Burkhan Khaldun as sacred. Funny thing for an atheist to do...

      Maybe you confused "atheist" with "animist"?

      March 3, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • End Religion

      Debunked, refuted and dispelled about 10 times a day. None of these characters, whether they were atheist or not, killed in the name of a lack of belief in a god. Some of them suppressed religion as a tool to further the goal of totalitarian control.

      "State-imposed atheism" is a misnomer; there can be no such thing. Imposed irreligion is not atheism. Atheism is only the lack of belief in a god; one can't force people to not believe in a god.

      The actions of Mao, Pol and Joe (who attended seminary) were totalitarian opportunists. They sought total authority and banned religion which would compete with that authority. The pursuit of control over a people was the cause for the bloodshed.

      Although Stalin initially sought to rid Russia of religion, once firmly in office he re-instituted the Russian Orthodox Church and re-opened theological schools. Suppression of religion was a tool not a reason.

      Pol Pot is said to have practiced some Theravada Buddhism (and his Khmer Rouge were radical Buddhists). He studied at a Catholic school in Phnom Pen for 8 years. This mad man targeted not only religion but science, medicine and education. Political dissent was not permitted, with torture a common sentence.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Adolf_Hitler

      Hitler was raised Catholic. In his book Mein Kampf and in public speeches he made statements affirming a belief in Christianity. He called the purge of Jews "positive Christianity." While there is debate over his actual private feelings about the faith, he was a publicly practicing Christian. There exists no known evidence that Hitler was an atheist or agnostic. Again: evidence he was Christian; no evidence he was otherwise.

      Hitler said: "Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."

      The Reichskonkordat was a treaty signed on 20 July 1933 between the Holy See (Catholic Church) and Nazi Germany, guaranteeing the rights of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany, giving moral legitimacy to the Nazi regime soon after Hitler had acquired dictatorial powers, and placing constraints on Catholic critics of the regime, leading to a muted response by the Church to Nazi policies. Yes, the Catholic Church colluded with Nazis.

      http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?ti.tle=20th_century_atrocities (take dot out of 'title')
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_Hitlerum
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

      March 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Akira

      None of those men heading up their regimes did anything in the name of atheism. It is a difference you may wish to note. Plenty has been done in the name of religion. Therein lies the difference.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Austin

      Atilla the Hun believed in Tengriism. Pol Pot was a Buddhist.

      Google is your friend.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • _

      Atheists need to find God

      March 3, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • DrPhill

      Hitler a freekin Christian? Bwahaha, how stupid can people possibly be? Leave it to Heathens/Atheists, they'll find a way.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Austin

      Perhaps Stalin (raised Catholic) and Mao (raised Buddhist) were atheists, but it seems more likely they just rejected anything that threatened their state's absolute control over the people. Either way, they didn't commit atrocities in the name of No God.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Austin

      "Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith." - Adolf Hitler

      March 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • the AnViL

      DrPhill... hitler really was xian.

      do your homework, ignorant dipshit.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Akira

      Dr. Phill, drunk and stupid isn't a good way to go through life, son. Pick up a book that doesn't have 'The Bible' as its title and get a tiny bit of education. You can be a Christian and do that, you know.

      March 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Aaron

      For you to lump all mass murderers as being atheist is ignorant. The same could be said if I where to say that all mass murderers where Christian (which there are plenty of examples I could use to try and sway people to believe this..) Most atheists that I know are good people who give back to their communities. Every religion does evil. To lump all atheists as evil people is narrow minded.

      March 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • DrPhill

      Jeez people, just accept the fact that Atheism has a LONG tradition of mass murderers and genocide and stop being gutless worms. I know it's embarrasing, if a Heathen can be embarrased, but facts are facts.

      March 3, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Don

      Hitler – catholic
      Tojo – shinto
      Genghis – reportedly prayed to a mountain. Otherwise religiously curious and tolerant.
      Atlla – unknown
      Stalin – probably, but a product of the church.

      March 3, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • 12ax7

      I told you they would deny it. lol

      March 3, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • HitchedBritches

      I've heard this one many times and all it serves to do is highlight the ignorance of the person who puts it forward. But I don't expect you to stop saying it. It's probably one of your favs and I'd guess that you are quite pleased with yourself. The problem though, as others have mentioned, is that you are trying to link atheism and immorality, and anyone with half a brain can debunk that one. It is also the case that none of those individuals you mentioned did what they did in the name of atheism. You are a sad sort.

      March 3, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
  10. Openminded

    I spent most of my young adult life believing in what I was raised up to believe in. Most if not all of it was based on the roman catholic religion. At first as a young child I didn't question most things but just believed what I was taught. As I got older though, my curious mind was not satisfied with the answers my religion was providing. I needed a deeper understanding of my surroundings to satisfy my growing curiosity.

    The problem with religion is its totally based on the supernatural, on stuff written about thousands of years ago from people who lacked todays knowledge. Back in those days most people needed god and religion to help them cope with the harshness of what it was like to live back then. They had nothing else to fall back onto when they got sick, were enslaved, or went to war..ect. People needed to believe that their was a super being that was going to make things right and protect them, help them go through the pains of what life was like back then.

    Nowadays, especially in the west , life compared to back then is much much better. We live longer healthier lives. We have a better understanding of our surroundings and re rely less on the supernatural to explain it all or help us cope with our difficulties. This trend will only continue in the future as people's needs are met by our increasing knowledge. Our ancestors religions based on need will gradually loose influence on us and finally cease to have an impact.

    March 3, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
  11. 12ax7

    Same old Atheists babbling their big mouths again about religions. It really shows their intelligence level.

    March 3, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Rich De

      And that's somehow different than the same old religious nuts clinging to their invisible wonder God? How exactly is that intelligent?

      March 3, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  12. Steve

    May you rot in hell atheists. Lucky for you is that there is no hell, or so you hope.

    March 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Austin

      May you be eaten by the Loch Ness Monster!

      Scared yet? No? Now you know how I feel.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I don't worship evil beings. Any being who creates and sustains and allows to exist any "hell" is evil beyond comparison and cannot be trusted regardless of the deals he claims to make with those who 'believe' or 'worship.' I also don't bow to terrorism (such as beings telling me I'll be tortured for not following their rules.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Akira

      What a lovely Christian sentiment.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • 12ax7

      Of course not Moby, you surely don't bow in front of any God. But you surely bow forward in front of another person that is same gender as you are.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      Ah, a Christian doing unto others as they would have done unto to them.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ 12ax7

      Was that supposed to be what you kids call a sick burn or something? Instead of an informed, intelligent response, you say, "Yeah? Well, you're gay!"

      As the old folks say, lame.

      March 3, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • 12ax7

      Ain't most of Atheists gay? Maybe the rest of them swing both ways.

      March 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Spencer

      Most gays are as ignorant and deluded as you are believing in your "God". "God" is in quotation marks because in the English language, ideas are supposed to be put in quotation marks.

      March 3, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Rick

      I love when religious nuts bring up hell. Your god created hell. I watched a conversation on the net between a great atheist and a crazy lady who told him that we are all born flawed and with sin and god threw us a life preserver(Jesus). and the atheist said as far as he was concerned her god threw us all overboard to begin with. What a loving god.

      March 4, 2013 at 4:25 am |
  13. Tom

    I for one am sick and tired of being told what our founding fathers believed in. Read their words at their homes in their hand writing, most of them DID NOT believe what these politicians are telling you please read their writings it is available and free you will be suprised at what our founding fathers really believed.

    March 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      They believed in truth absolute, to be the lord and GOD, none other, rest of the man gods are product of hindu Judaism, stupid secular ism, self center ism of hindus, ignorant s.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Rob Anderson

      Many were Deist,Unitarians, Free thinkers Jefferson,Pain.Washington,Franklin...

      March 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  14. Ancient Texan

    When 86% of the nation is "at least somewhat" religious, the non believers aren't going to recruit a large number of converts. They will keep trying to demean believers though.

    March 3, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Atheism is growing faster than any other category of "believer" or religion. Got a pipe to smoke that with?

      March 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Austin

      You really must be ancient to not see how quickly the developed world is becoming secular.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Useful Idiots

      Moby Schtick, your post proves there is no cure for stuck on stupid.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Ui

      No need to do research to see what the facts say when you feel so confident, huh? Stay stupid, Ui.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
  15. Bootyfunk

    the article should read:

    Atheists Target Ignorance and Prejudice

    March 3, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  16. ry

    Lets be clear. Every single politician in this article is NOT a christian. Obama says he's a christian and that dude makes orders that kill children on a daily basis. Complete opposite in actions

    All you athiests are idiots. You obviously are within the 100 – 120 IQ range. Smart enough to have a opinion, dumb enough to know nothing. You want to talk theology, talk to someone that know's what there talking about and Ill make you look dumb

    March 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • the AnViL

      ry, just curious...

      how do you reconcile the fact that none of the new testament authors were eye witnesses?

      also

      how do you feel about all the inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and contradictions in the bible?

      finally:

      how do you reconcile the exceedingly long list of failed biblical prophecies?

      thank you in advance for making me look dumb! i can't wait!

      .
      .

      *looks at watch*

      March 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Actually my IQ is well above 150, and studies have shown that the more intelligent an individual is, the less likely they will be religious. People of lesser intelligence levels will tend to be more religious.

      You might want to do a little research before posting.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Akira

      Let's be clear. Obama is the one your upset at; making this about anything else is disingenuous.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Austin

      100-120 is above average, IQ-wise.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Candace

      ....knows what "they're" talking about........

      March 3, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • cowboysandbeer

      "You want to talk theology, talk to someone that know's what there talking about and Ill make you look dumb."

      you can tri to make me look dumb but it wont werk becaus youll just look stuped while i lauf, so their. go 'boys.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • GP

      Intelligence has little to do with faith. Why is it wrong to demand evidence for evolution yet not require the same level of evidence for the existence of a god?

      I call that a double standard.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Useful Idiots

      1 Corinthians 1:31

      March 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Austin

      Anyone who calls a nonbeliever a fool is going to hell, according to Matthew 5:22.

      March 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  17. talkingraven1

    In Rev. Robert Jeffries, I see a very phony smile that hides something. Some who people believe in god really are good people because they believe in the simpe messae of unconditional love to all. This guy uses religion as a mask to hide the real person inside. His face reveals weakness in character and atacks others to make himself look better.

    March 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  18. Willyboy

    Awesomeness! When will these Christofascist politicians fade into obscurity? It is long, long past time for people to realize religion DOES NOT BELONG in our politics, our government or our governance.

    March 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Useful Idiots

      Willyboy, you prove that you need to turn your TV off.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
  19. noidea

    Who's more nuts? Someone who believes in an imaginary supreme being or those who fight the imaginary supreme being?

    March 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • End Religion

      those who believe in imaginary creatures are more highly nutty

      March 3, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • the AnViL

      atheists do not fight against an imaginary man in the sky.

      most often – atheists are defending themselves and fighting the good fight against the actions, deeds, and ideals of delusional, retarded, uneducated, subhumans who believe in an imaginary man in the sky.
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      ch'ka ch'kaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh

      March 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • dibbler

      Atheists are not fighting against the imaginary being but rather the people who believe in the imaginary being. The distinction is important.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      noidea,

      We do not believe that this imaginary being exists. We know that believers DO exist, however, and they are the ones with whom we take issue.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Opposing View

      That's easy. If a being is truly imaginary, then anyone who fights against that which doesn't exist is a candidate for the crazy house.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Opposing View

      To "A Frayed Knot"... If that is the case, then why take issue with people whom you categorize as crazy. Arguing with lunatics is the sign of a fool. If you truly believe such people are deluded, they why not just go about your way...

      March 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Useful Idiots

      What good fight are you fighting? More nonsense from the walking dead.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
  20. Justin H

    As an atheist myself, I prefer to take the more positive approach of saying "Good without God" or something similar. When you start calling out people, it's going to create a backlash. Just stick with the positive message.

    March 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • End Religion

      They want backlash. You didn't study marketing did you?

      March 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Akira

      I don't like the phase "Go Godless Instead." It is as divisive as religion is, and does no good to anyone, in my opinion.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • End Religion

      We've all heard "there's no such thing as bad press". Let's face it, for many religious types an atheist could hardly be more of a monster than they already are. So what's left? Get as much fucking attention as we can by using their own "godless" term against them, rub their face in it, and write their hypocrisy loud. It isn't meant to make anyone love atheists, it is meant to get attention by proudly bucking authority (note the many teens/early 20's that will be in Austin this month), scare people about potential theocracy and shame them. There may be other avenues to win "hearts."

      March 3, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Opposing View

      The only problem is, Justin, it's not possible to be "good without God". Even Jesus himself stated only God is good. Therefore, if you don't have God (and atheists don't know God or have God) then it's not possible for you to be good. Even the so-called good deeds that you do (help the sick, donate to the poor, etc) God does not consider your actions as good. It is still evil. It is evil because it is a lie and a deception. You're trying to deceive people and convince them you can still be good without God. When that is a lie and will send your soul to hell...

      March 3, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • End Religion

      OV, there is no hell, no soul, the whole shebang is a fraud. The worst "morality" anyone could have is likely one derived from the bible.

      Morality: Using empathy as a guide for human interaction. AKA, "treat others the way you want to be treated" and "put yourself in my shoes". It has nothing inherently to do with the immoral bible.

      When morality is based on religious text, its OK to:
      • behead one's daughter to restore a family's "honor"
      • deny emergency medical aid to a child
      • kill gays, children who misbehave, anyone who works on a particular day of the week, entire groups and races of peoples, and many others for equally capricious reasons
      • buy and sell humans as chattel, including one's own family members
      • kill anyone who visually depicts Muhammad

      Karen Wynn of Yale has a study showing even babies have an idea of wrong versus right. Neuroscientist Christian Keysers has done research to show that the brain of those who see others receiving pain themselves have similar neurological responses. There is a curve to empathy; some feel it more than others. But it certainly doesn't come from a hateful book about imaginary people.

      Humans and probably other animals exist on a spectrum of empathy.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empathy
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_neuron

      Frans de Waal shows that even monkeys employ "morality"...
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcJxRqTs5nk&w=640&h=390]

      March 3, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Useful Idiots

      End Religion, you're leaving out how most atheists write on this blog as a believer to instigate the bad press.

      March 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Useful Idiots

      End Religion, stop quoting yale useful idiots. Actually, Connecticut as a whole is a total sellout.

      March 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
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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.