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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. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    Do not donate any money to American Atheists. Tis just another "non-profit" using a cause as a front for a tax-free investment company.

    Said group's founder, Dave Silverman pays himself $100,000+ /yr out of about $500,000 in donations. Said group has an investment portfolio of over a million dollars. And Silverman pays no taxes on the interest, dividends or capital gains on these investments. (guidestar.org)

    In place of your donation, simply send the following to family and friends.

    The Apostles'/Agnostics’?Atheists' Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    March 3, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • gregor1971

      President Obama is on record as having accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior around the time when he officially became Christian.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • gregor1971

      As one psychologist told me, if you can get religion, then do it. Religious people are much happier and more fulfilled in life, and they have stronger mental and emotional stability. This apparently comes from that guy from Harvard that studies happiness and calls its effects the Happiness Advantage. So, while it may not be for everyone, and nobody can prove of disprove God's existence, those who believe still benefit greatly.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • OOO

      gregor1971
      That may be true, but unfortunately there just isn't an on-off switch to turn belief on. When you don't believe, you need to see some convincing evidence, or it just aint happening....

      March 3, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • gregor1971

      OOO, I know where you're coming from. Science drastically changes every decade, and what was true one decade is often turned upside down the next, so it is often difficult to put much credence into anything.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • The Balloon

      Atheists are wasting their time. God exists, he's there and you're missing out. Look at what science offers you with no source for any of them, or proof to back up the claims:

      1. The most energy ever dispersed in the universe at once (big bang) had a start, and no repeats
      2. Life itself, can't form it in a lab, so how do you expect evolution to do it?
      3. Evolutions laws change with the wind to whatever matches what's already there

      That's what you are placing your trust in for an eternity. I will put my trust in God.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You know, after reading your post, Balloon, I wouldn't turn to god because apparently, it makes those who do complete idiots. You haven't got a clue what you're talking about. Not one.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • logan5

      @gregor1971
      So according to you, we should continue to accept the anachronistic, and absurd musings of ignorant desert Bedouins from CENTURIES past, just so we can keep our endorphin levels up and be "happier." It is a proven fact that the tenets of the Abrahamic religions represent a serious impediment to our social and intellectual advancement. You need to stop hanging out with quack psychologists.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • Damocles

      So let's look at what religion offers:

      1) Hope, peace, joy. Sounds good, but you already have these things.
      2) Prayer. A crapshoot, pretty much the same as wishing.
      3) Religious persecution. Mmmmm, gosh yes we need that.
      4) An afterlife of rainbow-scented unicorns pooping out cute, fluffy kittens. While this presents some amusing mental images, it has not been proven to be true.
      5) The death of thought. Sad.
      6) Willingly offering up your life to those who 'know' the bible is true and value your servitude. Tyrants do so love when you offer up your life to them on a silver platter.
      7) Providing yet another shield that those who hate can hide behind. If you are going to hate, be man or woman enough to state that YOU hate.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • sam stone

      the balloon: how do you make the leap from a creator to a god?

      March 3, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • adh1729

      "It is a proven fact that the tenets of the Abrahamic religions represent a serious impediment to our social and intellectual advancement."

      Proven how? How come so many of the greatest scientists and thinkers of Western civilization have been believers in Christianity or Judaism? I was a fundamentalist Christian when I went through college, and was always first in my class. Seems to me the Budweiser worshippers were the ones having problems with intellectual advancement. (I wouldn't describe myself as fundamentalist now, but was raised by fundamentalist parents, and it did not hinder me from having an outstanding academic career; rather I think it was helpful.)

      How does believing that Jesus is the son of God prevent one from understanding that the Riemann sum of a continuous function on a closed interval converges to the definite integral, in every case? How do those two beliefs contradict?

      How does faith in the New Testament prevent a person from understanding the Krebs cycle? gluconeogenesis? F = ma? E=mc^2? How do these contradict?

      The only place where the Bible and science conflict at all is the science of origins (if science it could be called), and that is only an issue if one insists that 1) genesis is absolutely literal; 2) genesis is the whole story and there is nothing more; 3) traditional assumptions about genesis are the only ones and there is no other way to understand the book. There is no reason a thinking Christian needs to make these assumptions and related ones, regarding the book of Genesis.

      There is no significant conflict between religion and science, and the so-called conflict is just a bunch of propaganda (whose likely source is the power group that executed a hostile takeover of USA a century ago).

      March 4, 2013 at 7:17 am |
    • Austin

      A French speaking Somalian pastor, who converted from Islam, talked at our church about how his wife would not convert to Christianity, antil she had a dream about an American pastor who was joining the mission and arriving in a few days, and when she saw him she knew she had seen him in her dream first, and she converted.

      Another proof of the living God. Robert Brown had a vision, and I have had numerous visions, miraculous communications with a living powerful intelligible spirit. Who knows the future.

      Jehovah Shammah. The Lord is There

      March 4, 2013 at 11:30 am |
  2. dd

    So atheists love Obama and Black Baptists?

    March 3, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • Gadflie

      We love the ignorant, we just hate the ignorance. 🙂

      March 3, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
  3. Bryan

    These individuals are not spokespeople for God, and don't claim to be. They were speaking their mind. And they are allowed to speak their mind by first amendment. And even IF what was said was technically inappropriate, there is no reason to therefore disbelieve in God. What a pathetic attempt to create doubt in God, our creator.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I don't think the billboard's intent was "doubt." I think the billboards intent was to encourage those folks who already are atheists but don't feel comfortable with the label. The billboard attempted to convey this message by showing some idiots in government who use "god" as a power card for their own bigotry.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • SisterChromatid

      Atheists have freedom of speech too. Theists are free to say whatever goofy things they like. And atheists are free to mock their hypocrisy and use what they say to encourage rational thought. I know this is very hard for theists to accept, but free speech isn't just for those who agree with you. If you want to declare your magical beliefs in public, be prepared to hear what others think of those beliefs. If you have thin skin, get better beliefs (or keep your religious beliefs to yourself.)

      March 3, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • adh1729

      Sister chromatid, we also have the freedom of speech to ask why you scientists haven't been able to make a bacterial cell yet. If blind unintelligent chance could do it, then why haven't you been able?

      March 3, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • SisterChromatid

      They have: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/21/science/21cell.html?_r=0

      But even when we didn't know how lightening came about, it didn't mean Zeus (or any other magical being) was doing it.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      crickets chirping from adh's side.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • adh1729

      SisterChromatid "They have: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/21/science/21cell.html?_r=0. But even when we didn't know how lightening came about, it didn't mean Zeus (or any other magical being) was doing it."

      Sistah, you can tell lies like that one to the dumbed-down graduates of your governmental brainwashing centers called public school, and they will believe you. Don't try telling that kind of cr*p to me. I read that story back in 2010 and they were so far from creating a bacterial cell that it was pathetic. I re-read it now and hold to my original opinion. Venter couldn't even make the largest pieces of DNA synthetically but had to use other living cells to do it. Nowhere was he creating membranes, ribosomes, transmembrane proteins, enzymes etc etc etc from scratch. You know that blind chance + inorganic matter = a living, replicating bacterial cell is a scientific joke raised to the trillionth power. Cut out the pretense.

      March 4, 2013 at 7:28 am |
    • Science hasn't done it... yet

      adh1729 " I read that story back in 2010 and they were so far from creating a bacterial cell that it was pathetic".
      Today we can't build a decent cell, 60 years ago we couldn't build a decent computer or do heart transplants, 150 years ago we couldn't build an airplane telephone or indoor plumbing. And if we had never built all that, it still wouldn't mean god exists

      March 4, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Science nails it. Science 1 adh 0.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      HIV/AIDS used to be a death sentence. Science now may be close to ending that. http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/03/health/hiv-toddler-cured/index.html?hpt=hp_inthenews

      March 4, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      adh recalls that I called him an azz some time ago, and then opined that I don't have "an open mind."

      I guess adh's mind only opens in one direction. I stand by my original assessment of adh.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Actually, fabrication of an organism, essentially a bacterium with a minimal genome, is a project people are working on. Craig Venter's people made a functional synthetic genome in 2010, I believe. Size about 1 megabase. What's lacking is a means to get all the host cell components synthesized and artificially assembled so that the artificial genome can be set in motion in an artificial cell. Then, voila, artificial life.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
  4. brian

    Is there a god? That's a rhetorical question. You can't answer with a yes or no.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Sure you can. The answer is no.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • CommonSenseSam

      8-ball says: Very Doubtful

      March 3, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I have no idea, but I'm 100% convinced it's not that childish, sniveling fvckwad put forth by the bible who is the greatest terrorist of all time and who will torture anyone who doesn't say certain magic words within a certain time frame.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • gregor1971

      I lived in San Francisco, which has a large atheist population, yet we found that those who believe in God are about 4 times as likely to perform community service than those who do not. This squares with findings from around the country. You could take atheists more seriously if they stopped worshiping their favorite subject – themselves – a little more and found meaningful ways to contribute to society. All over the place, from NYC to Denver to LA to SF, you see those who believe in God doing far more for their local communities. This includes coaching athletics, mentoring youth, helping the homeless, etc.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • logan5

      That's the whole point. If we can't prove a "god" exists, then why have we been, for the past 2000 yrs, insisting that we can. Why do people go around, to this day, pretending to posses knowledge of things they could not possibly know.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • Dilbert Fan

      Let's reinstate the Sun God and ponder!

      March 3, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • The Balloon

      Yes there is the only God there is, YHWH. I know he's there, the Holy Spirit told me. Jesus exists too. You're missing out on the best.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • logan5

      @gregor1971
      There are just as many "secular" organizations involved in charitable activities as there are Christian. And there are PLENTY of atheists who hold and demonstrate altruistic values on a daily basis. Since when has belief in the Judeo Christian deity been necessary for a person to "care" about their fellow man. Your ignorance and arrogance is kinda frightening.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Gregor, who's this "we"? If you don't count donations to churches, the actual numbers are within a few percentage points of each other.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • gregor1971

      Gadfly, not true. it could be because secular organizations are not as organized, but the the findings by the SF City Council, of which I was part, was that even the secular organizations had high percentages of those who believed in God. I think those people just find it more natural to give back and serve, and that is not a bad thing. My point is that the communities in which we live greatly benefit from these religions, and to state anything to the contrary would be disingenuous.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Gregor, you are trying to pretend that the S.F. city council did a scientifically valid study that contradicted those done by organizations such as the The Chronicle of Philanthropy? Cite your source guy.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • Austin

      Jesus doesn't torture anyone, he justifies everyone. People defer to the prison for fallen angels because they are spiritual criminals, they evade spiritual restoration. Suicide.

      March 4, 2013 at 12:24 am |
  5. Austin

    Austin

    Abel ,take off.

    I would vote in ways I feel are Godly choices. There is nothing wrong with any of the pin up comments made by these people. Gods judgments bring about blessings. Living outside his will is a curse. Someone who is saved is not a secular human.

    Heathen is a strong word, However we need Godly leaders and examples. If God offends you, you are the problem, not God.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • sam stone

      god does not offend us. using your view of godly choices to deny other their civil rights does. denying people their civil rights is called bigotry. using the bible to do so is pious bigotry

      March 3, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Abel, take off." What in the hell is that all about?

      March 4, 2013 at 12:11 am |
    • Austin

      What civil rights are you referring to?

      March 4, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Preventing women from having abortions. Preventing gays from marrying. Teaching creationism in public schools.

      March 4, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • Austin

      Tom Tom, I was just wondering, thanks for the reply. I thought civil rights was about ethnic equality, and respecting individual life regardless of skin or nationality. Your topics are behavior oriented.

      March 4, 2013 at 12:31 am |
    • Aydin

      Austin, while the list of recognized civil rights varies, activities and actions, including religious practice and organization of the family unit (number of children, marriage) have been a core element since at least the original UN declarations.

      March 4, 2013 at 12:38 am |
  6. Satan's can opener

    No way I want to live in a theocracy. What we have.....in terms of the politicians themselves...is bad enough. I don't care if you believe a giant turtle upchucked and created the universe – just do NOT legislate or try to legislate based on your mythology. I will fight that to the death. Anyone who believes this is a "Christian nation" is a complete moron and totally unaware of the history of this country and its founding. But there really is no arguing with entrenched ignorance masquerading as The Ultimate Knowledge Of Where It All Comes From Because The Bible Says So". I applaud the more rational people posting on this blog who have the patience to try and get these people to argue logically. I have tried to do so, in person. But the problem is that they have an answer for absolutely everything – and that answer boils down to either of these two things: "God did it" or "The Devil did it". They have NO idea how destructive, hateful and inhuman their "religion" is, nor will you be able to convince them of it. Good luck.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • gregor1971

      I lived in San Francisco, which has a large atheist population, yet we found that those who believe in God are about 4 times as likely to perform community service than those who do not. This squares with findings from around the country. You could take atheists more seriously if they stopped worshiping their favorite subject – themselves – a little more and found meaningful ways to contribute to society. All over the place, from NYC to Denver to LA to SF, you see those who believe in God doing far more for their local communities. This includes coaching athletics, mentoring youth, helping the homeless, etc.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Atheists organize themselves about as often as non stamp collectors. Your opinion, while accurate, does not make the atheist position incorrect.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • OOO

      Who are "we" in the "We have found"?

      March 3, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
  7. GetToTheMiddle

    I'm not sure why they're putting up billoards with Newt, Palin & Santorum. They're time has already passed. Why bring them back into relevance? Seems like a waste of money to target them. Why aren't they targeting current leaders who are actually impacting the US with their legislation???

    March 3, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • GetToTheMiddle

      Sorry..."THEIR time has already passed."

      March 3, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
  8. SisterChromatid

    Dead people don't have faces, or pain receptors or brains to feel anything. It's true. Read a biology book. There is no magical part of you that lives after death any more than there are magical parts of bugs or skunks that live on after the organism dies. Yes, it may be fun for you to imagine everyone who doesn't believe as you do being tortured for daring to think for themselves– but that's just a manipulation to get people like you to prop up ministers, churches, and magical thinking. If that stuff was real, there would be evidence for it... and smart scientists would be testing that evidence to find out more. And then no-one would need to be manipulated into belief as has clearly been done to you!

    (Besides a real god wouldn't need to use such ugly sorts of tactics to manipulate people into belief anyhow. They could just provide evidence, communicate clearly, do some real miracles like grow back amputated limbs, show where dinosaurs are buried, etc. I also don't think any real gods would be obsessed with being "believed in"– it sounds so human and petty to me.)

    March 3, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • Jamie

      The evidence is you & me. Life in a world that is balanced ever so precisely, delicately balanced. Intelligence, synchronization of the planets, stars, and the elements, the order of life, the food chain, our ability to self-heal. . . these cannot come from chaos (and that is a scientific fact). Do me favor, if you don't believe. Pull the batteries out of your flashlight and put them and the other parts of that flashlight into a box. Now shake the box and send me a picture when all the parts have magically come together to form the complete flashlight, batteries installed, with the cap screwed back on. (FYI: It will never happen . . . it takes someone with a will to put it together).

      March 3, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Jamie, your "fact" and entire argument is nothing but a logical fallacy known as an "argumentum ad ignorantiam". It's also a fine example of observer bias. And, this is how you actually think? No wonder you're religious.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • rollawaythestone

      SisterChromatid,
      Your soul is so much greater than your body. Do you think who you are is defined by a mass of flesh, muscle, and organ? You are so much bigger than that. You were created and loved and will be loved until your last breath.
      God created us. His logic is so much bigger than ours. Of course it is against conventional wisdom to believe in miracles and a higher power. Yet think of this: the entirety of the universe is made of patterns. Look at the mathematical equations that define gravity, and how chemicals and elements interact. Look at everything around you, look at the CHANCE evolutionarily that an oxygenic bacteria would emerge out of the primordial soup and multiply. These coincidences are so unlikely when we look at probability. Yet they all happened. This points to the conclusion that it wasn't a coincidence at all, but a planned eventuality.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, it doesn't. You choose to believe that's the case, but there's no evidence that it's true.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • rollawaythestone

      There is also no evidence against it. I definitely respect and value your opinion, but think that a healthy dose of respectful dialogue does everyone some good.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Roll, again, that is an "argumentum ad ignorantiam" fallacy and a "Negative Proof" fallacy. You really need to try harder.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      roll, there is no evidence that a '57 Chevy isn't orbiting Jupiter, either.

      March 4, 2013 at 12:12 am |
  9. hjc

    Michael
    "As a gay man I appreciate there efforts and support, but I think putting up this sign isn't really the best way to get through to people, all it does is create more hate, intolerance, and separation, I am not a christian but I am very spiritual, and putting up this sign implies that all gay people are atheists which is the furthest thing from the truth, I have no problem with religion,I have a problem with those who use there religions to control and hate others, same applies with atheism,if you don't want to believe in anything than fine, just don't push your non beliefs on me."

    Well said Michael!

    March 3, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • hjc

      Well said Michael!

      March 3, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • OOO

      Just out of curiosity, what do you mean by spiritual? I hear this all the time but have never gotten consistent answers.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Like civil discourse and education has done much good with mentally ill delusional believers. Time to end the "nice people don't talk about religion" bullsh!t and see religion for what it is – 100% pure crap!

      March 3, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
    • SisterChromatid

      I think it says that atheists don't discriminate on people on the basis of what they imagine some god wants. It sounds to me like you are fine with atheists supporting discrimination against gays, just so long as gays don't have to support the free speech or other rights of atheists. You want atheists to be "lower" than you on the hate totem pole of Christians. As you may be aware, many gays are atheists... I would hope that you support their free speech as much as you want them to support yours– otherwise it seems like your religiosity makes you seem... well... like the theists quoted. I think it's Christianity and it's threats of hell you need to worry about... not atheist billboards encouraging people to go godless.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • SisterChromatid

      I'm guessing "spiritual" means new agey crystal reincarnationist type...

      That's what "resonated with me" after I figured out the religion thing was a scam.

      Now I'd need evidence souls were real, before I would care about what people imagines happens to them after death. Clearly if there was any evidence for such things, it would be science– and not religion (woo) and we could do real tests to learn more.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • Michael

      SisterChromatid- your missing my point I am not trying to trample anyone else s free speech, I just personally think it could have been said differently, what they said makes them appear like the self righteous ones and that helps no one, as someone who is spiritual and gay I have been judged by both Christians and atheists alike, one says I am going to hell the other says I'm a nutjob, when does it stop? its not really atheism or religion that I have a problem with, its the hate,control, and fear that goes along with it that I have a problem with, you say that those who are spiritual are into new agey, crystal ball, stuff, see that's what I'm talking about,you assume to know what something is about when you don't understand something you naturally fear it, your self righteous clouds you, don't you get that by being narrow minded in your view towards things, you really act no better than religious fundamentalists, being spiritual is a lot more than just the new agey, think positive all the time that you think it is, its about being aware of who you are? why your here? and being aware of your environment, being respectful of those of all beliefs and none beliefs, and of our world, and its about personal responsibility,with that said why is is such a bad thing to believe in something greater than yourself, how can somebody live there life without believing in something, what kind of life is that, life is meant to be discovered, its one big mystery, and all the science in the world can still not prove how we exactly came to be? why we are the way we are? or what happens to us after we die, are bodies are made out of energy and electricity, that had to come from somewhere, and saying it came from a big atom in the universe is still not proof of how we came to be,so I have to believe that there is more out there , that this isn't it, there has to be, I know one thing for sure is that what happens to us after we die is not what most believe it to be, there is no heaven and hell, that's just a concept that religious people have made up to instil fear, we create our own heavens and hells here on earth, and thus we must create our own when we die as well.

      March 4, 2013 at 12:20 am |
  10. Robert Smalls

    David Silverman is a Troll. The militant Atheists are so STRIDENT and outspoken. This is somewhat surprising, considering they merely "lack belief".

    March 3, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Not believing in any of the gods we humans have created doesn't mean that atheists don't believe in anything. This should be obvious even to Christians.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Are you an idiot? If you lacked belief in the tooth fairy, and 86% of Americans wanted our laws based on THEIR VERSION of what the tooth fairy wanted, would you not say a word to anyone? Yes, atheists lack belief in gods; they BELIEVE that society and government does better when it doesn't pander to some invisible and undetectable being, or rather, what some people think some invisilbe and undetectable being wants-–not just for them-–but for everyone.

      I hope you're a believer, because I don't want you on my side with the sort of stupidity you just displayed.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • SisterChromatid

      I'm sure he cares about your opinion exactly as much as you care about his.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • Dilbert Fan

      get the "in dog we trust; so help me, dog; etc." out of our throat and everything will be cool. 'til then, S T F U!

      March 3, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      "Strident and outspoken" is about as clear a description of evangelical christianity as it's possible to imagine.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
  11. hjc

    My God help the U.S. !

    March 3, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Gadflie

      We don't need the help of a fictional character. Waiting for that kind of help is the same as giving up.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • CommonSenseSam

      Perhaps you should stop posting and start praying. Less thinking more sheeping.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • SisterChromatid

      Become Amish. They're the only ones going to heaven. God does not approve of you doing worldly things like hanging out on the internet.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • Dilbert Fan

      your god is too busy taking a dump!

      March 3, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      "We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate." -Ronald Reagan

      March 3, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
  12. AC

    RELIGION = DELUSION.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • swami545

      Then why are you so threatened?

      March 3, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • Dilbert Fan

      Swam, what make you 'think' s/he is threatened? Don't confuse that with how sheep are fearful of (threatened by) the unknown!

      March 3, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
  13. Bart

    LOL America is targeting GOP politicians and they are falling like a lead baboon.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
  14. Jim

    The atheist paradise is the communist countries; we are in America where anyone has the right to believe or not believe and the law of this country protect that freedom. Atheist go to your paradise, North Korea, Cuba or China.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I live in America, where, as you say, everyone has the right to believe or not believe and, as you don't say, where everyone has the same freedom of speech. Fvck biblegod, fvck christards, and fvck christ. Glad to be in a free country.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Jim, America can be an atheist's paradise. Someone (you?) said I have a right not believe. I think I'll stay.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • Melissa

      Wow, you're an id iot.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Idiot, nobody is talking about an atheist government. What they ARE talking about is a secular government, which is what the founders intended. If you don't know the difference, I'm not surprised. I doubt you know the difference between sh!t and Shinola.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • CommonSenseSam

      It's like a Christian's ability to think straight flies out the window and rabid hate overtakes them when they hear the word atheist. Instead of presenting anything that resembles rational thought, it's just name calling and hate attacks.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • Christianity is just like North Korea

      In North Korea :
      You are afraid of offending the all-powerful ruler because of what he could do to you.
      They tell you which thoughts are good and which thoughts are bad
      They tell you every other kind of Communism is bad and non-communists are capitalists in carnet.
      They tell you that their words are THE TRUTH and because of that you must believe what they tell you and to question it is a CRIME AGAINST THE STATE!
      They tell you that you will be horribly punished for the rest of your life if you don’t do what they tell you, believe what they say or think wrong thoughts

      In Christianity:
      You are afraid of offending the all-powerful god because of what he could do to you.
      They tell you which thoughts are good and which thoughts are bad
      They tell you every other kind of christianity is bad and non christians are evil in carnet.
      They tell you that their words are THE TRUTH and because of that you must believe what they tell you and to question it is a SIN AGAINST GOD!!!
      They tell you that you will be horribly punished for the rest of eternity if you don’t do what they tell you, believe what they say or think wrong thoughts

      March 3, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • AC

      Hey troll, your all powerful imaginary friend must need a lot of defending, he sounds terribly afraid, just like cretins like you.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Dennis

      Their paradise is here in the U.S..Jim. where they have the right to say,feel,and think as they as choose.If you don't like that,it is you who should leave and live where and how you want to.They choose to express themselves,you have no right to stop that choice.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • OOO

      Let's stop equating political systems with religious and non-religious beliefs. These are false and lead to incorrect conclusions.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
  15. BG

    Jesus said: "Love one another as I have loved you". Even if you are an atheist (and you certainly have every right to be and I respect that right), a Christian, Muslim, Budhist, Jew, etc. etc. etc. that's a darn good rule to live by and we all should give it a little more effort. Live and let live.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • Gadflie

      It is a good rule. That's probably why it pops up so often in so many different religions. It predates Jesus by quite a bit.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
  16. kent

    let me see if i can sum up my thoughts on this stuff after reading the article and some of the responses. religion is stupid. god is not real. both are a waist of time. that about does it. thank you.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • CommonSenseSam

      Not just a waste of time. But also a HUGE waste of money. Anyone else bothered by the fact that the pope sits on a throne of gold while children in his own city go starving?

      March 3, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
  17. fresnojoe

    Atheism, By Their Hatred Of Jesus, You KNOW it's a Myth

    "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened." Romans 1:21

    So This Season, Celebrate REASON

    "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Isaiah 1:18

    And Come To Your Senses

    "And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart." Jeremiah 18:12

    Come To Jesus

    "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20

    And Be Blessed Beloved

    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

    Love, Joe

    March 3, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Answer

      Full of babble – confirmed.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • Melissa

      And the more you quote the bible (it was written by mankind, NOT by a god), the more you look foolish.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • HitchedBritches

      Oh goodie, Bible quotes. Well, I'm convinced 😉

      March 3, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • CommonSenseSam

      "This book is true!" – Person 1
      "How do you know?" – Person 2
      "Because the book says it's true!" – Person 1
      "LOL" – Person 2
      "I'm serious! Let me quote it to you!" – Person 1
      "Um... I gotta get going actually." – Person 2

      March 3, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • Melissa

      fresnojoe, and you would be a great example of why people are leaving christianity. It's the behavior of the followers, not the religion itself (even though the religion is crap).

      March 3, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
  18. Meki60

    all part of Obama's stoning of America like a good muslim

    March 3, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • Answer

      If only Obama were white is what you want to say.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • Meki60

      Answer: Muslims are black and white, I don't see the issue other than he is a charlatan.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • Answer

      Still going for the white president. That white guy in office would be your number 1 go to man. Too bad isn't it?

      March 3, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • Dennis

      Perhaps you are the first who needs to be taken out and stoned.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • CommonSenseSam

      Butthurt much?

      March 3, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
  19. HesNotAtHisComputer

    I am a proud, outspoken atheist, but man I loathe David Silverman and his tactics.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I quite admire him and heartily approve of his methods. Guess it takes all kinds.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
  20. Michael

    As a gay man I appreciate there efforts and support, but I think putting up this sign isn't really the best way to get through to people, all it does is create more hate, intolerance, and separation, I am not a christian but I am very spiritual, and putting up this sign implies that all gay people are atheists which is the furthest thing from the truth, I have no problem with religion,I have a problem with those who use there religions to control and hate others, same applies with atheism,if you don't want to believe in anything than fine, just don't push your non beliefs on me.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      You're also a moron if you think that billboard makes it sound as if all gay people are atheist. The billboard highlights the stupidity of those christards by exposing their ignorance when it comes to their opinion of gay people. Get a grip.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • Michael

      First off why so hostile,you speak of ignorance and intolerance yet your behavior doesn't really match up to that, all I am saying is that they could have made there message better, no need to call me names, it is no surprise that most atheists despise any and all those who believe in anything,stooping to there level doesn't help, and gaining sympathy from gays won't work either, either way until we get rid of the notion of always having to be right about everything, then there will never be peace and equality in the world.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • CommonSenseSam

      So then Michael you are for elimination of religion, because at the heart of every religion is the complete assumption of rightness in it's own belief. So until religion is eliminated there will never be peace and equality in the world. I might have to agree with you on that one.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Michael

      I am for the elimination of hate, fear and control, religion is just the catalyst that people use to hate, fear and control, getting rid of religion won't solve the problem , its like putting a band aid on a severe cut, its temporary, and it just hits the surface, instead we need to go deeper than that to the root cause, I know lots of religious people who don't hate, fear or control, there are also many beliefs such as paganism, Buddism, Taoism , which doesn't use hate fear, and self righteousness to condemn others,I think if maybe more of the most major religions followed there teachings then we wouldn't have as much problems as we do.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • Jamie

      And when "religion" is gone, we will unapologetically worship ourselves . . . hmmmm . . . maybe religion is already gone.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • CommonSenseSam

      Jamie, it's more like "when religion is gone, we will THINK for ourselves". That's a very positive thing if a population is well educated.

      March 4, 2013 at 12:24 am |
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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.