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Billboard wars: Creationists vs. atheists
October 9th, 2013
02:27 PM ET

Creationists taunt atheists in latest billboard war

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)– A new video billboard in New York's Times Square has a message from creationists, "To all of our atheist friends: Thank God you're wrong."

The video advertisement at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan is one of several billboards going up this week in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, paid for by Answers in Genesis.

Answers in Genesis is best known as the multimillion-dollar Christian ministry behind the Creation Museum outside Cincinnati.

The museum presents the case for Young Earth creationism, following what it says is a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis, which says the Earth was created by God in six days less than 10,000 years ago.

Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, said the idea for the advertisements came from an atheist billboard in Times Square at Christmas.

During the holidays, the American Atheists put up a billboard with images of Santa Claus and Jesus that read: "Keep the Merry, dump the myth."

“The Bible says to contend for the faith,” Ham said. “We thought we should come up with something that would make a statement in the culture, a bold statement, and direct them to our website.

"We're not against them personally. We're not trying to attack them personally, but we do believe they're wrong," he said.

"From an atheist's perspective, they believe when they die, they cease to exist. And we say 'no, you're not going to cease to exist; you're going to spend eternity with God or without God. And if you're an atheist, you're going to be spending it without God.' "

Dave Silverman, president of the American Atheists, said he felt sad for creationists when he saw the billboards.

"They refuse to look at the real world. They refuse to look at the evidence we have, and they offer none," Silverman said. "They might as well be saying, 'Thank Zeus you're wrong' or 'Thank Thor you're wrong.' "

Silverman said he welcomed another competitor to marketplace, noting that after atheists bought a billboard two years ago in Times Square that read "You KNOW it's a myth," the Catholic League purchased competing space at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel for a sign that read "You KNOW it's true."

"I would suggest, if they're actually trying to attract atheists, they should talk about proof and reason to believe in their god, not just some pithy play on words," Silverman said.

Ham says part of the goal of the campaign is to draw people to the website for Answers in Genesis, where he offers a lengthy post on his beliefs for the proof of God.

Ham insists that this campaign is in keeping with their overall mission. "We're a biblical authority ministry. We're really on about the Bible and the Gospel. Now, we do have a specialty in the area of the creation account and Genesis because that's where we say God's word has come under attack."

Ham said Answers in Genesis made the decision to split its marketing budget for the ministry between a regional campaign for the museum and this billboard campaign, rather than a national campaign.

IRS filings for the ministry in recent years have shown a yearly operating budget of more than $25 million. Ham said the marketing budget is about 2% of that, about $500,000 a year. Though they are waiting for all the bills to come due for this campaign, he said he expected it to cost between $150,000 and $200,000.

Silverman noted that his billboards were not video and cost approximately $25,000 last year.  He said another campaign was in the works for this year.

"They're throwing down the gauntlet, and we're picking it up," Silverman said, adding that his group would "slap them in the face" with it.

Ham said that despite criticism from other Christians for being negative and the usual criticisms from secularists he received on his social media accounts, the advertisements have been a success.

"We wanted people talking about them, and we wanted discussion about this. We wanted people thinking about God," Ham said.

The Creation Museum and the theory of Young Earth creationism are widely reviled by the broader science community.

In a YouTube video posted last year titled "Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children," Bill Nye the Science Guy slammed creationism, imploring parents not to teach it to their children. "We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future," he said. "We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems."

The museum responded with its own video. 

For the past 30 years, Gallup Inc. has been tracking American opinions about creationism.

In June 2012, Gallup's latest findings showed that 46% of Americans believed in creationism, 32% believed in evolution guided by God, and 15% believed in atheistic evolution.

For as long as Gallup has conducted the survey, creationism has remained far and away the most popular answer, with 40% to 47% of Americans surveyed saying they believed that God created humans in their present form at one point within the past 10,000 years.

The Creation Museum said it recently welcomed its 2 millionth visitor since its opening in 2007.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • Creationism • New York • Science

soundoff (8,748 Responses)
  1. Arrakis

    Don't tell me I'm wrong. Show me.

    October 10, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Just what do you think you're Dune?

      October 10, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
  2. rick

    It's rather stupid of these athiests when you think about it. Athiests spend more time hating someone who they say doesn't exist. If he doesn't exist, why are they worried about it? That's like saying there is no air. You can't see it so it must not be there. You can see what it does, the same as believing in Jesus Christ or God. You can't see them but if you read the Bible, you can see and read what they did. You athiests out there, have you seen Lincoln or Washington? You never met them, so how do you know they were ever around? You must have read about them didn't you? You people spend more time complaining about someone you have never met or even care about. So why bother? Oh, and don't forget, we "Christians" have the same rights as you. So don't make it political. There must be something wrong with the way you think if you have to have a law to back it up. Religion is a faith, not a political issue. If you don't like it, walk away.

    October 10, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    •  

      Godless Vagabond
      Rick, it's "atheist," not "athiest." You should at least learn how to spell it, don't you think?

      October 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Silly person – why do you think atheists hate god? God isn't real. Do you hate the loch ness monster?

      You define a strawman – with your lying claim that atheists hate god – then attack the poor hapless strawman – does such a hollow victory really give you any satisfaction?

      I'm not fond of the way some Christians hate others, nor of the hypocrisy where they don't live by their book, but expect to be able to write the rules they aren't currently interested in violating into law. But that isn't hating god.

      October 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
      • CNN Internet Atheism 101

        1. God does not exist.

        2. I hate him!!!!!!

        October 10, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
        • What's Up

          Do you ever read replies? Or are you just dense? I have seen you post this numerous times - each time it has been thoroughly discussed, explained and refuted. Do you need to see it in coloring book form?

          October 10, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • VISITOR1

      Suppose that you lived your life and believed there IS A GOD, loved, respected, and obeyed him. Then you die, and find out there was no god. Have you really lost anything? BUT, if you lived your life not believing, not obeying GOD, not loving him and then died, and found out there is a GOD, then what have you lost? YOUR SOUL..... Read GOD's word every day, Live for GOD, Love, Obey, everyday. There is a GOD. JOY... Jesus, Others, Yourself

      October 10, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      There are no atheists hating something they don't believe exists. It's more like this:

      Atheist = Retail store owner getting frustrated at the people camping on the sidewalk in front of his store for a new Star Wars movie. He doesn't hate Star Wars. He doesn't hate "The Force".

      Atheists do not hate God, they know in their heart it is imaginary, they do get frustrated by the very real fans of said imaginary being who can't seem to keep their hypocritical smug ignorance to themselves and attempt to legislate it and inject it in public schools.

      October 10, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
  3. really?

    Why is it so reasonable to be on the sign of reason?

    I believe in reason because its reasonable
    I believe in God because he is God

    looks like the same coin different sides.

    October 10, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
  4. Family Doctor

    I agree that these billboards will not convince anyone to change their faith. However, I do appreciate the lively discussion it has generated.

    I don't have good answers to questions about the beginning of the world and civilization at the time that Genesis describes. I believe however that just because a book of antiquity doesn't answer the specific question of a 21st century reader, it doesn't mean that the book is invalid in the message it was trying to convey. That message is that in the beginning God created everything. Ancient civilzations wouldn't have understand an explanation of quantum physics, cosmology, and DNA. The peoples of that time were worshipping the Sun, moon, stars, and animals. God, in his love for the people at that time, wanted to show them that that was foolish since these were all created things. An educated modern day reader would take into consideration the context and the audience at the time of writing.

    As for belief in God in general or a belief in random events leading to a harmonious equilibrium that we have today, that is a matter of the heart. That is a matter of looking into your own individual depths and answering honestly whether or not you have an emptiness that cannot be filled with anything in this world. You and I must ask ourselves if we long for the unconditional love and complete acceptance that we may have seen a glimpse of from our parents or more likely noted lacking in our relationship with our father or mother. You and I must deal with the shame we struggle with for unspoken failings and ask why we should feel ashamed in a world without any moral absolutes.

    I would also challenge the educated thinker to consider the dilemma of the historical Jesus who all credible historians know to have existed. What do we make of this man who referenced the texts of Genesis? What do we do with the man who fullfilled hundreds of prophecies that were written down hundreds of years before he was born? What do we do with man who says that he is God? He was crazy, right? He was an evil con-man? Why would his most intimate followers keep following his teachings even after he died? Why wouldn't they all recant if it came to them being crucified and stoned themselves? They must have all been crazy too, right? or maybe...just maybe...if God is God, he could rise from the dead. He could show himself to his frightened disciples. Could God do that? Could God, the creator of the universe come down to earth and make himself touchable as baby, live life in the same way that I would live, and die a the death of a criminal,...all in order to save me from my mire and muck of selfishness? You are right. That is unbelievable. It would take a miracle.

    October 10, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • terry

      might just as well thank the easter bunny or the tooth fairy or bigfoot or the lochness monster or yedi or godzilla or santa claus. THANK YOU SANTA

      October 10, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
      • Family Doctor

        I might consider thanking them if there were an actual historical figure of easter bunny, bigfoot, Santa, etc...who was witnessed by thousands of people, who claimed to be God, who died in a public humiliating way purposefully for my sake , and then allegedly appeared to hundreds of their scared followers, emboldening them to share their story on pain of death.

        October 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • Ironicus

      You sound like a real nutbar. A medical doctor? I've seen some crazy ones. They usually end up in prison around here.
      You'd better keep your damn crazy crap out of the medical field. The threat you pose is disgusting.

      October 10, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
      • Family Doctor

        Thank you for your thoughtful response. You have put me in my place with your kind and persuasive argument.

        October 10, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Rick Stoppe

      I would like to correct the Family Doctor, not in his personal belief, but in the facts. Jesus never claimed to be God. That belief grew over the centuries and was finalized in the 4th century. If you look up all the alleged prophecies fulfilled and read the Old Testament reference in context, the prophetic voice disappears regarding Jesus. It is always good to get a second doctor's opinion. God cannot be proved or disproved. A young earth can be disproved, and advocating such is as silly as when Christians and Jews argued that the sun revolves around the earth.

      October 10, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
      • Juanito

        Actually, Jesus did claim His diety multiple times throughout Scripture.. The one time that immediately comes to mimd is when asked by the Pharisees during His 'trial' in Luke. The hostile reactions of the questioners was that His admission was enough to be guilty of blaspheme, and was expressed as such in their presence.

        How did the Jews at the time deal with blaspheme? By death.

        It's what led to the Pharisees to involve the roman authorities because the one thing they were not permitted to do under roman authority was to execute anyone.

        To be sure, it wasn't His turning over tables in the Temple, or the miracles He performed, that sealed His fate. It was His claim to fulfilling messianic prophesy, that He was the Son of God.

        In His love, Juanito.

        October 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • Juanito

      Your last paragraph succinctly challenges everyone for an explanation on how could an unemployed carpenter who was executed in a roman outpost colony have started something so influential that it not only usurps their beleif in their own gods, but also expanded and thrived beyond that civilization's existance well into the scientific/modern era, especially when all the other 'gods' of that time have long since disappeared.

      I think the better question to pose is what makes the belief in Jesus so attractive for so many to believe for such a long time?

      What is it that draws people to Him?

      Insults from nonbelievers will undoubtedly be forthcoming, but still there has to be something that everyone will agree on that so attractive that it would compel people to believe He is the Messiah.

      In His love, Juanito.

      October 10, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Jeff Williams

      """ consider the dilemma of the historical Jesus who all credible historians know to have existed. """

      Doc, I have a rather unpleasant surprise for you.

      This is not true. There is one historical nonbibical reference to Jesus and even that one is being hotly debated. Sorry, Doc.

      October 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
      • Juanito

        Jeff, you then have a dilemma on your hands: if Jesus did not exist, and was made up like Zeus, Jupiter, and Thor, then why has His name and those who still claim belief in Him still survive to this day, when the other gods have one since vanished?

        In other words, what is so appealing about this Jesus that helped to sustain it for so long, that makes the belief in Him more attractive than any other god?

        Also, why would anyone still believe so much in something you allude to being a factionalized character, that they risk, and also have lost their lives, in doing so?

        I'm confident to say that You wouldn't die for something you know is a lie, or almost anyone else for that matter.

        Why would the apostle Paul, who never even personally met Jesus on the flesh, go to his death when all he had to do was deny Jesus? Or what about the other apostles who did claim to have known Him personally?

        Insult or explanation, or both, if you will.

        In His love, Juanito.

        October 10, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
      • Family Doctor

        I am not a Biblical scholar. Just a humble believer. I would be the first to admit my knowledge is limited. I would also concede that placing a Wikipedia link it a bit of a cop-out, but it would be foolish and clumsy of me to try to concisely reference the Biblical scholars and the contemporary writings og Josephus and Tacitus.

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

        Also I would encourage you to look up the podcasts and youtube videos for Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. He is a far mre eloquent, credible and discerning than I could ever hope to be.

        October 10, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
        • Info

          Family Doctor,

          Don't miss this one on RationalWiki:

          http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evidence_for_the_historical_existence_of_Jesus_Christ

          October 10, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
      • Family Doctor

        Thank you for the info, Info. I appreciate your contribution to the discussion. I will take some time this evenign to look into your link. However, it already gives the credibility of your source a perhaps unfair bias, since the authors purpose in writing on such a site cannot be assumed to be objective in the least. Of course, no author is completely objective.

        October 10, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
  5. Gerry Daley

    They most likely belong to the Flat Earth Society too.

    October 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  6. skyfatherofjustice

    just putting this out there: jesus was a jew and he is god, therefor you all must follow your jewish overlords because they are the same religion as your savior. christ would not dirty his hands with christianity ironically.

    October 10, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Larry

      Correct. Neither Jesus, Paul, the other Apostles, or any of the inner circle of disciples were "Christians". They remained Jews, and there is nothing in the Gospels to suggest that Jesus wanted to start a new religion.

      October 10, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
  7. Hey! You!

    Why did God create us?

    October 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Why do think a god exists? After you establish some god exists, we can move on to did "he" create us and why.

      October 10, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
      • Hey! You!

        *sigh* Anyone that believes in Divine creation: What is the purpose of our creation?

        October 10, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
        • Paul

          Revelation 4:11

          October 10, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
        • Observer

          Paul,

          Why do you think nonbelievers would bother to look up a verse in a book that contains some good morals, but also contains errors, contradictions, hypocrisy and nonsense?

          If you are too lazy to paraphrase it or quote a verse or two, why should anyone else care?

          October 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
        • Paul

          @Observer

          I'm only expecting Hey!You! to look it up since he's the one that posed the question.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
        • Hey! You!

          Revelation 4:11 'Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.'

          Thank you Paul. Do you know who wrote this?

          October 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
        • Juanito

          Hey You!

          I prayed on your question, and I'm sorry its taken a little time but the first things that came to me in answering your question was:

          1. Because He could, and
          2. Because He wanted to.

          As any artist who is true to their craft, His inspiration was His own. As for the intent, The Scriptures tell us that we were made for the end purpose to serve and worship Him, and to do so willingly.

          It's not that He has self esteem issues, mind you, but rather in doing so, it is we who get the full benefit of a love that is so intense that its beyond human understanding.

          It may seem a lIttle weird, but I think about some of it in terms of an aquarium that I have. It's a fresh water tank, not very big(or very clean right now), but has 3 gold fish. The gold fish don't really know much about me other than when I come closer to the aquarium, they get fed. They don't know my origins or anything else about me.

          They don't know everything I had to do to get the aquarium started, or the need for electricity to keep the filter running, or anything else I have to do to keep it going or them alive, but I do so for one reason: for my family's enjoyment.

          We're sel-fish(get it?!) that way!

          They will never know total freedom and as such they will never be eaten by another fish. The rule of the ocean is big fish eat little fish. But they are spared that death. They will have to put up with the spongebob figures because my kids think its cool. And when their time is up. we will be sad.

          They did not have a choice. I chose them(actually, my oldest won one at a carnival so I have to buy the others for the other lil'ins).

          Unlike the fish, though, we all have a choice. We either serve Him, or we serve ourselves, which in fact serves the Adversary.

          I prayerfully hope this helps a little with some insight, Hey. He really loves you more than you could ever realize, and its unlike anything else you could ever imagine.

          If you want to know just how much, pray to Him from your heart to reveal Himself to you. Then open the Bible and just start reading.

          While reading, envision your name at the beginning of every verse. It's all written for you.

          In His love, Juanito.

          October 10, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
        • Paul

          @HeyYou,
          John, one of Jesus' deceiples wrote the book of Revelation.

          October 10, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
  8. Xenon

    Anyone who is stupid enough to think the entire Universe was created less than 10,000 years ago should move to an island reserved for stupid people.

    Then they can all drool mindlessly while buttraping reach other while hitting each other upside their empty heads with their Bibles.

    These people are the most ignorant morons ever to exist on the planet.

    By the way, the claim the Universe was created by God less than 10,000 years ago.

    Which God?

    Zeus?
    Appollo?
    Yahweh?
    Allah?
    Hermes?
    Aphrodites?
    Mars?
    Jupiter?
    Ba'al?
    Isis?
    Priapus?
    Neptune?

    Well?

    Which one? There are thousands to choose from.

    October 10, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • Truth

      Can you spot the logical fallacy?

      October 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
      • The Little Nazi That Could

        The logically phallacy in between your lips?

        October 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • plong

      Flying spaghetti monster.

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      October 10, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
  9. Jan

    Since when has the popularity of a particular belief been a meaningful indicator of whether that belief is entirely or partially true or entirely or partially false? It is of cultural interest what percentage of Americans believe what, but that is the only value of that kind of poll.

    October 10, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  10. Truth

    “Test everything; retain what is good” (1 Thess. 5:21)

    October 10, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  11. The Doctor

    As a Christian this bothers me. I mean, yeah, the atheist billboards that throw jabs at peoples faith bothers me loads... but Christians are supposed to know better. Know that two wrongs don't make a right... know the Book of Romans (specifically chapter 12) and how we're not supposed to compensate evil for evil, but try to be good to those that would wish us evil, and that in doing so, we metaphorically cast hot coals upon their head. To see Christians stooping to pointing fingers and sinking to such levels... makes them no better than the Westboro Baptist Church in their protests, or even the witch trials (at least for the accusatory part and reasoning for doing so... hoping there'll never be anything in this day and age to occur that can actually make a lateral comparison to the burnings!). :/

    I've said it before, and I'll say it agian... precedent is a VERY slippery-slope... today it's calling "atheists wrong"... imagine this world if the Westboro Baptist Church or others start being able to host their own billboards... where does one draw the line? Who or what is okay to be called "wrong"!? Give them an inch, they take a mile... and as history has shown... especially in the last two decades... can almost guarantee that in the coming years, this will be child's play... one occurence sparks the idea for others, which escalate, roll down hill like a snowball, and just fluff into all sorts of disgusting proportions. 😦

    October 10, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • Gnu

      It seems to be more about promoting a website, less about doing what Jesus asks.

      October 10, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Why shouldn't someone be able to say they think some belief or other is wrong?

      I think Christians are wrong. It's not an insult to say that. If you are a Christian, you think atheists are wrong. That is not an insult either. Likely we both think Muslims are wrong – that statement should also not be censored.

      October 10, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
      • The Doctor

        Great way to miss the point, COMPLETELY. I was trying to refer more to, how long before each set of beliefs in each setting becomes a public billboard display... as in, how long before billboards start going up saying it's "wrong to be gay" for instance. I don't believe that, but a group like the Westboro Baptist Church does. Or even, how long before billboards go up disgracing American troops for the killings they have to do while at war!?

        The point was, the decades people spent being able to live freely with who or what they are, as their freedom without persecution, is being slowly unraveled. You want to believe it's wrong, even say it... fine... but there are reasonable limitations, and by going too far, you actively violate others civil liberties and rights.

        For the record, no, I won't ever agree that "Muslims are wrong"... not as just the people of a certain faith. It's what certain/specific ones do with that faith that might make them "wrong", but just in their faith alone, not wrong. That'd be like saying every single Christian is wrong, simply because at one point, some extremists felt it okay to burn what they perceived to be a witch at the stake.

        October 10, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
        • Susan StoHelit

          Slippery slope is a logical fallacy – not a valid argument. There is no such thing. People take each step by choosing it.

          When the speed limit was dropped to 55 – some people said slippery slope – we'd drop it then to 45 to save more lives, then 35, then they'd take our cars away. But it's not true. We were there for some time, people decided it wasn't worth it, and the limit was raised – which also didn't start a slippery slope – we don't have 150 mile speed limits now, as slippery slope would suggest.

          We aren't unthinking – neither side is. A Wesboro style billboard would only come up if people chose to put it up. Slippery slope doesn't force nor create it – as I said – it's a logical fallacy, not a rule.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
      • The Doctor

        In fact, the very last part of your comment proves EXACTLY my point. Slippery slope... there are Muslims that live peaceably in the U.S., that have no affiliation with extremists, that just want to live a normal life and be allowed to their faith and beliefs. Again, slippery slope... what's the next move, are you about to move on to the subject of calling people of a dark skin wrong for actually being just as free as everybody else? How much history are you trying to actually unravel here? *facepalm*

        October 10, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
        • Ironicus

          There are no moderate Muslims. Islam is not structured that way. The whole ideology is extreme and focused on providing a violent god for a violent group of criminal thugs. Rape, murder, all violence, all lies, stealing, etc, is approved by Allah.
          It is the violent ideology of middle eastern gangs who worshiped a god that approved of all raping, pillaging, torture, etc.
          As an ideology, it should be banned outright. It was never a religion of peace except within the group of thugs themselves.
          That is what they mean when they say peace. All others dead or enslaved, and the "peace of allah" is upon the world.
          Your lack of knowledge is showing. If there is a group of serial killers who worship a serial killer god, you, in your empty-headed foolishness, would let them walk freely among people, killing freely, in the name of "multi-culturalism".
          It is insane to allow insane murderous people with such an ideology to live amongst those who will always be their targets for violence. You are a fcuking idiot.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
        • Susan StoHelit

          Yeah, but I still believe Muslims are wrong. I don't believe Mohammed was god's prophet, nor do you. So, we both think Muslims are wrong (about religion).

          Is that the gap here? Thinking that someone is wrong about something, saying that some belief is wrong – it's not an attack, it's not saying the person is evil, wrong about everything, subhuman, or whatever else you are projecting onto that term "wrong". We're all wrong about something.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
        • Susan StoHelit

          You love the slippery slope – you live on it. Saying someone is wrong isn't saying they're evil, terrorists, nor any such thing. The Muslim religion isn't a bad one, some individuals pervert it, but most are good people. I think they're wrong about the question of if there is or is not a god – but – and this seems somehow shocking to you – thinking someone is wrong is not the same as hating them or devaluing them or thinking that they are evil.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
  12. Sam Colt

    The one thing I always felt good about being an atheist, is that we were above that petty confrontation with the religious world. There are always a few people that have to push peoples buttons even in my camp. I see no reason to tell any group to get rid of their myth or billboards condemning any ones believes. I know people of all faiths and would never tell them take down your Christmas tree its a myth because I respect my friends and co-workers. Lets all learn to play together in the sandbox of life.

    October 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • The Doctor

      As much as I can appreciate your message, and believe it conveys an open-mindedness... you maybe want to be careful referring to peoples' "faith" as "myth"... as that can be taken as offensive. Just like "alien life"... some (such as myself) want to believe that there's other life out in the universe somewhere... while others will call it myth... until one side is factually proven, the other side can't exactly be dubbed or deemed "myth" in definitive fairness. 😛 Technically, even the Big Bang Theory is just a theory... and by its own definition can never be 100% proven in the same exact variables it occurred in, (since it theorizes the beginning of everything and the universe, and there's no way of any living creature being alive if one were to recreate the exact same scenario)... therefore, one could simply refer to what you believe in as a myth as well. *shrugs*

      October 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
      • Jeff Williams

        """you maybe want to be careful referring to peoples' "faith" as "myth"... as that can be taken as offensive. """

        Sorry, but it is what it is – mythology. That is the very meaning of mythology. Consult your funk & wagnall.

        October 10, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
  13. Vic

    47% of my beloved Americans believe in this:

    Genesis 2:7
    "7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

    In the order stated:

    Dust of the ground ...... Body
    Breath of Life ............... Spirit
    Living Soul ................... Soul

    A PERSON is when those three are combined.

    Scripture Is From:

    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

    http://www.biblegateway.com/

    October 10, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Vic is thick, as in dense.

      Vic, long ago, many people also believed that the earth was flat, stupid.

      October 10, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
      • Dean

        Not people who read the Bible. Scripture about 4000 years old tells of a round earth.

        October 10, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
        • Wm.Russ Martin

          Actually, I think the bible refers to the earth as a disk, i.e. a two-dimensional wafer, if you will.
          And there is a dome overhead with the stars inscribed on it. With the ever-important but flat home of these wonderfully god-worshiping peoples in the center of the universe so everything could revolve around them.
          Reality chips away the mythology one step at a time and makes me wonder if the people of the time knew their stories were myth and then someone came along and decided he could make 10% by doing nothing except promoting these myths in some form. Maybe like a male-dominated group that would wear dresses and funny hats and tell people what these mythological creatures told them to tell the others to do and who to hate.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          Yeah...round like a plate.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Dean

      Not hard to do when He also made the dust, ground, air and everything else man is composed of.

      October 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
      • Patti

        Only one word to say to Vic and Dean: Evolution. The true is in DNA... EVERYBODY'S

        October 10, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Daraymann

      So life begins at first breath! Abortion debate over!

      October 10, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
      • Vic

        LOL!

        The "Breath of Life" is from God (Creator) whereas the "first breath by life" is of a creature.

        October 10, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          The origin of life is rooted in deep time. All we know for certain is that life on Earth proliferates. You aren't new life, just an extension or continuation of your parents biology. Your claim of a soul, whatever that is, isn't needed or evident in reproduction.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Larry

      Vic
      20% of Americans still believe that the sun revolves around the Earth. A good percentage still believe that the moon landings were a hoax. A third believe in ghosts, and nearly a quarter don't know that we gained our independence from England. 40% of Americans also believe in ESP, which is about as much as say astrology is scientific.

      Look at those numbers. With the number of Christians being up towards 80+% lots of you buy into these types of beliefs as well, so why should anyone separate the belief in gods from belief in such things as these?

      October 10, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
  14. Dean

    15% believed in atheistic evolution.-------That means all life evolved from single cell slime. It also means that your cousin is broccoli.

    October 10, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • wth

      read a book.

      October 10, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
      • Dean

        I have read several. usually average about 3 a week.

        October 10, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Sorry Dean, he was not referring to books of the bible. He was referring to actual evidence based books, such as a science book.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
        • Dean

          truthprevails – please point me in the direction of a science book that proves that there is no God.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
        • Susan StoHelit

          Dean – no scientific book disproves god – because that is not the realm of science. You also won't find a science book that disproves that there is a moose sitting on the Martian north pole, playing poker.

          Science isn't in the business of negative proofs. It talks about what is real, known facts, and links them together to understand the world and more and more of the universe.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          Dean
          Science doesn't explore imaginary things. That's why science has nothing to say about God. God is a concept of religion and the expertise and any pertinent details rest with you who propose it. So far your explanations leave much to be desired. Much of it is literally impossible yet not something that you can or feel the need to demonstrate. The sideshow is yours. It's up to you to show me that the bearded lady didn't just glue a wig on her chin.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
        • Larry

          Dean
          Science can't disprove God, but it sure can disprove claims that God did things supernaturally when the natural causes have been discovered, with proof. Science doesn't disprove God, but it takes most of his jobs away.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science and Bad Religion In A World Without God" by Dr. Greg Graffin is a pleasant auto biography of "The Punk Rock PHD" that explains the naturalist worldview.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
        • Bob

          It is true you cannot scientifically disprove something. But Science cannot prove everything either, In fact it can hardly prove anything

          I cannot prove God exists. You cannot prove the Big Bang happened. Can you explain why the laws of physics break down near the center of a black hole? We could go on forever.

          My point is this: I am a scientist. And I am faithful. My religious life revolves around volunteer work in my community. I help feed homeless, collect food and clothes for the shelter. I donate time and money to help those around me. I'm part of a group at my church that donates over $100 million/year to charity. Even if you do not believe, is it really that bad?

          October 10, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          "Can you explain why the laws of physics break down near the center of a black hole?"

          Who says they do? The math of Relativity spits out infinities and zeros at the quantum level becoming basically immeasurable and meaningless for drawing conclusions. But that doesn't mean physical properties with rules specific to the state of energy/matter, space/time within a black hole don't exist.. Merely that we don't understand them.

          October 10, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • skyfatherofjustice

      hows your invisible, angry sky alien? Has he commanded you to eat the blood and flesh of your savior yet? Why couldn't you guys have just died in the lions den like you were supposed to. on the other hand, the inquisition was kind of cool in a BDSM kind of way, i mean, if you're hitler and everybody knows christians support hitler. you dont support hitler do you? friend?

      October 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
      • embygee

        you make me sick

        October 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      What the hell is Atheistic Evolution? Atheist only defines a disbelief in a god or gods (note, you too are an Atheist in regards to all other gods but the one you believe in). Evolution is something we accept as being true due to the extreme amount of evidence and facts supporting it.

      October 10, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
      • Paul

        "What the hell is Atheistic Evolution?"

        It's evolution buy mindless, purposeless, random, undirected processes. As opposed to theistic evolution which is evolution guided by God.

        October 10, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
        • sybaris

          which god?

          October 10, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          What? Evolution guided by this imaginary entity you call god is not evolution, it is creationism and it is not based on evidence or facts, just some crazy ass con men out to fool the gullible.
          Evolution in the scientific sense, is not defined as Atheistic Evolution...there simply is no such thing. Once again Atheist only defines a disbelief in a god or gods-how horribly difficult if that for you to comprehend? Evolution in the scientific sense is backed with facts and evidence that are widely accepted. Look up Scopes Monkey Trial and pay close attention, it is what settles the debate on which is true and which isn't, although for whatever reason christians hate the real truth and are almost stupidly afraid of it.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
  15. Ben

    If you want to know what it's like to be an atheist, imagine if the 40% or so of the American public who believe in astrology became so full of themselves that they demanded that people whose signs weren't compatible couldn't get married.

    Christianity is exactly that irrational.

    October 10, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • Truth

      Logical fallacy.

      October 10, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
      • Matrix

        Truth is a logical fallacy. How ironic.

        October 10, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
      • Ben

        How so? Astrology claims to know whether two people are "compatible" according to their horoscope. That's a belief just like the one about "knowing" that two people of the same gender ought not to marry. What's the difference?

        October 10, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • John

      Clueless...

      October 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • embygee

      I don't need proof to know what's real. What makes you all so terrified? You're so afraid , and it's obvious.... I wont waste my energy with you .... but if you want to sit here and disprove God, find another life- I'm sure "evolution" will hook you up

      October 10, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
      • Ben

        Every person who was ever conned out of their life savings also didn't need any "proof" in making that decision. Their greed usually clouded their better judgment. I suggest that you're every bit as greedy for the promises of religion.

        October 10, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
  16. Alvin Plantinga

    “(Dawkins’s) forays into philosophy are at best soph.omoric, but that would be unfair to soph.omores”.

    October 10, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Larry

      How so? Give an example, please.

      October 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
      • Alvin Plantinga

        Read "The God Delusion".

        October 10, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I'd recommend Alister McGrath's books, especially Dawkins' God. He has been a thorn in Richard Dawkins' side for some time. The thing about Dawkins, though, is not that he can argue, but that he has the advantage of being most probably right.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
        • Alvin Plantinga

          being right = agreeing with you

          opinions.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
        • Larry

          Read it. Dawkins makes some excellent points. Can you be specific? What in The God Delusion do you disagree with?

          October 10, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Mr. Plantinga is one of quite a number of people who've tried to produce God and failed.

      October 10, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      I don't care about his views on philosophy. I just happen to agree with him in that I believe people who think God is real are deluded.
      I do care about his observations and expertise in matters of biology and evolution. Saves me from having to redo all the science just to verify what peer reviews have already confirmed. .

      October 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Question

      What makes the opinion of Dawkins better than anybody else's? Why can't we all form our own opinions?

      October 10, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Why do you think you can't?

        October 10, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
      • Alvin Plantinga

        It is his opinion. When you declare his opinion is right, you are entering arrogance territory.

        October 10, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          It is possible that there is a necessary being that is maximally arrogant.
          Hence, there is a being that is maximally arrogant.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  17. John Cram

    I would be all for letting people believe in an imaginary things but this GOD deal has gone too far and is clearing the root of much of the evil in the world today (ironic, yes, but true).

    How come if you walk the streets talking to an imaginary person named Bob they lock you up and medicate you? But if you call him God/Jesus then they kneel down to you?

    October 10, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Answer

      It is called a long history... one of breeding traditions upon heaps of useless traditions.

      The freaks had control and people went out of the way to appease their delusions. It was a death sentence to defy them in the past. Now they're just kook with an imaginary friend.

      October 10, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
  18. somethingstellar

    LOL Right. We are wrong. That's why every time I read Genesis it gets no less hilarious and absurd than the time before it.

    I wonder how many Christians have actually questioned where Cain's wife magically comes from when by that point, Adam and Eve supposedly only had two sons and no daughters before Seth came around hundreds of years later lol.

    I suppose God conveniently poofed her into existence to avoid linking creation to incest or something.

    October 10, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Question

      Why are people taking metaphors literally?

      October 10, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
      • somethingstellar

        Oh o.k. So when it's convenient for Christians to influence laws that are made, it's suddenly literal and the word of god. And then when something in the bible gets ripped to shreds, it's now turned itself into a metaphor that shouldn't be taken literally. So what you're telling me is that there are conservatives pushing for and creating laws to teach a METAPHOR in SCIENCE class?

        Ok well then how about science class be left to science, and metaphors be taught in language arts, philosophy, and religion where it belongs.

        October 10, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
        • Okay

          Lets just start with this not every Christian is a conservative. Christianity is a religion not a tribe.

          October 10, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • Paul

      @somethingstellar
      "Adam and Eve supposedly only had two sons and no daughters"

      How far did you read? Did you read Genesis 5:4?

      "After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters."
      –Genesis 5:4

      October 10, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
      • somethingstellar

        LOL I've read the whole thing. Which is more than what can be said for how much of my question you read before you jumped on responding because you quoted it like I thought Cain and Abel were the only two kids they ever had. And you failed to answer my question. ""After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters."

        Yes, that's great, and guess what? So well aware of that. You quoting that made a total non-point and only highlights my point. Eve having other daughters is not referenced until after Seth arrives to replace Abel. But Cain was married LONG before Seth came around, and therefor LONG before Adam and Eve had "other sons and daughters". Cain was married at a spot in the timeline where Eve would have been the ONLY woman on the planet. It's in black and white in your own creation myth and you even just repeated that very part that gives it away in what you quoted to me.

        October 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  19. sybaris

    Christians adding more publicity to their ignorance

    *slow clap*

    October 10, 2013 at 5:52 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.