More atheists to come out in 2011, leader predicts
January 4th, 2011
01:16 PM ET

More atheists to come out in 2011, leader predicts

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

We kicked off this new year by asking thinkers representing various traditions to offer predictions for 2011. The responses came in from best-selling authors, esteemed religious leaders and heads of organizations dedicated to faith awareness and understanding.

We also asked for a prediction from David Silverman, the president of American Atheists, who recently offered CNN his views on December and made news when his organization stepped into a Christmastime billboard duel.

Silverman's response to our 2011 query came a little past deadline, but his prophetic thoughts are worth adding to the discussion about what this year may bring.

Nearly every American will know of more atheists at the end of 2011 than they do today, as coming out as an atheist becomes cool. Yes. Cool.

If you have your own ideas about what may come, we'd love to hear them.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Atheism • Belief

soundoff (265 Responses)
  1. Luis

    I am an atheist and am afraid to come out because people do genuinely treat you differently once you do.My own family has excommunicated me for their own inability to deal with the truth.Know your outcome.

    October 11, 2011 at 2:00 am |
  2. Muneef



    January 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Muneef

      Al-Anbiya sura 21:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

      Now We have revealed unto you a Scripture wherein is your Reminder. Have ye then no sense? (10) How many a community that dealt unjustly have We shattered, and raised up after them another folk! (11) And, when they felt Our might, behold them fleeing from it! (12) (But it was said unto them): Flee not, but return to that (existence) which emasculated you and to your dwellings, that ye may be questioned. (13) They cried: Alas for us! Lo! we were wrong-doers. (14) And this their crying ceased not till We made them as reaped corn, extinct. (15) We created not the heaven and the earth and all that is between them in play. (16) If We had wished to find a pastime, We could have found it in Our presence – if We ever did. (17) Nay, but We hurl the true against the false, and it doth break its head and lo! it vanisheth. And yours will be woe for that which ye ascribe (unto Him). (18).

      Lo! this, your religion, is one religion, and I am your Lord, so worship Me. (92) And they have broken their religion (into fragments) among them, (yet) all are returning unto Us. (93) Then whoso doeth some good works and is a believer, there will be no rejection of his effort. Lo! We record (it) for him. (94) And there is a ban upon any community which We have destroyed: that they shall not return. (95) Until, when Gog and Magog are let loose, and they hasten out of every mound, (96) And the True Promise draweth nigh; then behold them, staring wide (in terror), the eyes of those who disbelieve! (They say): Alas for us! We (lived) in forgetfulness of this. Ah, but we were wrong-doers! (97) Lo! ye (idolaters) and that which ye worship beside Allah are fuel of hell. Thereunto ye will come. (98) If these had been Gods they would not have come thither, but all will abide therein. (99) Therein wailing is their portion, and therein they hear not. (100) Lo! those unto whom kindness hath gone forth before from Us, they will be far removed from thence. (101) They will not hear the slightest sound thereof, while they abide in that which their souls desire. (102) The Supreme Horror will not grieve them, and the angels will welcome them, (saying): This is your Day which ye were promised; (103) The Day when We shall roll up the heavens as a recorder rolleth up a written scroll. As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it. (It is) a promise (binding) upon Us. Lo! We are to perform it. (104) And verily we have written in the Scripture, after the Reminder: My righteous slaves will inherit the earth: (105) Lo! there is a plain statement for folk who are devout. (106) We sent thee not save as a mercy for the peoples. (107) Say: It is only inspired in me that your God is One God. Will ye then surrender (unto Him)? (108) But if they are averse, then say: I have warned you all alike, although I know not whether nigh or far is that which ye are promised. (109) Lo! He knoweth that which is said openly, and that which ye conceal. (110) And I know not but that this may be a trial for you, and enjoyment for a while. (111) He saith: My Lord! Judge Thou with truth. Our Lord is the Beneficent, Whose help is to be implored against that which ye ascribe (unto Him). (112)

      January 12, 2011 at 2:05 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.