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April 25th, 2011
01:41 PM ET

Billboard battle over Judgment Day

(CNN) - We've told you about the caravan of RVs touring the country to warn people about the end of the world, which they say will begin on May 21.

Now, the American Atheists are mounting a counter-campaign.

The group has posted a billboard in Oakland, California - home to Family Radio, which is spreading the "awesome news" that Judgment Day is near - declaring that such messages are "nonsense."

"The Rapture: You KNOW it's Nonsense," the American Atheists' billboard announces. "2000 Years of 'Any Day Now.'"

The billboard - which cost $27,000, according to the group's website - invites passers-by to "Learn the Truth" at the group's "Rapture Party" on May 21-22 in Oakland.

The atheists also plan to hold parties in Houston, Texas, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the website says.

"This is how religion hurts people, one of the many ways religion hurts people," American Atheists President David Silverman told CNN Oakland, California, affiliate KGO.

"Our hope is that those who are not suckered in will learn from the people who are."

Read the full story at KGO's website.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Death • End times

soundoff (2,436 Responses)
  1. haha

    Man I'm dizzy

    April 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  2. Nick MacDonald

    this is a poor representation of what the bible says.Mark 13:32 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." you can't talk around that verse.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  3. Jim

    In 2012 FILM also include Woody Harrison saying " rapture, Mayans, Bible, I-ching,"

    April 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  4. Paul Bishop

    Yikes. As a Christian, "Pastor" Harold Camping's May 21st campaign annoys me. The Bible says nothing of the kind, but rather the opposite that "No one knows the day or the hour." Things like this give Christianity a bad name.

    On the other hand, I feel like the atheists are generalizing about religion from a very, very small group of wackos. You'll find wackos in every group – religious and non-religious. To paint everyone with the same stuff as the fringe wackos is unfair, and these atheists should be ashamed of themselves for doing that.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Lettuce Prey

      Paul, I agree with you. The billboard sounds rather smug to me. I'm an atheist, but I am aware that more than 90% of the world believes in god in one form or another, and very few of them are nut jobs or fanatics. Many intelligent people believe in god, and many do not. No need to be crass with one another, right?

      April 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  5. Tif

    In addition, the bible DOES NOT state the end of the world is on May 21, 2011. Some MAN said the end of the world was on May 21, 2011 because he used a calculator to tally up the numbers. True Christians, all ready know that this is not true because NO one knows the exact time and day. If you are a Christian or just curious about what the bible says read it for yourself. Do not rely on MANS interpretation of the GOOD BOOK. People will mislead you, but God will not. It is important to know God for yourself. Google it, buy a Bible, or borrow a Bible so that you can know exactly what the Bible says.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Like no one here in the US has read the bible, having had the da-mn book shoved in our faces all through our childhood, practically every fscking day...

      I asked god to help interpret his book but he stayed silent. Man apparently can't be relied on either. So I asked a woman instead and she said it was BS. George Carlin agreed, so I'll leave it there.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o

      April 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Tif

      @ Up your rear Admiral, I respect the way you feel . I am not trying to place my beliefs on you. I just feel like people should definitely read the Bible for themselves so that they know exactly what it says. Never put your trust in man because man will always let you down. 🙂

      April 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  6. Amy41

    I believe that everyone dies and then the world as we know it ends. And after that is anyones guess.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  7. jon

    Maybe I'll get to to see "Cowboys and Aliens" after all.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Lettuce Prey

      I'm looking forward to that, too! 🙂

      April 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  8. The Jackdaw

    Optomous Prime will save us!

    April 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  9. teepee

    Hope those may 21st people have a real good come-back if they are still here on the 22...

    April 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Thanks for the attention and $ you left behind.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Lettuce Prey

      Better still, I want them to sign all their bank accounts and worldly goods over to me before May 21. You know, put their money where their mouths are. I can't get any takers on that idea, however, when you ask these Family Radio folks "what if you're still here on May 22?" they refuse to answer. Come that day, I'm sure they find some passage or other in the bible that explains why the rapture has been put off to a later date.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  10. haha

    This story is what a couple hours old and there are 734 comments. Looks like people are flocking to the church of CNN

    April 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Madtown

      You're right. It's the main reason why there are a lot of similar stories here.

      It's also the reason they put up a lot of stories about $arah Palin, they know those stories generate hits and comments and that's all good for business.

      April 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  11. santos25

    Hmmm who sounds more crazy "Family Radio" people? or Atheist people?..... I am going to Family radio!!!

    April 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Paul Bishop

      For me, neither. I'd say, go to Jesus.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  12. Rob

    If these folks are so sure of their date of rapture, I wonder why they aren't willing to stake their belief on it. I mean, it's quite a falsifiable claim to say that "God will destroy the world on May 21, 2011." When it doesn't happen, why won't these folks then say, "well, we were wrong." But, of course, they won't. They'll have some ridiculous reason why it didn't happen.

    It's quite sad. I feel bad for them. Life is such a wonderful thing and the world is such an interesting and curious place. Why not enjoy it and live life to the fullest instead of worrying about whether the rapture will occur on May 21st?

    April 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Peter F

      Where is the *like* button on CNN?

      April 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  13. chilly chill

    The billboard seems smug to me. If you really want people to come to your rally, especially religious ones, why not be a little more inviting in the language.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • guest

      If you had read the article you would know that the rally is for the Atheists; not the religious nuts.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Lettuce Prey

      I agree. Telling people that they "know" a thing is arrogant. It's one of the many reasons I'm an atheist in the first place, having so many evangelists tell me what I "know" I should believe.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  14. Tone

    Can I please say that if you would like to post, please use proper grammer/sentense structue/punctuation. The mojority of these posts are interesting and entertaining but are absolutely painful to read.

    Thanks in advance.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Rob

      Should we use correct spelling, too? "Majority" is spelled with an "a" as the first vowel.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Lettuce Prey

      Tone, practice what you preach. Mojority? Check your own spelling.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • George

      rob, the Spelling Nazi
      Oh no I didn't capitalize your name or use the correct punctuation..........

      April 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • spellcheck

      Um? How about spelling? majority, structure, grammar, sentence?

      April 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      He's just found his mojo.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • snowboarder

      that is hilarious a non-speller complaining about grammar and sentence structure. priceless.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Observer

      Thanks for a good laugh.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  15. Daisy

    what is up with the half 'stache? Did god command him to shave it off? Just curious, because I found myself staring at it the whole time instead of listening to what he had to say...it's very distracting.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  16. WasabiPotPie

    The God Thor has a hammer and your God got nailed to a cross. What else is there to discuss?

    April 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Paul Bishop

      Maybe that Thor's sacred tree was chopped down centuries ago with no response from him. Or, that our God rose from the dead after being killed on the cross, and promised to come back to earth with a sword someday...

      April 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Maybe that Thor's sacred tree was chopped down centuries ago with no response from him.'
      guess he gave people free will as well huh?

      April 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  17. Jim

    I don't know May 22, 2011 is entertainment. But I'm sure there is war, riots, currency, collapse of economy, unemployment, future envision is real. This christian alarmist date is real. But I don't know yet.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Dweezil

      Excellent point, considering this is the first time in history that humans have experienced war, riots, currency collapse, economic collapses, and unemployment.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  18. Againstgreed

    Crap this will only give me like 2 weeks to play the new map pack for Black Ops!!

    April 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Davethecanuck

      Only if you are raptured.

      Start sabotaging your chances now,
      covet your neighbors wife... and steal his kids bike while your at it just to be sure.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Coach Pop

      ....oh my black ops map pack...

      April 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Bob

      Oh no. Oh @#$%& NO! I'm not going anywhere until I tailgate at Lambeau Field in December. Gotta punch me a nun...

      April 25, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  19. Barter_Town

    Did you hear the good news? Jesus isn't coming at all! Ever! We know this because the Bible is obviously fictional. Have a great day 🙂

    April 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • leonard

      well,l we have known that for more than two thousand years!

      April 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Paul Bishop

      Are you serious? I've studied the Bible on an academic level and can say it is NOT obviously fictional. It reads like a historical narrative. Of course, many things within the Bible are argued about; weighing each side, I do come down on the Bible being entirely true. All the same, to make this broad statement on the Bible is obviously wrong and misinformed.

      And I hate to jump on this again, but how can you say it would be good news if Jesus never came back? Knowing the Jesus story, wouldn't it be sad were it not true? The famous George Templeton decided Jesus was not true, and became an agnostic. But one time when asked about Jesus, he had nothing but good to say about him, eventually breaking down weeping and blurting "I miss him." You know dude, I challenge you to simply try reading the Gospels... if anything to know what you're rejecting. They really are beautiful.

      April 25, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Barter_Town

      I HAVE read the gospels. In fact, I've read the whole Bible! It is obviously fictional. Sorry.

      April 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Cannot deny there are some historical events and people in the bible but the trouble starts when people claim that because of A then B must be true.
      Its like claiming that because Troy actually existed it must mean that everything else in the Iliad must be true, including the bits with Zeus, Thera and other gods.

      April 25, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  20. ProperVillain

    I'm flying back from Europe 5 days after the 21st...hope there's still enough pilots or I'll be stranded in Italy....

    April 25, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
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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.