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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. Christopher

    The amount of sheer unbridled stupidity in America is amazing... this guy is a prime example. How many of these BS doomsday prophecies are we going to have to endure in the next few years I wonder?

    April 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  2. Observer

    The "Rapture parties" are a good idea. Might as well have something good come out of this nonsense.

    April 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  3. Agentsmith

    I already know how these end timers will say on May 22nd: We only said the end of the world will BEGIN on May 21st, we didn't say the world is going to end on this date. Haha. it may take another day or a few eons for the world to actually end. By which time we may not be around to be disbuted and rediculed.

    April 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  4. AfterImage

    Hey! What a surprise! The relgious nutters are wrong again about something. Wrong again about the end of the world, wrong about their own orgins, wrong about evolution, wrong about mankinds history, wrong about just about every scientific fact pointing to a completely natural world, wrong about morality, wrong about what's written in their own holy books... wrong wrong wrong wrong... So, tell me when you guys will take the fingers out of your ears and listen to us? Maybe then we can stop the stupid going on between your ears.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Ryan

      Religion is a philosophy, not a science. Stop trying to compare them.

      April 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  5. crucified

    This Guy on the Billboard is so Angry... I would never trust an angry Guy with $27,000 just to say what he feels... what are they going to do at the party 20 people looking at eachother talking about the Jesus they do not believe.. Sounds like they do believe and are just being rebellious.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  6. Casey

    Atheist are a small group of stupid people.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Hmmm

      as opposed to the rather large group of people who are fanatics religious nuts

      April 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • YeahRight

      You might want to educate yourself so next time you don't make stu-pid co-m-ments- LOL!

      Country Percent-At-heist-Agnostic-Non-believer in God
      Ch-i-na 8 – 14 Percent
      Ja-p-an 64 – 65 Percent
      Russia 24 – 48 Percent
      Vi-et-n-am 81 Percent
      Ger-many 41 – 49 Percent
      France 43 – 54 Percent
      USA 3 – 9 Percent
      Britain 31 – 44 Percent
      South Ko-rea 30 – 52 Percent
      Canada 19 – 30 Percent
      Spa-in 15 – 24 Percent
      Ukraine 20 Percent
      Italy 6 – 15 Percent
      Sweden 46 – 85 Percent
      Neth-er-lands 39 – 44 Percent
      Cze-ch Rep-ublic 54 – 61 Percent
      Tai-wan 24 Percent
      Aus-tra-lia 24 – 25 Percent
      Hun-gary 32 – 46 Percent
      Belg-iu-m 42 – 43 Percent

      April 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Suzie

      "Yeah" that must be outdated because in the US the number is up.

      The most recent ARIS report, released March 9, 2009, found in 2008, 34.2 million Americans (15.0%) claim no religion.

      April 25, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Lettuce Prey

      Suzie, claiming no religion is not the same as stating that you're atheist or agnostic. It takes into account those who believe but do not belong to a particular church or sect.

      April 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  7. snowboarder

    i recommend they give all their worldly belongings to me.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  8. MB26

    I'm just waiting for the BS excuses on May 22nd for why the world didn't end.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Get over here!!!

      You know it is only like 20 something people that believe in this right? CNN and this Atheist group is just blowing this up to make it seem we are all nuts like this.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Hmmm

      They will have one of their staff release as statement saying;

      'It was not intended to be a factual statement'

      April 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  9. SilentBoy741

    How exactly is this "how religion hurts people"? if they're wrong, then everybody gets up and goes to work, just like we've always done. And if they're right - well, that would be pretty awesome.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • snowboarder

      there are folks who follow them that have given up their lives and families. i guess there really is a sucker born every minute.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  10. ???

    Both of these groups need to calm down and stop getting into other people's faces.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Butterbean

      As a Christian woman, I married a wonderful man that just happens to be Agnostic. And I know a few Athiests as well. We all get along fine without throwing our beliefs in each others faces. We work together and are tolerant towards each other. I wish that the rest of the world would follow suit.. It doesn't do any good when a group offers support while tearing down what others believe.

      April 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  11. haha

    I think both groups are nuts.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  12. dilbert783

    Just wave your hands in the air, and scream "Jesus" like you just don't care.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Tom Lehrer

      Then you get down on your knees,
      Fiddle with your rosaries;
      Bow your head with great respect, and,
      Genuflect! Genuflect! Genuflect!

      April 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Bob

      Do whatever steps you want if
      You have cleared them with the Pontif
      Everyone sing his own
      Kyrie Elais song
      Doin' the Vatican Rag!

      April 25, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  13. snowboarder

    can you say cuckoo! cuckoo! cuckoo!

    April 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  14. JT

    Why are some of you (xtians I assume) defend these nuts who would cry "rapture" emblazing their delusions for all to see? Anyone who would put up a billboard advertising their delusion for all to see should be ridiculed and laughed at. Not respected. It seems if one or a few have a particular delusion it's ok to scoff at them but the more who share that delusion the more we must respect them for their beliefs....as in the Christian religion/cult.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • John316

      As a Christian, I do not support Mr. Camping's misteachings. His mathematical findings were wrong once before and they will be wrong again.

      Mark 13:32 – “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

      April 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  15. SouthernBelle

    Dear Jesus: My birthday is May 22, can you please wait until the May 23 to come back? I would like to celebrate my special day. Thank you!

    April 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  16. CanNorth

    Few hundred years from now, people will think Harry Potter was a real person who could do magic.

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

      Just what are you suggesting...?

      April 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  17. George

    Is there a movie called Rapture coming out on May 21/22? Is this just a good publicity stunt?
    Would be the best one ever, especially if that Camping dude didn't know he was being used.....

    April 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  18. Chris Johnson

    the fact is that physics rules this world and this universe, and if we call the system "God", the all that Is(known and unknown, seen and unseen, not personified), then judgement day is everyday because cause and consequence dictate, in Newtonian simplicity as well as karmic, that we reap what we sow. Self-fulfilled prophecy is not fulfillment, it's lunacy. We have a choice and those who choose wisely... well, Jesus said it best, "You will know them by their fruits".

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

      god clearly didn't teach you grammar. please don't post on here if it unintelligible. your post makes absolutely no sense

      April 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Nancy

      "You will know them by their nuts - not fruit"

      April 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • Tif

      LOL @ Ohio dummy. I agree with @ Ohio dummy. I could not understand what you were trying to say either. Before you post a comment, type it in Word first. Make sure you check your spelling and grammar. Once you feel like your writing is good enough to post, go for it. If not, keep trying until you get better.

      April 25, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  19. Frankly Speaking..

    from the quran, sura 81 (Surat al-Takwir) ayat 1-14:[22]

    When the sun (with its spacious light) is folded up;
    When the stars fall, losing their lustre;
    When the mountains vanish (like a mirage);
    When the she-camels, ten months with young, are left untended;
    When the wild beasts are herded together (in the human habitations);
    When the oceans boil over with a swell;
    When the souls are sorted out, (being joined, like with like);
    When the female (infant), buried alive, is questioned –
    For what crime she was killed;
    When the scrolls are laid open;
    When the world on High is unveiled;
    When the Blazing Fire is kindled to fierce heat;
    And when the Garden is brought near;-
    (Then) shall each soul know what it has put forward

    April 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • crucified

      old news,, the bible written first... Mohammad copied 500 years later.. read Sura 3 "Jesus Judges the World"

      April 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • RichG

      That's stupid!

      April 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  20. SouthernBelle

    Dear Jesus: My birthday is May 22, can you please hold off another week so I can celebrate my birthday? Thank you

    April 25, 2011 at 4:53 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.