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. Mr. T. Bag

    The Christian Taliban will stop at nothing.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  2. Tony

    Now the only thing left to do is wait for May 22nd. That's when all the people who subscribe to this lunacy will come out of the wood work with 100 different reason why it didn't happen rather than admit they bought into a lie. Admitting this would force them to ask tough questions about the rest of their beliefs. And if previous judgement day predictions are any indicator the most prevalent excuse will be that "God works in mysterious ways, and he just didn't see fit to end the world that day". Never mind that they were all so certain, and never mind all the proof positive "evidence".

    You have to wonder what's going on in some of these people's minds that they spend half their time sitting around waiting for the end of the world and the other half trying to dupe people into believing them.

    My only prediction for May 21st is that the media who has spent months trying to milk this for sensationalism won't be interested in spending a single second asking tough questions of these people when it doesn't happen. Same old predictable story. Feature every whacked out religious belief under the sun and avoid scrutinizing the claims at all cost. We wouldn't want to insult the deluded.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  3. pinkandgreenallover

    When the rapture comes can I get their stuff. Oh. And who looks after the non-raptured pets?

    April 25, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  4. shinden58

    I ask both sides of the fence. What is more important, believing in the rapture or just being a good person and treating everyone fairly. I know the type of person I would prefer to hang out with. Something for everyone to think about.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  5. Sy2502

    I have a proposition for each and every one of these church members. Write a contract in which every single one of your earthly possessions (houses, cars, bank accounts) becomes mine on the day of May 21st.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  6. Wisdom4u2

    Excuse me, but where's the THREAT??
    Just 'how' does ’this’ religion hurt people? People hurt people!!
    Most 'Believers' don't give a rats a ss when the rapture occurs, just as long as they're ready and living each day as though that is the day of the rapture!
    Why would anyone spend $27,000.00 counteracting on something they don't believe in??
    If you ready don’t believe in something, why go through such great lengths to argue against it??
    Why go stupider over something even God wouldn’t give His own Son the answer to?? Duh!!
    What a bunch of morons!!!

    April 25, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Wisdom4u2

      Ha-ha!! Not 'ready', I meant 'really'.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  7. SayNot

    Not everyone has a choice in what to believe. Some people have been brought up since infancy with beliefs told as truths, and kept from major interactions with the rest of the world. They don't know much else but what they've been told over and over from childhood, and have little opportunities to learn elsewhere. Having said that, religion can do much more good than harm if we take it moderately, follow the teachings of mainstream and "good" faiths and their higher powers, practice true tolerance of one another, and stay away from extremisms. Recognize that all religions and philosophies, including atheism, hold truths and good lessons. Religion is not necessary for moral, ethical behavior, but recognize that it has instilled such in many people and that we all benefit from much, but not all, of its teaching and we benefit from others' ethical behaviors whether they have acquired them from religion, society, or their own consciences.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • Joe

      Anybody who tells you, you don't have a choice is full of it. You always have a choice life is CHOICES. If you don't like your religion CHANGE it.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Liz

      Thank you for bringing some logic, reason, and tolerance into these discussions. It's very nice to FINALLY read comments that don't spew hate, anger, or just plain ignorance.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Q

      @SayNot – I agree to a point, however, should we be content with ethical behavior hinging on supernatural arguments from authority? Would we not be better served in simply acknowledging empathy as our moral guide, e.g. the golden rule rather than Leviticus?

      April 25, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  8. Jeremy

    I wonder why the Atheist never tell the Muslims their religion is a lie? Go ahead and put one of those signs up. See what happens, cowards.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • Tony

      Jeremy simply put Islam isn't the predominate religion in this country. If you are going to blow 27k it should reach the max number of people. Besides logic should lead you to the conclusion that the message goes for all religions.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  9. Mary

    -sigh- I think both parties are tiresome. The militant atheists on one hand, and the "JUDGMENT DAY OMGZ" people on the other. Jesus Himself said it was not for us to know the day or the time of His return. Settle down and try to do good to one another till the time comes, and for heaven's sake don't -worry- about it.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  10. Stephanie

    It is going to happen! but the Bible clearly states that no one knows when! You just have to be ready for it! I believe in God. We all have freedom of religion and if you don't believe then we'll pray for you but it's 100% your choice! I don't believe that one man was given the gift to know when Judgement Day will be. Some people choose not to be christians because of all the hypocrits..but there are hypocrits everywhere you go in life. On that day, every tongue will confess that He is Lord Almighty!!

    April 25, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Joe

      I would really laugh if your bible was really written by influential catholic priests to control you to the very end and make you fearful of everything you do.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  11. Ashish

    I know you are; but what am I ?

    April 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  12. jv


    But weren't those events of the 70s also signs that the God was coming? Haven't historical catastrophes always been signs that the end is near? Still waiting

    April 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  13. George

    President Trump will destroy the world by literally cracking the earth in half with a gigantic laser, so these religious nuts are way off. TRUMP/PALIN ALL THE WAY IN THE USA 2012 !!

    April 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  14. Jim

    Rapture SPACE SHIP is coming in 2011. One gets picked up and others will not. If you are born disability. You are most likely get pick up Rapture Space ship. Ezekiel space ship.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • George

      HELP ME !! SOMEONE PLEASE !! There is less than a month left until the rapture and I know I have sinned. I'll pay whatever amount it takes to save me. When Jesus gets here he's going to want at least 10% protection money from each and every one of us.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  15. You Idiots

    I guess only Judgement day will reveal the truth!
    P.S. Good luck explaining yourself to God.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Natalie

      I have long said that if, come the end, I was wrong, and I am standing before the god of Christians, and my life isn't enough, I will stand by my convictions, and take what is to come, because any god who desires the eternal torment of any of his creation is a god I can not, in all good conscience, serve.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • Joe

      Like I said if you love life so much they why are you always wanting to end? Why do you people hate enjoying your lives so much...what the hell is the matter with you people?

      April 25, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • hahaha

      Im with you Natalie. If there is a god he is a cruel master and who would want to serve that jerk for eternity.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  16. Rich

    Religion is delusional

    April 25, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • fda

      Hey man, wanna smoke a joint dude... ah man, we could work on ahhh ya know, whatever man, and well ya know, i love you man.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • guest

      what a surprise, fda, the religious nutbag, is the most hateful person on this board.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  17. Jim

    Dear Super duper Atheist of America....

    How do you explain TEMPLE OF ISRAEL and portrait JESUS?
    How do you explain the change of weather?
    How do you explain Corrupted economy?
    How do you explain cortez arrival in Mexico and Mayan Civilization?

    April 25, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Wayne

      That has nothing to do with being an atheist.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Observer

      Wow! It has NOTHING to do with atheism or agnosticism.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Natalie

      While not an atheist myself...and finding your post lacking in...fully formed thoughts, I would say the temple was built by Jews to honor their god, most portraits of Jesus painted by someone who has never seen a Jew, the weather is cyclical, the economy is corrupted due to the greed of a few at the top and Cortez was a power-hungry explorer.

      Not sure what any of that has do with atheists saying there will be no rapture, though.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • JR

      How do you explain terminally ill children?How do you explain pedophile priests?How do you explain cancer?If we all came from adam and eve how do you explain different races?Oh, that's right.the lord works in mysterious ways.Keep the faith.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Nica

      I explain it with science.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • Joe

      Anybody can fake that garbage. You people need to learn to live insead of waiting to die all the time. You mourn your religion.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • George

      How do you explain asking such stupid questions?

      April 25, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Robrob

      "How do you explain TEMPLE OF ISRAEL and portrait JESUS?" – Someone drew a picture on a wall. Is that supposed to mean something?

      "How do you explain the change of weather?' – The sun heats the air and the rotation of the Earth causes a Coriolis effect.

      "How do you explain Corrupted economy?" – Economies have ALWAYS been corrupted. Only a shortsighted know nothing would think "now" is extraordinarily different than "then."

      "How do you explain cortez arrival in Mexico and Mayan Civilization?" – By boat? Seems kind of obvious.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  18. Danny

    Why don't the atheists spend the $27,000 on something meaningful, like poverty or something. They sound like narcissists.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Wayne

      If it's my money I spend it my way.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • stan

      probably for the same reason churches spend their money on huge ornate buildings to worship the big invisible man in the clouds from.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • fda

      Hey Stan, you know whats gonna happen to you. Your gonna be forgotten on judgement day and your eyeballs will be rapidly dried by the fires of H3lll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      April 25, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Joaquin

      Geeez, you're an moron.

      Christianity has over a billion followers(all sects).
      Let's say that the average Christian makes 45,000 grand a year. Taking away all taxes let's say that comes out to 37,000 overall. Now, the church wants 10% of that.
      Let's do the godamn math huh?
      37,000 X .10 = 3700.
      3700 x 1,000,000,000 = 3,700,000,000,000
      Whos greedy?

      April 25, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • NM

      Oh really – and churches spend their money very wisely! They will spend way more than $27K to try and spread this nonsense.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • Ryan


      The average Christian makes $45,000/yr??!?!?!?!?! And you're calling someone else a moron????

      April 25, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Joe

      GOD is the REASON we are in sooo..much trouble..you can do this, you can't do that...and all these stupid holidays.. I mean really if your going to have easter find a way to have it on monday so I can have the day off. All this bs about god and Jesus is so loaded it is unbelieable..please. I will let you believe in your fantasy and ready your bible, but I will think for myself thank you. I am pagan and proud. Pagans never started wars like Christians did. Infact GOD is what ruined everything as I recall all the Pagans were having a great time until god said your evil and I will kill you all off.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  19. IntelligentDesignIsAnOxymoron

    Well at least instead of starting a war with innocent people, the christians are just going to off themselves instead.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  20. TwoStepsAhead

    The bitterness and petulance from most outspoken Atheists and anti-Christians is both tiresome and predictable. No one is forced to believe anything that they don't want to freely believe. This article may simply just be more attempts to mock Christians on Easter, which is what we've come to expect from certain media outlets.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • stan

      christians dont force their belief on on others? when 2 gay men can marry and adopt, i'll TRY to start to buy that line of baloney.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • YBP

      Christianity was spread by the sword for centuries. Look into it.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Not to mention when bible thump-ing believers stop murd-ering health care professionals for delivering legal medical services...

      April 25, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Joe

      Didn't anybody ever tell you god is an imaginary friend for grown ups?

      April 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • shawn

      religion ruins everything...read the book to understand the argument against fair tales and fear...

      But I doubt your religion and small mind prevents you from understand the argument against your believe system.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • fda

      Hey Shawn, your not observing any facts. Are you a science fiction writer?

      April 25, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • George

      There are people in this world who are forced to believe, but the reason for religious belief is usually conditioning by parents from birth. Fear is the prime motivator of religion. Personally I have no use for religion, much like Jesus himself, but for the atheist to say there is no god, is to say there is no life, no death, no universe, no void of space.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • kat

      There's the use of taxpayer money for private school vouchers that are most often used for parochial schools; the constant battle to insert prayer into public schools; the enthusiastic attempts by Christan zealots to insert "Intelligent Design" into public school curricula; the attempts by the Religious Right to restrict disadvantaged women's access to contraceptives through their attacks on Planned Parenthood; the unflagging efforts of religious groups to prevent gays and lesbians from being able to marry, etc, etc. True, no one is forced to believe anything, but that doesn't stop the religious community from trying.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Seadra

      I believe in God, but I can say I agree with the Athiests this time, because nothing is going to happen on May 21st. This thing they are pulling is probably just a stupid publicity stunt to get more followers...

      April 25, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • hahaha

      Gee you have conveniently forgotten about the crusades, and the inquisition. I'm sure there are many more examples of christians forcing their beliefs on people. I don't recall any atheist wars in the history books though.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:39 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.