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. klove

    I gotta say. These guys are doing something foolish. there is no "clean cut timeline" in the bible. Its all interpretive. Anyone that would make this kind of prediction is setting themselves up for a fall–And they are giving the anti-religious bunch more ammunition to criticize with.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  2. Joe

    This cracks me up why are we still trying to tell these crazy christians that the only god ISN't THEIR god. If your going to believe that there is ONLY ONE GOD. THEY GO AWAY, because YOUR the close minded one. Everything down to the last atom and or subatomic partical is devine all life is precious and ALL our gods love us and want our support. It takes TWO a MAN and A WOMEN to make life not some all creating god, that farted and created everything then has some people write a tell all book about for 100's of demonetization. All those weirdos seeing Jesus in the food stuffs. Live all little and step out of the mind control box so you might actually look at yourself free from that influence for the first time in your life.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  3. thatOneGuy

    So quick to pull out revelation. How it would be awesome to be in a religion and then see proof that cannot be ignored, stand there and say haha im right and you were wrong. That's probably the least forgiving stance you could take, along with being extremely selfish. So eager to see the people you think of as perverse be dragged into a lake of fire. Why don't you quit worrying so much about the end of the world and about what other people are doing when it doesn't have anything to do with you and just focus on your faith. Start wondering if it's petty to want to see god punish others. I would like to see that dude who cut me off in traffic get pulled over, but what you're hoping for is seeing that person get in a fatal car accident.

    Maybe you should consider the fact that the catholic church was the ruling government in Europe for quite a long time, and during that time they were pretty much the only people who were literate. Also consider the fact that they made their money based on followers giving them money to view religious relics. The last judgement was an extremely common subject of visual art on the outside of and within cathedrals which housed these relics. The more afraid people were, the more power the church had. Think about how little you trust politicians now, how much they slant everything that comes out of their mouth, they were the politicians back in those days. And they alone had the ability to copy the bible. As a christian it is dangerous to assume that every single word of the bible is 100% accurate and literal. You'll end up worshiping the bible, not god. It's giving you direction, it's not the destination.

    Quit worrying about the apocalypse, start focusing on the more universally acceptable moral teachings that are at the core of what Jesus taught. Maybe start with forgiveness, we could all use some more of that in our daily lives. Then you might find yourself not so eager to watch others get damned to a lake of fire for eternity. Many things that Jesus taught are good no matter what you believe, people of any religion or non-religion could learn from them.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  4. jksprint

    If I'm a sinner, the party in hell is gonna be a one serious rager. Cannot wait for those hotties. If you Crissy's plan to kick it on May 21st, please do us all a favor though, leave your keys in the mercedes and fill the tank before you go. Please donate all your money to me C/O CNN through my handle. Best of luck to you all! 🙂

    April 25, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  5. Tonlok

    "Atheism is just temporary insanity. It is a crutch for the weak mind."

    No, it's just the place people go when they stop believing in imaginary friends.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  6. Parkerman

    Atheism offers you nothing. It is a hallow, scary existence to believe that we are nobody and matter to no one. Now I don't believe that you can predict when our world may end as I believe no one will no the day or time, but I will always believe it is coming. Having hope and living a good life and treating your fellow man with love is what faith is all about. Sure there are religious nut jobs, but just like some Atheists, there are nuts in every walk of life.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • HA25

      Not True. It simply posits that the spiritual dimension is not explained by the God of the major 1500+ year-old religions. It opens up spirituality to further exploration and discovery of the true meaning of existence and our role.
      Faith without reason leads to people falling for snake oil salesman claiming to cure cancer. Sure it makes you feel better but in the end you still have the same problems and have wasted your short time left. Worse – it distracts from the true pursuit of the real Truth.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "Atheism offers you nothing. It is a hallow, scary existence to believe that we are nobody and matter to no one. "

      I matter to my wife and my daughter and my friends and other relatives. We live on through our children and the people who knew and loved us.

      When I was six, I believed in Santa. It was wonderful. He loved me and brought me lots of presents. But Santa didn't seem to like some of the poor kids. They didn't get very many presents.

      16,000 children die every day of starvation related causes. Where is their person who cares for them?

      It is scary to believe in something that is not real. You are bound to be disappointed. Constantly making up excuses for unanswered prayers.

      You said: " Having hope and living a good life and treating your fellow man with love is what faith is all about."

      Being a Humanist, I can assure you, you don't need a belief in a god to live a moral life and to care deeply about your fellow man. And remember, I do these things, because I believe them to be the right thing to do. Not because I believe a god commanded me to do them.

      You said: "Sure there are religious nut jobs, but just like some Atheists, there are nuts in every walk of life."

      Yep, but I have to say, I think Evangelicals have cornered the market on crazy.


      April 25, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • Trista

      How can you say atheism "is a hallow, scary existence to believe that we are nobody and matter to no one"? Never in my life have I felt that away. Do you really believe that because atheists don't believe in your silly pretend god that we have no self worth? I'm afraid sir, that it's simply the other way around, christians who are told that their "god forgives" are more likely to go out and make bad decisions for which they will most likely feel bad about later.... what a sad cycle of disillusionment.
      Now gtfo for being a jerk.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  7. kenny

    As a lazy atheist I get all my religious info from the simpsons. 90% of christians are just like homer and put up with the BS coming from the 10% who are Ned because they are just too lazy to argue but secretly wish he would just GO AWAY.... Chew on that for a sec religio-nuts.... most small town folk are religious because they are isolated from the rest of the world ... not anymore... with the internet everyone has access to everything and you won't be able to brain wash your kids with BS religion any longer.... the end of the world is coming... only its the end of the world with religion in it...

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

      ;;to quote the Homer "Help me, Bejusus!"

      April 25, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  8. WWJD?

    WWJD? He'd probably smack the whole lot of you for 1) being anything other than kind and respectful to each other and 2) talking about all of this supernatural horse-apples.

    Be mindful, people. *Mindful*.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  9. oneSTARman

    JUST BECAUSE No One knows the Date or the Hour doesn't mean that those who are not under the Cloud of Unknowing do not hear God calling out for us to save HIS Creation from our Greedy Wanton Destruction.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  10. Zoe (age 11)

    What I want to know is what verses from the Bible they got this idea from. Without that proof I doubt that it's the truth. The day that Jesus will come back and people will be judged is unknown to all mankind. We have been told that Jesus is to come when many will not expect it. Also when the person says that in Ezekiel 33 we are called to blow the trumpet, that is talking about a battle and a watchman. But in Matthew 24:31 it says that God's angels will blow the trumpet(s).

    April 25, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Zoe (age 11)

      If you are really 11, then you need to ask your parents about these things.


      April 25, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  11. Leonore H. Dvorkin

    At its best, religion is just a crutch for weak minds, for those who are not mature enough to think for themselves. At its worst, it spreads craziness like this doomsday nonsense: one of many such mistaken predictions over many years, by the way. It will be fun to laugh at the doomsday predictors on May 23. I am glad to see some atheists countering this absurdity - or trying to. There is probably no convincing those blinded by faith and their kooky misinterpretations of something in their Big Book of Mythology known as the Bible. Also, I challenge any of these believers to sign their property over to me before May 21. I can be found very easily. If no one does so, then I will know that they do not really believe that the end is coming, either.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • dolfina

      Yes, Leonora, religion IS a crutch and a farce. The real person of Jesus Christ, however, is a historical fact and His imminent return is also a truth believed for centuries. The "2000 any Day Now" sign means that they are informed. The Bible tells us to "occupy until I return". The story of Noah was to present us with the way scoffers will not believe the Words of God and are "lovers of self, more than lovers of God"

      April 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "The real person of Jesus Christ, however, is a historical fact and His imminent return is also a truth believed for centuries."

      Jesus' existence is not a historical fact. Jesus is only mentioned in the New Testament. There are no known eyewitness accounts of Jesus. Any secular mention is either hearsay or a later insertion.

      Jesus predicted He would be back in the 1st Century. He didn't make it. He had a prior engagement...death.

      You said: "The story of Noah was to present us with the way scoffers will not believe the Words of God and are "lovers of self, more than lovers of God"

      Don't really understand where you were going with this, but the Noah story is a bust. There was no global flood. Sorry.


      April 25, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  12. Joe

    _smacks his forhead- God, Jesus whatever. You people won't believe in Great spirit, the Goddess or the God, you won't believe in seeing the seasons pass winter, summer, fall and spring..you don't want to celebrate life you want to die..at every opporuntiy you seek to scare people. THIS is WHY your GOD BLOWS.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  13. Gary

    Why does CNN have this section? Exactly what is the point other that to stir problems up between groups?

    April 25, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Andrew Messenger

      Mostly it is a venue to bash believers. Nut-cases that predict the end of the world are not true to the doctrine. Typically the stories on this forum are framed in such a way as to depict believers in a bad light. It gives non-believers an open venue to spew hatred at the belief system of others.

      Kind of sad in a way. I don't believe our founding fathers meant for freedom of religion and freedom of the press to give people the right to verbally hate each other publicly. The initial intent, I believe, was to give each individual the opportunity to live freely to practice their beliefs (whatever that might be) and to RESPECT the individual rights of each other without degrading and demeaning each other for choosing to be different.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  14. TRYHNE

    Atheists are dumb.. us christians love the anyway! i mean i dont have to see them in heaven if they think all this about us

    April 25, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Rational Jones

      You made eight errors in that single post. If you're qualified to get into Heaven then my atheist behind will get to sit in Jesus' lap.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  15. John

    Seeing that the average human lives 75-80 years, it's a sure bet that judgment day is relatively close for everyone. C. S. Lewis narrowed the question of Jesus down to three choices. Either He was a liar, a lunatic, or He really is Lord, and He really did found a Church some 2,000 years ago. Which choice are you going to hang your hat on when death shows up?

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

      @John – False Tri-lemma. The obvious alternative answer is...........legend.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Religious sects

      Believing is NOT a choice of the most beneficial scenario. Belief is not a hand at poker... and referencing C.S. Lewis does not increase your odds.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • HA25

      Yes, John I've read that in Mere Christianity and it is unfortunately the weakest part of the whole tome and at the same time C S Lewis' foundation. Because of course there are other options. Like, for example, he was a simple man whose words were taken out of context by followers and those who came after and had much to gain (or even let's go with were true believers). In other words – EXAGGERATION by retellers. Or, another option – the whole thing is Fiction. Or, it's nothing but a compilation of other myths pulled together with (some) cohesion.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Rational Jones

      I've spent my life trying to do good and intend to do so as long as I'm here. If Jesus comes back and sends me to Hell in spite of my good life then He's an obnoxious dick and I was right not to believe in him.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • David Johnson

      You said: " C. S. Lewis narrowed the question of Jesus down to three choices. Either He was a liar, a lunatic, or He really is Lord, and He really did found a Church some 2,000 years ago. Which choice are you going to hang your hat on when death shows up?"

      C.S. Lewis was wrong. The 3 choices he gave, are not collectively exhaustive. Instead of being either a liar, a lunatic or lord, He could have been genuinely mistaken. Or, he could not have even existed and was just a myth composed of other "gods" that preceded Him.


      April 25, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  16. Religious sects

    Whenever Atheists comment on a pro-religion article the religious followers complain... but how many religious followers are here complaining about an Atheist billboard article!?

    April 25, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  17. Stephen

    The article makes no judgement here, as I am certain they did not intend to, and I agree with the author on this point. I do not declare myself an atheist, as some atheists appear as dogmatic and certain as any religious zealot ... and my point is, that neither any faith in any god, nor a lack of faith are dangerous. Zealotry is dangerous. Zealots burned innocents as 'witches' (usually because they wanted their property or money) and zealots tortured people horribly as 'heretics'. It is zealots who cry jihad before blowing up women and children. We persons of Liberty have no care what a person chooses to believe; this is each individual's prerogative and always MUST be, especially in the United States of America. On the other hand, when anyone, of any faith, attempts to impose their faith or religious 'morality' or tenants on myself or on anyone, or worse yet, when they attempt to legislate them and impose them upon all free citizens, you will find me and many others standing to confront you and to stop you. We do not hate your faith or your god and we believe in your right to religious freedom. But never forget we believe in everyone else's just as much. By definition, this includes freedom FROM religion. Without that part, it all means nothing.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Jim

      Well said Stephen. I wish everyone felt the same.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Andrew

      Who appears dogmatic as religious zelots? The most "dogmatic" atheist would be akin to Sam Harris, Chris Hitchens, or Richard Dawkins... they write books. Compare that to someone like Ali Khamenei, who has no problem killing Bahai, and you find that the prominent "dogmatic atheists" seem pretty damn tame compared to other religions.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Stephen

      Andrew, I had no intention to accuse atheists of such acts, though I am sure some atrocities have been committed by them, Stalin comes immediately to mind. I do stand by the opinion that some atheists are as rigidly dogmatic as any Christian or any other religious believer ... I have known more than one. But remember, this is simply my opinion ... nothing more :c)

      April 25, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  18. martin

    WHAT?!! The Rupture is coming? Ah geeze, I just paid off my last hernia, now there's another one coming? There is no God.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Rational Jones

      You know what they say. Place your truss in the Lord.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Maybe

      ahahahahahaha, you two... 🙂 🙂

      April 25, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  19. Maria

    One more important issuse Jesus said himself. The angels not even him know the time or hour only God whoever said the dates and year need to read the bible more it states specifically here is the verses
    Mark 13:32-37

    "Now concerning that day or hour no one knows-neither the angels in heaven nor the Son-except the Father. Watch! Be alert! For you don't know when the time is [coming]. It is like a man on a journey, who left his house, gave authority to his slaves, gave each one his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to be alert. Therefore be alert, since you don't know when the master of the house is coming-whether in the evening or at midnight or at the crowing of the rooster or early in the morning. Otherwise, he might come suddenly and find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to everyone: Be alert!"

    April 25, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • dolfina

      Maranatha, dear Maria.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • Casual Observer

      which of Mark's gospels are you referring to? Anything from Matthew, Mark, Luke or John needs to be filed under science fiction. The Rapture will be blamed on George Bush !!!

      April 25, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Joe

      -burns your bible and tosses is aside-Shut up with your freekin preeching.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
  20. Shmatheist

    Atheism is just temporary insanity. It is a crutch for the weak mind.

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

      Yeah, right, and "any day now a magic wizard is going to come out of the sky and fix your problems" is NOT a crutch for weak minds?

      Someday the Jesus story will make its way into books about things like flying elephants and old women who live in giant shoes.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Benzuda

      "Religion is the Opiate of the masses"
      Chairman Mao

      April 25, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • Stephen

      Such an interesting way to put that opinion, schmatheist, .... for it is exactly the way I generally hear atheists describe Christians. They refer to religion as a crutch for weak minds. I disagree with both statements. Neither is the weak mind. Both are opinions held by someone for good reason. If you ever desire the respect of others, you must earn it.

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

      "The fool has said in his heart, 'there is no God"

      April 25, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • Parkerman

      I feel sorry for you Carl, no hope, no faith, no promise of a future. you just believe your meat on this earth and once your gone your gone. Why do you want to live at all. Religion and faith can be a good thing, but just like atheists it can be misused by those with mental issues.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • Rational Jones

      Yes, yes. MY mind is the weak one. Because the belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree just makes PERFECT sense when you think about it.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • jksprint

      Uhh, actually I think I you have it backwards. Religion is a crutch for those that won't accept biology.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Andrew

      I fail to see how atheism could be a crutch for anything any more than non-stamp collecting could be a crutch. "I have not been convinced of the evidence for your god, hence I don't believe it" doesn't sound like a foundation period, it's a negation position. How does one use a non-position like atheism or non-stamp collecting to be a foundation or support for a psychological crutch? How does that even work?

      April 25, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Jim

      @Benzuda: Karl Marx, not Mao.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • MissaMax

      Christian fundamentalists are the scourge of America. Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin be damned!

      April 25, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • jksprint

      Cosmic Jewish Zombie, that's funny as hell.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Brandy

      OMG! Elephants can fly? And women can live in shoes? OMG!

      April 25, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • Stephen

      but dolfina, the same man said that he who called his brother a fool, is in danger of hell fire ... did he not? .....

      April 25, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Shmatheist wrote: "Atheism is just temporary insanity. "

      As opposed to organized religion, which is permanent insanity?

      April 30, 2011 at 6:06 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.