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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. JFetch

    I like the billboard. It gets the point across and is funny.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • jkimbo

      what point is that? 2000 years is like may be a second for God. The only point it makes for me is atheists can be incredibly stupid. Thank God for us Independent thinkers to keep each side in check. lol

      April 25, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
  2. Jessie

    its sad that those people spent all that money to do that like they have something to prove! they will feel really dumb when it happens and they burn in hell

    April 25, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Mick

      Threatening atheists with Hell? It doesn't get any more lame...

      April 25, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  3. jkimbo

    You have to love the atheists, nah, God may love them, I think their retarded. And no, I am not born again Christian. Just some one sick of atheist brats.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
  4. George

    The bible says every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus is Lord on judgement day. What a terrible day it will be for the sinners

    April 25, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • A

      What a terrible day for those who are believers who have family that don't believe. To watch their loved ones suffer as the god who made them punishes them for being what he made them.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      George wrote: "The bible says every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus is Lord on judgement day. What a terrible day it will be for the sinners"

      And who wrote this book of fiction called "the bible" ??

      April 25, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
  5. ForTheIntellectuals

    If you are an engineer/scientist/logic-driven unbeliever, think about this:
    1) Regarding, all of the various Gods that have been mentioned as choices (how would one know which to believe in), think of the possibility that there really is only one God and all of the various religions, "gods", etc. are just models of the truth (analogous to a scientific models of some natural phenomena). Some models are better than others; some models really stink, but they are all attempts at trying to understand and describe reality.
    2) There might be something quite a bit more powerful than human logic....are we so naive and pretentious to really believe that the only things that could exist are what human logic can completely understand?! Statistically speaking, this is a preposterous idea.
    3) The way you can know God is not with your mind; but you can know him with what some call your "heart" or your "soul". Don't dismiss this out of hand; you have to TRULY SEEK AND TO BE OPEN to experiencing God. I've been on both sides, a believer and a doubting intellectual, and my conclusion is that I know God through what I have experienced with my "heart". This is very difficult to describe, but I believe each person must seek and be open to receiving. There are many things that might bring any particular individual enough enlightenment to experience God, from ideas from various religions, reading philosophical books like the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, spending time in nature, doing yoga, doing charity work, and many others. If you TRULY seek and are open, I don't think you will be disappointed.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • A

      1) It would be all so nice and sweet to view all the different gods as simply different models of "truth". The reality is though that you all believe your god is the one – and frequently are willing to kill for it, suppress other people's rights and my son get bullied by the devout in school because his mom is a scientist.
      2) Like it or not, logic is what we have. It has enabled us to figure out many of the former mysteries of the universe. Logic indeed might break down as we figure out more about the universe, but it has helped us know facts – not "truths" – for more than any religious book. If your god (or any god) made me, I would hope it wanted me to use my intelligence rather than denigrate it.
      3) Oh, so that's how people come to believe in an imaginary friend that is going to take care of them after they die. They just wish for it and click their heels three times. 'Feeling' is all biological and chemical reactions. It has already been found that the feeling of 'god' can be created with a very specific substance. There is no soul and even if there was such a thing as a soul – it wouldn't get you anywhere in terms of arguing that there is a god, and that it is your god.

      Falsify your god by arguing that you can tell the difference between a malevolent powerful spirit and your god.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
  6. curtis

    I rock ice, bling bling, bling bling.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  7. Nancy M. B.

    Wow, there sure are a lot of religious nuts in the world.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  8. Maria

    I agree Caleb Jesus did say many people will be ridiculed
    Matthew 10:22

    You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake, but he who endures to the end will be saved.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  9. BoBo Brazil

    Atheists Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot killed Millions of people including people of faith so how does that make atheists better than religious people? And don't say they were commies, that is just an excuse.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Mick

      They killed people because they were brutal murderers, not because they were atheists. They were not killing in the name of atheism – unlike the Crusades, Papal Inquisition, Spanish Inquisition, witch burnings, etc – which were done in the name of religion.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  10. Dad Taught me

    There is a verse in the bible, and I don't remember what it is, but it goes something like even Jesus doesn't know the day that the Rapture will occur. So I find it strange that these religions claim to know exactly what day the Rapture is going to happen on!

    April 25, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  11. Kay

    They've been predicting the end of the world for centuries. On May 22 they'll just say "Ooops! Guess God changed his mind!" It's not like anybody can hold them legally accountable for being wrong.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
  12. believer

    The Bible says Not even the angels in heaven know when the appointed day is. How would these RV people have any insight on the end of days if those closest to God don't even know?

    April 25, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • A

      Apparently, we didn't get the memo.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  13. shane

    why do ppl follow man and not God it is man that makes date not God. Jesus said so himself no man nore angle nore the song of god know the hour or date but the father himself. Read the bible plz and follow the words of Jesus. If we hit may 22 i ask the family raido to step down and never preach about the bible anymore.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
  14. knowlegable

    Real fact: it IS a TRUE christian belief as tought in the bible. The sorry fact is some "christians" are worse than the atheists , you know the ones who pray on sunday drink smoke and beat their wife on monday , those supposed christians. False prophets are everywhere look at the gays allowed to preach in the catholic church! Religions are being created nearly every day. The rapture is real and is coming!!!

    April 25, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • A

      Glad to hear there are some people worse than atheists! Oh, wait did you mean that to come out? BTW, stop using your computer because the electrons in it obey the scientific rules discovered using the scientific method.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Buddah2112

      Taught.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
  15. mario

    The vatican is the largest profitable organization in the world.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Actually, they nearly went broke but then did some creative financing so now they are making money. Money = power.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Timoteus

      No, actually the net worth of the Catholic Church is in the trillions of dollars. They are anywhere NEAR being broke. But they will gladly pretend to throw certain parishes to the legal wolves in order to minimize the financial impact.
      Trillions of dollars. This is a criminal organization that has gobbled up every bit of wealth it could for centuries. They aren't even breaking a sweat.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
  16. Woody

    What's the latest Vegas line for "Beam Me Up Jesus Day"?

    April 25, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • LOL

      What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! LOL!

      April 25, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
  17. GAW

    Does anyone remember the book 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988? Did I miss something?

    April 25, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • s2kMATTers

      Yes, God is a Dodger fan.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  18. Andrew

    American Atheists... why are you wasting your time trying to counter this May 21 idea when even the vast majority of Christians in the country think it's a load of crap?

    April 25, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Andrew

      Also, how is it ane example of how religion hurts people? I don't see any evidence of it hurting people, it's just a bunch of people with a crazy idea. Who is it hurting, and how?

      April 25, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • A

      Belief is a powerful thing. If the majority of Christians 'believe' in god – is it not the same type of belief that these people have that the end of the world is nigh? If one is wrong using the same type of system does this not shed a bit of doubt on the other?

      Damage that this kind of belief can be explained as this: 1) If you believe the end is nigh and you are on god's side – why should that person plan for the future, what worth is the future of everyone else? 2) What if some loser that thinks this is the end decides he wants to give things a little push? Maybe attack and destroy a nuclear power plant or explode a dirty bomb in a dense urban environment.
      And if we want to write a book on how damaging this kind of thinking is, it could easily be done, 10 times over.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • End of the World

      @Andrew: They are only hurting themselves, but they are also annoying everyone they come in contact with – and you are dumb enough to believe them and give up all your earthly possessions, may 22nd will pretty much suck for you. And for people who will have to help you out.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Ian

      How does religion hurt people? Well for starters, 9/11 was fueled by religous hate, and that certainly hurt people. So was the Spanish Inquisition, the Ku Klux Klan, the 2005 London Subway and Bus Bombings, Jonestown, the Salem Witch Trials, the French Wars of Religion, the Thirty Years War and The Crusades, as well as the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, the Adana Massacre, the Tripolitsa Massacre, the Cyprus Massacre and the Holocaust.

      But, yeah, other than that, religion hasn't really hurt anyone.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      I believe it is hurting the Christian body as a whole. It will only cause more persecution to true Christians. People who are not Christian will think that true Christians believe this. It's called "generalizing" or maybe "stereotyping".

      April 25, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • Andrew

      End of the World and Ian, you're both either really dumb or can't read.

      End of the World – I made it very clear in both my posts that I think these guys are wildly off their rockers. I obviously don't believe it.

      Ian – I didn't ask how religion hurts people (that's an entirely different debate, but you're dumb if you think it's a black and white issue). I asked how simply BELIEVING that the world is coming to an end is hurting anyone. Because frankly, it isn't. I haven't seen any wars declared over this issue lately, have you?

      April 26, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  19. David Johnson

    The book of Revelation was not meant to be a future (2000+ years) prediction. It was written in a time when the Christians were being heavily persecuted. The 666 is a reference to Nero Caesar.

    Do you really think the stars will fall to earth?

    Revelation 6:13 – And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

    The bronze age people believed the heavenly bodies were about the size as they appear in the sky. The sun and moon about the size of basketballs. The stars, very small. They had no idea, that the stars were actually "suns".

    If it starts raining stars, it is going to break a lot of windshields. It is good that I have free glass.

    Cheers!

    April 25, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Jeff

      666 does not necessarily refer to Nero. Numbering of a name is from the Jewish Kabbalah. Every Hebrew letter has a number, the sum of which is the number of a name.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Mick

      Good point...if your model of the earth is a flat disc and the stars are small points of light floating in the sky, it's easy to imagine them falling to earth. Some people can read a hundred such things in the bible and somehow not realize that modern day knowledge has caught the book in a lie.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      Revelations was written around 90-100 AD. Yes there was Christian persecution, but there had always been persecution of Christians since Jesus died. Also, if you study the Bible a bit, you realize that many things happen over and over in slightly different ways. Pretty clever thinking by God. One example is the 12 tribes of Israel which forshadow 12 apostles which then forshadow 12 rulers in the kingdom. There are also 12 gates to the temple. Pretty cool huh?! So Nero might not be the only 666 antichrist.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Jeff

      Also, just so you know, which I'm sure you don't, what John wrote in Revelations is him describing what he saw in his vision that was granted by God. What John saw as stars, may not have been suns, its just how he described them. There is no lie within the Word of God. And remember, what were reading in English was written in Greek. Have you read the bible in Greek? Of course not.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      Great point Jeff!

      April 25, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  20. room77

    Pro tip: The rapture isn't even a christian belief.

    It's a just recent creation from people in the good ol' U.S.A.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Jeff

      Sorry ol' bud. You are very incorrect. Possibly the term, but not the event.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      Rapture is taken from a Latin word "rapiemur" and means "to be caught up". Whether it's pre-tribulation, mid-trib, or post-trib, that's up to the believer. I believe Bible evidence points to post-trib. Plus, this May 21st stuff is just plain false and a disgrace to Christianity.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Nocordoba

      Some Christians beleive it. And the Bible does not guarantee it. I am a Christian and have never found that in all the time I have looked through the Bible. Also yes God will come again but he also said we will not know when that will be.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Nocordoba

      There will be no rapture god will come again though we don't know when that will be. These people are crazy putting up this billboard. I am a Christian and don't beleive this. (Presbyterian)

      April 25, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Nocordoba

      Woops...God not god

      April 25, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Jeff

      @TheTruth – I agree with you 100%. By them picking the date means they must never have read the Gospels. BTY – I'm a pre-trib, pre-millenial dispensationalist.

      April 25, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      @Nocordoba....I'm Christian as well and I think that you might be misunderstanding the term rapture. There are a lot of people nowadays who when they hear the word "rapture" immediately think of people disappearing with no warning and before the events of revelation. The Bible has no clear statements of that. It does have a clear statement that Jesus would be returning for His people at the second coming. That is what I consider rapture to be. Also, it will be seen by everyone!

      April 25, 2011 at 7:53 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.