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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. chris

    Funny how atheists who hate organized religion themselves organize to fight against God, the bible and religion. Why spend so much energy against something you don't believe in? Why does it bother you so much? I wonder which religious wars their talking about which cause so much death? Desert Storm I and II?, Vietnam?, Korean War?, World Wars I and II?, Falklands War?, American Civil War? Franco/Prussian Wars, Napoleonic Wars?, War of 1812?, American War of Independence? Look at all the religion involved there. whew! What about the atheists that came to power in the 20th century to make the world better? Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot and others who killed over 200 million+ people. Hurrah for atheism and communism!

    April 25, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • PeterVN

      For the umpteenth hundredth time:

      1. Those deaths were not caused in the name of atheism
      2. Atheism does not equal communism. I'm an atheist, and a very successful capitalist.
      3. Hitler by his own statements was a Catholic.

      The answer to your first question, speaking for myself, is partly that religious doctrine and belief-y "thinking" is behind so much poor decision-making, and causes so much suffering. Another reason is that it is so much fun, although far too easy, to poke holes in your idiotic and primitive supersti-tions.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Another reason is that it is so much fun, although far too easy, to poke holes in your idiotic and primitive supersti-tions."

      Ppl's views on history and atheism hardly damages one's belief in God.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Chris: As many have said here, most atheists oppose religion because religious people try to turn their beliefs into law. Your bible has no place in the laws of a secular government. Simple as that.

      Also, it's very hard to ignore religion when it keeps knocking on your door. Twice in the last three days people have knocked on my door with "important" things to tell me about "our" lord. They were uninvited, and they interrupted me when I was busy. I was polite, telling them no thank you, but I was annoyed. I've never had an atheist come to my door to try to convert me. Have you?

      April 25, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • Tohrm

      Lycidas, you are obviously only talking for yourself and no one else.
      History and atheistic arguments helped me escape the delusions of religion.
      So you see you are wrong again. This just isn't your day, I guess.

      April 25, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
  2. Fnord

    Faith is merely subjective validation, and is thus insufficient evidence for any real-world event. Faith Proves Nothing!

    April 25, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • jkimbo

      I love picking on you tho I kind of feell bad a little like making fun of a retard really. All your statements are null and prove nothing as well. Your opinions are equally subjective and insufficient of any evidence to back any thing you have said. So I suppose one could accurately state, you don't know what your talking about.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Jon Jon

      @jkimbo

      Religious nuts are the ones making this claim, so the burden of proof is on them to prove they are right. It's not our (atheists) argument to prove you are wrong.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
  3. Wade

    So basically all you atheists believe you're so much smarter than the billions of people who are religious? You don't think perhaps there's people who believe in religion that just might be as smart or smarter than you?

    April 25, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • jkimbo

      Not exactly, tho they may feel that way. In truth they prove they are just as retarded as all of those they ridicule lol.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • Kay

      And the fact that some of us spell out words just proves that we're just retarded? Does the bible have too many long words for you?

      By the way, you just proved Wade's point...

      April 25, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Wade, most of us are much smarter than you are.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • Scanlan

      Judging from Wade's post, I feel confident that I am considerably smarter than Wade. There are some clever "believers" around, but ones like Wade, jkimbo, Jeff, and some others are not in the "clever" group.
      I can think my way out of a paper bag, but believers can't do it if they think their "god" put them there. Really stupid of their god to do that to them. I feel sorry for anyone who cannot think clearly.
      If my mental condition goes south (south being stupid) with Alzheimer's or something, I will be mighty unhappy about it.
      Yeah, Wade & company, I have the edge with my factual information as opposed to your fake bullshlt. Makes winning arguments pretty easy.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
  4. Fnord

    News of the end of the world is purely faith-based, and faith proves nothing.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • jkimbo

      You realize your statement is retarded right? In order for you to claim that you would have had to have a faith and died and came back to tell us it proved nothing. You see, your merely assuming faith proves nothing, and you would be right to a degree, it may prove nothing at this moment of time, but funny thing about time, it moves forward, well after you and I die and nether of us can say for certain at this moment who is right or wrong.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • Thinquer

      People didn't take shelter either when Hurricane Katrina was on the way. Ooops. That was a mistake. Pay attention to what is happening around the world and be open minded. See what the Bible says on the subject of salvation JUST IN CASE. sounds prudent.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Scanlan

      I think jkimbo is a bit "tetched" in the head.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • TheOracle8191

      What's funny is that science itself is a faith based system. You have to form an idea and have faith that you can prove it before it becomes scientific law. Unless something is proven absolutely incorrect, whomever has a theory will continue to try and prove it until it's found true or false. Some theories, even the greatest theory of all, relativity, cannot be proven. Scientists assume it works, regardless of proof, because so far some things SEEM to support it. Yet it simply cannot be proven and the scientific community has FAITH that it is correct. So if faith proves nothing, why is the whole concept of science, the "realist's" cornerstone, based on it?

      April 25, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Thinquer wrote: "People didn't take shelter either when Hurricane Katrina was on the way. Ooops. That was a mistake. "

      You mean they should have consulted a 2000 year old weather forecast?

      April 25, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  5. God's Ambassador.

    Jesus still loves you, even if you are an aetheist. God loves all of his children, but he can only safe the faithful few.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      So god appointed you too? I'll see you in the rapture capsule with the unicorns. Don't forget to wear your nose ring – the big steel one that I padlocked the chain on with when we were practicing for the uplifting.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • BenViniest

      Too bad none of them are on this planet.

      April 25, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
  6. thegadfly

    The reason that End Times mentality is NOT harmless is that there is a large segment of the population, including some very powerful individuals, who are shouting, "Bring it on!" They want so badly for Jesus to return that they proactively seek to make a world just like the dystopia they infer in Revelations - giving no thought to the social and political havoc they cause.

    The world HAS TO end eventually, and there are certainly insights in Revelations as to what a collapsing society looks like. But when the day comes, I don't much expect to hear trumpets, or to see a bunch of empty shoes on the sidewalk. If there's one thing worse than suffering through one ignorant false alarm after another, it's putting up with people who are delusional enough to deliberately destroy the world and think they're doing God's will.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
  7. Fnord

    Faith Proves Nothing – get a life!

    April 25, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • jkimbo

      Life proves nothing, get a faith you silly twit lol

      April 25, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • Lycidas

      By definition it's not suppose to scientifically prove anything..duh.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • Scanlan

      Lycidas – That is demonstrably false. People of "faith" are constantly saying that "faith" proves their god exists.
      You didn't think that one through very well, did you?

      April 25, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  8. Mick

    Wow...$27,000? Why not put that money to better use...like fighting the lunatics who are trying to shove creationism into the science classes...maybe set up some workshops that teach critical thinking skills...or just donate it to a charity to show that Christians don't have a monopoly on morals. But spending $27,000 just to convince a handful of nutjobs that the world won't end on May 21st?

    April 25, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • Wade

      Or maybe we can spend it on science to disprove the next "theory of the day." Not saying science is bad, but those of you thinking you have all the answers because you read it in a textbook are sorely mistaken.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • Kay

      Look up flaws in evolutionary theory sometime. They're beginning to realize that maybe they were wrong. And yet they never mentioned any of this in biology 101...

      April 25, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • Observer

      @Wade,
      "those of you thinking you have all the answers because you read it in a textbook are sorely mistaken."

      Good argument against the Bible.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  9. rob

    I am not an atheist I do believe in God......But this crap is garrbage nothing but a cult group you should go to their website and read the message board There is not one opposing viewpoint about this STUPID May21st judgement day on the message board i submitted severa oppsng views l but they were never posted

    April 25, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • jkimbo

      I'm not a atheist or rapture person, I hold no absolute opinion, so I ask, how are you so certain? I mean really? Can you soy absolutely either way? Didn't think so lol.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Scanlan

      jkimbo – I can say that you absolutely and definitely have no proof that your god exists. I am not saying I know with total knowledge that your god doesn't exist, I am saying that you have absolutely NO PROOF and that I therefore see absolutely NO reason to believe in your religious insanity.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
  10. The Dude

    I wish the Rapture was true, then we would be rid of the Bible Thumpers for awhile.

    But it is not true you stupid Christ Cultists!

    You are not a member of a special club that gets to go to heaven, You are a part of a special Club that lets its children be molested by priests.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • jkimbo

      Hey Dude, I find those who bring up molestation either were molested or are doing the molesting.
      So which are you?

      April 25, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • rob

      Dude remember the Bible said no man knoweth the time or the hour of judgement. Yes this group is a cult and i wouldn't be surprised if they did molest children

      April 25, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • thegadfly

      As much as I detest Catholicism, and its culture of perversion, I think the vast majority of the Armageddon cheerleading squad is Protestant.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • Observer

      @jkimbo,
      "Hey Dude, I find those who bring up molestation either were molested or are doing the molesting.
      So which are you?"

      Really BRIGHT statement.... NOT!

      April 25, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • Kay

      God will come in his own time. You can deal with us until then, and then he can deal with you...

      April 25, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Thinquer

      Dude, I understand your anger about the pedophiles. Be be assured there were no priests in the original Christian congregation when it started. Men were allowed to preach the Word and also have normal married lives. Celibacy is a Catholic creation that is not supported my the Bible. Please don't throw God out with the people who misrepresent Him.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Tohrm

      Thinquer, you don't understand much of anything and your ignorance is disgusting.
      Don't try to be an apologist who seeks to divert attention away from child abuse. It has been going on for millions of years.
      As for your fake "god", who can throw out something that doesn't exist?
      Your religion is evil. There is no excuse for child abuse, and religion pressed upon innocent children is definitely child abuse.
      And there were "priests" back then. But that's just one more thing you're mistaken about.

      April 25, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
  11. jkimbo

    For those who wish to use common sense instead of idiotic fits of immature reactions, let us remember this, the existence of God can nether be proven or equally disproved. Those believe in God rely on faith in the scriptures. Those who do not believe in god rely on faith in nothing. So which is more absurd you think? Go ahead and argue over that, won't change a thing because the bottom line is you can't prove what you say no matter what you believe.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • Thinquer

      You can't prove that there is wind, either, because you cannot see it. But you can see what it does, therefore we know it exists. Likewise, we know there is a Creator – not because we see Him, but we see his handiwork. INature is too elaborate and intelligent to be a random accident. Otherwise, you would have to say there was no Leonardo daVinci, since you never saw him either.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Scanlan

      I believe you are retarded and your post is proof of that.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • Mick

      We have absolute rock-solid proof that wind is real. And that Leonardo daVinci was real. We have zero evidence that God is real. None. Zilch. Complexity requires complexity: Using your logic, Thinquer, the ancients assumed that lightning had to be caused by a supernatural being; we now know the underlying mechanisms – positive and negative charges, and so forth. When you see something complex you should not think "Wow, there must be a magic man behind that", but "Wow, I want to research that a bit more and see what Science has learned about it".

      April 25, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
  12. Jeremy

    No one knows when that day or hour will come. Even the angels in heaven and the Son don't know. Only the Father knows. -Matthew 24:36

    Enough Said

    April 25, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Jeremy, get ready. See you in the rapture capsule with the unicorns. Don't forget to wear your nose ring. The big steel one that I padlocked the chain on with when we were practicing for the uplifting...

      April 25, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Jeremy, see you in the rapture capsule with the unicorns. Don't forget to wear your nose ring. The big steel one that I padlocked the chain on with when we were practicing for the uplifting.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
  13. chris

    Yeah yeah yeah, when I was a teenage I had a dream the world ends on jun 14th 2011. that doesnt make it so. It does'nt stop me from bringing it up on a regular basis with sarcasm to the max.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  14. Nocordoba

    American atheists...Oh great an organization. You know if any of them think evolution is true they by default worship matter and energy. So if religion is the root of all wars and problems the-Evolution has already caused problems. Hitler had it as an excuse for his crimes because he was killing people because they were less evolved, or in the name of science.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Aezel

      Did you come up with all of that bulls*** off the top of your head or did you have to carefully think it through?

      April 25, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Hitler was no scientist and Darwin's theory won the day Hitler placed a bullet inside his own brain case without ever having passed on his genes.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
  15. Tewks44

    "nvites passers-by to "Learn the Truth" at the group's "Rapture Party" on May 21-22 in Oakland."

    funny that they are trying to spread their message the day the entire world as we know it ends. Seems a bit futile

    April 25, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Brian Hartman

      It's only futile if the religious group is right. The overwhelming odds are, they're not.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Kay

      I'm religious, and I plan to still be here on the 22nd. Don't ever try to put a date on God, because you will make an idiot of yourself.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Jon Jon

      I'm sure you're a smart cookie and already aware of this, but you're begging the question. You can't use what you think will happen to defend what you think will happen. The world needs more fruits of reason not religious nuts.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  16. Scott

    I think it's funny how atheists condemn religion as always being the cause of war and hatred but... they are always the first ones to throw a dog into the fight lately. Seems like the cause of hatred might just be ignorance, which both groups, religious and atheists have a lot of.
    Just an observation...

    April 25, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Jay

      I am no atheist, but that is just not true. Religion is the cause of every single recorded war.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • Kay

      Jay, most wars these days are caused over money and power, not religion.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  17. HeIsGod

    Oh, please, Atheists needs to get a REAL life......they are hurting millions of people by turning them from God as these false religions are.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • BenViniest

      Yup. My utter lack of a religion TOTALLY hurts more people daily than one that has killed millions of people over 2 millenia.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      "false religions". Now which ones wouldn't be in that set?

      Apart from Pastafarianism, of course.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • Jon Jon

      "False religions" is a tautology. You lose.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
  18. Prophet Riel

    Hello I am Prophet Riel and on my website http://www.RiseAtlantis.com I have a video which talks about the apparition that appeared in 2007 of Pope John Paul 2 of a priest ghost that appeared in a flash of light of a camera. As well as a mysterious face next to Pope John Paul 2. A video how we can summon apparitions from God like Prophet Yahweh. A video that shows what hybrid human/monsters can be created from the false prophet Rael pushing Human Cloning for eternal life. And a video that shows images in the Horseman apparition in Egypt in Feburary 2011!

    April 25, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Tewks44

      sweet dude, you should totally be on "Ghost Hunters: Haunted house adventures!" or something like that

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

      I don't normally say this to people but....you idiot.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • Thinquer

      My friends, ages 15 and 16 just met a neighbor the other day. He said," Can't you read the ***-ing (license) plates?! I'm an Athiest! Now ***-off!"
      What is so good about this atheistic faith that creates such beautiful people. Whatever it is, I don't want it!

      April 25, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Wow Thiquer, you say met one alleged atheist who offended you and by that criterion you dismiss them all. That says more about you than it does the offending atheist.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Thinquer

      Sad to say, most of the athiests commenting here harbor the same underlying mean streak. Sad.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Jon Jon

      I'd rather be mad, angry and think for myself than be stupid, gullible and believe in fairy tales.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  19. Ben Peeler

    I was raised "Southern Baptist." in SC. I have many examples of how religion harms people. As recently as 1970 the church I grew up in was still explaining why ni***rs cannot attend our church. GOD drew that line. RYI, the church was built by slaves making bricks by hand. Also, tune into the "700 Club" or similar programs and listen to the millionaires beg grandma for just a little more of her social security to do "God's work." Yes, religion harms millions daily.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Jeus Is Lord

      Ben,

      Place your faith in Jesus Christ – not in a denomination or a pastor. You certainly aren't the only person to ever be hurt by hypocrisy in the church. BTW, I also attend a Baptist church, but I don't believe their "eternal security" doctrine. I hope you're not relying on that either. Truth is, the comments that you made here (publicly) cause harm to the Body of Christ. How are you going to explain that to Jesus? Repent and get yourself right with God while you still can. Peace.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Kay

      If they couldn't back it up with sound biblical doctrine, then they were in the wrong.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Yeah, Kay, that bible. We know how sound that is. No contradictions or errors in there. Well maybe just these, oh, and a whole lot more:
      http://youtube.com/watch?v=RB3g6mXLEKk

      April 25, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
  20. JP0

    Bumper sticker: "In case of rapture can I have your car?"

    April 25, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • God's Ambassador.

      Jesus still loves you.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Zippy

      Why do the majority of Atheists seem to have a particular problem with Christianity? Could it be that they are not actually Atheists, but just a bunch of people bigoted towards one specific religion?

      April 25, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • tallulah13

      That's one of my favorite bumper stickers. Another favorite (for all of us oldsters out there who remember the original Hawaii 5-0): "Jack is Lord"

      April 25, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • JR

      No, Zippy. It's because we live in a predominantly Christian country, and its the foul fairy tales of Christianity that are shoved in every person's face, every single day. It's the most obvious target to an atheist because it's the one bothering him/her all of the time.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • Kay

      This country was founded on (GASP) Christian principles. Without them, the life you claim to cherish would never have existed. But don't worry. In the next few years, when the athiests manage to suck all the money out of the treasury and send it to China, then you won't have to worry about religion, because it won't be tolerated....

      Of course, freedom of speech goes too. Oh well, small price to pay...

      April 25, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Mmm, Kay, maybe you want to crank up the google and search "deist founding fathers" sometime. Just sayin...

      Mkay??

      April 25, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • tallulah13

      You are mistaken Kay. Try learning some of the history of this country, starting with the words of our Founding Fathers. Then you will have some idea about the principles this nation was founded upon.

      http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html

      You might also look into The Enlightenment, and the role of the Enlightenment in the American Revolution.

      April 25, 2011 at 8:51 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.