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. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    I always enjoy using the following line whenever a Fundie tells me the Rapture is coming. I always ask "How do you know it hasn't already happened?" They usually express doubt claiming that they are still here at which I usually come back with something like "And your point is?" Heh heh heh! There is a place in Hell for people like me (probably), or else God has a great sense of humor!

    April 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  2. brad

    The atheist will claim that the universe has no ultimate meaning. It only means what he can imagine it to mean. And in the grand sweep of things, his own life means nearly nothing and this meaning will die when the atheist does. This is fact and atheist knows it. He makes himself irrelevant by his own beliefs. He also calls himself rational.

    April 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • YeahRight

      You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.

      April 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Ralph

      To laugh often and much;
      To win the respect of intelligent people
      and the affection of children;
      To earn the appreciation of honest critics
      and endure the betrayal of false friends;
      To appreciate beauty;
      To find the best in others;
      To leave the world a bit better, whether by
      a healthy child, a garden patch
      or a redeemed social condition;
      To know even one life has breathed
      easier because you have lived;
      This is to have succeeded.

      April 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • StopTheMadness

      @ Brad – please enlighten us all. What IS the meaning of the universe and of our lives? If you claim to know and can prove it, then I will personally worship YOU with no regrets. But, I suspect - no, I am certain, that you have no better idea than anyone else. It's all conjecture and opinion - always has been and always will be.

      I think Ralph's answer is perfect, and you can't possibly one-up him. Maybe I'll just start worshipping Ralph instead...

      Or not... Too busy living to worship anyone or anything...

      April 27, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      To get a good feel for the kind of impact a single human's existence has on the infinite expanses of space time, I'd like you to slowly put your hand into a swimming pool and remove it.
      See the difference your presence made?

      April 28, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  3. crucified

    Atheism is just Rebellion! Repent spoiled children! Science cannot save you and has no will to do so!

    April 27, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Odd, I thought science had already saved billions with agriculture, medicine, and technology.
      What has God done?

      April 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • crucified

      actually God did that.... created flowers, trees, and people....and yes even you.

      April 27, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Which one of the thousand gods that have been created during mankind's existence did you have in mind?

      Oh, and that old cliche: who created this god of yours?

      April 27, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "actually God did that.... created flowers, trees, and people....and yes even you."

      So you say. Odd then that He planted evidence that points in an entirely different direction. Being mysterious is one thing, but that's down right deceitful.
      Even if that were so, however, do you think 6-7 billion people could survive on this planet with what was here alone? Planting maize the way the Native Americans did or barley the way the Sumerians in Mesopotamia did? No, I takes modern science-based agriculture to do that. And, modern science-based medicine to prevent the diseases that God, supposedly, also created. And, modern science-base technology to research, educate, transport, store, etc. all the things necessary to support 6-7 billion people on this planet.
      If Earth were suddenly reverted to the way God, supposedly, created it, I'm guessing that 6+ billion people would die within a week or two.

      April 28, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  4. Ryan Richardson

    It's a shame that Atheist get's so offended about GOD I see that it's because their Scared. Most Atheist believe in GOD inside that's why their so worried. Please Pray for them. GOD BLESS!

    April 27, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Atheists don't get "offended about God," it's those who claim He exists that are the problem.

      April 27, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Ralph

      Ryan your assumptions demonstrates you have no idea what you are talking about.

      April 27, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • I_get _it

      @Ryan, Your language skills are those of a failing 6th grader... and so is your reasoning.

      April 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • Kyle W.

      I've noticed that many of the comments on here in support of religion are laden with bad grammar and spelling mistakes. Says something about people who are still dumb enough to follow organized religion, doesn't it? And if I was that worried about god's existance, then I WOULD BELIEVE IN GOD. Atheists, many of whom were brought up in christian families, are the strong willed ones who finally saw that religion was a bunch of baloney and began to think for themselves.

      April 28, 2011 at 2:58 am |
  5. Artist

    I suspect we will see a rise in welfare claims because peopel sold and spent everything for the rapture.

    April 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  6. Carl LaFong

    The Rapture is coming in 3 weeks? Rats, and I just paid my taxes!!!!

    April 27, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Nonimus

      The end is nigh!
      File your extension soon!

      ; )

      April 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  7. Tod

    You are all fools to not worship Oden! The Christian God is false, worship the one true god, Oden!

    April 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      You mean, Odin the Bolverk, the Valvatter, who only chose among the leaders to be his followers, who abandons his followers in their time of greatest need? He who lied, cheated and stole everything he had?
      No – instead worship Thor! Thor always championed the common man, not the elites. Thor's hall in Aesgardr is far larger than the Father of Lies hall, and can hold many more. Plus his wife, Sjofn, has a hall for their wives, too!

      April 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  8. Weston

    Religion is a necessary evil. To put it in the most simplistic terms possible, fear of god (note my lowercase) is the only thing keeping most people moral and law abiding.

    I wouldn't call Christianity a crutch or a security blanket. It's a big brother and if it keeps weak minded individuals in line then GOD BLESS IT!

    April 27, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      it is tragic that religion has hijacked morality.

      April 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Nonimus

      God and Santa keep children in line.
      For adults it is reason and the police.

      April 27, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • brad

      Show me a "strong minded" atheist who has ever had an original thought.

      April 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • brad

      @The Jackdaw: religion has hijacked morality? And what would your morality look like? Or have you thought about it?

      April 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Ralph

      "Show me a "strong minded" atheist who has ever had an original thought."

      What a stupid remark, obviously you are not a strong minded Christian with an original thought.

      April 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Ralph

      Brad,societal morality might be a universal element of religion, but it is also true of non-religious societies. Religion claims to be the source of morality, but it is not.

      April 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "Show me a 'strong minded' atheist who has ever had an original thought."

      Socrates was charged with being an atheist, in a sense.
      Epicurus came up with the Epicurean paradox, or the problem of evil, as an argument against an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omni-benevolent god.

      Not an original among them?

      April 27, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  9. Dina

    Wow !!! talk about loss of faith and loosing your way. May God Bless each and all of you , who dont believe and that are against God in everyway. May you find peace and comfort in his arms . May you find the truth and see the light of the world inhis heart , for what is intended on this earth. Lord Jesus come and and take your bride home !!! Amen !!!!

    April 27, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Artist

      and you are in our thoughts that you break away from the delusion of gods and myths.

      April 27, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Nonimus

      No thanks.

      April 27, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Kyle W.

      Atheists aren't 'against god', as you cannot be 'against' something that doesn't EXIST!

      April 28, 2011 at 2:52 am |
  10. The Jackdaw

    Science will win because it works.

    April 27, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  11. Steve S

    Wow. Comment after comment filled with people who like hearing themselves blabber on. Yet very few with actual debate content. Doesn't anyone know how to debate anymore?? It's about substance people. You're actually supposed to try to convince the other guy, remember??

    April 27, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Eric G

      You must be new here. Precious few here wish for civil debate or even conversation. What could be a great resource for understanding justification of different world views, is instead a chalkboard for the verification of fanaticism cloaked in anonimity.

      A fanatic is someone unwilling to change their mind and unable to change the subject.

      April 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Artist

      The Devil™

      – Artist, Steev & Estevan

      That's pretty funny. I'll be seeing you all down here later for two shows every day.


      Noob, you cannot change the delusional. You can only poke and watch them flip around. Christians make for great entertainment when they start quoting hearsay and babble. They are jesus warriors!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      April 27, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Artist

      Steve S

      Wow. Comment after comment filled with people who like hearing themselves blabber on. Yet very few with actual debate content. Doesn't anyone know how to debate anymore?? It's about substance people. You're actually supposed to try to convince the other guy, remember??


      noob comment meant for Stev-o

      April 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Religious sects

      The belief blog is not the place to convince anyone of anything. I love a "good" debate but you can't convince someone who A..either has no evidence or B..won't consider evidence.

      April 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  12. Mark

    I'm soooo happy I got those hooks out of my brain. I can't believe I used to believe in all this bunk.

    April 27, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
  13. The Jackdaw

    Religion is not a crutch. A crutch helps you to get places. Religion is a security blanket. People hide from reality under it and use it as an excuse to fail to progress.

    Religion is poison.

    April 27, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • brad

      If you think religion is a security blanket, take a bible and go door to door with it. Or just walk down the street with it.

      April 27, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • hhc

      For the record, those of us who are believers and true followers of Christ prefer to not be called "religious." Religion is what the pharisees did. Religion is a culture and, yes, is a security blanket.

      As for me, I have been a Christ-follower for years now and I experience the same crappy things the next guy does. It doesn't keep me safe like a little baby in a blanket, shutting out the world. But my relationship with Christ gives me hope and a purpose to over come things. Actually, Christianity calls for risk and denounces security. I don't think you have to follow Christ just because I do, but I do think the the non-Christian community should research things or talk to Christians and find out what they're all about before calling them a bunch of pansies under blankets.

      April 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Brad, kids pull their security blankets around with them as well. They stop when they grow up and realize that they look ridiculous.

      April 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • A

      Why does your belief in god give you hope for the future? If god has existed, exists now, exists in all of the future – and is outside of time – the end – no matter when it happens – has already happened (oh and btw it means there is no such thing as free will). The end of humankind. All the striving of humankind rendered meaningless – all our hopes for our children and our children's children rendered in to nothing.

      And why? Because god needs to have more souls (hit points) to beat satan in some game. There's a lovely point to existence.

      How about this for one (of many) more significant reasons for existence and hope for the future. How about a future where humanity grows over thousands of years – approximately 50,000 years ago on for tens of thousands of years in the future. Humanity produces many new versions of itself – spreading across the solar system at first, and then to the next couple of near by systems and then on across the galaxy. It grows to solve the physics problems of today – and regards them as foolish, but even in solving those problems new problems arise that take ability and change in humanity to figure out. Learning never ends, but we resolve to solve the problems that plague us in the present, starvation, medical problems and scarcity of resources.
      You have children to contribute to the future – a better future than the present – and have some part of you there as humanity grows. Eventually individual humans lifespans increase and we don't feel rushed in our every day activities. There are so many good futures out there to be had, but no good can from from god ending humanity's existence – no matter when that day comes.

      April 27, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Artist


      If you think religion is a security blanket, take a bible and go door to door with it. Or just walk down the street with it.


      I used to do that when I witnessed to people. Man the good ole days. lol

      April 27, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  14. greenkelly

    ive been on other blogs arguing this subject..u guys are by far the most intelligent and thoughtful...But neither side will convince the other,thats clear to me now...Brothers, let us forgive each other , each in his own way, we are all human beings.. ultimately all from the same family....in the end of the harvest He will separate the wheat from the tares and Perfection will once again be manifest.. God will end it PERFECTLY..

    April 27, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  15. Deliverance

    Okay i am a believer and spiritual not religious. Now as for the atheist billboard...they are just fulfilling what the Bible has told us what will take place in the latter days so i am not surprised and actually it doesn't bother me much because that's what lost anti- Christ folk do. Just like sinners, they sin- and antheist promote anti-Christ messages so i do not get worked up over it because i am confident in what i believe and i know God is in control. However as a believer, i am not a believer in the rapture because we are told to take back the world and not surrender it to Satan and evil. The rapture is a man created escape plan to get us out of here and meanwhile God placed us here to do his will and to overcome and be victorious and no scripture i can find after seventeen years of study shows my spirit otherwise.
    "Thy kingdom come thy will be done IN EARTH as it is in heaven". We better get busy doing his will and not waving a surrender flag and waiting to be "raptured". By the way rapture is not even found in the Bible and yet a doctrine has been built around it... Come on believers wake up and take back what rightfully belongs to God. "The EARTH is the Lords and the fulness thereof". If we buy into the "any minute we 're gonna be raptured out of here" myth then we won't do anything while we are here which is opposite of God's purpose for placing us here on earth to begin with. If he wanted you in heaven why did he put you on earth? We have work to do believers so take down your white flag of surrender.

    April 27, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • A

      I've been around a lot of the country and I've seen religious billboards all over. You are attempting to project a normal human reaction – atheists when confronted with billboards of people using their free speech to say things atheists object to – put up billboards of their own objecting with their free speech.

      So, fundamentally, you are casting atheists using their free speech as a form of evil – and will work to suppress their speech. But when Christian organizations use billboards it is a-ok.

      Of course you use terminology for atheists – anti-christ – pairing atheists with the devil. The word is atheist – and it is for a specific reason. It stands for the absence of belief in the supernatural, specifically that of god(s) (not just the Christ figure) and the belief that humanity should form their own future.

      April 27, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
  16. stevie68a

    People who think jesus is real because the story has been around 2,000 years. People believed the earth was flat for millions of years, and we know how that turned out. jesus is imaginary! jesus is imaginary! Shout it from the rooftops!

    April 27, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Robert A

      People did not believe the earth was flat for millions of years because people have not been around for millions of years.
      Jesus probably did exist so he is probably not imaginary.

      The imaginary parts of the story are that his mom was a virgin & GOD was his dad, that he performed miracles, died and rose from the dead, and that he died for MY sins. There is no need for that nonsense.

      April 27, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  17. brad

    The demise of Christianity: you know it's nonsense. You've been trying and waiting 2000 years.

    April 27, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • SeanNJ

      Oh, it will never die. We still read Greek, Roman and Norse mythology. We just don't take it seriously. Same will happen.

      So you "rage against the dying of the light," as your indoctrination insists you must.

      April 27, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • brad

      I beg your pardon, SeanNJ. You atheists take it quite seriously. That's why you're organizing against it. If there was a blog about Norse mythology, I doubt we'd see any atheists there. Only on this blog.

      April 27, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • USN_Atheist

      If Norse mythology was popular enough to be believed by the masses to the point of influencing a country's stance on governing it's people based on that religion then yes, I would hope that there would be an organized fight against it.

      April 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Eric G

      Sorry Brad, you cannot play the "poor Christian victim" card here. Go back 3 spaces and loose a turn.

      April 27, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  18. elgeevz

    The billboards are a tremendous waste of money. It is futile to attempt to reason with anyone who believes that a first-century Jew walked on water. They are not stupid, just dishonest.

    April 27, 2011 at 7:11 am |
    • brad

      elgeevz, do you still believe in reason? Human nature turned the plowshare of scientific discovery into a sword with which to murder reason. Reason died during WW1. It's corpse was mutilated in WW2 and incinerated at Auschwitz, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. The enemy is human nature and only Jesus can cope with it.

      April 27, 2011 at 9:43 am |
  19. Muneef

    Why has the truth be killed?;

    You people have not explained to me why would God need to have a Son when we all creatures are of his own and from his own Spirit ?

    Why would God have a Son of his created among us when all the time we been sent human messengers ?

    Why when among us comes a man asking us to the light of truth,proving him self to be different from date of birth, and when he showed us love,cured our sick,even brought back to life our dead ones,who was able to tell us what we stored and what is  in stored for us.why do we condemn him to death as a transgressor ?

    Why did we take the privilege of sacrificing him as an offering or were we repeating the crime of the Sons of Adam when Cain killed his brother in jealousy about some sacrifice offerings that were made and was accepted by God for Cain's brother but not to Cain him self ? Then he learnt after killing his brother how to hide the crime unfounded out by burying of the corpus as the Crow bird had showed him !

    Strange isn't it that Satan has always mislead our fathers and us in jealousy ?
    First as disguised as a Serpent as told by elder bibles, he mislead our fathers into eating the forbidden fruit and succeeded into getting them out of heavens into earth and he with them ?

    Always where there was evil there was Satan behind it. He talked the Son of Adam Cain into killing his brother and into hiding his Crime !  

    Then Satan inspires and reveals to man evil verses that are not of God's words into the aim of putting the Light of God's Truth out of light !

    When here comes to us a Righteous Prophet full of Miracles, but instead of appreciating same and thanking God for, we rather drove him into crucifixion?

    The Sabbath people of the children of Israel who betrayed,ploted,conspired against him were of a closed religious society that is not accepting converts. The believers and followers of the Prophet were begining to claim his blood, when here Satan came again to teach them as to how to hide their crime, so they gave excuses and verses that made the crucifixion as legal ??? 

    Any way the establishment of a second religion was necessary and as well  keeping it astray off track was  necessary as well as that it was intended to relieve them from the burden of opening up their Religion faith for new converts to join up in theirs ???

    The Crime myth of being crucified beside other things became a religion formula to cool the mass of angry prophet followers and to drive the masses to convert into it.

    Then the Romans learned the trick and became to make use of this further to control and drive their complex masses of many faiths into one integrated mass where they turned the Sun God Day into Son God Day ! Meaning gathered pagans,idolaters and joined them with the right mass into one big mass of a faith that contain all in one....

     Until the day when the One Cell had broken into small divisions,where each thinks he is the righteous more than any other, so here it is it went multiplying to unend to becoming to suit each culture and race ???

    Finally God has chosen a messenger from the race of the children of Ismael to bring back his words of light to the children of Israel by a member of the family tree, and that was because when ever God chosen a prophet from among them children of Israel they had always disbelieved and killed their Prophets and messengers one after another even the Prophet Moses was not spared the agony and the failures that they drove him into due their disbelief in him and in what he has brought up to them to follow ?

    Now the same story is being repeated against the Seal of Prophets of God and the Words of the Message of God which was this Prophet only miracle that God has sent him with if compared with the line of Prophets and messengers that came before him.. ! The Light and the Power of Words were totally Rejected by the children of Israel because it came to them by the children of Ismael since they had rejected Ismael before that considering him a slave a son of a slave woman "Hager" !! 

    Turned to be in the size of the jealousy that Satan had for Adam or the jealousy that the son of Adam Cain had towards his brother for which he killed him or like how jealous those of the Sabbath were from Jesus by rejecting what he has came up with to ease their hardness that they had applied on them selves of which God had not told of.

    Jesus was attacked as the Seal Prophet was attacked by the pagan and the jews of Mecca for bringing that does not agree with the culture and customs they wanted to live with such as freeing slaves, forbidding the drinking of spirits and all that was mentioned and known about the people Mucca doing before any signs of Islam !    

    History is being repeated,mankind does not want to learn from stories of nations of old in order not fall again and again with out hold his steps for moments to think for his self as 'why' when ever some one brings by the truth has to be killed ???
    Peace to all,

    April 27, 2011 at 7:03 am |
    • Alex

      tl; dr

      April 27, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • DeAguaDulce

      "Why when among us comes a man asking us to the light of truth,proving him self to be different from date of birth, and when he showed us love,cured our sick,even brought back to life our dead ones,who was able to tell us what we stored and what is in stored for us.why do we condemn him to death as a transgressor ?"

      You need to understand Passover in order to answer the question. Read up on the Passover and then keep in mind why jesus is called the Passover Lamb.

      April 27, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Muneef


      Passover lamp? Why was Abraham given a lamp to slaughter as an offering in replacement of the son of Abraham who was going to become slaughtered by his father as a God offering ? why would then God allow some other be sent just to be slaughtered or crucified as an offering for the sins of sinners?? Just as in 007 License to Sin...?

      There is some thing wrong in the whole deal but no one wants to see..or believe..

      April 27, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  20. lorac


    April 27, 2011 at 3:16 am |
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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.