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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. Rector

    To All Believers on this forum:

    Stop the hateful attacks against those who are uninformed. We were not commanded to hate, but to spread the Gospel and Praise God for our Salvation. Pity those whose hearts are hardened and whose eyes are blinded to the truth. Pray for their repentance and salvation as you were commanded by Almighty God. He doesn't need our help chastising and berating those who are lost.

    May 1, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Sir Craig

      Why stop now? The religious have always been afraid of the truth, that they've been wasting their time thinking of a non-existent afterlife when they could have been better spending that time trying to make the here-and-now world a better place. And trust me, I have encountered worse things personally in my life because I don't believe than a few nasty exchanges on a blog forum.

      May 1, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  2. Rector

    What a shame that the truth of Jesus' message is distorted by misguided Christians who believe that they can know the timing of the Lord's return. Look at Jesus' own words in Matthew 24:

    42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

    What's unclear about that? If one could figure out the timing of the return, then Jesus would be mistaken or lying. They would agree that this is not possible, so they just need to stop humiliating themselves and spreading false doctrines.

    I am deeply saddened by the widespread confusion between Jesus' message and the foibles of man attributed to him by the misdeeds of organized religion. Satan's most effective deception is the false church that leads unbelievers further from God and Salvation through Jesus Christ. Romans 14 " 10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister[a]? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:

    “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
    ‘every knee will bow before me;
    every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

    12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

    Please read the Word of God for the truth.

    May 1, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  3. JJ

    Man created God in his image. What do you expect?

    May 1, 2011 at 8:41 am |
  4. J-Cool

    Now where in the Bible it's say the God the Judgement Day is May 21 of this Year I would like this comment go directly to the non sense human that open his mouth and took the name of the Lord in Vein The Bible said you not deleted and putting any word from the Bible now if u read the Holy Bible perhaps you won't say this stupid thing you just that was so embarrassing

    May 1, 2011 at 1:35 am |
  5. how about mo?

    Athiests could go around and buy up every billboard in every town all year and not match 1% of the damage and horror that organized religion has managed to create. I, personally, am agnostic, so I stand off to the side with my nose up high, but I trust an Athiest over any of these religious nuts. Archaeologists will find these bibles some day, and find it a fascinating, fictional story.

    May 1, 2011 at 12:54 am |
  6. Karin

    I seriously am tired of hearing about this free will rubbish. Religious folks need to think of a better line. Are they at all aware of what they are spewing out??? Free will of what?
    This supposable god basically is threatening them with eternal torture or, worshiping him for eternity. Each has insane consequences and in now way should it be considered free will. I choose neither! In fact, if their was a god I'd overthrow him.

    April 30, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  7. mdmooser

    It's no wonder America is the mess it is with so many people disconnected and focused on the end of the world, what are you going to do when it doesn't end May 21st? Oh Yeah pick another day and keep the fervor flaming. WOW Lots of words, ..........................not much sense, I feel sorry for the caravan after the 21st. How were people contacted so they know "GOD'S" word? Personal interpretation of religion or politics is....... personal interpretation. This guy on Family Radio already predicted the end was coming in 1996. Guess he counted the years wrong like he said but this time he got it right. Oh brother, here's my religious statement. May all people reach the happiness they think they will, ....... someday.

    April 30, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
  8. Mike

    How great is it to belong to a group that believes in nothing yet feel so insecure that you have to advertise even that?

    April 30, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Sir Craig

      Let me put it this way to you. Say you see your neighbor giving away all his or her worldly possessions because they honestly think the Rapture is coming. How noble would you feel letting them do this, knowing full well the Rapture is a fairy tale amongst so many others? This is what the Atheists are trying to do: Snap people out of their complacency, especially those who would allow their friends, family, and neighbors to engage in such self-destructive behavior. Because once the date for this particular "Judgment Day" comes and goes and we are all still here, what will happen to those people who were duped? Are you still going to feel oh-so noble, knowing you could have prevented their pain but chose not to?

      Or isn't that "christian" enough for you? Funny how it's the Atheists who are looking out for others more than their religious "brethren".

      May 1, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  9. Muneef

    It is often asked that “If there is a God, why does He let natural disaster like the Tsunami happen or is this Divine Punishment?” 
    http://www.free-islamic course.org/NaturalDisasterorDivinePunishment.html

    April 30, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Sir Craig

      Reported for spamming abuse. Loser.

      May 1, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  10. Carolyn

    Silverman....baaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaa. What a mouk.

    April 30, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  11. Muneef

    Salvation in Islam (part 1 of 3): What is Salvation?
    Salvation in Islam (part 2 of 3): Worship and Obey God.
    Salvation in Islam (part 3 of 3): Repentance.

    http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/3681/viewall/

    April 30, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  12. Muneef

    Truly found to be fine articles source to read whether in belief or in no belief... many questions that were put to me and for which I had not been able to express as rightfully in my own words now can be found here at it's best of form;
    ----
    Description: The Core of the Islamic Creed: the belief in God and His worship, and the means through which one can find God.
    Published on 16 Jan 2006 – Last modified on 29 Mar 2011

    Introduction At the heart of Islam lies belief in God. The core of the Islamic creed is bearing witness to the phrase, La illaha illa Allah, “There is no true deity deserving worship but God.”  The testimony to this belief, called tawhid, is the axis around which all Islam revolves.  Moreover, it is the first of the two testimonies by which a person becomes a Muslim.  Striving after the realization of that oneness, or tawhid, is the core of Islamic life. For many non-Muslims, the term Allah, the Arabic name of God, refers to some distant and strange deity worshipped by the Arabs.  Some even think it to be some pagan “moon-god”.  However, in Arabic, the word Allah means the One True God. Even, Arabic speaking Jews and Christians refer to the Supreme Being as Allah.
    http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/39/viewall/

    ------
    Description: Why God revealed His message in the form of scriptures, and a brief description of the  two of the Scriptures of God: the Bible, and the Quran.
    Published on 16 Jan 2006 – Last modified on 04 Oct 2009
    http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/36/

    April 30, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Muneef

      All articles;
      http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/

      April 30, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  13. Eric

    I would love for the "Rapture" to happen already. Imagihne how much nicer the world would be if all those who believe in that nonsense were gone! Then take all the jihdists and get them to where they meet their 72 virigins and now we really have paradise on earth. The bulk of the idiot delusionists are gone and the rest of us can focus on a more sane, rational attempt at evolution.

    Religious zealots are those with flawed characters who need to attach themselves to something so feverishly it gives them some security about who they are...despite the fact that it's all false belief...both in what they believe in and in their knowledge of themselves. It's nothing short of irritation that these misguided losers think they KNOW anything wothy of dictating to the rest of us who know better and accept the unknown without all the stifling fear. That atheism or agnosticism is growing is a beautiful thing...it is the expansive mind which can grasp the principles. We deserve better then the ignorance archic religions foist on us.

    April 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • jimjones111

      Nice!

      May 1, 2011 at 1:28 am |
  14. sanjosemike

    This "rapture" business is just that: a business. There is money to be made, donations to be accepted. Tax-exempt religious organizations to collect it.

    There is a very ugly down side to this. Children and impressionable adults get depressed. Some may even commit suicide over this. This is horrible. I hold these "rapture" people DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for this travesty.

    April 30, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  15. greenkelly

    Satan hides in wrong doctrines like freewill rapture before tribulation female pastors are proper divorce is ok... FACTS>>>We are almost to the end of the tribulation,,Satan is ruling in the church ....God sends a strong delusion so church will believe its own lies....God predestinated who goes to heaven....churches will receive the greatest punishment...hell is not eternal torture but eternal annihilation...Christ paid the penalty before he ever created the world...these doctrines are the meat of the word ,,the church is still feeding on "milk and honey" y'all

    April 30, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • crucified

      ok now you do not believe in hell...well that is a Jehovahs witness belief...annilation is what the witness's believe..look Hell is a real place and Jesus describes it in Matthew Lazuirus and the Rich Man.. before you say it is a parable. you need to know that parables are about real places events and things..not allogories..so Jesus is describing the real place Hell..for further confirmation you can read Josephus which gives exactly the same account of Hell from a Jew. this was the prevading thought Hell already in the Jewish community..Sheol is the abode of the righteous and the wicked.. Jesus took the people out of Sheol on the Abraham Bossom side and they accended into heaven.. that is why Jesus says that as it is with Jonah the son of man must spend 3 days in the belly of the earth. anniliation only happens after the Great Judgement.. and there is a seven year tribulation which has mass perscecution of Christion of Martydom look in revelations after the seven churches.This has not happened. and the great apostacy must happen also..which we are practically there.. also. the lawless one must announce that he is above God... these events have not happened..unfortunately those that are in hell must recide there a lot longer for their choices. It helps if you read early Christian writting to help you decipher the word.
      be blessed. -from a Pastor

      April 30, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Get A Grip

      greenkelly and crucified,

      I am sure that you are sincere in your (mistaken) beliefs, but do you know that you come across as raving lunatics?

      crucified, if you are a preacher, perhaps you are better suited to a soap box in the park - your written presentations are atrocious.

      May 1, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  16. John Pritting

    The Rapture is not only a lie but it could be part of the great deception that God says will come in the end times. The bible says that the Antichrist will come before Christ. The world will believe that the Antichrist is the Messiah. The Rapture plays right into that deception by trying to get people to believe that Christ will return anyday. There's a novel, The 6th Seal by J.M. Emanuel, that tells the story of this great deception and gives all the bible references. Christ will return at The Harvest of the Earth, Revelation 14:14 not at this event they call the Rapture, which isn't even in the bible.

    April 30, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Eric

      Bible – written by men with an agenda – to control and manipulate through fear and ignorance. Nothing more.

      April 30, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  17. Gumby

    I think it's wonderful that atheism is growing and taking more and more public stand against the nonsense of religion. Harold Camping's Family Radio is a particularly nasty little sub-cult, and it deserves all the mocking it gets.

    April 30, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • myklds

      Yeah..Just like war, calamities and tragedies are greatly manifesting. And Atheism is the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecies in the book of revelation. The coming of the marked beast (the Anti-Christ) and his minions. That's they are growing taking more and more public.

      "It had been written so it shall be done."

      April 30, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  18. geo

    So I don't even have to invest in a fancy coffin?

    April 29, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  19. Noble9

    Weird. Which god is going to do this?

    April 29, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  20. greenkelly

    ALL RELIGIONS are the same...they all say "..All u have to do to go to heaven is__________"'..Then each one fills in the blank differently> All christians have to do is believe and confess...All muslims have to do is kill infidels... All hindus have to do is love gaia... on and on...The bible says the one thing no one wants to hear..you cant do anything to get yourself saved.... it says "not of works" ..."predestined before the foundation of the world" ......" I chose u..u did not choose me" God decides who reigns forever w him in heaven...We dont have a choice.... Ha ha! now NO ONE likes me

    April 29, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • crucified

      You must be a calvanist......remember the issue free will...how about changing the perception slightly.. to he already knew the choice you would make before you made it..there are many who believed they were chosen and fell from grace into the ablivion of doubt..all Christian should constantly grow in holiness by the Spirit's intevention. as Paul states I have run the race and fought the good fight. if we were predestine the determinate of our love would be void for we had no choice but to love, however, given the choice to reject, even with God knowing that choice, their lays the opportunity for a True Relationship with Christ, brother.

      April 29, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • max

      “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 Jesus Christ is the only way. I will continue to pray, & hope all Christians replying here will too, for atheists. Whether the day is on the 21st or not, you unbelievers are deceived. Please turn to the Lord, who has given you everything already. Your maker is obvious. Your bodies design, how incredibly intricate it is, how it heals, & works. You are not a happenstance. An atom A hitting an atom B & voila...life! You are made in his image. You are obviously designed...seek & worship, rightfully so, your designer. The one true God of the Bible. Whose only son, the Word made life, Jesus Christ, died on the cross to forgive our sins. He loves you, so obviously, & you will see this clearly if you honestly give Him a chance. Please try.

      April 30, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • atheist

      One has anyone on this site actually read the bible? Oh and just so you know baby's taste delicious.

      May 1, 2011 at 12:12 am |
    • sourskittle

      Just to point out, Islam does NOT say to get to heaven you have to kill infidels – all muslims were outraged at the loss of lives on 9/11, and those few extremist nutjobs were so wrong from an Islamic standpoint because in Islam
      – we cannot commit suicide (which they did)
      – we cannot be agressors (which they were by going onto american land)
      – we cannot kill women and children, only soldiers and those who fight us (they killed only civilians)

      Those few extremist terrorists do not speak for islam and all muslims, they had their own warped version of Islam to suit their political agenda as have many terrorists over the centuries – Islam is not the only religion to be twisted by a few for their own agendas nor will it be the last.
      The Quran and the Prophet Muhammad both repeatedly mention to not be the agressor, to be soft with our speech, to have patience, it's really saddening to see what a warped perception of Islam people in the west have,
      To deal specifically with the 'kill all infidels' bit please read this:
      http://www.omeriqbal.com/a/21

      May 1, 2011 at 2:01 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.