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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. mgreen

    I love you Jesus.

    May 2, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
  2. AGuest9

    I love it. Wish I could put one up in my hometown.

    May 2, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
  3. KT

    The premise of "faith" is that you believe, yet have not seen, you have no proof. The athiests who are 100% convinced there is no God are no better than the Christians who are convinced there is. Neither has seen. Neither has heard. Who can say one is right and one is wrong. So , in a way, the Athiests dont really have faith that no God exists after all. But if God and Christ do exist and bring comfort and hope in a world where so little of it exists, then why would the Athiests, or anyone for that matter, try to take that away. That just shows what type of people they are.Live and let live. I know my truth and I dont need a billboard to prove something to myself.

    May 2, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  4. Catie

    The apocalypse? Again? But I had plans!

    More to the point, sometimes I think people just need a hobby. Or a productive cause to work on. There's clearly an excess of time, energy, and money here with no real focus. If you want to spread your faith? Use your funds to help the homeless. Or provide shelter to people that have lost their homes to tornadoes. Or even help relieve the suffering of neglected animals. Try actually living by the virtues the religion is supposedly based on rather than spending time and money running around and trying to scare people into converting. Isn't that the idea, to help your fellow man, or is this heathen confused?

    If the 'thumpers' are right and a man like Ghandi is condemned to eternal torment because he didn't kneel to the right god? Or Buddhist priests, or so many others? I'll be content and honored to go to the same place as them.

    May 2, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • AGuest9

      I find that the more devout someone claims to be, the more intolerant they really are.

      May 2, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
  5. Cindy

    When all those good Republican Christians get raptured up out of here I'm totally gonna snake a kicka** mansion. Then I'm gonna relax in a world with plenty of resources and no weirdos. Awesome!

    May 2, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Sir Craig

      Save me a McMansion!

      May 3, 2011 at 2:05 am |
  6. Matt

    I really dislike all of this. Yes, some people, very little though, believe that Christ will return on May 21. Not all , in fact most Christians don't believe this to be true. Most Christians aren't afraid or mislead they know what they believe and the truth is they try to live godly lives. The problem is that most Christians don't get attention for sharing their completely logical beliefs, or what they do to help other people, (i.e. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief was one of the first on scene for the South's tornado disasters and for Katrina). The "Christians" (note quotations) that do get attention are the ones proclaiming lies like God hates people or Christ will return on May 21. When there isn't any Scriptural evidence to back either.

    May 2, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  7. greenkelly

    ,,muneff,,have u ever heard the saying.."brevity is the soul of wit.."? no one is reading ur koran-ing..how about K.I.S.S ? .......peace

    May 2, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  8. greenkelly

    ..i didnt choose God ..i had a great life as a rock n roll star w/ one day i knew it was wrong..gradually i realized that god was drawing me to truth and away from lies like evolution ....what a relief to no longer be carrying water for the evil ones...God is true and every man is a liar.....1 thes 5;4 says ""'..BUT ye brethren are not in darkness that that day should overtake u as a thief..u are children of the light.." this is one of the verses , (J cool,crucified,heaven sent) ,that tell us WE CAN KNOW.com . For those not watching (studying the bible very carefully) he will come as a thief in the night..agnostics and atheists are in deep darkness....and they call the darkness light(mind,self,ego,blah blah)..God is a spirit so.. the spirit world is the REAL world and this world is just a temporary place that we ALL were blessed enough to live in (even atheists)..soon it will end and and all will be well w the universe ....which is really what we ALL want anyway , believer an non-believer alike.A few believers will have passed thru the fire ,which was the whole purpose of this ride in the first place..ur welcome

    May 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  9. Marcy Runkle

    "Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."
    —Marcus Aurelius

    May 2, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Sir Craig

      The perfect answer to Pascal's Wager, which is the very definition of hypocrisy. Marcus certainly could have taught these god-botherers a thing or two.

      May 3, 2011 at 2:04 am |
  10. jason

    they did something dumb here by setting a specific date. Just wait for it to pass without event, and so will they. Anyone who is suckered into giving them money, or whatever they are after, wasn't going to do anything meaningful with their money anyway.

    May 2, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  11. Muneef

    [6:36] The only ones to respond are those who listen. GOD resurrects the dead; they ultimately return to Him.

    [6:37] They said, "If only a certain sign could come down to him from his Lord!" Say, "GOD is able to send down a sign, but most of them do not know."

    Animals and Birds: Submitting Creatures*
    [6:38] All the creatures on earth, and all the birds that fly with wings, are communities like you. We did not leave anything out of this book**. To their Lord, all these creatures will be summoned.

    Overwhelming Miracle of the Quran
    [6:39] Those who reject our proofs are deaf and dumb, in total darkness. Whomever GOD wills, He sends astray, and whomever He wills, He leads in a straight path.

    [6:40] Say, "What if GOD's retribution came to you, or the Hour came to you: would you implore other than GOD, if you are truthful?"

    [6:41] The fact is: only Him you implore, and He answers your prayer, if He so wills, and you forget your idols.

    [6:42] We have sent (messengers) to communities before you, and we put them to the test through adversity and hardship, that they may implore.

    [6:43] If only they implored when our test afflicted them! Instead, their hearts were hardened, and the devil adorned their works in their eyes.

    The System*
    [6:44] When they thus disregard the message given to them, we open for them the gates of everything. Then, just as they rejoice in what was given to them, we punish them suddenly; they become utterly stunned.

    [6:45] The wicked are thus annihilated. Praise be to GOD, Lord of the universe.

    God Alone Worthy of Worship
    [6:46] Say, "What if GOD took away your hearing and your eyesight, and sealed your minds; which god, other than GOD, can restore these for you?" Note how we explain the revelations, and note how they still deviate!

    [6:47] Say, "What if GOD's retribution came to you suddenly, or after an announcement, is it not the wicked who incur annihilation?"

    Role of the Messengers
    [6:48] We do not send the messengers except as deliverers of good news, as well as warners. Those who believe and reform have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

    [6:49] As for those who reject our revelations, they incur the retribution for their wickedness.

    [6:50] Say, "I do not say to you that I possess the treasures of GOD. Nor do I know the future. Nor do I say to you that I am an angel. I simply follow what is revealed to me." Say, "Is the blind the same as the seer? Do you not reflect?"

    [6:51] And preach with this (Quran) to those who reverence the summoning before their Lord – they have none beside Him as a Lord and Master, nor an intercessor – that they may attain salvation.

    [6:52] And do not dismiss those who implore their Lord day and night, devoting themselves to Him alone. You are not responsible for their reckoning, nor are they responsible for your reckoning. If you dismiss them, you will be a transgressor.

    [6:53] We thus test the people by each other, to let them say (mockingly), "Are these the people among us who are blessed by GOD?" Is GOD not aware of the appreciative ones?

    [6:54] When those who believe in our revelations come to you, you shall say, "Salmun `Alaykum (Peace be upon you). Your Lord has decreed that mercy is His attribute. Thus, anyone among you who commits a transgression out of ignorance, and repents thereafter and reforms, then He is Forgiving, Most Merciful."

    [6:55] We thus explain the revelations, and point out the ways of the wicked.

    [6:56] Say, "I am forbidden from worshipping what you worship besides GOD." Say, "I will not follow your opinions. Otherwise, I will go astray, and not be guided."

    [6:57] Say, "I have solid proof from my Lord, and you have rejected it. I do not control the retribution you challenge me to bring. Judgment belongs with GOD alone. He narrates the truth, and He is the best judge."

    [6:58] Say, "If I controlled the retribution you challenge me to bring, the whole matter would have been terminated long ago. GOD knows best who the wicked are."

    Almighty God
    [6:59] With Him are the keys to all secrets; none knows them except He. He knows everything on land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls without His knowledge. Nor is there a grain in the depths of the soil. Nor is there anything wet or dry, that is not recorded in a profound record.

    Death and Resurrection: Every Day*
    [6:60] He is the One who puts you to death during the night, and knows even the smallest of your actions during the day. He resurrects you every morning, until your life span is fulfilled, then to Him is your ultimate return. He will then inform you of everything you had done.

    [6:61] He is Supreme over His creatures, and He appoints guards to protect you. When the appointed time of death comes to any of you, our messengers put him to death without delay.

    [6:62] Then everyone is returned to GOD, their rightful Lord and Master. Absolutely, He is the ultimate judge; He is the most accurate Reckoner.

    [6:63] Say, "Who can save you from the darkness of the land or the sea?" You implore Him loudly and secretly: "If He saves us this time, we will be eternally appreciative."

    [6:64] Say, "GOD does save you this time, and other times as well, then you still set up idols besides Him."

    [6:65] Say, "He is certainly able to pour upon you retribution from above you, or from beneath your feet. Or He can divide you into factions and have you taste each others' tyranny. Note how we explain the revelations, that they may understand."

    [6:66] Your people have rejected this, even though it is the truth. Say, "I am not a guardian over you."

    [6:67] Every prophecy herein will come to pass, and you will surely find out.

    Respect for the Word of God
    [6:68] If you see those who mock our revelations, you shall avoid them until they delve into another subject. If the devil causes you to forget, then, as soon as you remember, do not sit with such evil people.

    [6:69] The righteous are not responsible for the utterances of those people, but it may help to remind them; perhaps they may be saved.

    [6:70] You shall disregard those who take their religion in vain, as if it is a social function, and are totally absorbed in this worldly life. Remind with this (Quran), lest a soul may suffer the consequences of its evil earnings. It has none beside GOD as a Lord and Master, nor an intercessor. If it could offer any kind of ransom, it would not be accepted. They suffer the consequences of the evil works they earn; they have incurred hellish drinks, and a painful retribution because of their disbelief.

    [6:71] Say, "Shall we implore, beside GOD, what possesses no power to benefit us or hurt us, and turn back on our heels after GOD has guided us? In that case, we would join those possessed by the devils, and rendered utterly confused, while their friends try to save them: `Stay with us on the right path.' " Say, "GOD's guidance is the right guidance. We are commanded to submit to the Lord of the universe.

    [6:72] "And to observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and to reverence Him – He is the One before whom you will be summoned (for the reckoning)."

    [6:73] He is the One who created the heavens and the earth, truthfully. Whenever He says, "Be," it is. His word is the absolute truth. All sovereignty belongs to Him the day the horn is blown. Knower of all secrets and declarations, He is the Most Wise, the Cognizant. 

    Abraham Debates With Idol Worshipers
    [6:74] Recall that Abraham said to his father Azar, "How could you worship statues as gods? I see that you and your people have gone far astray."

    May 2, 2011 at 7:22 am |
  12. yep that guy

    religious people live in a world where it's dark all the time. They walk around in the dark hoping to fill a wall but scared to hit the switch and realized there isn't anything there.

    May 2, 2011 at 1:35 am |
  13. LoneZero

    Maybe Family Radio is just upset that a very limited number of Christians actually believe the garbage they spew and when their proven wrong again they will lose what's left of their credibility. If they really think their right about May 21, why should one billboard even matter?

    May 2, 2011 at 12:56 am |
  14. TheRationale

    Had people actually thought about this when atheists first said it, idk a few thousand years ago,we wouldn't have to deal with all this mess known affectionately today as religion.

    May 1, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
  15. Wilma

    Sweet! Think of all the great cars and jobs up for grabs after all the "thumpers" leave! Nice!

    May 1, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  16. Javi

    Lady Gaga and all your SATANIC "megastars" will be there.I feel sorry for your country.Protect your children fron those Illuminatis Satan WORSHIPPERS/

    May 1, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Sir Craig

      Do you get out much? I think you need a little sunshine and a nice walk...

      May 1, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Javi.. religion stops rational thought..also your superstar priests tend to look like cross dressers.. no pun intended.. Satan only exists in the mind of catholics....so I fear nothing. Sorry you are so influenced.

      May 2, 2011 at 1:00 am |
  17. PRISM 1234

    Yes, JUST AS the love without truth is lame, SO IS the truth without love...

    There must be a balance... God is the God of balance, and not extremes......

    ....and there is a time for everything under the heaven... Eccl. 3:1

    May 1, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  18. Don

    Religion is for the very stupid.

    May 1, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • SpeakOklahomaCom

      Well not all of them are stupid but most of them are certainly COWARDS...BOO!

      May 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • jones

      Don; as I Christian I Love You and will pray for you. May the Holy Spirit touch you. Never forgot Jesus Loves you.

      May 2, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  19. Bob H.

    It is a shame that those who seem to be defending the Christian way if life are actually damaging its image by their silliness and pointless comments based on a distortion of the Christian message. all this rubbish about burning in hell is the result of poor teaching, or uninformed interpretation of what the Bible actually says. So much of what we get here from so-called fundamentalists is far removed from Jesus' message. Threats and fear-mongering is absolutely contrary to what Jesus was saying. The screaming, yelling and crying preachers offer such a distorted picture of Christianity its no wonder all Christians come off as wackos! And, respondents on this site who declare "truth" usually miss the mark by a wide margin., Folks...being a Christian does not mean winning debates; it does not mean hammering away at someone else's faith or lack thereof; it does no mean reading the threats of the Old Testament and calling it "faith." That only shows one's ignorance of the Bible's full message. And, finally, if one claims commitment to the message of Christ one will respond in gentle tones, kind words, and a smile. anything less is using the Christian message as a weapon. And, frankly, after reading what has preceded my comments here Jesus gets a black eye from his so-called followers. Gentleness, folks, gentleness. It's where Jesus started; why can't we all do that here?

    May 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • SpeakOklahomaCom

      Every group has it's radicals, your religion like most religions have a dark side in their writs. When you give haters ammo and a little power to feel justified with their hateful actions they will use it, religion is a gateway for them.

      I live in Oklahoma. We have Sally Kern, she's one of those "good Christians" who hates gays, blacks, and even women but they re-elected her with 65% of the vote.

      Organized religion has spread like an ebola virus, the "faithful" people do not think about the consequences of their votes...or do they? They helped Bush into office...twice! They seem to want more miserable failures to represent them. They get lied to and seem to love it. Cognitive dissonance...and the failure to not learn from their mistakes. They tend to have huge egos with their turthinesses...

      If were a "Christian light" here then most Christians here would call you an atheist.

      Decent people of "faith" should never vote republican nor even call themselves "Christians" at all. A decent person of faith would demand the separation of C&S, and not go to churches and be misled by crazy people, often from political slants.

      Have a nice day!

      May 1, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • brad

      I have been a Catholic in Oklahoma for fifty years. I contend that Jesus needs no defense from Christians. In Gethsemane, when Peter cut off the ear of the high priest's servant, Jesus reprimanded Peter "He who lives by the sword shall die by it.' Jesus would not tolerate violence even in His defense. But Gamaliel in Acts 5 had a response that Christ haters would do well to heed. After the Sanhedran had roughed up Peter and company, Gamaliel said to the Sanhedren " Remember Theudas, and Judas of Gallilee? They built up a large following, were killed, and their followers dispersed. If this this thing about Jesus' resurrection is of human origin, it will destroy itself. If from God, you can't defeat it without fighting God Himself."
      Loud Christian defense is against the mandate of Jesus; atheist attacks against the One who wants no defense are noisy irrelevance.

      May 2, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Mike

      "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

      ~M. Gandhi

      May 2, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  20. Muneef

    [26:69] Narrate to them Abraham's history.

    [26:70] He said to his father and his people, "What is this you are worshipping?"

    [26:71] They said, "We worship statues; we are totally devoted to them."

    [26:72] He said, "Can they hear you when you implore?

    [26:73] "Can they benefit you, or harm you?"

    [26:74] They said, "No; but we found our parents doing this."

    [26:75] He said, "Do you see these idols that you worship.

    [26:76] "You and your ancestors.

    [26:77] "I am against them, for I am devoted only to the Lord of the universe.

    [26:78] "The One who created me, and guided me.

    [26:79] "The One who feeds me and waters me.

    [26:80] "And when I get sick, He heals me.

    [26:81] "The One who puts me to death, then brings me back to life.

    [26:82] "The One who hopefully will forgive my sins on the Day of Judgment.

    [26:83] "My Lord, grant me wisdom, and include me with the righteous.

    [26:84] "Let the example I set for the future generations be a good one.

    [26:85] "Make me one of the inheritors of the blissful Paradise.

    [26:86] "And forgive my father, for he has gone astray.

    [26:87] "And do not forsake me on the Day of Resurrection."

    [26:88] That is the day when neither money, nor children, can help.

    [26:89] Only those who come to GOD with their whole heart (will be saved).

    [26:90] Paradise will be presented to the righteous.

    [26:91] Hell will be set up for the strayers.

    May 1, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Joe

      Good luck stopping the God squad..nothing will stop their illogical thinking and the more you fight it the more they dig in.

      May 1, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Cindy

      This only counts if you're buying what religion is selling. Otherwise, it's just a fairy tale.

      May 2, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Raneman

      My favorite verse has to be, "In your right hand there are pleasures for ever and ever." Psalm 16:11 I think it just perfectly describes man.

      May 2, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Andy Breeden

      Shut up, Muneef.

      May 2, 2011 at 8:02 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.