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. Ted

    I believe that Jesus is real and alive and the living son of GOD . I beieve every word of the King James Bible.That is my choice.If you choose not to believe that is your choice.I am not afraid of your choice why are you afraid of mine?I will never try to force my beliefs on anyone. God does not force anyone to accept him .Why should I try. BUT I will not allow anyone to Force their beliefs on me.

    May 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  2. Billy O

    Is life that bad that some many christian fundamentalist want it all to end in their lifetimes? How about putting all that "the end is near" energy into helping your fellow man instead of preaching about stuff that most people don't care about or believe in. Help your neighbor find a job, feed the elderly or just do something constructive instead of trying to tell people that this life doesn't matter and all their suffering will get them box seats in heaven. If I believed in god I would thank him for a country like the USA where "believers" don't have a monopoly on billboards.

    May 3, 2011 at 9:57 am |
  3. Suz

    I think any group spending money and energy on either campaign is just plain foolish. Neither party will be converting anybody; at this point, they're just trying to outshout each other.

    Either you believe, or you don't. Both should leave well enough alone and make their spirituality (or lack thereof) a private matter.

    May 3, 2011 at 9:38 am |
  4. Mike

    I find it amazing to what lengths some people will go to declare their belief in nothing. What does an atheist hope to gain except to mock that which others beleive?

    May 3, 2011 at 8:59 am |
  5. DKPL

    Many people have attempted to guess the time of the return of Christ, all have failed. The Bible teaches us that "No one knows about THAT day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" (Mt. 24:36).

    Please do not let the failures of man distract you and wrongfully justify your disbelief. I'm not perfect, not even close. I thank Jesus that I never had to be. By the grace of God, I have been saved solely through my faith in Christ. For me, I couldn't give a second thought as to when Jesus will return. All I know is that when he does, I will be with him.

    Don't let yourself be fooled. Seek Jesus and you will find him.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:28 am |
  6. Christopher

    By the way, all those going to be raptured, as you will inherit the kingdom, and will have a mansion etc, in heaven, you will have no need of your earthly possessions. Could you maybe pass them on to me by the 20th or earlier? That way you can practise your christian charity one last time on this earth.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:27 am |
  7. Christopher

    Let's just continue the discussion on May 22. See what he has to say about the next date.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:18 am |
  8. malcolm

    you know what's gonna happen, 11:30pm 21 May, one of their leaders is going to suddenly announce that its a spiritual rapture, not a physical rapture and therefore, to join the rapture, we must free our spirits, free our souls from our bodies...Haley Bop II?

    May 3, 2011 at 3:25 am |
  9. Neurotoxin

    Makes me wish I lived in the Bay Area so I could attend that rapture party. Call me hardened, but rapture sounds awesome to me. Get everyone gullible enough to believe in such ridiculous fairy-tales as adults off the planet, and we'll have a more peaceful, sensible world.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:05 am |
  10. Rambo

    Now, i conclude that atheists are idiots!

    May 3, 2011 at 1:59 am |
    • kro513

      I conclude that Rambo is an idiot

      May 3, 2011 at 7:15 am |
  11. pronco

    Who knows what the Rapture is. It's probably a metaphor for an f-ing nuclear blast. Who cares. It's going to suck, so be like the Buddhists and don't care which side of the nuke you're on.

    May 3, 2011 at 1:21 am |
  12. Dorothy

    **T he scripture is "show yourself approved unto God"

    May 3, 2011 at 1:18 am |
  13. Dorothy

    Wow, the comments here are something else! In the Bible, there is a scripture that says, "My people perish (are destroyed) by the lack of knowledge". Alot of you don't even know what a Bible looks like let alone have read it, and that includes some people calling themselves Christians too. There is another scripture in the Bible, that says, "Study to show yourself unto God, a workman need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth". You need to study.You have the internet at your disposal, information, information, and more information is there. Nobody knows when Jesus is coming back or when God is going to destroy this earth, many have given dates, but, it ain't happened yet. Is there anybody here, who can discuss or debate intelligently with some knowledge and not just an opinion?

    May 3, 2011 at 1:14 am |
  14. not a closet Christian

    So the atheists have taken the high road with all of the science and facts?
    So what if someone believes in the Rapture, or has the dates completey wrong. Is it any offense to you?
    So what if your neighbor lives by some old school rules and promises not to steal from you, cheat you, lie to you, etc...

    I see a lot of atheists claiming that the Church is a Cult. You are correct there are plenty out there that use it to their advantage.

    So why pick on religions? Def pick on the strong that prey on the weak, but not all religious people deserve your blanket of mis- treatment.

    I could pay for a bill board that states that atheists are ignorant for belieivng in evolution. There is not one shred of evidence that a cell can change form. You have stem cells that can adapt, but that adaption only takes place in defined cell i.e. a rat cell cannot change into a fish cell. The evolution is based on speculative chance, and not fact.

    So where did life come from atheist? All you can have is the periodiac table of elements, and there are no "cells" on that chart.

    The belief in a higher form makes more sense that the "chance" theory. If the "chance" theory is correct, then the skys should be over crowded with UFOs, etc....

    The next time you sit down and blast a religious person, just look at yourself and realize what you beleive in and how far fetched that is. Science is science. You cannot back up evolution with facts anymore than a religious person can back up creation.
    Believe what you want, just dont be an @SS about it.

    May 3, 2011 at 12:48 am |
    • aybee27

      What does changing cells have to do with evolution? Evolution does not occur within individuals; it occurs across generations. It's not even something that would occur between one organism and it's offspring. One small evolutionary adaptation takes many, many generations. Why would a lack of evidence regarding changing cells have any bearing on the Theory of Evolution?

      I'm just wondering about your thoughts on this issue because I've noticed that often the people with the loudest voices regarding a subject–like evolution–are often the ones that understand the least about it...

      May 3, 2011 at 7:42 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      Not a closet Christian,

      Thanks for your sensible post!

      It's not my aim to ridicule atheists, but they don't seem to understand how foolish the theories they believe are!..... Honestly , if I was an atheist, and believed the ridiculous theories they hold as facts, I would be embarrassed to let anyone know....

      May 3, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
  15. Mdma

    Whattttt????? It's May 2nd already? It only leaves me 19 days left to fornicate and wait for another 24 hours to see your disappointed faces when you find out that once again... it's fücking fake!

    If you're basing your life over a 2,000 fictional book established to keep a tight hold on the people... then.. wow... isn't the short bus a little late on picking you guys up?

    In 1993 the Pope admitted that the Earth MAY go around the Sun... it's kind of funny, because there's hard fücking proof that it well-damn-right goes around the sun! It's like me claiming:

    "oh uhm, you MAY die if your heart stops beating for several days... MAY, can't guarantee it but there IS a slight chance of that happening..."

    Open your eyes, thats how stupid your bible sounds compared to factual 21st century knowledge.

    • Glass Spheres around earth sun and other planets
    • Omniscient Being
    • Earth center of universe
    • Earth Created in 7 days (lol..)
    • Earth is ONLY between 6,000-10,000 years ago... LOL
    • No mention of Atoms, Elements, Electrons, Protons, Neutrons, Quarks, Neutrinos, Compounds, The Spectrum, Black Holes, Expanding Universe, Multiple Galaxies, Dark Matter, The creation and mention of the BILLIONS AND TRILLIONS OF OTHER GALAXIES.

    Really, you guys are like a guy taking a test, and having an answer sheet right next to him, listing every single answer correctly. Instead managing to still getting every single question wrong.
    This example is no different than religion... I can assure you that the internet was not created by God, but rather by DARPA. Thats just incase you have temptations on citing the creation of the Internet over the course of 7 days.

    May 3, 2011 at 12:17 am |
    • David Sarkar

      I totally enjoyed Reading that. 😀

      May 3, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • Rambo

      Well, that should mean that atheists are idiots!

      May 3, 2011 at 2:01 am |
  16. Old Porter

    So, should I buy a new car this week, or just lease?

    May 2, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  17. Jesus

    Please interview this individual on May 22.

    May 2, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  18. Celestial1

    There is a place for Atheists in the world, I think it is fine for them to express their God-given free will. No, I am not an Atheist, and will never be. No true Christian gives a rat's rear about the rapture or judgment day because devout Christians are not involved in the religion to avoid 'Hell', they are there because of their love and reverence for their Creator.

    May 2, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
  19. Hope

    I pray that God will soften all atheists’ hearts and let them receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Amen

    May 2, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • pat carr

      many atheists are former christians. no way are we going back to your stupid cult

      May 2, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • OldYgg

      No, thanks.

      BTW, thanks for the bigotry in assuming that I'm cold-hearted since I am an atheist. I happen to be a husband of 14 years, with four children. If the end of the world is May 21st, I will personally kick god in the testicles...

      May 2, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • OldYgg

      Or his godly equivalent.

      May 2, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • pronco

      Real Christianity isn't a cult, and it isn't particularly enjoyable, either.

      May 3, 2011 at 1:19 am |
    • Sir Craig

      Umm...nope. I prefer reality, thanks all the same.

      May 3, 2011 at 1:54 am |
    • Scott B.

      @OldYgg – So you don't believe in God, yet you're ready to kick Him or His "equivalent" if the world ends on the 21st? Aren't you just contradicting yourself? Twice in fact?

      May 3, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      it's a good thing to hope, and we should pray for them, but that will not happen.... We are living in times of pre-para-tion for the comming of that man of sin called anti-Christ who will have great multi-tudes following him. That's what were seeing, the gathering of his followers.... There may be some of them, that God will sna-tch from the clutch of satan, but most of them have crossed God's line.... We must pray for the sheep that's still lost (the goats will never get saved) , and those who are opressed in the lands where Gospel is not welcomed... They need our prayers the most....


      Pat carr

      There is some truth in what you said.... There is no way for those who were once enlightened, and willfuy turned away from the light they had, that they would ever be restored again.... You dear are the real looser!

      May 3, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  20. Gary

    The BIBLE says that NO MAN knows when the judgement day will be, so my question is, what bible have they been reading?? these will fall by the wayside just like all those false prophets before them.......these people actually make an athiest sound like they have a brain.....

    May 2, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • lk

      i remember back in 1986 watching the 300 club when pat robertson said the rapture would happen in 1987. well hes still around, here on earth. still waiting he is, and so are many of his followers that still believe that nut case. the crazy man, who loves to get people to functionally open there wallets. send there pennies, dimes, dollars to help him spread the word. well the word is his bank account, living in the lap of luxury. jesus never lived as pat r has, but, the pharisees did. i have a feeling that of christ came back today. many christian leaders would want jesus put to death. mainly because they dont wont to lose there positions of power, wealth and most importantly, influence over the poor flock.

      May 3, 2011 at 1:25 am |
    • Will

      Isn't it the 700 Club?

      May 3, 2011 at 7:35 am |
    • Michael

      Amen. No man knows. These people are deceived/deceivers. I have seen first hand the demonic devices of Satan. He is the god of confusion and distraction. I have heard the Voodoo drums at night as I lay down to sleep in Haiti (I am a missionary there) I would guess that many of these "brutal" comments posted here are from those people who live in their comfy little homes somewhere in the states (or the like) The Bible tells us clearly we battle not flesh and blood, but principalities. The devil is alive and well and doing what he does best...stirring up strife. Never before in my life, I'm 49, have I had so many people ask me what is going in the world. Even the so called non-believers see something is happening, both locally and globally. But as was stated earlier, no man knows when Christ will return. That's the biblical truth.

      May 3, 2011 at 10:22 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.