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. Chanselor Jenkins

    Colin is it Parker, Colorado you are from?

    April 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Colin

      Sure, that works.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  2. Louis

    I prefer the agnostic dyslexics who question whether or not there is a Dog.

    April 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  3. Jessica S

    Wake up! The rapture in the bible is referring to the day when ancient astronauts will return and abduct a large portion of the population. Yes, they will abduct a large portion of the population and probably move them to another planet for survival of our species. Just like we try and preserve animals that are almost extinct, ancient aliens/astronauts most assuredly will do the same for us. People back in the day didn't know what "aliens" were so they referred to them as gods and angels. The science community in support of ancient astronauts need to put up a third sign that says "A third of the earth's population will be abducted by beings from another planet in the upcoming years, be prepared".

    April 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Jessica S

      joking about the third sign...

      April 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  4. Chanselor Jenkins

    @ Colin, I agree...I believe in evolution. But did it start as an accident?

    April 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Colin

      Ok, so this is key. I doubt it did start by chance. It may be an inevitable consequence of the grouping of large amounts of organic molecules, or the first life may have drifted in from space (which, if true, would really only defer the question of origin anyway). But the truth is, nobody knows how life on Earth started.

      However, that does not mean god did it, much less the Christian god. I am prepared to say “I don’t know” and stop there. I am not prepared to therefore assume the existence of a being that also happens to have human characteristics, that sits around, waits 13.4 billion years for life to slowly evolve into Human Beings, so he can then send his “son” to the Middle East to talk about sheep and goats. Oh, and by the way, this being will also make you live forever. I mean, come on…

      The “god” answer is no answer at all. It is a stab in the dark, a guess. A brief perusal of human nature suggests its likely origin.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  5. George

    @ Jackdaw.... cool name.
    Yes Luke would win, Maul was just Jedi fodder

    April 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      I figured, and here is my rationale:

      Luke Skywalker defeated Darth Vader

      Obi Wan Kenobi killed Darth Maul

      Darth Vader killed Obi Wan Kenobi

      Therefore – Luke Skywalker could kill Darth Maul.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  6. David

    Christians share Christ out of love and selfless concern usually.
    Atheists, on the other hand, share their beliefs out of fear.
    YES, .. FEAR.
    If you actually believe, I mean REALLY believe that something doesn't exist, then you would never put that much energy into proving its' nonexistance to others or have such a strong reaction when the thing that doesn't exist is discussed.
    Who would put that much energy into whether purple zebras exist? Nobody, obviously,.. because there is no DOUBT about the if they exist or not.
    Like they say,.. we argue more about the things we secretly doubt than the things we really KNOW.
    Who argues about the sun coming up? The earth being flat?
    Your reaction proves that you WANT to believe that Christ isn't real and coming, which He is.
    May 21st??.... Hmmm.... Don't think so... Only the Father knows that date and time.
    We know the time frame because we were told in His Word of the kinds of events happening around the time when He returns. He specifically says that when we see these certain events we will know that it will be soon after. If you studied His word, there would be no confusion about WHEN.
    You atheists will never feel settled about His existance inside because you are creations of His. He loves you and you need Him. Your rebellious spirits are not and never will be in harmony with your core self. I used to be this way too.
    He loves you!

    April 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Good Atheist


      April 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • George

      Atheists don't fear God, they fear organized religion and have every reason to fear it.

      April 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Just me

      The reason we have to spend time on silly arguments is because Christians feel like they have to "save" everyone even those of us who know better. If you stopped trying to indoctrinate people we could spend our time on more worthwhile endeavors.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • tony

      Actually, Atheists don't spend so much time and energy trying to force such crap into other peoples (and especially other peoples children's) minds. You are all about CONTROL. Hence you are as evil as it gets. I only fear the bad things that wicked people might do. And ideas like yours that may drive them to do it.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Stevie7

      I was brought up in a church and I was brought up in much fear. It was that fear and that guilt that kept me in the church for so long. Now that I have let go of faith and belief and listened to my mind at heart I am FAR more at peace than I ever was before.

      With a belief in a hell, religion is necessarily about fear.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'If you actually believe, I mean REALLY believe that something doesn't exist, then you would never put that much energy into proving its' nonexistance to others or have such a strong reaction when the thing that doesn't exist is discussed.'
      False logic. Its the lack of keeping personal belief personal that has atheists having a strong reaction.

      'Who would put that much energy into whether purple zebras exist? '
      If purple zebra believers shot abortion doctors, or carried signs claiming adam and eve not adam and steve and wanted to teach intelligent design and not evolution then yes that much energy would be put there too.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  7. MACT

    If Family Radio listeners truly believe everything will end next month, then they should be willing to give away *everything* they own beforehand. This should apply double to the leaders. If any of them still have a dollar to their name on the 20th, they are declaring themselves hypocrites.

    April 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  8. Good Atheist

    Keep quoting the same dogma from a 2000 year old fair tale. At least science strives to learn and discover and expand people's knowledge and understanding.

    April 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Religion looks at its lack of understanding and of the universe and says “eh, good enough, the deity I have no evidence of will protect me.” Science looks and says, “I want to learn and understand, so that with the knowledge gained, we may protect ourselves.”

      April 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  9. Cindy

    Both billboards are just plain silly IMHO, what is the use really? More fighting just what we need. All that money wasted, on this..it could have been used for something good!!

    I am a christian, and the whole point of being a christian is believing based on "faith" if we could ever prove God is real then we would prove that he is not. Because there is no way to prove the bible true, because it is not a completed piece of work, we have not been told every thing there is to know. We dont even know what the (7 thunders, uttered) for goodness sake. One can read the bible and believe it or not, that is it. Respect individual choice. Dont fight over it, no good will come out of that.

    If you are a fence rider, dont choose based on what others think, read the bible and choose for you self.

    April 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  10. Little Me

    I'm going to leave it at this – believe what you want to. For those of us who belive in God, we know the gift that awaits us when our Lord and Savior comes to take us home – on HIS time, not some "predicted" time that someone made up. For non believers all we can do is pray for them. And though prayer might mean nothing to you – praying is powerful and if someone is merely asking for good and positive things for you, why not let them without starting another argument over the existance and power of prayer? God Bless!

    April 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Prattle on little you, prattle on.

      April 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Fred_M.

      And Son of Sam "knew" that howling dogs were telling him to murder women, too. The fact that you believe something doesn't make it true.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Just me

      Because, I neither need nor want your prayers.

      The idea that you can foist your belief system on me is offensive. I see so many "Christians" moaning and complaining about their rights being infringed when actually what is happening is finally, those of us who don't believe are beginning to stand up for ourselves and are demanding to have equal treatment. No, I don't want a prayer and my graduation ceremony, no I don't want prayer in my schools, no I do not want the uneducated and unscientific "creation MYTH" taught at my schools.

      Just because you choose to believe the way you do doesn't mean the rest of us have to suffer for it.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Madtown

      Little Me
      "...we know the gift that awaits us.."

      Well, that's kinda the issue, the "knowing". None of us knows for certain, that's why it's called 'belief'. You are certainly free to believe whatever you wish, but think about choosing other words/phrases, instead of "I know". Because, you don't know. Have a little more humility. If you can state your beliefs in an articulate manner, with humility, and without arrogance, you're more likely to be given respect.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  11. The Jackdaw

    Once we settle the religious debate, I would like to ask if people think that Luke Skywalker could have beaten Darth Maul in a light saber fight. It’s more relevant to our society today.

    April 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Aeroman91

      Doubtful. Although Luke was the son of Anakin, and very powerful in the ways of the force, he had no formal training in sword-fighting. Look at the fights between Maul/obi-wan and vader/luke, you can see that there is a clear difference in skill, technique, and styles.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  12. George

    Hey Joe,
    Do you know what the word congregating means?
    Wow, I wonder how much has been spent "spreading" the word on rapture, that will happen someday.
    Remember a broken clock is correct twice a day

    April 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  13. One of the faithfull

    Anytime there's a religious posting on CNN.com I'm shocked too see how many non-believers are out there! Praying for us all, believer and non-believer alike.

    April 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  14. wow

    "This is how religion hurts people, one of the many ways religion hurts people," And what they are doing is the same thing so what's the point? Religion hurts people really? I know many people that have benefited from knowing Jesus. Gone off drugs or alchohol. Mended their families and relationships. Loving life again when they had nothing before. There is evil in religion yes but it's totally different from someone who has a relationship with Jesus.

    April 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • tim Ricard

      yes exactly,

      April 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Good Atheist

      Religion had nothing to do with people getting off drugs or anything like that, unless it was someone yelling at them that if they didn't live a non-questioning life of accepting god's word that they'd go to hell. People can do all those things without having to be told an adult version of santa was constantly watching them. Religion is a crutch to the weak.

      April 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Paul in Louisville

      It was religion that drove those men to fly planes into the World Trade Center. It is religion that drives alleged Christians to hate gay people. It is religion that causes man to subjugate women and minorities. Do I seriously need to go on? Religion people have certainly done good in the name of their religion, but just as much evil has been done. I just find it sad that people can't simply do good without fear of burning in a mythical Hell.

      April 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • wow

      Good Atheist you're right religion had nothing to do with it. Jesus did. A crutch of the weak you say well then it's a crutch that works and I am glad for it because I saw my mother an alchoholic that lost everything give her life to Jesus and praying and reading the Bible and talking to fellow believers helped her stay strong and conquer alchoholism. You can make fun of it say I believe in fairy tales whatever you like. It doesnt change the fact that I am proud of my mother. And she couldn't have done it without Jesus.

      April 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • tony

      Being or doing good to yourself or others, hardly needs religion. Only the childhood indoctrination makes it seem so.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Kevin, VA

      its this idea that you can have a relationship with a being you cant even be sure exists that is the issue. sure people have used religous beliefs as a crutch to better their lives, people have also done those things you mentioned without it.

      they have also done it through islam, hinduism and buddhism, why do you think yours is special and theirs is not?

      April 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • wow

      Kevin I think mine is special because it's what I believe in. Why do you think your kids are more special then others. Same thing. I am pointing out good things and people just keep attacking it with hatefull words and trying to bring other people down. Why are you so full of hate?

      April 25, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Kevin

      nothing of what i said was ahateful it was factual. if you think being factual is being hateful, or pointing out a flaw in your reason is hateful, then you have issues.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  15. PHIL

    @Tyler V
    That couldn't be farther from the truth. There were these things called the inquisition and the crusades...yeah kind of a big deal. Where's your empirical data supporting your claim?

    April 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  16. djcrystar

    2;ooo yrs of "any day now".....it will be like that for another 2,000 yrs so what does that prove?

    April 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  17. Me

    Yes we ALL know that the Arnonld's chips is going to go bad & turn on SkyNet any day now... that is if it has not happened already 😮 All SkyNet has to do now is launch the nukes... End of world for some, hell for the rest of us. 😀

    April 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  18. Luke

    Attention religious people:

    Watch the video. The guy with the hat with the crazy eyes..that is what you sound like when you talk, whether it be about true love, creationism, evolution, science, the holy book, history, god's word, what should be or should not be on TV, what shoudl be taught in school and what should not or societal norms. Nuts.


    April 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • wow

      No it's what the media want you all to think we look and sound like. You bow to the media god.

      April 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  19. joe

    Atheists congregating is illogical.

    April 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • D

      Cute, but incorrect.
      Congregate: –verb (used without object)
      1. to come together; assemble, especially in large numbers

      April 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Jessica S

      Do you know what congregate means joe? Look it up!

      April 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  20. wow

    $27,000. Instead of wasting it on a BILLBOARD, that could have been someones yearly salary

    April 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Anon

      That IS someone's annual salary.

      Someone has to print it, paste it, maintain it and so on.

      April 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • wow

      And it's a complete waste of money. You really think a billboard will change the way people that believ in Jesus think? You really think a $27,000 piece of paper on a stick will do this?

      April 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Frank

      The Crystal Cathedral cost 18 million dollars to build in 1980. That could have been yearly salaries for 667 people.

      April 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Matt Kazan

      What kind of salary is $27,000? You can't live on that. Also, people were paid in the creation of that billboard. You know, the company that owns it, the people employed to put the board up, the people hired to design it, etc.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • wow

      What's the point of arguing on here it's not going to change anyones mind Atheists are still going to hate religious people and religious people will continue to pray for Atheists. It's a big cycle that CNN loves to watch and reuse over and over again. The media is the real problem in this world.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Barter_Town

      Atheists don't hate religious people. They just oppose irrational thinking in whatever guise it takes - religious or otherwise.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
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About this blog

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.