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Atheist group targets Muslims, Jews with ‘myth’ billboards in Arabic and Hebrew
The American Atheists' president acknowledges that the pair of new billboards will likely cause a stir.
March 1st, 2012
05:00 AM ET

Atheist group targets Muslims, Jews with ‘myth’ billboards in Arabic and Hebrew

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) – The billboard wars between atheists and believers have raged for years now, especially around New York City, and a national atheist group is poised to take the battle a step further with billboards in Muslim and Jewish enclaves bearing messages in Arabic and Hebrew.

American Atheists, a national organization, will unveil the billboards Monday on Broadway in heavily Muslim Paterson, New Jersey and in a heavily Jewish Brooklyn neighborhood, immediately after the Williamsburg Bridge.

“You know it’s a myth … and you have a choice,” the billboards say. The Patterson version is in English and Arabic, and the Brooklyn one in English and Hebrew. To the right of the text on the Arabic sign is the word for God, Allah. To the right of the text on the Hebrew sign is the word for God, Yahweh.

Dave Silverman, the president of American Atheists, said the signs are intended to reach atheists in the Muslim and Jewish enclaves who may feel isolated because they are surrounded by believers.

“Those communities are designed to keep atheists in the ranks,” he says. “If there are atheists in those communities, we are reaching out to them. We are letting them know that we see them, we acknowledge them and they don't have to live that way if they don’t want to.”

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Silverman says the signs advertise the American Atheists’ upcoming convention and an atheist rally, called the Reason Rally, in Washington next month.

Atheists have long pointed to surveys that suggest atheists and agnostics make up between 3% and 4% of the U.S. population. That number increases when Americans unaffiliated with any religion are included. The Pew Center’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey found that 16% are unaffiliated, though only a fraction of those are avowed atheists and agnostics.

Silverman acknowledges that the pair of new billboards will likely cause a stir.

“People are going to be upset,” he says. “That is not our concern.”

“We are not trying to inflame anything,” he continued. “We are trying to advertise our existence to atheist in those communities. The objective is not to inflame but rather to advertise the atheist movement in the Muslim and Jewish community.”

The billboards will be up for one month and cost American Atheists, based in New Jersey, less than $15,000 each, according to Silverman.

Mohamed Elfilali, executive director of the Islamic Center of Passaic County, laughed when he learned the Arabic billboard would go up in the same town as his office. He says he’s surprised that someone is spending money on such a sign.

“It is not the first and won’t be the last time people have said things about God or religion,” Elfilali says. “I respect people’s opinion about God; obviously they are entitled to it. I don’t think God is a myth, but that doesn’t exclude people to have a different opinion.”

But Elfilali bemoaned the billboards as another example of a hyper-polarized world.

“Sadly, there is a need to polarize society as opposed to build bridges,” he says. “That is the century that we live in. It is very polarized, very politicized.”

The Brooklyn billboard is likely to raise eyebrows among Jews, in part because Orthodox Jews don't write out the name of God, as the billboard does.

“It is an emotional word, there will be an emotional response," said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, dean of Yeshiva University's Center for the Jewish Future. "People will look at it in a bizarre way. People won’t understand why someone needed to write that out.”

To get around the prohibition, Jews usually use only one Hebrew letter in place of the word. In the Torah scroll, though, the word is found and it is pronounced Adonai, which means “my master.”

Rabbi Serge Lippe of the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue was more dismissive than outraged about the billboards.

“The great thing about America is we are marketplace for ideas,” he says. “People put up awful, inappropriate billboards expressing their ideas and that is embraced.”

But Lippe acknowledged that there are a lot of agnostic and atheist Jews. A recent Gallup survey found 53% of Jews identified as nonreligious. Among American Jews, 17% identified as very religious and 30% identified as moderately religious.

“When you have two Jews in the room, you have three opinions,” joked Lippe.

American Atheists have used the word “myth” to describe religion and God on billboards before. Last November, the organization went up with a billboard immediately before the New Jersey entrance to the Lincoln tunnel that showed the three wise men heading to Bethlehem and stated “You KNOW it’s a Myth. This Season, Celebrate Reason.”

At the time, the American Atheists said the billboard was to encourage Atheists to come out of the closet with their beliefs and to dispel the myth that Christianity owns the solstice season.

The Christmas billboard led to a “counter punch” by the Catholic League, a New York-based Catholic advocacy group. The Catholic League put up a competing billboard that said, “You Know It's Real: This Season Celebrate Jesus."

Silverman says his group’s billboard campaigns will continue long into the future.

“There will be more billboards,” Silverman says. “We are not going to be limiting to Muslims and Jews, we are going to be putting up multiple billboards in multiple communities in order to get atheists to come out of the closet.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Islam • Judaism • New York • United States

soundoff (5,946 Responses)
  1. truth

    I see no problem with people believing in fairytales... when they are six years old.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  2. Bootyfunk

    christians have been recruiting since the cult began. i had 2 christian recruiters knock on my door last month and try to shove their mythology down my throat. this sign isn't invasive. don't like it? don't look. no one is knocking on your door. there are lots and lots of closeted atheists - this sign just encourages them to come out. when there's pro religious billboards up how come no religious people demand they're taken down?

    March 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • gf

      I really don't care much one way or another. What I don't like are the double standards. Believers complaining about these sorts of atheist openness while they themselves are open with what they believe (like the people knocking on your door). Or non-believers (atheists) complaining about the openness of believers (ie, Tebow) while they themselves are open about what they believe (ie, this billboard).

      Can't we just hold the criticism on both sides? Can't we just say that we truly do believe that we each have the freedom to believe or not believe what we want? Paper of the law means one thing, but it's a whole lot more impactful when it's lived out by the people themselves.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  3. JB

    I dare them to try this in Israel or a predominately Muslim country. They won't live very long 🙂

    March 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yep, because crazy religious extremists. sounds like you agree with them. nutjob.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Just Say'in

      @JB
      And that is why a secular society is superior.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Sabrina

      It's an American organization, using billboards as means to communicate to other americans who may feel alone in their belief. Why would they go to another country for that?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • JB

      Nope, not agreeing with these folks. I'm just saying that if they'd try that in a place where religion rules the government, they will be dead in no time at all. Athiests are lucky that the US allows this sort of thing. Try this in Pakistan 🙂

      March 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Frogman

      Doesn't that show you what's wrong with religion?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      so what's your point? that we live in a great country that has freedom of speech/religion? and that there's countries with people that commit the most heinous acts in the name of a "peaceful" god? ummmm.... thanks.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Sabrina

      Whats your point then? I'm a woman, if I were to wear my conservative business work clothes out in one of those extremists countries I'll be killed too. Does that mean I shouldn't here in America?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  4. Flora

    And atheists wonder why no one particularly likes them. If you want to put a shout-out to your religious beliefs in public in hopes of attracting believers (or non-believers), fine – churches & other houses of worship do it all the time. But if you do it in such a way as to purposefully offend people just to garner attention, that doesn't make you intelligent, that makes you an insufferable, pompous a $ $.

    There's a difference between trying to start a religious dialogue & simply being a siht-starter – the Atheist Alliance knows this and is intentionally doing the latter for screen time. So far as I'm concerned, these people are just as bad those Westboro Baptist d-bags. (Of course, I'm not talking about all atheists, just the ones that act like/agree with this.)

    March 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Religious billboards do offend people .. those who find it embarasing that otherwise logical reasonable people can be indoctrinated to be unreasonable.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      that's hilarious. christians NEVER worry about offending atheists. when they come to my home trying to recruit, that's not offensive?

      you have no idea what it's like to live in a cult (christianity/islam/judism) as a non-believer. if you're offended, it's cause you want to be.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Just Say'in

      @Flora
      I see your hypocrisy is in full swing this morning.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • U.S. Common Sense

      @Bootyfunk

      "when they come to my home trying to recruit, that's not offensive?"

      No more offensive than Girl Scouts coming by to sell cookies. If you aren't interested, all you have to say is "Thank you, but I'm not interested" and say good-bye.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      girl scouts don't tell me i'm burning in hell forever when i don't buy their cookies.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Just Say'in

      Bootyfunk – 2

      U.S. Common Sense – 0

      March 1, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • U.S. Common Sense

      @Bootyfunk

      Of all my four decades and eight states on this Earth, I've never had a door knocker tell me "i'm burning in hell forever" for politely turning them away. You must be doing something wrong.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Flora

      Just Say'n: Oh? And how so? Plese point out as to where in my comment where I was a hypocrite?

      BootyFunk: You're right, I don't because I'm not a non-believer. However, I assume that you're a grown adult at this point in your life, and thus free to seperate yourself from a religion you don't believe in. And marauding converters are way different from a billboard – you can always just tell a person "I'm sorry, but I'm an atheist and would like it if you did not come back". And if they do return, you can always threaten to call the cops for harrassing you. But you're just stuck looking at an offensive ad campaign until it's over, nothing you can do (unless you got the time & money to sue it away).

      March 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • MN

      @Flora-there is "nothing you can do"? lol! That was my laugh for the day, who exactly is holding your head frozen in one position so that you can't simply turn away and look at something else? hahahaha There are a ton of billboards I pass DAILY and couldn't tell you what most of them say because I don't look at them! It is really not that hard. If you find turning your head to be an impossible task, it is no wonder you need the imaginary guiding of religion, how else would you make it through a day with only your own reason?

      March 2, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  5. Barney

    Risky move my atheist friends. So, what happens when you are at the pearly gates? Actually, you WON'T have a choice then will you. Right now you have a choice to give Jesus Christ a chance in your life. Read about him. Open your heart to a faith based relationship. You have a choice now. Later, you won't.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • lolwut

      Open your heart to Thor, you want to spend eternity in Valhalla, don't you?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Myths

      Or Amitabha. The Western Pure Land is very nice.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Burp

      Its not that easy. One cannot force themselves to believe in something that just isn't real. "Open yourself up to Jesus" translates to "trick yourself into believing something that is impossible". Even if I tried, I would not be able to convince myself. Being honest with myself means acknowledging that there is simply nothing there.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Alex

      And what happens to you, when you enter your pealy gates and find out your "god" was from other sect than you believed? Let's say you are an evangelical christan and you are confronted with angry Allah, Zeus, Jupiter, feathered serpent, or Mormon Jesus, or JW Jehovah ?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Thor

      Hey lolwut, My names is Thor and I really don´t believe Valhalla exists either.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  6. alateos

    God (power of existence) is real. The problem we have as humans is that we keep limiting this power to our image – I find this arrogant and selfish.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  7. Sam

    Organized religion and over population are the greatest threats we face. If the atheist are successful with there effort them maybe we will all be a little safer.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  8. Jesus H. Christ

    An atheist follows scientific reasoning which is falsifiable. Religion is not falsifiable and therefore will never be proven correct.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • JB

      And never be totally be proven wrong either. Science isn't always correct.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  9. AllYourBase

    I don't think anyone should force their religious (or antireligious) views on anyone. That said, for a group that's so against religion, these atheists sure do a good job of acting just like other religions in trying to cram their beliefs down others throats. You're atheist? Great, why do you have to try to turn other people into your kind?

    March 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • chemack56

      Great point.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • AJ, Atlanta, GA

      This is an argument I hear a lot. And honestly, it's like saying well, if you are fanatic about peace, that's just as bad as being fanatic about violence. Because at the end of the day, you are just a fanatic. That's completely illogical. To criticize atheists for simply suggesting alternative ways of thinking is not the same as converting people into your religion or waging wars under the name of your God (who differs obviously depending on which religion you adhere to). This is just the kind of simple thinking that keeps religion so strong in this world.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Flora

      That's because atheism is technically a religion, they just hate being called out on it. They have a set veiwpoint on the matters of spirituality & life and believe their way to be the only way; the only difference is, they possibly the first religion based totally on science & human logic with a negative stance on spiritualism.

      When you get right down to it, the only people who are truly non-religious are agnostics.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • momoya

      Great reply AJ. Is it any easier to be an atheist in Atlanta? I'd consider a move.

      To the OP.
      Oh please. Atheists are tiny percent of the population, and very few of those are outspoken. These billboards are an encouragement to those atheists who feel they must remain in the closet for fear of being mistreated or relegated to second-class status in their community. Put up with it, and do it with a smile, believers. Heck, have a good belly-laugh over it at our expense. You would to our faces.......

      March 1, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • momoya

      @Flora

      How is atheism a religion? If religion were hair with all the different styles and colors representing all the different faiths, atheism, as a lack of all things believed by religion, would be baldness. Is bald a hair style and color in your world?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Just Say'in

      @ Flora
      Um no… please look up the definition of Atheism.

      For the original commenting…yea thanks for proving the stereotype of hypocrisy amounts theists.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  10. us1776

    Religion is the worst thing that ever happened to the human race.

    Religion has been responsible for more violence, suffering and death than any other cause.

    .

    March 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • gf

      I'd say disease and pestilence myself are the greatest causes of death, or perhaps just "old age" (aye, I hate you "old age"), but what do I know 🙂

      March 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Jim

      You're just spouting andectotal comments, with no data to back it up. You can point to wars and such where religion was a factor or stated cause, but most of those would have happened without that as a factor. True for most of the other "evils" you might cite.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  11. Myths

    Of COURSE they are "myths." The problem here is that the people putting up these billboards don't understand that "myth" does not mean "falsehood." Myths are narratives that put cosmic ideas beyond human experience into human terms and experience. (which is also why it is so childish and silly to fight and kill people over them).

    March 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Jesus H. Christ

      They're myths.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Myths

      Yes. Did you have something to add?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  12. Leyla

    He spend $30,000 on billboards for a month - he should have donated the money to the poor, homeless and children's hospital

    March 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Myths

      I agree. If you think there is no hereafter, you should definitely be working harder to make the here and now a better life.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • momoya

      Right, because that's what the churches do with their money....

      March 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • momoya
      March 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Alex

      Much more money is spent to build these stupid high building with towers, so what is your point ?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Myths

      Personally, I think the money spent on church and other religious advertising should go to social programs as well.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • gf

      People in general are stupid with their money. Atheists. Christians. Jews. Muslims. PEOPLE. Atheists spend pointless money on these billboards or other. Christians spend pointless money on their buildings. And our leaders in government are probably the worst of all, pushing us further into debt with their overspending. But of course our leaders are typical Americans, who are typically in debt themselves. Again I say – people are stupid with their money.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  13. Chicoburner

    But it is a myth. It's all in your brain my fellow human beings.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  14. Paul

    Well, it's about time the atheists stopped bashing only the Christians, and become consistent to their belief system towards all religions. Now, if they would only do something radical like burn a Koran, then we can eradicate a good portion of them from America, and save us all from their ilk.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Mongo

      Yep, just the kind of response I've come to expect from Christians. Anything you don't like, eradicate it! Because that's what Jesus would do, right?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Thor

      There are more of us than one would believe and sadly have been repressed by a religious main stream. I can confess to being threatened by a few groups for my un-godly beliefs, however the tide and education seem to changing that. And I can truthfully hang my head high for having more Christian beliefs of understanding than most religious groups.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Burp

      Great idea! Let's just round them up and put them in camps. Tatoo "atheist" on their forearms. March them into ovens to "eradicate" them (your word). Please rethink your statement. I hope you find that it is dangerous and ignorant.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  15. Thenextstep

    No worse than the Baptists putting up churches on every 4-way intersection here in the South. Specifically here in Alabama

    March 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Leyla

      247 million Christian lives in America...... Keep that in mind. (Search on CNN/Google)

      Same here in New Jersey... there is church every mile. There are plenty of churches all over America

      March 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  16. Daniel

    Why are atheists SO bothered by what other people believe? They hate evangelicals, but are they not evangelizing as well? It's no longer enough to believe what you want and let everyone else be. Now, these people will not rest until you fall in line, lock step, with everything they believe and is on their agenda.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      As "evangelism" goes, these billboards are far less club-like than many I've seen from a particular sect of Christians.

      There is no threat here of hell fire or anything else. There is a simple statement and a web address.

      It isn't pushing people to "convert" so much as it is offering a different viewpoint and an invitation to investigate if so inclined.

      No one is knocking on your door, or forcing you to do anything.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Frogman

      Why do Christians insist on making their faith public policy? Look at the republican presidential contenders. Keep your faith to yourself and out of my government and we won't have a problem. Keep trying to make America a Christian nation and we have to fight back.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Burp

      I could say EXACTLY the same thing about many Christians, particularly evangelicals. I disagree that atheists are forcing their beliefs on anyone. They are just advertising an option that is religion-free.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  17. jeff

    Everyone has a right to believe what they want or don't want. What is angering me is atheists are doing what they are angry about with religions in forcing their beliefs on others so it hypocritical if you ask me

    March 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Thor

      Please Jeff, Religion does exactly the same thing if not in more vocal and disturbing way and not to mention complete brainwashing....

      March 1, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      How, exactly, is putting up a billboard forcing what they believe on anyone?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • gf

      Thor – Jeff wasn't denying that religious people express their beliefs. He was pointing out that atheists complain about this open expression of belief ... and yet here are atheists openly expressing their belief (non-belief), and specifically targeting those who believe with the express purpose of drawing them away from their beliefs. That's the hypocrisy. However I do think it would be hypocritical of a believer to criticize this action if they do the opposite.

      Really the freedom of religion/nonreligion in this country is merely on paper. As this discussion shows, people don't actually think others should be free to believe/disbelieve what they want, but that they should agree with what they believe. The atheists here aren't content to let the people believe what they believe, they're trying to change it. And believers too do the same.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  18. IN GOD WE TRUST

    American Atheists are acting like 10 year old kids.... no wonder why they are the most hated people in this planet.

    BTW the founder of that group (An old lady) was killed by another Atheist. LOOOOL!!!

    March 1, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • TrueBlue42

      Laughing at different beliefs, then laughing at murder... yep, sounds like a Christian.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Thor

      As opposed to the millions killed in the name of GOD...come on get better retaliation than that...

      March 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Commenter

      Abraham Lincoln was killed by an American!

      March 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      So...if a Christian organization puts up a billboard proclaiming their beliefs, those would be the actions of 10 year olds too?

      Just trying to figure out which part you're objecting to.

      Also, you laugh about murder? You find it amusing that someone was killed? I find that disturbing.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Commenter

      IN GOD...

      p.s. Please notice that I did not put "LOOOOL" after my comment about Lincoln...

      March 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • gf

      LOOOOL – Laught Out Out Out Out Loud? Or is that "Laughing OOUUTT Loud!"?

      March 1, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • gf

      I have difficulty with either approving or negating a belief based on the people who believe it – knowing that we people are generally full of problems, criticism, hate, anger, greed, and selfishness. There are Christians who act good, and Christians who act bad. There are atheists who act good, and atheists who act bad. It's easy for one group to negate the beliefs/non-beliefs of another based purely on the 'bad' in that group. I do believe in God, but I believe that the truth of God is not dependent on the actions of the people who follow him, especially since people are sinful, though I do admit that the mistakes of believers do hinder others from believing.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  19. Dana

    The earth is not flat either.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Awesome

      No wonder why I was always leaning back as i walk curse you round globe.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  20. gf

    I think it's a laugh – they're like evangelists, spreading their "non-belief" to the world. For what purpose? I'm not sure. Perhaps it is to antagonize, as another poster mentioned. Or because they feel like what they believe needs to be believed by others. Or maybe they are further rebelling against their own childhoods or upbringing, feeling they believed in something foolish. Muslims or Jews or Christians at least share with somewhat altruistic motivations. I'm not sure of their purpose.

    So on one side, there are those who complain about 'believers' being open with their beliefs (as so many were outraged at Tebow). Now there is this opposite side, 'non-believers' (or else believers in non-god) who are being open with their beliefs. It's the way of people, no?

    March 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • momoya

      Oh please. Atheists are tiny percent of the population, and very few of those are outspoken. These billboards are an encouragement to those atheists who feel they must remain in the closet for fear of being mistreated or relegated to second-class status in their community. Put up with it, and do it with a smile, believers. Heck, have a good belly-laugh over it at our expense. You would to our faces.....

      March 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • dvm42

      [gf], I couldn't agree more. [Momoya], atheists are everywhere. Don't even joke about how small they are. Maybe a small part of the population in most of the world, but not in the US or Europe.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • momoya

      dmv42

      Do your research.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Me

      Because the "myth" - or more accurately, the group of people who believe the myth - is actively harming real people. Gay people are unable to make decisions about their partner's hospital care because of the "myth." Women are being denied the opportunity to have contraception covered on their employer's health plan because of the "myth." Children are lounging in foster care instead of being adopted by loving families because of the "myth."

      Jefferson famously wrote that "it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God." Unfortunately, this isn't so, because the same people who say there are three-gods-in-one also say that gays can't marry, and that second statement has the force of law.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • gf

      [momoya] One report: http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_225_report_en.pdf. Actually a large percentage (though not a majority) of people in Western countries and Europe proclaim to be atheists. This is probably a lower-than-real number as well because there are many who identify as believing in God because of their culture, but in actuality probably do not. I'd tend to agree more with dvm42 on this based on the report, and based on practical experience with Europeans in general.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • gf

      [momoya] – By the way, see pages 8-10 on that report if you want to check it out yourself. Like I said, not a majority number for those who actually profess to be atheists, but a large number nonetheless ... and probably lower than what's real.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
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