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.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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. Joe

    These atheist groups need to go away. If people are stupid enough to believe in a "god" who cares? Let them waste their lives worshipping some crazy deity.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Tammy N

      Way to go Joe! I completely agree with you. I would rather my fellow athiests just keep quiet, go on knowing they ultimately are right, intelligent, sane, reasonable and logical. This type of hype is no better in my eyes then bilboards and propaganda put out there by organized religion. If the purpose is to let other athiests know they are not alone, then it is a wasted purpose. I would think athiests, being smart enough to not buy into the hoopla, are smart enough to know they aren't the only ones that have figured it.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • jonny

      While I agree that these billboards are in bad taste and will utltimately do nothing but get one group of people a little publicity, it's very common that we aetheists feel we must be silent to make others feel comfortable. Unfortunately, those who utilize religion as a tool to control the masses (see this week's Republican election news) will not be silent, and they currently have the power, because that's what religion is – a tool to use to exercise mental power over people. That is a verifiable fact that can be proven, and I would be happy to go into specific detail if necessary. We who believe in freedom of religion (whether you believe in religion or not) must insist that religion has no part in the political process.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • MN

      @Tammy N.- I completely disagree with you when you say that athiests are "smart enough" to know they're not alone. That is so not the case for many. I for one came from a very religious community, and looking back I haven't believed in god since I was very young (7 the youngest I remember) But I never for second thought that it was okay to question it or not believe. It wasn't until I was 22 and in college that I started realizing it was okay to talk about it and that there were many others who felt the same way. And honestly I really can't believe looking back now that I didn't know it was okay to be athiest, but I just felt like it wasn't an acceptable choice. So in that sense I do think these billboards could do some good.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:34 am |
  2. Happy


    March 1, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  3. A

    '“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.”'

    Absolutely true. Well said.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:31 am |
  4. Michael

    Yawn. Both sides of the fence should go spend the money solving hunger and disease.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  5. Sandra Garrett

    @ WarmestGhost...your comment has just proven my point and to throw in bombing abortion clinics and suicide vests...only extremists and terrorists resort to that kind of evil. These actions do not represent the majority. It is not fear that fuels my faith but love. I will ask this...what proof do you have that God does not exist? Please do not try to use the violence that humans embrace and sadly use.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      Sandra, I don't care if God exists. I don't need your God or any other to tell me what is right and moral on this Earth and what is evil and wrong.

      Yes, my examples were extreme, but what do you think of the political discourse in this country currently? How does Rick Santorum and his explicit misogyny resonate with you?

      My problem with religion is its dogmatic approach to faith. If you believe in God, fine, just leave me alone. But you Christians just can't. You try to hijack our secular government and force your patently ridiculous beliefs on others. Oh, don't worry about global warming, God won't let the planet die. Oh, don't let women have contraception, because abstinence-only policies work oh so well. Oh, don't let the gays marry and be happy like us because they're icky and wrong and our 2,000 year old book says so!!!!11!

      Laughable, every bit of it.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • momoya

      If a person does not believe in something (unicorns), it is not up to that disbeliever to prove that the thing (unicorns) exists; rather, it is up to the (unicorn) believer to prove to the non(unicorn) believer that the thing (unicorn) does exist.

      Your friend who believes in unicorns must show proof of the unicorns she believes in. The person who believes in god must show the proof, not the disbelievers. (I believe in leprechauns!! Prove they don't exist!!)

      March 1, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Michael

      @momoya The person who does not believe and preaches reason and looks for evidence, cannot state absolutely that God does not exist. For under your very own rules of reason and logic, that would require that you have examined all empirical evidence in the universe to make that statement. Since you and all other atheists have not, the only thing you can do is say you don't think God exists. The whole disbeliever doesn't have to prove anything rhetoric shows just how uneducated you are.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • sane

      What proof is there that there are no unicorns? Do you not get the simple concept that a negative cannot be proven? On the other hand, if something's existance is true, you'd have some evidence and there is no evidence of a "god" that would hold up in any rational court.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Michael

      @sane And the entire scientific knowledge base rests on axioms, what is your point? Go look up axioms. Now you are in the same boat as a religious person.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • chad

      look at the miracle of your own body....its engineering and systems. hard to believe your body assembled itself or is the product of a chaotic but fortuitous meeting of elements......

      March 1, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      The proof for me is that I realize physics does not allow for a god. There is still plenty about this universe that we as humans do not understand but we do know that forces are always true and particles move very predictably. God would have to alter physics to involve himself in our world. This has never been seen. God is provable, the lack of evidence so far should prove he isn't there.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • jimtanker

      The default position is that no gods exist until evidence for them is presented. There has been NO credible evidence presented. Therefore, it is completely reasonable to say that there are no gods.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Lee Gross

      Sandra – The proof that there is no god is in the fact that there is no evidence that a god exists. As you cannot prove a negative this is the best I can do to answer your question. The narrative that we have a personal relationship with god with only one way communication (from us to him/her/it) is so foreign to me. Looking at the current issue of contraception we see that half the states in Mexico have personhood laws supported and pushed by the catholic church that has resulted in women being sent to prision with sentences from 3 to 29 years for mis-carriages, still born and back alley abortion attempts. Sorry, I don't believe in god and the world would be a better place if religion left the planet.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  6. raj

    It might sound dumb and idiotic but why do people not believe in God?

    March 1, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • momoya

      I think most atheists recognize that your religion is largely a function of culture. Fundie christians in america would be fundie muslims in Saudi Arabia. Get rid of the confirmation bias and focus on the actual proof, and the holy texts are revealed for what they are–Ancient myth with all sorts of scientific inaccuracies that show a childish, confused, non-existent deity.

      Until god can be shown to exist, it makes sense to not believe it does.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Alex

      Because there's no direct, observable, or repeatable evidence to support the belief.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Which god? There are many in human myths.

      God, or gods or goddesses...divinity or deity is an experiential, personal thing. Faith is subjective as is belief.

      Each individual believes as their life experience and knowledge leads them to believe. For every person who does not believe in a god, there is a different "reason" for it.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • An Agnostic

      It takes only a little thought to understand how silly these fairy tales are. Agnostics are willing to subscribe to something that binds us all together - just unwilling to blindly accept the "words" written and revised by man as anything other than words written and revised by men. Want some help? Go lookup the "First Great Awakening". There you will see how a group of "spiritual men" *DECIDED* what to add and remove from the fairy tales.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • blaqb0x

      Why don't you believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

      March 1, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Euplman

      Once you get just a little scientific knowledge under your belt, you quickly start to see that once mysterious and unexplainable phenomena can be explained by everyday processes. No magic required. If you get into science a lot, you begin to see that there is really no need at all for the God hypothesis.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Tammy N

      I cannot speak for anyone but myself...I do not believe in a higher power (God) or a saviour (Jesus) because of 1) lack of reason and proof, 2) an understanding of how society through out history creates doctrines (based on fiction) only to control the masses for their own individual benefits. I feel that there is nothing factual in the bible due to its source, a bunch of pompous men writing fictional stories. Basic foundations of organized religion demand that I suspend my own mind’s reason and logic in order to subscribe to the majority of their edicts. Lastly, science has introduced an alternative that makes more sense to my own observations of our world then that of any religion or the concept of a God.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  7. Georges Sioufi

    It's about time atheists finally fight back. And to everyone who says atheism is a religion, they are right. Atheism requires its members to pray to Charles Darwin every thursday and drink beer out of an Erlenmeyer. Don't know what that is? It is more powerful than your god and requires no faith.

    Laugh at the signs. That is all you can do now. While you're laughing, think of all the offensive signs you put up and the offensive messages you spread.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      Also we are mandated to eat babies.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Chris

      I saw a great response to this bogus claim that atheism is a religion. "If atheism is a religion, then OFF is a TV channel."

      March 1, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • HeadacheDoc

      What's ironic is the atheists pushing their agenda which sounds like a couple of other major religions out there, no? Something to think about.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Certain Atheistic denominations believe in Gerberial Transubstantiation – so it's OK to just crack open a jar of Baby Food and it'll turn into actual baby flesh after recitiation of the Atheist Creed (ohm mani padme science...)

      March 1, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • C. Smith

      Atheism isn't an organized religion, but it is a firm belief about religions, and thus a religious belief. This is like saying that, while a TV being off isn't a channel, it is a status of the TV, letting it sit there while denying use of it.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • -tk-

      @Chris – That response ("...then OFF is a TV channel.") is excellent! I must remember that one.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Bobby

      Obviously you haven't thought abut it enough.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • G

      Atheism is NOT a RELIGION! It's a society that is Willing and Able to change based on NEW information. RELIGION does Neither!

      March 1, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Lycidas

      You are incorrect G.

      March 1, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  8. AJ Johnson

    If you ever go to the South, the billboards there (from Christians) are WAY worse than this. One I drove by for years said "Jesus Loves You. Eternity Is LONG. Pray." That may seem innocuous to many, but it's an allusion to everyone that doesn't believe in Jesus and pray to him is going to spend eternity in Hell (or at least not where they want to be). You're Going Hell (common underlying message) vs. You Have a Choice? Hardly a contest of the more peaceful message... at least not in my opinion.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • mike

      Its not about being "nice", it is about telling the truth. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life – John 14:6

      March 1, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • C. Smith

      The atheist billboard are outright in calling religions 'myths'. The religious billboards only propose that there may be truth to the religions. They do not overtly criticize those who disagree. If you want to look at the implications of the religious billboards, that those who don't believe are going to hell when they die, then look at the same implications of the atheist billboard, that those who believe in religions are primitive, insane, and by the actions of many recent atheist authorities, to be imprisoned, tortured, and executed.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • momoya


      So you want an excuse to "not be nice," but we can't use one? Atheism isn't about being nice, it's about the truth. Hmmm.. seems to work fine for me.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Bobby

      C. Smith
      "The religious billboards only propose that there may be truth to the religions."
      I have yet to see any religious material, let alone just billboards, that says something to the effect "We MAY be right!!"

      March 1, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • mike


      Never said you could not have a billboard. The comment was in reference to the OP in saying the atheist billboard was better simply because it had a nicer message.

      I guess we could water down the Christian billboards, and say that if you dont follow Jesus, you will be "sad". But that does not really help people to much. It would be akin to telling children to not play with matches because they will get an ouchie.

      Some view the message of Hell as "fear". To a degree, it is. But that misses the larger point. Jesus paid for you sins, allowing you to access Heaven. He defeated death. All you have to do is believe in Him, and follow Him. Pretty simple. There is no fear of Hell when you are with Jesus.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • momoya

      There's no fear of hell when you're an atheist, either, and it seems stupid for a god to invent such a place at all. What a jerk!

      March 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Mike wrote, " Some view the message of Hell as "fear". To a degree, it is. But that misses the larger point. Jesus paid for you sins, allowing you to access Heaven. He defeated death. All you have to do is believe in Him, and follow Him. Pretty simple. There is no fear of Hell when you are with Jesus."

      Except, of course, that this is simply your opinion. An opinion ungrounded in fact or evidence.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  9. Sonia Black

    I am so impressed with Mohamed Elfilali, executive director of the Islamic Center of Passaic County. His response gives me hope there is a better world coming, one where we all can politely live with each other peacefully without shoving, legislating, screaming our religious or non-religious views down each other's throats.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      Both he and the rabbi upheld the position that religious belief is an opinion. In that they are on the same page as Bill Maher.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  10. smm

    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.
    i'm sorry, but isn't the point of living in these "Muslim and Jewish enclaves" that you are surrounded by ppl who share your faith? these ppl that crab soooo much about having religion shoved down their throats, all the p*ssing and moaning they do, and here they are doing the same thing! why do they feel this need to turn ppl to their point of view? how hypocritical is it to complain about religious intrusions and then trun around and intrude their atheism into the lives of ppl of faith? you know, i refuse to sheeple along with the "flock" and swallow hook, line, and sinker everything the church says, but this atheist cant is no less hypocritical. they complain that ppl have no proof that god exists and have no right to force it on others, but there is no proof that god DOESN'T exist either, they are no more right than those that follow any established/organized religion, but they feel perfectly o.k. trying to force their lack of belief on others. just more ppl that assume that a certain sector of the american population can't think for themselves, they are as offensive as the worst religious nuts.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      Ah so putting up a billboard is as intrusive as attempting to legislate ridiculous, misogynistic, anachronistic theology into modern society?

      Yep, we sure are just as bad as you theists, what with your abortion clinic bombings and suicide vests.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • William Demuth

      Many in these enclaves are hostage to mad parents.

      It is more difficult to admit Atheisim in those "enclaves" (read as CULT) than it is to be gay.

      Children are beaten, tortured and even murdered by the zealots.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • 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 11:24 am |
  11. Sandra Garrett

    @ ..... I was stating what any psychologist would say...anyone who feels the need to insult and harass another based on a comment has lower intelligence and lack of social skills. This goes for all sides...those of faith and those who believe there is no God. Not a hypocrite and not hiding behind punctuation marks either. I can sit and debate all day and not call someone stupid...it was a general comment directed to ANYONE who does this not to a specific group.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • William Demuth


      Sad, but silly.

      Debate is debate, it is not politicaly correct. It is a full contact sport and not for the faint of heart.

      Only one philosophy wins, and it usually wins by KILLING those who oppose it.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Primewonk

      Really? On an old set of message boards we had the "Da.mned Hall of Fame". The criteria for membership was that you had to be da.mned to hell by at least 3 creationists on the same thread within 24 hours. We had hundreds of members.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Rick Curtis

      Debate is a formal argument, Will. There are rules as to how an intelligent debate is conducted, and name-calling and similar tactics are not part of it. It's generally accepted by intelligent people that resorting to such tactics is an admission that the party using them has lost the debate.

      Arguing like children is a full-contact sport, because use of such tactics is prevalent among children.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  12. Naija

    I can't remember where I read this quote but it states Religion requires leaving your brain in the parking lot before entering.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      That religion, Naija, is atheism. Where scientists don't make claims atheists do! Hmm, fools tread with boldness where Angels fear to.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • See

      Nii Croffie

      Just prove you right, they left their brain in the parking lot.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      I personally like "Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."

      March 1, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Judas

      Some religions don't have the best interest of their followers in mind. Some religions are really just rhetoric and brainwashing. To say all religion is wrong shows only ignorance. I myself follow no religious beliefs, I just refuse to believe something can come from nothing... I mean, all that really is, is blind FAITH and speculation based on pitiful modern calculations.

      We couldn't even get the distance to interstellar space right, and voyager 1 will be there years before expected.... so... If we can't even accurately predict something of that nature in our own galaxy.... I can't help but feel that science and reason failed there.

      I am agnostic. I believe in a prime mover. The only myth is that following an atheist movement will make you more reasonable and happier.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Hey an idea! Christians cud display the Greatest Commandments, Ten Commandments and Golden Rule on a Goodyear Blimp and at ball parks and billboards of course.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • UncleBenny

      "Parking your brain at the door" was the version that I heard.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • A

      Nii, please don't bring scientists into this. I'd venture to say most scientists at least have some sort of spiritual belief.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • KENNY

      i wish people were forced to learn history, specifically the old stuff WE CAN PROVE happened and how it basically tells the stories of how every religion came into being.... the ones that were all the rage and now are jokes and the ones that now people kill for and how they are just a slight change from the ones that came before... the world would become atheist or at least agnostic...

      March 1, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  13. Andrew

    If a person chooses not to believe in God, that is their choice. I may disagree, but I would say even God respects our right to choose and I certainly do. However, we all have faith in something. Atheism's appeal to reason is a little narrow-minded. But the message on the billboard is just a bit rude and inconsiderate to those who believe. I like how SIlverman says,"It is not our concern." It is your concern if you claim to be a caring person. You care for the atheists, but not anyone else simply because they are not atheists? Or are you just looking for a little publicity for your crusade? Well, I care for you, sir. God bless you.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • 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 11:21 am |
    • William Demuth


      If need be, I would feed you to my Labrador.

      Christians are a dime a dozen, but a good lab is hard to find.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Momoya which church was able to keep u in the closet as a minister for 50 yrs. I think they did a great job! Address please.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  14. Sandra Garrett

    @ James Brit...thank you for your comment. Those examples do not affirm that God doesn't exist...They only show how feeble and violent humans are. We are imperfect to say the very least. @ I am the best...I am not saying that atheists should not be allowed to put up billboards. This country allows freedom of speech and freedom of religion...despite the fact the founding of this country was based on Christian principles. Yes Christians put up signs...you don't have to read them and atheists should be able to do the same thing. Calling a person of faith stupid is no better than a person of faith saying atheists are stupid. I would never do that. I can disagree with a view without insults.@ BRC...I totally agree!

    March 1, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • .....

      "I would never do that"

      "shows a low level of intelligence and lack of social skills."

      Yeah right, what a hypocrite.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Alas chris.to.ph.ob.ia is a disease common to atheists! Sandra, relax these guys are not going anywhere. They r built-into the belief blog program rather like the Matrix. lol

      March 1, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      Nii, it's irrational to fear something that does not exist.

      You really ought to stop projecting your own misconceptions about atheism into your little rants, though I know how much that's asking of a theist.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Why christians (junior christs) don't exist? I thought u knew that christ exists as christians. If that is your coping mechanism for chr.isto.pho.bia, way to go? However deluding yourself that the junior christs don't exist is just as sick.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      I meant Christ, Nii.

      He never existed. It's just a myth.

      Sorry to break the bad news.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  15. Sandra Garrett

    I have just read some of the posts and my comment was correct. If you are an atheist...go to public schools where there is no prayer or start an atheist school. Comments like 'stupid theists' are uncalled for and shows a low level of intelligence and lack of social skills. Another comment..."Because those schools and communities are not just yours.' is absolutely correct...that is what public school is for. In some schools they allow clubs for the faithful or a moment of silence at the beginning of the day. This is done out of respect for those students who are not atheists. I am sure an atheist club exists as well and if they don't they should be. I disagree with the atheist point of view, it does not make me stupid or ignorant it is my choice just as you have yours. Name calling and insults shows instability and a lack of conviction in your belief.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • .....

      pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot

      March 1, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • BRC

      I agree with you, facilitation of both sides is teh right answer and teh right thing to do. I also agree that the name calling is unnecessary, but it does happen on both sides of the fence. Neither the Hatfields nor the McCoys have allowed this to be an altogether civil feud.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  16. tingle

    If the Jews and Palestinians were atheists they would still be at war except they would admit it's about politics rather then religion. If the Crusades happened between atheists they would have admitted it was because of a valuable trade route.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • IslandAtheist

      I will take that bet.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  17. Sandra Garrett

    I respect anyone's opinion but to state it is a myth without absolute knowledge that it is a myth is reckless. They are not trying to bring atheists out of the closet they are trying to sow doubt in those who do believe in GOD. I see the signs all the time. They only help to reaffirm my faith and I pray for all of them. I am sure I will get some nasty responses. The atheist does not have respect for other's beliefs and feels the need to strike out whenever they are challenged. I will state again that I respect other's opinions. It is apparently to much to expect that same respect in return.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      Theists show ne respect for us. That's one of the reasons these are being put up. It's because all over the country there are billboards claiming that Jesus is real and the son of god and to worship the lord. If the religious take all of theirs down, I'm sure all the atheists will happily take down ours.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • BRC

      It could also be said, that to commit yourself completely, and in your own believe to stake the fate or your immortal soul on something that has no real proof is equally reckless.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • James Britt

      I respect anyone's opinion but to state it is not a myth without absolute knowledge that it is not a myth is reckless. (See: Middle East, the Crusades, burning of Koran, 9/11, etc.)

      March 1, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Brad

      I'm The Best!

      Bill boards that promote ideas of substance are rare. Let's have more of them. Theist and non-theist perspectives. Challenge people to think about something beyond day-to-day living. You know, I would make a substantial contribution to have such things put up in this city.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • TR6

      @Sandra Garrett: “I respect anyone's opinion but to state it is a myth without absolute knowledge that it is a myth is reckless”

      Is it also “reckless” to state that fairy, big foot, the loch Ness monster, UFO’s or vampires are a myth even without absolute knowledge?

      March 1, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Primewonk

      Along the interstate where I live there are numerous billboards that say things like – "REPENT – Or spend eternity in HELL", or, "If you do not come to Jesus, you will go to Hell".

      These signs do not say "These are our opinions, and are not based on facts".

      I wonder why you guys always want a double standard?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  18. To the atheists

    You know it is a lie...
    and you have a choice

    March 1, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • BRC

      We do, and we chose not to buy any of what teh religions are selling. Thank you for re-affirming our freedoms.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Al

      Yes and we choose not to believe the lie (Bible).

      March 1, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Yes indeedy.
      There are seemingly countless choices of Gods and religions.
      But atheists better be certain to pick the correct denomination based solely on the warm squidgy feeling of faith, lest they wind up burning forever in a lake of fire.
      With no evidence whatsoever on which to base the choice, one might as well say "eenie, meenie, miney-- B'Hai!"

      March 1, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • tallulah13

      Yes, you have the choice to believe in a mythology for which there has NEVER been any factual evidence, or you can take responsibility for your own existence. I realize that some people are scared to realize that there is no supernatural parental figure watching their every move, but it's very liberating as well. It helps you appreciate this one life that you get.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Moon

      @Doc I suppose you might choose Gnu Atheism, they are the most abrasive and condescending, even insulting.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • William Demuth

      You are right, I shall dedicate myself to God.

      The only question left is which one.

      Allah bids 72 virgins, what does your Jeebus offer?

      March 1, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  19. al

    You atheists need to get a grip. I will bet just before you drop dead you will say something to the effect of "God Help Me" Since you don't believe in anything why are you so upset that we Christians believe. Don't believe who gives a rats ass anyway. Build your own schools, build your own communities and get the hell out of ours.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • hippypoet

      common sayings are called common because a while ago nearly everyone said them as truth – so when i get hurt and say oh my god, i am not calling any personal god to my aid nor am i claiming belief in your god...its just a saying now – bravo for being dumb.

      when something bad happens i say oh jesus christ...never once has anyone by name come to help me...that should be a clue to the non existence of these things you so strongely believe and adhere to! conformer!

      March 1, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      I don't know any atheist that would do that on their death bed. We care about all this because we already built our own schools and communities, then religion crept in and began ruining it all.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "There are no atheists in foxholes" – what a contemptible lie!
      Just because my wife calls out "Oh God!" in bed doesn't mean that she's praying.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • BRC

      Becasue those schools and communities are not just yours. I don't think you got the point of the billboards; their intent was to tell the people who don't believe or have the same religious convictions as the communities they are completely surrounded by that they can have their own thoughts, their own beliefs, and their own lives. If you believe, you're welcome to ignore the billboard, it wasn't for you.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • IslandAtheist

      So your belief is fear based... got it.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • UncleBenny

      Want to know who dying soldiers cry out to? It's not God or Jesus – it's Mother.

      And in my work in seniors' homes, where people die all the time, I've encountered a great many religious believers who are terrified of the hellfire and damnation they have been told about, afraid that their faith won't measure up. So much for providing comfort.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Primewonk

      Doc Vestibule wrote, " Just because my wife calls out "Oh God!" in bed doesn't mean that she's praying."

      I believe that it was the virgin Mary who first cried out Oh God, in bed.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  20. I'm The Best!

    This is great. We atheists need to do more things like this. Do the same things the stupid theists do except with an atheist twist. Now we just need our own version of the ten commandments that we can try and hang in courtrooms all over the country. When theists get angry about it we can just point to where their commandments are hanging.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Þorsteinn Halldórsson

      Amen brother I´m with you

      March 1, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      Atheists only have one commandment, and it's pretty simple.

      Don't be a dick.

      I mean really, theists needed God to tell them that murder is wrong? They couldn't figure that one out for themselves?


      Also, r@pe isn't mentioned in the 10 commandments. Have at it, theists, your God's totally cool with it.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • A

      warmes, you clearly have little understanding about what you talk about. Firstly, the 10 commandments only apply to religions that use the Old Testament of the Bible as a religious text. The main tenant of Wicca is along the lines of "Harm nothing, do as you will," which is essentially the same as what you're saying for atheists.

      Second, in regard to Christianity specifically, loving your neighbor means not "r@pe"-ing them. Pretty simple.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Strat4jazz

      @ I'm the Best, first of all what is it exactly you're the 'Best" at ? Your perspective is condescending, rude and critical of anyone who believes different from you. Personally, I couldn't care less what you believe or don't believe in, but it's been my experience in over 50 years of life that most all atheists can't worship anyone else because you are your own god. Your ego is way out of line, I guess when brains were handed out by the non-exsistant creator you and your non-believing buddies somehow got the best, & most powerful gray matter. What a pile of manure, but our country was built to accept all no matter how foolish or egotistical and you sir (or madame) fit both catagories.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Primewonk

      "A" wrote, " Firstly, the 10 commandments only apply to religions that use the Old Testament of the Bible as a religious text. "

      So why did the Geogia legislature vote unanimously to require posting the 10 commansments in every school in the state? I didn't know that all the legislators in Georgia were orthodox Jews??

      March 1, 2012 at 11:51 am |
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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.