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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.”

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. lvdr

    It serves no purpose to demean things in which others find solace. These billboards and the Xmas one are condescending therefore insulting, not thought-provoking. You will catch more flies with honey than vinegar, AmericanAtheists!

    March 1, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • DerpaDerpaDerp

      Someone gets it.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • MistahBurns

      Has anyone ever actually proved you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. I mean we are talking about insects that eat poop. Pretty sure they are not picky.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • YeahOk

      So you need us to sugarcoat it? Sorry it disappoints you, but without proof, what you believe is a myth, a fairly tale, a falsehood.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • jimtanker

      I think that they did that on an episode of Mythbusters.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Stephanie

      The problem is that religions compel people to behave and act a certain way, often to the detriment of the ones who do not believe. That is why so many atheists had enough and decide to rebel. If faith was a personal thing, nobody would care, but it isn't....

      March 1, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Roosevelts

      I don't believe the intent was to be insulting or condescending. I think they're directed at people that are in the same place I was years ago. Surrounded by family, friends, and co-workers who openly professesd their religion. I read them as merely saying, it's okay. Maybe they should have left the word 'Myth' out of the message. You can always get your message across without being a jerk....if you want to.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  2. HeroicSlug

    Anyone who thinks Atheism is a religion: I've got an airtight argument for you.

    We'll try some simple subject replacement.

    "Not believing in god is still a belief."

    "Not dancing the Waltz is still a dance."

    Not. It isn't. We aren't believing in any gods.

    You're welcome to disagree, but doing so will only prove you lack the capacity to reason.

    We aren't Waltzing of Foxtrotting.

    We're sitting in the corner watching you make fools of yourselves, and hoping your kids are smart enought to no follow in your footsteps, so our kids don't have to deal with so much crazy.

    March 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Katie K

      Well stated.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Peter

      That logic is irrelevant.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • HeroicSlug

      "That logic is irrelevant."

      A better summary of the creationist viewpoint, I have never witnessed.

      I genuinely thank you.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Roosevelts

      @Katie K .... it's not well-stated, it's antagonistic. It's comments like these that continue to make things difficult for those of us that don't believe in God. Hateful displays only perpetuate their discomfort with us. I disagree with religious belief systems, but I don't make fun of them. Some very intelligent people in our world fully believe in God.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Peter

      Basing your argument on a logical proof alone dispels your point. Essentially, the question of religious validity has now turned into a clash in scientific theory. Theorems can change, and can have oppositional theorems whilst they exist. Followers of those would be regarded as someone who believes in them, and therefore makes theorems a belief. IF atheism isn't a belief, like you say, then it must be a scientific fact(law) such as Newtons laws of motion, planetary motions, and meteorology.

      Logical proofs are closed, self-contained systems of propositions, whereas science is empirical and deals with nature as it exists. The primary criterion and standard of evaluation of scientific theory is evidence, not proof. All else equal, scientists prefer theories for which there is more and better evidence to theories for which there is less and worse evidence. Proofs are not the currency of science.

      You want to say atheism isn't a belief? Propose a scientific law with indisputable evidence it doesn't. Til then, let the smart guys figure out the universe and accept your belief as one that isn't airtight.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  3. Hemp Is a Native Plant

    Why don't football players blame God when they lose?

    March 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Peter F

      They do. Stevie Johnson, 2010.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  4. Benjamin

    Aquinas stated years ago: "From nothing, nothing exists. Given that everything that does exist, at one time didn't exist and received its being from something else, there has to be something that has always existed. We call this eternal being God."

    March 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Atheist #1

      I see your very heavy in your Christian Philosophy Course.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • jimtanker

      You're talking about a priest from the middle age sthat didnt know anything about modern cosmology. Of course he would say some ignorant stuff like that.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Calling it God is arbitrary. He makes no logical statement as to why we call it God. Let's rewrite it as alocig statement. Something has always existed, therefore that something is God. There is no middle step to state why it has to be God.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Benjamin

      Atheist #1: Right reason forces one to conclude that God exists. Now accepting Jesus as the Son of God is an act of faith - accepting as true Jesus' teachings. Yet, knowing that God exists can be known by reason alone.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • George

      So then what is god made of? Your own logic says you can't get something from nothing.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Benjamin

      jimtanker: Aquinas didn't ground his reason in the scientific knowledge of his time. He grounded it in sound reasoning. Aristotle thought it out 2000 years before Aquinas. It's also why 98% of people admit the existence of God.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Benjamin

      George: You didn't grasp the logic. There has to be something uncreated for everything else to exist. God is eternal and uncreated.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • JohnR

      Even if you buy this wifty argument, you can CALL this ostensibly eternal being Mr Ed, but that doesn't mean there ever was a talking horse by that or any other name. It's a LOOOOONG way from arcane arguments about the supposed necessity of some sort of uncaused caused to the anthropomorphisized monstrosties called Yahweh or Allah.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • sam stone

      Benjamin: Does the idea of a creator imply a being that judges "sin"?

      March 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Aquinas also fails to prove that what exists now, at one point did not exist.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Benjamin

      I agree it is a long process to go from "eternal being we call God" to the one who judges good and evil. All I'm stating is reason alone forces one to admit the existence of an eternal being responsible for the cause of everything else that exists; meaning this being started it all.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Benjamin

      Aquinas did prove it and scientists of today prove it too. Nothing in creation has always existed. This is a scientific fact and why they propose the theory of the "Big Bang" = the beginning of creation billions of years ago.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      The big bang is only the beginning of the 3 dimensional space we observe today. The universe as a whole consists of much more.

      March 1, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  5. Lori

    Now the atheists are trying to convert people... don't they hate it when people of faith do that very thing?

    March 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Rogers

      Converting who? The billboards are meant for other atheists.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • YeahOk

      It's not about conversion. No longer believing in Santa Claus is not a conversion, it's a letting go of a fairy tale.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Atheists dont convert anyone. They just have to show you how silly that your belief system is.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  6. B. Angel

    I am a Christian. I have plenty of facts in History and Extra biblical texts that support my belief in God and Jesus. Tell me, if you dont believe that there is a Creator..... How did this universe begin? If you say the big bang theory, where did the big bang come from? Something had to start it.... I have facts proven in history to support my belief. Do you? As complex as the world and the universe is, you really think that it just fell into place that way after some sort of explosion? Read Mark Cahill's book One Heartbeat Away.... Or get a study bible and read all the extra biblical facts that support what the bible says.... dont go to Hell because you took the easy road out. No one is perfect, God doesn't expect you to be, he just wants you to acknowledge him and know him.

    March 1, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • JohnR

      Where did the creator come from? Who created the creator? If the creator just "always was", then the purely physical mechanisms for generating universes can just always have been.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • LMAO!

      "I have plenty of facts in History and Extra biblical texts that support my belief in God and Jesus."

      But there is NO evidence of your god. LOL!

      March 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • really

      Where did god come from? And Biblical....facts? Funny.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      The big bang possibly came from two higher dimensional branes that bumped each other.
      Now, where did your god come from?

      March 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • jimtanker

      No, you dont have any contemporary extra biblical texts to support your claim. NONE. Even the gosphels were anonymously written by many authors at least 40 years after your jebus supposedly died.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Joe shabadoo

      you have "facts in biblical texts"............did i read that right?

      March 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • MistahBurns

      funny considering many "facts" in the bible have been proven wrong. No mass exodus of jews from egypt, no flood, no adam and eve, the list goes on and on. You sir have no facts outside of a book written by man thousands fo years ago

      March 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • B. Angel

      there is evidence of the Creator in everything around us. You need facts from the bible... try Sodom and Gomorra, kinda the direction our country is headed in... These ancient cities have been excavated and scientists have found physical evidence of the cities being burned by fire, not just any fire either, the fire started on the roof tops and burned faster than any fire on earth. I can't possibly list all the stories out of the bible that are supported with facts that were discovered by scientist. I can only hope that each person will read this, really think about it, and do their own REAL research on these issues.
      as for the Creator always being.... he has and will always be. Scientists said for a long time that the universe "always was" because they couldn't explain how it started, now with their big bang theory, they have an explanation to go with, but they themselves say they still cant explain how it began.... God explains it, people just choose not to believe him.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • clearfog

      Merely because the origin of something is unknown or uncertain does not lead to the conclusion that there is no explanation. When the Bible was written, people did not know the origin of disease. This did not mean that viruses and bacteria did not exist, it merely meant that the then current level of scientific understanding was not sufficient to know about their existence. Having said that, one explanation is that the big bang came from nothingness because nothingness is unstable. Another is known as M-Theory where that are multiple universes, perhaps an infinite number. This question may never be answered or it may be answered tomorrow. Scientists accept uncertainty, religious people do not.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Fernando

      and here we go again. if, by your argument, somebody/something had to create the universe, then who created god? and your response is "god existed, nobody created him", which contradicts your own argument, etc... this is indeed a very complex simple issue.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Filling in the gaps you do not understand by simply answering "God" is not proof of God, its proof of your simplistic ability to seek answers.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • SoCalDave

      The big bang was caused by colliding branes in bulk space. Cosmology is a fascinating area of science.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Mike D

      Angel, try reading a book sometime. Preferably not a pop-up.

      People used to wonder what was over the edge of the horizon...probably the afterlife! No, just turns out the Earth is round.

      People used to think the Earth was the center of the universe, ensconced in spheres of "quintessence," and outside of these was Heaven. Nope, wrong on all counts.

      Going to the boundaries of scientific knowledge and going, "There's no answer to this question!" is not proof of god, and is certainly not proof of your particular god. It's a fallacy called an argument from ignorance.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Eric G

      @B. Angel: You may be right, but we will need to test your hypothesis to be sure.

      Please provide a verifiable example of a universe that was not created by your god for comparison to the one that you claim was created by your god.

      Also, we will need you to provide verifiable evidence that your god exists before you can attribute action, desires and abilities to it.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • clearfog

      Sodom and Gomorrah? Didn't your merciful and loving God turn a woman into a pillar of salt for being curious?

      March 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Personally I could see the big bang being the inside of a black hole. Since the time dialation at the event horizon is infinite, everything that ever has and ever will enter the black whole would do so at the same "time". If the black hole "tunneled somewhere else and caused an expansion of new space and time, all of that matter would exit the other side all at once.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Yes, after Lot (who jesus called a "most righteous man") tried to give his virgln daughters to an unruley mob to r@pe.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • HeroicSlug

      The Big Bang (probably) came from two eleven-dimensional "M-curtains" touching for a brief instant.

      At the point of contact, incredible amounts of energy were generated, igniting the Big Bang.

      Keep the questions coming! If you learn enough, maybe you'll break free of the yoke.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Katie K

      B. Angel – you write

      "there is evidence of the Creator in everything around us. You need facts from the bible... try Sodom and Gomorra... These ancient cities have been excavated and scientists have found physical evidence of the cities being burned by fire, not just any fire either, the fire started on the roof tops and burned faster than any fire on earth."

      I saw something on the History Channel (I think) recently that presented scientific evidence that this event potentially coincided with a big meteor shower (or something similar- I admit my memory of this show is not as detailed as I would like, but is essentially accurate). That's why the fires "started on the rooftops". And, just for the sake of discussion, how do you know that the fires "burned faster than any fire on earth."?

      March 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  7. DerpaDerpaDerp

    How do you know you have an atheist at a party?
    He'll tell you.
    (Ba dum dum tschhh)

    March 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Katie K

      How do you know you have a xtian at a party? He'll tell you and then he'll want you to pray with him and thank Jesus for the food and the good people at the party.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Not really, its not usually a topic I chose to discuss with people, except in this forum.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • HeroicSlug

      Ugh my uncle does the hold hands and pray thing before every loving meal.

      Yes, even at restaurants.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • jeffery

      LOL , that was a good one..and very true.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  8. JOE

    As an atheist, I can say the one thing I know for sure is I don't have to worry or get involved in any of this crap and silly arguments. Being an Atheist to me is being above all this garbage.

    March 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Butters

      Good point.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Luz

      Then why are you making any comments to begin with?

      March 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • NUMBNUT

      To me, it is true freedom.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  9. John Gabriel

    Only 3 – 4% ?! I was right about this stupid country of Dimwit States.

    96%-97% of the population are pure idiots! Bye, bye, USA...

    Religion did not make you great, science and technology did!

    March 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • GodPot

      You mean it wasn't God who carried us to the moon? Wasn't it some God named Apollo?...

      March 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Luz

      For your information, believing in science does not exclude believing in God. The Big Bang Theory was thought out by a priest, did you know that? If you didn't, well now you know. If you did, then this clearly shows that what you've written is pure garbage.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • really

      Luz, it was someone connected with a church that coined the name 'big bang', he most certainly did not come up with the theory.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  10. Geoff

    Its very simple, Time itself started with the so called big bang, Time did not exist before, So if time did not exist then there was no time for a god to exist in, NO GOD !!!

    March 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • STLBroker

      Except God transcends the MEST universe. That is matter, energy, space and time.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      AMERICA PLEASE TEACH CHILDREN RELIGION. The Abrahamic God is an immaterial eternal being. No time, No matter, No space. He can exist independent of the rules of physics. Why do u think they have such a large following.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • LMAO!

      "AMERICA PLEASE TEACH CHILDREN RELIGION. The Abrahamic God is an immaterial eternal being. No time, No matter, No space. He can exist independent of the rules of physics. Why do u think they have such a large following."

      You have absolutely no proof this statement, you poor delusional person.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Eric G

      @STLBroker: Sorry, but your post is not logical. You are inserting an unknown variable (god) into your statement. You must first be able to provide verifiable evidence of your Gods existence before you can make claims of ability or state of being. You will also need to demonstrate a state beyond your MEST reference for comparison.

      Claims made without evidencial support must be dismissed as irrelevant.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • JohnR

      Judaism is small because they are not an imperial religion. Islam and Christianity are and THAT is the main reason they are big. It has nothing to do with this goofy god of yours suspending the laws of physics. What a risible buffoon you are.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Geoff

      Sorry mate still no GOD, The Universe = Zero, Matter is positive energy, Space is negative energey total sum = zero

      March 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  11. OhMyMy

    Atheists lets make peace. You recognize that God created believers and in turn, we will recognize evolution turned monkeys into atheists. So you be on your ground and we on our ground how about that?

    March 1, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • JohnR

      Half a lie is still a lie.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Rogers

      WOW, what a statement!

      March 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Question Everything

      Can you imagine if we had indoctrinating buildings every other block like christianity does?

      March 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  12. STLBroker

    Everyone will live for eternity. It is just a matter of where.

    March 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • JohnR

      Yeah, we've established months ago that you are destined for hell.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • STLBroker

      Possibly but that is not for us to establish. God will decide all of our fates.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Question Everything

      Jealousy... such a petty human emotion.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • JohnR

      It's not for us to "establish" the facts of the matter, either.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • STLBroker

      It's for each of us to establish what we believe, act accordingly and live eternally with the consequences.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  13. Frankly Speaking..

    Mr. Silverman, if you've become an athiest to not worry about god or religion you are a miserable failure. I dont know any fool that spend $15,000 to inform the world "He doesnt give a s***..." What a waste of oxygen

    March 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • momoya

      Strawman fallacy. Try reading the article.

      March 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • JohnR

      Another illiterate believer. I should be used to this by now, but I still find it amazing just how much below normal intelligence most ardent believers constantly prove themselves to be.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Frankly Speaking..

      @ Mr John

      I am 25 yrs old, got a Masters degree in Aerospace, work at GM with 2 patents and 2 technial publications and I am a muslim. Please dont feel miserable about yourself, I am sure you will graduate someday.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • JohnR

      Then read the article, genius.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • tpfd

      I agree with you Frankly Speaking. It's great that silverman has his beliefs, but he's wasting his time. What are his motives? Compassion?... Or is it money. I seriously doubt that he's volunteering as a president.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Frankly Speaking..

      @ Mr John
      Please read tpfd's interpretation..Predisposition is a disease and the cure is knowledge my friend

      March 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • JohnR

      Ok, boy wonder, I'll connect the dots for you: it's explicitly an OUTREACH campaign directed at atheists within those communities, who feel trapped within these arch-traditional communities, to let them know that there is another community more in tune with their beliefs prepared to welcome them.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Frankly Speaking..

      @JohnR

      You reach out to people in NEED, tangible aid like food, clothing, medical etc.. Either you believe in god or you simply dont and if you dont whats the point of getting into the very debate you never wanted to be a part of.. Its like you wanna play in the rain without getting wet..MAKES NO SENSE!

      March 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  14. Jon

    I must admit, the amount of atheists on this forum really do give me some hope that people are starting to get the hang of things in the world.

    March 1, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • momoya

      good observation.

      March 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Mick

      Hope for what? In the atheistic world, there's no meaning to anything and no hope for anything. We are all here by chance live a very short time then we die. There's no point to it. What do you have hope for? That you die a miniscule amount later than sooner? Who cares? In a world without God, there's no hope...only death.

      March 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Butters

      @ Mick
      Thats why we say live life while you can!

      March 1, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      It is a sad thing being a miNority religion among a minority religion among a minority religion. See us for Evangelism lessons.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Phil

      @ Mick

      So what? I die later and cease to exist. There is nothing waiting for me on the other side. I'm happy with that.

      A world without god? That'd be awesome. We can finally evolve without people telling scientists to "stop playing god" and get some real work done.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • jimtanker

      OH boo hoo MIck. We actually do value your life. You believe that you get your reward in the end if you were a good boy. YOu are the one who should go out and kiII yourself. That way you can get to the next life faster.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Mick

      Butters: that is meaningless. In a world without God, our lives are as meaningless as a housefly. There's no point, no hope, no anything. We'll live an extremely short life. Then our pointless bodies will rot on the earth til it is incinerated by the sun. "Living life to fullest" is a fool's errand in the atheist world. You might as well be dead now.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Mike

      You really have a pessimistic view of atheism. How about the furtherance of the human species? Seems like a pretty good reason to live to me. The joys of life, love, marriage, seeing generations of family around you? Mike you really believe that an atheist has nothing to live for? Seems more like atheists have more to live for than you do.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      supposed to be @Mick

      March 1, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Mick

      Phil: "real work"?? what real work? "real work" is no more worthwhile than some crackhead that kills himself. We all end up in the same place anyway. Without God, your life is pointless? what do you care what anyone does? there's reason for anything.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Mick

      Hawaii: I'm describing the atheistic world exactly as it is: without any meaning or reason. "Joy"? who cares about that. it's just some random neurons in your brain that will stop working very, very soon anyway. Who cares if you see your family? After you're dead you think you'll be able to look back on that fondly?

      March 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Toby

      "We all end up in the same place anyway. Without God, your life is pointless? "

      Your life isn't pointless if you win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; you earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; you appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;you leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • LOL

      ""Joy"? who cares about that. it's just some random neurons in your brain that will stop working very, very soon anyway. "

      Dude being spiritual is also all in your brain too, duh! There is no god it's all in your head.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Mick

      I don't know what happens after death, and I'm not worried about it at all. If there is nothing then I'm not gonna care. I may not be able to look fondly back upon my family when I die, but they will be able to look back fondly on me. I can contribute to the world and that's exactly what I plan on doing. If I live on in only the memories of loved ones, and if I can contirbute even one small thing to humanity, then I consider that a good life and a resounding success. What do you live for Mick? You live in the hopes that if your good and obey all the rules then theres some big reward later. Tell you what if there is an afterlife, and you get in while being a jerk that believes, and I'm sent to hell for not believing even while being as good a person as I can be, then you can keep that heaven. Not a place I want to be if to get in you need to kow tow to a "god" who acts like a spolied 5 year old with separation anxiety.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Mick

      Toby: that's meaningless. There's no right or wrong without God. It's all relative. I do whatever I want to do, you do whatever you want to do. Neither is right or wrong. Helping a child is no more important than shooting up heroin. Seeing beauty in the world? The only thing that we know for sure is death.

      Hawaii: Without a moral foundation from God, your life is inescapably pointless. You helping others is no better or worse than a serial rapist. There is no right or wrong only being (very shortly) than death.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Mick

      The argument that religion has a monopoly on morality is ridiculous. god is not needed to be moral. Why is it that me giving to charity as an atheist is the same as a serial rapist? Your logic gets more faulty with each post. I can tell that it will be useless to discuss this any further. Have fun with your pessimistic view on life.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Katie K

      @Mick

      Your reply to Butters states "... In a world without God, our lives are as meaningless as a housefly. There's no point, no hope, no anything. We'll live an extremely short life. Then our pointless bodies will rot on the earth til it is incinerated by the sun. "Living life to fullest" is a fool's errand in the atheist world. You might as well be dead now."

      I'm an atheist and my life is FULL of hope and meaning! Why do you assume otherwise? Just because I don't believe in "god" doesn't mean I am without morals or compassion ie I don't steal, I don't kill people, I don't cheat, I am kind to my fellow earthlings. And , no, I'm not perfect. I make mistakes and have regrets about my behavior from time to time. But I don't need a sky god to forgive my "sins" – I learn and try not to do it again.

      Our "pointless bodies" rotting in the earth actually create new life, although it takes a bit longer these days with all the chemicals they pump in so that we can go to a "viewing" and look at a creepy dead body before it's buried.

      Lastly "living life to the fullest" is a fool's errand? That doesn't mean doing what you want, when you want, and everything and everyone else be damned. It just means living a happy life to the best of your own ability and not looking for some sky god to validate your existence.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  15. What Is Truth

    FYI – those billboards are every bit as religious as any faith.

    March 1, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Butters

      How so?

      March 1, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • momoya

      Yet you fail to explain how.

      March 1, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • LMAO!

      Poor delusional christian. LOL!

      March 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Joe shabadoo

      i am not a religious man, and it bugs the bejeezus out of me when bible thumpers push their beliefs on me, and try to stick their nose where it doesnt belong (aka the STATE)......but you make a very good point.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Get it

      I see what they mean, it's simple. The non-belivers are banded together in their beliefs just the same as "religious" people are. All of the hateful statements against the population that does believe are just as passionate as the "religious" people's statements. It's all the same regardless of whether you think there is a higher power or not; you are angry that one side wants you to believe otherwise. Atheisim is just as much as a beliefe system as any other. Just as much as a power struggling cult. Sorry.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  16. the truth

    Don't worry, atheists will blame religion for causing evil. When the next atheist kills/genocide a group of people, religion will still be blamed.

    atheism is nothing more than the religion of blaming others and not taking responsibility. i.e. being a liberal

    March 1, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Stephanie

      Dogma is the real problem. But most religions certainly promote dogma. Dogma is not uniquely religious though.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Rogers

      At least atheist never protected and hid pedophiles and nazi war criminals.....

      March 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Your post shows your political bias, and associating atheism with liberalism is just plain dumb. How about I say, all racist, intolerant, fundamental white a**holes are social opressors of freedom. i.e. republicans. Go troll somewhere else "the truth". Maybe fox news? They'd agree with you there.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Re: taking responsibility, want to talk about the 700,000+ believers in the USA that get an abortion each year? How can believers be against abortion and also be the ones that get 70+% each year? Seems like your (non-existent) god is pretty weak, and/or believer cult members are very hypocritical.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Roosevelts

      Sorry to shoot holes in your theory, but some of us atheists are conseratives.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Alex Gessong

      @"the truth": Seriously, there's an important difference between what you *believe* and what is true. Ruth is independent of subjective belief. You're so full of hate, yet you probably believe you're a christian. Christ 's message is LIBERAL. Conservatism is anti-Christ. Christ said treat others as you would like to be treated. Christ said judge not, lest you be judged. Christ said do good to those who persecute you. Christ said if someone asks you for something, give him more than he asked for. Conservatives don't believe in anything that Christ said. Christ didn't shun "sinners". He went among them and preached a better way. The atheists who post here sound more in line with what Christ taught than you do.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • HeroicSlug

      I'm an Atheist Libertarian. Pretty much everyone hates me. Lol.

      I think being gay is disgusting.

      I also voted for gay marriage (in California) because people should be free to do as they want.

      I think that religion is an insult to human dignity, and should be despised.

      I don't like gays. I'd like to see them not become a social norm
      I don't like religion. I'd like to see it not remain a social norm.

      You jesus/gays can do your thing(s) if you want, just keep it to yourselves.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  17. Andy H

    The signs dont concern believers, they are meant for other atheists.

    March 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  18. Mike

    I'd like to credit these atheists as intelligent, rational beings. But do they really think buying a bill board is going to convince any body to convince a person of religion that their entire belief system is wrong? They're just as foolhardy as any religious fanatic they rage war on. Use the money on something valuable.

    March 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • jimtanker

      NO more than a xtian billboard telling me to REPENT!!

      March 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Mike

      It's not about conversion, it's about outreach. There are many atheists who feel they cannot be who they are due to the pressure from family or community to conform religiously.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Roosevelts

      @HawaiiGuest ... it can be dangerous to acknowledge you're an atheist. Many believers in God immediately equate you with evil. I'm not evil, I just don't happen to believe in a supreme being. However, it can be a bit entertaining to watch the display of discomfort in some when you tell them you don't believe. That said, I have no disrespect for those that do believe. I just hope they're not playing along due to peer or family pressure. I did that for many years.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      That look of supreme discomfort is truly hilarious to see.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  19. Thinker

    Dear Aethists,

    Save the money from billboard advertising and follow red cross and other religious charities to the developing countries. While they convert people you can reconvert them back =)

    Good luck.

    March 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I strongly encourage all to donate via The Richard Dawkins Foundatin – richarddawkins.net. 100% of all donations go to the American Red Cross, Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders and other charities, with no gods attached!

      March 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • JohnR

      Ok, stop printing and distributing bibles and spend the money on food for starving people. Deal?

      March 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • STLBroker

      John R- if we did that there would be even more poor and starving people. Believers already care for a huge number of the poor and starving. Less believers equals more poor and starving. So we need to keep printing those bibles. Very bad idea on your part but not surprising in that you are incredibly ignorant.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  20. Rogers

    Ah, religious people...always so accepting and tolerant! It is ok to have signs, billboards, statues and CHURCHES EVERY corner, but when a couple of atheists dare to voice their opinion everyone screams bloody murder! I am an atheist I cannot care less about these billboards but if people are offended by these they should start thinking that maybe theirs are offending others??? To stop all this childish war maybe we should get rid of all the religious and atheist things to avoid offending either party!! Until then if atheists want to put up a billboard which was paid with their OWN money to voice their opinion just be a good and respecting christian you claim to be and ZIP IT! Another thing, religion should have no business in society and especially in the government! For crying out loud the economy is in the gatter, people are starving and loosing their houses and the main concern of the conservative parties right now are banning contraceptive, making abortion illegal and ban gay marriages? Seriously? Yeah, there is nothing better right now to help boost the economy like having more unwanted babies so that they can live with their jobless but straight parents in their cars... Yeah, then atheists and liberals are the ones who have their priorities messed up!

    March 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • the truth

      indeed, those religious people are evil. We should all be communist china

      March 1, 2012 at 3:57 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.