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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. Kingofthenet

    Religion is the ONLY socially acceptable form of magic you can REALLY believe in.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • ObamaJoe

      BTW,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,what is religion ?????????????????

      March 1, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Victoria

      RELIGION is a practice of something, not necessarily something spiritual; for example, one can brush their teeth in a religious way by brushing them before school and after dinner everyday.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  2. Michael

    Oh, let's all just wear the same clothes, eat the same food, drive the same cars, think the same thoughts and life will be wonderful. Why "we" want "them" to be just like us is perplexing to me and boring. If you want to be like me, well thanks for the compliment. But when you do all you can to ensure I am like you, I find it problematic.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • ObamaJoe

      we may enjoy that,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, period,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      March 1, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  3. Elliot

    Maybe people will stop putting billboards up like this when people realize athiest and agnostics are normal good people. It's a shame that people feel belittled by the religious and feel that they will be looked down upon if they express their true beliefs. If athiest felt that they would be accepted by their families, co-workers and friends no matter what their beliefs you would see a lot more athiest and agnostics come foward. I suspect that is the problem, the religious want to make sure these people stay in the closets and keep their mouths shut....they are afraid.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Bill

      I think that is ridiculous. Most people don't care whether a person is religious or not (as long as they don't try to push it off on others). I'm just as opposed to some Atheist flipping their views my way as some religious nut.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  4. mike from iowa

    We are a people of different faiths, but we are one. Which faith conquers the other is not the question; rather, the question is whether Christianity stands or falls.... We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity... in fact our movement is Christian. We are filled with a desire for Catholics and Protestants to discover one another in the deep distress of our own people.

    -Adolf Hitler, in a speech in Passau, 27 October 1928

    March 1, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • ken

      Both Stalin and Pol Pot murdered millions...and god was never much in conversation...so mad needs not religion to excuse barbarity..yet the movement to eliminate slavery was done in the name of religion. So, anybody can pick instances either way.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Brett not from Iowa

      Mike from iowa.

      Mao ZeDong is widely attributed to be an athiest. He is also attributed to have killed around 60 million times more people than Hitler. Therefore, if Mao = Atheism then Atheism = Mao...right?

      I think you would agree that this is a false statement.

      It is a low level, unintelligent argument to say: "This evil person belonged to Group A, therefore everyone in Group A is just like this Evil Person."

      No hard feelings, I would write the same thing if you would have said the same type of argument against a Muslim, Jew, Atheist, etc. I guess I'm just not a fan of bad logic.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Senor Coggs

      Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery.... .... When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. Let's be the only people who are immunised against the disease.

      12/14/41 – Adolph Hitler

      March 1, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Senor Coggs

      "Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure." Hitler -10/14/41

      I can play this all day iowegian

      March 1, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  5. Carl

    I'm an atheist so I agree with the general sentiment of the billboards. However, since I am an atheist I don't concern myself with religion all that much so I would never waste my time and money making a billboard like that!

    March 1, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  6. Leucadia Bob

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byJG3rlsWQk&w=640&h=360]

    March 1, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  7. archer

    free thinking is definitely on the rise. If you believe in evolution, you will agree that unstable, imperfect, bogus ideologies(i.e.religions)cannot last... it might take time; but at the end, atheism will prevail!

    March 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Ron

      Actually, if you believe in evolution, you know that instability is what drives it. If everything is stable, there is no change. Instability is what creates the drive to adapt and make the change in the first place.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  8. ObamaJoe

    A New Beginning

    It was not long after arriving in Saudi Arabia that I saw an immediate difference in the lifestyle of the Muslim people. They were different from the followers of Elijah Muhammad and Minister Louis Farrakhan in that they were of all nationalities, colours and languages. I immediately expressed a desire to learn more about this peculiar brand of religion. I was amazed with the life of Prophet Muhammad and wanted to know more. I requested books from one of the brothers who was active in calling people to Islam. I was supplied with all of the books that I could possibly want. I read each and every one. I was then given the Holy Qur'an and read it completely several times within four months. I asked question after question and received satisfactory answers. What appealed to me was that the brothers were not keen on impressing me with their knowledge. If a brother did not know how to answer a question, he would tell me that he simply did not know and would have to check with someone who did. The next day he would always bring the answer. I noticed how humility played such a great role in the lives of these mysterious people of the Middle East.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • ObamaJoe

      I was amazed to see the women covering themselves from face to foot. I did not see any religious hierarchy. No one was competing for any religious position. All of this was wonderful, but how could I entertain the thought of abandoning a teaching that had followed me since childhood? What about the Bible? I knew that there is some truth in it even though it had been changed and revised countless numbers of times. I was then given a video cassette of a debate between Shaykh Ahmed Deedat and Reverend Jimmy Swaggart. After seeing the debate I immediately became a Muslim. (To view this debate click here – requires RealPlayer)

      March 1, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Kukulkan

      @ObamaJoe, and then I accidentally burned my copy of the Quran and they killed me. The end.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • momoya

      Jimmy Swaggart couldn't win a debate if you gave him perfect arguments typed up in 50pt bold font.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • ObamaJoe

      no,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,they burn Korean too,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,it's not just burning,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,it's why you burn it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,just like you give somebody a finger,,,,,it's not just A finger,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      March 1, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Jayagor

      Oh brother what a clever way to sneak in your tableeghi views. Did your brothers tell you that five versions of Quran existed at the time of Muhammad's death and that four versions were destroyed, Also did your brothers also tell you that first qibla was Kaba then Dome of the Rock and then again Kaaba- surely God changed his mind quite frequently. ANd of course very few of the brothers will tell you about where the word Satanic Verses comes from.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Kukulkan

      @ObamaJoe,

      Oh I see! So if their INTENT was disrespect to your beloved pedophile Mohammed, then it's ok to kill them for burning a book. That makes so much more sense, thanks for clearing it up.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  9. Latenite

    When an atheist can explain how the universe came into being from absolutely nothing (no vacuum, no electromagnetic forces, no anything), or how the first life form came together and started functioning based on random chemical reactions, I'll start to take them seriously. Until then, they might as well believe it was leprechauns or the tooth fairy.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Kingofthenet

      Only if you tell me how God did the same?

      March 1, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Adam

      You betray the fact that your Faith is a placeholder for knowledge. You are intellectually bankrupt. Have the courage to admit your ignorance, and take your decrepit sophistry elsewhere.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Kukulkan

      Oh I see, so you use science when it fits your narrative and discard the unpleasant parts. Thanks for being so transparent, fool.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • momoya

      Why does an atheist need to prove those things? You're like a car salesman who tells me I must explain how I'm going to get around without his "great deal" of a used car.

      Nobody knows the answers to those questions. A lot of people claim to know, but nobody does. Big magic sky daddy did it with a few words, dust, and a rib is a stupid answer.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Andrew

      So... atheism is only tenable if your strawman of the big bang is explained?

      No one ever claims the universe 'came into being from absolutely nothing'. Physics currently does not describe the universe prior to 1 planck time, that means even things as basic as causality cannot be necessarily assumed during the original planck time of the universe. Without a model of quantum gravity, it is IMPOSSIBLE to describe the initial state of the universe, or even be sure if it really was a singularity, let alone 'coming into existence from nothingness' (not that we even have an example of 'nothingness' to compare to.

      The answer "we don't currently know" is a LOT more honest than "god did it". It could be that some god sparked the universe, it could also be that the universe always existed in some cyclic form, or is the result of a massive quantum flucuation in a high entropy multiverse, we really don't know, nor do we have the data to be able to put forth any evidence for any hypothesis.

      Hence putting forth any answer without evidence, including 'god', rather than saying "we don't know" is pretty intellectually dishonest. If you require atheists to explain something physics directly tells you we can't talk about right now, your burden of proof for atheism is oddly far more extreme than your burden of proof for 'god'.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Latenite

      Many atheists are big at shooting their mouths off, but cannot provide any substantial evidence for what they believe. The Big Bang violates the law of conservation of mass and energy. Simple molecules coming together to form complex life violates the second law of thermodynamics/entropy. The Bible describes a God capable of making those things happen before those physical laws were even discovered. Nope, it's not proof, but it's a better explanation for violations of physical laws than I've heard from any atheist. If you claim there's no God, put your money where your mouth is. On these issues, they've got zip. Zilch. Nada. Leprechauns and fairies.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Adam

      The Bible also calls bats birds. What's your point?

      March 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Latenite

      @Andrew – there's a lot of speculation about what happened at Planck time. Problem is there's no evidence for anything to have existed before the Big Bang, nor will there every likely be. Atheists accuse Christians of believing in a "God of the gaps", simply calling upon God for things we don't know about. I see atheists doing exactly the same thing, saying "we just don't know" as a justification for things that contradict physical laws and reason.

      Everything I read says the preponderance of evidence is for a creation point for all of space and time. Atheism has no logical answer for this or for the creation of life, but desparately scratches for one. "I don't know" just doesn't cut it as a justification for those stating confidently that there is no God. I applaud your openmindedness to at least admit the possibility that God did it all.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Latenite

      @Andrew – I forgot to mention that there actually is a lot of evidence (not proof, but reasonable evidence) for God, such as prophecies in the Bible that have come true, the resurrection of Jesus, and the deaths of the Apostles for what they would have known to be a lie if the atheists have it right. There just isn't enough room here to go into it all.

      @Adam – what's yours?

      March 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Victoria

      HAHAHAHA I agree!!!

      March 1, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Victoria

      @Kingofthenet: I'll tell u exactly how he did it, Genesis 1:1-31: He created the world in 6 days, then He created man, and on the 7th, He rested (that's where a week came from)
      @momoya: If Atheists don't need to prove things, why ask Christians to do the same?
      @Adam: where in the world does the Bible say that bats are birds?

      March 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
  10. Adam

    It matters what people believe. If we're walking down the same street, and you have a cold, and I have the belief that anyone who sneezes around me is possessed by Satan and that the only course of action acceptable to God Almighty is that is kill you... that belief matters. It matters to you, and it matters to our society. Beliefs have consequences. Personally, I have seen enough people hit the wall at 400mph to understand that we need to care about what our neighbors believe about the nature of the universe.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Adam

      (responding to Sly, below)

      March 1, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  11. SconnieGuz

    LOL at religion. You religious people are miserable, you know that? My imaginary friend is better than yours so I'm going to kill you now. HAHAHAHAHA. Since you religious retards think you should have so much say in government, start paying your taxes you delusional freaks.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  12. Free Thinker

    It's funny how you religious zealots of all denominations seem to find these billboards "offensive". Anyone with half a brain and a rudimentary understanding of human history knows that organized religion is responsible for more bloodshed and retardation of human progress than anything else. Does it not occur to you zealots that your insistence on clinging to these deeply antiquated and divisive beliefs is also thoroughly offensive to those of us who do not cling to such irrational thoughts?

    Let me help you out. "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich." That's all it is. A complex lie dreamed up by the wealthy a long time ago to control the ignorant masses. It's sole purpose is to keep the poor from storming the castle walls and give them a reason to keep toiling in the fields while their masters grow fat off the fruit of their labors. Mankind should have collectively seen through this whole scam long ago. Those who continue to cling to it in this day and age need to seriously rethink their own capacity for rational thought. IMO, true religious belief equates to a deduction of roughly 40-50 IQ points.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Latenite

      So religion caused more deaths than the purges by atheists like Stalin or Mao? I guess your half a brain wasn't in history class that day.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • SRieber

      I just want to correct one item that you mentioned. you said that religious people have more bloodshed on their hands then anyone in history. The correct answer is that non-religious people have the most I.E. Hitler,Stalin and Mao killed more people then all the religious wars combined.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Bill

      People are free to believe what they want, you choose to believe only what you can prove, others choose to believe more. That does not make them less intelligent. Many scientists throughout history and even today believe things that they cannot prove (the Higgs Boson for example, or string theory for another). Are you going to call them names as well? Some of the greatest minds in the world believe these things do exist, but haven't been able to prove them. Are they fools?

      March 1, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Bill

      People like "Free Thinker" do more harm than good to their cause (I guess you'd call it that). Using names like Zealot, and degrading people for their beliefs only turns more people against you. Tolerance is the word...I completely disagree with Evangelicals as well and would put them in the same class as Free Thinker.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Matt

      Golly, I see all kinds of claims here, but not a sinlge offer of EVIDENCE. If you want to differentiate yourself from the religious fools, learn to post verifiable soruces for your claims. Information shuts people up faster than just about anything. Otherwise, you adopt the same kind of mindset they do when they expect people to just accept their statements as facts, yet they provide no evidence to support them...

      March 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Free Thinker

      Matt, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Can I get back to you with the verifiable footnotes on that posit? Sorry, I thought certain things are just kind of obvious to anyone with the capacity to actually think for themselves. Besides, contrary to Bill's thinking, I don't have a "cause" here, other than ridiculing idiots. There are some strains of stupid that simply can't be cured and I'm not wasting my time trying. Just trying to shame them into shutting up for two seconds the next time they are inclined to start spewing their BS.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  13. Kingofthenet

    If the Christian Jesus has 'historical reality' problems, Jewish Yahweh must be a NIGHTMARE to reconcile with reality.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  14. ObjectiveGuy

    Atheists appear to believe that they have somehow cornered the market on enlightened thinking. Yet, how completely ARROGANT of them to feel that anyone who does not believe as they do is some kind of knuckle-dragging Cretin, since they have all of the "facts" on their side. Atheists, if you are so confident that there is no such thing as God, then why are you so intimidated by Him, to the point that you feel compelled to turn others against Him? If there is no God, why do you spend your time, money, and effort trying to fight Him? Sounds like you're not so sure of yourselves after all, and feel that the more people you can convert to your views, the more secure you'll feel about your questionable choices. You might want to step back and think this one through a little better...

    March 1, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Drew

      I think they are trying to fight a pervasive ignorance which they feel has made the world a worse place. I think dogma, religious or otherwise, is dangerous and frankly stupid, but I don't understand the desire to end religion itself

      March 1, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Free Thinker

      We are not intimidated by "god" or "him" or any other man-made deity that you insist on incorrectly capitalizing. We simply want the human race to move forward and deal with its collective problems as one people with a capacity for rational thought, which of course requires an ability to distinguish between fact and fantasy. Your inability to understand this concept is one of the symptoms of your mental illness.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • atheist

      I have mixed feeling. On the one hand you are right and some atheists definitely try to argue there side to much. On the other hand if there is no gods then you've wasted a lot of time worshiping them.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  15. Hyeju

    I'm a Christian. And I'm not going to shove it in your face, or treat you any different for believing whatever non-Christian belief you have.
    But this is just wrong. I don't shove MY religion in your faces, atheists! So why are you shoving yours in mine?
    This billboard "shenanigans" has officially ruined my day.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Sly

      It is nice that you don't push your religion.

      Of course you know that lots of folks do. Lots of Christian 'in-your-face' billboards all over the place. Bumper Stickers. Republican politicians.

      I'd prefer your world where no one pushes religion, or anti-religion, and everyone acknowledges that religion is an opinion, as well as athiesm ... and we all have opinions.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Kukulkan

      Good, maybe you'll think about it the next time you see a Christian billboard and remember how you felt when we did the same thing. Sick of you arrogant turds.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  16. Victoria

    Question: 1. Why are Christians the single-most persecuted religious group in the world?
    2. Why would thousands upon thousands of people throughout earth's history willingly die slow, horrific, gruesome deaths for "myths"?
    3. If there is no God, how did the universe, which shows definite design and thought, come into being? Oh wait, it was a random explosion that mathematically could never have taken place...
    4. How do atheists explain the obvious benefit, both economically, educationally, socially, and spiritually, that America receives when its people are walking with God, ministering through church and missions, and creating and basing laws and moral conduct on Biblical teachings?

    March 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • an atheist

      What a universe tha is not desinged look like

      March 1, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Kingofthenet

      Well the ONLY people dying in large numbers for their religion today are Muslim, so they MUST be right?

      March 1, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Adam

      1. Mu. Please cite your source. I think a Jewish person would have something to say about that.
      2. Because they gave the myths credence.
      3. Mu. Please read on the Anthropic Principle.
      4. Mu. Please cite your source. Also, please look at Daniel Dennet's book "Breaking the Spell" for more on the issue.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • thereisnogodfools

      1. yeah, jews have nothing on christians
      2. mistakes have never been made in history, lets kill some more, that proves its no myth!
      3. makes more sense that a supreme being was bored on a sunday and "poofed!" everything. just accept that there are some things humans do not understand.
      4. benefit? religion steals money from the poor, causes epic wars, and gives nothing tangible in return. what a waste of energy. do something productive. you can't buy bread on "good feelings" last time i checked

      March 1, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Victoria

      the main people getting publicity for dying are muslims currently, however, in the 10-40 window, Africa, and Asia (not only there but those are the most obvious), thousands of Christians are being burned to death, chopped up as if they were meat, rolled over by steam rollers after their persecuters have hung their families and children, and much worse forms of torture that as an American i can't even begin to relate to, EVERY DAY in the name of Jesus. For info on this, i'd recommend Gospel for Asia's website or as an example, the recent history of Uganda. As for my sources, all of my textbooks from 1st-6th grade and 9th-this yr(11 grade) have only strengthened my observations that America prospers when she is "one nation under God". Also the Bible shows repeatedly that when Israel is following God's instructions, they are extremely blessed, and when they aren't, they were attacked, put into bondage, or other things until they repented. Of course this is only a couple of examples and sources, and i know the only way this can have a true effect on people is if God wants it too, but I know the truth, and I can't just stand by and watch people blaspheme the God who gives them the very energy they require to contest these facts

      March 1, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Victoria

      and to the person who says religion causes wars and steals from the rich, i'd like to say that you're right: RELIGION does those things. True Christianity brings peace, prosperity, and hope to the world. it wasn't religion that brought about the 1st and 2nd Great Awakenings, it was Christianity. Now people have fought wars in the name of Christianity (the Crusades), but they did not have the truth, they were fighting under a highly distorted view of Christianity that also allowed torture for heresy and taught that works will get you into heaven. True Christianity is the belief that "By grace are ye saved through faith, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES, it is the GIFT OF God, not of works lest any man should boast, for we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" -Ephesians 2:8-10

      March 1, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  17. Braden Barty

    Here is my take,
    I can argue for Atheism, as I once was one in my teens. I totally understand the crazy notion of believing in an invisible man in the sky. Then one day I began having dreams with friends and family the moment they died. If I happen to be asleep. The first time was, weird, then the second time was WOW! The third time just happened Oct 2010 when my Uncle died. I had no idea he was even sick. My other uncle called me the next morning telling me of his death. Dreams are not stored in your long term memory area in your brain. And often times they are forgotten through out the day until something triggers the memory to be recollected. When my uncle called me immediately I recalled the dream, it was so vivid, seeing my uncle walking down a hallway, he had lost like 100 pounds. He was meeting and greeting a bunch of people, I wish I could have remembered the faces of the people. I asked my uncle when he passed away, he said around 5 am. I remember waking up shortly before 5 am then going back to sleep. It was during this last sleep cycle that the dream occurred. Right when my uncle called me I told him the story. It all made sense. I feel very lucky to have these "visions". I don't know why some do and sme don't. But you can not remain skeptical that there is absolutely something more going on that we don't understand. There is a higher understanding. If you are an atheist that's ok too. But if you want to know more about beyond this life there are ways to receive confirmation. There is a higher purpose to this life. And it's awesome I even made a movie about it, called Spirit Space. Atheism is ok, just don't rob other people of their chances to make their own discoveries with manipulative suggestions like this. That's not right, it's sad.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • cc

      Well of course god must always be the answer (stupid people's answer) to everything. Maybe you should check the track record of religions before posting.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Victoria

      Sure, check the track records for ALL religions, from Islam to Buddhism to Christianity. I'll bet the only one that has benefited entire NATIONS is the one that says there is only one God who sent his Son who died and rose again so that all mankind may have eternal life IF they choose to accept it

      March 1, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • thereisnogodfools

      victoria is such a kook! lol

      March 1, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Victoria

      And proud to be!

      March 1, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  18. ObamaJoe

    Michael Bachmann is not American Atheists,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    March 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  19. thereisnogodfools

    Good, good. Stir up all the crazies... GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF THE SAND AND STOP BELIEVING IN BEDTIME STORIES FROM THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO. Gotta love the argument; "You can't prove God doesn't exist!" Very rational. Don't forget to be a good boy/girl cause Santa's watching! Oh, check under the bed and in the closet before bedtime too kiddies – that boogeyman is a sneaky one. Disgusts me humans can be so stupid...

    March 1, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • ObamaJoe

      enjoy Kongfu fighting at CNN:)

      March 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • an atheist

      Since there are people that stupid means we still need religion.. just kept behind doors as much as possible

      March 1, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Victoria

      I'm sorry you feel this way. However, i'd like to point out that there has never been proof that those "bedtime stories" as you referred to them are false. On the contrary, every person who has tried to prove that the Bible is false ends up showing just how unbelievably accurate it is, both in scientifically, historically, and spiritually

      March 1, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • thereisnogodfools

      victoria, so you're saying people have tried to scientifically disprove the bible and got spiritually "punked"? makes sense. bet all those dinosaurs running around with the Egyptians were really scary. I mean, the bible is historically supreme, correct?

      March 1, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Victoria

      Where in the Bible does it say something about dinosaurs running around with Egyptians? I don't remember reading that...

      March 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Victoria

      And while the Bible is not a history textbook, persay, every historical detail in it is 100% without a doubt true

      March 1, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  20. Sly

    Who cares?

    Either there is a God or there isn't – I guess we'll all find out when we die.

    Until then, I really don't have time to think about it.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • ObamaJoe

      game over,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,????????????

      March 1, 2012 at 6:12 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.