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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. Sid Airfoil

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

    That's rich. No matter what they claim, religions do NOT bring people together unless they are people of the SAME religion. Religions separate, alienate, persecute, and implicitly reject anyone who rejects their tenets.

    There are only three ways that people with differing beliefs can deal with each other. 1) They can ignore each other, which is increasingly difficult in a shrinking world, and in democracies. 2) They can have a reasoned debate until one or both change their minds and they find agreement. This is not possible when faith is involved. 3) They can fight with each other until one is dead. This is often exactly what happens. See "human history" for uncounted examples.

    If people would just reject faith, then reasoned debate would become the norm instead of the exception.

    Good for the atheists!

    Sid

    March 1, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Bud Fischer

      Thank you Sid. Well said.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  2. Brent Slensker

    "American Atheists have used the word “myth” to describe religion and God.."
    YA THINK!?!?
    Is it the Truth and NOT a series of myths when 10,000 different sects are pointing their fingers at each other shouting "Infidel! you're going to HELL!" and that THEY only have a handle on god? And WHY should I NOT consider them ALL myths??

    March 1, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  3. Yarah

    Ever Athiest who has ever died, is now a true believer in the God of the Bible. Why you ask? Because they now know they made the biggest mistake of their lives. I can hear all of the Atheist when they pass from this life to the next. "He is real after all"

    March 1, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • AGuest9

      How can that be? They are DEAD! Their brains are dead. They cannot think or feel anything. Quit deluding yourself that there is something after life. The ego of some people that think that THEY are better than any other animal on this planet!

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

      Anyone who believes that when they die, they go to a magical realm with God and unicorns needs a CAT scan.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Sybaris

      and your empirical evidence for this is???????

      Right, you have none.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • T-Max73

      How do you actually KNOW this? You're only making a claim which cannot be proved, verified, or replicated. This is why those who do not believe in the supernatural think you are delusional. You may be a perfectly nice person but you are not in touch with reality when you make such statements. Further, how do you know (not only) that there IS a god, but which one is the RIGHT god? Are you telling us that 1.4 billion Muslims are wrong? How do you know that YOU"RE not wrong? What if Christianity and Islam are both false and Hinduism is correct? The most likely scenario is that they are all false.

      "All religions are equal glimpses of the same untruth." ~ Christopher Hitchens

      March 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • T-Max73

      The more likely assumption is that you are terrified of death and separation from your loved ones so you willingly subscribe to ideas that promise that you will survive your physical death and reap a reward. However, saying this or thinking it does not make it true. It is ONLY true if it IS true. So, do you KNOW it to be true or simply wish like hell that it IS true? Your answer to this questions makes all the difference. Peace.

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

      I LOVE My Savior and that is something that no one can take from me. God is real and you shall find out one day. I know some of you on your death beds will have a change of heart. And that you can take that to the bank.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Bud Fischer

      Borrowed answers, Yarah, borrowed answers.
      Life is a kind of test, after all – and you're cheating.
      Love you anyway and hope that you recover.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • AGuest9

      @Yarah, and I can accept that you feel that way, even if I don't agree. I have a problem with the many people pushing that belief system on me. I think a lot of people who are atheist feel the same way, thus the level of push-back we are seeing.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      @Yarah
      the basis of christianity is:
      1. Jesus died on the cross for us so that we may be saved by the grace of god because of original sin committed by adam and eve. Thus he is our Savior. You agree?
      Now let's see why this is wrong:
      2. Original sin was committed by adam and eve. However, it is well known now with the aid of science that adam and eve is untrue. Lets pick the scientific domain of astronomy for example. The sun is about 4.57 billion years old, while the earth is 4.54 billion years old. The 0.03 billion years difference is large (30 million years)!
      However, in genesis (the adam and eve story), on the 1st day god created the earth. And on the fourth day (three days later), he created the sun and the stars. This is a huge error! Why would god create the sun after the earth? It's because genesis is a fairytale myth, and this means that adam and eve did not exist.
      3. from the above argument -> this means there is no original sin -> this means that Jesus died for nothing -> this also shows that Jesus is not god (why would a god come to earth to die for a mythical story?? being a god who knows all, shouldn't a god know that the story he died for is a myth?)
      4. Combining the logic in steps 1,2, and 3, the basis of Christianity is shown to be false.
      Hence the Savior is not needed. Do you have a logical rebuttal for what I said Yarah since u r so sure that your savior will save u?

      March 1, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  4. Ex. Atheists convert......

    Reason why Atheism is NOT healthy for our children and living things:

    1. Atheism makes you agree with terrible mass murder leaders (Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin etc.)
    2. Countries with high suicide rate = countries with high rates of Atheists (Scandinavia an example)
    3. Atheism makes you post stupid things (On internet, billboards etc.)
    4. Atheism makes you get punished sooner or later... I promise you that.
    5. Atheists causes problem in our religious society and troll around.
    6. Atheists were not raised in normal, traditional and healthy family – that's why they deny God.
    7. Atheists have no culture, no holidays, no nothing. Boring and Idiotic!
    8. Most Atheists are uneducated.... they can't run for presidency.
    9. Atheists waste money on stupid billboards rather than donating the money for the poor and those in need.
    10. It will not lead you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    11. Atheism was brought upon the French revolution, the most evil time of history.

    Our Prayer goes to Atheists to seek God, their wonderful creator. God Bless!

    March 1, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Brent Slensker

      Everything you posted is a lie...Why should we pay ANY attention to you?!

      March 1, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • AGuest9

      I feel sorry for any "ex-atheist" that drank the kool-aid. Cast off the ridiculous ideas and beliefs and think for yourselves!

      March 1, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Steve the Atheist

      Blah blah blah. Let's start with, which god is your 1 true god? Personally I'm hoping for Poseidon this time.......

      March 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Wow...

      This has to be one of the most ignorant posts I have ever had the displeasure of reading.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Educated

      By your response you are being a pot, as in the pot calling the kettle black. Atheist including Eisenstein, Benjamin Franklin, and many others have been the smartest mean of their time. The French revolution was as responsible for Atheism as Stalin was for democracy. Read some books other than the bible, you will still believe in god afterwards but your mind will be more open and excepting.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • T-Max73

      The most accurate thing I can say about your post is that it is the rant of a delusional individual. Nothing in your post has any truth to it. No one has EVER killed anyone in the name of non-belief in the supernatural-NEVER. I think that perhaps you need to actually study world history before you make such nonsensical claims. Peace.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • You're an idiot

      You have no idea what you are talking about. At least 90% of the points you make are completly false. Keep believing in imaginary beings.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Jamon

      There are a lot more closeted atheists than you may want to believe. They are not open about it due to social ramifications.

      Religion is very slowly going the way of the dodo (it will take MANY generations, but we will get there eventually!)

      March 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • MK

      What does number 4 mean? Does that mean that dreaded after-life-punishment (I can't even say the word!)? What if I'm a better person than you but don't believe what you believe or go to your church? Will your god still punish me??

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

      Wow. How do you even have enough functioning brains cells to sit upright and type into a computer? You using a computer... Oh the irony of you using a device that was made possible by the work of Alan Turing, and atheist and also gay. So all you theists, it's best to step away from your computers now before you end up in hell.

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

      Oh, and you were NEVER an athiest. Otherwise, you wouldn't state such ridiculous things.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Groucho Marxist

      If you represent the best that the faithful have to offer to defend their position, then religion is doomed. I won't bother taking you to task on each point of your infantile diatribe, since you obviously have no ability or desire to exercise any reason in your presentation. God gave you a brain. Pity you don't know how to use it.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • God

      1. Religion makes you agree with terrible mass murder leaders (Jim Jones, Osama Bin Ladin, God himself ("...do not leave alive anything that breaths. Completely destroy them...as the Lord your God has commanded you..." Deuteronomy 20:16, NIV. 1), etc.
      2. Countries with high murder rate = countries with high rates of Religious zealots (Afghanistan, Iraq)
      3. Religion makes you post stupid things (On internet, billboards etc.)
      4. Religion makes you get punished sooner or later...Probably by another religious zealot, I promise you that.
      5. Religious zealots cause problems in our secular society and troll around.
      6. Religious zealots were not raised in normal, traditional and healthy family – that's why they seek a God.
      7. Religious zealots have worship, punishment and church . Boring and Idiotic!
      8. Most Religious zealots are uneducated.... but, unfortunately, they can run for the presidency.
      9. Religious zealots waste money on stupid churches rather than donating the money for the poor and those in need.
      10. It will not lead you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
      11. Religion brought upon the Crusades, the most evil time of history.

      Our Hope goes out to religious zealots to seek peace and truth, and not their mythical creator. Have a Good day!

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

      Wow! Looks like you angered the masses .... LOL They are so easy to predict. They come with the same stuff every time. You are infringing on their alternative lifestyle so tread lightly : )

      March 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  5. T-Max73

    Religion (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc) is manmade. It seems ridiculous to those who were never indoctrinated with those ideas or beliefs. I respect one's right to believe what they choose (though I do NOT respect the beliefs themselves; an important distinction) but I do think that everyone should explore both sides of the theist/non-supernaturalist debate. It's important to know WHAT you believe, but it's more important to know WHY you believe something. Believing anything (there is a god or isn't a god) just because you were taught this (or not taught it) is irresponsible to yourself; investigate WHY. Peace.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  6. Fred

    This might come back to haunt them. Look at what happened in Pennsylvania with the atheist
    who offended that Muslim and allegedly got punched out. Christians will take it in stride and move on,
    but what will the Muslim reaction be?

    March 1, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • markishere

      Violence, undoubtedly. It's what their god craves.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • momoya

      So we should give in to terrorism?

      Oh my gosh!! I'm so scared!! What you just said!! Oh no!! Oh no! Oh, let's take down the billboard!! Oh what if the muslims get angry?!?! What will we do??

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

      @momoya
      I never said anything about "giving in to terrorism." I was asking what their reaction to the billboard would be.
      Freedom of speech is a great thing, but be aware that actions have consequences and deliberately provoking
      people can backfire. Remember the Muslim reaction to the offensive cartoons? Deliberately provoking people
      just because you can doesn't sound like the smartest application of freedom of speech.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  7. vernon

    I understand the passion and frustration that atheists have. I just don't understand the obsession and hateful behavior of some. Why hang around places like the faith blog and babble on about tooth fairies and Santa Claus? If you don't believe, you don't believe. Nobody's putting a gun to any atheist's head and demanding a confession of faith. Just try to be a little respectful. You might find it's not as painful as you think.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      No gun yet, but if someone like santorum takes office then it might not be long. We need as many atheists as possible to fight against this bigotry

      March 1, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Jon

      It's kind of like, if you saw a child writing on a blackboard that 2+2 = Fish. You have no proof it equals fish and there is countless proof that it equals 4. It's the same with religion. People want to believe 2+2 = fish. Occam's razor my friend.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • T-Max73

      Because those who do believe are trying desperately to MAKE us believe or kill us in the process. Setting aside all the tax breaks and "free rides" that the religious receive from the IRS, religion is divisive, bigoted, hateful, and poisons the critical faculties of innocent children. What you call "hateful" is simply the rational trying to wake you up from the nonsense. Remember, 9/11 had EVERYTHING to do with religion; if those men had NOT believed they were doing some "divine mission from Allah" and would survive death to receive a reward in paradise they would NOT have flown those jets into our buildings and incinerated thousands of innocent people. Religion was responsible for that awful day-do you understand now? Peace.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • AGuest9

      One of the things that attracts people who are atheist to the belief blog is the "believers" who post bible verses as scientific "proof" on science blogs, thereby interrupting serious discussion. Turnabout is fair play.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  8. UtahProf

    The amusing thing is that while Christians and Hebrews are fairly restrained and tolerant these days, the Muslim community is the wrong group to pick on ... the atheists will just have to learn the hard way.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • momoya

      So people should fear other people and therefore not speak their minds? That almost sounds like the opinion of somebody who worships a being who tortures people forever in a pit of never ending fire.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • UtahProf

      @ Momoya – fear is an emotion and has nothing to do with religion. You fear snakes, you fear serial killers, you fear, the government, you fear heights – all for different reasons. Lack of fear of something that is potentially dangerous has real consequences – none of then necessarily grounded in religious faith or consequences. Personally, I could care less if they fear the Muslim community or not as it does not impact me on way or the other. The point is that Political Correctness is dangerous when crammed down people's throats and the consequences may not be "peace, love, and understanding". Right or wrong, religion, historically, has been the catalyst for some pretty intense reactions – both positive and negative. I can guarantee you that Muslim's faith is much, much more powerful than an atheists lack of it. Let the chips fall where they may.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Brent Slensker

      Religion has EVERYTHING to do with fear, the threat of "imminent eternal damnation" for those who don't please their particular god....

      March 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  9. remy730

    church of atheism back at it I see. Sad, they give real atheist a bad name.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Bobby

      You'd rather we all kept quiet? That way you'd never have to hear our name at all.

      Sorry if we're getting too "uppity"! I'll just slide on down to the back of the bus now ...

      March 1, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • remy730

      slide where ever you feel like sliding, just leave me alone.....

      March 1, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • remy730

      Did anyone check out the Reason Revival.. umm I mean Rally site? It looks like it's going to be a blast. There's going to be guest preachers errr..... speakers as well as a guest choir ummmm band. You can donate on the site so they're probably not passing around the collection plate...... I mean.... Screw it, it is what it is..... *shrug* well, it is a proven business model they're following. Good luck on the shin dig.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  10. hatruth

    They have the right to express their opinion on a billboard, and I have the right to ignore their billboard. I'm solid in my religious belief or lack thereof and I don't need people telling me how religious or not I should be. I have a functioning brain, I can determine that on my own.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      But it's great to know that you have other options, right?

      March 1, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  11. paganguy

    Atheism is just another religion. It is a belief. Silverman is trying to make money just like any other preacher. I keep away from them all. Look at my name. I work alone.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Bobby

      Atheism is a religion like being a vegetarian is a way to enjoy meat. 🙂

      March 1, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  12. Jen

    Silverman – proof that the devil is alive and well on planet earth.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      Lol you actually believe in devils and demons and ghosts and witches and magic?

      It's 2012. We've moved beyond the need for such ridiculousness.

      Try reading something other than the Bible. (No Twilight either).

      March 1, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Jen

      @WarmesTghost – Devil, demons do they exist? Absolutely. Do I worship them, no, I am a Christian. However to ignore that there is a Satan just gives him the power, sir. And by the way, I'm not the one with "ghost" in my name!

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

      Ok, so in 2012 you believe in monsters. You're still a child. Simple as that.

      Like my name? I'm fascinated by mythology (like the Christian one), but that's all I regard it as. A bunch of silly fairy tales for adults.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Bobby

      Jen
      Then do you believe in mental illness? Back in Jesus' time there was no such thing as schizophrenia, for example. I wonder how many of these sick people were stoned to death back then?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Steve the Atheist

      @warmesTghosT – actually she should read the Bible, best way to see how silly the fairy tales are. Most people just sit there and listen to the preacher, pastor, or priest rationalize and twist the fairy tales into seeming normal.

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

      @warmesTghost Yes, I do believe in monsters, prisons are full of them. Unfortunately, not enough are in their, I'm afraid. And I do like mythology very much, my adult son studied it in college. Do the math and figure I am not, in fact, a child! And yes, I do like your name very much.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Jen

      @Bobby – yes, unfortunately mental illness was probably around at the time of Christ. Thankfully we have medicine and counseling to help combat that now. I am also sure many people were stoned to death in the past that were innocent. History shows barbarism in all cultures in some form or another.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  13. Bud Fischer

    The priesthoods (all of them) will cringe at this. GOOD.
    If people would begin thinking and stop believing, the world would be a better (and safer) place.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • deal_with_it

      so you are forcing your belief system on others and trying rejoicing at other people "cringing". Yeah that makes you a much better person.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Ellen Thompson

      Atheism is a religion as well- it's what you believe.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Bud Fischer

      Didn't say I was an atheist – and I do not "rejoice" at other people's discomfort.
      This is a "fan club" issue. It is our human-conceived rulebooks that supposedly govern God's plan that muddy the waters.

      While you're "dealing with it", try "thinking about it". No borrowing or fabricating of answers, please.

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

    I don't believe in atheists. No one could be that stuupid to believe that a creation does not have a Creator. There is no such thing as an atheist.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      Friendly neighborhood atheist saying hello!

      Now, if you could just introduce me to this "God" I keep hearing you all prattle on about...

      March 1, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • momoya

      What an overpowering argument!! Are you a preacher?!!? Wow!!

      March 1, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Commenter

      deal_with_it,

      Your first mistake is calling existence "creation".

      We do not know (yet, if ever) what the real deal is.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Huh

      I don't even know what to say to such an ignorant remark.
      I had a retort but it got lost after I re-read "deal_with_it"'s post.
      Wow.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Bud Fischer

      Didn't say I was an atheist – and I do not "rejoice" at other people's discomfort.
      This is a "fan club" issue. It is our human-conceived rulebooks that supposedly govern God's plan that muddy the waters.

      While you're "dealing with it", try "thinking about it". No borrowing or fabricating of answers, please.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • AGuest9

      I'm real. I can pass the Turing Test. I can't say the same about your god.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  15. ClearAndPresentThinking

    What next, signs in Choctaw railing against the Great Spirit? This is beginning to look like a conspiracy to boost outdoor advertising revenues. Does the Koch Gang own a billboard company?

    March 1, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  16. Mitch

    Wow, this is the fastest way to get a death threat against you. You dog on the Christians, we don't really care. But the Muslims, holy cow, you are in for it now.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  17. John John

    Those who understand science, are Atheists. Those who don't, attribute what they don't understand to a magical giant in the sky.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • 1221

      John John, I happen to believe there is a devine power and I believe in scientific method. I'm not foolish enough to claim my beliefs are absolute truths though. People like you come across as arrogant pr cks.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • anaker

      Amen to that.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Jasonisanatheist

      Einstein himself said to be a scientist, you must at some level be spiritual at the very least. After all what is science if not seeking to unlock the mysteries of the universe. Science and religion are two sides of the same coin. It's a shame more believers and nonbelievers alike don't realize that fact.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Mitch

      Understand science? How is the discovery of that God particle working out? Now they are saying it may not exist. I think that the best quote I ever heard from a scientist is " Yes, the universe was created from nothing" Wow, sounds like God to me.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • anaker

      Amen to John I mean. Believers believe in belief.. It's in human nature to want to believe in super natural things. Some people are able to get past that and unfortunately it tends to come off as arrogant.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • AGuest9

      What "god particle"? If you are referring to the Higgs boson ("that goddam.n particle"), it's coming along quite well, thanks.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  18. 1221

    These people might want to rethink this approach. The Christians are supposed to live by the "turn the other cheek" motto, but just look what the Muslims will do if you burn a book.

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

      keep burning korans untill they get used to it, they cant kill whole western world- we got nukes

      March 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
  19. NJ Jewish mom

    David Silverman.... You are Jewish and SHUT UP and stop embarrassing us!
    We should send Rabbi's to teach you about our wonderful religion.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      ATHEISTS! POLITICAL RELIGION!

      March 1, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  20. lacubanita

    Let's just pray for the atheists instead of bashing them- it will upset them and help them at the same time. God is Love.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      You pray for us. We'll think for you.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Jasonisanatheist

      By all means, pray all you like. I enjoy having people waste their time on my account.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Chazbo

      Is that Thor or Zeus who is the god of love, I always get them confused.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Ellen Thompson

      Many prayers for waremesTghosT and Jasonisanatheist. Don't worry it's not a waste of time. God hears all prayers. I'll continue to pray for you.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • TAK

      You're half right. It will upset us. It will also amuse us. To paraphrase the Trix cereal commercials: Silly theist, prayer is for kids.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Steve the Atheist

      It won't upset me at all. If you want to waste even more of your time, go ahead. It is the religious that get upset when we point out just how silly your delusions are.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • AGuest9

      It will upset me about as much as you sitting in traffic, playing solitaire, twiddling your thumbs, or any other non-productive activity. You're not wasting my time, so I don't mind at all.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • MK

      Yes, please pray for us. We're so pathetic and need the assistance of YOUR god, since there is no possible way we can run our own lives and think for ourselves. How can we ever thank you enough??

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

      lacubanita, your prayers for me don't upset me at all. Plenty of people pray for me, I'm sure. I have plenty of religious friends. I understand that to them the act has significance and import, and they believe in it in a way that I do not. So I appreciate the gesture, by all means. Out of curiosity, what exactly will your prayer for me entail? I will say, thus far all the prayers that have ever been said about my coming to some sort of epiphany and realization that God exists have not. Believe you me, the notion of whether or not there's a God, if anything will happen to me after I die, the sorrow of losing a loved one and wanting to believe that you'll see them again some day – these are not alien to me. I've thought about them. I've given the matter a lot of thought and I'm sorry but to me the universe is a so much more magical place to me than the ideas presented in any sort of religion, be it Christianity or any other. To me, the notion that I'm actually not me, but rather the part of the universe that just THINKS it's me is a so much more wonderful idea. The idea that I'm made from stars. That really, if we're made of atoms and atoms are made of everything then nothing is separate. We're all one big unified whole, limited only by the physical limitations placed on us by our bodies but infinite within our minds. The idea that we're individuals is simply the limited perception we're allowed by our bodies and brains. When I die I don't think I'll go to Heaven. I'll become part of the fabric of reality, and for me that's enough. If I have kids, I'll live on that way both through the things I teach them and the genetics I pass on to them. They will literally BE me, at leas in part. We're like self replicating biological machines and to me that's so much more wonderful than the concept of a soul. I've been alive for thousands of years, and I'll be alive for thousands more. Like a great, wise man once said about life – it's just a ride.

      March 1, 2012 at 5:26 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.