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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. Talley-Wacker

    Who here likes cookies?

    March 1, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Moon

      Depends. What kind?

      March 1, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Patrick

      Thanks. Are they gluten-free?

      March 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Yabochuk

      COoKIes anD SconeS arE For FRuiTS! RiCE KrisPy TReAts All ThE waY.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  2. Apa

    I never wished something bad for anyone, but I am getting mad. I hope David Silverman gets brain cancer and die! I hope a severe lightning strike those people on reason rally !!!

    March 1, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Talley-Wacker

      I like cookies.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • momoya

      So no loving your enemies and forgiving them? It looks like you're one to follow god's actions instead of his commandments. Can't blame you for that, right?

      March 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      You remind me of those Dungeons and Dragons people dressing up in a blanket and trying to cast spells on all the bullies who pick on them. Does your god have any love spells and are you a 1st class knight with a 200 hit point attack?

      March 1, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Bohemer

      Keep dreaming. And stop snorting crack..

      March 1, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Patrick

      Okay, I can understand that anger. Obviously you are not a Christian – not that that's a bad thing!

      March 1, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Patrick

      Hey! I am and atheist and I play D&D! Lay off!

      lol

      March 1, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  3. Talley-Wacker

    Finally atheists go after islam. About time.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      Finally? Where have you been?

      March 1, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • ZPA

      Watch out! Anon/Iggy the piggy might be lurking around somewhere here and torture you with some more islamic praise videos.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  4. CrapSpot

    Atheists posting here acting like religious nuts, then replied/responded by other atheists having multiple handles and vice versa, then WALLAAHHH! 5,000 comments and counting. As if religious give a heck what atheists are doing with their pathetic lives. Effective, yet, how TYPICAL.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      So your an atheist?

      March 1, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      correction, you're. I know bad spelling angers God.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
  5. Godoflunaticscreation

    Wow people still drinking blood from a sacrificed child of "god" (Jesus), mutilating little boys d1cks and little girls cl1ts all in the name of their made up bearded man in the sky. I thought we were living in 2012, not 1612. They seem to love using all the gadgets that prove the power of Science so they can spread the word that Science is wrong and the psychotic bleatings of a few sheep herders 2000 years ago, who thought that the wind blowing meant god had indigestion, are the only ones who know what they are talking about.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Patrick

      You would probably be amazed at how many people dismissed Transubstantiation in 1612. ; )

      March 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
  6. Phil

    Crad,

    Again - there is no proof and never has been. Just a story that has changed throughout time. If you had actually read my posts, you would have known;

    1) I was born an atheist - just like you were.
    2) I was baptized and indoctrinated into the Catholic religion.
    3) I went to private schools...went to church.
    4) I grew up and realized how silly it all was. As a result, I became an atheist (again) 20 years ago.

    I know all about "god". I know none of it's real. And there are millions and millions more, just like me, who believe the same thing.

    You would have been an atheist too if your parents/caregivers hadn't introduced you to religion.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Chad

      @Phil "You would have been an atheist too if your parents/caregivers hadn't introduced you to religion."
      =>I grew up in an agnostic family. At the time, I was the only one to become a Christian, my family thought me crazy. What does that do to your theory? 🙂

      March 1, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Phil

      Addressed to C R A D. Not C H A D.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Chad

      oops.. I assumed I was being called a name...

      March 1, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • Crad

      I actually introducedmy parents to god. I have never been religious. I have a personal relationship with god and we speak daily. Theres nothing i can say to convince you and thank god thats not my purpose nor job. Your arguments and denial has led you in circles. And one day when you are on your highhorse patting yourself on the back thinking you are so smart and wise it will probably all come crashing down on you and youll be starting all over again. Its usually a matter of time. The most wise people that have ever walked this earth all realize the more they think they know, the farther from the truth they are. You aren somebody seeking the truth, you are a frustrated person who has basically given up because its a difficult journey. I dont blame you but dont be naive. Theres too much mystery and love to be pigeon holed by the concept that nothing matters.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  7. Allen

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

    March 1, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • One one

      I agree. We would all be better off with no religions.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
  8. Chad

    Atheism is a self refuting position, it professes to say God doesnt exist, when by definition it is impossible to demonstrate that very thing (you cant prove a negative).

    March 1, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Greyhound37

      Ironically it's also impossible to prove that leprechauns, unicorns, and hobbits don't exist either. See a pattern?

      March 1, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Colin

      So Chad, by that logic, you accept the eistence of all gods – or is the one you happen to have been brought up with the "one true" god and all the rest non-existent?

      March 1, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • One one

      Is it self refuting to believe that leprechauns don't exist? Do you believe that 13 gods exist? Can you prove it?

      March 1, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Chad

      @Colin "So Chad, by that logic, you accept the eistence of all gods – or is the one you happen to have been brought up with the "one true" god and all the rest non-existent?"

      => "I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me;" Isaiah

      I don't have to demonstrate there are no other gods except one, I have it on good authority 🙂

      March 1, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Observer2

      I suppose that if Chad has had a direct encounter with the One True God, then he can claim to be the authority.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Chad

      @One one "Is it self refuting to believe that leprechauns don't exist?"

      I have no position on whether or not leprechauns exist.
      I dont spend time heckling people who believe in leprechauns, be my guest, go right ahead.
      It isnt important to me, I couldnt care less.

      why would I? If someone believes in leprechauns, that doesnt threaten me in any way. There isnt some concern in the back of my mind that they might be right.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • momoya

      You're almost there, Chad. Now imagine that leprechaun believers were 89% of the population and wanted to tell you how to live the leprechaun way and what to do with your body and what medicines to take and if you didn't worship the leprechauns correctly you might have pain in your shins for all eternity. Oh, and there's billions of leprechaun billboards promoting the leprechaun way. A few billboards about leprechauns being a myth is no big deal, right?

      March 1, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • apostate

      A very double edged sword. So you believe in every god concept then? Why not? Can you disprove Vishnu and Thor?

      March 1, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Patrick

      Who told you that?

      Atheism is the lack of belief in god. Any god, including the gods you do not believe in.

      There may be a god. We don't believe so. No need to prove what you don't believe in. Good thing too, since that is an infinite number of things for anyone.

      Infinite in our atheism, we are – as are you.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "You're almost there, Chad. Now imagine that leprechaun believers were 89% of the population and wanted to tell you how to live the leprechaun way"
      @Chad "it's a free country, the leprechaun-lovers arent allowed to tie me up, right? I can always just not listen, right? Their delusion doesnt bother me any"

      ==================
      @momoya "and what to do with your body"
      @Chad "I agree with the leprechaun-lovers belief that it's a bad thing to kill children.. so no problem there.."

      ==================
      @momoya " and what medicines to take"
      @Chad "whoa.. a leprechaun-lover never told me what medicine to take.. you must be thinking of someone else..."

      ==================
      @momoya "if you didn't worship the leprechauns correctly you might have pain in your shins for all eternity"
      @Chad "I couldnt care less what a leprechaun-lover thought my life after death was going to be. Why would I? I am in no way shape or form threatened by what htey think.. There is no nagging thought in the back of my mind that they might actually be correct.. I dont give them a second thought"

      ==================
      @momoya " Oh, and there's billions of leprechaun billboards promoting the leprechaun way."
      @Chad "Why cares? If I see a group promoting a flat earth it puts a smile on my face. "

      ==================
      @momoya " A few billboards about leprechauns being a myth is no big deal, right?
      @Chad "I wouldnt bother spending a nickle on combating a group of people who believed a myth. Who cares? I have far better things to spend my time and money on.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  9. paul

    in case you haven't figured it out yet, let's be mildly elementary in our reasoning...CNN needs traffic on their website and posting things that get people going (like this) accomplishes that...since when was anyone swayed in their world view by an internet comment? it is what it is...just a traffic generator.

    March 1, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • The Dude

      The things we let enter our brains effect us. You can deny it all you want but you are influenced one way or the other. The only difference between what is typed here and if you met someone on the street is the fact that we are anonymous to each other. You are probably like me in that you need to shake a persons hand, look them in the eye.

      Everyone here should be treated as a liars and sociopaths.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  10. wisdom4u2

    I I love my 'atheist' brothers/sisters!!!! Jesus loves you all.

    “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
    “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.”
    “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”
    “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”
    “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

    March 1, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Jim

      Love is not spoken it needs to be demonstrated.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Bob

      The foul language in your posts is simply disgusting.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      LOL!!! Really?

      March 1, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @ Bob ~~~ Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned....my last confession was.....1 second ago!!

      March 1, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • yeahalright

      Translations...

      I I love my 'atheist' brothers/sisters!!!! Jesus loves you all. - Translation: I'm better than you. And smug.

      “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” - God created a world, created people who he knew would sin, somehow holds everyone else ever responsible for those people's sin. But here's my son, he's gonna save you from me.

      “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.” Believe in me or burn in hell forever. Ever wonder why your god is so stuningly, brutally, sadistically insecure?

      “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” What men? The ones god created? And knew would "sin?" Where's his sense of responsibility?

      “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” Uh, you people (believers, christians in particular) do good because you feel god looking over your shoulder. Real morality is what deeds you do when no one, including a mythological diety, is watching.

      “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." Again, real morality is what is done when no one is watching, regardless of reward.

      And athiests are the immoral ones......

      March 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @ yeahalright ~~~~ LOL! You need to be on some serious medication, clown. How in the world did you come up with that s hit? You are so intimidated and insured …..you poor sap.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:29 am |
  11. David Smalley

    I'm an atheist, and I worked with this organization a year ago. I've posted my reply here, on my website as an open letter to American Atheists. http://www.dogmadebate.com/2012/03/open-letter-to-atheists.html

    March 1, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Chad

      " I'm afraid of the ongoing societal agreement that atheists can't be taken seriously because we're just angry people 'against God.' These types of billboards play directly into that stereotype." – David Smalley

      I dont think that's a stereotype, that's a reality. Just scroll up and down this page and see for yourself.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • momoya

      I enjoyed reading your letter; thanks for the notice. I think it highlights a stage in the evolution of an idea. We're at that stage where we want people to know we're out there and rightfully angry about some issues, but we also recognize that we are judged as a group and not as individuals. I guess I'm glad for the billboards because I am one of those who must stay in the closet for the foreseeable future.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
  12. Paul

    For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son Jesus Christ that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

    March 1, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Colin

      Ah yes, immortality, the dream of us all. It is probably the core, most quintessential Christian belief, that is encapsulated in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

      The idea, of course, is that the Christian god impregnated a virgin with himself, to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to negate the original sin of Adam and Eve, which we all now know never happened.

      This simple concept is riddled with a plethora of logical inconsistencies. It’s God. It makes the rules. Why did it “have to” go through the gruesome act of the crucifixion to forgive us? Why not just forgive us? Why did we need forgiving anyway? Holding us accountable for things that happened before we were born is ludicrously unjust. What about when we realized Adam and Eve was a myth and there was no original sin? What does it even mean for a god to have a human “son”?

      But, then again, in th Great Pretend of religion, we don't need to think, right? Just blindly accept.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts or goblins

      Paul, I think what you say is 100% bullshit and that you cannot prove me wrong. There are no gods – none zero – and you cannot prove me wrong.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
  13. andorifwhat

    Don't sweat the "DILL" boards..."GOD DOES NOT BELIEVE IN ATHEISTS" either.

    March 1, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Jason

      How can God not believe in Atheists if he created everyone? lol!

      March 1, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Patrick

      1. God does not believe in atheists.
      2. Atheists exist.
      ERGO, God is delusional.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
  14. One one

    Millions of devoted believers have prayed for world peace for thousands of years.

    Therefore, either there is no god to answer all those prayers OR there is a god and he just says NO!

    March 1, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Colin

      Actually, prayer is one of my favorite theist superst.itions. The idea is you think certain thoughts like "please [God/Allah/Yahweh/Vishnu etc.] don't let my mother die of cancer. The being who created the entire universe and its billions of galaxies (make your choice from the above list and thousands of others) reads your mind, or – "hears your prayers" if you prefer a less embarrassing, euphamism for exactly the same thing – reacts and alters whatwould otherwise be the course of history in small ways to suit your whims.

      Dark Ages nonsense.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Crad

      Neither one of you understand what prayer is. Or what gods purpose is. We have become so perverse in our dealings none of it would matter.mwhat is world peace? Some groups think it would mean the extinction of certain races. And prayer is not a genie granting wishes. If someone has cancer you cannot pray to god to take it away, he didnt give it. Prayer is communication, not a vessel to grant wishes.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • One one

      Belief that god helps people by answering prayers is contrary to the doctrine of "free will". Believers say god allows bad things to happen to good people because of free will. But if god really answered prayers and helped people with their problems then he is interfearing with the consequences of people's free will. And if god does reach down from heaven to help, why didn't he do it to prevent the problem in the first place?

      March 1, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Crad

      I always find it interesting that athiests mock religion as some childs mentality, yet when talking of things like love, or prayer, they immediately identify it with childish notions. Prayer is a deep concept. Its a form of communication with god. Its simple and complex and wonderful. The people that dont put any effort at all into any understanding of what its about are the first ones to mock it. I dont blame people for their ignorance, but when they light up the boards asking these questions, then mock you for answering its bizarre

      March 1, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
  15. One one

    Atheists put up a bill board that says It's a myth.

    Believers preach that if you don't believe as they do their god will send you to hell to be tortured for all eternity.

    March 1, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • momoya

      Perspective!

      March 1, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Colin

      Ah yes, hell. The other part of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim carrot and stick. Ther eis a very rarefied, esoteric doctrin that lays waste to this concept. It is called fifth grade math.

      Approximately one hundred and ten thousand million (110,000,000,000) people have lived on Earth. Given all those who have, over the centuries, rejected the Christian god, or who have otherwise committed mortal sins, there must be literally thousands of millions of people burning for all eternity in the cosmic oven of hell set up by your all-loving god. Some must have been burning for thousands of years by now.

      About 100,000 people die every day. There must be a constant stream of thousands of forlorn souls every day into the one way pit of hell your all-merciful god set up and maintains.

      But, far, far worse than sheer overwhelming numbers is the extent of the punishment. There is no way out, no parole, no time off for good behavior. You don’t just burn, you burn for all eternity. Billions of people and thousands of daily new arrivals burning for all eternity!

      No criminal justice system in the history of the Human race, even those established by the most despotic of tyrants, comes close to matching the unfathomable barbarity of your “infinitely benevolent” god. I don’t have to kill, I don’t have to steal, hell I don’t even have to litter. All I have to do is refuse to believe in the Christian god and it will impose a penalty on me an infinite times worse than the death penalty.

      Hitler murdered six million Jews in his concentration camps, but compared to your god, Hitler was a bleeding-hearted wimp. A goose-stepping girlie-man. Your all-caring god not only burns billions more than Hitler, Pol Pot and all other dictators and tyrants added up, he keeps doing so to them for all eternity! I would not wish a bad sunburn on a person simply because they have a different religion to me, let alone fry them for ever.

      It is also odd that your all-loving god is also all-knowing and knows which souls will go to hell before they do. He even knows it before they are born, and yet he still creates them. He is worse than a psychopathic teenager than breeds litter after litter of kittens so he can slowly roast them in ovens.

      That's the problem when you create a sky-fairy and expect him to be both the carrot and the stick. It gets really silly really quickly.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • rsquared

      Colin:
      More perspective: The world was perfect when God made it. There was no hurt, no death, not sadness. Only peace and love. But us humans messed it up. We ruined God's creation. Rather than getting excessively angry at us and wiping us off the face of the earth, God gave us a second chance. He sent Jesus, and he made it perfectly clear what people had to do to get saved so God could destroy his old creation and make a new one. If anyone is in hell right now, it is because of their own doing, and it breaks God's heart. But he gave us free will so we could love him, and we used it in the wrong way.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Colin

      In other words, we are held responsible by your sky-god for things our ancestors did. That's not fair. My grandfather was a criminal. Am I responsible for him?

      Spare me the krap. The whole idea of Jesus "having" to die on the cross was an invention of the writer os John's gospel to explain why the "Messiah" got his ar.se nailed to a cross. It's the 21st century, get over the Iron Age Sky-Fairies.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Crad

      There is nothing you can say or explain to this guy that will open his eyes about god. He is full of arguments and twisted by his ego. You have twisted the facts and explored so many avenues to disprove god, when all he ever wanted was to love you. People have done things and put themselves in harms way when time after time they have been warned. Then they turn to god and blame him.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
  16. jerrytj

    well i see them atheist people tryna reach out, there is a better idea ,why dont you guys reach out to the people in middle east and iran by putting up a billboard in those countries mentioned above. oh wait you guys dont have guts to do that. I know them Christian missionaries can do that , because Love conquers all and all this hatred does is conquer more hatred .
    enjoy your freedom but dont abuse it. I will stick my beliefs and values and i will make sure i wont shove that into your throat.

    March 1, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Colin

      Why do u equate atheism with hatred?

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

      well as per the billboard that is what it is trying to do. There are lot better ways to reach out rather put a big sign that just says everything you believed is BS. It just seems to be making a mockery of what other people believe.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Colin

      jeeryt, but, don't Jews reject Christianity and Islam, Christians reject Islam and at least modify Judaism, and Muslims strongly disdain both Jews and Christians.

      Just like the debating astrologers, who can argue until the drought breaks as to whether Virgos or Capricorns will find love this month, must fear the approach of the astronomer and his telescope, you beleivers in the various sky-fairies must dread the contenance of the rational atheist. .

      March 1, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • One one

      Along my commute to work I drive past three churches twice a day. They all display crosses (an instrument of torture and death) and signs with rotating messages. About half the time the message is a threat to believe or burn.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Crad

      One. The cross is a sign of sacrifice. The signs are the churchs business and thats what they believe. If an athiest church, oh sorry, athiest "hall" had signs on it saying "dont believe the myth" i wouldnt care. But they are putting their athesitic religious views in public spaces and flying banners spewing their religion down my throat. And its weird because they dont believe in god, so what are they trying to say.. Its such a waste and confusion..

      March 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  17. craig

    my religion is right and yours is wrong and you should believe in my God because my religion is right and yours is wrong and you should believe in my God because my religion is right and yours is wrong and you should believe in my God because my religion is right and yours is wrong and you should believe in my God because my religion is right and yours is wrong and you should believe in my God because my religion is right and yours is wrong and you should believe in my God because my religion is right and yours is wrong and you should believe in my God because my religion is right and yours is wrong and you should believe in my God because my religion is right and yours is wrong and you should believe in my God because my religion is right and yours is wrong and you should believe in my God because my religion is right and yours is wrong and you should believe in my God because my religion is right and yours is wrong and you should believe in my God because

    March 1, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • momoya

      NOOOO!! MY God is right and yours is wrong! Let's fight each other for 800 years and wipe out most of each other's population! Barbarism for god!! Mine's right and yours is wrong!! Okay, launch....

      March 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  18. Colin

    Ho.mo sapiens evolved from ho.mo erectus about 250,000 years ago. Anybody ever wondered why all the various "great prophets" – Moses, Abraham, Jesus, Mohammed, Mahavira, Voroaster, Buddah, Mani etc. all seemed to be "sent down" by their bosses within a span of about 2,000 years (or 1% of our time on this planet) and all in Asia?

    Surely that must make even the simplest, most ovine of believers suspisious as to whether it is a purely human affair and there are not competing sky-gods up there.

    Then again, YOUR faith is correct and the rest are all wrong, right?

    March 1, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • JohnR

      'Ovine' wins the adjective of the day award!

      March 1, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
  19. Colin

    1. The belief that an infitely old, all-knowing sky-god, powerful enough to create the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, will cause people to survive their own phsical deaths and live happily ever after in heaven, if they follow some random laws laid down in Bronze Age Palestine = Judaism.

    Judaism + a belief that the same god impregnated a virgin with himself to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to negate a rule he himself made = Christianity.

    Jusaism and Christianity + the belief that this creator of the Universe whispered the secrets of life, death and everything to some illiterate Saudi pedophile in acave, who later rode a magic horsey to Jerusalem and descended into heaven = Islam.

    You are all simple, silly people. Enjoy your sky-fairies, we rationalists will continue to explain why they cannot exist.

    March 1, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Observer2

      You carry this around with you like a ball and chain, Colin. Sky-fairies are your special straw man. Either flesh it out with a few centuries of Christian thought or give it a rest. I don't believe in it either. Probably no one does.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Colin

      Observer2 – I would respond to your post, but I have no idea what you just said.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Observer2

      Consider this carefully: http://www.fallacyfiles.org/strawman.html

      March 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Colin

      O"bserver2, let's get straight to the point. What is the difference between an all powerful sky-fairy and an all powerfu "god in heaven"? Don't run away now, please answer.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Observer2

      Discarding "all powerful" which both labels have in common, one is a fairy that lives in the sky, the other is a god that is in heaven. God is a term that has implications that fairy does not: supernatural creator of the universe, omnipotent, omniscient etc. Heaven usually means much more than the sky: a transcendent place where the deity (or deities) dwell. You hope to trivialize "god in heaven" by equating it with "sky-fairy", but when that fails you are left in the position I mentioned. A believer would simply say "Colin you are right not to believe in sky-fairies, I've never believed in them either."

      March 1, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Crad

      Colin. Observer thrives on conflict and not answering simple questions. His purpose is to fight, and if you offer resolution or reason, it threatens his ability to fight. He will never reason. Very typical behavior. Seen it many many times. Hes not about discussing anymore than a guy walking into a bar looking for a fight. Arguing with him is akin to buying that guy free beers.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Colin

      Thanks crad. I will summon the bouncers.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Observer2

      Well I would offer to buy the beers. There are several "Observers". I'm sorry if Crad had a bad encounter with one of them.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  20. Apatheist

    Regarding comments comparing atheism vs. agnosticism vs. theism I say this: EVERYBODY is agnostic (the existance of a deity is unknown, being neither provable nor unprovable ). Therefore, ALL theists AND atheists are agnostic (meaning agnosticism is inherant and, therefore, irrelevant). The atheist's perspective is that there is insufficient evidence to reasonably believe in a deity but reserve the right to change their opinion if such evience is provided. The theist's perspective is that sufficient evidence is available (a.k.a. the Bible, Quran, etc.) and, generally, reserve no rights regarding the changing of this position. My opinion is that it is foolish to disregard the lack of evidence for a deity as insignificant... and my atheism is the result. But, again, I reserve the right to change this position IF sufficient evidence is presented and admit that I really don't know for sure (99.9% but not 100%). I'm sorry, but desirability is NOT a requite of reality.

    March 1, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Crad

      Forget it. Athiests are 100 percent sure they are right. Which is downright scary since it is a scientific impossibility. Thats why they are the scariest of the religious zealots.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • yeahalright

      You could just as easily say everyone is agnostic about the existance of garden gnomes in my backyard. Can't really prove it can't really disprove it.

      But some things are so patently ridiculous one feels pretty safe saying it couldn't exist.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Phil

      And another thing, Crad...

      You accuse atheists because they "can't reason" yet "reason" is why we don't believe anymore. We are truly among the most intelligent people you know because we know no bounds. We question absolutely everything. Our minds are open so wide it would make you blind.

      We provide you with explanations that make your head spin.
      We provide you with technology so you can communicate with others.
      We provide you with medicines and care for you when you are sick.

      We (atheists) are not stupid, blind or lost. We are free to do what we want. Free to think what we want.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:09 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.