home
RSS
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. Iqbal Khan

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcp_UZU0quc&feature=related

    March 2, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  2. Nii Croffie

    I'm not searching for a thief Mr OHYEAH. I am searching for emotional maturity. Even if the Bible is mythical or outright fiction it gives me what it said it wud if I do follow it in this life. Hope it gives me what it promises if I die.

    March 2, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      If it's outright fiction then whatever promises it contains are also outright fictions, right? If your faith is based on an outright fiction then Heaven or Hell don't await us when we die, your prayers aren't being heard, and the moral laws within the Bible are just man-made.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • closet atheist

      What a lot of (most?) religious people don't realize is that there is plenty of anthropological evidence that moral codes pre-dated most modern religions. In order for society to exist, there are certain "rules" that need to be followed to "harmoniously" coexist (don't steal, don't kill, etc... essentially treat others as you wish to be treated). Living in the US, I'm most familiar with christians... but I find it really funny, yet frustrating, that christians feel that they have a lock on morals because of what was taught in the bible. The bible is really not much more than a book of stories used to teach people how to live their lives. There's nothing wrong with that....heck, that's what aesop's fables do too! But to claim that anybody who doesn't worship the bible is amoral is just outright absurd.... and sad in it's narrow-mindedness...

      March 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  3. Metal

    all one can say about atheists is that you can take a horse to water but can't make him drink, so forget all about recorded history and the Bible, everything that exists juts happened by blind chance and apes are the forefathers of mankind even though they still exists, evolution must have forgotten about them

    March 2, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • chubby rain

      When the United States declared independence, did England cease to exist?

      March 2, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Did mankind declare independence from apes? When do we celebrate Independence Day?

      March 2, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Ozzy

      Recorded history and the Bible are two very separate things. Also, paying close attention to history should be enough to convince anyone that God does not truly exist. As for your next statement, clearly you have absolutely no understanding of how evolution works. Of course, you probably don't think it exists at all.

      March 2, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • chubby rain

      Humans and apes shared a common ancestor and through divergent evolution developed into present day humans and apes. Just because a subsection of the population evolves in a certain way, doesn't necessarily mean the rest of the population disappears. This is pretty basic biology.

      March 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      CHUBBY.The Law of Variation used as evidence for the Theory of Evolution allows for more breeds not new species. The word specie is used very loosely. However most of supposed species are actually breeds. The theory is hard to prove because of this. Otherwise it wud be a Law like Variation itself.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  4. Reality

    For the next billboard:

    THE FINAL KIBOSH

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Bud

    (only specific rebuttals for each point will be considered before the contracts are finalized)

    March 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  5. Salero 21

    Since atheists are often looking for some other god, or make appeals to the other gods of the other religions. It may be reasonable to say that an atheist is really an idolater, who has been put to shame by blind, deaf, dead and unresponsive idols. Of course we believers know that atheist is what the Bible says they are. Ps. 14:1; 53:1.

    Blinded by their belief system they fail to see that Creation is the Evidence of the Creator. That system of belief includes the willful desobedience and rebellion against Gods Commandments and Laws. Therefore their system has produce and continues to produce, characters in the like of Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro, Caecescu, Mao et al. to name a few.

    March 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • graytiger

      Instead of repeating your own (mis)conceptions, you should try to argue against the arguments people stated against your previous post. In doing what you are doing here you prove that you have no argument only hollow phrases.

      March 2, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Why would someone who is atheist be "looking for some other god". There isn't one, so there is no need to look for one.

      March 2, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Salero 21

      graytiger:

      misconception is the correct spelling. Since you are unable to even spell that right, there is no use arguing with you.

      March 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • graytiger

      In case you haven't noticed I am not a native English speaker. But I speak and write four languages. Are you in a position to criticise me? Your reaction suggests only again that you lack decent counter arguments.

      March 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • graytiger

      And in fact it was not an error, just an indication of the possible use of both the word 'misconception' and 'conception'.

      March 2, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • WiscBob

      Salero 21; Being an athiest, why would I want to "look for other gods" or "make appeals to the other gods of the other religions"? Maybe you need to look up the definition of Athiest. There is no god or gods. It is a myth concocted by early peoples to try to explain things they didn't understand, like the sun and moon, stars, us, etc. Many of our questions have been answered, in fact, proved. But what about god(s)? I have all the faith in the world. There is none.

      March 2, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Ozzy

      If there is a God, then he made me an atheist. Why would he do that?

      March 2, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • momoya

      @graytiger

      Four languages!!! Wow. I can only claim one and a half! As a former teacher of English, I couldn't tell it wasn't your "mother tongue." Your command of the language is better than most who graduate high school in the States.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • graytiger

      @momoya Thanks. The advantage of living in a small language-divided country, I guess. But still, lots of good beer! I saw that in one of your posts you wrote that we as atheists only share a non-belief. To me, it seems that atheism entails rational, free and critical thinking. If that is the case then, to be consistent, it should also entail certain positions on democracy and other political views and on the way one treats other human beings. So maybe a bit more than just non-belief?

      March 2, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
  6. heathazrealm1

    I have mixed feelings about this.
    When there is historical, archaeological evidence that correlates with the claims in the bible and the Torah.
    Islam cannot claim the same as non exists. There is even claims by historical researchers Mohammed never existed,as there is zero evidence.
    Putting Judaism up with Islam is not fair.
    I suspect they are doing this to not seem to be just dispelling Islam and the Hideous Koran.
    Yet this group is arrogantly disrespectful to anyone who has faith.
    Even as a non practicing Christian I find that sad.

    March 2, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  7. Robert

    Unless you have looked under EVERY rock in EVERY corner of the whole wide universe, you do NOT know for certain that God does or does not exist. Until either Atheists OR Christians have scientific, empirical evidence to support their claims, the best that either side can do is be AGNOSTIC. Have the humility to admit that much.

    March 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • chubby rain

      Do you have any scientific proof that it is impossible to know whether or not God exists?

      March 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • i wonder

      Robert,

      So, if you are agnostic, do you pray to a god one week and not the next? Do you have ceremonies and rituals for a maybe god?

      I would imagine that, in general, you live your live without a belief in or worship of a god = a-theistically.

      March 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • graytiger

      It's not a question of proving that God doesn't exist. One can't prove that unicorns or elves don't exist. It is a question of justification. The arguments for a christian God are very weak. While the arguments for a universe wthout such a God are very strong. Just three arguments: One: the problem of evil. And please don't use the counter argument of free will, because there is a lot of evil that has nothing to do with free will. Two: how are miracles possible even though they contradict all our knowledge of the laws of physics? Three: why oh why does God condem the coveting of your neighbour's ass, in the bible, but why doesn't God , in the same Bible, condemn the terrible crime of slavery? In the bible slavery is even condoned. Four, all that we know to be fact, could if explained, until now be explained by science. Until now there is no objective demonstrable fact that has a better religious explanation than a scientific one. So religion is not necessary to the workings of the universe. In the end it's a question of choosing between a weak and a strong posiition.

      March 2, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • John

      Gnostic Atheist = Claims there is no god
      Agnostic Atheist = Denies the claim there is a god
      Gnostic Thieist = Claims there is a god
      Agnostic Theist = Accepts the claim without evidence of a god

      You're referring to Gnostic Atheists which most users I've seen here are not. You're right though, any claim bears a burden of proof.

      March 2, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      chubby rain
      They don't have any scientific proof. What they do have is a definition that states that God is can remain hidden from all detection if he so chooses which, as it happens, is also how many people view leprechauns. It's like trying to prove that actual magic can't exist according to the laws of physics. It's magic, they say, so it doesn't operate under the laws of physics.There is nothing to indicate that either isn't just a product of the imagination.

      March 3, 2012 at 12:27 am |
  8. Salero 21

    There are 2 main claims.

    The believers and theists claim that God does in Fact Exists. Whis is insufficient, since God does a whole lot more than just merely Existing.

    The atheists claim that God does not exist which in light of what I said above is also insufficient.

    The atheists argue that the theists can't and don't provide Evidence and Proof of God. Since God is Invisible (though Jesus was visible) the demand is unreasonable. However the atheists have been blinded by their own belief system. Disabling them to see the Creation as THE Evidence/Proof of the Creator.

    March 2, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • chubby rain

      Why did God create cancer?

      March 2, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      What created the creator?

      March 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • graytiger

      Salero, many religions have Gods that are invisible. Do you believe in all of them? It is a question of justification. The arguments for a christian God are very weak. While the arguments for a universe wthout such a God are very strong. Just three arguments: One: the problem of evil. And please don't use the counter argument of free will, because there is a lot of evil that has nothing to do with free will. Two: how are miracles possible even though they contradict all our knowledge of the laws of physics? Three: why oh why does God condem the coveting of your neighbour's ass, in the bible, but why doesn't God , in the same Bible, condemn the terrible crime of slavery? In the bible slavery is even condoned. Four, all that we know to be fact, could if explained, until now be explained by science. Until now there is no objective demonstrable fact that has a better religious explanation than a scientific one. So religion is not necessary to the workings of the universe. So as you see Salero, visibility doesn't come into it.

      March 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      How many things can you imagine there being that are as undetectable as God supposedly is? It's a very long list, full of things usually written about in sci-fi and fantasy books. Does it really take a conscious effort not to believe in such things? We rule out the possibility of God being real like you might rule out the possibility of ghosts being real. Your personal, perhaps overwhelming belief in God just blinds you to the fact that not everyone sees things as you do, that's all.

      Besides, God isn't supposed to be completely invisible, right? He supposedly interacts with people and things here on Earth, performing miracles, answering prayers, and otherwise showing himself to select people. That ought to leave some kind of trace evidence unless, of course, it's all just in people's minds.

      You can wax theologically about God not wanting to be detected if he doesn't want to be, but again you can say that about any of the proposed creatures living invisibly amongst us, like Leprechauns. In the end, any good comic book writer could have invented a character identical to God just by stringing together all the "omni" words he could find in the dictionary and, even then, there would be young readers who would find such a character too outlandish to even be entertaining.

      March 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  9. yuri pelham

    Am note sure what atheists accomplish insulting the Muslim and Jewish communities. Bad manners and lack of self esteem. I guess Christianity and myths don't compute.

    March 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  10. God of Death

    The sad religious lot failing to put down atheism once again. Good to see.

    March 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  11. kenny

    I as An Atheist, believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An Atheist believes that deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanished . The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it. We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart

    March 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      The faith=belief is one definition. The one I use is trust and obedience to obtain evidence. This is why I don't believe dogma. I don't need belief to exercise faith. Unfortunately your post assumes only atheists are humanitarian. The evidence does not back this. Good and bad is not religious.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Nii
      "The one I use is trust and obedience to obtain evidence."
      How does that work, exactly? Does it "give" you evidence, or just set you up to see natural things as the evidence for God because you "trust" those who told you it was, and are "obedient" to them?

      Reminds me of the old policeman stories, where the top brass lean on the junior detective and tell him that they only have one suspect, to "trust" them that he's the guilty party, and to "obey" them when they say to "find" the evidence to put him away. Hardly solid criminal investigation, right?

      March 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  12. bp

    This is ridiculous and a stupid move by these atheist groups. History has shown the most hateful and murderous acts have been committed by so-called religious believers who use their God to justify atrocities. Beware the bigot who justifies his intolerance as being divinely-sanctioned.

    March 2, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • momoya

      So why was it a "ridiculous and stupid move?" Your last two sentences seem to negate the stance of your first sentence.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • kenny

      History teaches us that no other cause has brought more death than the word of god.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Snow

      Steven Weinberg: "With or without religion, good people will do good things and evil people will do evil things; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion"

      March 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  13. GodsPeople

    It is safe to say that Atheists are going to hell. At least non-whites believe and think they are in favor with God, when in fact they are simply servants.

    March 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • momoya

      'nonwhites" ?????? 0.o

      March 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Glad that I'm head brewmaster on the ginormous handbasket to hell. Because spending an eternity with ignorant fundiots like you would be a thousand times worse than any imaginable hell.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • ..

      Still suffering from low self esteem issues, seriously go seek some professional help so you can grow up.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Momoya n Primewonk u guys make me believe Adam n Eve is true. So u don't recognise an atheist troll when u see one?

      March 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • kenny

      Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet Religion does three things quite effectively: Divides people, Controls people, Deludes people.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      We may not doubt that society in heaven consists mainly of undesirable persons.
      - Mark Twain, Notebook

      March 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  14. Nii Croffie

    Spiritual Christians are preparing for the final push. They make Evangelicals look like grasshoppers. In house churches and cell churches the christian church is preparing to dismantle prejudice and closed-mindedness. We have all the resources we need. Charitable love flows through us to the world.

    March 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • chubby rain

      Nii, I am willing to admit that God could exist but everything I have seen, every argument I have heard hasn't provided enough evidence to make me believe in him (her, it?). Would you be willing to admit that God doesn't exist? Which of us is close-minded?

      March 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      They study, meditate on and obey the Bible. They may look very irreligious, religious, pious, conservative, etc. They have taken up their saviour's cross and are His image. Confront them at your own peril. There was one S Paul but now there are millions. We r educated in science too.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • chubby rain

      When you say you are educated in anything, you might actually want to spell out "are".

      March 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      I don't have a problem with agnosticism. It helps 1 2 explore. I take a similar approach. I read, meditate n obey then evaluate its effects then I modify my position. Jesus preferred honest inquiry 2 religious dogmatism. I've chosen de practise of biblical teaching so that I may gain a high EQ.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • John

      The burden of proof lies with the one making the claim. Atheism is the rejection of the claim there is a god. Atheists don't have a burden of proof unless they say specifically that there is no god. Like the previous posters state it's possible there is a god but no credible evidence has been presented in the history of man. Therefore the default position on an unprovable claim is to deny it until credible evidence is presented.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      chubby unfortunately I am limited to using shorthand by my fon which carries 300x'ters/post n time. Please bear wit me. It is not wrong to doubt. Evidence came to me from different sources as I practised. The Bible makes more sense when obeyed like a science text than debated like a Theology text.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • chubby rain

      Ok, I see what's up now. The point of science is to always debate, always question even the most generally accepted facts. Relativity challenged the assertion that "time is a constant". Quantum mechanics is a theory that is incomparable to what we experience in everyday life. I am forced to question how educated you actually are in science as you put it.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Chubby all that u have said is true. As to my education there is no need for me to exalt myself. I still have a long way to go. As you know we obey science texts by exploration n experimentation not court debates. I don't believe in dogmatic Christianity either. I am exploring.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • chubby rain

      To each their own, Nii. I used to be religious and I know many good Christians. I also know many good Atheists, they just typically are quiet.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Chubby there are methodologies by various cult systems(not spiritually abusive group please but ritual style). Fasting, meditation, transcendental meditation, visualization, prayer. There is also spiritulity. Obeying the moral to love ur neighbor as urself. Read THINK AND GROW RICH by Napoleon Hill

      March 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      These r thrown out as supersti.tions but have been replicated 4 Ages. I also believe everyone must have his freewill unviolated. It is God-given in Gen 2 n He doesnt violate it. God asks us 2 preach but not in a condesceding or antagonistic manner. I won't even talk of past crimes. I can do worse.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      I understand that most good Xtians n atheists r quiet. being peaceable is definitely a virtue. I enjoyed our discussion. I am researching my book n this blog enables me to understand non-religious people better. In my country atheists r few n most are religious. Militant secular atheists r rare.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Jesus

      "I am researching my book n this blog enables me to understand non-religious people better"

      Then your book is going to suck because a blog like this isn't the place to use as a tool to learn about true non-believers. Wow!

      March 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Nii
      Keep talking about how your group operates in small "cells", has "all the resources we need" and is "preparing for the final push", and pretty soon Homeland Security will come knocking on your door. 🙂

      March 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Nii
      Here, however, atheists are anything but rare. Some do pretend to be religious just to get along, but "militant"? Just because we openly say that we're atheists and want to be treated fairly? Compared with the activities of other "militant" groups that's pretty laughable.

      What's clear is that we use to have a place, closeted and quiet, but all of a sudden we're fighting for rights and to have our voices heard. When African-Americans started doing this they were called "uppity", and when they started marching with the likes of MLK they were also called "militant". Good company to find yourself, wouldn't you say?

      March 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      John
      Lots of us have tried to point out the burden of proof argument to zero success. You would swear that these same people would believe anything on face value like they want us to believe in God, but they don't. These believers expect us to just trust them when they say that God exists, but if someone offered to sell them a bridge they'd want to see proof of ownership first. Funny how that works, eh?

      March 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      OHYEAH if Homeland Security will take me to USA for using those phrases I will be soo happy. I get solitary confinement. They lose their case. I sue for wrongful arrest. I live in California with my own church, media house, and charity. That will be lovely.

      March 2, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Nii
      Dreaming that it would be lovely to be hauled in by Homeland Security doesn't help your claim about not being delusional, you know? 🙂

      March 2, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  15. Nii Croffie

    In the meantime the atheist religion as it is in self-denial has been denounced roundly by agnostics and irreligious people for adding them to their ranks. Most Swedes also prefer being cultural Christians rather than secular atheists. Secular atheism n lies go together n nobody wants them both.

    March 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • chubby rain

      Religion is a cultural construct and there are social benefits to claiming to be a believer. Part of putting up these billboards is to let other atheists know that they are not alone in a predominantly Christian culture. By the way, does Allah exist, does Budda exist, does God exist, is Alex Smith a prophet, does the Holy Trinity exist, should the holy day be on a saturday instead of a sunday? There seem to be a lot of religious lies, too.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      The problem here is that we use legal rules of evidence rather than scientific. Legally it can be disputed that Jesus of Nazareth and Siddharta Gautama existed. SCIENTIFICALLY THIS IS NOT SO. From evidence gathered by me God does exist. Holy Trinity is a doctrine concerning how YHWH reveals Himself.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • chubby rain

      Scientific evidence is able to replicated by other people, your experiences are not able to replicated by other people, and therefore your evidence isn't scientific. Also, scientific evidence does not prove anything. Gravity is a theory with mountains of evidence, but we don't really have a good work concept of what exactly gravity is. I don't know anything about legal evidence, so can't really discuss that.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • kenny

      You keep believing, I'll keep evolving. Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Nii
      Religion involves worship of supernatural things called gods. How then is atheism, the disbelief in gods, and which is without any worship of them as a result, in any way a religion? People like you who make this claim seem to think that all humans have some kind of "religion" slot in their brains that needs to be filled with something, but we don't.

      March 2, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  16. IslandAtheist

    This is awesome, we need more atheist to come out.

    March 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • pervert alert

      There aren't any more. They are even less in numbers than fairies.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • closet atheist

      Amen!

      March 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • closet atheist

      Hallelujah!!

      March 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  17. Nii Croffie

    You atheists always tend to oversimplify things. Well half-truths are lies. There are many definitions for idea and community and belief. I used the context of the comment in my reply. I also find u taking only part of my post to answer to us funny. Why r u former Jehovah Witnesses? Not bright!

    March 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  18. Chad

    Atheism is a self refuting belief as it denies the existence of God, when Gods non-existence by definition is not provable.
    It is impossible for the atheistic belief system to be true.

    March 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Atheism is a self refuting belief as it denies the existence of God, when Gods non-existence by definition is not provable.
      It is impossible for the atheistic belief system to be true."

      Christians is a self refuting belief as it believes in the existence of God, when Gods existence by definition is not provable.
      It is impossible for the Christian belief system to be true.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • MarcTTF

      Just to satisfy people like you, atheism should be redefined as the belief that the existence of god(s) is as probable as the existence of unicorns, leprechauns and other fairy tale creatures.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • GodPot

      Hi Chad,

      Please prove to me that Unicorns do not exist. Also please prove I am not your God. Please prove that the universe is not just a speck of dust inside a giant marble played with by giant aliens. Please prove you do not have a twin Chad living in an alternate universe that is an atheist. By your logic that God must exist because we cannot prove he doesn't just means that anything and everything must exist that we cannot prove doesn't exist. But then again, to even call your train of thought logic might be a bit generous.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Chad

      Proving the positive IS a viable proposition, proving the negative by definition is NOT viable.

      So, regardless of whether of not you believe that God does exist, it is actually possible that its true.

      It is impossible for the atheistic belief system to be true

      March 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Norman

      Commonly: atheists feel that the existence of gods can be demonstrated to be improbable, and believe that no gods exist.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Chad

      Atheists don't have a "belief system." We share a NON belief. We have as much in common with eachother as non-poker players. It's just that the poker players are 90% of the population and keep wanting to tell everybody they must play poker in a certain way while other poker players fight each other and have different views of how one should play poker. I could go on and on, but it's unnecessary if you're the slightest bit smarter than Crad. You catch the drift.

      Yes, it's possible that your god exists; it's also possible that the sun is powered by a cartoon toaster. Can you prove it isn't?

      March 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • GodPot

      Let me examine your path of logic: If Gods existence is possible, and proving he doesn't exist impossible, then God must exist.

      "It is impossible for the atheistic belief system to be true"

      So God is possible, but not proveable, and having no God is impossible so doesn't require proof. It's like watching a puppy dog chase it's tail.

      The fact is God is possible and no God is possible and neither are provable with our current data so the only logical conclusion is to stop inventing what you cannot prove and continue to explore the universe with an open mind. Christians refuse because their God demands they close their minds to everything but him and Atheists often refuse because when a Christian tells them to have an open mind what they really mean is "open your mind and accept my God as your Lord and savior" which is just trying to replace the closed mind of "there is no God" with the closed mind of "I know who God is".

      March 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      WHY MOMOYA ARE U AFRAID OF MENTIONING CHRISTIAN OR BELIEVER NOW? WE ARE STILL WAITING FOR YOU TO TELL US YOUR CHURCH'S NAME. U r no S Paul of Atheism. If u were the only atheist in Germany Hitler would have kissed the Communists.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • John

      Unicorns and the Lochness Monster are more probable than a super natural being who creates Universes.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "Atheists don't have a "belief system." We share a NON belief"

      A belief system is a set of mutually supportive beliefs.

      Believing that something does not exist, IS a belief system, by definition.

      ===============
      @momoya "Yes, it's possible that your god exists; it's also possible that the sun is powered by a cartoon toaster. Can you prove it isn't?"
      @Chad "I can prove that the sun is powered by nuclear fusion, I can further demonstrate that nuclear fusion is mutually exclusive with power by cartoon toaster, and therefor that the sun is not powered by a cartoon toaster.
      You picked a bad example.. that isnt proving a negative. "

      March 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Chad

      @GodPot "Let me examine your path of logic: If Gods existence is possible, and proving he doesn't exist impossible, then God must exist."
      @Chad "nice strawman 🙂 I never said that proves God exists, I said it demonstrates that God cant be disproven, and that the atheist belief system is self refuting."

      "It is impossible for the atheistic belief system to be true"

      ============
      @GodPot "So God is possible, but not proveable, and having no God is impossible so doesn't require proof."
      @Chad "strawman #2!!, I never said the existence of God doesnt require proof, I merely said it cant be disproven"

      March 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • chubby rain

      Chad, it is possible for the atheist belief position to be true. It is just impossible to prove that it is true. If you had to put my beliefs into words, it is that the existence of God is incredibly unlikely and the existence of your particular God is even more unlikely so we should live as if God does not exist.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      True non-believers or Militant secular atheists. I have not written my posts in verses or have I? if this is how u used to read the Bible it is small wonder u r atheist!

      March 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      True non-believers or Militant secular atheists. I have not written my posts in ver.ses or have I? if this is how u used to read the Bible it is small wo.nd.er u r atheist!

      March 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      I didnt say I was looking 4 a thief or murderer did I? If u've reasons not 2 seek Xtian spirituality well thats ur choice. I'm developing emotionally while you r busy catching on. Even if de Bible is mythical it develops one emotionally(spiritually). If that gives me an afterlife, fine. Rational!

      March 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Chad
      Christianity denies the existence of other gods, which is also not really provable. Does that mean that Christianity, with it's claim to one true god, cannot be true?

      March 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Chad

      Atheists don't share a belief that god does not exist. You keep rewording what I say in order to corkscrew your argument where it doesn't belong. I lack belief in your god and all other gods. You lack a belief in unicorns, though they may exist-you simply don't believe without proof–and rightfully so. I also lack a unicorn belief–the same as you. Do we share a religion because we both lack belief in unicorns? According to your logic we do.

      Oh, and prove that the nuclear fission carried on in the sun wasn't started by a cartoon toaster–otherwise it was. Dumb.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Chad

      @Oh Yeah "Christianity denies the existence of other gods, which is also not really provable. Does that mean that Christianity, with it's claim to one true god, cannot be true?"

      =>Christians don't attempt to prove there are no other gods, we rely on someone else to do that.
      “This is what the LORD says—
      Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty:
      I am the first and I am the last;
      apart from me there is no God. " Isaiah 46

      March 2, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "Atheists don't share a belief that god does not exist."
      @Chad "atheists assert that God does not exist, hence the billboard "You know it's a myth"
      All atheists share that same assertion, and therefor share that same world view/belief system. It doesn't make it a religion, it just makes it a (self refuting) shared belief system.

      I am agnostic about the existence of unicorns, leprechauns, big foot, and the loch ness monster. I dont really believe that any of those exist, but its irrational to declare they dont when I can never know for sure. At the end of the day, I dont really care one way or the other.
      ==========
      @mommoya "Oh, and prove that the nuclear fission carried on in the sun wasn't started by a cartoon toaster–otherwise it was. Dumb."
      @Chad "well, I see you have changed your story a bit, earlier you said:"
      @mommoya "Yes, it's possible that your god exists; it's also possible that the sun is powered by a cartoon toaster. Can you prove it isn't?."
      @Chad "one can demonstrate that the sun isnt powered by a cartoon toaster, but one can not prove that the sun wasnt created (started) by a cartoon toaster.

      also remember, I never claimed that God could be proved, only that the evidence makes His existence overwhelming probable.
      I also never said that if it cant be disproven, it is proved, that is a strawman of your own making... 🙂

      March 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Chad

      You're so busy playing word games that you're forgetting to structure a sensible argument. Just because you change the goalposts and think it's fine, and I changed the goalposts and you think it's not fine, does not mean you're saying anything meaningful. Go ahead and toss around the checkers on the floor for a while, and when you're ready to set them up on the board and play a game–let me know. (Post a new post with an actual argument).

      March 2, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Chad

      well, the whole point was defending the original statement:
      @Chad: "Atheism is a self refuting belief as it denies the existence of God, when Gods non-existence by definition is not provable. It is impossible for the atheistic belief system to be true."

      now, you have tried a couple different things, namely:

      @momoya "Atheists don't have a "belief system."
      @momoya "Can you prove that the sun isn't powered by a cartoon toaster?"
      @momoya "prove that nuclear fission carried on in the sun wasn't started by a cartoon toaster–otherwise it was"

      all of which failed to refute the original statement, right?

      March 2, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Captain Obvious

      G0D Dam.n Chad is a dolt!

      March 2, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Chad

      I don't know what atheists you've been talking to, but none of the ones I know claim that there is no god. We claim that god may exist, but the chances are so low as to not really consider the idea valid. You can compare it to how you feel about unicorns. You and I agree about unicorns: unicorns may exist, but the chances are so low as to not really consider the idea valid.

      The only dogma of atheists is to never use dogma. We're kinda stuck on using critical reasoning. There's no religion because there's no centralized belief at all. We don't even agree on how we disagree about the argument of god's existence. Some want to say that god doesn't exist, but most simply say we have as much proof for god as we do for unicorns and leave it at that.

      Taken by itself, atheists don't have a belief system at all, and we don't agree on precisely if god is simply very improbable or non existent. We just all agree that none of humanities proposed gods seem very likely. That's it. No beliefs. No religion.

      March 2, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "I don't know what atheists you've been talking to, but none of the ones I know claim that there is no god"
      @Chad "Then they arent atheists, by definition
      a·the·ism Noun: The theory or belief that God does not exist.
      compare to
      agnostic One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God"

      ===========
      @momoya " We claim that god may exist, but the chances are so low as to not really consider the idea valid. You can compare it to how you feel about unicorns."
      @Chad "as I said above, I am agnostic about the existence of unicorns"

      I've run up against people like you in the past. You want to be known as an atheist, but dont want the burden of proof and the self refuting position that comes with it.
      In an attempt to deal with that, you attempt to convince the world that being an atheist doesnt mean you deny the existence of God, even though thats exactly what atheism is by definition.

      you gave yourself away with the unicorn analogy, your belief about unicorns and God is the same, and if you'll scroll up, I identified that as agnosticism 🙂

      March 3, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • >

      @Chad

      There are moments when the ego overrides common sense. That is proven on every page of this board. It stems from the individual's need to restore his or her own ego. Keep that in mind when individual's take the easier path of vengeance rather than consideration of an alternate viewpoint.

      It isn't necessary to do this at the other person's expense. The individuals who choose to reply to you in this manner do not speak for everyone. Try to be patient with those who differ from you. Intelligence is defined in many ways and not always clearly articulated. Your train of thought is understood. So, no worries. All will not always agree with all of what is said but all can put forth an effort to hold on to human decency when we do disagree.

      March 3, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • >

      Please as a request

      March 3, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      Chad
      "Christians don't attempt to prove there are no other gods, we rely on someone else to do that."

      Ah, but is the Jewish God the same as the Christian God? No divine Jesus or Holy Spirit parts in the Jewish God, so it really cannot be the same one. Either that, or one of you are mistaken. Any Christian sign declaring that "Christ is the Lord" or something similar is really an attack upon Jewish beliefs. Muslim beliefs too, as they claim to have the proper view on who God is. Tell me, is it more hurtful to say "There is no God", or "He's our God, not yours!"?

      March 3, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • Chad

      @> "There are moments when the ego overrides common sense. That is proven on every page of this board. It stems from the individual's need to restore his or her own ego. Keep that in mind when individual's take the easier path of vengeance rather than consideration of an alternate viewpoint. It isn't necessary to do this at the other person's expense. The individuals who choose to reply to you in this manner do not speak for everyone. Try to be patient with those who differ from you. Intelligence is defined in many ways and not always clearly articulated. Your train of thought is understood. So, no worries. All will not always agree with all of what is said but all can put forth an effort to hold on to human decency when we do disagree."

      =>I'm not completely sure I understand what you are saying, but if you are saying "Everyone here posts in some way great or small to assuage their ego, and that includes you Chad, so make your should feel free to make your points, but remember you demean yourself when you relentlessly persecute",
      then
      I'll acknowledge that what you are saying is accurate, and thank you for pointing out something that I forget..
      I apologize
      I'll try to do better..

      March 3, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Observer

      @Chad-For the most part your posts are to the point and see you are restrained in spite of the provocation. It appears that that' >' probably has no valid point other than to derail the conversation.

      Pay no attention to those detractors,keep on keeping on ; the truth needs to be shared.; don't let the naysayers bother you.

      March 3, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Observer

      >, There is a big log in your eye. REMOVE IT NOW as you can't seem to see clearly.

      March 3, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Chad

      @Oh Yeah "Ah, but is the Jewish God the same as the Christian God?"
      @Chad "Yes, Jesus is Jewish, the Jesus is the Jewish Messiah promised by the God of Abraham"

      ================
      @Oh Yeah "No divine Jesus or Holy Spirit parts in the Jewish God, so it really cannot be the same one.

      @Chad "References to the Holy Spirit are infused throughout the OT:
      " I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. " – Joel

      "Then his people recalled the days of old, the days of Moses and his people— where is he who brought them through the sea, with the shepherd of his flock? Where is he who set his Holy Spirit among them" – Isaiah

      Divine Jesus (Messiah) infused throughout the OT:
      "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" Isaiah

      " “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans[b] of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” – Micah

      ================
      @Oh Yeah "Any Christian sign declaring that "Christ is the Lord" or something similar is really an attack upon Jewish beliefs."
      @Chad "If you reject the reality that Jesus Christ actually is the Jewish Messiah, then you are correct and that view would be regarded as a heresy. That is precisely why first century Jewish leaders relentless persecuted early Christians."

      ================
      @Oh Yeah " Tell me, is it more hurtful to say "There is no God", or "He's our God, not yours!"?
      @Chad "The issue is what is true, not whom is potentially offended by that truth. I reject the notion that our first priority is not to offend, our first priority is to determine the truth.

      March 3, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • >

      @Chad
      > There are moments when the ego overrides common sense. That is proven on every page of this board. It stems from the individual's need to restore his or her own ego. Keep that in mind when individual's take the easier path of vengeance rather than consideration of an alternate viewpoint. (This was written so you would not take individuals insults to heart and it was not an inclination of inclusivity in a negative way)

      > It isn't necessary to do this at the other person's expense. The individuals who choose to reply to you in this manner do not speak for everyone. (This is directed at the individual's who choose to reply utilizing an insult in order to gain ground in the argument which in turn restores their ego but at the expense of yours) (In actuality the loss outweighs the gain)

      > Try to be patient with those who differ from you. (This is where I would have inserted Please initially, but did so in hindsight.) (It is a difficult request in the face of adversity to fulfill but one that is worth it. Each individual carries more than is divulged or seen.)

      >Intelligence is defined in many ways and not always clearly articulated. Your train of thought is understood. So, no worries.

      >All will not always agree with all of what is said but all can put forth an effort to hold on to human decency when we do disagree. (The emphasis is on the all)

      March 3, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
  19. Nii Croffie

    Mark I fell asleep sorry ok.

    March 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • sam

      Don't stop now – go back to bed. And stay there.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  20. Patrick

    I am glad to see that the biggest issue here is not with Atheism but with the methods some atheists use to show solidarity, spread their message and support each other and their community. In time, atheists and theists alike can shed some of the questionable tactics, smooth out our contentions and emotions and learn to coexist.

    Because I feel the same way. It isn't your beliefs that are the issue. It is your religion. Let's just shed that and focus on our respective paradigms.

    March 2, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Hummer

      Hmm hmmm hm hm, hmm hmmm hm hm, hm hm hm hm hm hmmmmm.

      America the Beautiful.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Please get serious ok. The moment an idea becomes a belief n forms a community it is a religion. That said atheists behave in a spiritually abusive manner that makes Bible-based cults proud. We need to rather move to the place where they recognise themselves as a community and fit in.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • HeroicSlug

      There's a pretty big community that has formed around "Star Trek".

      Is Trekkie a religion, then?

      March 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • GodPot

      "The moment an idea becomes a belief n forms a community it is a religion." I see, so everyone just has the same idea and then get together? Wouldn't it take at least someone with the idea going around telling all his friends "Hey, Ive got an idea, join with me to make a community/religion"?

      Also, by your logic I am a proud member of the not-collecting stamps hobby community.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Nii
      "The moment an idea becomes a belief n forms a community it is a religion."
      That makes political parties, crafting circles, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and a very wide range of other groups religions in your book.

      People can all have a "position" on the question of God being real. Most seem to think he is, others think that he might, and some do not think that he does. Of those who believe that he is or might, many then choose to worship him as a god, which is a religious practice. Those who do not think that he exists do not worship anything like a god which means there isn't any religious practice being done. See?

      March 2, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70
Advertisement
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.