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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. graytiger

    @Mark Just because I have the impression that you seem to be interested in real discussion:
    A point on 'burden of proof' and a point on 'belief of atheists'.
    – Burden of proof: If I claim to have a table in my house, no one will demand proof of that. It is a very common thing and quite possible. But if I would claim to have a moonrocket in my backyard, or claim powers of levitation, people will look at me incredulously and if not suspect me of suffering of hallucinations, at least demand some extra proof. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof. Same with religion. On the one hand we have the laws of physics, which are if maybe not 100% certain, still so taken for granted that most people have no problem in flying with aeroplanes, wil not step outside their window from the third floor because they trust the law of gravity, and so on and so on. So this part of our knowledge is considered as having a very high degree of certainty and to match the real world, as it is, as closely as possible.
    On the other hand we have the claims of religion putting forward beings (God), and acts (miracles), which are in blatant contradiction with the laws of physics. So it seems only natural that the burden of proof lies in the camp of the religious.

    – atheism as belief: two points:
    1) humans are fallible. Just read the work by Kahneman and Tversky, and you will see that fallibility is built into our brain. But this is a factor for religious people as well as atheists.
    2) scientific theory is never 100% certain. Even though the main part it is confirmed on a daily even hourly basis all around the world in countless events, it is still possible that at one time it will have to be revised. That said, scientific knowledge is way more certain than other kinds of knowledge such as religious knowledge.
    So because of 1 and 2, the beliefs of atheists are never 100% certain.
    But just as one can safely say that the law of gravity is truth and that a person who claims that he can step out of a window on the 10th floor and fly, is crazy, so we can reasonably claim truth for the basic laws of science. For convenience we take a chance of 98% as equal of truth as we can get. Altough in a very theoretical sens we know it's not 100%.
    Now on religion versus atheism: That is a question of justification: on the one hand the arguments for religion are very weak, in contradiction with the laws of science and moreover in a number of cases show logical contradictions which makes the argument almost impossible. While the argument supporting a view of the world as naturalistic and devoid of Gods and miracles, is very strong. So if one has a nearly non-existant argument versus a very strong arument I don't think that one can state that belief in the strong arument is on an equal par with the other belief. This would be equal in claiming that belief in flat earth theory is just as valid a belief as the standard notion of earth as a planet.

    March 4, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • momoya

      Why even try to explain sense to Mark? No matter how many times posters correct his misconceptions, he just focuses on the most irrelevant sections and continues on trolling with his stupidity. He's just a troll wearing a suit.

      March 4, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • momoya

      @ All Posters:

      Quotations from Mark from middle river that prove he is a lying dipsh!t:

      1..As.sumptions are the mother of all Fck'ups.
      .
      .
      2..(as.sumption) they really are holding tight to their beliefs and any signs of co-existence or people from either sides showing respect for one another...is a sign that the world is coming to a end.
      3..(as.sumption) Time to put the 19th cup of coffee down dude.
      4..(assumption) maybe its time to step away from the Belief Blog and go to watch funny kitten videos on Youtube until its your bedtime.
      5..(lie) I have seen you around the Belief Blog since I started coming here and since then I have not seen any of the Atheist, posting here, profess that there is even a small probability that there might be a God
      6..(lie/misrepresentation) For so many of the Atheist that post here, to admit such a probability would undermine their entire core of belief that there is not a God.
      7..(as.sumption/misrepresentation)I have heard basically only Faithful, Atheist and Agnostics, who are like bi-se'xuals in that they are just greedy ...kidding...sorta
      8..(proof that statement #5 above was a lie) I will admit that I did see a few Atheist say what you stated but it was far from “most”.
      9..(as.sumption/lie) I can see that you have been hit with that move recently or seen it in action and it has you a bit shaken
      10..(stupid misrepresentation of idea that has been fully explained several times) If a person believes in unicorns or has one in his yard, its just as cool with me as you saying that there is not a God.
      11..(bald assumption) I was once like you... expecting every Atheist to come and fight to the death in our debates.
      12..(as.sumption) If I were a brick and mortar Christian such as HeavenSent, you would not be struggling and cursing your situation.
      13..(blatant lie) I have been and will continue to be respectful in many ways.
      14..(misrepresentation–correct logic has been explained several times) the claimant either side are called claimants because they have made a claim and are equally held to the same standard of proof.
      15..(as.sumption) I know the last thing that the Atheist side wants to do is to have to be held to the same standards as those of Faith.
      16..(misrepresentation) Non-Believers should provide objective, independent, verifiable and factual evidence for their claims, or admit that they hold beliefs for which there is no such evidence.
      17..(as.sumption) On 9/11 the terrorist felt that our actions in the Middle East and against Islam had gone far enough and they wanted to give us a “dose of our own medicine”.
      18..(as.sumption) Yep with all respect, Bin Laden and pretty much every terrorist make this same type of statement.
      19..(as.sumption) When those sects become m”ore defined and become at odds with each other you will see what we of Faith have seen for generations.

      March 4, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hey GrayTiger. I am glad that you choose to stick around the Belief Blog. There is often great dialouge between folks of different viewpoints.

      Cool post, and I wish I had the time to go deeper into it so forgive, ...I had 19 things I needed to deal with as soon as I got home and I am missing the car race.

      The power of Faith and Belief is why those of us hold that not only did miracles happen, that they will continue to happen. For myself, I just hold that there is

      >>>”Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof.“ I will continue to hold that to a person of Faith, especially one that states that they have witnessed a miracle or even experainced one first hand, and its one of those that can not be explained. When a person states that there is not a God or Gods to them that is an equally “extraordinary” claim. Should they not have the right to have the claimant to prove it to them?

      How many times have people heard the stories of miracles or the unexplained, then hear someone declare that all can be explained ...but then fails to do such? Disease cured, military victories, the list go on and on … and a noticeable number that folks can not explain. One of my favorites is what happened to the British during the War of 1812 right after they sacked Washington DC. That's a lot of coincidences.

      With that, a Atheist comes to me and says that there is not a God, why should I not then question him and ask him for proof for his or her claim?

      I like your “flat Earth vs planet” comparison. Before, someone actually went and proved that you could sail to the horizon and not fall off, the world as a planet was the accepted theory. Then someone proved them wrong. What, now the Faithful are requiring is that scale of proof. For a while the burden was placed on the Faithful and I admit it was a “slamdunk” effect, but now we are taking flight and slam dunking and some Atheist want to declare that we can not use it. Why, because its an effective argument? You can offer an opinion or even a theory that God does not exist but so far that is lacking. Especially to those that claim to define as God's providence.

      L'Chaim

      March 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • graytiger

      @Mark You completely misconstrue my argument. I can illustrate it with my example of the table versus moonrocket. While I state in my post that having a table in the house is ordinary and claiming to have a moonrocket in the house is an extraordinary claim which should be proven. The table meaning the laws of physics and the natural world, the moonrocket, the supernatural beings and events, which are in complete contradiction with the proven laws of physics. You in your argument claim that having a table in the house is just as extraordinary as having a the rocket in the house. This was not my argument and I am amazed and can't quite understand that you misunderstood it so much. Although I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, I am inclined to agree with momoya. You are unable to comprehend because of your prejudices or are doing it on purpose.

      March 4, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • graytiger

      @Mark. In fact you don't really engage with my argument but replace the part of 'the natural world and the laws' in my argument by the argument 'that God doesn't exist', thereby changing my argument in your own version of the atheist versus the believer. Like I said before: a sign of obsession or a deliberate troll move.

      March 4, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hey GrayTiger. I understand your argument but am trying to convey or get you to understand is that if the basis of who should or should not be required to offer proof is based solely on the designation of an “extrodinary claim”, then by whose determination should we go by. Yours, mine, Momo's, The Catholic Church?

      To you, I take it that you are speaking as an Atheist, the existence of a God or Gods is extraordinary but do you feel that everyone else also thinks this to be extraordinary? I understand your Laws of Physic argument but with respect that is just one argument, especially for something that most believe to be outside of those Laws. I know that it is not your argument, it is mine.

      Question, when a Atheist says that there is not a God, .. how do you think those of Faith view that claim?

      Tell me, what do you wish for me to say then. I took your argument and am trying to show you that it has a major flaw. Did you wish for me to naturally accept your argument, being someone of Faith? Please, give me your definition of engaging an argument?

      ..a sign of obsession? Did you see Momo's 19 points and you think I am obsessed 🙂

      March 4, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • momoya

      It's obvious that you're obsessed with me, but that's to be expected.

      You're seriously arguing that a person who claims to have had an encounter with aliens should be believed without having to provide any proof because, from his perspective, the people who aren't sure that he had an alien encounter are making a claim just as incredulous as his.

      So, Mark, I don't have to provide evidence that you were the second gunman on the grassy knoll, and you and everyone have to believe me. The reason? Because, from my perspective your claim that you weren't the second Kennedy assassin is more incredulous than mine. Please call the police in your local area and turn yourself in immediately.

      March 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Interesting on a thread directed at me, you jumped in ....

      Obsessed :Preoccupy or fill the mind of (someone) continually, intrusively, and to a troubling extent.

      Now you have moved into the stalking phase of Obsession Momo. Are you going to follow me into all the threads I post into. Today was my day off, normally I will not be able to quickly respond.

      March 5, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • momoya

      And again you prove yourself a trolling dolt. Again you refuse to deal with the issue and instead assume and accuse. I don't think you can help it, but most people consider your style of discussion to be very rude and disingenuous.

      It's interesting how you like to whine about me in a thread and then when I respond to your whining you whine about me responding. It's just never your fault, is it? You need to start being honest with yourself; it appears that you lie to yourself so much that you don't even know what you believe.

      March 5, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • graytiger

      @Mark

      I give you for now the benefit of doubt. I'll evaluate as the discussion goes along.

      By the way, I am an atheist, what is your religion or denomination?

      'is based solely on the designation of an “extrodinary claim”, then by whose determination should we go by. Yours, mine, Momo's, The Catholic Church?' In my reply I scketch a common ground that is accepted by most of us, atheists and believers alike: the core of the laws of physics. The 'table' in my metaphor. The extraordinary does not have to be defined by you, the catholic church or ... It is defined by comparison to the mutually accepted and common ground. The supernatural (the rocket in my metaphor) is extraordinary compared to the laws. The laws are as true as one can get and the supernatural is in contradiction with them. Thus it is certainly extraordinary. For believers as well as non-believers. All this is merely a repeat in different words of my earlier post because you don't seem to understand my point. As your mentioning of who has to define 'extraordinary' shows.

      Besides, you state that atheists claim that God doesn't exist, and you demand proof of this non-existence. I don't claim this. It is almost impossible to prove that something does not exist. Such proofs are only possible in very special cases. One can't prove that unicorns, elves, .. don't exist. So one can't prove that a God doesn't exist. What I do claim is that the argument for is weak and the argument against is strong. One of the strong arguments is the argument from evil which demonstrates the logical impossibility, not of a God, but of the christian God. But this was also in large part in my earlier post.

      It is up to you if we continue this as a rational discussion or not.

      March 5, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  2. ChangeYourName

    Silverman's organization is called American Athiests. Why isn't it called American Heayhens or American Infidels? Where in hell did the word athiest come from anyway?

    March 4, 2012 at 5:57 am |
  3. Cameron

    To quote a great man

    “One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody-not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms-had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion, and one would like to think-though the connection is not a fully demonstrable one-that this is why they seem so uninterested in sending fellow humans to hell.”

    March 3, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Chad

      My experience with the living Jesus Christ was 12 years ago..

      March 3, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • ath

      one personal experience doesn't count as proof. Too many such experiences in the past, even though the person in question was dead certain, proved to be wrong.

      March 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  4. graytiger

    I posted a number of replies starting from page 53 until this one, but besides answering replies to some of the posts I made I think I'll leave this discussion. The way this blog is organised doesn't promote deep going discussion. Only some quick passing remarks, that get answered seldom. If one of you wants to go any deeper into a point, or has a suggestion for a site, forum, .. where more deepgoing discussion is possible, I'm all ears.
    Have fun.

    March 3, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • captain america

      Try minding your own F'n business. There's your sign

      March 3, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • graytiger

      @ captain Again, are you a christian? Then decency, respect and politeness are not part of your christianity. Or are you intellectually unable to present a decent argument. My condolences with your handicap.

      March 3, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • just sayin

      You appear more as a broken record, any challenge to you seems to cause you to accuse Christianity. What is up with that? How is Christianity even related to what was said?

      March 3, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • graytiger

      @ just sayin Do you really consider 'Try minding your own F'n business' as a challenge? Sad.

      March 3, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • just sayin

      The point is you used that post as an excuse to attack Christianity. Why?

      March 3, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • graytiger

      @just sayin. You read me wrong My post didn't attack christianity, just the way captain reacted. In my opinion 'decency, respect and politeness' are a part of christianity. Only some supposed christians such as captain seem to forget this.

      March 3, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • just sayin

      Other than your assumed position where is Christianity mentioned? Try later when you sober up.

      March 3, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • graytiger

      just another friendly christian. And I so went out of my way to explain. Pithy.

      March 3, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      just sayin nothing, you haven't laid a finger on graytiger, 'cause you don't read for comprehension. graytiger's reply to CA was obviously too complex for CA, but I'm (only somewhat) surprised you couldn't comprehend it.

      March 3, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • just sayin

      No one was trying to lay anything on anyone, you are interfering in something you know nothing about. But having seen your posts for some time now that is not unusual for you.

      March 3, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      GrayTiger. With all respects, this forum is known for its trolls on all sides. You can have deep dialogue here but you have to realize that the Trolls live to get between folks and break up any dialouge. Some trolls are just there to get you to react violently to their post and drag you into a flame war. Some of them I do honestly believe are posting as both Atheist and the Faithful.

      Other trolls are even worst, they really are holding tight to their beliefs and any signs of co-existence or people from either sides showing respect for one another... is a sign that the world is coming to a end.

      Best advice... ignore them.

      March 3, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
  5. graytiger

    Now a bit more controversial post for my atheist brothers and sisters.
    There does exist something that one can call atheist religiosity. In english 'religion' falls almost completely together with organised religion and belief in a God. But in fact the original meaning of the term 'religiare' means 'to bind'. In this sense some atheists can practice certain exercises (meditation, ...) to evoke, stimulate, in themselves a feeling of connectedness (religiare, religiosity) with nature and the world. This has nothing to do with a belief in a God or in one of the organised religions, but with strenghtening a motivation to care for the world based on a feeling that all is connected. Nor is this an argument to call atheism an other form of religion comparable with christianity, islam, ..

    March 3, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  6. graytiger

    @Well You argue that atheists get their morality from christianity. But a very good argument can be made that the major points in the christian morality (love thy neighbour, ...) are already to be found in Egyptian, Babylonian, ... texts. So we should rather be thankfull to these folks than to the christians. Besides where do you think a man like Ghandi got his generally recognised positive morality? Not in christian literature. Most of the basic norms: do not kill, do not lie, do not steal, can be found all over the world in very different cultures. They are just a consequence of people thinking about reasonable rules for living together in society. So a positive atheist morality can have many sources. There is no priviledged place for christianity.

    March 3, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • captain america

      There is no place for butt in canadians on American topics either, we have our own ass hole atheists we don't need to import any. Go F yourself. There's your sign

      March 3, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • graytiger

      @aptain. Are you a christian? With christian values? Doesn't seem so.
      And no, I'm not a canadian : ) .

      March 3, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • graytiger

      @ just sayin. I asked you to Inform me. But maybe you can't? Just a reliable text will do.

      March 3, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • just sayin

      You are all over the place, ill informed and requesting something on a post here that I have no idea what it is you are trying to say. Are you sane and sober and capable of discussion? I think not, try another time.

      March 3, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • graytiger

      @just sayin I just misposted. A human error for which I apologize. We can't all be perfect. Or don't you err sometimes? And why so agressive? Do you feel threatened?

      March 3, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Cameron

      Men of science like Dawkins and those who respect science among atheists do or would wish to do something that the vast majority of religious people are unable to do. Soberly examine the question of the supernatural through the scientific process. While I have no problem calling myself an atheist. I and others would also say that perhaps more importantly we are naturalists. As the supernatural has never been shown to be a coherent concept, let alone to actually be a part of the universe. This examination goes way behind simply speculation on the Judeo/Islamic/Christian Jehova.

      March 3, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • momoya

      @Mark

      Atheists talk about god the way you talk about unicorns. If somebody asks you about unicorns, you're going to say that they are mythological and that they certainly do NOT exist, but you don't really mean that, you mean that there's no reason to assume they exist, although they might, but there's been no proof for any at this point. Atheists talk about god the way you talk about unicorns. That you want to play childish semantic games and lie when you say you've never seen an atheist say X, and then I and others plainly have said X, is mere silly distraction.

      To be continued..

      March 3, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • momoya

      You know full well the differing shades of atheism and who has the burden of proof, but you want to laugh about how neither side has any proof and somehow that doesn't mean that the claimant has the burden of proof and that without proof, the default position is to disbelieve. If I tell you I have a unicorn in my yard, I have the burden to prove that. You are right to disbelieve me until you have reason to believe me. It would be STUPID of me to say that we both have "exactly zero" evidence and so my claim is just as likely. God believers have zero evidence, therefore, it makes sense to NOT believe. The disbeliever doesn't have to do anything other than follow the rules of critical reasoning–he's under no duty to provide evidence for his position of disbelief-until-proof.

      March 3, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • momoya

      By the way, I fi.n.d your flippant at.t.itude and haughty demeanor to be absolutely disgusting. I consider you a liar because you have blatantly lied and also because you are obviously smart enough to grasp the arguments that people keep repeating to you, yet you persist in muddying the waters as if you don't because you find the situation more personally humorous than if you were to honestly carry on meaningful discussion in a civil manner. In short, you're a d.i.ck.
      .

      March 3, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • momoya

      @Mark

      Atheists talk about god the way you talk about unicorns. If somebody asks you about unicorns, you're going to say that they are mythological and that they certainly do NOT exist, but you don't really mean that, you mean that there's no reason to assume they exist, although they might, but there's been no proof for any at this point. Atheists talk about god the way you talk about unicorns. That you want to play childish semantic games and lie when you say you've never seen an atheist say X, and then I and others plainly have said X, is mere silly distraction.

      You know full well the differing shades of atheism and who has the burden of proof, but you want to laugh about how neither side has any proof and somehow that doesn't mean that the claimant has the burden of proof and that without proof, the default position is to disbelieve. If I tell you I have a unicorn in my yard, I have the burden to prove that. You are right to disbelieve me until you have reason to believe me. It would be STUPID of me to say that we both have "exactly zero" evidence and so my claim is just as likely. God believers have zero evidence, therefore, it makes sense to NOT believe. The disbeliever doesn't have to do anything other than follow the rules of critical reasoning–he's under no duty to provide evidence for his position of disbelief-until-proof.

      By the way, I fi.n.d your flippant at.t.itude and haughty demeanor to be absolutely disgusting. I consider you a liar because you have blatantly lied and also because you are obviously smart enough to grasp the arguments that people keep repeating to you, yet you persist in muddying the waters as if you don't because you find the situation more personally humorous than if you were to honestly carry on meaningful discussion in a civil manner. In short, you're a d.i.ck.
      .

      March 3, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Wow, Momo.... you posted the same message twice. Time to put the 19th cup of coffee down dude. If I gotcha THAT rattled then maybe its time to step away from the Belief Blog and go to watch funny kitten videos on Youtube until its your bedtime.

      My response is with the one with the Dawkins video. 🙂

      March 4, 2012 at 12:46 am |
  7. Billboards are all well and good but

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4uG3qC6KBw&w=420&h=315]

    March 3, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • graytiger

      the argument that you claim Lennox won at 38 was in fact won by Dawkins at 1:35. And so on ...

      March 3, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • just sayin

      Not quite, Dawkins got caught in several lies and was playing catch up on the most simple of questions. He was in the company of a man who actually knew scholars of ancient times, oops big time snag on that lie.

      March 3, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • graytiger

      lenox point at 4:44 about creation of the universe was perfectly answered by Dawkins at 6:38, wit an arhgument based on Occam's razor
      There is really no need for me to keep waisting my time in trying to understand your presnetation if you don't seem to understand Dawkins arguments.

      March 3, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • momoya

      Most people who view that video and conclude that Dawkins was "destroyed" should immediately join a socially-accepted dogmatic myth cult in your community.

      March 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • graytiger

      @ just sayin Since I don't want to waist my time. Please state Dawkins lie and the point where he makes it in the clip, and the point where it is shown to be a lie. I'll look at it and give my comment.

      March 3, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • just sayin

      Published lie was most scholars of ancient history dispute Jesus existed. Dawkins did a 180 on that statement and admitted Jesus did in fact exist. You are commenting on things without ever having watched what was presented aren't you? How lame can you be?

      March 3, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • graytiger

      @just sayin . I only commented on the part of the clip I saw. I even mentioned the minute and second.
      In your comment you state that Dawkins said something about some scholars and that he himself didn't doubt in the existence of Jezus. I don't see that giving the opinion of others and then stating your own opinion, is equal to lying. Besides I asked for 'the point where he makes it' since you just say it is published, but don't say where, I am unable to verify if your own statement is true.

      March 3, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • just sayin

      So you readily admit your position and comments are ill informed, as I suspected.

      March 3, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • momoya

      Another do.u.che bag christian. What a shocker.

      March 3, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • graytiger

      because it was posted at the wrong place, I repeat it here:
      @ just sayin. I asked you to Inform me. But maybe you can't? Just a reliable text will do.

      March 3, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I just listened to the above and I scored it 50 to 1 for Dawkins. The believer got Dawkins to say jesus existed – no big deal because he did not get Dawkins to admit that jesus was a god. They both agreed that the real question was is god real. The believer said there was evidence that god was real, but presented none.

      Dawkins, and most atheists, allow that there is a small (very small!) probability that some god exists, therefore they are much more opened minded than believers, and certainly much more open minded than believers would like to acknowledge. Allowing for the (very small) probability of a god does not negatively alter an atheist's belief system. Believers will not admit that there is a probability that there are no gods because it would shatter their entire belief system.

      March 3, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”Dawkins, and most atheists, allow that there is a small (very small!) probability that some god exists, therefore they are much more opened minded than believers, and certainly much more open minded than believers would like to acknowledge.”

      Hey Ace, old Friend. 🙂 Question, could this small probability just be small presence of simple and normal doubt? Many of the Faithful, I believe do have doubt if God is out there or just the more frightening questions of God's judgment towards each of us as individuals.

      I have seen you around the Belief Blog since I started coming here and since then I have not seen any of the Atheist, posting here, profess that there is even a small probability that there might be a God. Even following this thread alone the standard Atheist mantra is that “There is no God” or “God is a myth”. This is why your claim I find a bit untrue or uninformed because I do not see proof of this Atheist view which is why I believe it to be more on the lines of doubts that they may be wrong more than they are open to the probability that there is one.

      For so many of the Atheist that post here, to admit such a probability would undermine their entire core of belief that there is not a God.

      L'Chaim

      March 3, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Mark, there's been lots of posts about the various degrees of atheism, including Dawkins' statement that he estimates there's a 6.9 / 7.0 probability that no gods exist which obviously leaves a small probability that a god exists. This a logical stance given that there is no evidence that any god exists (only wishful thinking claims) and no absolute evidence that no gods exist (can't prove a negative). It is in no way doubt about the existence of a god as described in The Babble. If such a god exists it won't affect me until it is definitively shown to exist.

      I have been, and will continue to be, guilty of saying that there are no gods, not even just one. But I have also said many times that, for me at least, this shorthand for "the probability of any god existing is so low that to say there are no gods is not much of an exaggeration."

      March 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Mark

      Don't be ridiculous. I said that exact same thing just in the last few pages. Most atheists do NOT say "there is no god." Most atheists say, "I do not believe in a god (yet) because I have not found there to be enough proof for any gods described so far." Or something of that sentiment. As a simple disbeliever, an atheist would be in a perfect spot to accept the first god who supplies sufficient evidence of himself. The atheist has no god belief to be displaced were a genuine being to show up. The god believers around the world would have to disbelieve in their myth, and then take on a new belief.

      We atheists are used to all the typical believer b.u.ll s.h!t, such as, "You can't prove god DOESN'T exist," so we know ahead of time to mention that our argument is that the believer is the one required to convince the nonbeliever with evidence. This is more commonly dealt with by an atheist telling the believer something like this, "I don't have to prove unicorns do not exist–the unicorn believer needs to provide me with evidence because he is the one asking that I believe in his belief." It comes up all the time because believers are so bad at following logic. Of course there's a small possibility that unicorns or gods exist, but we simply say "there are no unicorns" to express our extreme distance from verifying such a claim.

      March 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”Mark, there's been lots of posts about the various degrees of atheism,”

      Ace, as I still stand by, if there is this great varying in degrees of Atheism where do you see such here on the Belief Blog? I have heard basically only Faithful, Atheist and Agnostics, who are like bi-se'xuals in that they are just greedy ...kidding...sorta 🙂

      We could ask our new friend momoya if he or she is open to small part of belief in the probability that God might exist. Right, now momoya is off on a tantrum but I am sure when calmed down, maybe you can ask him or her Ace.

      >>>”But I have also said many times that, for me at least, this shorthand for "the probability of any God existing is so low that to say there are no Gods is not much of an exaggeration."

      Then by using simple reasoning, that small piece of doubt, you claim that some Atheist hold, I feel is not that different from the doubt that some of the Faithful hold. I also do not think that the Belief Blog is the type of place where most folks are willing to secede that argument to the other side. That is not the society we live in Ace.

      >>>”Most atheists do NOT say "there is no God. Most atheists say, "I do not believe in a God (yet) because I have not found there to be enough proof for any Gods described so far."

      “But it is a myth. It's all in your brain my fellow human beings.” Chicoburner March 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm

      “There are no gods or goddesses, demons or devils, ghosts or goblins. “ Yakobi March 1, 2012 at 11:40 am

      “Well they are right. It is a myth.” Dan March 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm

      “LMAO no we are not, we do know, it is you who is afraid to say you know.” Give Me A Break March 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      “Atheists aren't afraid to admit God doesn't exist, we acknowledge that fact without fear.” Icoolnerd84 March 1, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      “Your god doesn't exist. It was made up to give hope and meaning to people who lived in really crappy conditions.”HeroicSlug March 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm
      --
      Whew!!!….and Momo, that was just in the opening hours of this article. I will admit that I did see a few Atheist say what you stated but it was far from “most”.

      >>>”...so we know ahead of time to mention that our argument is that the believer is the one required to convince the nonbeliever with evidence.”

      Yeah, we Faithful have learned that trick as well 🙂 … soon as a Atheist says there is no God the burden is on him or her to provide proof of their claim. I remember when we began to see that trick, in post, turned on the Atheist and watching them failing to provide such proof. I can see that you have been hit with that move recently or seen it in action and it has you a bit shaken 😀

      Momo, the thing is that I do not speak as a a Christian who is 700 club heck bent on destroying your belief. If it is yours then its totally cool with me. From the middle, Ace's statement was the openness that there could be a God registers to me the same as when I hear a person of Faith who without shame, questions of if God is out there.

      For me, this is just another day in the park and being fascinated on the similarities in the groups. While I was searching for those post to offer a rebuttal to your statement, my favorite was by a guy who stated that maybe this incident of the these billboards being aimed at the Muslims and the Jews at the same time …. might be a mistake and bring these groups, the Jews and Muslims finally together.

      If that is the outcome let me know this guys Paypal handle and I will send him a few dollars to put up more.

      March 3, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Mark, you only need to page 66 to see:

      "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"

      These definitions have been presented many ties and various posters have claimed to be in various places in the atheist spectrum.

      Also, re: doubt, do not confuse recognition that there is a very small probability that a god might exist as a longing for a god to exist or that my (non) religious beliefs are wrong. It is just a simple and neutral recognition that it is not definitive that any gods exist – nothing more.

      Re: burden of proof, believers are the ones making the extraordinary claim. Atheist's claim that there are no gods is a reaction to that extraordinary claim – it is not an extraordinary claim itself. Therefore believers are responsible to prove their claim and atheists have nothing to prove.

      March 3, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • momoya

      ha! didn't realize the video was the OP. Anotehr try!

      @Mark

      Atheists talk about god the way you talk about unicorns. If somebody asks you about unicorns, you're going to say that they are mythological and that they certainly do NOT exist, but you don't really mean that, you mean that there's no reason to assume they exist, although they might, but there's been no proof for any at this point. Atheists talk about god the way you talk about unicorns. That you want to play childish semantic games and lie when you say you've never seen an atheist say X, and then I and others plainly have said X, is mere silly distraction.

      You know full well the differing shades of atheism and who has the burden of proof, but you want to laugh about how neither side has any proof and somehow that doesn't mean that the claimant has the burden of proof and that without proof, the default position is to disbelieve. If I tell you I have a unicorn in my yard, I have the burden to prove that. You are right to disbelieve me until you have reason to believe me. It would be STUPID of me to say that we both have "exactly zero" evidence and so my claim is just as likely. God believers have zero evidence, therefore, it makes sense to NOT believe. The disbeliever doesn't have to do anything other than follow the rules of critical reasoning–he's under no duty to provide evidence for his position of disbelief-until-proof.

      By the way, I fi.n.d your flippant at.t.itude and haughty demeanor to be absolutely disgusting. I consider you a liar because you have blatantly lied and also because you are obviously smart enough to grasp the arguments that people keep repeating to you, yet you persist in muddying the waters as if you don't because you find the situation more personally humorous than if you were to honestly carry on meaningful discussion in a civil manner. In short, you're a d.i.ck.
      .

      March 3, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”Re: burden of proof, believers are the ones making the extraordinary claim. “

      To a Atheist I would agree that the existence of God is an extraordinary claim but also realize to someone that is of Faith it is seen equally extraordinary the claim that there is no God. Such is why the burden of proof challenge hampers both sides, because to each it is extraordinary that the other view exist. You can declare that the Atheist have nothing to prove but that is just attempting to run away from the same requirement of proof that is placed on us.

      Ace, if you state a belief and want folks to accept it or even convert to it from their view.... you need proof. If you decide that you have nothing to prove then what makes the Atheist shouting that there is no God on one corner any different from the street preacher on the other.

      Welcome to the world of Religion. Like I said, you Atheist will fit in very nicely. 🙂

      -

      >>>”Atheists talk about god the way you talk about unicorns, you're going to say that they are mythological and that they certainly do NOT exist”

      When, did I “talk about unicorns”....do you have examples of me saying/posting such? Are you assuming that I would say that. Might want to ask Ace if he has ever seen a post from me stating such. If a person believes in unicorns or has one in his yard, its just as cool with me as you saying that there is not a God.

      Stop assuming that all Faithful, think and say the same things. You said that I know all the shades of Atheism, then accept that you should learn all the shades of Faith, let alone Christianity. Assumptions are the mother of all Fck'ups.

      >>>“By the way, I find your flippant att'itude and haughty demeanor to be absolutely disgusting.”

      Sorry you feel that way... well there is a “there's a 6.9 / 7.0 probability” that I feel sorry that you feel this way about my posting style. I use it to try to keep things on a calmer and more jovial mood. If you want a Westburo Baptist style of Christian response then I am sure you can find it here with others.

      I was once like you... expecting every Atheist to come and fight to the death in our debates. In my first days, I admit it was fun, but then I met a few Atheist here that changed my thinking about Atheist as a whole. Some posted simply that they just wanted to honestly live in peace and co-exist in society. It was then that I discovered that just as we have our 700 club Christians we have Atheist that just want to fight to the death. I wondered what is the greater challenge, for me to get you to convert to Christianity or to challenge myself to find a way for us to co-exist in society.

      >>>”I consider you a liar because you have blatantly lied “

      Example, please.

      >>>”you are obviously smart enough to grasp the arguments that people keep repeating to you, yet you persist in muddying the waters as if you don't because you find the situation more personally humorous than if you were to honestly carry on meaningful discussion in a civil manner.”

      Momo- The muddying of the waters, is an interesting way of looking at it. From my vantage point subjects and debates are very gray and maybe proudly muddy. You can not find traction, and I got you.. gotcha good kid. 🙂 If I were a brick and mortar Christian such as HeavenSent, you would not be struggling and cursing your situation. You have here in me a Christian that is open to dialogue, and does not respond in kind to flame wars. I won't do such, flame wars are easy... not slapping your enemy around and showing respect in a debate .. that's totally hard. Come on dude, calling me a liar and a such... I have been and will continue to be respectful in many ways, even though we disagree. That I am cool with you and your beliefs ...I guess throws you off. In that way, I guess I am happy. 🙂

      March 4, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Mark, for the last time...

      A claimant's beliefs do not change the rules of logic. Believers and non-believers are not equally hampered. Non-believers have nothing to prove. Believers should provide objective, independent, verifiable and factual evidence for their claims, or admit that they hold beliefs for which there is no such evidence. Just as some believers want atheists to admit that there is some very small probability that some god exists when we say "there are no gods" and want to imply that atheists have doubts about their beliefs, believers should similarly qualify their proclamations of their beliefs and admit that there is good reason to doubt the existence of any god and the truthfulness of associated myths.

      March 4, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”A claimant's beliefs do not change the rules of logic. Believers and non-believers are not equally hampered.”

      With respect Ace, the claimant either side are called claimants because they have made a claim and are equally held to the same standard of proof. I know the last thing that the Atheist side wants to do is to have to be held to the same standards as those of Faith. Unfortunately, when you make a claim on the existence or non existence of God neither side gets a pass.

      Non-Believers should provide objective, independent, verifiable and factual evidence for their claims, or admit that they hold beliefs for which there is no such evidence.

      Cool huh 🙂 Time for me to call it a night, you know ...church in the morning and a all nigh M.A.S.H. marathon on TVLand.

      L'Chaim, Ace

      March 4, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • momoya

      @ mark

      I told you in my post where and how you lied. You debate by choosing to focus on the most irrelevant side issues instead of addressing the main points squarely and honestly. (Arguing that I don't know how you would describe your disbelief in unicorns instead of debating the issue behind the example). What absolute childishness.

      If you have seen my posts here, you know that I have no interest in "fight to the death" style discussion. I want to address the concerns you raise. You just want to argue about something.. anything.. irrelevant portions of the post.. etc.. and so you ignore whole entire sections of posts that directly confront your misconceptions (burden of proof/zero proof for both sides,etc) . You seem quite smart, so I must conclude that you are doing this intentionally just to be an @sshat.

      March 4, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  8. momoya

    @ well

    Again you misunderstand. I don't consider those acts evil or good; I consider them as being the fruit of a christian influenced moral code. YOU and CHRISTIANS consider those acts evil, yet they were partially a product of your ethical code. There's no way get god's viewpoint on such things as slavery and genocide because the bible's god uses the same acts to further his purposes for his chosen people. You can condemn or uphold slavery and genocide by using scripture, and we see clear examples in our own history. You claim that the world's current ethics are largely informed by the bible and christianity, and I agree. This world ain't a pretty place, so good job, christians.

    March 3, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • momoya

      sorry, meant to reply to well

      March 3, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  9. IslandAtheist

    These billboards are directed at non-believers, if you're a believer you can disregard these billboards, just like we disregard your billboards.

    March 3, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  10. well

    You really are rather slow to understand basic English. Everything you blather on about the evils of Christianity, are the acts of Western culture, yes. But you are judging these acts evil, only through your cultural/moral filter that tells you that slaughtering lesser cultures is bad. These were the failures of the West to follow their ideals, which are fundamentally Christian.

    You are just so wrapped up in your hatred of Christianity that you don't understand that mercy for your enemy is not a common moral (not uniquely Christian, but not common) Pre-Christian European cultures would have slaughtered the Indians as well, but wouldn't whine about having done it later.

    As for my personal beliefs, I am agnostic. I just find atheists as amusing and as open minded as Young Earth Creationists.

    March 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Cameron

      There's an old quote that applies to your post. "Well the important thing is you've found a way to feel superior to both."
      Whining that people are saying they find Christian immoral by going. "Whaaaa why aren't you whining about religion X too!" makes about as much sense as when someone is asked, "Do you not like pancakes?" and they reply "No I don't like pancakes." whining that they didn't mention if they like chicken or not. There's also the factor of what religion is the dominant religion of region a person is from. A person from a Hindu dominated area is more likely to direct criticism to Hinduism,etc. You're post is just whining that dismisses the sociological realities so you can give your ego a pat on the proverbial back.

      Oh and people can be agnostic atheists and most atheists are so you don't even understand the terminology you are using.

      March 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Cameron

      You should read back through some of well's posts! O.o You have to ignore about 5 insults and disregard his lies about what you've done, and after all that you've got to try to make sense of his convoluted and non sequitur reasoning just to figure out what it is he intends to say.

      March 3, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Cameron

      lol momyah sounds exasperating.

      March 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  11. Metal

    hope these atheists remember the cartoon from the Netherlands depicting muhammed and all the violence and destruction it caused just for making fun of other people religious beliefs, they could be putting their lives at risk doing such things, just for the sake of an opinion

    March 3, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • momoya

      Atheists aren't generally swayed by terrorism. You'll need to use that tactic on people who are motivated by fear–such as people afraid to consider their faith because their god might torture them forever in a pit of fire.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Cameron

      So being defiant against thugs who would try to impose their theocratic backwards ideas through violence is a BAD THING? You're a coward.

      March 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"...impose their theocratic backwards ideas through violence is a BAD THING?"

      Tell me, whose Memorial is the newest on the National Malls... Dr Martin Luther King Jr or Malcolm X. One was shot by a a klanman and the other by his own people.

      March 3, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
  12. Religion is neither healthy for the believer nor non-believer

    Prayer is wishful thinking.

    March 3, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 3, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • kenny

      Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer

      March 3, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  14. Mark from Middle River

    >>>”And this is just one small group of atheists in one corner of the country. They certainly do not represent all of us in any way,”

    Oh Yeah- So, when folks attack all Christians for the actions of Westburo Baptist or the 700 club gang, can we say the same thing that you have? Basically, that they are a small group of Christians and they do not represent all Christians? Will the more radical Atheist accept this standing in the same way you wish us to accept yours?

    >>>”If this is just a part on the ongoing campaign against Christian groups then giving people a dose of their own medicine is often the only way for them to tap into the empathy required to stop hurting people. “

    Hmm...you know I heard some one else make that “I am doing this to you to make you feel what we feel …. “ ..who was it..

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_jIFN3jkJc&w=640&h=360]

    In some ways, I guess groups have to start somewhere. On 9/11 the terrorist felt that our actions in the Middle East and against Islam had gone far enough and they wanted to give us a “dose of our own medicine”. Maybe that these billboards are appearing in New York, it is fitting that this small group of Atheist is once again heeding that “call” to let others know how they feel.

    >>>”By in large many Christians appear to be completely unaware (or uncaring) “

    Yep with all respect, Bin Laden and pretty much every terrorist make this same type of statement.

    >>>”public theological statements declaring Jesus to be God and Christianity as the only "Way" basically calls everyone else's faith, or lack thereof, false. “

    This is an interesting point but you need to ask yourself. As a Christian, I am aware that there so many different denominations of that for most of my life I have heard this group/denomination or that proclaim that their way is the only way. I have even seen disagreements within the same church conference where the pastor of one church has a noticeable different interpretation than the pastor on the other side of town. This can be seen in media reports of differences in Islam and even within Judaism. Remember a few months ago the Israeli military had to step in to break up a dispute between the different Jewish factions.

    All the while, and I am not saying that I have been to every town... I can not recall seeing one denomination posting billboards in the same manner as this guys. I live in the South and I have seen church billboards but never one placed to upset another. If anything the signs are just invites to their church or temples.

    Even you yourself have identified the different sects within Atheism. When those sects become m”ore defined and become at odds with each other you will see what we of Faith have seen for generations. When someone post a billboard that say “Jesus is God”, most of Faith know that it is the same as Toyota saying … “Cars are great... but our brand is the best”. So in many ways, we of Faith see the same billboards that you have but we know that unless they have a identification of our own denomination... that it is just another group aiming a billboard at us with the hopes that we convert to their interpretation of the scripture.

    >>>”From my experience Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and other religious folks don't challenge other people's beliefs publicly even remotely as much. Many Christians are arrogant in their certainty.”

    Ok, I will agree on the Buddhist, but the others ...especially our brother Muslims and Jews .. are you out of your mind? 🙂

    >>>”If they realize that as a result of this group's use of the same tactics that would be a good result. “

    Yeah, … I am old enough to remember that “same tactics” argument....

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

    LA Riots … Reginal Denny.

    >>>”Left unchallenged by anyone these Christians will likely just get even bolder, wouldn't you say?”

    I guess that is the reason of my long post today, when the billboards fail to make the Faithful feel what the owner of the billboards feels they should...what is the next step. All extremist start this way. Few, I believe start by physical attacks. Even the Nazis began with signs and posters before they went nuts on November 9, 1938.

    You began with...

    >>>”And this is just one small group of atheists in one corner of the country. They certainly do not represent all of us in any way, and I appreciate the level of coexistence amongst us in many places. I would not call this "revenge", however. ”

    I am sure that many throughout history stood on the sidelines and brushed off fears from the rising “one small groups”, until they look around and that small group has laid waste to world.

    I close with this, my friend.

    “A small group of people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead.

    and ..

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Edmund Burke

    L'Chaim

    March 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • awasis

      Nobody reads posts that are too long. Yawn,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      March 3, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      No Problem and no harm if you do not read. Some people cut and paste way more text. All that I wrote on my own. 🙂

      March 3, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Cameron

      I did read and it sounds like nothing but a Godwin filled wacko screed trying to call Atheism extremist and religious. Being so hatefully opposed to atheists exercising free speech says far more about the ones bothered by it then it does of atheists.

      March 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hi Cameron. Not all of the Atheist, in many ways I agreed with "Oh Yeah's" view that we are talking about a "small group" within Atheism. In many ways this is one of those things that Atheism has in common with the Faithful in that its often not the mainstream but the extremist within the group.

      Sorry, if I didn't explain it better.

      March 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Cameron

      That is something HUMANS share together. Specific ontological debates notwithstanding.

      March 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"That is something HUMANS share together"

      Then in turn the blanket statements attaching the negatives bigoted actions by the small groups we should see as not being fair to the group as a whole.

      In other words Atheist are not monolithic as the same as the Faithful are not monolithic and what we have are the small pockets within each.

      March 3, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Cameron

      That it's a human problem(totalitarianism and the violence the desire for that ensures) ha nothing to do with taking people off the hook for their ideologies.

      March 3, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Cam – Or to them bringing you into the Faith, my friend.

      ....or we can just find ways for folks to get "hooked" on tolerance and co-existence.

      March 3, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Muneef

      Mark from Middle River.

      Well done although I still insist that 911 was an act of traitors or misled one's who sold the Arabic and Islamic countries by giving an excuse for these countries and nations to be invaded under legitimate excuse...and are still doing it now..

      March 3, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • TL

      We share a trait in the following of posts albeit with different criteria for examination. Care to expand on yours?

      March 6, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
  15. Nii Croffie

    As a former Minister MOMOYA u seem clueless about de thoughts of those in de pews. The morals in de Bible r rarely practised outside it. If u'll use biblical slavery then u'll notice that it pales in comparison 2 N. Atlantic slavery. You've used de Bible 2 justify evil things 4 2o long.

    March 3, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  16. guitarharry

    Nice try, guys. But unfortunately religious zealots are the rule, not the exception. This will not change soon. Just look at some of the comments in this thread...

    March 3, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Religious zealots rule because atheists are too few to bother them and don't have the tools other than leglislation and pogroms to stop them even if they are. Religion has perfected itself for ages to help the human psyche. Atheism is just too young to do that.

      March 3, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Cameron

      Atheism is not young in the least and atheist, while outnumbered by theists, are far more numerous than religious people think. It's also rather stupid to think of this as a game or contest or such. It's nonsensical and religion has naturally had less an less impact on commentary on how the universe operates or how much it impacts sociological and ethical trends. The Gods the Gaps is shrinking as the gaps shrink.

      March 3, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  17. kenny

    Religious people suffer less depression, less stress and have a more positive outlook on life. But then so do the mentally retarded.

    March 3, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  18. kenny

    I personally think that we ( the human race ) are just a science project of some space kid , he changed a few genes around in a few cave men back forty thousand years ago and comes back ever now and then to see how we have evolved and hes probable trying to see just how long it will take for us to destroy ourselves. now thats just how I think ,but that makes just as much sense and is just as probable and proven as any other imagery god, at least space ships have been sited......

    March 3, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Mirosal

      If you think we're in a "petri dish" for some alien, I have to ask... are you a Scientologist?

      March 3, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • kenny

      To Mirosal
      the short answer to yoour question is that I belive in no bodysgod or religion, I belive we all are responsible for the way we conduct ourselves in life and business , i have found that what works best is to do unto others as they do unto you,I let them make the choice.

      March 3, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  19. Reality

    The following billboards are currently under consideration:

    #1

    How much money would the following save the US taxpayers ?:

    Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
    There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror like 9/11.

    – One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.

    – Eighteen billion dollars/yr to Pakistan will stop.

    – Four billion dollars/yr to Egypt will end.

    March 3, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Reality

      Billboard #2

      How much money would the following save the US taxpayers ?:

      Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons:
      There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!

      – The Mormon empire will now become taxable as will all Christian "religions" and evangelical non-profits since there are no longer any claims to being tax-exempt religions.

      March 3, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Reality

      Billboard #3

      How much money would the following save the US taxpayers ?:

      Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
      Abraham and Moses never existed.

      – Four billion dollars/yr to Israel saved.

      – All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.

      March 3, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Leo

      Here is my Favorite for the Atheist Billboard...

      Misery Loves Company, Please Join Us!

      March 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  20. Bootyfunk

    many christians want to know why atheists are so caustic towards them. here's an honest answer, without venom.

    think of seeing someone in a cult. one that thinks space ships will pick them up if they give all their money to the head priest and then drink the magic elixir. really crazy stuff. dangerous. fear and guilt are the pillar stones of this cult. now imagine if you lived in a country where everyone but you and a few other people were a member of this cult (or some other cult). that's how we feel. christianity is a cult, no different from any other, teaching terrible ethics (kill g_a_y_s, dominate women, etc) and bad information (the world is flat, was created by an imaginary diety, etc). we feel like we like in a country that are mostly members of a dangerous cult. think if you're daughter joined a cult how respectful you would be to its members and dogma. we get frustrated that we have to live in a society dominated by this cult. that's an honest answer. hope it helps you understand where we're coming from.

    March 3, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • Ummm

      When you, as an atheist discuss morals, you must understand that your moral code is learned from the dominant culture. While you will likely reject this truth out of hand, the dominant moral code of Western Europe and the Americas is Christianity. This does not mean that everyone is Christian, but that the basis for determining right and wrong is founded upon Christian teachings.
      There is no logical reason for a man to push for fair treatment of women. There is no logical reason to allow non-productive humans to sap our resources. Entire nations on this world do nothing but suck the worlds resources and breed like rabbits, more generations to suck off the teet of the West. Mercy for you enemy? Really can there be a dumber notion. Logic says kill them all.

      Just a thought, which I know your average atheist will dismiss out of hand, but when you judge religions, you are judging them based upon their codes implanted in you. The Crusades? perfectly justified on evolutionary or social Darwinist grounds. Inquisition? A wonderful tool to enforce social cohesion, which held Europe together against the Turks, the Mongols and the Arabs.

      March 3, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • momoya

      So christianity implanted a superior moral code to atheists while it was enacting the inquisition and advancing the crusades according to an evolutionary model rather than the christian one?!?

      Wow. I'm not sure you understand how logic works. I don't think atheists should pay very much attention to the christian model of morality. Especially when the christian moral model thought the Indians were not able to receive salvation and allowed for christians to wipe out millions and millions with smallpox infested blankets, and especially when the christian model allowed pastors in the south to stand FOR slavery in the pulpit based on the bible's stamp of approval for slavery.

      March 3, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      MOMOYA were u preaching on de merits of God or Christinity? What church was that? De Crusades were a war of recovery rather than aggression. Muslim armies had laid waste 2 Byzantine lands then had prevented Xtian pilgrimage 2 de Holy Land. Politics was as important here as religion. Don't simplify.

      March 3, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Christianity is a cult, no different from any other, teaching terrible ethics (kill gays, dominate women, etc)"

      So, to the current Gay and Lesbian Christians. The Gay and Lesbian ministers, clergy and churches. The multiple women bishops...

      ..are they teaching these same ethics?

      March 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • well

      Momoya, I can see that you didn't understand my point. Likely you believe that you get your moral code from some magic fairies in your head. Perhaps out of sheer arrogance, you believe that you developed it all by yourself. Most likely being an Atheist, you believe that the moral code you follow is inherently logical (It is not). As most Atheists you ramble on about the perceived failings of Christianity or religion in general.

      My point is very simple. You are judging the behavior of Christians by the moral code that you follow. It is a code that you were raised to believe is natural and logical. It is the prevailing code code of the society in which you were raised.

      I am not being sarcastic when I say this is hard to grasp, because you need to accept that what you base your beliefs of right and wrong on are a code developed by religion.

      You mentioned the Indians. The elimination of the Indians was from an evolutionary standpoint very successful for the the White gene pool, freeing up much land and resources for their genetics to be propagated. From a Social Darwinist perspective, the weaker culture was eliminated, as it should be for the advancement of mankind. From the perspective of many cultures, from the Spartans to the Romans or Vikings, the only failure of the American people with regard to the Indians was our failure to make money by selling them into slavery.

      From a logical standpoint, the White Spaniards really failed by not killing off the Mexican and South American Indians. Had they done so, they would be ruling those lands today!!

      The Christian (not exclusively Christian) viewpoint is that killing off an entire people was wrong. You were raised in a Christian culture, so you follow these morals. If you were a Roman or a Mongol, you wouldn't.

      March 3, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • momoya

      @ well (are you "umm' too?)

      If I cared to do so, I could take each of your points to task and prove them either incredibly silly or just flat out wrong, but I don't have enough confidence in your ability to follow the logic, so I'm not going to waste my time.

      If we atheists and everybody in the west got our morality from christians, then why isn't the world a much better place? Please don't answer! I don't care about opinions from a person who thinks an atheist gets morals from magical fairies instead of recognizing that morals arise from culture and geographical limitations.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • well

      Wow, Momoya, you demonstrate both arrogance and stunning lack of intelligence. Once you get done insulting me, you proceed to concede almost every point I made. You are just too stupid to understand that my point was that the morals you follow are derived, if indirectly from the sky fairy stories your deride. If you were half as smart as you think you are, you could understand this.

      You agree with my point 100% that your morals are derived from the dominant culture yet stupidly think that when you state "morals arise from culture" that the culture from which your morals arise has been unaffected by 2,000 years of Christianity. I'm sorry but you are a truly pathetic intellect.

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

      @ well

      You've insulted me directly quite a few times. You'll notice I've not insulted you directly, but rather written statement that cause you to perceive insult. I've never denied that the morals in the west are in part derived from the christian mindset. I've always agreed that morals arise from the society in which one lives. In part, I disagree with christianity BECAUSE of the morals I see around me that have their origin in christian ideology. I think that christian europe took over the nonchristian world in a slave/master dynamic that they lifted straight from the bible. In the bible, you have a "father" who is right by being mightiest, a son who lays down his life for the father, and women and livestock are an afterthought. Everything is about the "kingdom," and servanthood is the best and most joyous life possible.

      Your bible's morals were instrumental in slaughtering about 30 to 50 million Indians in the name of christ and "manifest destiny," Your bible's morals caused entire nations of peoples to be reorganized for the "might-is-right" master of England, Spain, and France. Your bible's morals caused the christian explorers to have a free conscience in regards to enslaving millions in order to r.a.pe countries of almost all their gold and precious resources that now reside in Europe's churches and America's supermarkets. Your bible's morals caused sons to lay down their lives for their father's country's ambitions as did christ for silly wars of conquest. Your bible's morals continue in corporations that right now are draining oil resources from countries where most of the citizens are starving and dying from lack of clean water. The corporations are like "god the father," who get the leaders of countries to, like christ, "lay down their lives" and sacrifice the lives and well-being of their citizens in order to have "the glory set before them" of riches and power for the few in the ruling class. Christian morals exalt the slave/master dynamic and that's why they're disgusting in practice–as we see in so many current examples.

      I agree that our current morals in the west and europe are due in part to christianity, and those morals are disgusting and need to be changed.

      March 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • momoya

      Oh, and as for you saying that I "conceded almost every point you made," you must not know how to count. You made many points, and I only discussed one of them. Furthermore, you've dodged every question I've asked and every point I've made.

      On top of the fact that you have directly insulted me over and over while I've only implied one insult.

      Verdict? Typical christian.

      March 3, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • well

      You really are rather slow to understand basic English. Everything you blather on about the evils of Christianity, are the acts of Western culture, yes. But you are judging these acts evil, only through your cultural/moral filter that tells you that slaughtering lesser cultures is bad. These were the failures of the West to follow their ideals, which are fundamentally Christian.

      You are just so wrapped up in your hatred of Christianity that you don't understand that mercy for your enemy is not a common moral (not uniquely Christian, but not common) Pre-Christian European cultures would have slaughtered the Indians as well, but wouldn't whine about having done it later.

      As for my personal beliefs, I am agnostic. I just find atheists as amusing and as open minded as Young Earth Creationists.

      March 3, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
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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.