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Hebrew atheist billboard gets bumped in New York
The American Atheists' president acknowledged that the pair of new billboards will likely cause a stir, and the did.
March 7th, 2012
02:51 PM ET

Hebrew atheist billboard gets bumped in New York

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)–A controversial billboard from a national atheist group was scheduled to go up in a heavily populated Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn on Tuesday but was bumped when the owner of the building objected to the advertisement.

CNN first reported the billboards were targeting Muslim and Jewish enclaves with, “You know it’s a myth … and you have a choice,” written on billboards in Arabic and Hebrew.

The Brooklyn billboard was in English and Hebrew. To the right of the text on the Hebrew sign is the word for God, Yahweh.

American Atheists president David Silverman said he went to the Brooklyn location when the billboard was scheduled to be put up with reporters and was surprised to see it was not being erected. “We sat there and watched and the billboard didn't go up,” he said. "The Jewish landlord of the building saw the billboard and refused to let it go up," he said.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Silverman said it was a clear case of religious bigotry. "It was very disappointing to me because I was raised Jewish," he said by phone from New York. "They've been the victims of religious bigotry and now they're the purveyors."

When reached by phone, Kenneth Stier the owner of the building that rejected the billboard in the heavily Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, offered a polite “no comment” on the matter.

Silverman said the billboard has been moved out of the residential area and put up in a pricier spot off a major highway at no additional cost. He added that while it was nice to have more visibility, his group was specifically targeting that Brooklyn neighborhood.

Jim Cullinan, vice president for marketing & communications for Clear Channel told CNN in an e-mail, “We found space for both ads and this contract is being fulfilled,” but would not comment on moving the billboard out of the residential area in Brooklyn.

“It is against our policy to comment on any of our advertisers' campaigns,” he wrote.

Silverman said he was disappointed by the development. “We wanted to get into the residential neighborhood because so many Hasidic are closeted atheists,” he said.

He said they received over a dozen e-mails from closeted atheist Hasidim who thought they were alone until news of the ad campaign broke.

"This is why atheists need to come out of the closet," Silverman said.

Silverman again reiterated the signs advertise the American Atheists’ upcoming convention and an atheist rally, called the Reason Rally, in Washington scheduled for April.

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 told CNN last week he knew that the pair of new billboards will cause a stir.

“People are going to be upset,” he said. “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.”

CNN's Dan Merica contributed to this report.

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- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Islam • Judaism

soundoff (1,757 Responses)
  1. us1776

    Atheist Proud !!

    Time for sense and reason.

    .

    March 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Regis990

      Kudos!

      March 7, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  2. Jon

    Ouch. Yeah. Don't go near that word, guys. You may not believe in it. But that's a *bad* idea.

    March 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • stormsun

      "Bad idea?" No, a bad idea is venerating a word and insisting that others believe in supernatural beings and messages delivered by telepathy to select recipients.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  3. paganguy

    David Silverman is Jewish. Is he now an anti-Semite?

    March 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • momoya

      No.. He is an atheist.. Atheists can be anti-semite or not.. It's their choice.. It's like you can have a shirt AND pants OR shorts..

      March 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  4. Aaron

    He's claiming religious bigotry? Seriously. So basically, PURPOSELY erecting a billboard in a predominantly religious neighborhood for the sole purpose of mocking and shaming those believers is perfectly fine and NOT religious bigotry. Nice logic there.

    March 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • seraphim0

      Nice to know you actually read what he said. It was targetting that neighborhood in the hopes that what he called "closeted atheists" in the community would know that there were others like them out there.

      Just because you want to get overly angry that someone would DARE to put a billboard saying that Atheism is not something to look down upon doesn't mean that they were trying to bash and shame someone's religion.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • momoya

      It's kind of like those folks who were the first to speak out against slavery.. They were right, but all the pro-slavery folks accused them of using mockery and shame and the like.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • stormsun

      He mocked no one's religion, showing admirable restraint. Far more restraint, I might add, than most believers in supernatural beings and events usually show to those who require more rational proofs before surrendering control of their lives to self-appointed spokesmen for unseen, unheard deities.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Patrick

      Characterization is incorrect. Not shaming and mocking. Reaching out to the skeptics in the community who may not feel comfortable coming out as skeptics.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  5. Portland tony

    I distrust any professional philosophical group such as atheists who proselytize to others in an attempt to glorify negative thoughts. Atheism in not a belief in anything spiritual and should be practiced by the unbeliever unto themselves. Individuals who are atheists don't necessarily form groups to speak out against believers, but tend to get
    along by accepting that some do believe.
    A professional organization that claims to speak
    for non-believers is as self serving as the false
    preacher.

    March 7, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Rob

      Yea, well we have "freedom of speech" here you stupid cowardly idiot. I'm not an atheist, but I believe in their right to say what they want, just like YOU HAVE. At least they speak the truth, since science is repeatably provable. How can you prove your mythological nonsense?

      March 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Portland tony

      Way to keep that rational thought locked down real tight!!. Don't let it get away from you!

      March 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Aaron

      I agree. My problem with organized militant Atheism is that their main complaints with religion are, in fact, demonstrated by themselves. They proselyte, belittle, judge, etc, all in the name of their enormous pride at how much smarter they are than all those idiot believers. Hypocrites. Most people who practice religion KNOW that the things they believe are unbelievable. They CHOOSE to believe them, however, because it makes their lives better in some way. Atheists need to stop trying to tell everyone how pointless it is to believe in God and ask themselves if it's pointless not to. When I die, I know one of two things are going to happen. I'm either going to fade into nothingness, or there's going to be something after this life. I've chosen to go with the latter because if the former happens, it won't matter. Going with the former is madness because if the latter happens, you're not going to be prepared.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • June

      Nicely put!

      March 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Aaron

      Case in point, Rob here. Hey Rob, sure they have a right to say whatever they want. But the owner of the building also has a right to keep judgment and condescension against a particular group of people from being trumpeted from the side of his building. You have a right to scream in my face. But normal, compassionate people choose not to.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • stormsun

      Get over it, or don't...your choice. But answer this, if you will: do you trust the "professional groups" that espouse every religion? Of course not – you recognize that most of them are NOT promoting truth – they can't be. Many, if not all of them, are mutually exclusive of all competing claims. If you are a believer, you may well believe – as many do – that YOURS is the "one true religion," that all others are false except yours. If so, I agree with you on every point except your exception. In any case, it is good to see non-believers openly express their views and being willing to promote rationalism as a viable, and indeed more reasonable, belief system than the supernaturalists who so ardently evangelize at every opportunity.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Patrick

      As self-serving as any preacher, false or otherwise.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  6. Sam Yaza

    Silverman said it was a clear case of religious bigotry. "It was very disappointing to me because I was raised Jewish," he said by phone from New York. "They've been the victims of religious bigotry and now they're the purveyors."

    once again the high-priest of atheist-ism says your all a religion

    March 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • momoya

      Yeah, because says something is a certain way is proof that it is.. I thought everybody knew that. :-/

      March 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Race Bannon

      Nice reading comprehension skills, Sam. He was talking about the Jews, and the point made is that they are purveyors of bigotry based on THEIR religious beliefs.

      You would have to be a complete moron to understand those words to be an assertion of atheism as a religion. Oh wait, you ARE a complete moron. Nevermind.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      victims of religious bigotry to purveyors of religious bigotry

      victims to purveyors

      ..of religious bigotry
      when reversing a statement you replace the noun with out dropping the descriptive pronoun

      I though atheist were bad at math not English

      never mind he says it in this video at 10:45
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OewwDBMrF5Q
      ..Atheist-ism is the fastest growing religion in the united states
      -David Silverman

      March 7, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
  7. David

    The owner should have realized that the ad would only served to strengthen the community's faith.

    March 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  8. Allison

    "because so many Hasidics are closet atheists" That's hilarious! And I'm Catholic. Silverman is an idiot.

    March 7, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Anon

      You're the idiot.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  9. Doc Vestibule

    Dear CNN,
    The Reason Rally is on MARCH 24TH – not in April.
    Usually News services check their facts before publishing an article.

    March 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • J.W

      Maybe I should form a theist non-reason rally across the street.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • ring-a-ring-a rosies

      As if the crescent news network really cared about when your conventions were being held.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Authority Zero

      @J.W
      Why not? The WBC has been doing it for years.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • J.W

      Well then I can have my own rally and protect you from the WBC at the same time. I can kill two birds with one stone. I can also accomplish two goals with one action.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      John 8:44

      March 7, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  10. Robert

    “We are not trying to inflame anything” Yeah, right. Then why have it say, "You know it's a myth..."

    March 7, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • IslandAtheist

      Because atheists know it's a myth.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Anon

      We know it's a myth, getting believers to admit it is the hard part.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Patrick

      The message is directed to those in the faith's community who have doubt or who are skeptics but are afraid to come out due to pressure to their community.
      Largely it seems much of the AA efforts are designed to provide solidarity to atheists and a wider acceptance. This is a ideological group that is generally viewed on par with rapists. That needs to change.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • stormsun

      Hey, if you want to believe in myths, at least check out Greek mythology. It's much more attractive and entertaining, and far less insulting to both humans and supernatural gods. The writing is a lot better, too.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Regis990

      @stormsun – Well said!

      March 7, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      IslandAtheist, in regards to your post "Because atheists know it's a myth."

      Answer: Atheists don't know nor care who Cain is, but you follow his father.

      Amen.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  11. Rational Libertarian

    "No comment" is never polite. I always found it to be incredibly passive aggressive.

    March 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  12. 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 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • 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 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • 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 7, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • sparknut

      No Christmas... so retail stores across the country go out of business and the ecnomy tanks completely. Wow, thanks for that athiests!

      March 7, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Reality

      Santa Claus and atheists are good friends so Xmas will live on without the Jesus aspects.

      To wit:

      Christmas, the embellished story of the birth of a simple, preacher man named Jesus.

      As per most contemporary NT scholars, his parents were Mary and Joseph although some say Jesus was a ma-mzer, the result of a pre-ma-rital relationship between Mary and a Roman soldier.

      http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      Jesus was not born in Bethlehem at least the one we are familiar with and there were no pretty wingie thingies singing from on high, no slaughter of the innocents by Herod, no visiting wise men and no escape to Egypt.

      "John P. Meier – Professor at Notre Dame

      Meier [Marginal Jew I,216-219] notes that the "affirmation of Jesus' descent from David might easily be placed alongside his birth at Bethlehem as a theologoumenon (a theological insight narrated as a historical event) if it were not for the fact that numerous and diverse streams of NT tradition also affirm Jesus' Davidic lineage."

      "Meier suggests that the belief that Jesus was "son of David" may have been held by Jesus' followers prior to his death, with his resurrection then being understood as a form of enthronement. However, he notes that such messianic views, whatever their provenance, cannot prove Jesus was "literally, biologically of Davidic stock."

      http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=007_Of_Davids_Lineage

      Conclusion: the holyday of Christmas is historically a non-event. Ditto for the Feast of the Magi and the solemnity of Mary aka New Years day.

      March 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      John 8:44 Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

      Amen.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Reality

      JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

      Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

      Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

      Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with John's gospel being mostly fiction.

      Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

      So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

      March 7, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
  13. Chuckles

    These billboards are ridiculous and a little offensive in my opinion. Not because the message is wrong (far from it) but part of what makes a person become an atheist is a person journey involving a big realization. Futhermore, the real target audiences, the closeted atheists living in these intensely religious communities, need more than just a billboard confirming what they already know. It would be a more effective use of time and money to paper the community with signs on poles and walls pointing towards areas that fully support a person who decides to be an atheist, a support group so to speak.

    This sign is a waste of money and designed to inflame the religious without actually helping the people they are supposedly targeting.

    March 7, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • J.W

      I agree Chuckles. This sign would not do anything to help closet atheists, except for showing them the website. But they will still not know where to go for support or to meet like-minded individuals.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • just sayin

      Atheist meeting? Port -a – potty or crack house.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Authority Zero

      @ Chuckles
      I agree.
      On one hand I’m glad we finally have a voice out there to push back again theist imposing their views on others. But on the other hand is lowering our selves to the same obnoxious behavior the right way to do it?

      March 7, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Jonas Grumby

      I don't think the billboards are meant to convert so much as to let closeted atheists know they are not alone, and to assert the rights of atheists in a culture that often tries to marginalize them. The effort is an attempt to stand up and say "stop treating us like Southerners used to treat blacks."

      I totally agree that atheism is achieved through personal growth, and the courage to use critical thinking and to stand for your understanding of the world in a culture where there is so much pressure to conform to Christianity.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Gilligan

      I'm sticking with prayer skipper.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Just imagine taking the money for these billboards and then using that to hold events close by or within the community that specifically was designed as a meet and greet for people who live in and around there to connect, support and help each other if needed. I'm more surprised there are even enough people who still live in these communities that they even needed to show support, personally after living in a pretty jewish part of town for a while it drove me so crazy I had to move away.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • just sayin

      Two or three losers at a corner booth at McDonalds with a value menu, does it get any better than that.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Jesus

      "I totally agree that atheism is achieved through personal growth, and the courage to use critical thinking and to stand for your understanding of the world in a culture where there is so much pressure to conform to Christianity."

      Christianity is big money too, it's helps to sell. Look at our politics it's selling to a specific group of people even though it's not the full majority. It's nice to see the younger generation isn't buying into it as much.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • J.W

      Why don't they concentrate efforts on places that do not allow atheists to hold office, and gay rights and things like that? I don't think that doing obnoxious things like this really helps them much in the long run.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • esmith1001

      Atheism is just like any other religion. They all "know the truth".

      March 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • serdich

      its OK let them be offended...see if it is good when its bad...enough with their religious bs..

      March 7, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  14. IslandAtheist

    They should print that on our money, I'm sure theists wouldn't mind.

    March 7, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Actually an Athiest currency might be a good idea.

      Soon enough the "In God We Trust" variety will be worth no more than toilet paper.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • jimtanker

      I always cross out god on my paper money and put "reason" above it. Been doing it for years.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Joe Friday LAPD

      Defacing american currency is a federal offense.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Authority Zero

      @Joe Friday LAPD
      So is tax evasion and employment discrimination. Somehow I think those are bigger issues than writing on paper currency.

      March 7, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Patrick

      The federal law prohibiting defacing currency requires that the defacement renders the currency unable toe be reissued. You can write your life story on it if it is still recognizable as a bill when you are done.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  15. hippypoet

    as long as it is still up showing truth is all that matters!

    March 7, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • William Demuth

      just sayin

      So George the Lesser is your hero?

      He is seen the world over as a simpleton. He was a coward who got hundreds of thousands killed playing GI Joe, but avoided real service because of his Daddy, who ALSO got him his job.

      He fought two wars and lost them both, and he destroyed his country in the process!

      You make a great couple.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  16. momoya

    And that's why atheists like me can't come out of the closet–bigotry.

    March 7, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • William Demuth

      So sad for you.

      Quietly burn down a church.

      It will help to ease the pain.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • just sayin

      Common sense is not bigotry. President George H W Bush said an atheist is not a patriot and should not be considered a citizen of this country. One nation under God works for America, the few atheists there are can all take a slow boat to hell as far as real Americans are concerned.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @just sayin

      You must really enjoy spouting condemnations of fellow human beings. Self-righteous people like you are what gives me little hope in humanity moving forward. I hope that you feel all good inside when you condemn others, because one day you're going to say it in the wrong place at the wrong time.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      I'm also hoping you don't just run off to a different blog like you usually do just sayin. Stand and defend your hateful statements.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • just sayin

      Truth is truth, here, there everywhere. I stand in good company with the majority of honest Americans and hero's of the republic like George H W Bush. What is not to support and stand up for anywhere, anytime. Time to fear some pervert, loser atheist in a dark alley ? Don't make me laugh.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Authority Zero

      @just sayin
      The Pledge of Allegiance has been modified four times since its composition, with the most recent change adding the words "under God" in 1954. In God We Trust has appeared sporadically on U.S. coins since 1864 and on paper currency since 1957.

      Our founding fathers are rolling in their graves.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @just sayin

      Something is not truth just because you say it is. Neither is something the bible says truth because it says it is. Circular reasoning does nothing to further intellectual discourse.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Done already just sayin? Are you truly this unable to handle someone calling you on bad logic? Can you not handle people not believing as you do?

      March 7, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • stormsun

      Unfortunately, small-minded people are everywhere. Some of them have even been in the White House. "Atheists can't be patriots?" Gee, I wish you had told me that while I was spending 17 months in Vietnam with the Marine Corps. Of course, I was less moderate in those days, and my response "might" have been a bit uncivil. Religious freedom, upon which this nation was founded, means just what it says: freedom to worship (or not) as YOUR OWN CONSCIENCE DICTATES. Your religion may suit you, but it doesn't suit me. Get over it, say your prayers, and go peacefully about your business. That freedom was bought and paid for by Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Native American Spiritualists, Pantheists, Deists, Atheists, Agnostics, Budhists, etc. You would do well to show your appreciation by helping defend the rights of each to believe as he or she sees fit.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  17. J.W

    Well if the owner of the building gets to choose what is on it he does not have to let it go up. If I owned a building I would not want it on my building either.

    March 7, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      The owner of the building was well within his rights, however I wonder why he agreed in the first place. He had to have signed an agreement with the advertising company first, and if he didn't ask what was being put up, then it was negligence on his part. Imagine the pressure he must have been under after the story broke.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • J.W

      Yeah that is true. I guess if he signed some sort of contract he should be forced to put it up for a period of time. Maybe later he would put up a sign saying disregard the last sign that was here lol

      March 7, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • J.W

      But at the same time I do not necessarily agree that it is bigotry. American Atheists has an agenda that conflicts with his Jewish faith. Plus many in the neighborhood may be confused and think that he is personally promoting the organization.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      An investigation should be launched into the reasons for refusing to put the sign up. I can understand if he is a highly devout Jewish person, and would not want that on his building, I could also understand if he did not know the exact content of the billboard. But if he caved to pressure from the community and broke the contract on those grounds, then he should be forced to honor the contract.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Authority Zero

      I’m an atheist and agree this not religious bigotry. Atheism isn’t a religion. However it can still be bigotry.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  18. Rush Limbaugh's Favorite Child Brothel

    Religious people oppressing the views they don't agree with. Boy, what a surprise that is.

    March 7, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  19. William Demuth

    Wrong

    Its going up on the BQE!

    You can't stop us, you will be deprogramed

    March 7, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Why r u going to send us to reeducation camps. lol

      March 7, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Tortilla Jesus

      You are not eligable for reeducation, Nii. You have to be educated in the first place for that.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    PRAYER REALLY CHANGES THINGS !

    March 7, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Wow caps this time. Seems like the no life troll is branching out.

      March 7, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • momoya

      Uh-oh! We all know what happens once evolution starts!

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

      prayer changes things less then placebos do! that is a fact with numbers to back it up...where is your numbers on the effectiveness of prayer? you do too often claim that it changes things yet never do you provide any proof!!!

      March 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven

      March 7, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Jesus

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      March 7, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • just sayin

      Sadly it who takes the Lords name in vain has been deceived by these false studies. Scholars have suggested it study God in prayer for more honest results. Our apologies are extended to it .

      March 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Susie

      Proof that prayer works
      ht tp://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=mXRDdKciVbsC&oi=fnd&pg=PR11&dq=+prayer&ots=ElAfHNdZyO&sig=HFw7MSl3pbskpuOTEMSQYy2G4pw#v=onepage&q=prayer&f=false

      March 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • seraphim0

      Just sayin,' you're really funny to watch post, actually.

      As for the benefit of prayer, one needs to look no further than placebo studies in medicine. Religion and worship has been a part of human societal evolution as an attempt to explain the things that humans were unable to understand. These beliefs chanegd over time as new information became available–however, in the cases of extremely powerful followings, beliefs remained, yet intepretations of what was/is allowable were modified (i.e. slavery is acceptable in the bible, yet not in modern day society, or the practice of working on sunday is no longer a life-ending action).

      It has been noted that prayer of any kind, to any god or gods a person believes in creates a psychological calming affect. It can change the frame of mind to one more positive and optimistic to believe that something, somwhere out there, has the individual's best interests in mind and will assist them. Moreover, it also makes the prospect of the inevitable end of life less frightening due to belief in a "better place."

      March 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • stormsun

      Why is it that when someone prays for something, and it happens, it's proof that God listens and prayer works. But when bad things, even horrible things, happen despite those prayers, no one says, "Either God doesn't listen or doesn't care," no one says that it is proof that prayer is just wishful thinking and a completely futile delusional fantasy? Here's an idea: pray for an answer or a sign from God. I'm sure if you are receptive enough, you will find the sign you need to confirm the belief you are unwilling to challenge.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:34 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.