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. Joey

    This is awesome!!!I wddnloaoed the free report, very useful. I stand amazed how God has really helped us with homeschooling and He helps me find all the great giveaways, contest and freebies.All I can say is that our God is so very rewarding. Have a very blessed dayWhiteFeatherRaven

    April 4, 2012 at 1:52 am |
  2. md2205

    It is important to keep in mind when challenging people who believe in G-d to prove His existence, as in "I don't believe in G-d and I won't believe until you can prove to me that He exists," that it is impossible to prove that He exists. However, it is also impossible to prove that He doesn't exist. You can't use the evolutionary theory to prove that He doesn't exist. See


    In fact, there is a question that most people who believe in big bang and evolution can't answer, which is how the did the first atom, or electron, or quark, or energy, come into existence. If there was a big bang, what did it bang out of? If we say the world is several billions of years old, that means that billions of years before, there was a starting point. What was it, and how did it come into existence? This is something science cannot answer. So people avoid an answer they would prefer not to say and they say there are some questions that have no answer. Well, that is not being intellectually honest. Because they won't accept that answer from someone who believes in G-d, and they demand proof.

    March 18, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • The Obama Christian Church Worldwide

      When president Obama becomes of divine order on October 21st of this year, things will be put in perspective. We need to read the good gospels of Obama because he is a good christian family man and will be God on October 21st of this year.

      March 19, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  3. Muneef

    That deen is what transforms humanity from the lowest of the low to the representatives of God on earth. The Qur’an tells us: “Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: ‘I will create a vicegerent on earth…’” (Qur’an, 2:30)

    As a representative of God on earth, we are given a very great responsibility. It is a trust so heavy that even the mountains rejected it. Allah tells us in the Qur’an: “We did indeed offer the trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: but man undertook it; he was indeed unjust and foolish.” (Qur’an, 33:72)

    As believers, we should never lose sight of this responsibility. It is the fulfillment of that mission that transforms us from ‘asfala safileen’ – the lowest of the low (Qur’an, 95:5), into ‘khaira ummatin ukhrijat linnaas’ – the best of people arisen for mankind. (Qur’an, 3:110)

    But how can we be that “best of people”? Allah describes how in His book: “Ye are the best of peoples, risen up for mankind, commanding what is right, forbidding what is evil, and believing in Allah… ” (Qur’an, 3:110).

    The essence of that struggle is to believe, to fight for Truth and to strive against evil. And as soon as we give up that noble struggle, we will become among those people who Allah describes in surat Al-Asr as being in an utter state of loss. Allah also describes the ones who will be saved from that state: “Except such as have faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of truth, and of patience and constancy.” (Qur’an, 103:3)

    And, so, if we continue to abandon this greater mission and purpose, we will have transformed the perfect vision of existence into nothing more than a collection of dots.

    source: http://www.yasminmogahed.com

    March 14, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  4. Muneef

    Imam dies in mosque arson attack in Belgian capital on Monday Evening 12 March.

    Belgian coach crash in Swiss tunnel kills 28 on Tuesday Evening 13 March  

    Strange how things work out and how it is when you make people suffer the suffering comes back to you... Heavenly Justice...
    May GOD have mercy on all the deaths involved due to one sick mind..

    March 14, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • graytiger

      how is it that the death of 22 children is heavnely justice. If God then an evil God more likely.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:53 am |
    • graytiger

      the imam was an imam of peace. So in your eyes his death was a good thing?

      March 15, 2012 at 4:40 am |
    • Muneef

      Both deaths are not ok with me,nor the burning of a house of worship whether was a Mosque or a Church or any Temple...,negativity has brought sorrows for both sides...

      March 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  5. md2205

    To graytiger: Please see my posts further down, in response to your response.

    March 13, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • graytiger


      Thanks for the info. Hereby an answer to some points.

      – All such holy books are presented by a number of their believers as historically correct. Scientific research finds that this is not the case. So why should the Torah be an exception?

      – If we look at the text itself then : if they really saw G-d giving the commandments to Mozes, it is not credible that after such an experience 3000 would start worshipping a golden calf.

      – How you know with certainty that 1300 BCE the Jewish people were exactly 3 million is beyond me. Maybe it’s written in the Torah but the old Testament is known to contain figures that are there just for symbolic meaning.

      – You attribute to me a sort of conspiracy theory on how the Torah was manipulated. Then you go out of your way to argue against this straw man, you yourself created. I wrote nothing of the sort. There are many possible reasons besides a conspiracy that could explain how a text came to be written or adapted. You also have to realize that for a long time most of the common people couldn’t read. They had to rely on a minority of priests for their religious knowledge.

      – You easily dismiss the biblical scholars. I advise you to do some reading a.o. this entry in wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_and_history#Schools_of_archaeological_and_historical_thought

      and also on the same page: historical accuracy of biblical stories.

      You will find that for instance cities mentioned in the bible didn’t exist, that some texts were written before Mozes supposedly did, that David’s capital Jerusalem was a village, and so on and so on. Some of these points are debated but some are accepted. It certainly makes clear that the Torah is not to be seen as a word for word literally correct historical text. For anyone interested in the historicity of the Torah as you are, this must be required reading.
      Scientific research doesn’t always have to be tests. Archaeology is also a science.

      – If you accept the bible as literal truth what do you do with a truly unbelievable story such as Noah’s ark?

      – Instead of biblical scholars and scientific research, such as archaeological findings, you put
      you faith in Orthodox Rabbi’s. If you read the links I mentioned above you will see that several of these scholars are Jewish and maybe not Orthodox but certainly familiar with Jewish Orthodox beliefs.

      March 14, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • graytiger


      – We have only the writings of the Torah (the christian bible more or less copied these writings) to substantiate these claims. No objective independent witnesses.
      – In the christian new testament a number of miracles by Jezus are described, some of which, are supposedly also witnessed by many people. Why do you then reject these writings?
      – Incidents of mass hysteria and mass hallucinations exist. That is why independent objective neutral witnesses are needed.

      March 14, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • graytiger


      I just happened to come across the following result of archaelogical excavations: in the time of Joshua, Jericho was a heap of ruins, on which stood perhaps a few isolated huts.
      So not quite the sort of place where you have to walk around for seven (again symbolic number) days blowing your trumpet.

      March 14, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • graytiger

      the point about Jericho is, that it is also, just as Mozes on mount Sinai, an event supposedlly witnessed by many and written in the Torah, but this event can be decidedly proven to be untrue by the facts. And there are more, see my links.
      So if this is untrue so could be others.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:58 am |
    • md2205

      To graytiger:
      I just read this excerpt from an article you can read in its entirety at chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/113105/jewish/Appendix-4-Evolution-Myths-and-Facts.htm

      In fact, that site, chabad.org, is a good site to view all kinds of articles on Torah and Science, etc., carbon dating, etc. Just enter your topic in the search bar and all kinds of articles come up.

      A quote from the above-mentioned article: "When Professor James Brawer was a student at a major North American university, he decided he would like to see for himself how accurate are the methods of dating fossil remains. He purchased from the local Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals the remains of a recently deceased dog and buried them in his back yard. Several years later, while digging in the garden, he 'accidentally' came upon them and promptly called academic experts in paleontology, geology, and zoology to find out about the bones he had found. All the experts agreed that the remains were that of a dog, but beyond that there was not much consensus. Questions of how heavy the animal was, how old at death, and for how long it had been buried got answers that varied by factors of 2 to 4 times! If this is the uncertainty over a period of a few years, what is the case with purported periods of centuries, millennia, or millions of years?"

      You can't just quote something that you just read; I also read things. I read that not a few scientists faked their evidence to "show" evolutionary links and the frauds were eventually discovered, but not so widely publicized.

      People want to say that all peoples have histories they believe that explain the creation of the world and who is to say that the Torah is correct. I submit that out of all the histories of the world, you will not find one other one that says that G-d spoke to an entire nation at once.

      You have to be careful from where you obtain your information about archeology, etc. because there have always been people who have no compunctions about fabricating all kinds of lies about the Jews. You can't just say you read something and believe it.

      March 18, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  6. Spidey-Man

    I'm okay with one misguided person not wanting the billboard on his building. It's HIS building after all.

    March 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  7. Muneef

    Many years ago, during the time of the Taa'ibeen (Generation of Muslims after the time of Sahaabah), Baghdad was a great city of Islam . Infact it was the capital of the Islam Empire and because of the great number of scholars who lived there, it was the Centre of the Islamic knowledge. One day, the ruler of Rome at that time sent an envoy to Baghdad with THREE CHALLENGES FOR THE MUSLIMS. When the messenger arrived at the city, he informed the Khalifah that he had three questions which he CHALLENGE Muslims to answer. The Khalifah gathered all the Scholars of the city and the messenger climbed a high Platform and said:  “I have come with three questions”
    If you answer them, then I will leave with you a great AMOUNT OF WEALTH which I brought from Rome . As for the questions THEY ARE:
    The Great assembly of people remain SILENT! (Can you think of answers to these Questions?)
    In the midst of these brilliant Scholars and Students of Islam, there was a man looking on with his SON.
    “O my Dear Father! I will answer him and SILENCE him!" said the young man. So the boy sought the permission of the Khalifah to answer the questions and was granted.
    The Roman addressed the young Muslim and repeated his first question:
    “What was there before Allah?"
    The boy now asked, "Do you know how to count?"   
    "Yes"said the Roman.
    "Then count down from Ten" said the boy.
    The Roman started,
    "Ten, Nine, Eight......" untill he reached One and he stoped.
    “But what comes before One?"said the boy.
    "There is nothing before One.That is it!"the Roman replied.  
    “Well then, if there obviously is nothing before the arithmetic 'One',
    Now the Roman was so surprise with this DIRECT ANSWER which he could not dispute.
    So he asked:
    "Tell me in which Direction does Allah face?"
    "Bring a candle and light it"said the boy. "And tell me in which direction is the flame facing?"
    "But the flame is just a light, it spreads in Each of the four directions North, South, East and West. It does not face any one direction only."said the Roman in wonderment!
    The boy cried: "Then if this physical light spreads in all of the four directions such that you can not tell which way it faces,
    The Roman was stupefied and astounded that here was a young child answering WHAT HE CALLED CHALLENGES in such a way that he could not argue. So he desperately wanted to ask his final question. But before doing so, the boy said,
    "wait! you are the  one  who is asking the questions and I am the one answering them. It is only fair if you come down to where I' m standing and I should go up to where you are right now, so that the answers may be heard as clearly as the questions." This seemed reasonable to the Roman, so he came down to where the boy was standing, leaving the boy to go up to where he was.
    The Roman repeated his final challenge,'
    "Tell me. What is Allah doing at this moment?"
    The boy proudly answered:
    "At this moment, when Allah found upon this platform a LIAR AND MOCKER OF ISLAM, HE (ALLAH) CAUSED HIM TO DESCEND AND BROUGHT HIM LOW. AND AS FOR THE ONE WHO BELIEVED IN THE ONENESS OF ALLAH, HE RAISED HIM UP AND ESTABLISHED THE TRUTH. Everyday He exercises (Universal) POWER (Surah 55 Arrahman, v. 29)."
    The Roman had nothing to say except to leave and return back to his Country, DEFEATED.
    Meanwhile, this young Boy grew up to be One of the Most Famous Scholars of Islam.
    Allah the Exalted, Blessed him with special Wisdom and Knowledge of the Deen (Religion). His name was:

    March 13, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Shirly

      David:I have plenty of maearitl on this blog and in my books for you to interact with regarding the continuing validity of God's covenant with Israel, including the Torah commandments.Your posture is one of coming to me and asking me to defend my position. Yet you have not read, apparently, nor do you interact with my arguments which are readily available for you to read.I enjoy dialogue. I do not enjoy being grilled. I do not enjoy preposterous scenarios like your sentence: Say if you had 10 minutes to tell someone the last thing before they left earth. Would you tell them about the Feasts, or how to be saved? I'm sure you are an intelligent person, David. But you look foolish when you suggest such dichotomies. I might ask you, If a person had minutes to live and you could possibly save their life with CPR, would you instead try to get them saved by sharing the four spiritual laws? Ridiculous scenarios trying to force a choice between good alternatives are meaningless. Torah is important regardless of your highly artificial scenario.Please interact with my maearitl about the Torah, if you truly wish to dialogue and have the mutual benefit of discussion. If, however, you simply wish to argue, try to change my position, or subject Judaism to ridicule, then you are not welcome to do so here.Derek

      April 1, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 12, 2012 at 7:55 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 13, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Dave

      Seriously, do you two call each other before you post?

      March 13, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  9. Reality

    Only for the newbies:--------–>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Billboard #3 now under consideration:

    Putting the final kibosh on religion to include Mormonism:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    March 12, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Reality

      Supporting information is available upon request.

      March 12, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • md2205

      When you make statements you should be able to back them up with some sort of information or evidence. The evidence that ancient people did exist as stated in the Torah is just that, because a people's oral history does not allow for conspirators to come later on and say things happened in the past that the people never heard before from their elders.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • md2205

      You really do not know the veracity of any source and therefore, under the umbrella of intellectual honesty, if you use blanket statements to deny the existence of some ancient personalities, you need to apply the same thought process and deny the existence of all others. After all, neither you nor your friends or recent ancestors that you knew, never knew those people or the people who say they knew those people. Therefore, they probably didn't exist.

      March 13, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • Dave

      Poorly presented argument. Too many probablies in there to make anyone take you seriously.

      March 13, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  10. md2205

    To graytiger: So here you have it as a gross oversimplification, but that is what chosen people means. It is not a measure of favoritism as much as role assignment. Difference does not mean unequal in importance. Judaism believes that all peoples of the world, if they do what G-d wants, will merit the Next World.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:26 am |
    • graytiger

      to md2205

      wow you seem to have a lot of time. I really can't keep up with all your posts
      so here is a reply I made on another page:
      It doesn't say in the bible that God gave the ten commandments to Mozes in front of 3 million people. In exodus it is stated clearly that on the two occasions when Mozes recieved the commandments, the mountain was shrouded in a cloud. The first time the Jewish people were even so doubtfull about what Mozes was doing there for 40 days, that they made a God of their own, the golden calf.
      And that is only what the text itself says.Stories that were written 400 years after the, possible, facts. Look up Mozes in wikipedia. You will find in the part on the historicity of Mozes, that the existence of exodus itself is debated by the scholars and that the figure of Mozes himself cannot be substantiated

      You seem to confound history books which are based on artifacts, stories from different sources, ruins, verifiable facts with holy books. These holy books such as the Thorah and the Bible are writted by partisans, interested parties, believers. Hardly the stuff objective history is made of. You should read some scholars on the history of how these books came to be. Some of it you can find in Momoya's clip.

      March 13, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • graytiger

      to md2205

      if statements about God cannot be proven because God cannot be observed by the senses, then all statements on all Gods are equally proven or unproven. Then how could one decide which God, if any, could be the true God.
      Even worse God could as well be an evil God. A demiurg. No way to disproof this.

      March 13, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • md2205

      It says in the Torah 24 times that G-d gave the Torah to Moses in front of the entire nation. The entire nation at that time consisted of 3 million people. The Jews saw a revelation of G-dliness there that the clouds couldn't hide. They experienced a revelation there that was utterly overwhelming. G-d spoke the first two of the Ten Commandments and the Jews couldn't bear the intensity of the revelation and felt as if they were dying, and asked Moses to hear the rest (eight) from G-d and repeat them to the people. The Jews knew that Moses was on the mountain studying the entire Torah for 40 days. They miscalculated the 40th day and when he didn't come down, the Satan showed them an image of him dead, and they thought he had died. There were some Egyptians who had left Egypt with the Jews, intending to join them and Moses accepted them without consulting with G-d about it. These Egyptians were the instigators to build the golden calf. Out of the 3 million Jews, only 3,000 people participated, including these Egyptians. So you can't say the Jews built the golden calf as though they all had a hand in it.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • md2205

      The so-called scholars you refer to have never learned the Torah from an Orthodox rabbi who has learned the Torah from the original, from the commentaries that have passed down through the generations since the giving of the Torah. There is much more to learn than just the written text of the Torah. G-d told Moses everything in great detail when he was on the mountain. Not everything was written down as words. Some ideas were included as punctuation marks, which are meaningful markings that explain what the words and sentences mean, more than just what the words say. No translator of the Bible was able to include those meanings in his translation because he didn't learn them. You cannot understand the Torah just from the written text, and especially when there are so many mistranslations. G-d told Moses an enormous body of knowledge orally, which intricately, in great detail, explains everything that happened from the creation of the world through what happened in the entire Torah. One little example: In the Torah it tells the Jews to put on tefillin. But it is not written there what tefillin are and how to make them. Moses learned every detail from G-d and told everyone. He taught them everything many times until they knew it by heart and they meticulously taught all this knowledge to their children, and their children, until the people felt they might forget and wrote it all down. What they wrote is the Mishna and then the Gemara. All the ideas I wrote to you are from this same source. A person is not able to approach the Torah from the text itself without a teacher who knows it from the source. Just because someone says it was written 400 years later doesn't mean it was. Just because someone says there are no artifacts doesn't mean something didn't happen. Just because someone says different authors compiled the Torah doesn't mean that is true.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • md2205

      You claim the Torah was written by interested parties and believers. You want to say someone made up the whole story. Someone else later wrote it down. A third individual put it together with other manuscripts, and the entire nation conspired to agree that it had actually happened. They agreed to agree on only one version of how it had happened, eradicating any trace of dissent.

      Basically, a conspiracy theory. This time, involving huge numbers of people over a very long period of time.

      History is not laboratory science - you can't test it and make observations. But you can still check a theory for inconsistencies. But with the Jewish conspiracy theory we have some blatant contradictions. For instance:

      (a) According to this theory, the Jews are by far the most ingenious people ever. Out of all the peoples of the ancient world, this nation of shepherds and fig-growers came up with the classic work of all time. The work that changed all of history, brought us the concepts of creation ex-nihilo, history, purpose, monotheism, providence, human rights, gave rise to both Christianity and Islam and triggered the Reformation and modernization of western civilization when those gentiles started actually reading it. A supremacy dogma if I ever heard one!

      (b) According to this theory, the Jews are by far the stupidest and most gullible people in the world. They fell for a story that restricts their diet, their domination over their slaves, their weekly work habits and their secks-life beyond what any other nation would tolerate. They bought into a lose-lose situation for everybody all around: The king's power is restricted and the priestly class cannot own land.

      They abandon their fields and towns three times a year to the mercy of the hostile nations surrounding them, let those fields lie fallow once in seven years, let their slaves go free after six years, don't charge interest - and just trust year after year that everything will be okay. After all, G-d promises that when you're planning to leave your land fallow in the seventh, He'll give you a bumper crop in the sixth. So tell me, what happens when one year this just doesn't work out? Do you leave that in the books you're writing?

      Furthermore, this theory has the Jewish people making up fables about their blunders in full detail. They declare they descend from slaves. They tell nasty stories about the forefather of their priestly class, Levi - even though the Levites were supposed to have written the book. The original high priest gets his hands dirty in the biggest scandal of their history. Who is this fable serving? Why on earth would anyone want to make up such a story? And what sort of crazy people would want to preserve it?

      March 13, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • md2205

      Second contradiction:

      (a) According to this theory, Jews are capable of agreeing on a single version of history. Obviously, to conspire together for so many years in delivering this grand hoax to the entire world, they must be highly cooperative, submissive to authority and like-minded. They must fit well into Eric Fromm's description of the True Believer.

      (b) According to this theory, Jews have purposely painted a picture of themselves as recalcitrant, argumentative, scorning of authority and primed to complain at the drop of a hat. Not the sort of comrades you would want involved in your classic conspiracy. A personality described by Myers-Briggs passive-aggressive disorder. Of course, this purposeful self-incrimination may be part of the plot. You may decide empirically which description suits best.

      The conspiracy theory doesn't explain anything. There's no evidence that it's true. To say it is awkward is an understatement.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • md2205

      People who find it hard to believe that G-d would speak to Man, or many men, say that the Torah couldn't have been written by Moses because he refers to himself in the third person (he) rather than using the word "I". For example:

      "And then G-d spoke to Moses, saying..." as opposed to, "So then I had this chat with the Boss and He said..." They say Moses wouldn't write about himself in third person, and he couldn't have composed the last eight verses describing his passing. So Moses couldn't have composed the Torah. On this point, we agree.

      Moses did not compose the Torah. G-d composed it and Moses just wrote it down. The Torah existed before creation, before time. It is G-d's wisdom. Moses was the first who channelled the Torah down to earth, to put "the ink onto the page", so to speak. Moses was nothing more than a transparent channel for G-dly wisdom, and if he would have felt he was more than that, he wouldn't have been able to take what G-d gave and transmit it. He ultimately attained the utmost degree of self-abnegation: He writes about his own passing from this world. As the Talmud (Gemara) tells us, "G-d dictated and Moses wrote with tears."

      March 13, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • md2205

      This is the traditional history stated clearly in the Torah: That an entire nation witnessed G-d telling Moses the Ten Commandments:

      "G-d said to Moses, 'Behold! I come to you in the thickness of the cloud, so that the people will hear as I speak to you, and they will also believe in you forever!' " (Exodus 19:9)

      "G-d spoke to you from the midst of the fire, you were hearing the sound of words, but you were not seeing a form, only a sound. He told you of His covenant, instructing you to keep the Ten Commandments, and He inscribed them on two stone tablets." (Deut.4:9-13)

      Once the people had witnessed this, they believed Moses. As Maimonides writes:

      "Israel did not believe in Moses, our teacher, because of the miracles he performed. When you base your faith on miracles, you're still in doubt. Maybe these miracles were done through magic and witchcraft...

      "So why did we believe him? The revelation on Sinai which we saw with our own eyes, and heard with our own ears, not having to depend on the testimony of others... (Mishne Torah – Foundations of Torah 8:1)

      March 13, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • md2205

      One more: The Torah uses different words as the name of G-d in different situations to reflect the essence of whichever attributes of G-d are being revealed at that time. For example, the name of G-d which is on the billboard, Y-H-W-H, means the transcendent attribute of G-d as He exists outside of nature and fills the world with infinite kindness. The name E-lohim means that aspect of G-d as it is contained within nature, and judging the world. Part of the ability to understand what the text refers to is by which name of G-d is used at the time.

      Thank you for the opportunity for this dialogue.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • fred

      Thank you md2205 your posts are very informative and appreaciated. I like how you state things such as the clouds could not hide the revelation

      March 13, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • md2205

      To graytiger: "if statements about God cannot be proven because God cannot be observed by the senses, then all statements on all Gods are equally proven or unproven." I did not mean to say that statements about G-d cannot be proven because He cannot be observed by the senses. I meant to say that no one can say that because he can't see G-d, or feel Him, or hear Him, then He doesn't exist. I meant to say that we can only prove something by observing it through one of these senses. Therefore, His existence cannot be proven or disproven as proofs can only be through senses.

      All statements about all other creations that people view as gods are not equal at all and I never meant anything like that. G-d is infinite in every aspect. He is infinite in kindness, and therefore cannot be evil, although He did create evil. He is infinite in size, and therefore, all size is equally large or small in comparison to Him. Therefore, we cannot say Man is too small for HIm to be interested in, as size doesn't matter. He is infinite, and therefore, anything that can be seen (meaning that it is material and has a size) that people view as a G-d is automatically not one, as it is not infinite.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Jillicentix

      if god is infinite in every way, then all finite systems are insufficient for understanding god. all senses, all sciences, all means of understanding and comprehension are insufficient as god is beyond all of these things. Therefore religion itself, as a finite system of understanding, is insufficient for understanding the true will and nature of god and can only hinder the experience of god, rather than enlighten. we can have a god, a god for everyone, but we must abandon all religion that claims to know god, as knowing god is impossible. If we have religion, then we have no god.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • graytiger


      why would a finite system be unable to understand an infinte?


      I answered these replies at your post more to the top of this page

      March 15, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  11. md2205

    to graytiger: G-d recorded all these episodes in the Torah because He wanted to show why the Jewish people were needed. He saw that in generation after generation, the various groups of people were not doing what He had created them for. He wanted them to do the seven basic laws and they weren't. He wanted to form a group that would do as He wanted and teach what G-d wanted to the rest of the world so they would ultimately do them also.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:21 am |
  12. md2205

    to graytiger: T"hat the Jewish people are somehow special in the eyes of God, well I don't think you will find many believers outside of the Jewish people who would accept that. And with all respect it gives an impression of some kind of reversed racism." This is an important point that you raise. It does say in the Torah that the Jews are the chosen people, and many people do not know what that means. That does not mean Jews are better than everyone else, as may be thought. That is because G-d didn't choose them as favorites. G-d gave the Seven Laws of Noah to all people to do. They are: To believe in One G-d, not to blaspheme Him, not to murder, not to steal and kidnap, not to do adultery, etc., not to eat the limb of a living animal, and to set up effective courts of justice. This is what G-d wants from us in this world. When everyone will do these laws, He will "feel comfortable" in the world He made. Everyone has their job to do. However, G-d waited a great deal of time for people to do these laws. First Cain killed Abel, and the people in the times of the Great Flood stole from each other, and the people of the Tower of Babel wanted to rebel against G-d and didn't value any human life, and then the people of Sodom and Gemorah acted the way they acted towards each other and strangers... etc.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:18 am |
  13. md2205

    to graytiger: Now in contradiction to Einstein's statement of belief, I do want to comment that Judaism does believe that G-d is in fact interested in everything that man does. He is a G-d over everything, and everything in the world is quite large, as we know the universe to be. However, G-d is Infinite, and any number or size compared to infinity is infinitely smaller. Therefore, we cannot say that just because man is so small compared to the universe G-d doesn't care about him or what he does. Smallness means nothing.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:12 am |
  14. md2205

    to graytiger: "Nowhere does physics claim that behind all reality there is a great thought." I am not a physicist, but I can quote one person, Einstein, who did say, "I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself """in the orderly harmony of what exists, '""" not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings." I am not proving myself based on what he says, but there are people who study science who have these ideas, and the unity and harmony of all aspects of the universe and all within it is becoming more and more revealed and obvious.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:08 am |
  15. md2205

    "That the survival of the Jewish race is due to some special protection by G-d is an unproven statement." Of course you cannot prove it, because only what is sensed by the senses can be proven. But think about it logically, and of course you have know Jewish history to be able to see the pattern. In every generation there was not just one nation who wanted to destroy the Jews, but many. Where are the great civilizations of the past? Gone. But the Jews still exist as descendants from the original Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, despite all the persecution that has taken place in every part of the globe throughout thousands of years.

    March 12, 2012 at 1:59 am |
  16. Iqbal Khan


    March 12, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Reality

      Our War on Terror and Aggression:

      An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression)

      The terror and aggression via a Partial and Recent and Not So Recent Body Count

      As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

      Continued below:

      Other elements of our War on Terror and Aggression:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles as of 09/15/2011/, 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed mostly due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty twice because of deadlocked juries. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole,[3][7] and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.
      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      – Ditto for Anwar al-Awlaki on September 30, 2011

      March 12, 2012 at 7:55 am |
  17. Iqbal Khan


    March 12, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Reality

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The global Sunni-Shiite blood feud (e.g. Syria) and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      March 12, 2012 at 7:56 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.