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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.

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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. david williams

    I suppose the owner of the building who refused the billboard will now be hauled into court. Perhas the Feds will seize the building. At least this is what would have hapened to a Christian who objected to the billboard.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • saopaco

      Poor, persecuted christians!

      March 7, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Or, a Muslim wanted to build a Mosque... oh, wait.

      March 7, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  2. SA

    MFX3 I wish it was such in the real world. Religioun is now rooted in the society and politics all over the world. It tells you how to live your life. So you should care

    March 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  3. I don't get it

    Is it just me or are some atheists just as dogmatic, close-minded, operate on no scientific proof and are as irritating as religious nuts?

    March 7, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Ralphie

      You are right. You don't get it

      March 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • edwardo

      Plz move to Saudi Arabia where you belong.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • pinkhaze

      Thank you. Finally someone with a brain.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Observer

      Yes, you'll find a few like that.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Patrick

      Yes. Athiesm and theism have no exclusivity on any personality types. A–holes all around.

      Don't think in generalizations. Don't participate in group-think. Partisanship is a self-imposed mental handicap. Think for yourself.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Patrick,
      Brian: "You must all think for yourselves."
      Crowd (in unison): "Yes, we must all think for ourselves."

      [Monty Python is awesome.]

      March 7, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • I don't get it

      Poor Ralphie. What is it I don't get? If you have all the answers, show me incontrovertible proof how everything was created by nothing or by God. Or maybe you would admit for a nanosecond no one has proof to justify their beliefs. It's why I'm an agnostic. At least I'm being honest about what I don't know.

      March 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • I don't get it

      Edwardo. Sorry, I don't like fanatics of any stripe be they Muslim, Christian or atheists.

      March 7, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  4. longtooth

    I don't believe in humans.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  5. chuck

    who cares, let them do it if it means shutting atheists up.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Loki

      Thank you for letting us know that it annoys you. That makes it all the more fun.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  6. Jeepers

    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."

    I'm not at all religious. But I have a strong feeling that the owner of that building felt the billboard was, in fact, bigoted towards his religion. How can Mr. Silverman not see that?

    March 7, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • aaron

      Oh, the irony of it all!

      March 7, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Ituri

      You are assuming the billboard on top of a business building is OWNED by that business. This is usually false. Advertising companies usually purchase or rent the space atop those buildings, so a business owner stopping an ad from going up for personal reasons is NOT appropriate, nor does that business owner have the right to stop the ad company from obeying the LAW, where in they cannot discriminate about who purchases their ad space.

      In every regard the business owner was wrong. Even if he owned the billboard, he should have dealt with the issue long before they got there to put it up.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • longtooth

      Because Mr. Silverman is as close-minded and one dimensional as the people he opposes.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Jeepers

      Ituri, I'm only going from the article, which says he was able to stop it...and that's not even the point I was making.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I suppose he might have missed all the news about Atheist billboard targeting Christians around NY, and the other one targeting Muslims. Possible.

      March 7, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  7. aaron

    Agnostic? Maybe. Atheist? No. Considering all the knowledge of the world - languages, cultures, sciences, mathematics, etc... and that the brightest among us might retain 2%, I'm compelled to think there isn't a one that would object to the idea that there just may be the possibility of a God in the 98% they don't know. ...just a thought.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • La la la

      Perhaps, but it is a .00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% possibility

      March 7, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • I don't get it

      Atheists, Christians, Muslims, etc. NO ONE knows what the "true" nature of our reality is. If they do then please prove it or quit acting like you have the answers. In regards to your .00000 etc figure. What scientific method did you use to arrive at it?

      March 7, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • aaron

      Bad math, Lalala. Good luck with that.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • edwardo

      @I don't get it – The burden of proof is on you, not me. Prove to me there are no invisible unicorns, and I will prove your god doesn't exist.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Patrick

      True. The 98% percent essentially allows for any possible paradigm that you can imagine, and an infinite number beyond that. The likelihood that we even have a smidgen of understanding of our universe is directly proportional to the amount of it that we understand empirically or infer from the empirical.

      So you can see how it would be ludicrous to see any of that 2% in a religious text.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • I don't get it

      LMAO on Edwardo, great intellectual dodge. You have such faith and belief (LOL) in what has never been proven scientifically (i.e. how everything was created) how are you any different than dogmatic religious figures.

      Nope, in the absence of proof of how everything was created you have nothing more than belief and faith, no different than religious figures. I wish both groups would take a health dose of humility rather than blaring in billboards what you think you "know".

      March 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  8. rh

    The reality is that many people do NOT have a choice, because they are bound by family and cultural tradition. I know MANY atheists, atheist Jews, atheist Christians, but few are public about it.

    I agree with mfx3 though, very few atheists care if anyone believes as they do. This is an example of religious folks "need to be accepted" bleeding over to a very few but vocal atheists.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  9. I don't get it

    How is it religious bigotry when atheists don't practice or believe in religion?

    March 7, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  10. Feekoningin

    I'm an atheist, but I'm not what one of my friends calls a "fundamentalist atheist." I do find these billboards offensive and unnecessarily divisive. The Hasidim aren't living under a rock. They know there are other ways of thinking and that there are atheist organizations. They are making a choice to live the tradition of their ancestors, which carries a great deal of spiritual or humanist value for them beyond a belief in God. Simply put, it's a way of life. If I were Jewish, I also would not allow such a billboard to be placed on my building. Even not being Jewish and being an atheist, if I owned that building in Brooklyn, I would not allow those billboards to be placed on my property. It's not a matter of bigotry. It's a matter of self-respect and adherence to a belief this man professes. It's the same reason, I as a northerner of Black descent, wouldn't hang a Confederate flag over my fireplace.I don't think anyone would object to that.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  11. PRISM 1234

    Let them have their billboards... while they still have time.... This is their day...
    But ETERNITY belongs to God, and they'll have loooooong time to recant in that place from where is no way out. What a tragedy to live and then die, opening their eyes in that place of the damned where no human soul was meant to go....
    Fools has said IN HIS HEART "there is no God". It is because of what is in their hearts that they reject the witness of God which was given to them, and which they have silenced, and so making themselves to be gods to themselves.
    That's why the Spirit of God and the Word say "corrupt are they, and evil in their hearts".
    Because the Word of God is as two edged sword, cutting asunder and through all pretence, revealing the innermost intents of every human heart. So let them gather, and unite in great and large numbers, let them make noises, making themselves look powerful... But they will stand in their own wretchedness, alone, and without covering for their sins before their Maker on their Day of Appointment, being haunted by the voices of their own mockeries! See how powerful and strong they'll be then!

    March 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • edwardo

      blah blah blah... go drink some more Kool Aid.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Patrick

      Wow. Even I didn't realize he is such and a–hole. I don't think I want to love a god like that. A person who treated me like that would be a criminal.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • saopaco

      Prism- christianity, right? Not everyone is a christian, so you are rather presumptuous to tell them that they will suffer the wrath of your god for believing in another. Or not.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  12. Patrick

    Imagine no religion.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • aaron

      Wow, that was profound, John.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Patrick

      Uh, it was an instruction. Not a statement.
      ???

      March 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  13. saopaco

    Some theists are funny. They take advantage of their numbers and accept the priveleged treatment that they receive (or received in the past) from society, in the form of religious exceptions (federal holidays, changing the motto to match their religion, force kids to pray in school, etc) and cry discrimination or oppression when a non-theist challenges the special treatment. They view atheists as an affront to their way of life and accuse them of waging a war on their religion. Funny that they worry so when atheists are such a small part of the population.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • I don't get it

      I'm sure your employer would love it for you to not take the Xtian holidays off. Make sure you don't ask for time and a half to stay true to your principles.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • saopaco

      Red Herring!
      Actually my employer closes down for a week at christmas. Either I take vacation or do not get paid.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @I don't get it,
      Hey, I wouldn't mind working Xmas, as long as I got the winter solstice off, which is where Xmas came from anyway, isn't it.

      March 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  14. Bill

    I always marvel at the fact that atheists are about the only group of people who are absolutely terrified at something they do not believe to exist. I don't believe in Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny or The Tooth Fairly, yet I find neither their names or images offensive. In addition I am neither offended nor compelled to disprove their existence to those who do believe.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Adam

      I bet you wouldn't hire as a nanny or elect as president someone who proudly announced his or her belief in the existence of the Easter Bunny, would you?

      Beliefs matter.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • edwardo

      I am not terrified of something I don't believe exists. I am terrified of the people who believe in something that doesn't exist. I'm terrified of a GOP theocracy.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "...atheists are about the only group of people who are absolutely terrified at something they do not believe to exist."
      It's not the deity, but the followers that are often the problem, e.g. gay marriage, creationism in science class, discriminatory health plans, etc.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Patrick

      Bill,
      You are the victim of one of the most common misconceptions of atheism.
      Atheists cannot be afraid of any god, as they do not exist to the atheist.
      Atheists fear theists, typically the more dogmatic, despotic, tyrannical theists.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Luther

      I don't care what myth you believe, as long as you keep your voodoo separate from state affairs.
      All these fundamentalists want to re-write history and pretend the USA is a religious country since its inception... when in fact the founding fathers were predominantly atheists, and left England to escape the oppression of the church and the damn bankers and their economic slavery.
      Read your history books, and not the ones written by your church! Try the many many other sources of info.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  15. Sorry but...

    I hate to break it to the atheist website advertisers but, as much as you might hate it, if someone doesn't want a particular advertisement on the building that THEY OWN they can take it off. Just drop it! Seriously! If you want it to go in that neighborhood so badly buy the building. If you don't have the money then drop it.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • La la la

      Only if their contract specifically gives them the right to refuse any billboard.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Feekoningin

      Agreed.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  16. Pav

    I don't have issues with them advertising their beliefs. I do have issues with them telling me what I believe. It's patronizing and inappropriate.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Most poeple do know that its a myth, they just wont admit it. To themselves or anyone else.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • AmazedinFL

      Have to agree with the original poster on this one. It's offensive. Not because it's advertising an atheist convention but because it's said in a way that's denigrating/disrespecting the beliefs of anyone who's not an atheist. It's essentially saying "If you're of Jewish faith (or of Muslim faith in the case of the other billboard) you believe in a myth." To say that's not a direct attack/spitting on the beliefs of others is simply a load of bs.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  17. S. K. Bernard

    Unfortunately, his article, like many other sources, places agnostics in the same category as atheists - when from my perspective as an agnostic I am equally as far from atheism as I am from theism. I neither believe nor disbelieve - that is the nature of agnosticism, after all! Why not just lump us in with the theists? That would make just as much sense (or nonsense) as lumping us with atheists.

    Ultimately, the best thing to do would be for the media (and the public in general) to view agnostics as a third, distinct group, which is what we are indeed.

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

      S.K. – either you believe it or you don't. You can't be kinda a believe or nonbeliever. It's like being kinda pregnant.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Feekoningin

      That's fair. It's like the argument multiracial people like me had to make for decades: One drop of Black blood doesn't necessarily make you exclusively Black - unless you want to be.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • I don't get it

      Thank you. The most reasonable response here.

      Eduardo, bull. Unless you have incontroverible proof everything was created by nothing or by God we'd all be agnostics if we were honest about it. It's the irritating atheists and xtians who smugly have all the answers yet cannot answer the basic question of what or why we everything exists. When somone can prove that then I'll stop being an agnostic.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @SK,
      You do have a point, but withholding judgement on a question is not the same as being completely detached from it. In other words, I may choose not to be an positive/strong atheist because that requires a knowledge that there is no god, but I can still chose to be a negative/weak atheist and say that even though there isn't enough evidence to say definitively one way or the other, the fact that there appears to no evidence supporting a god in all of history, points there being no god.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • AmazedinFL

      eduardo, here's where I think you're missing the boat. Sure, you can say you can't hold a particular faith without believing in it, but saying that an agnostic and an atheist are the same is no less in accurate than saying an agnostic and a theist are the same. A theist says "I believe there's a god", an atheist says "there's no such thing as god, that's a myth." An agnostic says "I don't know whether there is or isn't a god." That's no more similar to atheism than it is to theism. If someone asks me a question and I answer "I don't know," that's no more similar to saying "no" (atheism) than it is to saying "yes" (theism). Can you see the difference now?

      March 7, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @edwardo,
      Actually, the analogy I would use is 'knowing' if you are pregnant or not. You can think you are, or think you aren't, but you won't 'know' until you take the test. Unfortunately, there is no pee stick for God.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • edwardo

      @AmazedinFL – I see your point. But, if you say "you don't know", then that means you, personally, have not accepted the existence of a deity. And, in my opinion, if you do not accept the existence of a deity, you are a non-believer, or an athiest. But, that's just how I feel about it.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • edwardo

      @I dont get it – I do not proclaim to have all the answers. I proclaim that Xtians do not have all the answers. Xtians proclaim their god is all knowing, omnipresent, has always existed, and and the creator of all things. Xtians claim they have the correct religion, and everyone else is wrong. Now that's true Bull !!

      March 7, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • edwardo

      Nominus – One of the main problems of a “lack of belief” definition is that it is too broad. If someone told you they were an atheist, you would still not know if they were agnostic, undecided, believed that gods don’t exist, or never thought about it. This makes the word nearly useless.
      Another problem with a “lack of belief” definition is that it is not accepted by the vast majority of people. I personally don’t know anyone who considers babies atheists because they lack belief in gods. I also don’t know of any people who are agnostic or undecided about the existence of God who call themselves atheists.
      The lack of public acceptance for a “lack of belief” definition of “atheism” is reflected in the fact that no reputable dictionary has a “lack of belief” definition for either “atheism” or “atheist”. However, this has not kept a few morons from incorrectly claiming that various dictionary definitions have a “lack of belief” definition

      March 7, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • AmazedinFL

      Eduardo–the difference between an atheist and an agnostic is that an agnostic is not anymore willing to say that there definitely isn't a god than he/she is to say that there definitely is one. By definition–purely evaluating it as a logical statement, that's equally dissimilar to atheism as it is to theism. To simply say "either you believe or you don't" is to mix apples and oranges in my opinion. Because frankly, a lot of agnostics are equally upset about what they see as the smugness of atheists as they are about what they see as the smugness of theists. They view either as equally 'unscientific'–i.e., saying that you know for a fact that something is or isn't without having sure proof either way. For that reason, some agnostics paradoxically see atheism and theism as being more similar to each other than either is to agnostism.

      March 7, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • edwardo

      @Nominus – Here is your pee stick. It is taken for granted by Christians, as well as many atheists, that a universal negative cannot be proven. In this case, that universal negative is the statement that the Christian God does not exist. One would have to have omniscience, they say, in order to prove that anything does not exist. I disagree with this position, however, because omniscience is not needed in order to prove that a thing whose nature is a self-contradiction cannot, and therefore does not exist.
      I do not need a complete knowledge of the universe to prove to you that cubic spheres do not exist. Such objects have mutually-exclusive attributes which would render their existence impossible. For example, a cube, by definition, has 8 corners, while a sphere has none. These properties are completely incompatible: they cannot be held simultaneously by the same object. It is my intent to show that the supposed properties of the Christian God Yahweh, like those of a cubic sphere, are incompatible, and by so doing, to show Yahweh's existence to be an impossibility.

      March 7, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • AmazedinFL

      Eduardo, one more point about your last statement–with respect to atheism, my understanding of it is that it's not just saying that Christianity is wrong, but saying that there is definitely no God (or creative 'being', 'force', whatever). Is that not how you view it as well? Just a point of clarification here...

      March 7, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • edwardo

      @AmazedinFL – I'm saying that I have proved that the Xtian deity does not exist, therefore Xtians are wrong. My other posts prove the non-existence of their deity. Christians consider the existence of their God to be an obvious truth that no sane man could deny. I strongly disagree with this assumption not only because evidence for the existence of this presumably ubiquitous yet invisible God is lacking, but because the very nature Christians attribute to this God is self-contradictory

      March 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • AmazedinFL

      Got it Eduardo–so you're not talking about the general concept of a god/theism, but of Christian theism.

      March 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • edwardo

      @amazedinFL – Actually, I don't believe in any type of deity. It just begs the question... Who designed the designer? Who created the creator? So, the idea of a magical being, for me, has been dismissed. The logic of a creator is circular.

      March 7, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • AmazedinFL

      Eduardo, the idea can certainly send your head spinning. I would agree that the 'logic' some use to say there MUST be a creator is certainly a tautology. And if there is some sort of creative force/energy, would it have to be sentient? I know that Buddhist thought also says the same thing: "If there's a creator of everything, who then created the creator"; but Buddhism would say that your own destiny/future is based purely on your own thoughts and actions anyway, and that everything must be based on causes and conditions... I guess I'm kind of in the agnostic camp. I do think if there is some sort of god/creator, he/she/it would have to be far outside of, and likely beyond the comprehension of, anything that's postulated within any of the organized religions.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  18. Kevin D.

    Yeah, sorry Mr. Silverman – it's not bigotry to not put up an advertisement that attacks a religion. Directly saying Judiasm people are wrong, is the problem.

    If they refused to put up an "Atheism, It's Awesome!" billboard, then maybe I would see Mr. Silverman's point.

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

      Have to agree with you on this one. It's offensive. Not because it's advertising an atheist convention but because it's said in a way that's denigrating/disrespecting the beliefs of anyone who's not an atheist. It's essentially saying "If you're of Jewish faith (or of Muslim faith in the case of the other billboard) you believe in a myth." To say that's not a direct attack/spitting on the beliefs of others is simply a load of bs. To say that about any specific religion is an attack.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  19. Michael

    It just goes to show you. It's perfectly PC to criticize Christianity, but not other religions.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • mw1979

      Michael: Jews killed Christ and definitely aren't Christians. Have a blessed day!!

      March 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You did read he headline that says it was directed at Hebrews, right? And that there's one In a Muslim neighborhood? They're pointing at all the abrahamic religions, not just the cult of the zombie carpenter.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Jon

      Shall we go out and buy you some 2x4s to make a cross for you?

      March 7, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  20. mfx3

    My question to atheists is the same question I've been asking Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc. for years. What do you care if other people believe the way you do or not? Seriously, it doesn't affect you either way. You will not suffer one iota if everyone else on the planet believes something different than you, so why do we work so hard to convince everyone else we're right? Let's just figure out what works best for ourselves, and leave others to do the same for themselves.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Ted

      Ask someone whose family believes a bunch of claptrap and shuns them; ask someone who has been denied a job or other opportunity because they are a non-believer; ask someone who has prosecuted or repressed under religiously motivated laws.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • TrueBlue42

      That idea would be great were it not for so many people willing to die, and worse, kill, solely in the name of their religion.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Adam

      I have seen too many people hit the wall at 400mph to know that is a heinous lie.

      Beliefs matter.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • edwardo

      Are your freakin' kidding me??? Xtians are the scurge of society. They are here to inflict their religion on all of us. They persecute anyone who doesn't submit to their cult.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • JJC

      One reason is that religions are trying to affect public policy that can threaten my childrens lives. They want to outlaw stemcell research which can result in a cure for a future disease not being found. My non-belief does not affect them, however, their belief affects me when they want to control others. These messages are not really directed at believers, they are directed at people who already don't believe so they will not feel alone and different. If you really have to ask why we care what others believe just remember 9-11. Their beliefs affected all those dead very directly.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      You do realise that these things u r talking about works both ways, atheists can be just as wicked as anybody else.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • AmazedinFL

      Nii Croffie, while it's true that anyone including Atheists can be evil, I've never heard of an atheist or agnostic killing someone in the name of atheism or agnosticism. However, I've heard of many, many people killing each other in the name of a particular religion over the centuries.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
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About this blog

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