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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. Learn to Fish

    "Religious bigotry" against "closeted atheists," sheesh, the next thing you know atheists will want full marriage rights!

    March 7, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Hadenuffyet

      Why would they care ? They'd just shack up or go to JP.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  2. Rediculigious

    THE END IS COMING!.... oh wait, wrong blog, how do I get back over to the Pat Robertson show?

    March 7, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  3. JT

    If you Christian fanatics are insulted then so be it. How would you react to those who believe that the Earth is flat?

    March 7, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Moncada

      Science is okay to a certain degree but sometimes it crosses the line.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Moncada, and you have the gall to type that on a computer connected to the internet? Hypocrite!

      March 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Snow

      Religion is okay to a certain degree but MANY times it crosses the line

      March 7, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @Moncada, Science has never "crossed" any lines. People misusing it cross lines. Fanaticism and ignorance should be our enemy whether it take the form of religion or science.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  4. Sinister

    It's incredibly ironic that those, especially the religious right, are always promoting the exercise of the first amendment, but when someone (or group) they don't agree with attempts to exercise that right, they have a problem with it. Hypocrites.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Snow

      You are defining religion there.. 🙂 if you do what they believe in, you are doing good work(even if it is against someone else's beliefs). But if you do anything else, you are oppressing them..

      March 7, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • syd

      Here here.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • cahoosier

      You might be right. Another possible take is that the building owner does not want to be associated with the message. That's his Freedom of Expression, also. In addition, maybe he did not want to risk any backlash on his property or business.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • ashrakay

      Well because "having the right" to a republican or religionut is "having the right to agree with me." Anything outside of that is a perversion, unnatural, etc.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  5. Aheadofu

    Here is little business advice:
    Instead “You know it’s a myth … and you have a choice” billboard in heavily populated Jewish neighborhood, you have to use this: “We are bunch of losers that pretend to know more than anybody else and you have a choice to become one of us too.”
    At the end, message is the same and nobody would object to it.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Gadflie

      I strongly suspect that nobody ever takes business advice from you.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Sinister

      Bigoted people like you are the true losers.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • greg

      Loosers is wrong, but, believe we know more then anyone else would work, Athiests believe there is no God, they have no proof of this because it cant be proven, So there choice is just as much a guess as Is Our choice to follow Jesus. Those of Us who follow him feel a connection to him that an Athiest can not understand. It seems like foolishness them The Bible calls them Natural men and they will never Understand God. Its just the way it is.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Aheadofu

      And that is where relativity kicks in.
      Relative to many people I am sure I am a big loser but relative to you Sinister, please don’t make me laugh!

      March 7, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • waitasec

      how about....
      we like to think for ourselves

      March 7, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Mike

      Message to all who are offended by atheists/atheism...you are missing the point. It's not a belief, it's a lack of belief. It's not a religion, it's a lack of religion. Religion is destroying humankind. Time to wake up. I was once a true believer until the utter hypocrisy of what I was taught versus what I experienced everyday became more than I could suppress. A good friend told me she did not believe and that gave me the courage to abandon my belief. That is what the billboard is for. It's not hate speech, it's a welcome mat for people who are afraid to go against the norm.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Greg .. it is not "just as much a guess..." It's based on probability. The probability of a stegasaurus orbiting Pluto is infinitely unlikely but still more likely than the existence of Gods since both Steg's and Pluto have been proven to exist. The chance of there being Gods is infinitely less likely than the probability of no Gods.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Greg, you pretend to be a man of science but then rely on a logical fallacy for your argument? That's sad.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • Believer in Jesus as my Savior

      @Mike – athiesm is a belief. Agnosticism is where one lacks a belief.

      @If Horses. . . – Actually, the probability rides about even on this issue. It's just as probable that God created the Universe and set it in motion as it's possible that it started with the big bang. One could even say that it's just as probable that the flying spaghetti monster did the same thing. . . and that's where it boils down to faith.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Believer ..

      Atheism is NOT a belief .. it's NON-THEISM, non belief in theism. Agnosticism is questioning religion.

      I'd agree that God(s) and the flying spaghetti monster are equally probable because neither has any evidence or reason to believe they exist. The existence of God(s) is only comparable to things with equal amounts of evidence or reason and we have evidence of a big bang and therefore a reasoned probability it happened.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
  6. msadr

    Bigotry? puleez. Just because someone thinks you're a offensive jerk doesn't mean they're a bigot. A bigot is intolerant of ALL other beliefs. To be intolerant of militant atheism isn't bigotry, it's common sense.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Sorry kid, the concept of a bigot has no such limitation.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • waitasec

      seems to me, you are all for silencing the embarrassment of the existence of free thought

      i suggest you get used to it.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • syd

      Uh, putting up a billboard isn't militant. Getting laws passed that have no basis except religious dogma? Rewriting the Pledge of Allegiance? Having every politician wrap of each speech with a quick prayer even though their supposed to represent ALL the people? Now THAT'S militant.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • oakstave

      Atheism is no such thing. You are free to believe any nonsense you wish. Atheists have free speech rights and can advertise the same as any other organization.

      Your view that you have to be 'intolerant' of atheism makes me wonder how much you really believe in God? Obviously, if your belief was rock solid, you'd have no ill feelings whatsoever for someone who didn't believe as you.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • greg

      Free thinking, Is just a term an Athiest uses to elevate his opinion above those who do not agree with them, To me it means Lost, Your lost in your belief you have found the answer to the universe and creation through science that for the most part you dont even understand.
      A little physics will make you an atheist, A lot of Physics will bring your right back around to face God.

      Its through Science that I discovered God. The Numbers don't lie.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Gadflie

      The numbers don't lie? LOL! You must be referring to the religious argument I call the "Misuse of Math". The one that pretends that you can judge the statistical probability of something that happened in the past. If you knew statistics AT ALL, you would understand just how laughable that argument is.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
  7. Gadflie

    An omniscient God and we're supposed to have free will? Sorry folks, the two don't work together.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • msadr

      I think you meant Omnipotent, not Omniscient. Anyway there are 2 very different philosophical approaches to that subject. it's not as simple as that.

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

      No.. Omniscient is correct.. If God knows how everything will happen, it can't happen any differently than what he knows; therefore, you can't have an omniscient god who allows for free will.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Gadflie

      I absolutely meant omniscient. If God knows everything then he knows the outcome of every "decision" you will ever make and knew it before you were even born. If God knows, with no possibility of error (the definition of omniscient), that you will turn left next Tuesday, you CANNOT turn right. So you actually have no free will.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • greg

      You could pick up a Gun and kill anyone at random, God will not stop you, The local law enforcement might eventually stop you, Still you exercised free will!

      March 7, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Gadflie

      If God is actually omniscient, he knew before you were born that you would shoot those people. And, he cannot be wrong about it. You actually have no free will at all in the matter. If you believe in the myth that is...

      March 7, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Mick

      You could also make a case that the god who created us designed a defective product. Why? Most Christians would agree that we all sin. Therefore we're built in such a way that it is not possible for us to refrain from sinning. If it were, surely there would be a substantial number of people who are free from sin.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Mick, it's worse than that. God is supposedly omniscient, omnipotent and the creator of everything (except himself of course). If this is true, then He SPECIFICALLY designed the world so that everyone would have no choice but to commit every single sin that they ever committed. It's really that simple.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Believer in Jesus as my Savior

      God's omniscience changes nothing. Sure, God knows what choice one will freely make regarding a future issue, but how does that negate one's free will? It doesn't, foreknowledge of an event's random outcome does not equate to fatalism unless God acted upon the event to determine its outcome. Going back to the "pick up a gun and shoot it" argument, just because God knows you will choose to do that doesn't mean he forced you to do that. Look at it from the perspective that God is distanced from our perception of time as a linear succession of events. He potentially sees everything that has happened, and everything that will ever happen all occurring at one moment. In this train of logic it becomes somewhat clearer. In essence, He would be seeing the event while we make our choice, however if we were to look, it would appear to be in the future. For God, an event that happens in "our" future is really happening in "His" present. Now it becomes clear that he can still know an outcome, without having ever determined it. . . Of course this is all philosophical argument, and I want to make it clear that its purely my own musings on the matter and not to be taken as any sort of "fact".

      March 7, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  8. steve-o

    it IS a myth and you DO have a choice. A life of fewer wars, less hatred, lessBS

    March 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Moncada

      In return of what? Science? Science has made this Earth 100% more dangerous with advancements on Nuclear Warfare (requires science), Biological advancements (requires science) that can be used for warfare. If anything science is the one retarding mankind.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      People were killing eachother easily enough before technological advances.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Sinister

      RE: Moncada

      Science is the discovery and understanding of how those things work. PEOPLE is what abuses science for their own greed and power. Put the blame where it is justly warrented.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Jack

      you are kidding right,... see you have the ability to type... its a miracle...

      March 7, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Moncada, we humans were a fairly rare species until some of the early scientists discovered how to control fire and make tools. Without science, we would still be far from the top of the food chain.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • One one

      Fire ? Bad !!!

      March 7, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Snow

      Oh gee lets forget all the good science has done.. starting with, you know what you are reading this on.. the uses of nuclear energy, the help pharmaceutical research has done at eradicating harmful diseases. Lets blame the science for the abuse of that research in the hands of greedy god fearing politicians and their power hungry pals .. right?

      March 7, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Oh that evil science stuff!

      Moncada, when you get pneumonia, are you going to trust God and pray to get better, or are you going to trust science and get to a doctor to get antibiotics. The religious way will kill you, the science way will keep you alive.

      You use the products of science to communicate, keep healthy, to get around, to work, to have highly sanitary water and sewage systems, to see at night, to reliably have food (including food that is out of season), and so much more. You use the products of religion to, uh, help me out here, because I cannot think of any socially valuable aspect of religion.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Moncada

      Yes, Science has led to innovations and wonderful ones but to say that Science is the solution towards world peace is absurd. And like I said Science is okay at a certain point but it crosses the line sometimes.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Oh that evil science stuff!

      Who ever said that science was the solution to world peace? Show me where any atheist has ever said that.

      How about religion? They have had thousands of years in power, and did they ever create any peace? They sure created a lot of war and torture and oppression.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • greg

      Your are not telling the truth, Communist Russia, A govt run my Atheist's killed 140 million of there own people in 70 years of existence, Show me proof Atheists don't have the same capacity for hatred and mayhem as anyone else.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Reason vs Faith

      @ Moncada – and religion has never crossed the line?

      March 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Reason vs Faith

      @ greg – Stalin was an atheist and what he did to his own people was atrocious. But he did not do these things in the name of atheism. In fact, I don't know of any war that was declared in the name of atheism. I don't recall anyone being persecuted in the name of atheism either.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Takahashi Jones

      Greg, Stalin was a dictator who wiped out all opposition to his power. That's what all dictators do, whether religious like the South American despots, or mysticists like Hitler, or atheists like Stalin. I don't hear atheists claiming that Somoza's or Pinochet's or Trujillo's mass murders were because they were Catholics.

      Try to understand things a bit better.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Believer in Jesus as my Savior

      @Sinister – You hit the nail on the head. What you stated easily applies for faith in God to. Faith in God is the discovery and understanding of how the human condition came to be created by God and what we should do with it. PEOPLE is what abuses other's faith in God/Jesus for their own greed and power. Put the blame where it is justly warrented.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
  9. ashrakay

    Wonderful. We need more religiou (ignorance) bigotry in this country. Traditions are fine to have, but when you start believing in fantasies like and invisible super hero without any evidence to support it, you're being ignorant and a burden on the intellectual betterment of mankind. If god proves that he exists then people who refuse to believe in him will be the ignorant ones retarding man's collective mind. Until that time, we should root out the disease/drug addiction that is religion.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Moncada

      Like if you can prove "theories."

      March 7, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • pazyfe

      if i seek to motivate myself by believing in a Mighty God how is that hurting you, don't try and change me, I am not trying to change people just to change how we respect each other.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • momoya

      Science calls them "theories" because they are constantly being amended and improved, but the central principles are pure fact. . For example, evolution is proved thousands of times each day in thousands of labs that USE IT in practice.. Also, the new advances in genetics prove evolution over and over and over.. Evolution is better understood than gravity, so you'd be better off disbelieving in gravity if you need to go without one or the other.. We just happen to experience time on a scale that shows the theory of gravity as obvious.. If we lived much, much longer than we do, we'd see evolution as just as obvious, or more so, than gravity.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • msadr

      OK, so what about your belief in the fantasy that the universe just majically poofed itself into existence with all the rules intact for the evolution of life and the perfect balance required to sustain it. I think your fantasy is ridiculous. The idea that a being who exists outside of this realm of time/space could have set things in motion is perfectly logical.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • DanB

      In Genesis it specifically says God reduced mans life span by setting the limit at 120 years. Ok, it is all part of a myth of people living to 900 some odd years and then God changing it to 120. And who lives to 120 anyways?

      Well, as fate would have it we now know there is a theoretical limit to the lifespans of all organisms and it is called the Hayflick limit after the scientist who discovered it. Prior to the discovery of the Hayflick limit, which is based on how many times the cells that make up our body can divide before they die, it was thought we could in theory live foreever, as long as we conquered all the different diseases. But now we know there is a limit after which all our cells stop dividing and we die, even with no specific disease. Every species has a different limit – the limit for humans turns out to be ... you guessed it, 120 years.
      Care to tell me how people writing 3,000 or so years ago new that the theoretical limit to the human life span is 120 years?

      March 7, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Moncada

      Even the "Theory" of evolution has not been proven?
      And as I recall in Science they say something is always possible (in this case God) unless it is dis proven.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Moncada, every time you type, you reveal another layer of your ignorance. Your last argument was a logical fallacy known as "Negative Proof". Look it up. It will give you a clue since you desperately need at least one.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @msadr, No respectable, intelligent person believes that the universe "magically poofed into existence." That kind of thinking is the realm of religion. What you call perfectly logical, is in fact a type of logic. It's called reductive logic or reductive reasoning. You cannot arrive at the conclusion of god without employing it. But thank you for illustrating my point of ignorance and why we need to be bigoted against it for the betterment of man.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Missouri Boy

      Hello, Ashrakay. When I was about 9 or 10 my family and I attended a Church service a few miles outside of Sikeston, Missouri. There was a young minister present who was what some folks would call a "faith healer." There was also a lady there who (at the time) was about late 40's or maybe early 50's. This woman had a very large cyst that had grown up on the back of her right shoulder. She was wearing an off-white color dress. This lady came to be prayed for by the young preacher. Now this is something that I (me, I, myself, me-uns) saw with my own eyes. This is a very lady-like country woman from our area that we all know and love. My folks and I know her PERSONALLY. I have eaten several fine meals that she has cooked when we visit herself and her husband. I saw what happened when the preacher passed by, bumped her forehead lightly and said: "In Jesus Name" and then he kept walking. About ten seconds passed that nothing happened. Then this large cyst popped. Dark, smelly puss and blood ran for about a foot down the back of this woman's dress and she jumped up and said:" I'm healed, I'm healed!" Now, you may not believe this, but I was sitting very near, along with my family and her family and close friends. I know the character of this very fine lady and I know this was in no way a "rigged" occurrance. I have no reason to deceive you. I only wanted to tell you what I saw happen to a very good person. Well, Good-bye for right now, I am going on down to the Church house. We have Bible study tonight. God bless you.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • greg

      When he is done with his little experiment with mankind he will show himself and you will hate him for it, Because when he comes he will take your free will.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • I love Jesus!

      @momoya – Science is wrong about gravity. It's really Jesus holding your feet on the dirt. And you cannot prove that it isn't true, so it is.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • That makes no sense, Greg

      Greg, if there is a God as you him, then your God already knows everything that is going to happen, so it cannot be an experiment. He knew the outcome at the beginning of time, so there is nothing to learn. Indeed, there is no point doing it if you already know it, unless God too is trapped in the predestined flow of things. But that means he is not omnipotent. He would have to be at the whim of the god who created him, but that god would also have a creator god, ad infinitum.

      Get it? What you are proposing is illogical and impossible.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @Missouri Boy, I saw David Copperfield make the statue of liberty disappear. Amazing the power of belief. If I believe something must be true... well then, it certainly must be.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
  10. Joey

    Look if you're an atheist that's fine but don't publicly insult the religions of others. The only bigot here is Mr. Sullivan. Putting up epithets likely to cause violence is not ok:

    March 7, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • ashrakay

      "cause violence" like the girl that wears a short skirt is asking for it?

      March 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Derek

      Where's the insult? I see religious billboards all the time claiming "He Exists, Know His Truth" ...

      March 7, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Joey

      Im talking about the court of law. An epithet is hate speech likely to cause violence. You can be charged and face jailtime for it. The Orthodox Jews in that area would likely riot and the landowner would face damages to his property. Not saying it's right but that's what would happen.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Mike

      "likely to cause violence" speaks volumes about religion.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Joey, this is legally no more likely to cause violence than a Church advertising "Jesus Saves" in a Muslim neighborhood. It is NOT legally actionable and is SPECIFICALLY covered by the 1st amendment. Sorry to burst your bubble.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • MikeInMaine

      I find the public display of religious messages extremely offensive. If atheists shouldn't put up their billboards then churches should be prohibited from putting up theirs!

      March 7, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • One one

      I drive past three churches twice a day to and from work. They all have signs prominently displayed in front with various messages. About half of the time, the message boil down to "believe or burn".

      March 7, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Yakobi

      I find it just as offensive to my NON-beliefs when someone erects a "Jesus is the reason for the season" billboard in winter. And yet, I don't react violently. Should we allow religious extremists to act violently when offended?

      March 7, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • ashrakay

      Joey, how is telling the truth, hate speech? If something does not have evidence in the REAL world then it exists in the realm of fantasy and myth. You also have a choice to believe it. Both statements are true. If my neighbor beats his wife and I tell the police, it may not improve his reputation, but it's hardly hate speech.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • greg

      Mike it also speaks volumes about the man who put up the sign, Knowing what the sign would do.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  11. Azrael

    Anyone else find the irony in this...... Atheist group claims they have a choice when said choice is made now it religious bigotry........ What about atheistic bigotry........ It's just as bad as religious bigotry if not worse

    March 7, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Derek

      Last time I checked a scientist wouldn't cut your head off if you burned a science text book...

      March 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • One one

      Really ? Atheists don't preach to believers, and their children, that they will be sent to hell to be tortured for all eternity if they do not submit to their beliefs.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Missouri Boy

      Wow! I noticed that, myself. It IS rather ironic. Or is that moronic?

      March 7, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • greg

      Athiest's are trying to steer clear of religion but they cant they are creating there own religion, Its sticky and messy but lets face it your non religion is still a religion.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • greg

      Atheist's are trying to steer clear of religion but they cant they are creating there own religion, Its sticky and messy but lets face it your non religion is still a religion.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @greg, Spoken with the precisely the ignorance you'd expect from a religious person.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why are so many of you proselytizing crazies so uneducated and just plain illiterate?

      March 7, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  12. Derek

    Hang on... I think I just saw marinara sauce leaking off a billboard with a bowl of spaghetti ( that looks like a monster )... A sign from a God perhaps?

    March 7, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Joey

      I have been touched by his noodly appendage

      March 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  13. JPX

    "but was bumped when the owner of the building objected to the advertisement." What a wuss.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  14. Odds

    I'm certainly not buying that the intent was not to inflame. But organized atheism does face different challenges from that of other religions. For instance, if a Christian denomination wishes to advertise via billboard, they usually just post scriptures and uplifting faith-based messages. But think about it for a moment. What does an atheist group do in the same situation? The entire basis for their "faith" is that they have no faith. What defines atheism better than a message saying that God doesn't exist?

    It's really an impossible task. I doubt there's any nice way to say that the core beliefs of the vast majority of the human race are based on a complete fantasy. There's just no inoffensive way to say that, is there? Although I suppose one could argue that there are better ways to say it than this particular billboard.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  15. Joe

    Hmm people dont believe in a god that they never see. People dont believe there is a god. Some people say people that dont believe are crazy. Tell me who is crazy the one that believes, or the one that doesn't. No one has any proof their is a God so careful who u call crazy. Science will win in the end.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Butchie67

      Yes.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Curious onlooker

      Having studied Biology, Chemistry and then medicine, curiously enough science has indeed proved the existence of a 'higher power' for me. God or whatever you shall call this force is up to you. For me it is God.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • greg

      If you dig deep enough into the Science of the universes and how it works, how much of a knife edge it sits on, 1 trillion trillions of a point one way or the other and it would never exist and one begans to wonder how so many coincidences could take place to bring about the creation of this universe, Or you can just assume you know everything and say there isnt a supreme being, To me your just as foolish as those men yelling at Columbus that he was going to fall off the edge of the earth.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • One one

      It already has won. God didn't give us the computers, the network, the electricity, etc. to have this discussion. Science did.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • inthespirit

      Neither is crazy Joe but you must realize that science is simply mans way of explaining the order created by God.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Jason

      No Joe, God will win in the end. Science and Man may be able to deceive for a short time as our culture slides off the deep end. But man's time on earth (which by the way, is less than 10,000 years) is not even a grain of sand in the ocean compared to eternity.

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

      @greg

      It's probability. If something, no matter how miniscule the chance, can happen, then it will happen. The when and where don't matter, it will happen.

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

      @Jason

      Ah a young earthist is it? Well then please tell us how it is that the earth is so young, despite evidence to the contrary. This should be fun.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Mike

      Inthe spirit's comment is so backward I don't where to begin...

      inthespirit

      Neither is crazy Joe but you must realize that science is simply mans way of explaining the order created by God.

      God is how most everyone explains everything they don't understand. It is OK to not understand. It is OK to not know why we are here.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @greg Assuming you know everything is the job of religion. No one in science assumes such a thing. That kind of arrogance is what you'd expect to find of people that believe they know god and know he cares about them.

      March 7, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
  16. One one

    The problem with Christians and Muslims is quite simple. They feel that people who don't believe as they do deserve to burn in hell.

    Many non-believers find that to be intolerant, unjustified, imposing, and even hateful. Some believers may deny they are OK with non-believers being sent to hell. But a central belief of their religion is that their god sends people to hell if they don't believe. Since they worship their god, they obviously have no objections. Therefore, they feel eternal damnation for non-believers is acceptable. Some people find that to be offensive.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Missouri Boy

      But WHY? Why do non-believers have to think that these beliefs are hateful,etc., etc.? They can choose to very simply continue to " Just not believe." And I can continue to "just simply Believe." What is there that is so utterly hateful and odious about THAT?

      March 7, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • greg

      No we dont, you assume Christians think that, I cant speak for muslims, there actions imply they would kill you for saying there is no God.
      In truth No man alive knows truly what another man deserves,

      March 7, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  17. Kentuckyscience.com

    The love of money is a false illusion of eternal remembrance. Many serve the god of money, since money only makes sense to them.

    The point here is that God does not require us to be good, He does require us to Love all that is good. It is a choice to love all that is good, thus to get into heaven one will be chosen by our Lord. The statement “Saved by Grace” has led many to believe that the choices they make do not matter. The fulfillment of the Law is associated with showing us that God is good. Jesus clearly stated that he was God in the flesh, thus God only has good intentions. Therefore, what else could God give you to make you desire to follow his law or to Love him? The question is why does Evil have the power to control Earthly wealth? Jesus was tempted with Earthly wealth by the devil, and in that temptation the devil makes it clear what he wants. Job was a man of great wealth; however he gained that wealth with out a love for money. The rich man in the New Testament had a love for money similar to the parable of the man whom builds multiple storage bins for the excess crops harvested and the next day he died. The love of money is associated with personal control over your own destiny or the freedom to do what you want; thus hoarding results, because work is never easy as Job would attest. If work were so easy, then why do the rich hoard money? 1%? Those who hoard money fear that they may have to do work other than what they desire. Luke 16:13 (NIV) "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." Job did not fear work, he embraced it.

    God desires to have a relationship with us through the power of the Holy Spirit. The love of money makes this impossible to accomplish, the devil knows this and promotes it by getting us to believe what others think of us really matters. Fame... One day the Earth will be engulfed by the Sun and all that we have done will be gone. No evidence will exist that we were ever on this Earth. No one to believe or carry on to the next generation anything you said was true Luke 4:5-7 . Jesus clearly understands that Earth was not created as an eternal place. Therefore love of money is a false illusion of eternal remembrance.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Chaz

      Does God require us to randomly capitalize nouns?

      March 7, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • pazyfe

      @RAFI AND KENTUCKY Bunch of knuckleheads, accept people for who they are and move on stop trying to change people's religious beliefs. Now if you are confronted with a Whitney Houston then scream, fight, do whatever you need to do to save that person fronthat addiction. Work on loving people, that's all, chill out, help each other, stop the fighting, it is not all about you.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • greg

      Chaz you have a bug up your but for another's spelling errors, It makes you look Anal, Im having trouble imagining what its like to be you but I get the feeling it hurts. Sorry!

      March 7, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • sigmundfreud

      Ah ... Kentuckyscience? What a username – does that mean "someone who doesn't know anything about science"? That's what it sounds like.

      But in the meantime, looking at your post, my suggestions to you are: see your shrink, take your meds, and above all, adjust your tinfoil hat.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  18. Learn to Fish

    "You know it's a myth" is "not to inflame." Give me a break. I guess pictures of aborted fetuses are also not meant to inflame?

    March 7, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • A clue for the clueless

      Atheists do not use pictures of aborted fetuses to promote atheism – that's really an absurd analogy. The billboard is stating fact. God IS a myth, and you do have a choice of what to believe. If those things inf

      What is a myth? Here are varioous definitions, which all fit any religion: "a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon", " a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence", "a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature."

      All religion is, by definition, myth.

      Do I also need to show you that you have a choice?

      March 7, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Missouri Boy

      Dear "Clueless": I CHOOSE to believe. If you choose not to believe, that is YOUR choice. You have that right, but, so do I.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • greg

      How are the two connected one is a Picture of legal murder, the other a jab at another's belief.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Learn to Fish

      The two are connected bc they are both legal and they are both inflammatory. My point is that Silverman's quote that the billboards are not meant to inflame must be a joke.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  19. Kentuckyscience.com

    Baptism is associated with accepting Jesus and being saved by grace. Being saved by grace means you should have received a punishment for your sin which hurt other people. The problem is that Grace tends to be put above The Greatest Commandment Matthew 22:37. If Grace were above the Greatest Commandment, then the devil could be forgiven and he would be in heaven. The devil does not love God and this is the reason he is not in heaven. The purpose of following the law is to show others that we love God. Unfortunately, those that view Grace above the Greatest commandment are using the law as a means to judge others as being not good enough to follow it. This is the common argument against the Jew. Love or judge, the choice is yours! Matthew 22:37 states you are called to Love and the law tells us how. Not knowing that God loves us is associated with our inherited sin from the fall of Adam and Eve. For God so loved the world that he sent his son not to condemn the world but to save it. Christ forgives our old sinful ways, since being born again is associated with a change in behavior because we now see that God loves us and therefore we now desire to love him. If grace is infinite, then it would not be a choice to love God. If grace is infinite, there would be no reason to change our ways and become a new creation or be born again. If grace is infinite, then God would accept evil and thus be evil. To forgive and not expect any change in behavior would produce more of the same behavior that the original forgiveness required.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • commonsense

      PERFECT! Put that on a billboard!

      March 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • greg

      Man has proven he can not follow the Law, Its why Jesus was sacrificed, He was the innocent sacrifice. to wash us clean of sin so we can be in the presence of the Lord who can not abide sin. If we are to still be held to the Law then the Jesu sacrifice was in vain.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  20. Rafi

    >>Rafi sets off the ole bullsh!t detector in a BIG way!

    >>What an ignorant post, Rafi! Do you have any idea how many major artists, musicians, poets, writers, actors, directors, and other cultural treasures are atheists? Do you actually think that atheists don't share joys and sorrows, or create community, or indulge in intellectual challenge?

    Never said they didn't. But I'm not asking them to abandon those either.

    >>You overtly believe that you are the member of a master race, where every one else is "insane" or "soulless." Right.

    Ridiculous. Again, it doesn't matter what I think – maybe we're all insane and soulless! I don't pretend to have answers for you – Just leave me alone!

    >>You should recognize the deep hypocrisy of your statement "Don't have strong opinions about things you don't understand", because you exhibited strong opinions about something you completely fail to understand.

    >>You are just another deluded religious whack, every bit as insane as the Christians and Muslims who you see as insane (for the same reasons).

    I understand atheism, but my opinion about it is not strong, it's really kind of indifferent. On the other hand, the term "Master Race" indicates a strong opinion, and deep misunderstanding as well, as most people have about Judaism, since everything they think they know they learn from Christians or Muslims, or Jews trying to blend in.

    Don't have strong opinions about things you don't understand.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Rafi sets off the ole bullsh!t detector in a BIG way

      "Never said they didn't" – yes you did. Your third paragraph clearly shows you did: "Judaism is 3,000 years of tradition, lore, family and history that transcend "religion" altogether. Would you have people simply discard all of that to lose themselves in anonymous 21st century shopping mall culture? Does Atheism . . . offer intellectual challenge, community, music, art, poetry, or shared joys and sorrows? Or does it simply welcome a person to atomized soulless consumerist modernism?"

      "Ridiculous" – no, you yourself used the words "insanity" to describe Christianity and Islam, and "soulless" to describe atheists. On the other hand, you claim "Judaism is 3,000 years of tradition, lore, family and history that transcend "religion" altogether" – everyone else is inferior, and you are of the Master Rase of Judaism.

      Are you really going to try to claim that the assertion that atheism "simply welcomes a person to atomized soulless consumerist modernism?" is NOT a strong opinion? Really? You think that your comments on atheism show an understanding of atheism? They could not be farther from the truth. You have shown strong opinions about things you have proven to not understand, and then tried to berate others for doing so. That's hypocrisy.

      Your arrogance is quite comical. Thanks for the laugh!

      March 7, 2012 at 7:40 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.