March 22nd, 2012
06:36 PM ET

Atheist rally billed as 'coming out' moment for nonbelievers

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – A coalition of atheist and secular organizations are coming together on Saturday to hold what is being billed at the largest gathering of atheists in history.

David Silverman, chairman of the event committee and president of the American Atheists, said the rally is aimed at uniting atheist organizations and letting the religious know that there are nonbelievers among them.

“We need to stress to the theists that we are here,” Silverman said. “Atheism is growing in all 50 states. What people don’t seem to understand is all we demand at American Atheists is equality.”

Silverman initially told CNN that the rally would draw anywhere between 10,000 and 20,000 people to the National Mall, and the National Park Service has planned for 30,000 people. With thunderstorms forecast for Saturday, however, Silverman told CNN on Thursday that he expects somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 people.

The cost of the event is around $300,000, Silverman said, but philanthropist Todd Stiefel, Founder of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, is supplying half the money.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

The rally has been a catalyst for protests by the Westboro Baptist Church, a group well known for its picketing of funerals of American servicemen and servicewomen. Westboro Baptist has been granted a permit for the “grassy area between 14th and 15th” streets, according to Carol Johnson, a communications officer for the National Park Service.

Though a press release for the reason rally touts 17 groups planning to protest, only the Westboro Baptist Church has applied and obtained a permit. Johnson said rally organizers have notified the Park Service of other possible protest groups, but none of those have applied for a permit.

The rally's long list of speakers and presenters runs the gamut from intellectuals to celebrities to comedians. The event is headlined by Oxford professor and author Richard Dawkins.

Dawkins, who is widely regarded as the most respected figure in atheism, is lending his voice to this event because he says freedom for atheists is “constantly under threat from people who would like to turn this country into some sort of a theocracy.”

“The Reason Rally is part of an effort to combat the attack of the theocrats,” Dawkins told CNN. “There is in this country at the moment a great revival of atheism, and the number of atheists in the country is much larger than people realize.”

Atheist organizer takes ‘movement’ to nation’s capital

At a press conference for the event, Silverman was adamant that the rally won't be the last. He didn't say whether it will be become an annual tradition, but he intends a higher profile for atheists in the future.

“The next step after the rally is all eyes on the election,” Silverman said. “We want to post hard questions to the candidates.”

Dawkins, too, related the rally to politics.

“The nonbelieving constituency has not been vocal enough, and it therefore has been politic for them to be ignored by their congressmen, by their senators,” Dawkins said.

Directing his comments at Congress, Dawkins said, “You have been neglecting them, overlooking them and riding roughshod over them as though they didn’t exist. Well, they do exist and they outnumber some of the other lobbies that you have been so assiduously sucking up to all these years.”

The America Atheists also are holding their annual convention in Bethesda, Maryland, and the Secular Coalition for America has scheduled its “Lobby Day for Reason” on Friday.

The weekend is part of a larger blitz by a coalition of atheists to “win” equality in American culture, Silverman said.

“We are the last group against whom it is politically correct to be bigoted,” he said. “That is something that needs to change and I am very confident that we will within 20 years.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Politics

soundoff (3,073 Responses)
  1. Religious Atheist

    Religion (as defined by Merriam-Webster): a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith (presumably referring to the fact that it cannot be scientifically proven)

    Atheism (as defined by Merriam-Webster): the doctrine that there is no deity

    Atheism, otherwise stated, is therefore: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs that there is no deity, held to with ardor and faith

    Atheism is therefore a form of religion.

    Consequently then, is not Silverman justified in his pursuit as an atheist "to 'win' equality in American culture," since all religions should be treated equally based on the Bill of Rights which ensures religious freedom?

    March 26, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Robert

      Lets break this down for you an make this simple.

      The Greek root word for atheism is atheos. "A" as a prefix in Greek usually refers to being without. Theos refers to god. Thus atheos means without god.

      Or better yet, according to Merrian-Webster.com "A disbelief in the existence of a deity."

      In case you wish to debate that point I made the search easier for you.



      March 26, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • TR6

      Theists are so pathetic, since they can’t compete against the logic and reason of atheism, they try to drag in down to the level of religion

      March 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • just sayin

      RA, I don't think you realize how stupid you really sound. Think about what you post. lol

      March 27, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • lol

      justsayin.. You do the same that you accuse others of..

      March 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • just sayin

      lol, I think you have me confused with another just sayin

      March 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  2. Redemption23

    @ cykill No, I'm not a christian....your letting my name fool you, much like your viewpoints @ pljoe Really? Just let everyone believe what they want? What if I "believe" that molesting children is a "good" thing. Should we allow it? You idiot....think where your logic leads you. And all those who believe in separation of church and state........Atheism is a belief and therefore, should not be taught, recognized or given a special preference over other beliefs. Jeez, I say we just nuke each other and start over.

    March 26, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • heroicslugtest

      No, no, no...

      We've done this before. Atheism is not a belief. It is a lack of a belief.

      March 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • fred

      Sorry, but atheists in jail are granted religeous rights just as muslims and christians are. The courts think different.

      March 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Jim

      The moment you attempt to proselytize your atheistic point of view then it becomes a 'religion'. Separation of church and state means for me personally that I don't want any other adult (until my kids are 18) trying to convince them of a particular metaphysical belief or non-belief. That is for my wife and I.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Jojo

      Well said, AND made me laugh!

      March 26, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  3. quorndawg

    “We are the last group against whom it is politically correct to be bigoted,” Wrong. It's a lot more politically correct to be bigoted against Xians.

    March 26, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • PIjoe

      Agreed. We atheists are not victims, but we just love to whine as if we are.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  4. PIjoe

    I'm an atheist who doesn't agree with anything Dawkins says, other than "there is no God". Both people of faith and atheists should stop worrying about what the other side believes and just follow your own beliefs. When Christians show up at my door proselytizing I say "thanks but no thanks". Mr Merica shouldn't be concerned with a gathering of atheists just like atheists shouldn't worry about people of faith gathering in their tax-free ornate meeting places every Sunday. We all chose to live in a country where the vast majority of people "believe". I honestly wish I were gullible enough to think I would live forever, and would get to live in paradise, deceased family comes back to life and everyone eats icecream and cake and never gets fat etc etc. But I don't. But I believe those who do are much happier. I see it every day.

    March 26, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  5. MormonChristian

    Go Atheists. While you're at it, let's remember that Atheists have killed more people in the last century than in all the religious wars in all the centuries before.

    What is it about loving one's neighbor, forgiveness, that gets these people so riled up?

    What we need is both Science and Religion.

    Reading many of these posts here, what is being proposed is Anarchy, not just Atheism. These people would silence anyone who doesn't agree with them.

    March 26, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Gokubi

      Oops, looks like you were writing with your foot in your mouth again. You might want to remove it before posting comments, it really helps.

      Plus, lets get real, if you want people to take you even sort of seriously, remove the Mormon part of the name..... it's pretty embarrassing.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Duh

      "Go Atheists. While you're at it, let's remember that Atheists have killed more people in the last century than in all the religious wars in all the centuries before."

      Religion in human history has killed 480 million people, come on now liar...do the math. Oh that's right you nut cases have killed more people.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • cykill

      While you're at it, let's remember that Atheists have killed more people in the last century than in all the religious wars in all the centuries before. LOL...right.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Atheists have killed people. Christians have killed people. Hindus have killed people. Jews have killed people. Muslims have killed people. If there were no beliefs whatsoever, we would still kill people. People just kill people. It's in our nature.

      Counting body bags has no bearing on these arguments whatsoever.

      March 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      Excuse me, but you have a little ignorance on your face! NO atheist has ever killed anyone in the NAME of atheism, EVER! However, the truer number of people killed by religious fanatics, called the Catholic Church, in the name of Jesus, is somewhere in the billions, even though the true number may NEVER be known. NO atheist has ever said that "education is the greatest threat to the Christian religion." Martin Luther. No atheist has ever burned a witch, beheaded someone for thinking the earth was round, tortured someone for having an opinion that opposes his own, and the list goes ON and ON. Your argument is a straw man and has been refuted by millions, many of them theists.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • ciroc2323

      Darwinian evolutionism with its ”survival of the fittest” ideology has devalued human life. If man is not created in the image of God, and if there is no God in heaven Who will judge the living and the dead, if there are no objective standards of right and wrong – then life becomes cheap. When you devalue God, you devalue life.

      What are people according to atheists who believe in evolution? ”A hairless ape” – Schoenberg; ”A mere insect, an ant…” – Church; ”An accidental twig” – Gould; ”A rope stretched over an abyss” – Nietzsche; ”A fungus on the surface of one of the minor planets” – Du Maurier; ”A jest, a dream, a show, bubble, air…” – Thornbury; and ”I see no reason for attributing to man a significant difference in kind from that which belongs to a grain of sand” – Oliver Wendell Holmes.

      When atheism takes hold of a society, moral relativism is inevitable. Nothing is sacred. There is no objective standard of right and wrong, no God, no eternal Day of Judgement. No hope of eternal justice. Life becomes cheap.

      As the existentialist writer Jean-Paul Sartre explained: ”Without God all activities are equivalent…thus it amounts to the same thing whether one gets drunk alone, or is a leader of nations.”

      Historian Paul Johnson commented on the advance of atheism in modern history: ”Nietzsche wrote in 1886: ’The greatest event of recent times – that God is dead, that the belief in the Christian God is no longer tenable – is beginning to cast its first shadows over Europe.’ Ultimately the collapse of the religious impulse would leave a huge vacuum. The history of modern times is in great part the history of how that vacuum has been filled.”

      At least 180 million people have been killed by secular governments in the 20th Century. And that is a very conservative estimate. We are not here talking about people who have died in wars caused by secular humanist states, because that would massively increase the body count. No, over 180 million people have been killed by their own secular humanist governments in the 20th Century. The greatest threat to life in the 20th Century was not firearm accidents, or crime, or even wars! More people were killed by their own governments in peace time than were killed by foreign invaders in war time.

      March 26, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, ciroc, you're such a buzz-kill.

      There is no evidence that belief in a god makes anyone more 'moral'. None.

      March 26, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • closet atheist

      @circoc (like the ghetto vodka?) ~~

      "Darwinian evolutionism with its ”survival of the fittest” ideology has devalued human life. If man is not created in the image of God, and if there is no God in heaven Who will judge the living and the dead, if there are no objective standards of right and wrong – then life becomes cheap. When you devalue God, you devalue life."

      Why is it that so many christians equate religiosity with morals? I'm sorry, folks, most of the moral codes that we follow as humans predate any particular religion. There is ample anthropological evidence to support this. A moral framework is simply necessary to "peacefully" coexist. This is not a "religious condition", but a human condition.

      Treating others as you wish to be treated is not a uniquely christian doctrine.

      Challenge your beliefs, people. You may find a more humanistic approach to living life very fulfilling.

      March 27, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • HotAirAce

      And why do the dead need to be judged. They spent years putting up with religious bullsh!t – let them be!

      March 27, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • TR6

      Unfortunatly you are mistaken, Comunisum is just another type of dogmatic religioin and Hitlers army (the people who did the actual killing) was almost exclusivly christian. Thouse deaths belong to religon

      March 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  6. Redemption23

    @Chad. You rock! I find it funny that the one's who make science the "father" of all knowledge cringe when it is used against some of their deeply held beliefs. Science has it's place, but it also has it limits. Man has now made himself the measure of "all" things. By the way,Doc wiki micro-evolution and macro-evolution. You might just understand what he's talking about. Sheezz....

    March 26, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Gokubi


      Please chad, instead of cheering yourself on, hows about you actually crack open a real science text book once in a while.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Dr. Jen

      In evolution, there is actually no concept of micro vs. macro evolution. That was just a construct of dishonest creationists, of which sadly there is an all-too-vocal abundance. There is actually just evolution, and it is supported by a huge body of evidence.

      However, there is no evidence for 'redemption'. Absolutely none. 'Redemption23', do the world a favor, take on some personal responsibility, dump your foolish, unsupportable god myth, and take an intro biology course.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  7. Redemption23

    In my profession, esophageal cancer has been noted to be the 3rd most painful cancer to have. If Hitchens did not believe in God, I"m wondering who he cried out too when he was in pain? And make no mistake, he cried out!

    March 26, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh? Were you there? How do you know if he cried out? And even if he did, which would be understandable, what makes you think you know to whom?

      March 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Gokubi

      It always makes me laugh when believers decide that Hitch must have cried out for god, or prayed in the end or something that turned him into a believer because for some reason that makes them feel better. I can say with a fair amount of certainty that the guy who devoted a large portion of his life towards anti-theism would not make an about face turn in his final moments.

      Next, have the "3rd most painful cancer" whatever that means, proves... what? If god wanted to punish him wouldn't he have given hitch the "most painful" type of cancer? Or torture him in other ways?

      Lastly, if Hitch did, for whatever reason, convert and became a christian in the last remaining moments of his life, how does it feel to know that a man like Chris Hitchens is waiting for you up in heaven?

      March 26, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Ran

      Redemption23.....You almost seem gleeful. Surely a true Christian you must be.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Dr. Jen

      Good points, Tom Tom, Gokubi, and Ran. Nice to know you're out there.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • cykill

      redemtion, that was spoken like a true conservative christian...

      March 26, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  8. heroicslugtest

    Sweet! Wish I could cross to country to show my support.

    It's well past time we put the deluded masses on notice. Its time to think.

    March 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Bob

      I so hear you.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • ciroc2323

      Big time support. Free concerts, free transportation and more people show up at a high school football game on a Friday night than show up to that nonsensical rally.

      March 26, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So? If you're so convinced it was meaningless, why are you posting about it incessantly, ciroc?

      March 26, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  9. Brooklyn Boy

    If god really exists, why is Rosie always coming back to TV?

    March 26, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • yeppers!

      Haha! That is hilarious.....and so true! 🙂 My husband and I were at the rally, it was quite fascinating.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  10. Izoto

    Dawkins isn't even an atheist anymore.

    March 26, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      How would you describe him?

      March 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • derf

      Dawkins? Kind of befuddled and fearful of William Lane Craig.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Craig – is that the idiot Krauss shredded?

      March 26, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Eric G

      Dwkins not an Athist? What delusion are you under? He has spent pretty much his entire professional life denouncing religion in all its aspects, including two days ago on a live tv interview. He is very much an etheist! And, I'm proud that he has the guts to say it and prove why it's a refuge of the mindless and a danger to society.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I suspect they are referring to (and trying to make something out of nothing) Dawkins saying on a scale of 0 (total believer, 100% certain there is a god) to 7 (total atheist, 100% certain there are no gods), he is a 6.9. He said the same thing way back in The God Delusion. Dawkins is just being a realistic scientist leaving some room for something that is not (cannot be) proven. If only the believers would move off of 0 – but of course most will not because to do so would start them down the slippery slope...

      March 26, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  11. turnerBroadcasting

    Atheism is a viable world view. However, at its center – is the concept that we seem to have enough power at this stage in our evolution to determine whether or not a creator exists. This should test the reason of any rational being. Agnostics believe the existence of God cannot be proven, but Atheism is a belief that centers itself upon the non-existence of a deity – and calls into question the multiple guides of morality, and spirituality that exist to support that belief. They don't question the concept of soul – they are neutral on that point. So, the way I see it – they're simply wasting a chance to get it right. I wager my soul, which is finite – that God exists, which is infinite. Any finite wager that might result in infinite gain is worth taking.

    March 26, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • monado

      And just to be sure, believe in all the gods currently being worshipped. It might be safe to forget about the thousands that have been forgotten by popular culture if not by historians.

      March 26, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Atheist

      A semantics nitpick:

      Atheism, in it's least severe definition, denotes the lack of the belief 'theism' (or, in simpler terms, the lack of a belief in God or Gods). This is not to be construed as the epistemological claim that God does not exist. Claims of epistemology are generally referred to as Gnostic or Agnostic. Gnostic Atheists would posit that God does not exist. Most self-described atheists are Agnostic Atheists who do not believe in Gods, but also do not make epistemological claims about God's existence (or lack thereof).

      March 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Michael

      Considering that Christianity is just an evolution of Judaism which in itself is just an evolution of Zoroastrianism and so forth. Who is to say which religion is right if ANY of them are right? Should we go with the whole Europeans are always right mumbo jumbo and assume that Christianity is right or can one of the Eastern religions out of Asia even be the right one? Religion is a farce. Get over it and stop wasting time on it. It just makes people look so stupid. I gave it up when I was 12. I'm 23 and i'm doing just fine without all of it.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Rob

      One must wonder just how little respect you have for your god that you believe he or she would be fooled by your so-called 'belief' being based on nothing more than your making a safe wager just in case god exists. I suggest that, if that is why you believe, then you do not really believe anything at all. Personally, I feel more respect toward someone whose faith is genuine, even if I disagree with them, than toward someone whose faith is strategic.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Ran

      turnerBroadcasting......So..... your belief in God is primarily so you can get goodies in heaven forever and ever. You truly are a deep thinker. How small must your God be to deserve such worship?

      March 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Eric G

      Incorrect. Atheism makes no argument for or against morality and to thing that's the perview of religion just because they say it's so, makes it no less true. Morality has nothing to do with religion. Oh... and believing in a god just because you don't want to be wrong? That's laughably cowardly and ignores the fundamental fact that until people realize and accept that there is no god, that we really are on this Earth a single time and then we're gone, should make people realize how precious our time is while we yet can, before we get sick or old, and die. Enjoy your family, your siblings, your children, your parents. Soon, all will be gone. Stop war. people die young for no good reason. It's sad, really.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  12. The Master

    Theists will never understand. That's why they need a god, to fill the holes in their lack of understanding.

    March 26, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Theist

      I'm a devout non-denominational Christian. I've never made less than an A in a course in my life, I carry a 4.00 GPR at a major public university, and I've been accepted to the Harvard University School of Dental Medicine (founded by theists, no less). I believe in evolutionary theory, contraception, progressive taxation, and universal healthcare. Tell me, at what point has my theism compromised my understanding?

      March 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Theist – I'm going to do something that I normally don't do ... answer a question with a question. IF you have no gaps in your understanding ... then why are you a Thiest? what does 'believing in the Jesus as the son of God" DO for you ? Fill some hole in your life? I'm not saying this to be demining ... please answer honestly.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Robert

      @Theist You think some Jewish guy rose from the dead 2,000 years ago along with dozens of other aspects of Christianity that aren't even remotely possible. You cite all of your credentials of being a very intelligent individual yet you abandon all of your critical thinking abilities when you apply them to religion. This is nearly the same as a straight A 13 year old who still believes in Santa Claus even though it is completely unreasonably to believe in his existence. Now tell me, what would you think of an individual who by all appearances is very smart but seems to limit just how they apply it? That sounds like a limitation.

      March 26, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
  13. lol!

    They ain't got somethin than wet pants.

    March 26, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • The Master

      Um... what?

      March 26, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  14. drhughjorgen

    I don't know why you Atheists are arguing with these believers. Now it could be just an exercise in fun, cause I can see where it is actually. And i would guess both sides would know there is no way either would be swayed to the other side because of what is said here. When a human is stuck in their belief system, that is pretty much it. And it is fun to read the stuff people have to say to make themselves "right". Let's all vote for Santorum for president and then we can all see what it is like to live in a Theocracy. Won't that be fun. The "believers will be happy until he makes them all stop practicing their own form of belief and practice his. Kind of like when the Catholics got teaching religion banned from being taught in schools. Yes they did. Look it up.

    March 25, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  15. Reality

    o http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html
    Religion………………………… Adherents

    Christianity ……………………..2.1 billion

    Islam…………………………… 1.5 billion

    Irreligious/agnostic/atheism..... 1.1 billion

    Hinduism 900 million
    Chinese traditional religion 394 million
    Buddhism 376 million
    Animist religions 300 million
    African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
    Sikhism 23 million
    Juche 19 million
    Spiritism 15 million

    Judaism…………………………………….. 14 million

    Baha'i 7 million
    Jainism 4.2 million
    Shinto 4 million
    Cao Dai 4 million
    Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
    Tenrikyo 2 million
    Neo-Paganism 1 million
    Unitarian Universalism 800,000
    Rastafari Movement 600,000

    March 25, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • tbreeden

      So much for Matthew 7:14, "For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it."

      March 25, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Reality

      Matt 7: 14 as with all the passages of the NT has been thoroughly analyzed by many contemporary NT scholars. This particular passage, as per some of these scholars, does not pass the test for historic authenticity. e.g. See http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=163_The_Narrow_Door and Professor Gerd Ludemann's conclusions in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 153.

      See also the following:


      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      (references used are available upon request)

      And then augmented by the following:

      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.

      A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

      e.g. Taoism

      "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

      Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

      March 25, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • monado

      Atheists need to be heard because theists are trying to rewrite laws and are currently taking away civil rights from women.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • ciroc2323

      @ monado.

      Some things are so obviously wrong and some opinions so obviously misinformed that no rebuttal is required.
      Your entire post fits the bill.

      March 26, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, come on, ciroc, give it a shot anyway.

      March 26, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  16. Gary411

    Go Atheists! Stand tall and proud!

    March 25, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • ciroc2323

      All 6,500 of you!!! Ha

      March 26, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  17. jarvis.lorry

    I'm an old man now, but I've been an atheist since I was 10 years old. I always believed that there must be many people who shared my beliefs, but we have been cowed by the vocal "god-believers". When I was young the government inserted "under God" in the pledge of allegiance, which I was forced to recite at school. And people would rant against "godless communism", emphasizing the godless part. Of course it didn't seem to matter that you could be a godless capitalist, godless housewife, godless accountant, godless Republican, or godless anything without being a communist. I heartily recommend that you read Richard Dawkins' book, The God Delusion. It is well-reasoned and provides excellent arguments to use against all the standard polemics of those who want to drive religion down your throat.

    March 25, 2012 at 6:50 am |
    • AllenAtlanta

      Napoleon Bonaparte understood the value of religion and it is why governments and the rich support and maintain religion among the poor and ignorant so strongly. According to Napoleon: "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” It is a powerful tool for managing and controlling the poor and ignorant. God and religion are the most evil of man's creations!

      March 25, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • jarvis.lorry

      The religious among us keep trying to chip away at the separation of church and state by making people recite the pledge of allegiance with the God clause, installing religious symbols and displays on public property, holding prayer breakfasts for politicians, berating the removal of prayer in public schools, trying to pass laws limiting women's access to birth control, and trying to get an amendment passed outlawing abortion (since in their view God creates a soul the moment a sperm enters an egg). I guess we ought to be grateful that the great religious wars in Europe are behind us, and we only have these relatively minor problems to deal with (excluding of course the attack by Muslim extremists on the twin towers). Perhaps someday churches in the U.S. will more like museums, the way they are now in most of Europe.

      March 25, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  18. avlisk

    Wow! Perhaps there's hope for the human race after all. WIth all the high-profile religious loonies (pardon the redundancy) out there, I'm encouraged to see that there are substantial groups of grown-ups who know that reason and science are the truth and religious beliefs are infantile and dangerous. Let's use the brains that God gave us and stop believing in fantasies.

    March 25, 2012 at 6:38 am |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 25, 2012 at 5:50 am |
    • AllenAtlanta

      You are right ... it makes people think they are superior to others and makes them behave badly, because their fairytale god will "forgive" them.

      March 25, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Root post is simply a lie.


      March 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Jesus

      -.You've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. 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 26, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • The Master

      Yeah... my dog lives in FEAR of Atheism! He stay awake at nights and won't let me sleep!

      March 26, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  20. tina

    Christopher Hitchens would have been so pround.

    March 24, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • tina

      Oops. Proud

      March 24, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • ciroc2323

      Proud of what? Malcontents standing in the rain, spewing vitriol for something they claim isn't even there?

      March 25, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • just sayin

      Hitchens? Isn't that the dead atheist guy whose throat rotted out on him in the midst of his blasphemies? He's still dead last I heard, follow your leader. How is it working out having it do your thinking for you?

      March 25, 2012 at 5:53 am |
    • mandarax

      Wow, Just Sayin, you're a real creep.

      March 25, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • tbreeden

      @just sayin – Like you'd have a chance at heaven anyway.

      March 25, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • atheistdoctor

      @justsaying: To clarify, Christopher Hitchens died of esophageal cancer. The esophagus is not used for speaking. It is used for eating. Perhaps God was angry at him for enjoying food?

      March 25, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      ciroc. Like humans standing in the the rain has never happened before...is it always sunny in heaven? and if you are catholic..( those folks who invented and use hell as a club over kids) what gas is burned in hell anyway..natural or propane? where does it come from?

      March 26, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, just lyin, I guess Christians don't get esophageal cancer, right?

      What a maroon.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • ciroc2323

      @ Non evolved

      Yea, I stand in the rain for eight hours all the time and rant and rave against things like the tooth fairy or tinkerbell. You know, things I don't believe in.
      Maybe that will be at the next atheist unreasonable rally?

      March 26, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm getting a real charge out of ciroc's righteous indignation about this rally. I can't figure out what it is about it that has his nose so out of joint. Were you down on the Mall hoping to fly a kite but the protesters got in your way, ciroc? Did they force you to walk the long way to one of the Smithsonian museums?

      What is pissing you off so badly?

      March 26, 2012 at 11:21 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.