home
RSS
Atheist organizer takes ‘movement’ to nation’s capital
American Atheists president David Silverman in Washington, planning for Saturday's rally.
March 23rd, 2012
11:04 AM ET

Atheist organizer takes ‘movement’ to nation’s capital

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Sitting in a chilly hotel hospitality suite in a suburban Maryland hotel, David Silverman plans his attack. As the frequently quoted president of the American Atheists and a constant thorn in the side of religious organizations, attack mode comes easily to him.

At the moment, it isn’t the religious right or the “horribly misinformed,” a term Silverman uses for certain religious people, that are in his sights. Rather, it’s a menu.

“Spinach or Caesar salad?” Silverman, 45, asks to no one in particular. His dinner guests, a logistics consultant, a Marriott hotel representative and Silverman’s new administrative director, eat through a few courses before discussion turns to dessert.

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

“In the beginning, God created chocolate,” Silverman says, his eyes scanning the table for reaction.

Laughter ensues. But this is a business meal. From choosing salads for a fundraising dinner to studying the timing of the Washington transit system, Silverman has been spending less time recently on the big question of God’s existence and more time immersing himself in the nitty-gritty of planning what he promises will be the largest-ever atheist gathering.

On Saturday, Silverman hopes that from 10,000 to 20,000 atheists, agnostics, doubters and secularists of all stripes to converge on the National Mall in Washington for what his group calls the Reason Rally.

Silverman is especially proud of the event’s speaker’s list, dropping names like a proud father. He beams when noting that the man he calls “Dawkins” – Richard Dawkins, the scientist and author of “The Blind Watchmaker” and “The God Delusion” – will headline the rally.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

“We have people busing in from as far west as Ohio, as far south as Florida and as far north as Maine,” Silverman says. The weekend will also play host to the American Atheists’ annual convention, to be held at the Maryland Marriot where Silverman is debating salad options.

Silverman is billing the weekend as a watershed movement in the atheist “coming out,” of recent years.

“We want people to know we are huge, we’re everywhere, and we are growing,” he says. “The goal is to advance the position of atheists in America.”

A nice guy combatant

Silverman, a professional inventor at Bell Labs who has 74 patents under his name in the area of telecommunications infrastructure, worked his way up the ladder at American Atheists.

He started as a volunteer in New Jersey in 1996, moved up to be the state’s director and then jumped from national spokesperson to vice president. In 2010 he became president of the organization, which counts 4,000 members, has a $750,000 annual budget and has become the organizational face of a burgeoning American movement of atheists.

Silverman has taken the group in a much more outspoken direction, reflecting a national trend among atheists.

“Ed is extremely intelligent, better educated than I am… I think I have more fire than he had,” Silverman says of his predecessor at American Atheists, Ed Buckner. “It shows itself in the billboards; it shows itself in the press; it shows itself in our corporate attitude.”

In November 2010, weeks before Christmas, American Atheists placed a billboard at the New Jersey entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel that showed the three wise men heading to Bethlehem with the message “You KNOW it’s a Myth. This Season, Celebrate Reason.”

The sign earned national media attention and stirred so much controversy that it prompted the conservative Catholic League for Religious and Civil rights to respond with a pro-Christmas billboard at the New York end of the Lincoln Tunnel. “You Know It's Real,” the sign said. “This Season Celebrate Jesus.”

Silverman says that atheist billboards started popping up in the 1970s but then mostly disappeared until the Secular Coalition for America started raising billboards around the country several years ago.

Silverman has taken the billboards to an aggressive new level. Earlier this month, his group paid $30,000 to post two billboards - one in heavily Muslim Patterson, New Jersey, and another in a heavily Jewish Brooklyn neighborhood - that read “You know it’s a myth … and you have a choice.”

The signs were admittedly in your face, says Silverman – all the more so because they were in Arabic and Hebrew.

“What I am doing is not giving religion respect that it wants but it doesn’t deserve,” Silverman said. “I respect people; I respect humans. I do not respect religion. And I do not respect the idea that religion deserves respect.”

That attitude has made Silverman a bogeyman for religious groups, especially conservative ones who discern a secular assault on American religion.

“These people are vicious is what they are,” says Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League. “They stand for nothing. Their only existence is to be against people of faith.”

And yet some of his faith-based enemies say Silverman treats them with respect. Donohue says Silverman “is a nice enough guy” and that on the occasions they’ve met, the atheist organizer displayed geniality and a sense of humor.

Alex McFarland, the Christian director of Worldview and Apologetics at North Greenville University, holds regular public debates with Silverman about God and the place of religion in American culture. Though they “disagree on God and a lot of the great issues of life,” McFarland says, he has “great respect for David Silverman.”

“I enjoy dialoguing with people like him that are misguided,” McFarland says. “I feel a duty to give a response to people that are holding positions that undermine the fabric of our liberties and freedoms.”

Silverman speaks highly of sparring partners like Donohue and McFarland. “I don’t see them as evil people, I see them as wrong people,” Silverman says.

But he believes they overlook one major aspect of atheism – that its numbers are growing.

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.

“Atheism is growing in all 50 states,” Silverman says. “What people don’t seem to understand is all we demand at American Atheists is equality. We don’t want the obliteration of religion; we don’t want religion wiped off the face of the earth.”

From Hebrew school to disbelief

As a kid in Massachusetts, Silverman was the only atheist he knew. “I’ve been an atheist all my life,” he says. “When I was a kid, I had to get on a bike, I had to ride 2 miles to the library to find the one book that had to do with atheism.”

Silverman was raised Jewish. His parents sent him to Hebrew school and he had a bar mitzvah, even after telling his mother that he did not believe in God.

“I remember it clearly, getting up on stage and everybody in my life was in front of me. Everyone,” Silverman says, recalling his bar mitzvah. “And I stood up there, and I looked everyone in the eye, and I lied. I lied. And I hated it.”

For Silverman, it was a turning point, a moment when he resolved not to lie about his disbelief. “It was one of those experiences… it saddened me,” Silverman says, the disgust showing as he contorts his face. “And I didn’t really do anything about it. I just did it.”

Silverman studies computer science at Brandeis University, a predominantly Jewish school that helped him cement his non-belief and honed his debating skills.

“I was the fodder of debate,” Silverman says. In the lunchroom, he proudly used the non-Kosher trays and relished debates with religious friends.

“Even the people who had gone to school to become rabbis could not put together a reason to believe in God,” Silverman says.

At Brandeis, Silverman met his future wife, Hildy. “Very early on when we dated, it was more of an issue because I was Orthodox and he was atheist,” Hildy laughs. “We were actually apart for a few years because we couldn’t see how that would work.”

Two years after graduation though, Hildy called him and said that she was doubting her religion and needed a non-religious weekend. Silverman picked her up from the airport and six months later the “mixed” couple, as Silverman calls them, was married.

“Religion is not a factor in our lives to the point that is causes strife,” Silverman says. Hildy stills attends Orthodox synagogue sporadically.

“I am a very strong supporter of separation of church and state,” she says. “My husband has no problem with people believing what they believe. I am proof of that. He just doesn’t want it foisted on him. And I am totally in line with that.

“I think he is extremely brave in what he does,” she says.

The couple has one child, 14-year-old Rayanne. She was introduced to Judaism at a young age and attended a Hebrew school in New Jersey. When it came time to plan for a bat mitzvah, however, Rayanne let her parents knew the truth.

She didn’t want one. She was an atheist.

Silverman says he didn’t want his daughter to be an atheists just because he is, but his pride in her decision is clear. For him, she is the future of atheism.

“I am very confident that we will win within 20 years,” he says. “I am saying that we will have a substantially more equal presence in 20 years.”

No issue too small

Back at the hotel, Silverman has turned his focus from the monotony of salads and soups to more pressing issues.

“What are we going to do about the Bibles in the room,” Silverman asks the obviously surprised Marriott event planner. “We do not want the Bibles in the rooms.”

It is Marriott policy not to remove Bibles in guest rooms, but Silverman won’t back down.

“We need to do something with them,” he says, ticking off ideas with his assistant: Recycle them, give them away, put them outside the doors, perhaps even destroy them.

The event planner sits back in her chair, struggling for words.

“What we don’t want to do is be disrespectful to the hotel,” says Silverman’s administrative director, Amanda Knief, putting an end to the discussion.

Yet Silverman plans to encourage atheist guests to place Bibles outside their doors in protest.

For him, each battle - whether over the presence of a cross at the World Trade Center memorial or Bibles in a hotel room - is worth having.

After the latest American Atheist billboards went up in Patterson and Brooklyn, Silverman said he reported death threats to the police. His attitude: just par for the course, another day in the life.

“We ask the tough questions,” he says. “We say the things that are politically incorrect if they need to be said.”

“We will win the big picture,” Silverman says, twice in a row. “(Being) the Marines of free thought means that we are going to fight the unpopular fight, and yes we are going to win.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • DC • Politics

soundoff (3,330 Responses)
  1. druffmaul

    *EVERYONE* including the devoutly religious is an atheist in a certain regard: Christians, Jews, and Muslims do no believe Zeus exists, or Odin, or Amon Ra, or Quetzacoatl, or a host of other gods that were invented by ignorant but imaginative people thousands of years ago. T

    he only difference between me and them is one single god out of hundreds.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • nope

      not rly, the thing with atheists is they only deny without offering any better reason or argument. denying is easy and that shows how braindead atheists are.

      btw, you can't have plural before you have singular, thats proof of 1 God. yet again, how would braindead atheists know

      March 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Don Camp

      True. But that may be the fatal flaw in your position.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • AusieSceptic1

      nope-
      " you can't have plural before you have singular, thats proof of 1 God."

      your ignorance of logic is absolutely laughable, that's your best effort to defend myths and legends?
      I do laugh at you : ) : )

      March 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • One one

      How do you know there is only one god? What is your evidence that there are not 13 gods? There are a million ways to be wrong, but only one way to be right. If we don't know the answers to the big questions, like where did the universe come from, then the only valid answer is "I don't know". Any other explanation without evidence is simply conjecture. And your conjecture is no better than mine.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • nope

      aussie sceptic, no thats proof that 1 God makes sense and plural does not. It simply means more "gdos" does not make sense since the first one would always be better than them and the rest would not really be "gods" and would be on the mercy of the first one who gave them any power to begin with. What most idiot atheists don't understand that God created universe which is so vast that even if you could see God's 1 hair it would probably blot out sky and you would never be able to see his real shape. Our eyes can't even comprehend far reaches of universe and yet you want to see its Creator? thats how dumb you atheists are yet you don't comprehend it

      March 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • One one

      @nope. Do you think calling anyone who does not agree with you "brain dead" helps your argument? Or does it just make you feel good.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • nope

      One one, problem is you have no answer and no argument and always deny everything. You have NOTHING to offer yet always complain.

      and YOU atheists consider yourself intellectuals and what not

      LOL

      March 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  2. Tom

    the bible was written by a bunch of jews picking their butts in the middle of a dessert or desert. forgot the spelliing, sorry

    March 23, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • cheat sheet

      Tom,

      Dessert is sugar sweet - so it gets an extra 's'.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Jebus Zombie

      Christopher Hitchens exposes the stupid bible writers as a bunch of illiterates. Each and everyone should read his book "god is NOT great"

      March 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • collins61

      You're so eloquent.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • me

      ignorant commenting much?

      March 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Don Camp

      I always find such comments humorous. You obviously haven't read the Bible. Even read as literature it is as majestic as any ancient writing. As moral thought, it is the foundation of the West's laws. As history, it is equal to any of the ancients. In fact, archaeologists have used the Bible to point them to archaeological sites of value. When it comes to Jesus, he is the most significant person in history. So what's your problem? You just don't like God?

      March 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Jebus Zombie

      There is no proof of jesus, christianity is a SCAM. go to youtube and search for "Christopher hitches on jesus"

      March 23, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • me

      @Don Camp Unfortunately thos comments are because of the hate in their lives

      March 23, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Real Deal

      The Bible is a book which includes *some* history of primitive Hebrew culture, and *some* good advice for practical, beneficial human behavior, but mainly it is a compilation of ancient Middle Eastern historical fiction, myth, legend, superst.ition and fantasy.

      There is not a whit of verified evidence for any of the supernatural beings or supernatural events in that book.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  3. Lee Oates

    I am quite sure that if God exists, she is black.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • me

      the fish that can't think beyond its fishtank....

      March 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  4. cleareye1

    As an agnostic, I find atheists almost the same as religious zealots. The real facts are none of us have any true answers about a "here after."

    March 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • RillyKewl

      I'm doubting you've spoken with very many atheists. Most of us are pretty relaxed about it.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Eric

      Most atheists are agnostics. I haven't met very many gnostic atheists, but almost all theists are gnostic.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  5. Reality

    A money-making scheme by the Silvermans (the atheist version of the Graham family)?? Probably!!!

    Internet media networking is doing the same job at no cost and no trip to Washington and $1000 front row seats required.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • AngerBot

      Except he does something good with the money like raising awareness instead of perpetuating a lie.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • LMAO

      "A money-making scheme by the Silvermans (the atheist version of the Graham family)?? Probably!!!

      Internet media networking is doing the same job at no cost and no trip to Washington and $1000 front row seats required."

      Now if only Christians could get that concept about their religion.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  6. sma89

    jeez, atheists are becoming just as annoying and obnoxious as Christians like Santorum and his ilk. And yet neither side can provide me with sufficient proof for their arguments...oh that's right because it's impossible to prove the existence or non-existence of something that can't be seen. i wish everybody would just shut up and keep their beliefs to themselves.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • JakeAZ

      what if one was imposing its beliefs on you and trampling your rights? would you live and let live and say nothing?

      March 23, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • RillyKewl

      How can you see atheists as obnoxious as Santorum?
      Thats just as hyperbolic + ridiculous as he is.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • me

      @JakeAZ you mean imposing and trampling your HATE

      March 23, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Eric

      Atheists don't have to provide proof of anything. It is not up to an atheist to disprove the infinite number of imaginary things the religious create in their minds, it's up to the religious to prove that the imaginary things they believe in are real. In fact it's not even possible for an atheist to prove the non-existence of something that can't be proven to exist in the first place.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • sma89

      @ Eric

      fine, that's true. my point is be confident in what you believe and don't impose it on someone else. that goes for theists and non-theists. one side is never going to convince the other...it's futile.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Don Camp

      Really? How about dark energy. It is proven to be real by the results. OMG. That may be much the same as God is proven real.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • David in Cincinnati

      Seriously, sma89, don't you have sufficient proof of Santa's non-existence? Mathematical proof is useful in some areas, but not here.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  7. Eugene

    Oh my wow this brother is so lost in the world he has no idea what he is up to face!! God is real what ever you like it or not and God created you and gave you breath !!I WILL PRAY FOR YOU David Silverman so that Lord revealed hin self to you so that you make turn away from your weekdness and brlind folded life to HIM who loves you!!Be Blessed

    March 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • JakeAZ

      if there was a god and he was really active in our lives, don't you think it would've already revealed itself?

      March 23, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • me

      @JakeAZ Sweety God is not a physical being, He's a non-physical one, you won't ever see much change in the physical realm because God is not primarily interested in his physical creation, He's interested most in your spiritual loving life

      March 23, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • RillyKewl

      Whatevs, my brother.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • AusieSceptic1

      Eugene-
      as a person who objects to "atheists attacking religion on religious blogs"
      why do you spread your un-proven myths on an atheist blog?

      March 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • JakeAZ

      @me: ok, you've read the mind of your little imaginary friend.

      how the f would you possibly know that? gimme a break.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • David in Cincinnati

      Well, me, I know it makes you feel good inside to imagine that "He's interested most in your spiritual loving life". But how about the loving life of my neighbor's newborn snuffed out near birth last month? I know: God's inscrutable plan.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
  8. divi

    Nature is always changing. Stars burn out. I'd say that is a departure from absolute organization.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • me

      Nature=God
      God=Nature
      Love=God
      God=Love
      Nature=Love
      Love=Nature
      Everything=Everything
      period

      March 23, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • David in Cincinnati

      Then, me, why the abuse of children in the name of your God?

      March 23, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
  9. yawn not another jew(david silverman)

    The Jews have emasculated our nation by destroying our pride in America’s Christian history. Without a commonly held memory a nation ceases to exist as a cohesive unit. Jews have labeled America’s Christian Founding Fathers as “racists” and “white slavers” while at the same time suppressing the fact that Jews financed and participated in the slave trade. The Jews have driven our Christian heritage from the public square through the efforts of the Jewish Lobby Groups, the ADL and the ACLU. American children will grow up in a society wiped clean of any vestiges of the Bible, Christ or the Cross. However, the Menorah is still allowed in public displays and in the White House for Hannukah celebrations

    March 23, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • RillyKewl

      drop dead.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Iconoclast

      If you want your children to learn religion, send them to sunday school. Oh wait that costs money, you want your FREE HANDOUT? Stupid anti semite, get a grip.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • RillyKewl

      Moderator???????

      March 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • CNN Moderator

      @yawn – you're banned.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • David in Cincinnati

      I know what you mean, Rilly, but maybe it's important for us to hear the insane arguments.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  10. Donna

    Before I even make a comment let me say I am an Atheist, if that's what it is. I DON'T BELIEVE in anything. No higher power, no creator, NOTHING. Having said that, can I just say why is this guy trying to organize non-believers? Isn't that the beauty of not believing, not belonging to any organization? Just a thought, "Who cares what anyone believes or not?"

    March 23, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • JakeAZ

      donna, i'm with you on that. thats why the group is so small (4,000) when there are millions of atheists in America. i gave up going to church, i don't want to go to another one. however, if we have no real problem with people believing whatever they wish and congregating, then i have no problem with this atheist meeting. to each their own.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • lucentsky

      "Organization" and "non-belief" are not mutually exclusive. Where did you get such an idea? If you've ever looked at history, and U.S. history in particular, many beneficial changes could only come about by organizing people. Without organization, we are isolated to fight alone against the vast concentrations of power in the nation.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • AngerBot

      Because something greater is at stake. Things like human rights. Why do you think gay people can't get married in the majority of this country? It's because religious people don't think they should. Even though they're American and should have the same rights as anyone else. He's not trying to start a church, he's trying to spread the truth.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Dan

      Why should you care? Because a heck of a lot of "believers" do care what you believe in, and want to force you to live by a "moral code" that you may not agree with.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  11. RillyKewl

    People who need religion, need structure. People who believe in god, need excuses, or an object for their rage.
    Its fear based. We all want to be enlightened, but only some of us care about facts, data and observable results.

    March 23, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • architect424

      Its funny how your post starts with overgeneralization and opinion, and ends by saying you seek fact and truth. If you truly seek the truth, then acknowledge that you cannot pigeonhole believers into the stereotypes you stated in the beginning of your post.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  12. Mary

    This Nature is subjected to an absolute organization, to determined laws, to a complete order and a finished design, from which it will never depart - to such a degree, indeed, that if you look carefully and with keen sight, from the smallest invisible atom up to such large bodies of the world of existence as the globe of the sun or the other great stars and luminous spheres, whether you regard their arrangement, their composition, their form or their movement, you will find that all are in the highest degree of organization and are under one law from which they will never depart.

    (Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 1)

    March 23, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  13. vancouverron

    Wish I could be there.

    March 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • RillyKewl

      Me too! Its gonna be fun. I hope it gets posted online in its entirety after.
      Wouldn't you just love to put that bible outside of your hotel room's door?

      March 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  14. Patrick NE

    Love him despite I am no longer being an atheist. He's passionate about his 'faith' like the rest of us – been there. I know how hard it is to change, brother. Whether you think it's pointless or not, praying for you and your followers. People of the faith, they don't need any hate talk...just love them as yourself.

    March 23, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • vancouverron

      As they say, atheism is a "faith" like baldness is a hair color.

      March 23, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Patrick NE

      Clever, Ron : ) Hadn't heard that one before...made me grin.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  15. divi

    (non-believer): "I don't accept the bible as fact.
    (believer): "I'll convince you by quoting the bible.

    March 23, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • lucentsky

      solipcist: I don't believe in external reality
      non-solipcist: I'll convince you by explaining events from external reality ...

      March 23, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • me

      and love is love (believer & non-believer)

      March 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • David in Cincinnati

      Your tautology, me, is next to useless.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  16. Matt

    Hey, look at all this atheist hate... Just think, at least one person that you all look up to is an atheist...

    March 23, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • David in Cincinnati

      Matt, try re-writing! These two ideas are unrelated, and besides, neither makes me feel enlightened. Moreover, I'll hate you only if you make a statement like "All priests know how to get themselves into heaven despite the children abused".

      March 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  17. Greenie

    To the God freaks, I'm just tired of being forced to support your mental illness with my tax dollars. This injustice, the taking of my hard earned money to subsidize your clubhouse and your misguided life choices are the crux of this whole issue for me. When one property is granted tax free status, all the other properties around it must in effect, subsidize the people who use that property. When one group is allowed to be exempt from income tax, it is all the other tax payers who are then forced to pick up the slack. I have nothing against anyone who wants to build a structure so that you can meet and compare clothes on a particular day of the week but I DO have a problem if you expect ME to pay for it!

    March 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • me

      yeah that hate of yours is terrible

      March 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Chris

      Sounds like a pretty lucrative gig... might want to start a religion of non-religious people 🙂

      March 23, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  18. Robert

    So everybody in the world who has had a religious experience (seen God, angels, etc.) in the past 6000 years is lying?

    March 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Rodan1025

      No, they are just extremely delusional.

      March 23, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • JakeAZ

      no robert, i don't believe they are lying, and most atheist "scholars" like Dawkins say the same. there are answers in psychology which can explain these phenomenon.

      March 23, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Dan

      I once had a moving experience and saw Jesus. I also saw disney characters, but failed to mention that part of the story for a while, until I decided to be honest with myself. I've also been moved by music, movies, art, poetry, and novels, many of them being non-fiction. Just because it's a spiritual experience doesn't mean that the Biblical God did it. #wishfulthinking

      March 23, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Dan

      Doh, I meant FICTION.

      March 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • vancouverron

      Not necessarily lying. Delusional, perhaps. Psychotic even. David Koresh apparently talked to god. Do you believe him?

      March 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Timebandit

      Either lying or deluded.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Donna

      Pretty much. Or smoking something.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • MistahBurns

      Perhaps conflicting is a better word. What about the individuals who have seen Allah, the ones who have seen Christ, the ones who have seen Zeus. The list goes on and on. So unless you believe their is a creator and that no one religion has it right, your argument is flawed.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • David in Cincinnati

      I saw an angel once, when I was 6 years old. This was a beautiful girl who materialized out of a long diaphanous white curtain hanging next to the darkness outside my bedroom window. She was really very comforting while I was in the throes of a fever with temperature (as I was told later) equal to about 103 F.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  19. divi

    I know god exists because of the good things that happen to me & the bad things I attribute to satan................derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    March 23, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • RillyKewl

      but it might just be the other way around. How do you know?

      March 23, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • JakeAZ

      good thing happen to me too, but i don't believe in god. explain that. you are not the center of the earth. many people all over the world pray to a god, and yet bad things still happen to them. this should be standard logic, but it escapes you.

      March 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  20. strongbelief2

    "they will not believe, even if one should rise from the dead." (Luke)

    March 23, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • asdf

      You show me a guy risen from the dead, and I might believe you (after he's been seen by a doctor)

      March 23, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • JakeAZ

      the bible was written decades after the supposed rising from the dead. ever pass a story around a circle of friends and by the time the story gets back its all wrong?

      March 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • What IF

      strongbelief2
      "they will not believe, even if one should rise from the dead." (Luke)

      I'll bet that a "God" with a 12,000,000 IQ could come up with a way to convince all.

      Legendary ol' Thomas was supposedly given a way... what are the rest of us, chopped liver? And, no, we do not need to be MORE blessed than Tommy.

      March 23, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Prometheus

      HOLY CRAP!!! – Thomas

      March 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Mr. GFi

      Fabrice Muamba was risen from the dead.....

      March 23, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • David in Cincinnati

      Magic tricks like rising from the dead or virgin birth are totally unnecessary. If God simply used ordinary language (e.g., English or Spanish) to communicate, most rational people would be convinced.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
Advertisement
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.