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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.

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“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.

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“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. To BE-lieve or not to BE-lieve, that is the question!

    I understand 'Pascal's Wager' very well, but it is taken from a philosophical (man's earthly) point of view, mine is not... mine is taken from a point of faith. Faith in God is personal, you can't give faith to someone, you can't take it from someone... You either have it or you don't... And yes, of course, there is a prerequisite... you first have to believe in God... DUH!?

    March 23, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • momoya

      Yes, it's all about faith, and faith is believing what you know ain't so.. Faith does the same thing for every religion and every god believer; thus, it's about the believing, not the belief.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • druffmaul

      Pascal's Wager is a ludicrous claptrap. One can't believe something they don't believe.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • isolate

      The best identification of the difference between religious and rational temperaments is in the anonymous Epistle to the Hebrews, chapter 11, verse 1:

      "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

      There are many people who can have a sincere and abiding belief in something they can neither demonstrate nor give evidence of. Sadly, this includes believers in Bigfoot and UFOs as well as the more ardent class of Christians. The rest of us just want the same proof of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God as we demand of believers in Bigfoot and UFO phenomena.

      There is room for both temperaments in the world; it's just that True Believer types are so much noisier and more annoying than the rationalists, although I am prepared to make an exception for Mr Silverman, who is beginning to remind me of the excesses of Jerry Falwell.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  2. brako

    Now kill all the boys [innocent kids]. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man. ( NUMBERS 31:17)

    THIS IS WHAT FILTHY TORA AND JEWDISM IS ABOUT

    STILL THINK JEWS ARE THESE "VICTIMS"?

    March 23, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  3. geelo

    [“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.”]

    If that was the case in regards to respecting people, then Mr. Silverman should respect my choice that I believe in God and drop this "look at me" parade. I don't force my beliefs on Mr. Silverman, he shouldn't try to rally a bunch of people against my beliefs.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • isolate

      You, personally, may not force your beliefs on other people, but your fellow-believers have never been shy about imposing their opinions on others who do not believe as they do, very often my violence. Americans who would happily inflict Rick Santorum on their fellow-men have their equals in followers of Iranian mullahs and in the Shas party and other ultra-Orthodox types in Israel. Mr Silverman is notable only because he seems to exhibit the same fanatical streak shared by the above-mentioned.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • isolate

      ... by violence. Sorry.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  4. Mennoknight

    reason at all everything arranged itself just right for life to from inorganic material. This simple inorganic material for no reason at all miraculously rearranged itself (again for no reason) into all the life we see and we ended up with hairless apes that can think and reason, (again for no reason at all).

    And you mock my beliefs!

    March 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • momoya

      And what is your answer to how things are the way that they are?? Goddidit?. God belief is about magic, not atheism; get your facts straight.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • me

      @momoya any luck with explaining what caused the big bang? i'll wait...

      March 23, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • GiveMeABreak

      Nature is amazing, isn't it?

      March 23, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • momoya

      @ me

      No, we don't know what started the big bang.. Why lie and say you do?

      March 23, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • me

      @momoya sorry I hit a soft spot lol

      March 23, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • momoya

      And I'm sorry that you're a liar who claims to know the particular magic that started the big bang.. Why choose to lie about something nobody knows?. That's pretty stupid.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • ossha

      Only Atheist will understand this:
      Because nobody is writing these words. They are just random errors on the cables that are being posted at random on the CNN website. So we can all get back to our work.

      Or
      you can open your eyes and see that we live in a causal system and everything happens for a cause and the cause of the creation of this system was the command of the CREATOR, who is himself beyond this system. Therefore you cannot get a physical proof of his existence from within the system.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • me

      @momoya i may have no physical evidence of what happened but i'm pretty sure the supernatural had to intervene directly in this one to cause something like the big bang, oh and it's supernatural/metaphyscal, but you can call it "magic" or whatever you like, it's still the same thing 🙂

      March 23, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • me

      @ossha good argument!

      March 23, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • momoya

      @ me

      Yeah, you have no evidence, no proof, nothing.. You just want to believe in big magic daddy.. Go ahead.. Why should anybody care if you can't prove anything?

      March 23, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • momoya

      @ oosha

      Then let's see what evidence you've assembled and prove your god hypothesis or disprove your god hypothesis.. Why haven't you presented your evidence before now?

      March 23, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • me

      @momoya you don't have physical evidence to support your arguments either #CONTRADICTIOUS 🙂

      March 23, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • momoya

      I'm not claiming that magical beings exist.. What do I need evidence for?

      March 23, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • ossha

      momoya
      There is plenty of evidence of God's existence. For one the miracles of the peoples claiming to be messengers of God is a proof. Jesus (peace be upon him) ordering the dead to rise up by the will of God is a proof. The parting of sea at the hand of Moses (peace be upon him) by the will of God is a proof. Now if you claim what is the proof that these things happened, there is a final miracle of the final messenger that you can witness yourself that is a proof. It the word of God , the Quran.
      Before you start quoting some translations, let me tell you that Quran in Arabic only are considered as Quran, all other translations are written by men and are not a miracle.
      What makes Quran miraculous? Several things. Cannot capture all of them here.
      But for starters, the millions of people who have memorized every word of it is a miracle.
      It being unchanged despite all the efforts to the contrary is a miracle.
      The fact that it was revealed to a person who was not schooled and could not read or write, but still being a book that covers so many subjects so precisely is a miracle.
      It even challenges you to disprove it by bringing another book like it if you don't believe that it is a revealed book. The challenge stands even now. But remember again that I am not talking about translations.
      Some sources for more information:
      http://www.miraclesofthequran.com
      http://www.quranmiracles.com/

      The Bible, the Qu'ran and Science: The Holy Scriptures Examined in the Light of Modern Knowledge By Dr. Maurice Bucaille.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  5. brako

    1 Samuel 18:25 And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines,

    HUNDRED FORESKINS(YES FORESKINS!) OF DEAD PHILISTINES

    GO FIGURE

    March 23, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • XDJX

      Old testament

      March 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • brako

      SATANIC JEW CULT TO BE MORE EXACT

      March 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  6. Omen

    I am sure he will kneel down and pray if he is struck by genital herpes and then AIDS and then a debilitating cancer, not necessarily in that order.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • ammamaw

      No, actually, Omen, he probably won't. Of course we are sad and afraid when those things happen – to us, or to those we love – but we don't look for miracles or magical answers. We know we are living organizisms that can break down, contract disease, and will die. Just like every other living thing. We're grateful for our lives, and understand that they will end. And it's all ok. It's called life.

      March 24, 2012 at 2:18 am |
  7. Sree

    Seems like an entrepreneur trying to establish his business amongst the millions of potential customers. Dont get me wrong – pretty much the same way like al-Q or any other 'religious' ORGANIZATION: Sell Hate & Hate sells. Same wine, different bottle. Anyways, human gods enthroning themselves amidst bunch of followers. Keep worshiping these and similar religious & non-religious men, live & die for them, you are a precious commodity to them.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Andrew

      Uhh, you know, these people are likely the first to get up and shout 'don't die for us, that's stupid, you only have one life to live, why the f- would you die for us?

      March 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  8. One one

    God wants our worship and love it seems.
    But he only appears to us in our dreams.
    You can pray for his help, but don’t hold your breath.
    For his plan for you is your inevitable death.
    They claim if you believe, you’re heaven bound.
    But a witness for this has never been found.
    No guarantees for this claim, now THAT’s a sin.
    So don’t take the bait and get hooked and reeled in.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • me

      He appears in the non-physical side of the universe, not in your dreams, and natural physical death is just a part of life, what's the problem with that?

      March 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • momoya

      @ me

      The problem is one of proof.. Why should I believe in something that can't be proved?

      March 23, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • me

      @momoya and why would you forcefully need physical proof for something that's non-physical? God made all this so we can have free will, He's not going to take us by the hand and make the choice for us, we have to chose on our own

      March 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • One one

      @me. Several problems. I don't know what the "non-physical side of the universe" is. It sounds to me like a conjured up explanation for the unexplainable. According to the bible, Jesus appeared to hundreds of people after his death. But he doesn't appear to anyone now. If he is all powerful and can do anything he could appear to all the world and erase any doubt of his existence . But he doesn't. That is problematic. Especially, since, according to the bible, the penalty for non- belief is eternal damnation.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • One one

      @me.

      God lets bad people kill at will.

      The devoted they say it’s because of “free will”.

      Then why do they pray, and pray, and pray?

      For god to help them, day after day?

      They want their god to rectify their fate.

      Their own “free will” they ask god to negate.

      “Free will” for us all…, from the god of peace!

      Who sends us to hell for a “wrong” belief.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • me

      @one one it is explainable, only that the REAL problem comes when you demand physical evidence which is practically impossible, like i said, God is not going to come and take us by the hand so we make our choice, we have to make our choice on our own without being able to physically watch Him

      March 23, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • me

      @One one Praying is only to bring comfort to your spirit and strenghthen your faith, not to change whatever happens in the physical universe, God/Bible never said that what you pray about physical things is going to happen or change

      March 23, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • momoya

      @ me

      Why do you insist that non physical beings exist?

      March 23, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • me

      @momoya why do you insist that a non-physical being DOESN'T exist? love is non-physical as well sweety, there are many things in nature that are non-physical, including dark matter, see? 🙂

      March 23, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • momoya

      I don't insist that non-physical beings don't exist.. I say that there's no reason to think about non-physical beings–whether they exist or not.. If they aren't physical, there's no need to consider them.

      We see evidence for dark matter and dark energy, but we can only describe them va.guely because we don't know much about them.. You have ZERO proof for your non-physical being but claim to know all sorts of stuff.. How stupid?!?

      March 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  9. GiveMeABreak

    One day many generations from now, children will be studying history and learning about religion. It wil be described as nothing more than a way to explain the unexplainable resulting in an impediment to progress, and a speed bump on humanity's road to maturity.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • toodles1010

      is that what they said 2000 years ago? 3200 years ago? fail.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Nebco

      Well said. Atheism has doubled in the last 10 years from 7 to 14% of population. Anyone with a computer, access to quality education, and access to a community of people who do not indict their brainwash victims at the age of 2 will start to notice there is something wrong with mainstream cults. As an Athiest I profess that you should believe in god all you want, just not the god someone else told you to believe in.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • GiveMeABreak

      We have come a long, long way over 2000 years and we have a long, long way to go.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Nebco

      And to toodles: you are a fail troll. Your point is moot. Find me text where people made the initial claim 3200 years ago. As I said, 1st world countries are trending towards growing atheism. Let time take its course. Be A big boy. Wait and see.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  10. brako

    (Ezekiel 21:3) and say to her: 'This is what the LORD says: I am against you. I will draw my sword from its scabbard and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked

    jew "god" kills righteous people too apparently, jewdism is the most retarded cult ever

    March 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  11. kenchandammit

    I believe there is an invisible man in the sky who knows EVERYthing. I believe he loves me so much that he will make me burn for eternity if I look at my neighbor's boobs. I know this is true because someone told me so when I was a little kid.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  12. Jonathan Brouillette

    Book of Wisdom 2:1a.12-22.
    They who said among themselves, thinking not aright: "Brief and troublous is our lifetime; neither is there any remedy for man's dying, nor is anyone known to have come back from the nether world.
    Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, Reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training.
    He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the LORD.
    To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us,
    Because his life is not like other men's, and different are his ways.
    He judges us debased; he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure. He calls blest the destiny of the just and boasts that God is his Father.
    Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him.
    For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
    With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience.
    Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him."
    These were their thoughts, but they erred; for their wickedness blinded them,
    And they knew not the hidden counsels of God; neither did they count on a recompense of holiness nor discern the innocent souls' reward.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • bud in NC

      JB. Huh? That's wisdom???

      March 23, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • bud in NC

      JB. Huh? That's wisdom????

      March 23, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  13. CURT

    Safe to say he is Narcissistic and full of nonsense

    March 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Vim

      Good argument!

      March 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  14. sybaris

    Being born an atheist is just another one of those uncomfortable truths for Christians

    March 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • me

      as far as i'm concerned, babies don't even know what atheism is because they still aren't able to

      March 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • me

      as far as i'm concerned, babies don't even know what atheism is because they still aren't able to, dumb atheists argument

      March 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • GiveMeABreak

      Atheism is not a beleif, it is a state of being. If you don't believe in a god, you are an atheist.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • me

      @GiveMeABreak Still they don't even comprehend what you just wrote in that sentence, hence they can't be atheists because it would be like saying if the sky or the mountains were atheists as well, stupid

      March 23, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  15. debra gallehawk

    He can shoot off his mouth all he wants says there is no god
    psalm 14:1 The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good. . just another fool !
    luke 6:39 Then Jesus gave the following illustration: "Can one blind person lead another? Won't they both fall into a ditch?

    even steve jobs in the few weeks of his life questioned if there was a GOD

    and we say there is no GOD ?
    For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts."—Hebrews 8:10.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • JT

      Your prove is no better than his. What clear cut evidence can you bring to the table?

      March 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • David in Cincinnati

      You really don't realize do you, Debra, that quotations from this book put together by ignorant men a couple of thousand years ago is really not convincing at all.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Vim

      The great thing about faith is that it allows you to assume the very thing that needs proof. Religion makes an art form out of begging the question.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  16. Marla

    I wish that I could be there to support all my friends at The Reason Rally this weekend!
    Go PZ, Greta and everyone else from FTB! Have a great and successful weekend!

    March 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Deborah

      FtB represent! Even though I'm going to miss PZ's "brain ejaculations" for the next couple days, I can't wait to hear his talk once it gets put up on the internet.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  17. Reginald Wigginbush

    If God exists, it doesn't matter how many atheists gather, how big their budget is or how vehemently they don't believe in him.

    Let's hold a contest between all those to who hold differing religious (or atheist) views to see who can be the most peaceable, kindest and do the most good for humanity and then declare everyone to be the winner at the end.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • GiveMeABreak

      If God does not exist, it doesn't matter how many religious believers gather, how big their budget is or how vehemently they believe in him.

      Let's hold a contest between all those to who hold differing religious (or atheist) views to see who can be the most peaceable, kindest and do the most good for humanity and then declare everyone to be the winner at the end.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • stfk

      Alright, so let's take a look:

      If you advertise about your religion, you're a good American.
      If you advertise about your atheism, you're a bad person.

      If you push your religious agenda in politics, you're a true American.
      If you push for secularism in politics, you're attacking religion.

      What a funny world you theists live in.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Andrew

      The winners would be the Jains, but that doesn't make their religion any more true.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • GiveMeABreak

      stfk, unfortunately that is the world we live in today. Otherwise, CNN or any other media would not be reporting on the convention this weekend. The media doesn't report on the (number?) of religious conventions that occur daily because there is no controversy there – even though there should be.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
  18. brako

    exodus 6:20 Amram married his father's sister Jochebed, and she bore him Aaron and Moses; and the length of Amram's life was one hundred and thirty-seven years

    moses' daddy married his own aunt and they had a moses

    only in dirty tora

    March 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  19. JakeAZ

    what we have today is buffet-theology. not the true versions of the religions, we've coupled our modern sensibilities with ancient religious beliefs. ever see someone with a cross tattoo? i've seen hundreds, yet it clearly states in the bible that tattoos are bad.

    how come christians aren't out there doing what the bible says? they ignore these. they are being disobedient to the all-knowing, all powerful god:

    You must kill those who worship another god. Exodus 22:20

    Kill any friends or family that worship a god that is different than your own. Deuteronomy 13:6-10

    Kill all the inhabitants of any city where you find people that worship differently than you. Deuteronomy 13:12-16

    come on, just admit its an old book written by ordinary men in the DARK AGES, so we can all get on with our lives and wake up from our species' infancy.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • druffmaul

      That's an insult to the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages was the Age of Enlightenment compared to when the bible was written.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Reginald Wigginbush

      Well there are good answers to all of these questions, if you would just go and approach someone knowledgeable about the subject and have an intelligent discussion. I'm not going to get into it here however. Not the right forum. Seek and you shall find.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  20. Ran

    Bout time reason had a rally.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:39 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.