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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. migeli

    What kind of moron would create a world like this?Everyone fighting with everyone else over a lot of nonsense!

    March 26, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Bob

      Bingo. We have a winner.

      March 26, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • God

      I created a defective world, and I am so shallow that I want humans to worship me constantly or I will fuck them up for the rest of eternity – because I am a loving God. Or is that a jealous God. Or maybe an angry God – the Bible says all three.

      Believe in me, and kiss my divine ass or suffer. Ignore the shallow vain bumbling thing.

      March 26, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  2. jabby

    How can atheist not believe in God when (according to orthodox Judaism) Israel is God's wife? Indeed, all Americans believe in God through our military and public assistance to a nation whose existence and justification for being are squarely founded upon God's existence. Nevertheless, love is the law and Jesus is the Way.

    March 26, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • tonyisawesome

      Amen! You've got all these people that hate Christianity because they say it's "evil" but hmmmm,,,,didn't athiest governments already rear their head in the 20th century??? Hah that card has been played and ask the Russians what they thought of replacing God with labor and scientific development. It's crap!

      Like it or not-Jesus is the Lord and Saviour. People have trouble believing in scriptural concepts but the bottom line is that the believers are the ones that carry God's blessing and that is why this is a great nation. Science, with all of its positive aspects (I love my iPad!), is also a path to destroying and enslaving the world (Oh yeah that card is PLAYED!). The debate was already settled and proof was given: It's called the NEW TESTAMENT.

      March 26, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Bob

      Well, jabby/tony, since you are such believers in the dead-guy-on-a-stick-walking favles, maybe you should consider how it can be that your 'omnipotent' being needed to sacrifice its son to do all the supposed saving. That's actually absurd to claim for a 'god', and actually such a deity should be able to get the 'saving' done with less than a snap of its fingers, but couldn't pull that off. Some 'god' you've made for yourselves there.

      Look into the eyes of a suffering victim of any of the multiple disfiguring, debilitating, painful diseases that your "loving" god has purportedly created. Then you might understand that Christian god as described in the bible is not loving, doesn't give a hoot about human suffering, and in fact does not exist.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes your sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of religion.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      March 26, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • tonyisawesome

      Yep! It's crazy and I never would have believed it! I too was an athiest just like Mr. Silverman for 37 years.

      March 26, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Primewonk

      @ Bob – You'd think that an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent deity would have known that Lucifer would turn evil and become Satan. Yet this god went ahead and created him anyway.

      In retrospect, this seems like a pretty stupid idea.

      March 26, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of religion. like the teachings of Jesus and the writings of Paul encourage you to
      http://www.gotquestions.org/God-heal-amputees.html

      March 26, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Bob

      Mike the jerk from CT, nice try at pirating and then perverting my lines, you dishonest asshole, but your horrid bible is a great source of perversion in itself, with all the instructions for rape, murder, and torture in it, so you are well trained in perversion.

      And that horror is just to get started. Don't forget those brutal animal sacrifices that your Christian god wants you to do, the nasty bastard. According to the bible, that makes your sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. Read Matthew. No exceptions. If you disagree, look it up. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is. And then ask why your "loving" sky fairy so hates amputees that he won't heal them.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Be free of Christianity and other supersti-tions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      March 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      "Don't forget those brutal animal sacrifices that your Christian god wants you to do, the nasty bas.tard."
      Actually that is quite the point to forget the brutal animal sac.rifices as the perfect attoinment has been made.

      Judging by your comments you have not made it to the NT yet. First, get there, very important especially the gospels, Galatians and Romans. As these answer a lot of your questions. Second don't look at every act in the OT as acceptable example Lot's daughters but as innerrent as in they did actually occur.

      "Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up"
      But what you fail to grasp is that Leviticus was directions for the Leviticus priesthood there are no directions for the people outside of Israel.... go look it up,

      "why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. "
      As you said it is in Matthew, they are their so God would bring a people to himself and make His Name known to all the nations.... read in context.

      "So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. "
      Again read Galatians, for those who are under the law are under bondage.

      Finally name calling is just a defense mechanism for your insecurity of being discredited
      http://ksuweb.kennesaw.edu/~shagin/logfal-distract-namecalling.htm

      March 26, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  3. tonyisawesome

    Ha! If you really were a Marine you wouldn't be an athiest. Just because someone has a framework of thought doesn't mean they aren't free. Not only that but when many people over and over and over again tell you something isn't that what science calls "authoritative reference"? I know you exist but I've never seen you in person,,,I don't insist that this CNN article is lying to me.

    I thought Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" summed up science pretty well that while there is a lot of tangible stuff there is also alot of conjecture with it. The stuff you can't explain, that's where God is! The awesome, amazing, scope in the delicate balance of design that is in your life. Even if you had everything figured out with a mathematical formula you still wouldn't even come close. What if God was the mathematical equivalent of a big ZERO? You could argue it doesn't exist but it does exist.

    March 26, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • ignorance is a disease of the faulty mind!

      There is nothing tangible about god!
      And conjecture can be used to support belief in what isn't there.
      And zero is tangible!
      "Nothing" is proven mathematically.

      0 2=2 see how that works?
      but you want to believe that 0 2=purple!
      not only do you want to believe that, you want to make others believe that as well!
      What you believe is wrong, and what you want others to believe is not only wrong, but detrimental!

      LET GO OF MAGIC!
      CHOOSE LIFE!

      March 26, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • tonyisawesome

      It's our earthly nature that even the most amazing things quickly turn into the ordinary.
      #1: Take rock 'n roll music and how it sucks now,
      #2: The fact that with a gazillion channels you still can't find something to watch
      #3: Drugs and the establishment of "tolerance"
      #4: Oh we wen't to the moon? Wow, yawn
      #5: The honeymoon being over in marriage (i.e. the love wearing off)

      There are many more examples but we constantly seek and crave stimulation. The AMAZING quickly becomes the ordinary to us so that we just take it for granted and then deny it anything special. The bottom line is that the grand creator of the universe is not going to keep throwing you rainbows and playing to your earthly whims. People keep seeking "proof" but the proof is right in front you! Open your eyes, heart, and mind and you'll see it.

      March 26, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Bob

      Tony, "Open your eyes, heart, and mind and you'll see it." = magic secret decoder ring. Seriously, do you really think that you have a special seeing ability that a broad swath of much smarter people than you lack? I call bullshit on your claims about proof.

      Look into the eyes of a suffering victim of any of the multiple disfiguring, debilitating, painful diseases that your "loving" god has purportedly created. Then you might understand that Christian god as described in the bible is not loving, doesn't give a hoot about human suffering, and in fact does not exist.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of religion.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      March 26, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • tonyisawesome

      Things are what they are. I have a Master's degree so I consider myself to be fairly intelligent. I went through the college system as a die-hard athiest. And I still only read non-fiction material usually of an educational nature but after some of my studies it kinda got to the point of drivel. Some people revel in science and theory and concrete analysis of things it but there have been many instances where I literally had to throw the books out and just approach things by freestyling them with my own innate sense of intelligence.

      I don't have all the answers, and I don't know anyone in existence who has them either. It's all kind of a paradox. But the Bible and Christianity are not as restrictive as you think they are. In fact, once you look at it from a whole-picture perspective it can actually be pretty liberating. Christianity is a baseline framework for a successful replication of life and faith in God is the driving factor in that. I asked for proof and I received it-I've seen the light,,,as many others have. I can't even try to describe it to you because God is like an abstract painting and it's all in the eye of the beholder. I hope one day God blesses you so you can see it to.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Bob

      Tony, get over yourself and your silly god delusion, or else get busy on that daily animal sacrifice that your nasty 'god' demands of you. Yep, that's what your "things are" all about:

      Note that the bible is very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes your sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      And then there's the nasty stuff in Numbers, as we're rolling along:
      "Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man."

      uhh, thanks god..for being such a violent, vengeant jerk. No thanks, actually.

      and we haven't even gotten into horrid Christian god's mass murdering yet...

      Please, stop referencing Christianity as some form of enlightenment. It's a disgusting, awful, violent religion and the world really needs to put it in the past.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of religion.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      March 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • tonyisawesome

      OT commands still apply until the Jesus' mission on earth is fulfilled (you left that out). Do you see any churches or Christians doing that sort of thing?

      You really think it's Christianity that is vile and nasty or that life isn't just vile and nasty? I would say life is pretty darn nasty and Jesus had it pegged long before either of us was around. I ain't Jesus nor do I proclaim to be so if I'm vile and nasty at least I had standards and fell short. Better than one who calls everyone a hypocrite that's only out for the truth when nobody actually has the answer. Actually the answer was already provided-but people will continue to seek their own path.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  4. jabby

    God is real.

    March 26, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • ignorance is a disease of the faulty mind!

      So true! Just as real as leprechauns, Santa clause, the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny, and Darth Vader!

      March 26, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • BobbyTN

      How do you know? Gut feeling?

      March 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • fintastic

      Where is the factual evidence of god's exsistence?

      We're waiting......... and waiting.......... and waiting..........

      June 13, 2012 at 7:58 am |
  5. A BRAND NEW DAY!

    Atheist are very intelligent. And sick of being disrespected and ridiculed by ignorant religious folk! This is a great discussion, and it should have taken place 5000 years ago. If it had taken place then, we wouldn't have all these brainwashed zombies telling people that what is a lie is the truth! Religion makes us zombies! Come to life! Let religion go!

    March 26, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  6. James

    Why would he feel bad for lying to his family?

    March 26, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  7. Kenjitheman

    Athiests are dumb. The only reasoning they use isto tell themselves that God doesn't exist when they are just closeted christians trying to argue themselves out of believing. Its just a fad and the will pass through like nothing has happened.

    March 26, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Greyhound37

      And what facts or studies do you have to back up your assertion that "atheists are dumb"? Or is that just your belief?
      To quote Mark Twain "Faith is believing what you know ain't so." Said slightly differently, just because you believe it, doesn't make it true.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Christians are dumb.
      The only reasoning they use is to tell themselves that Christ is the Son of God when really they're all just closeted Jews trying to argue themselves into believing the Messiah has come.
      Muslims are also stupid – deep down inside they're all Hindus trying to convince themselves that Ganesh doesn't exist.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • what?

      Troll!
      I think youre just upset because they are proving you are dumb!

      March 26, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • BobbyTN

      What reasoning do you use to convince yourself that God does exist? Gut feeling? He MUST exist because you want him to? You were told by your parents that he existed, so you've never found reason to doubt that? You told a story about some lucky occurrence in your life, and somebody told you that it was a sign from God? You can't follow evolution or cosmological science, so you assume that it can't really be true? What's your reasoning?

      March 26, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  8. Respect god in u & fear him

    Every living soul is a believer(you believe in something)
    Anything u believe in is ur god- no atheist

    March 26, 2012 at 6:04 am |
    • Duh

      Wow that is just the stupidest logic every. I believe in Pandora and that I can be an avatar! So now Pandora is my god. LMAO!

      March 26, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • ignorance is a disease of the faulty mind!

      @respect
      Thats exactly why you believe in god! Because you've been taught to be afraid of thinking for yourself!
      Don't be afraid anymore! BE REASONABLE!

      March 26, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • BobbyTN

      Most people understand "god" as meaning some supernatural being, which an atheist wouldn't believe in. If you want to use Einstein's definition of a god as the awesome natural laws that govern the universe, then cool, but he never worshipped relativity like a god, so you're still barking up the wrong tree. Maybe we replace faith with reason and logic, but that doesn't make them our "god".

      March 26, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  9. Fix typos

    This would be an interesting article, if there weren't so many typos. He "studied" computer science...not "studies". Marriott always has 2 't's no matter how often you use it. Rayanne let her parents KNOW the truth, not "knew" the truth. There may be more, but I stopped reading at that point. Neither God or I will forgive you for publishing an article with so many obvious typos.

    March 26, 2012 at 3:26 am |
  10. sean

    Freedom of speech is key...also the government should ban any and all office holders or candidates from "preaching" or playing to any paticular religious sect while doing government work-Believe in nothing but the truth

    March 26, 2012 at 2:04 am |
  11. JFB

    i dont understand why this guy and his orginization trying to impose their belief system on the rest of the poeple? people have a right to believe in whatever they want

    March 26, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • igoryok

      So if you belive differently you better not voice your contradicting point of view lest you deprive someone else of wallowing in utmost comfort of ignorance. Because pointing out it's potential pitfalls takes people's rights away to chose whatever they want to belive, but preferably what you belive. This is what passes for suppression of belief? Just be thankful that they can't possibly belive in witchcraft so they'll avoid witchcraft, which is more than one can say for certain religions.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:57 am |
    • Primewonk

      But it's still OK for Christians – especially fundamentalist Christians – to force their religious beliefs on everyone, right?

      March 26, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • fintastic

      One more time for the slow to understand...

      Atheist = lack of belief

      June 13, 2012 at 8:03 am |
  12. religion=ignorance

    Meow

    March 26, 2012 at 1:41 am |
  13. krg

    Why take away bibles from hotel rooms? They are out of site it a drawer. If it offends them because over 60% of the population is Christian , then maybe they should complain because ketchup is at their table at the ihop and they don't like ketchup. I have seen one story of atheist doing good, and dozens of them trying to "unbless highways", or kick out nativities, or not let children have a moment of silence in school in case they want to pray, ect.........It seems like they are only looking to tear down everyone else's beliefs, like a schoolyard bully.

    March 26, 2012 at 1:25 am |
  14. SYLVIA

    THAT'S OK,, GOD WILL PREVAIL IN THE END

    March 26, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • Barney Rubble

      Zeus will indeed prevail in the end. Unless Pele does. Or maybe Quetzlcoatl. Thor has been making noises about prevailing as well, but really, I think the god the will prevail is Godzilla.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:07 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @barney rubble
      I agree with you about Godzilla.
      He truly is the Lizard King – not like that upstart wannabe Jim Morrison.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'SYLVIA' is a form of the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager. Furthermore, due to shouting in all caps, 'SYLVIA"s post is also an instance of an ad hominem fallacy.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      March 26, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  15. Matt

    I think its terrible that people argue about religion, there is no excuse for hate. Pastafarianism is the only religion I agree with and I urge others to read into it.

    March 26, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • Praise Him

      Praise HIM and HIS noodly appendages... Let us wave our arms in love for HE boiled for our sins!

      March 26, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • Mammery Mama

      Okay, what sounds like heaven – being in a place with Christian zealots doing nothing but telling God how wonderful he is for the rest of eternity, or hanging out in a place with a beer volcano and a stripper factory?

      Flying Spaghetti Monster wins hands down (whatever that means).

      March 26, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      FSMism is great and all, but The Church of the Subgenius offers eternal salvation or triple your money back!
      Praise "Bob" !

      March 26, 2012 at 8:50 am |
  16. mambert

    God exist only in the bed of ignorance

    March 26, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • JFB

      and why you care?

      March 26, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • Mammery Mama

      Not true. God exists in the La-Z-Boy recliners of ignorance as well.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:52 am |
  17. yuppiecat

    “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.”
    ....and? So what's the big deal? We are all a huge accident. It's not like "God" cares right? How is it a "lie", why do you "hate" when there isn't anything called Truth?
    You still lie. To yourself. Over and over again. The Truth will set you free.

    March 26, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'yuppiecat' is an instance of the ad hominem fallacy.

      March 26, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  18. yuppiecat

    I don't believe in organized atheism.

    March 26, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • mambert

      With all due respect you need to know as to how Emperor CONSTANTINE was organized

      March 26, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • JFB

      you have every right to believe in whatever you like

      March 26, 2012 at 1:53 am |
  19. yuppiecat

    There are only former athiests, in the grave. You'd better hope your right...the fool says there is no God. Hint: That's in the Bible.
    Peace. (If you can find it)

    March 25, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • yuppiecat

      Oops I'm a fool, too. It's "you're" not "your". Boy those Godless atheists must be right. What do you expect from a former monkey.

      March 25, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      You better hope you're right too; you might find yourself kneeling before Anubis as he weighs your heart.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • brian

      You assume to know how everyone who's ever died felt on thirty death bed? That makes you a fool. You point to the bible as evidence, that also makes you a fool. Try common sense. Oh and evolution is fact. Look at dogs. Also, we did not evolve FROM monkeys you tool.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • brian

      Their not thirty..... Touchscreens.....

      March 26, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • igoryok

      "There are only former athiests, in the grave. "

      Well now with LDS posthumous involuntary baptism ceremony, atheists will be former atheists, and together with Jews new Mormons. If you weren't referring to that nifty trick, then I suggest you examine the practice of conferring faith on corpses as a possible attempt to raise them as zombies to act as filler for the pews of zombie-like worshipers.

      "You'd better hope your right...the fool says there is no God."

      At this point I'll gladly settle for being wrong together. The entertainment value of sharing hell with "heaven bound" just cause they got a minor detail wrong should make even hell a little more bearable. Or perhaps it wasn't even close, as in a deity who is entertained by human tragedy remanding everyone to hell while instilling heaven as a false hope? Or infinite number of possible versions with as much evidentiary proof for them as for your favorite sect.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • tallulah13

      So the bible says you're a fool if you don't believe what the bible says? And you fell for that?

      March 26, 2012 at 3:46 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Root post by 'yuppiecat' contains a form of the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager, and also contains an instance of the ad hominem fallacy plus circular reasoning.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      March 26, 2012 at 9:26 am |
  20. ruemorgue

    What's the difference between a self-described atheist and a self-described theist? Nothing. Nothing at all. They're both self-righteous zealots that want to control and dictate to people.

    March 25, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      I'll tell you the difference. One relies on evidence and critical reasoning.

      I'll give you a hint: It's not the guys that believe the universe was created in 6 days, the earth is less than 10k years old, noah had a gigantic boat that saved all of the animals from extinction, embryos in the womb are humans, angels walk among us, the devil made you do it, a talking snake tricked a women into tricking a man to disobey god, illness is a punishment from god, my aunt was cured of her cancer by prayer (even though she had the best medical treatment available, it was really the prayer that healed her)...

      March 25, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      That's like saying there's nothing different from con men and those who expose their tricks.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:23 am |
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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.