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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. Pokey

    As intelligent as Atheists are supposed to be, I would have thought that they'd have avoided the trap of polarization that everyone else seems to fall into too. Thanks CNN for helping to spread the hate! Every time I read an article where the word God is mentioned I feel the fans of hate just flap a little harder thanks to the awesome responses in the comments sections.
    Just remember, if you don't think you're not vindictive, how fast do you read articles in the Belief section just to slap some of that good ole' reason on the religious idiots? Personally I think any militant wing of any ideology is foolish, but as the article said, give it about twenty years and the Atheists will win. I am thinking that by that time one of their growing numbers will have blown up a church or shot a priest. And don't say it ain't possible, it ain't in your nature to make a statement that you don't know with certainty not to be true. Besides I ain't stating that as a fact neither, only an opinion. And you don't know that there wouldn't be a militant Atheist movement within the next few decades. The one thing that is certain is that the more people that come into your group, the more kinds of people find their way into your group. I think even Dawkins once used the term Militant Atheism in a TED speech once. Oh yeah, keep referring to the religious as morons and I'm sure that will make them listen to you. Keep disrespecting their beliefs, or Not disrespecting their beliefs like you say, while disrespecting them anyway and I am sure that in a nation where corporate interests and political scheming has made a hobby out of building paranoia and fear in people, that the religious will warm right up to ya.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • Atheist4Evr

      Don't inject the hate instilled in theists into the mindset of atheists. We atheists have no hate-filled unquestionable dogma that guides us; we simply reject any notion of god and do not bow to the demands and expectations the theists force upon the world. Atheists do not have to burn objects, beat people up, kill women, etc. to make our point. Our point is made for us every time some fool insists god is real and we ask them to provide tangible evidence. See? No anger, no hate, and no violence is required to prove our point of view. The burden of proof lies on the shoulders of those who make a claim without providing any evidence. Since theists cannot prove there is a god, they lose and atheists win. That is why people, especially young people, are turning away from religion. Newer generations are more inquisitive and don't just do as they are told. They explore...they ask questions...the demand proof, unlike centuries of people that were beat down by religion to obey the word of their god lest they want to spend eternity in hellfire. How is that mindset appealing to people who use reason and logic? It's not. That is why religion wanes and reason rises.

      June 13, 2012 at 6:37 am |
    • Pokey

      I'm guessing that's why I see absolutely no vindictiveness coming from Atheists on this page then? You can reason it away all you want, but you can't tell the future of the Atheist movement. Peaceful as you might want to force yourself to make believe that it can be once the numbers get large enough to faction off. It happens to almost every ideological group that manifests itself as a movement.
      Just look to Russia's past to see just how Atheists never shove their ideology down anyone's throat.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Thinker

      Atheist4ever:
      Calling people names like 'fool' is being agressive not reasonable. You are dismissing anything they might say before they say it thus making them defensive. A defensive mind is by its nature a closed mind. Therefore instead of convincing people to look at things a different way you are actually doing the opposite.

      The same can be said to many on these forums of course. More people seem interested in only proving how great they are then in reasoned debate about the various topics. But that's the internet for you.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Thinker

      Pokey:
      Stalinist Russia persecuted theists because they did not conform to the government decision that religion needed to go away. Autocrats will always find people to persecute and which group they place above another has no real bearing on the merits of either group. To say that the communist purges are an example of athiesm is like saying that the Holocaust is an example of Germans in general. Neither is true. The persecutions are used to improve the willingness of the un-persecuted to go along with whatever harsh measures the government decides upon because hate clouds judgement. This is unfortunatly successful more often than not. (See how some western governments treat muslims and how Middle East governments treat westerners and jews.)

      June 13, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  2. Arizonan

    Thank you, David Silverman, for having the guts to stand up and say what you say and do what you do. I like your idea about putting the bibles outside the door. Good idea. Thanks again.

    June 12, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
  3. jabby

    Father, we thank you for the Living Way (Christ) who keeps us from temptation and delivers us from all evil. We pray for all of your children and our brothers and sisters in every nation, Jew and Gentile. Amen. As it is written, Watch and pray.

    April 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Salty Bob

      And may you provide our clergy will more little boys to abuse thank you lord?

      June 12, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Salty Bob

      And may you provide our clergy with more little boys to abuse thank you lord jesus?

      June 12, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  4. Trancend

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Trancend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ will result in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Currently.... your constructing your own path that suits your sin lifestyle.

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find a truth you can take with you in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life. You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf, the greatest minds knowledge fate or are eventually plagerzed, your good deeds are forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated, your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over .
    Trancend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Relise your a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent....

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth.

    Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment. You don't get what you want you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Down is up. Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.

    Your all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.

    April 18, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Atheist4Evr

      You are right...I am smart...smart enough to know everything you just typed is absolutely ridiculous. There is no god. Just because you say there is one does not make it fact. You have only one way to prove your position – Have your god show himself to us all. There is no other way. Until that happens, your belief is proven to be false and should not be accepted by any who possess reason and intelligence.

      June 13, 2012 at 6:42 am |
  5. David Seeger

    To the large pile of dirt called Atheist, I hope the military puts up more crosses as places to pray for the fallen solders. God, Core and Country has been the Marine code since they first served on ships. Crap like you will not last nor ever cross true men of valor.

    April 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • flipd

      It's God, Corps and Country. God, you're even a failure at insulting someone.

      June 12, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Atheist4Evr

      I invite you to bring your stupid mouth to Kabul where I am stationed, say your crap to my face, and then see first hand how there is no god.

      June 13, 2012 at 6:46 am |
    • Hanhan

      Yeah, Atheists are NEVER violent or make threats.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  6. Thunder

    I will pray for you. Our God loves everyone.

    April 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • flipd

      Which one is that? The one from the Old Testament? "Everyone" might be going a little too far.

      June 12, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • Atheist4Evr

      You mean your god loves all the gays that have been killed in his name...the women that were burned at the stake in his name...the vast millions of innocent people slaughtered across the centuries in his name?

      Do not talk to yourself for me...I do not need your thoughts. Nobody does.

      June 13, 2012 at 6:52 am |
  7. Carmen

    2011年5月17日 at 1:00 AM I see. So you already know where to stay in LA, like your firend's house? I guess you can find some houses for short time.You may have to pay a rent for a month, but you have your own space. Or is it like you are looking for some home-stay type of house?If you need any help, just let me know Anyway, come to visit me when you get here. My house is in downtown. You know my email and cell phone, right?

    April 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  8. Muneef

    Check link;
    http://gulfnews.com/opinions/columnists/the-salafist-equation-1.996976

    March 29, 2012 at 7:53 am |
  9. Hen

    Today I found a caterpillar in my hair.

    March 27, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
  10. Pipe-Dreamer

    Killing within the framework of Nature should not carry over into humanity's wake. For an individual to take another individual's Life is not natural in leu of us supposedly being above animalisms' nature. We are hopefully more intelligent than Nature is, yet people continue on acting like animals with respect to killing others. Just because animals kill other animals to live should not be civilizations' creed. We are this Earth's Caretakers and we all should act with civility and honor in the game of death being but a last resort. Although many nations are involved in creating human killing fields, many a socialist is sqquimish and do bawk against the destruction of human Life. True Christian Nations do not kill nor murder others. Alas our world is lost and a hapless congruency without remorse.

    March 26, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • M Houston

      Whatever...

      March 26, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  11. Bob

    Mike from CT., again, so you think it's OK for your god to ask a priest to sacrifice animals for your nasty Christian god. Uh, right. And again, why is that stuff even in the book purportedly by your "loving" "god"? What a horrid, sick religion it is that you follow.

    and then let's get into the fine stuff in Numbers...
    Numbers 31:17-18

    17 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.

    -pleasant, peaceful asshole of a god that you've made for yourself there, Mike.

    Note again despite what Mike is trying to claim, that the bible is very explicit 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.

    Please, stop referencing that Christian book of nasty, AKA the bible, as a guide to, well, anything.

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

    March 26, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • migeli

      And people proudly make reference to this book? That kind of talk is Christianity?Kill animals?Kill men and women?Isn't that a joke?A comic book would be a better choice.

      March 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • ciroc2323

      Not that will you read or try to understand what is presented here but others might.

      Evidence for God from Science.
      http://www.godandscience.org/

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

      Oh, please. Ninety percent of scientists don't believe in God.

      And you want anyone to take you seriously?

      March 26, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Kiko

      Well, I feel very bad when I saw someone speaking louder than action, the more action will scatter many of them at the end of the world. We Christians are and will always lift up the Holy Bible, we will bring victory because Jesus Christ's LOVE isn;t dead! It is and always alive since creation of this earth. I am very sorry for someone claimed that Atheist is trying bring America against God people. What benefits you if you followed worldly godly man's law? It will benefits you nothing really just rot your body and mind and soul, like you don't feel free at all. Huh? Atheist mocking Christians and be friend with them? How? I do not understand why everyone are trying to hurt God? WHy? What will we do Christians for Atheist people? Hmm, We pray and we will always stand up and lift up the name of Jesus Christ. I prefer choice life sorry Atheist. No way I won't let you lose Jesus Christ forever because Atheist people are very important for Christians too. No? Am I confuse here? Come on We love you Atheist, believe that Love is something like HOLY. I wish you practice what Biology said about how life appeared on earth? I admitted to Atheist the book of Dawkins have no evidence of how air coming out from the fish when fish started to having developed legs and so on it came out of water and breath air? WOW? This is really freak show I am telling you " have you think about life eternal? Have you look at your flesh right now, you know that you have to make sure you are stay safe and long live right? Scoff? Don't buy it. Nobody knows when they die, It is so short life in this earth, very short. Please do not look at Christians people, Look up at the sky and seeking diligently with your mind, soul, heart. Believe in God please Atheist.

      March 28, 2012 at 1:31 am |
  12. robert

    God is good..Jesus is real keep the faith

    March 26, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Bob

      And keep on sacrificing those animals for Jesus, Christians. 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.

      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 3:43 pm |
    • ciroc2323

      Oh Bob, what you don't know makes you who you are.
      The Law of Non Contradiction is the worst enemy of secular atheists. They will say that ALL life can be traced back to a primordial “soup” and that the Universe is 13 Billion years old. What they won't tell you is that by their own theory, 13 Billion years isn’t even a fraction of the time it would require of such a “dumb” theory. They will not discuss the Transcendant Cause of the Universe because they don’t have one. They may try to throw out an Inflation Field as a “possibility” but the Inflation Field itself requires Anthropic fine tuning. The secular atheist would have us believe a fary tale likened unto a person walking into the TajMahal and making the absurd assertion that the bricks, mortar and wood BY chance, assembled themselves over 13 Billion years all the while failing to address where the matter came from to assemble the very materials that make up the bricks, mortar and wood that make up the GandTaj Mahal that is our Anthropically fine tuned and orderly Universe.

      The most interesting part about this discussion has been how narrow minded you actually view God. You have him all figured out and colored with crayons and sitting on clouds with the white beard and harp. The whole fantasy in front of you. That is how you see the believers, but most are so far ahead of you that you can never catch up to them.
      Jesus made every effort to help feeble minded people like you understand God. Most were just like you in their juvenile understanding trying to put a body and face on him.

      God is personal to each and every person that approaches him. The only way to reach him is through prayer and faith, and the only way to understand the individual destiny is by reading the Bible with an open mind. So simple a concept yet so confusing to so called intellects when they try to mix “reason and logic” with faith. No magic and no smoke and mirrors. A personal understanding that is crystal clear in direct proportion to the faith of the believer. A true beginning to life and that is all.

      March 26, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Bob

      ciroc2323, wow, what a steaming load of stinking bullcr2p that you just dumped on this page. Next time, try to refute the specifics of what I actually said, although I highly doubt that you can. So, again, read this, but this time actually try to respond with something of substance and on topic:

      And keep on sacrificing those animals for Jesus, Christians. 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.

      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 Christianity and other foolish supersti-tions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      March 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  13. Pipe-Dreamer

    Atheists seem very angry at scripture written by men who they themselves made faulty decisions in compiling the Bible. Righty divide the WORD is so written yet many people attest to not divide it! The two-faced pragmatists stagger and ever does fail to digest truthfulness hidden within Scripture. Buy yourself a comicbook for all the good it'll do ya!

    March 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Bob

      "Buy yourself a comicbook for all the good it'll do ya!" (compared with the bible)

      -best content in your posts thus far.

      March 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Bob,,,,, I, unlike you make a stand via my contemplative views which by the way, are not as duplicted volutions as are many postings, even yours. I stand in affirmation of Godliness. Where do you Bob stand? Do you take a stand upon otherly mind-dribblings regarding Socialized Atheism? Do you need other people's abated views to give you something to stand up upon? Do me a favor and openly consider my contemplatives without one's bigotry weighing in. Maybe then, you might find that an unblemished stance for Godliness is way better than pass it along atheistic bigotry which makes a mockery toward and around Godly concerns.

      March 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  14. Pipe-Dreamer

    Oneness will never be the domain of the masses. Social constructs around humanisms' parodies are run-of-the-mill fractions declaring para-sensualisms whereby each undulation serves not the other. Who will stand up for any man/woman with thee plan to offset peered proxism? Who will cast the first stone against the mob? Who should be the One to Fix civilization's quagmired isms of predjudiced shadows? Who will load up another's hand with social dribble?

    March 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Bob

      Well, you are demonstrably a practising expert in "dribble".

      March 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • migeli

      Huh?A comic book would be very refreshing and twice as enlightening.

      March 26, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      @ Bob,,,, I can see your mind is but a shallow vestige of rudeness and insolence.

      March 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  15. 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 1:17 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Mike,

      I many animal sacrifices does it take to feed we, the people? How many prayers are said regarding these animal sacrifices?

      March 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      HOW many animal sacrifices does it take to feed we, the people?

      March 26, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • migeli

      Atonement for what?That's what I want to know.How did you let a book and a bunch of nitwits convince you that you committed some grievous sin before you were even born.This is the most preposturous belief I have ever seen supposed intelligent beings swallow.Are you interested in buying a bridge this week? You know, interest rates are at an all time low.

      March 26, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Bob

      Nope, you fail on that one, little Mike from CT. And again, so you think it's OK for your god to ask a priest to do that. Uh, right. And again, why is that stuff even in the book purportedly by your "loving" "god"? What a horrid, sick religion it is that you follow.

      and then let's get into the fine stuff in Numbers...
      Numbers 31:17-18

      17 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.

      -pleasant, peaceful asshole of a god that you've made for yourself there, Mike.

      Note again despite what Mike is trying to claim, that the bible is very explicit 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.

      Please, stop referencing that Christian book of nasty, AKA the bible, as a guide to, well, anything.

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

      March 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • migeli

      Do you actually know what any of that jibberish means?

      March 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  16. migeli

    Extend what love, mercy and forgiveness. I haven't seen any of that, and forgiveness for what?The sins I committed before I was even born.What a bunch of stupid hogwash!Tell me why half or more of people who believe in all this kindness and love and mercy are against universal healthcare,Obamacare if you will and screaming about handouts and socialism.Wasn't Christ a socialist?Tell me all about that!

    March 26, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  17. migeli

    What is the reason? I give up! If it is for some supreme beings amusement I don'think it's at all funny! Let's see now-I'll give cancer to these people over here,enslave this bunch,get these two countries to destroy each other in a war,let these kids get molested,drop a tornado on this tRown and sit back and let them sort it out and earn a place at my worthy side.

    March 26, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Or I will give my people free will, and at the end of time judge them rightly for their behavior. Until then I will extend my love to them with mercies and forgiveness if they would turn from their sin 2 Chron 7.

      I can not force my people to love me because that violates the very definition of love.

      Further reading Romans 1:18ff, the Gospels

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

      But I, god, will demand of my sheeple that they sacrifice animals for me daily just 'cause I like the smell of burning flesh...Yes, 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. And the bible also has dictates for you to do murder and rape. Further reading: Leviticus and Numbers, that is, if you have a strong stomach for the horrid Christian gore you'll find there.

      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.

      Please, Mike from CT, stop referencing that Christian book of nasty, AKA the bible, as a guide to, well, anything. It's shocking that you've fallen for the cr@p that horrid book is full of.

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

      March 26, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Bob,
      Under the law (Old Testament covenant), the consequences for sin or payment for sin required a blood sacrifice. Either a designated animal or the sinner, as the case may be. Under the new covenant brought about by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, his blood paid it all. It pays for the sin today, yesterday, and forever for the believer.
      Jesus was letting the folks know that he didn’t come to do away with the law (Old Covenant). He came to fulfill it. In other words, he became the sacrifice for sin.
      Matthew 5:17
      Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

      March 26, 2012 at 12:59 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

      Your misquote of Matthew 5 is bad, where does it say Jesus says "DO THE LAW"

      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 1:18 pm |
    • Bob

      Robert, your post is a steaming pile. So again, an 'omnipotent' deity should be able to do all the saving with no sacrificing of a son (not that sacrifice would have any meaning, for a god), with less than a snap of its fingers and none of the dead-guy-on-sticks hoopla. Your religion is a total farce, and you are the fool for having fallen for it. You idiot.

      Now, since you keep spewing about your bible, 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.

      Please, stop referencing that Christian book of nasty, AKA the bible, as a guide to, well, anything.

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

      March 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  18. migeli

    Hurricanes,tornados,avalanches,tsunamis,starvation,pestulence,murder,torture,cancer,theft, hatred,racism,corrupt governments,selfishness and greed to name a few.I'd like to know what kind of evil monster is this creator.Intelligent design?Dr.Frankenstein!

    March 26, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • James

      If you believe that everything happens by chance and we exist for no reason whatsoever, then why would murder and disasters be a bad thing? Why is there even such a thing as a "bad thing"? We all know everyone and everything dies. So, if there's no purpose to life, why does it bother you when bad things happen?

      March 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Who's claiming there's no purpose to life or that nothing is wrong?

      March 26, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • BobbyTN

      Lots of people profit from disaster. In business, the success of one business usually means the failure of it's compet.ition. Good for one, but bad for another. In many cases what is good or bad depends on your prespective, right?

      March 26, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  19. Al

    As an atheist myself, I cant stand these people. They make us all look like a bunch of angry children throwing a fit and spitting on other people's beliefs. They're not atheists as much as they're anti-Christian. I believe in accepting everybody's beliefs, not belittling them.

    March 26, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Primewonk

      The atheists could care less what individual myths people believe in. They want these theists to stop trying to force their religious beliefs into our secular laws. The reason you, and others think it is "anti-christian" is because it is the christians who are doing this. We do not see Jews demanding that McDonalds stop selling cheeseburgers. We do not see Muslims demanding Famous Dave's stop selling baby-back ribs.

      March 26, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • pray

      Actually, it makes most of them look like Linda Blair in the Exorcist when confronted with a cross. Wow, scarey that these people consider themselves "Free Thinkers".

      June 13, 2012 at 7:58 am |
  20. migeli

    People killing other people.People killing animals.Animals killing other animals. You call that intelligent design?

    March 26, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • BobbyTN

      The platypus by itself should be argument enough against "intelligent" design. Maybe God put it together with spare parts, or something? 🙂

      March 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.