First on CNN: Atheist group targets presidential candidates' faith with billboards
A billboard criticizing Christianity is going up in Charlotte, North Carolina, host city of the upcoming Democratic National Convention.
August 13th, 2012
10:03 AM ET

First on CNN: Atheist group targets presidential candidates' faith with billboards

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - A prominent atheist group is using next month's Democratic National Convention to take aim at the presidential candidates' religion, putting up billboards targeting Mormonism and Christianity in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Our political system is rife with religion and it depends too much on religion and not enough on substance," said David Silverman, president of American Atheists, sponsor of the ads.

"Religion is silly and religion has components that are inherently divisive. … There is no place for any of that in the political system,” he said.

The billboards go up Monday in Charlotte and will stay up for a month at a cost of roughly $15,000. The Democratic convention runs September 3-6.

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

The billboard targeting Christianity features an image of Jesus Christ on toast and this description of the faith: "Sadistic God; Useless Savior, 30,000+ Versions of ‘Truth,’ Promotes Hates, Calls it ‘Love.’ ”

The billboard targeting Mormonism lambastes - and, Mormons would say, distorts - specific Mormon doctrines: "God is a Space Alien, Baptizes Dead People, Big Money, Big Bigotry.”

The Mormon billboard features a man in white underwear, a reference to special Mormon garments.

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Both billboards feature the line "Atheism: Simply Reasonable."

American Atheists had wanted to put the anti-Mormon billboard in Tampa, Florida, to coincide with the Republican National Convention there later this month. Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney is a Mormon. When no billboard company in the city would lease the group space for such a sign, Silverman said the organization decided to focus solely on the Democrats in Charlotte.

“Presidential conventions are for ideas, not ideology - platforms, not platitudes," Silverman said. "If a person believes stupid things, we have every right to question his or her judgment, and that directly impacts how the nonreligious voter votes.”

CNN Belief Blog: Atheist leader hopes to mobilize closeted nonbelievers

Some religious leaders said the billboards showed a misunderstanding of how faith works.

"That billboard makes the most common high-school error when it comes to atheism," wrote the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author, in an e-mail to CNN. "It's not arguing against the existence of God, but against religion. The American Atheists need to go back to school on this one."

Martin also questioned the language used on the billboard: "And as for 'promoting hate' they're doing a bang-up job themselves with that billboard."

Terryl Givens, a Mormon professor at the University of Richmond, called American Atheists "petty and vindictive."

“If this example of adolescent silliness is what atheists mean by being reasonable, then neither Mormons nor other Christians have much to worry about," he said of the billboards. "When atheists organize to serve the poor and needy of the world, they will be taken more seriously."

CNN Belief Blog: Unbelieving preachers 'come out' as atheists

It's not the first time the American Atheists group has released in-your-face billboards. Earlier this year, the group put up two billboards in heavily Muslim and Jewish enclaves in New Jersey and New York bearing messages in Arabic and Hebrew.

“You know it’s a myth … and you have a choice,” the billboards said. At the time, Silverman said the signs were intended to reach atheists in Muslim and Jewish areas who may feel isolated because they are surrounded by believers.

In addition to the billboards, Silverman said his group plans to stage protests at both conventions.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Atheism • Barack Obama • Christianity • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (7,477 Responses)
  1. Bootyfunk

    christians have put out literally thousands of billboards/signs/pamphlets/books/booklets/mailings bashing atheists, but 2 atheist billboards go up and the christians cry boo hoo hoooo!

    if your beliefs are ridiculous, they are not worthy of respect. the bible supports slavery. says we should kill all g.ays, non-virgin brides, disobedient children and anyone working the weekend. says a woman that is r.aped must marry her r.apist. god kills children in several places in the bible. CHILDREN. the bible has unicorns, satyrs, dragons and c.ockatrice, as well as talking snakes and talking donkeys (like in shrek!) a man lives in the belly of a whale (like in pinocchio). the bible says the earth is flat. how much of this insane dribble do we have to swallow before we call it what it is - bronze/iron age thinking, outdated and a poor subst.itute for modern ethics, and in some places down-right disgusting/horrifying.

    christianity is a cult. if you don't see that, it's because you are IN the cult. cult members never think they're in a cult. cults are unhealthy. they teach you to mindlessly obey. they teach you to turn off your brain.
    get up off your knees. leave the cult. think for yourself. live with logic and compassion as your guide. be a better person.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:24 am |
    • Thinker...

      fyi, degrading people will not win make people renounce their faith (unless the degrader is of the majority of course). all your post does is put the religious on the defensive and a defensive mind is a closed mind.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • LinCA


      You said, "defensive mind is a closed mind."
      As if being a religious one was closed enough, right?

      August 14, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 14, 2012 at 5:42 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      actions cause change; prayer wastes valuable time.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:00 am |
    • just sayin

      Once again because battyfunk never gets it. Action without a plan is as useless as bippyfunk itself. Prayer, talking with God provides the plan. A good man prays a great man acts on prayer. God bless

      August 14, 2012 at 6:06 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      once again Just Sayin proves he doesn't understand what the word "plan" means.

      if i was going to build a house, i would sit down with architects, contractors, electricians, drywallers, plumbers, etc. and formulate a plan. you would get down on your knees and talk to an imaginary god that isn't there, also known as "praying".

      i wonder who's house would leak? be drafty? look like cr@p? fall down on your head? probably the guy's house that kept getting down on his knees to pray when he should have been actually making a plan.

      praying is not making a plan. making a plan is making a plan. it requires hard work and reasoning skills - exactly opposite of praying.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:12 am |
    • Fish

      Where on earth did you get that stupid idea? Since when do animal and plants care what you believe? How can they possibly be affected by what religious book you read or what prayers you make up?

      It's inane comments like yours that make you a laughing stock.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:28 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

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

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! `

      August 14, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  3. Artemis Eneldo

    There is a huge difference between different sects of Christianity. They should not all be painted with the same brush.

    Would be more useful at the Republican convention in Florida. The president's church, the United Church of Christ (UCC) is among the most progress, if not the most progressive, in the US and has led the way with numerous firsts: http://www.ucc.org/god-is-still-speaking/firsts/ucc-firsts.html

    August 14, 2012 at 4:30 am |
  4. Edward

    Christianity is NOT a religion. It is a way of life. Jesus did not come to create a religion nor he asked His disciples do spread a religion. All we say is that there is a GOD who loves us all and he wants to re-establish the relationship which was lost.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:29 am |
    • xerxes

      Christianity is a religion, just because you say it isn't doesn't make it so.

      Christianity definition as given by Merriam-Webster: Definition of CHRISTIANITY
      : the religion derived from Jesus Christ, based on the Bible as sacred scripture, and professed by Eastern, Roman Catholic, and Protestant bodies
      : conformity to the Christian religion
      : the practice of Christianity

      August 14, 2012 at 3:33 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      christianity is a religion. nothing more. it will go the way of all religions some day - and become a mythology.

      god is a blood thirsty murderer. he murders babies and children at several places in the bible. he murders the first born sons of egypt, murders 42 children because they made fun of his bald prophet, murders thousands of babies at once in his great flood (as well as pregnant women, the elderly, physically challenged, mentally disabled).

      yahweh is a monster. how could you get on your knees to worship a baby killer?

      August 14, 2012 at 6:04 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      christianity is a religion. nothing more. it will go the way of all religions some day - and become a mythology. realize thousands of gods that are no more real than yours came and went before christianity was a f.art in the wind.

      god is a blood thirsty murderer. he murders babies/children at several places in the bible. he murders the first born sons of egypt, murders 42 children because they made fun of one of his prophets because for being bald, murders thousands of babies at once in his great flood (as well as p.regnant women, the elderly, physically challenged, mentally disabled).

      yahweh is a monster. how could you get on your knees to worship a baby killer?

      August 14, 2012 at 6:07 am |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "All we say is that there is a GOD who loves us all and he wants to re-establish the relationship which was lost."

      And I say, PROVE IT (without using the bible as the bible is the work of human beings).

      August 14, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • sam stone

      If there is a text, if there is a church, if there is a doctrine, it is a religion

      August 14, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Clyde M

      That's great news! If it is not a religion, I'll expect your churches to stop using religious exclusions and start paying taxes immediately.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • sam stone

      Not to mention paying all the back taxes

      August 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  5. Jennifer

    Well, having been raised LDS, frankly it's not a distortion at all. The LDS faith believes that God resides as a celestial being (spirit and body made one for eternity) on a plant called Kolob which they've actually pinpointed to a specific constellation, thought the details escape me.. They believe that after the second coming, if you live right, you to become a God and get the start your own universe. They have members do baptisms for the dead beginning around age 13. Garments are sacred and you are to cut out and burn the symbols that are sewn into them. The garments are a token between the believer and God, and also are said to protect. The nice thing is that modern garments now no longer have the slit in the crotch of the women's version, that was meant to give the husband ready access. Stories of the garments are a bit mythical, like how a burn victim suffered third degree burns all over her body, with the exception of where she was wearing garments. One cane only assume she must have been wearing the all cotton version, and not the polyester, since likely they would have gone up like a Roman Candle. The modern church has also moved on with the times... they no longer make participants in the temple agree to having their throats slit and be disemboweled for sharing the sacred ceremony held there in.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:26 am |
  6. christal holmes

    Amnesty International
    Doctors without Borders
    Goodwill Industries
    Oxfam International
    Population Connection
    Rotary/Rotary International
    The SEED foundation
    United Nations Children's Fund
    Wheelchair Foundation
    Planned Parenthood Federation of America
    NARAL Pro-choice America
    National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
    Treatment Action Campaign
    American Red Cross
    Project Peanut Butter
    Mercy corps

    Wrong. Athiests orgs that help and feed the needy. Your beliefs are the things that are silly.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:10 am |
    • xerxes


      August 14, 2012 at 3:45 am |
    • Jim

      Wow 22 org!!! If you look up Christian organizations on google you will get thousands!! You guys might want to play a little catchup.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:56 am |
    • truth be told

      Most of the organizations cited were started as Christian organizations or founded by Christians.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:45 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Church of the Latter Day Saints(Mormons):
      0.7% of revenues actually reach the poor/needy.

      United Methodist Church:
      29% of revenues actually reach the poor/needy.

      Red Cross (secular charity):
      92.1% of revenues actually reach the poor/needy.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • FYI

      The largest charitable foundation in the world is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (with Warren Buffet), founded by agnostics.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  7. dilberth

    My son asked me the other day, "Dad, when did religion begin?" I told him that I didn't know the exact date but it began when the first con-man met the first fool.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:09 am |
    • Prayer changes things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things. A better illustration of this Truth could not be advanced beyond dilberts comment. If dilbert represents the atheist point of view then people of faith will endure forever.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:57 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      dilberth, nail on the head. religion is a sham. they're selling snake oil to the weak-minded.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:14 am |
  8. Al Sargent

    Religionists are offended by anything and everything, especially a question they can't answer without retreating to pathetic "faith" refuge, and so I've it's better to call a spade a spade: Religion is completely ****ing retarded. Without it the world would be a much better place, and without right wing conservative thinking it would be even better again. Conservatism is "Me and my In Group matter" – "everyone else can go to hell" – religion is how they justify that.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:59 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”Religionists are offended by anything and everything, “

      So, when a Atheist says that he or she is offended, is that different? Tonight a Atheist posted:

      “I saw countless Christian billboards between Washington dc and California, a breathtaking amount actually, and no one cares except for the atheist driving along the road shaking his head.”

      Seems that being offended is ...I do not know.. part of life. I can respect his or her being offended. Can you respect a person of Faith being offended as well or are you at war with all Christians...

      Also, the Right Wing Conservatives ... who are Gay and Lesbian as well, pushed the end of Don't Ask Don't Tell. This was when Obama was still in his "I believe a marriage is between and man and a woman" phase of his campaign.... I mean life 🙂

      August 14, 2012 at 3:33 am |
  9. Charles

    Funny, I've seen billboards outside of churches proudly proclaiming the message that non-Christians will burn in hell forever, and they find this stuff offensive?

    August 14, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Many Faithful would also consider such a sign offensive. Are you attempting to define all Faithful by the few signs, and even then I would be interested in seeing such an example of such.


      August 14, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • Science


      I think the remark is mostly aimed at the fact that not only do these signs exist, but no one seems to mind, there's no news story about them and there's way more people encouraging the type of billboards saying "JESUS SAVES" compared to this.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Although I don't find them offensive, I do find them immature and counterproductive. There are much more thought-provoking and much less insulting messages that could be conveyed. You don't make any friends or change any minds by belittling your audience.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • Science


      I agree with you to an extent, but as I've seen on this blog and in life in general, you have to say something incendiary to get a response and begin the debate. This billboard has clearly done so on a couple of levels

      August 14, 2012 at 2:13 am |
    • Will

      Have you ever seen one of those signs you are referring to in front of any of the thousands of chapels of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (i.e. a Mormon church)?

      August 14, 2012 at 2:22 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”there's no news story about them”

      Science- You mean the same as in how many people come up missing every day but if it is, excuse my saying this to make a point, young white girl... then it is front page story. I used to believe the Black militants and say that stories of missing black children are not news but after witnessing news reporting, it seems that if you are white boy, white man, over 25 white female ...then it is not news as well.

      The point is that, the same as back in Christmas when similar billboards went up, most of us have never seen a road side billboard attacking the Atheist view. I am not saying you are lying because I believe it could exist, but it is not mainstream. The Belief Blog puts up almost every anti-Faith story that it can get its hands on and tries to link all Christians to it. Such as the anti-Gay rant that the pastor gave in North Carolina. Some Atheist declared that this single pastor defined how all Christians felt about Gays and Lesbians. We counter with Gay and Lesbian Faithful, clergy and churches. The Atheist argument falls apart.

      I know and feel justified by some of the post by Atheist on this article and the Christmas article, that some feel it is offensive and works against the Atheist cause.

      Just realize that news organizations want us to be mad at who they want us to be mad at. That's all.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:23 am |
    • Science


      I understand your point. Some stories get reported on less than others and sometimes it's a travesty. There are, of course, billboards that condemn atheism, among other things, and no one gives it a second glance. It's one thing not to report on a crime though, like when someone goes missing. It's another thing entirely when the billboards aren't even newsworthy at all. I saw countless christian billboards between washington dc and california, a breathtaking amount actually, and no one cares except for the atheist driving along the road shaking his head. I'm calling shenanigans not only the media, but the general acceptance this country has for christian billboards but not for much else.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:53 am |
    • Fish

      Charles – you haven't understood the real purpose of those signs outside churches.

      They are not there to persuade non-believers. They are there to scare and emotionally blackmail believers into continuing to go to church.

      Non-belivers have got nothing to worry about.

      BTW – I was looking at the Athiest Global Convention this year and I noticed that nobody was threatened with death, eternal torture or a life of emptiness to force them to attend. Isn't free-will great ????

      August 14, 2012 at 7:19 am |
  10. IslandAtheist

    I don't see how Christians could find a billboard offensive, if there right we burn in hell for eternity and they get to play with baby Jesus, what's there to be offended about?

    August 14, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Seen the ref to "baby Jesus" several times here. Still don't get it. Are there some here from a religion that believes Jesus is eternally a baby?

      August 14, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • Observer

      Baby Jesus is important because that's when the so-called Wise Men brought him incense, which is an abomination like being gay.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • b4bigbang

      What? Incense is an abomination? Where is that in the Bible? And how does that tie into Jesus being eternally an infant?

      August 14, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • Observer

      – Isaiah 1:13 “Incense is an abomination to me.” [God]

      August 14, 2012 at 1:51 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Ok, I'll bite re the incense, but why all the refs to "baby Jesus"?

      August 14, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • Observer


      Beats me. I'm just pointing out the incredible HYPOCRISY of Christians for praising the magi for bringing an ABOMINATION to Jesus.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • Simon Petered

      The billboard says a lot more about American Atheists that it says about anyone else.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:57 am |
    • b4bigbang

      I read the context of that passage in Isaiah and found that it wasn't the incense per se that angered God, but rather the hyppocracy of the worshipers.

      You don't see that?

      August 14, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Corr: hypocrisy, sorry it's late.
      Btw, gotta go 4 now.
      G'nite all!

      August 14, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • Observer


      (Isaiah 1:130) “Incense is an abomination to me.” – God

      August 14, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • Thinker...

      Observer, If you are going to use their book against them, try not to do what some of them (not all or even most) do by picking a line and ignoring the context. Thats what poiliticians do! 😉

      August 14, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  11. The Prince of Weasels

    Atheists might persuade more people to disbelieve if they concentrated on fighting the dogmatic intrusion of fundamentalists into society, rather than in trying to indict belief as a whole. Religion is an appeal to the emotions, not to the intellect. The mocking tone of this billboard is both juvenile and rude. It is kind of re.d n.eck.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • mack

      Juvenile and rude is having a national day of prayer to an imaginary friend in the sky when there are people just trying to get on with their lives already.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • The Prince of Weasels

      It does not make me angry when i see a woman wearing a burqa. I don't believe in her god, or any god really, but it does not make me angry.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • Jones

      Yup, they're acting like the Tea Party here, and we know that nobody takes those nutjobs seriously

      August 14, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Except sadly all of the middle ground Republicans who were willing to cross the aisle to work with Democrats and vulnerable Democrats that the Tea Party were able to also get voted out of office.

      “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • Will

      "The mocking tone of this billboard is both juvenile and rude. It is kind of re.d n.eck."

      So is its design. They should have just finished it off with comic sans or papyrus to really give it that crappy appeal.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:31 am |
  12. GodsPeople

    Think I'll file a lawsuit. I find that billboard rather offensive.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • mack

      But you thought that Chick Fil-a dude's comments were spot on. Any talk of suing that d-bag would get you all spooled up.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • Jones

      Free Speech, baby!

      August 14, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Free Speech, baby!"

      Will you say the same thing when an Atheist states that he or she wishes that Christians and other Faithful should only talk or speak of their Faith in the privacy of their own homes? Basically, does your "Free Speech, baby!" extend to the corner preacher.:)

      August 14, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • Simon Petered

      Actually, what you could really do to confuse the Chick-fil-a crowd, is to use the Bible to disprove their notion that gays are going to hell as a resutl of their "gayness". It really has almost no Biblical foundation at all except for a brief passage in Leviticus.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • Jones

      Mark from Middle River
      The corner preachers say what they want anyway

      August 14, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yes they do, but I asked does your rejoicing in "free speech" also carry for the ones whose speech/views are counter to your own?

      August 14, 2012 at 2:07 am |
    • sam stone

      You have no riight not to be offended. But, file the suit anyway. It will be tossed out

      August 14, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • sam stone

      mark: those of faith are free to preach on the corner if they wish. those who oppose what they say are free to ridicule them, also

      August 14, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Is anybody being censored as to what he or she can say here?

      As long as the speech, whatever its content, isn't interfering with the rights of others, of course one is free to say whatever one wishes. Unless the speaker impedes the flow of traffic, causes a safety hazard to others, violates laws regarding obscenity, or is in violation of noise ordinances, he/she can say whatever he likes.

      And bystanders are perfectly within their rights to hurl epithets at him, argue with him, or laugh at him.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  13. William

    I must agree with the Jesuit priest here. David Silverman and his band of cronies are going about this the wrong way. They are nothing more than modern day agnostics. As an atheist, I believe there is no god and I don't need proof. I certainly don't want to waste my life trying to show someone reason, when they simply refuse to use their mind in determining the TRUTH. Colleges teach collectivism and mysticism. Those are Kant's teachings. Aristotelian philosophy has been swept under the rug. That is the ticket to turning the country around. It starts with education. Teaching people to reason. So, in effect, we have a culture of people who were brought up to believe that we should all be part of the collective. To help each other because it is moral. If I want to help someone, it is because I want to, not because I have been programmed to, or will feel guilty if I don't. The first people that colonized america almost died, because they worked together and could not accomplish anything(control). It wasn't until people were given individual property rights that the country started to flourish. That was what the first Thanksgiving was about. And really, that is the problem with the present system. Control. Both parties will never move the citizenry forward, because we have lost our voice to power hungry socialist.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      the 'Pligrims' probably would have 'almost died' too if after trying to take pot shots at the local natives and stealing their corn caches they hadn't met one who spoke English. (And no, I don't think the Squanto story is a fable.) By the way 45 of 102 did die in their first winter.

      If the local Indians whom they later disposed and killed didn't help them out and teach them how to survive in the New World they would probably have perished, or at least experienced a 'starving time' just as bad as Jamestown.

      And the reward for the friendly natives. Pestilence, death and dispossession?

      It had nothing to do with private property rights. What nonsense. Go back and read the Mayflower Compact again.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops – 'dispossessed', not 'disposed'. It's late.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • William

      Communal property was replaced and families were given a private parcel to grow food.....before that it was rationed. It was bad economic incentives that were the problem. Even Gov. Bradford wrote that it was a better system and people were more productive. Sounds like you need a refresher in History.....I got your nonsense hanging.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  14. Brandon Brown

    Jesus is beautiful to me. Above everything I am, I am a follower of Christ.

    I'm determined to know nothing but Christ and him crucified.

    August 14, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • mack

      Great, so you're 100% closed minded to any other option. Good for you.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Are you Mack?

      August 14, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • sam stone

      "I"m determined to know nothing but Christ and him crucified."


      August 14, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  15. Bill Kilpatrick

    Someone asked how one can know, without God, whether pedophilia is wrong. The answer is simple: pedophilia hurts children and damages childhood. It's exploitative. It's cruel. It's dangerous to the safety of children.

    You don't need to flip through a sacred text, looking for rules, to grasp when an action is wrong. It's not the authority of a lawgiver that makes certain actions bad. If it were, then the action would not matter so much as the power or authority of the person prohibiting it. Actions are bad when they hurt other people without any reason to justify doing so.

    August 14, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • Observer

      Just like with abortion, the Bible doesn't condemn child-molesters. It just deals with more important things like what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedroom.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • Jones

      A fetus is not a "child", and what business is it or your's or the government's what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedroom?

      August 14, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • Observer


      You missed the sarcasm.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • Mirosal

      @ Jones ... look up the word "sarcasm" when you get a chance, ok?

      August 14, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • jimmer

      Actually, the bible condones, pe dop hilia, r ap e, in cest, and poly gamy.

      It is a fabulous moral compass.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  16. builder101

    I am a non believer, in any so called "magic sky god". But I must add this organisation will not convert one person to there way of believing by the use of this name calling billboard.
    Why most non believer groups feel that insulting another's beliefs is a good tactic to recruit members is just plain dumb. Just leave all folks alone with their own personal belief choices, after all this is America where one can choose what to accept or not accept.
    What I see is atheists are tired of Christians imposing their faith on Americans by passing laws that favor a certain branch of believers but do a poor job of expressing themselves.

    August 14, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • mack

      I'm not so sure that's the case. When people see that it's OK to publicly call out religion it will potentially strengthen their own non-belief and confidence in it. It will allow the "oops, sorry I'm here" personality type to be more bold in their non-belief of this modern-day mythology. No one will believe this crap in 5,000 years, so be on the cutting edge now.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”No one will believe this crap in 5,000 years, so be on the cutting edge now.

      Seems that your “cutting edge” is nothing new and in fact doubt has been around since the Resurrection.

      Mark 16 11-13

      11. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
      12. After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
      13. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • Clyde M

      As an atheist, I agree.

      There are many good, valid, productive ways to open discourse and seek social acceptance and change. David Silverman and his cronies, though, they ain't it. They are inflammatory, insulting, and abrasive, and not in a good way. They get in people's faces and use insult tactics, just to get attention and PR. It is bad for the acceptance of atheism as a valid voice and philosophy in this country.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • fintastic

      @clyde...... a liar yes, an atheist, no...

      August 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  17. Holly

    Bravo to Tampa, FL for not allowing this garbage to go up in their city.

    August 14, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • LinCA


      You said, "Bravo to Tampa, FL for not allowing this garbage to go up in their city."
      Can't stand a little criticism of your fairy tale, huh?

      August 14, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • kindless

      Well I generally don't like dirtying up any highway with billboards, but this has given me some ideas as to how atheists could better serve to educate people in certain areas. I remember growing up as a child and seeing miles and miles of billboard ads for "south of the border" as you traveled betwixt the Carolinas on I95. Maybe a similar theme could be implemented as you approach Alabama or that state that has all those i's and p's in it. You know, some boards that would warn the traveler that much of the population of those states continuously keep their children from learning things other than what is preached to them by charlatans and other characters of ill intent. Maybe it would discourage people that think just a little bit from moving into those states or helping them procreate. Just an idea. Now I know religion is a problem in other states too, but when you try to avoid teaching things we already know like evolution? My, my, that just takes the cake. I don't get too worked up over things, but I sure would like to see people take more responsibility for their lives and stop ruining everyone else's lives and running to tell their misdeeds to their religion instead of hiding it from society. Time for my tea.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      Don't give credit to Tampa. The city didn't prohibit these stupid signs. The real credit goes to the private companies who, at a cost to themselves, refused to involve themselves in this sort of abuse.

      I know lots of atheists who would have nothing to do with American Atheists, an organization that is simply loud, obnoxious and indifferent to the fact that it casts unbelievers in a bad light.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • kindless

      oh my – I wrote "running to tell their misdeeds to their religion instead of hiding it from society." but you know what I mean if you read my posts – of course I meant "running to tell their misdeeds to their religion whilst hiding it from society."

      August 14, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • mack

      Bill – Sorry you can't take a little robust dialogue, but when you have groups of people standing up and yelling at the top of their lungs that 1+1=4 and 1+1=7 and 1+1=5 all at the same time you have to do something. We are a modern, intelligent, advanced society and you no longer get to preach your rhetoric that is generally not accepted by 6 billion other humans, regardless of which club you choose to belong.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:14 am |
  18. Leo

    The tenth CPSU congress met in 1921 and it passed a resolution calling for 'wide-scale organization, leadership, and cooperation in the task of anti-religious agitation and propaganda among the broad masses of the workers, using the mass media, films, books, lectures, and other devices.

    100 years and we now have the New Atheist agenda almost exactly that of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

    August 13, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • Leo

      And CNN the Communist News Network

      August 13, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You and KEEF! If you're so convinced that CNN is so evil, stop posting here. Stop reading here. There are plenty of other news sources that are more your speed.

      August 13, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Observer


      You are totally clueless what a Communist is. Do so reading.

      August 13, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • Observer

      "some" not "so"

      August 13, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Leo

      But I wouldn't have the loving kindness of folks like you Tom. Looks like I hit a cord.. I should expect some name calling any minute.

      August 13, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Yeah Leo and we can expect you will claim we work for the devil.

      The devil does your gods bidding in your dogma.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Comrades Unite! Lenin's is the new broom that sweeps clean of kings, bankers and priests!

      Heed not the capitalist pigs Comrades. We Bolsheviks will bring a new atheist order to the proletariats.

      Yeah, right, we're all a bunch of Godless commies.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's "chord", Leo. Not "cord". And why should you expect anything else when you make such an asinine statement.

      It's the same stupidity and ignorance people exhibit when they claim Obama is a Socialist. It just proves what Observer said–you don't know what you're talking about and then you get testy when you're called on it.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      GOPer, ha!

      August 14, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • Simran.M

      Okay, did someone just say Atheists are Communists?

      Communism (from Latin communis – common, universal) is a revolutionary socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless, and stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production, as well as a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order.
      I completely fail to understand how Communism can be related to Atheism and how this billboard (though offensive) threatens anyone?

      August 14, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • Leo

      Soviet policy toward religion was based on the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, which made atheism the official doctrine of the Soviet Union. Marxism-Leninism has consistently advocated the control, suppression, and the elimination of religion

      August 14, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, Leo, for Pete's sake. Religion isn't being suppressed. Stop with the hyperbole.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • Simran.M

      Now who is really mixing issues here Leo? You can say horses and zebras look alike, but horses and eggplant!!! Really?

      August 14, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Observer


      Atheism is not the same as Communism. Don't be ignorant enough to think they are.

      Grow up and get an education before slandering CNN.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Let's play Lenin or Jefferson ...

      That is the first point. Insurrection must rely upon a rebellious upsurge of the people. That is the second point. Insurrection must rely upon that turning-point in the history of the growing rebellion when the activity of the advanced ranks of the people is at its height, and when the vacillations in the ranks of the enemy and in the ranks of the weak, half-hearted and irresolute friends of the rebellion are strongest.

      I hold it, that a little revolution, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.

      No revolution is worth anything unless it can defend itself.

      Everything predicted by the enemies of banks, in the beginning, is now coming to pass.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Leo

      I made it clear the Agenda of the CPSU is nearly exactly that of the New Atheist.

      Please note one of the first steps of Marxism was class warfare, sound familiar?

      August 14, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Observer


      Take the letters "anti" out and you have the goals of most religions today.

      Guess they are all Communists too. Get serious. You completely failed to see the similarities.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims


      You made nothing clear, you made an unsupported assertion. While I don't like religion I would fight against the gov't if it tried to take it away. It is a basic freedom.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So what, Leo? That isn't proof of anything.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      Atheism and communism are not the same thing. Both philosophies are opposed to the state religion that existed in Russia under the Czars but so what? Soviet and Chinese Communism are both atheistic but what makes them communistic is the belief that the state should control the means of production, which is an issue extraneous to that of atheism, which is whether God exists.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I agree; I have no desire to see the right to believe and worship as one wishes removed by law.

      And even if I did, are you seriously contending that it's likely to happen in this country, Leo?

      August 14, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Leo

      Observer, These are historical facts that I posted, and then showed you the interesting strategy that we now find in the New Atheist Agenda.

      Marxism and Atheism go hand in hand, deal with it.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You really are as nutty as Keith.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • Observer


      You were completely unable to find any difference between the tactics of most religions and the CPSU congress resolution that YOU referenced. Ooops.

      Deal with it.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • kindless

      Oh my Leo, you need to get a good cup of tea and think about what you're saying here. My goodness, you sound like that reptile we have in congress – what is her name – oh yes – Bachmann, and I think I'm old enough to detect a little bit of that rascal Joe McCarthy in the tone of your writing. Communism is so old, people don't even talk about it that much, don't even think of it that much as a specific thing. If you want to discuss values or things you don't like about Communism or atheism, which are very different things, you have to put down some specifics. It might help if you say what do you find similar between them. It's like the difference between gumbo and fried okra. They might both have okra, but they are really very different things.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • OTOH


      Oh come on... there are tons of Christian Evangelical Associations all over the place who do exactly that with their "propaganda among the broad masses of the workers [populace], using the mass media, films, books, lectures, and other devices."

      August 14, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      For posterity (in case anyone cares)

      From above ...

      1 = Lenin
      2 = Jefferson
      3 = Lenin
      4 = Jefferson

      I did cheat a bit. I swapped 'rebellion' and 'revolution' in 1 and 2.

      As Forest Gump says. "I'm tired. I think I'm gonna go home now."

      August 14, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • Jones

      Others have said that the conservative Christian right is mirroring Fascist Germany, but few believe the hyperbole of either comparison.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • sam stone

      keep on posting on cnn, leo, and increasing their revenue. good idea

      August 14, 2012 at 4:20 am |
  19. Reality


    "John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

    The Situation Today

    Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed." J. Somerville

    It is very disturbing that religious violence and hatred continues unabated due to radomness of birth. Maybe just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

    August 13, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Bob

      Atheists are immature children that refuse to play well with others. Constantly have temper tantrums. Do not do unto others as they want done unto them, rather use others for their own selfish needs then move on.

      August 13, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bob, where's your evidence for this?

      I don't "use" anyone. I don't injure others or infringe on their rights. I give to charity and I volunteer. I donate blood regularly. I am active in my community. I work hard at my job and pay my taxes. I vote. I attend PTA meetings.

      What do you do, Bob?

      In what way are you a better person than I am? Because you use god to threaten others with eternal hellfire?

      Gee, what a great quality.

      August 13, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Cat got your tongue?

      August 13, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Bob.. and religions play well together.. look at the love between Christain, muslim and Jew on these so called faith pages. There is no doubt that the friendship that exists between these

      August 13, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Jem4016

      You are confused by what is truly evil and that is man's using of religion as an excuse to commit evil acts. This does not preclude the excistence of God. The fact that there is such a thing as evil tends to confirm that there is a higher power in the universe.

      If there is no God, how does one KNOW good from evil? How do we know pedophilia is wrong? Or stealing or...
      I am not talking about a book telling us it is wrong but instead how do people know?
      If evolution is the driving force of the universe then nothing is evil and nothing is good, but instead it is what ever you have the strength to do.

      To have good and evil, there has to be an underlying code which is understood. It is like rules for a game, you don't know who is cheating (evil) and you don't know who is playing fair (good) unless there is the agreed code.

      It isn't simply taught because someone had to come up with the idea of the act being evil, but how would they know it was evil unless there was something (an ideal) with which to compare it to.

      It isn't genetics then that would imply one set of genes is superior to another, which would lead to discrimination.

      August 13, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • Observer


      "If there is no God, how does one KNOW good from evil? How do we know pedophilia is wrong? Or stealing or..."

      Human beings have logic and intelligence, something that you apparently think Christians don't have without needing a 2,000 year old book to tell them.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It is extremely annoying when believers bring up evolution with regard to "morals". The canard is that evolution means "survival of the fittest" and that acceptance of the theory of evolution would therefore result in a dog-eat-dog struggle for survival. That is not what has happened at all. Societies developed ethical behavior because those rules and customs allowed people to thrive as a group better than they would individually.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      how many civilizations have figured out that killing, stealing, lying and r@pe were morally wrong, all on their own without a burning bush or graven tablets?

      Is pedophila actually in the 10 commandments? Adultery seems like something else to me.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • Jones

      Not all atheists are what you describe just as not all Christians are Christofascists telling everyone else that they're going to hell, and getting God angry at America.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • sam stone

      tom-tom: folks like bob (and keef) are petty vindictive punks, so they see god as a petty vindictive punk. it gives them comfort.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:31 am |
  20. atheists KEEP OUT!

    Yes, but I can read them, dearie.

    August 13, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yet you are quite unable to use the 'reply' function. Got it. You're a real genius.

      Did you have a clue as to why I put the word "hear" in quotes? Or are you really as brain-dead as you seem?

      August 13, 2012 at 11:20 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.