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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. Dave

    My 11 year old daughter asked me a question about religion. "Daddy, if heaven is real, then why don't people want to die"? Can any one of you religious people explain why you want to live? I don't think any you have a valid answer or are you checking your religious books now for the answer.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Huebert

      GOD WILLS IT!!!

      August 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      They will tell you that God has a plane for each and everyone of us. But we don't know what it is because God is mysterious and we must have faith in his plan. You must tell your daughter to never question God's words or his mysterious works.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      "plane " should be plan but, heck, I'll take the plane instead!

      August 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • J.W

      There are things to accomplish on earth before you die. Also, there are people who love you who would miss you if you were gone.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • di4word

      Dave, when I was 11 years old I asked my Dad about heaven. His maddening reply was *you have to be perfect to get into heaven, but no one's perfect.* It sounded so unfair to me that I started looking around for answers....and yes, guess where I found them.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Keith

      J W you take the cake for the dumbest reply of the week. "there are things to accomplish" what has the baby who has died from Aids, Infant alcohol syndrome, cancer etc. etc. etc. ACHIEVED.
      "there are people who will miss you" so why doesn't the sky fairy cure them and let them LIVE.
      What MADRASSA were you brain washed at, can't you see how absolutely ridiculous your remark is, no wonder all atheists simply hang their collective heads in disbelief at what religion has accomplished, the DUMBING of 90% of the population.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Dave...The Biblical answer is that JesusNotReligion has ordained that all who come to saving faith in Him are to tell others the good news (i.e. "gospel"), which is essentially a "Peace Treaty with God". This "Peace Treaty" (Gospel) is about WHO Jesus is and WHY He was sent the die on a Cross...and vindicating fact that He rose from the dead and will return again in Judgment upon all who reject Him for Who He claimed to be; LORD, Savior and THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN. This "Peace Treaty" is to be offered by Jesus' "ambassadors" to young and old without prejudice – giving them an opportunity to repent and accept the "terms of surrender" BEFORE HE RETURNS IN PROMISED JUDGMENT. It is as simple and yet profound as that. See Matthew 28:18-20/ 2Corinthians 5/ John 14:6/ 1 Corinthians 15:3-4/ Revelation chapters 21-22. Read these passages to your daughter who I am sure will have "child-like faith" that will hopefully inspire you.

      August 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  2. Denis Did Erode

    "Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."(Diderot)

    Lovely, is it not?

    August 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Denis Did Erode

      Oops. Wrong spot.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Don't even attempt quotes; for all we have to do is turn to the bible for all the wickedness and evil anyone could every imagine, brought to you by your God.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Observer

      "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction."
      - Blaise Pascal, Pensees

      August 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Denis Did Erode

      Lay some on.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Denis Did Erode

      Intolerance is reprehensible. Agreed.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      "Denis Did Erode
      Lay some on."

      You know what Denis? You were an idiot yesterday and you are still an idiot today and I would bet you will be the same tomorrow. I'm not going to waste my time by pulling-out scripture and verses to exemplify the bigotry, inhumanity and atrocities that form your belief system. You know what they are.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Denis Did Erode

      @vocal:

      Just showing your ignorance of judeo Christian scripture again, Vocal.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Observer

      TheVocalAtheist,

      It's pointless to try to argue with pantheists about the Bible since they don't believe in it either.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  3. Denis Did Erode

    Some famous politically active Atheists of the 20th century:

    Joseph Stalin
    Pol Pot
    Mao Zedong
    Kim Jong Il
    Than Shwe
    Vladmir Lenin
    Che Guevera
    Fidel Castro
    Nicolae Ceausescu
    Slobodan Milosevic
    Benito Mussolini

    And, of couse, Adolph Hitler and the Nazi's simply used religion as a tool to inst.itute National Socialism. They were actually Nietzschean inspired Atheist monsters cloaked in the trappings of belief.

    Atheism: Simply Reasonable

    Don't you wish you could vote for an Atheist this year?

    I sincerely invite you to do a little research for yourself on the individuals mentioned above. With the magic of Google, it is easy. You can find out for yourself the truth about the above individuals: they were all Atheists.

    August 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Observer

      Greatest killer of all time: God

      The Bible says that at one time God torturously murdered EVERY pregnant woman, child, baby and fetus on the face of the earth.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      Nice little list you got there. We could probably wrap the names of religious zealots aroung the earth 50x over. I could care less who's an atheist and who's not. Are you embarrassed by the KKK? Definitely Christian-based.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Denis, Why do you repost this when a substantial number of people have countered what you posted previously?

      Folks, please don't bother responding to this post, and look back in this thread for his earlier post. Spammers are not to be encouraged.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Denis Did Erode

      Most sane people don't take the cross cultural "flood myths" of humanity that seriously. I can see those myths make you angry. Why?

      August 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Xdoc

      Those were some horrible human beings. Yet they come up short to your sky fairy's wickedness and vengeful ways. It's written all in that lovely book of your religion.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Confused face

      Denis is a typical under-educated/can't think for himself/simply regurgitates what his preacher-man tells him, religious kook.

      Note one of those listed ever said: "In the name of atheisim, I kill thee."

      However, in the Buy-Bull, that is written over and over.

      Hitler murdered 6 million. Stalin murdered 12 million. Fake god-inspired religious kooks murdered 100s of millions. And that is even before they have obtained nukes.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Observer

      Denis Did Erode,

      It's good to hear Christians admit that there is nonsense in the Bible. Please tell all the others.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Denis Did Erode

      I reposted it because NO ONE successfully answered it. There IS a connection between these people and they were all Atheists. It is a historical FACT. And the rabid, militant Athesit crowd out there are the champions of Copy and Paste.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Confused face

      Most sane people don't take religion or the imaginary god that seriously. Why does that make you angry? Why has it made your predecessors through history angry enough to kill?

      Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Denis Did Erode

      Lack of belief does not make me angry at all. Militant Atheists who believe they have a monopoly on wisdom do make me angry, however.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Observer

      Denis Did Erode

      "And the rabid, militant Athesit crowd out there are the champions of Copy and Paste."

      Just like you did? lol.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Why do we have to do this? I don't understand!

      Yes, there were atheists who have committed atrocities. Yes, there were Christians who committed atrocities. So did the Jews, the Muslims, the Buddists, and a number of other religions!

      This is not news! This is because all of these philosophies have one thing in common. They are all comprised of people.

      Why do we have to point fingers? Why do we have to argue over who killed more people? It's irrelevant! These atrocities don't make all atheists bad people. It's not even enough evidence to say that atheists are more likely to kill people. It simply says that there are people who kill people, who also don't happen to believe in any god. This ridiculous argument is like saying, "Damian is wearing a blue shirt. Damian killed someone. Therefore, Damian's blue shirt made or inspired Damian to kill someone." It's nonsense!

      August 15, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Denis Did Erode

      Yep, but don't worry, soon a young Atheist will copy and paste a long diatribe about the evils of organized religion on the top of the board....and then inform the rest of mankind that if they are not an Atheist, they are an idiot.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      Hmm... Kkk, inquisition, entire dark ages, middle east, huge parts of Africa... I could go on, but that's enough to show that the body count religious people have couldn't be reached anytime soon, even if atheists tried.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Mussolini was given a Catholic funeral in 1957

      August 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Denis Did Erode

      If they find you dead somewhere and cannot not identfy you, they will give you a Christian funeral. Does that make you a Christian? Men are not defined by what the call themselves. They are defined by their actions.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      In 1924, Mussolini saw that three of his children were given communion. In 1925, he had a priest perform a religious marriage ceremony for himself and his wife Rachele, whom he had married in a civil ceremony 10 years earlier. On 11 February 1929, he signed a concordat and treaty with the Roman Catholic Church. Under the Lateran Pact, Vatican City was granted independent statehood and placed under Church law—rather than Italian law—and the Catholic religion was recognized as Italy's state religion. The Church also regained authority over marriage, Catholicism could be taught in all secondary schools, birth control and freemasonry were banned, and the clergy received subsidies from the state, and was exempted from taxation. Pope Pius XI praised Mussolini, and the official Catholic newspaper pronounced "Italy has been given back to God and God to Italy."

      August 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Adam

      What do you believe, Denis?

      August 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Denis Did Erode

      @i'm the best:

      Every Thesitc atrocity in history added together pales in comparison to the result of the Atrocities of Nietzschean inspired Fascism and Lenin inspired Communism in just the 20th century.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Observer

      Denis Did Erode,

      Do you believe just some of the Bible or none at all?

      August 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Denis Did Erode

      I am essentially a pantheist.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Observer

      Denis Did Erode,

      So you don't believe in God from the Bible, correct?

      August 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      How about this; twisted people come in a variety of shapes, colors, faiths, and cultures. Light cannot exist without darkness. No group is exempt from bad apples. Next topic.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • jimmer

      "Nietzschean inspired Fascism""

      My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow my self to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows . For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people."

      Hitler killed jews, atheists, and g a y s.

      He only spared white caucasian christians.

      He repeatedly claimed to be doing god's work.

      Sorry religiot, he is on your team.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Denis Did Erode

      I believe all of mankind's myths have a certain truth. I do not use the term myth in the somewhat pejorative sense it is usually used.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Communist leaders like Pol Pot and Stalin would not have been charismatic enough to gain converts had they not learned the discourse of dogmatic persuasion from religious inst/itutions.
      Pol Pot spent 8 years at a Catholic school in Phnom Penh and Stalin 5 years at a Russian orthodox seminary. Historians have noted their speaking and writing styles ape those of the Church in being 'declamatory and repet.itive, with liturgical overtones”.
      While they both sought to eliminate traditional religions from their kingdoms, they did so in order to divert the common man’s fervour to their own cults of personality.
      As Karl Marx himself noted “Atheism as a denial of this unreality; has no longer any meaning, for atheism is a denial of God and tries to assert through this negation the existence of man; but socialism as such no longer needs this mediation...”
      Hitler’s Third Reich, on the other hand, was no friend to atheists and encouraged religion in Germany. Having been exposed to religious methods of persuasion in school at a Benedictine cloister, Hitler recognized religion’s power to keep the people compliant.
      Instead of purging faith like the Communist regimes, he purged atheism:
      "We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out".
      The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, Oxford University Press, 1942
      While Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot put themselves into the Godhead position, Hitler publically professed his Christianity until his dying day and used Christian arguments to whip his people into a frenzy. This is why Nazi uniform belt buckles were emblazoned with the slogan “Gott mit uns” (God is with us).
      Each of these leaders wielded their people’s predilection for faith like a weapon.
      Like religion, they demanded blind obedience and obsequious submission from their followers. They tolerated no free-thinkers and enforced dogmatism – a trick they learned from their religious educations.
      Atheism is not the prime cause for these tragic regimes – the misdirection of faith is.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Denis Did Erode

      @jimid.iot:

      No, sorry, the Fascists were only creating their 'team" of Supermen. Every tyrant needs a team. The Fascists killed millions of white Protestanst and Catholics as well...your post just shows your i.gnorance of history.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Observer

      Denis Did Erode,

      Sorry you missed the question. Here it is again: So you don't believe in God from the Bible, correct?

      August 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Denis Did Erode

      What you call the "god" of the bible is a collection of writings by men trying to interpret the incomprhensible in the context of their times.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • ME II

      @Denis Did Erode,
      There are no actions or ideologies dictated by atheism, it is a lack of belief.

      Justification must come from other sources as you yourself implied: "Atrocities of Nietzschean inspired Fascism and Lenin inspired Communism in just the 20th century." Look to Fascism, Communism, or the individuals themselves for the rationale behind these atrocities.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Denis

      Congratulations you found some examples of atheist who were horrible human beings, that is a great red herring. Would you now care to address the fact that their is no evidence for the existence of god?

      August 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Denis
      I find it ironic that your Moniker is a play on the name of a well known materalist/atheist philosopher.
      If you buy his line, then you must believe in Eugenics.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Denis Did Erode

      Very tough to create objective Moral Values ex nihilio

      August 15, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Denis Did Erode

      @doc:

      "Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. (Diderot)

      Lovely. Is it not?

      August 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Huebert

      Denis

      "Very tough to create objective Moral Values ex nihilio"

      Is that a response to my question? If so my response to you is: what makes you as.sume that objective moral values exist?

      August 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Denis Did Erode

      For the majority of mankind, objective moral values do not need to be proven. They just need an easily accessible base. I believe that objective moral values and objective moral consequences-outside of merely the fear of law enforcement-are valuable to society.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Huebert

      Denis

      So no you don't have any evidence that moral values are objective. Would you like to supply some other form of evidence for the existence of god?

      August 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Denis Did Erode

      LOL. It is obvious that "god" cannot be objectively proven. There are many things that cannot be "objectively proven". Matter, for instance, cannot ultimately be objectively proven. It exists entirely as vacuum fluctions on the quantum level, yet it feels solid beneath your feet. Kind of trippy, isn't it. Anyway, delightful conversation, but I am taking my sailboat out this afternoon and so, must be running. Ciao.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Huebert

      Denis

      Have fun sailing, see you around.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Gallup's Mirror

      All I see is another religious crackpot preaching his hatred of atheists. He's reciting the standard intellectually dishonest argument that non-belief in supernatural beings with magical powers is what drove these men to commit acts of genocide. It's a classic "guilt by association" fallacy.

      The individuals on this list acted in the name of dogma, except it was dogma perpetuated by a religion of state, or cults of personality, rather than ritualistic cannibals who believe in talking snakes. Atheism itself is without dogma, or ideology, or pretense of supernatural backing. Atheists generally support life stances based on reason, and history has no examples of genocide that resulted from men who were being too reasonable.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • TR6

      “And, of couse, Adolph Hitler and the Nazi's simply used religion as a tool to inst.itute National Socialism”

      Typical “big lie” christian. For example Hitler often said he was Christian and he was doing God’s work. At least 95% of his SS and his army (the ones actually committing the atrocities) were all christian. Just look up the religious demographics of pre WWII Germany

      August 15, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • TR6

      @Denis Did Erode:” "god" cannot be objectively proven. There are many things that cannot be "objectively proven". Matter, for instance, cannot ultimately be objectively proven”

      I would be delighted to accept, as a proof of god, the same level of evidence that I have for matter. Currently the level of evidence for god is the same as for the Easter Bunny and UFOs

      August 15, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  4. Roger

    If you look at the logical consequences of the works of the most important Atheist philosophers, the results are scary: Ayn Rand, Vladimir Lenin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Mao Zedong....you can claim that there is no connection between Atheism and their philosophies, but there is: the END justifies the means.

    August 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Primewonk

      The Crusades.
      Salem witch trials.
      Slavery.
      Subjugation of women.
      Destruction of Jews.
      Iraq.
      Afghanistan.
      Discrimination against gays.

      Models of good "Christian behavior". End justifies the means.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • ME II

      Atheism is (generally) a lack of belief, not a philosophy.
      Ayn Rand's philosophy was Objectivism.
      Lenin's and Mao's was some variation of Marxism.
      Nietchze's was, I think, Nihilism.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Xdoc

      I wouldn't want any of those guys as leaders either. I think most atheists just want to point out that all believers are deluded because of fictional works with magical stories. If you mention other magical stories, they will quickly laugh at you, but their magical stories? "THOSE REALLY HAPPENED! How could you not believe a "spirit" impregnated a human. I mean, that some human walked on water... that is so believable! That Zeus impregnated a human that bore Hercules, what kinda myth are you talking about?"

      August 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Once again, for the millionth time:
      The prefix 'A' = Lack of
      Theism = Belief in Gods
      Atheism is a negative statement that indicates only what one does NOT believe.
      It does not imply any philosophies, politics, morals or other such characteristics.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  5. Adam

    What people believe is important. Anyone wanting to hear the polemic brilliance of the late Christopher Hitchens leveled at the preposterous beliefs that Mitt Romney professes to believe, you can find it here:

    slate [dot] com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2007/11/mitt_the_mormon.html

    August 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  6. Nietodarwin

    From now on when I stay in a hotel room I will ALWAYS grab that bible out of the drawer and place it in the hall. GREAT IDEA!!!!!

    August 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Keith

      Don't do that they will just put it back for some other poor unsuspecting moron to read, I used to tear it up and put it in the garbage bin.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • jimmer

      I whack off on it.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  7. di4word

    The concept of emptiness comes from the word *vanity* in greek. Why take anyone else's word for something claiming to be truth? Check out biblos.com for expository dictionary, OT Hebrew, NT Greek and much more. Do the work before rejecting or accepting anything...otherwise you just come off as uninformed and judgemental group-think.

    August 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      So sorry to break it to you there die for the word but you are poorly misinformed.

      August 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      di4,

      "Sombody else's word"?... like primitive, ethnocentric Middle Eastern Hebrew men, for example?

      August 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      TheVocalAtheist
      ".. you are poorly misinformed."

      Yeah, like Yogi Berra said - he made the wrong mistake! 😉

      August 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • JWT

      MD your path through life is no better than anyone else's

      August 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  8. md

    " Atheists" you really do not need to convince Christians to believe in your ways, we are just minorities.
    There are billions of you around, look at China, India, the Moslem world are part of your tribe, they believe as you do
    and live as you do. You have nothing new to say. There are billions like you.

    August 15, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      What is your point?

      August 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • md

      My point is that you have absolutely no point. There are billions of idiots around the globe who talk and think like you.
      "pointless"

      August 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • ME II

      "China, India, the Moslem world are part of your tribe"
      While much of China is atheist, India is mostly Hindu (more gods than you) and Muslims (God of Abraham, too) are not even close to atheism.

      August 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      It is you md that is pointless. Your beliefs frustrate you because they don't make sense and all we do is point it out to you and you get real defensive.

      August 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      Ummm, No. You possibly cannot grasp the freedom of thought associated with an Atheist. There's no praying, no magic words, and no text. so comparing atheists to other RELIGIONS is quite false.
      So, using the handy-dandy internet, I got this definition from dictionary.com:

      Atheism = rejection of belief in God or gods.

      You tell me how an atheist church works, and I'll tell you how me and Jesus drink forties and smoke weed.

      August 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      @MD,

      Yeah, those dumb Chinese. Their economy the fastest growing in the world...growing at 3-4X the next fastest growing economy. Most of their new college graduates being bilingual. Putting out more PhD's than the U.S. Better standardized K-12 test scores than the U.S. Having the fastest bullet trains in the world...some of the tallest buildings in the world. Parts of Shanghai more cosmopolitan than NYC. Winning more medals in the London Olympics than another other country besides the U.S. Boy, what a lame country for sure. And you're passing judgement on them???

      August 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • md

      precisely ! There are billions of people who think and live like you. If you knew the real fact then you would know there is only one way to GOD. The rest is religion Atheism included.

      August 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Come on md, quit being so ignorant, you're smarter then that!

      August 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • md

      Yes I am smarter than that. I have nothing to be defensive about. You need to become part of the minority Christian in order
      to be as smart as I am.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • md

      exlonghorn move to China and become as smart and as successful as them.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • LinCA

      @md

      You said, "precisely ! There are billions of people who think and live like you. If you knew the real fact then you would know there is only one way to GOD. The rest is religion Atheism included."
      Poor persecuted md. Must feel all alone in this unfriendly world. Nobody seems to believe in the same imaginary friend as (s)he does.

      May I suggest that you try to get a fucking grip? Your god is no different from any of the others. In fact it is no different than the Tooth Fairy.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • md

      Linca.. I am not alone , but we are minorities. The path is broad , but the gate is narrow, and only few can pass through.
      You are not one who can pass through , but I can help you to go on an intellectual diet and get through the gate.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      @md, that childlike response is seriously the best you can do?

      August 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • jimmer

      "and I'll tell you how me and Jesus drink forties and smoke weed"

      You too?

      I know for sure he likes OE 800 and good a big ole spliff of BC red.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • LinCA

      @md

      You said, "You are not one who can pass through"
      Don't worry. If given the choice, I will pick an eternity in hell over a day in heaven with the christian god and its followers, any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

      You said, "but I can help you to go on an intellectual diet and get through the gate."
      Fitting phrase, "intellectual diet". Religion does seem to require adherents to shed their intellect.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  9. AverageJoe76

    Another question for Atheists: If the existence of ghosts could be proven, would that weaken the thinking of their being NO God?
    I believe it would beckon the call of the scientific community to examine the energies associated with ghosts. What are they? How are they here (if confirmed dead)? Is this a window to another dimension? If the faithful could start ny proving the existence of a 'spirit', they'd be well on their way to having a better argument for the ancient texts. So faithful... start small, and work your way up. Assignment: concrete evidence of ghosts.

    August 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Adam

      If the existence of ghosts were proven scientifically, then there would be reason to believe, and, hence, belief would be compelled. If the existence of a supernatural agent were proven scientifically, then there would be reason to believe, and, hence, belief would be compelled.

      The Atheist only points out that no adequate reason to believe has been given, and, hence, belief is unwarranted. This is all.

      August 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • ME II

      Like Adam said, if ghosts are shown to exist scientifically, then belief is not required, just acceptance of the evidence.
      However, I would not say this leads necessarily to god(s), it would depend on what ghosts were found to be. Without some idea of what ghosts were found to be, the rest is speculation.

      For example, if ghosts are found to be the interaction of dark energy and the bio-electric field fluctuations induced during the dreams of the common dung beetle, then God might actually be less likely than before such a finding.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  10. AverageJoe76

    Another question for Atheists: If the existence of ghosts could be proven, would that weaken the thinking of their being NO God?
    I believe it would beckon the call of the scientific community to examine the energies associated with ghosts. What are they? How are they here (if confirmed dead)? Is this a window to another dimension?

    August 15, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  11. Atheists United for Romney/ Ryan : Simply Reasonable

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7zwO88nRH8&w=640&h=360]

    Who cares whether they call themselves "Christians"?
    Their social and moral philosopy is Atheist !!!
    Unite Brothers, and free America from the chains of religion !!!

    August 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  12. Nietodarwin

    GREAT TIMES FOR US ATHEISTS. (Note the FREAKY candidates of the GOP and use of religion.) Obama/Biden talk about solving problems

    August 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  13. AverageJoe76

    I do think some people keep religion for nothing more than to maintain their sanity (as ironis as it seems). But maybe the thought of a reality without a 'watcher' is too scary for them to accept. And to be honest, since there's so many people out there who've conceived God as a thought, it's possible a 'god-like' figure exists in another dimension. But I'm not betting the farm on it.

    August 15, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Adam

      Welcome to atheism. No certainty required.

      August 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  14. AverageJoe76

    Question for atheists /agnostics;
    What would you accept as evidence that God exists (IF by chance, IT could be done). Does it have to be God itself, or just some holy sh_it.......(like God's feces)? Or just something else besides God appearing. Would that 'something else' ever fly as evidence??

    I conclude that only the actual appearence of God would be acceptable.

    (LOL..... although I'd still be like, "That's not God. Can you demonstrate some Godliness for us.... will you? And nothing smart like vaporizing me on the spot. A female I could never get would convince me."

    August 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Observer

      A five second announcement to the world would do, but guess God is too busy to take the time.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • What IF

      - An omniscient "God" would know *precisely* what proof is acceptable to each and every one of us individually.

      - An omnipotent "God" would be able to provide it.

      - An all-loving "God" would do so.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • sam stone

      An eight figure deposit (not including decimal points) in the bank in my name would work fine, thank you

      August 15, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      @AverageJoe,

      What would make you believe the tooth fairy exists? Honestly answer that question, and I think you'll be on the same track as Atheists in what kind of evidence is expected.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Huebert

      It would have to be some sort of supernatural feat that could be witnessed and examined by multiple independent parties. Observer's suggestion would work nicely.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @What IF – I agree. An all-knowing God would know exactly what would suffice as evidence for each person. Well put.

      And about the 'all-loving' part. Honestly, why have the FATE our 'eternal souls' placed on the success rate of a message being spread...... by humans, when God could've sent it himself?!?

      August 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      If some magical chick came in my room with Lunesta-butterfly-wings, took my tooth, left me money, then flew out my window......... I might believe the Tooth Fairy exists.
      But then I'd be like, "WHY does it exist?". Nature made a lady that takes teeth?!? I truly know nothing about nothing.

      August 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      AverageJoe,

      Agreed. I would need to seriously evaluate what I think I understand about the world. That would just be trippy to say the least.

      August 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  15. Mike from CT

    No Truth, your name is funny because the statement is always false. If it was true that there is no truth, then the statement would contradict itself. So the statement "there is no truth" is always false. Hence funny.

    "What is funny is you want proof of what I am saying but you don't require proof of what men who wrote the bible 2000 years ago said, you just accept their claims UNLESS someone can prove it wrong. You put the cart before the horse."
    Not true at all, much proof was required to believe the historical account of Jesus and the early church.

    Correct Mark 16 and maybe John 8 are believed to be additions later on.

    Now Mark 16 is not a problem because if you exclude that conversation it can be found in other context, especially Matthew.

    John 8, I think there were 2 version found in the oldest text, then it went missing then added again.

    But here is the question, if you take John 8 out, how does that falsify the rest of the account, mostly luke's 2 accounts Luke and Acts.

    See theEhrmanProject for more on the subject.

    August 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Mike,

      If you need me to say "religion has no truth, just claims" I will, but I think most people get it and you are just being picky and obtuse.

      The point is if a collection of writings are to be used as proof that a man was god, and those writing are claimed to be divinely inspired I expect them to be beyond reproach. If not, than the exceptional claims are automatically called into question and should be rejected until overwhelming cooborating evidence can verify the claims.

      Any god worth his salt would know this and the fact that he has not fixed or addressed these issues can be used as evidence that he either does not exist or does not care. If I use my logic to reject the claims based on the questionable nature of the bible and am punished for it that just makes your god an immoral monster.

      August 15, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  16. LWJR

    Won't bother the DEMS, they mostly godless darwinists anyway. So why put up Billboards about someone you believe doesn't exist? Why try to change people's minds? My guess: DEVIL LEADING them big time.

    August 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Observer

      Bad guess.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • gerald

      They do seem obsessed with one god over another if they don't believe in him.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Huebert

      @LWJR

      The devil has lead me to the conclusion that you are an ignorant jack@ss. No...wait, it was your comment that did that.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • sam stone

      lwjr and gerald: we are not obsessed about a being in which we do not believe. we are worried about the impact of the followers of the being in which we do not believe....especially when they try to codify their beliefs in our laws

      August 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      LWJR: You must be one of them inbred f-nuts who interject politics into every story.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Which God?

      @lwjr. What does LW stand for? Lacking Wits, Junior?

      August 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  17. the voice of reason

    None of it is going to matter. When you're indoctrinated as a child to believe the fairy tales, it's very difficult to be rational and break through all of it to realize you've been lied to by everyone close to you (although well-meaning) and that there's nothing there that can be proved. Hercules/Jesus is just the tip of the iceburg.

    Although Chrisitianity has proven itself to be the most violent religion in the past 2000 years, Islam is trying hard to catch up. They won't.

    August 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • williamfriskey

      We shouldn't blame a religion based on loving each other, forgiving your enemies, and even loving your enemies with the violence of humans that misinterpret and misuse it. Humans are flawed...the Bible itself shows us time after time humans do wrong disobeying God no matter how many times they are punished for it. We shouldn't blame Christ for the failure of his followers to follow him. If they followed his teachings, you might feel differently.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  18. bardowl

    As an atheist, I think this was a really crappy thing to do. I know that if I saw a billboard saying that atheism was stupid I would be angry; this isn't going to change anyone's minds, it's just going to make them even more set in their ways.

    August 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      I see billboards all the time that tell me I am going to hell. The reason those signs are not reported on and this atheist sign is reported on is how uncommon it is for atheists to be vocal about opposing these beliefs that we are going to hell AND we deserve it. The sign may be offensive.....good. Not all atheists feel this way but the ones who do have the right to express it.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • LWJR

      Atheists are not subject to morality, as Lenin preached. Why do you feel bad? Who put that feeling in there?

      August 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Observer

      LWJR,

      "Atheists are not subject to morality".

      Ignorance. Atheists have morality without needing bribes (heaven) and threats (hell).

      August 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • chregr

      I agree. I don't see the point in putting someone else down for their beliefs. I do not like organized religion and think it creates a bit of a mob mentality. I don't go out of my way to disagree with them or put them down either. I think everyone has a right to their opinion but there's no need to be an ass about it.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      If I saw a sign about Atheism being bad, I'd shrug my shoulders and move on. Although I'm agnostic and not atheist, I'm just a hop, skip, and a jump away from atheist in the world view (assumption). There's absolutely nothing from the brains and mouths of mortals that will convince me in the existence or non-existence of God. Only God can break this stalemate by appearing and saying, "Hey...God here, just wanted to introduce mysel", nothing else matters.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      LWJR,

      'Who put that feeling in there?'

      Why does it have to be a "who"? Your question is fallacious.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      @bardowl,

      I agree with you that I do have a problem with these billboards as an Atheist. Atheism should not be about trying to dissuade people from their religious beliefs, illogical and unproven as they may be. I believe the Atheist community is best served if American Atheists acts as a watchdog group, shedding light on attempts by groups such as Wallbuilders who are trying to push their religious views into schools, government, politics, and the workplace. They should not attack believers, they should attack their negative behaviors.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      "Set in their ways?" You mean like MURDERING non christians for centuries.??? I am very happy atheists are "coming out."

      August 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  19. IslandAtheist

    I know...I know... lake of fire.

    August 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  20. No Truth, Just Claims

    Biblical scholars (including many who are believers) have already proven the additions (falshoods) by finding earlier manuscripts that did not have some stories included. Read Bart Ehrman, he is an American New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a textual critic.

    Here are some examples from the resurrection story and how the gospels differ.

    Who discovered the empty tomb, what was discovered, who Jesus appeared to, where he went after.... are just some of the facts that the gospels contradict each other on.

    Mark 16:9-20 is generally accepted to be a later addition by scholars, it is well doc.umented and you can look it up yourself.

    August 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • LWJR

      You only believe if you see 3 letters behind something...PHD. Pretty Hardheaded Dude.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      No, there are many people who are PHD's that are not trustworthy. What it does prove is they did the work and research as opposed to those who haven't. We still have to vet the information by looking at what other experts say and apply our own knowledge. There is a reason courts of law require credentials to be accepted as experts, that does not mean all experts agree.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Fred

      Bart Ehrman's "research" has been meticulously disputes and debunked. He is, of course, not a believer. There are very few scholars who start of as he did and then recant their faith. That's because the Bible is true. The problem lies in ignorance of ancient culture and also in people's refusal to see the the other side of the story.

      Historians estimate that 1/3 to over a 50% of the population of Jerusalem became believers after the resurrection of Christ. How on earth is this possible if the resurrection story was staged and later redacted, etc.?!

      August 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • ME II

      @fred,
      "Historians estimate that 1/3 to over a 50% of the population of Jerusalem became believers after the resurrection of Christ."

      Oh, I'd love to see the research/reference for this. What evidence is there for this?

      August 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • jimmer

      "Historians estimate that 1/3 to over a 50% of the population of Jerusalem became believers after the resurrection of Christ"

      Any historian that would make such a claim is a complete and total dunce. As there is zero contemporary evidence, record or historical mention of jesus any time before 80 years after his death; how on earth could anyone make such a bogus, pull it out of your butt claim.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Keith

      Hey FRED, you say "The problem lies in ignorance of ancient culture and also in people's refusal to see the the other side of the story.". Organized religion in particular christianity has REFUSED to see the other side of the story for TWO THOUSAND YEARS. In spite of incontrovertible evidence that the stories in the bible rather than being the word of their sky fairy are in fact simply a re-telling of folklore from older civilizations.
      The bible is so full of contradictions and downright untruths that contemporary so called christian bookstores are full to the rafters of diatribes that attempt to explain or cover up these glaring errors. There are many multi millionaire authors around who have laughed all the way to the bank at the sheer stupidity of the people who crave their books.
      The sky fairy does not exist and belief in it simply shows the total lack of intellectual ability in the believer.
      Please give us a break and just SHUT UP

      August 15, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Fred

      The World Christian Encyclopedia estimates that the number of Christians in the Roman Empire by the close of the 1st century totaled around 1 million. Considering that Jesus was crucified and resurrected in and around 35 AD, this is quite an explosion of growth. We know little about Jerusalem in those days, so the 30% number may not be accurate, I don't know. But, I do know that a lot of people died terrible deaths and all because they would not recant that Jesus was the Son of God.
      Say what you will. You will not believe, because you want it that way. I was like many of you for years; I thank God that he did not leave me that way. I would never go back, even though I lacked nothing this world has to offer. I don't expect you to understand these things.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Fred

      "The World Christian Encyclopedia estimates"

      Yea, such a trusted source, they would have no reason to lie about the number of Christians so that must mean . . . . wait a sec.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Fred

      Keith, I have studied biblical Greek and Hebrew and now speak, read, & write Arabic fluently. I know, from extensive study in the original languages of the Scripture, that your assertions about "contradictions and downright untruths" is erroneous. I challenge you here to provide one such instance of an unexplainable contradiction in the Bible and I will show you that it is not a contradiction at all. This is what I mean when I speak of ignorance and the refusal to actually research things carefully.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Fred

      Let me make your "arguments" for you.

      Context.
      This particular translation uses this word which means this in this language and the closest actual approximation into English is this which does not contradict that.
      God is our creator and does what he wants.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Fred

      You guys have fun debating and wasting your energy on each other. I've got a company and family.... they are more important than wasting effort here. We will all know the truth of what awaits us after this life, of that we can all agree.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @@Fred

      Hi -Fred...

      " We will all know the truth of what awaits us after this life, of that we can all agree."

      Just to put a finer point on your comment for clarification. (If)... there should be 'nothing' after this life, (then)... arguably you wouldn't be aware to know that you are 'wrong.'

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 15, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • TR6

      @Fred:” I challenge you here to provide one such instance of an unexplainable contradiction in the Bible and I will show you that it is not a contradiction at all. “

      And why do you think I would trust your dubious translation of Greek and Hebrew? After all lying for the faith is a Christian tradition

      August 15, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • fred

      TR6
      yes, but it is not the way the truth and the light.

      August 15, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Fred,

      Yes there are scholars that disagree with Ehrmans conclusions and most of them are believers. They do not contradict him on the facts that there are contradictions, later additions and forgeries. Their argument comes down to are they important. If a book is presented as factual and is proven to have lies and forgeries it calls into question the truth of the rest of the docu.ment. It is illogical to then say "well you can't prove the rest of it is false, and therefore it is true". The logical conclusion is to question ALL of the information especially when the claims are of such an extraordinary nature. No one has ever been raised from the dead, if the book that claims someone has been raised from the dead can be shown to contradict its facts that book should be rejected as containing truth unless that information can be cooborated, and it can't.

      As far as the 1/3 of people who became christian that is an argument from popularity, not to mention my 10 year old understands how the world works better than all of those people combined.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:37 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.