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. AverageJoe76

    Humans trying to explain something they've never encountered in reality are basically exercising their creative writing skills. We infuse innate feelings into words. It sounds so beautiful, it attracts us, convinces us. They're human after all, they know what to say to touch us. They promise us things we can't confirm, but the possibility of it is too alluring to deny it. Mom and Dad believe it. So do grandma and grandpa. My entire community has accepted it as truth. Humans have set up the rules, those that listen attempt to adhere to them. And they have a book club meeting every week to stay sharp.

    August 17, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  2. Eric G

    Please provide any verifiable evidence that a god or gods exist. All other arguments are irrelevant until the burden of proof created by the claim that a god exists is satisfied.

    Please be aware that if your post is illogical, you will be asked to clarify.

    August 17, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • catholic engineer

      You know what the word "moral" means. You also know what the word "immoral" means. You might know what the word "amoral" means – an subject possesses no moral content whatever. Example: leaves falling from a tree is amoral; morality does not apply in this instance.

      You know what "rational" means. You know what "irrational" means. You probably haven't heard the term "a-rational". It means that reason does not apply. The question of God's existence is beyond human reason and is therefore a-rational.
      The existence of God is intuitive. Intuition is the attaining of knowledge without knowing HOW the knowledge is attained. It is direct access to knowledge without the use of reason. (You can't dismiss intuition without doing an end run around the likes of Blaise Pascal or Carl Jung).

      The reasoning process can't begin without verifiable evidence. But the question of God's existence does not require this process. Asking for clarification would be ludicrous.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Huebert

      (A brief recap of our friendly neighborhood catholic engineer)

      Blah blah blah moves in mysterious ways blah blah blah I'm right because I say so blah blah.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Eric G

      @Catholic Engineer: "The question of God's existence is beyond human reason and is therefore a-rational."

      I am sorry, but this position is a variation on the "god of the gaps" fallacy. You are making a claim that because something is beyond your understanding, it must be beyond everyones understanding. You cannot logically make this claim because your knowledge of others capabilities is finite. I would also suggest that your position includes a sprinkle of the "No True Scottsman" fallacy, but it was not as obvious.

      Your post did not present any evidence that your god exists for verification. Please do not attemt to deflect this request, as that attempt would be intellectually dishonest. Your claim that a god exists is a simple claim. My request for evidencial support for your claim is valid.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      @catholic engineer – The problem with that thinking is it can never be agreed on upon all humans what God is/ God wants. The reason? Nobodys seen/ meet/ heard/ touched God. Why? I don't know. Which is what I'd wish humans could humble themselves to say, "I don't know". NOBODY KNOWS. One man in the carribean sees God in the sky as a giant sea dragon. One woman in Europe sees God as the essence of everything there is, and it embodies the form of a woman with her arms out across reality.

      Just because some guys got together, and scribed their interpretations of God, doesn't make it real. It just made it real to them. And just because it wins the popularity contest with many humans, doesn't mean THEY'RE right. Means they either agree with that version of things, or they're just following the crowd. A great percentage fall in the latter.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Mark From Middle River

      What if it is the Atheist that is making the claim that God does not exist. Since he or she is making the "claim" does then the burden of proof then shift towards the Atheist to prove his or her claim?

      August 17, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • jimmer

      "The existence of God is intuitive"

      No, it is not.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Denise

      Mark, look up Russell's teapot for some excellent reading re your question.

      The teapot is up there near Mars. No, really.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • ME II

      @Mark From Middle River,
      If someone is making a positive assertion that no god(s) exists, then s/he should be able to back up that claim, if s/he wants to be believed.
      However, regardless of such a person or their claim, that means little to the believer's claim of God's existence. In other words, as.suming the positive atheist cannot "prove" their claim, the theist is still left with a burden of proof for their claim, i.e. lack of evidence against god(s) does not mean that god(s) do exist.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Huebert


      Claims must ALWAYS be in the positive such as: "I am sure that _____ exist" or "their is a relation between _____ and _____". This is because the burden of proof is on the claimant, and it is impossible to prove a universal negative. Until a claim is supported the counter claim, also known as the null hypothesis, must be accepted.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Eric G

      @Catholic Engineer & Mark: "Please be aware that if your post is illogical, you will be asked to clarify."

      I told you so.......

      August 17, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • ME II

      @catholic engineer,
      What would be an example of intuitive knowledge?

      August 17, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Mark From Middle River – I challenge to prove that massive, black, 5-headed dragons do not exist within the hearts of black holes. I can make a claim like that. Now, if you don't believe what I'm saying, you have to prove me wrong.

      That's how strong your argument is.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      "The question of God's existence is beyond human reason and is therefore a-rational."


      This is cult logic. It is a way to get people to believe something that has no rational reason for believing, it is group rationalization and an argument for special pleading. Name one other position or issue where an "a-rational" belief is logical to hold and if you can't you need to explain why this question should be treated differently than every other.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Mark From Middle River

      >>>”However, regardless of such a person or their claim, that means little to the believer's claim of God's existence.”

      Well, that is saying that no matter what you argue folks on both sides of this debate, little can be done to shake their belief. Since neither side can offer proof of either the existence or non-existence then there will always be a lack of evidence to sway the other off their beliefs or non-beliefs. Basically you are bemoaning that folks, chances are including yourself, like to basically hold their own views as correct. Often times folks on both sides of an argument have this belief that they are the most clever person in the argument. Which must mean the other, who is challenging their views, is not as clever or informed. So when their argument is rebuffed they throw tantrums whining that the other side is stubborn for not dropping their view and accepting theirs.

      Try this, evey day things happen that some Faithful deem the act of God or Gods and I will guess... “ that means little” to the Atheist that they might be telling it to.

      >>>”Claims must ALWAYS be in the positive....”

      Says who? The original poster made the point like everyone else in social debates that the person making the claim must give proof. Why are some Atheist scared to face the same requirements that they put forth to the Faithful, for themselves? If you wish to declare it is not a God or Gods then you are making a claim. Do not try to hide from it and do not say that it is anyone elses job to prove or disprove your claim.

      >>>” I challenge to prove that massive, black, 5-headed dragons do not exist within the hearts of black holes. I can make a claim like that. Now, if you don't believe what I'm saying, you have to prove me wrong.”

      I “have to” ...why are you stating what you feel I should do. If you want to believe there is a massive black 5-headed dragon lives in a Black Hole or once existed as a pet of Ben Franklin...I do not care. If that is your belief, I have the choice to either be the same as The 700 club folks, Westburo Baptist, the Taliban or Radical Atheist and have this all encompassing desire to challenge every ones beliefs or I can just accept that others believe different than myself.

      The 5-headed dragon, to myself is just as equal to a claim that a Faithful makes when they declare a miracle. Especially ones that science continues to to label as unexplained. So, when you post such a challenge ….and I gotta like the “black hole” twist, most of the time the dragon is in the Atheist back yard between the shed and the kiddie pool 🙂 ….. my not being able to prove it is equal to when a Faithful comes in and declares their child was recovering from a disease that all the doctors said was incurable or soldier who declares that they made it back to safety just to find that the armored vehicle had sustained damage that should have made it inoperable. Each of these, experts have examined and re-examined and have often found such to just label them as UN-explianed. Since you can not prove the Faithful claim that it was God or Gods, does that inability mean your non-belief is invalid?

      That is the challenge that is one of the paths for co-existence. Since both your dragon and her child's life being saved by God can not be proven ….. then both are on the Faith of the one believing themselves to be correct and to challenge such is a waste of resources and time.


      August 17, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Eric G

      @Mark: Thank you for your civil response. It is nice to be able to have a discussion without the typical rhetoric and name calling that is normally unavoidable.

      I do not require the "belief" that I am the most cleaver person in this conversation. I only point out that your claim that a god exists carries a burden of proof that you have not satisfied. I have made no claim that I "know" that your god does not exist and thus have no burden of proof responsibility. Your attempt to shift your burden of proof not withstanding, you need to provide evidencial support for your claim. Evidence is not biased and does not require belief. Evidence will either support or conflict with your hypothesis that a god exists.

      If you claim that a god exists without presenting supporting evidence for verification, "belief" is required for acceptance of that hypothesis as a valid theory.

      If you present verifiable supporting evidence that a god exists, "belief" is not required.

      It is ok for you to say that you do not know if a god exists, but that it makes you feel better to think that one does. That is an honest statement. Attempting to shift your burden of proof is dishonest, and frankly, bad form.

      August 17, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Hi Eric. The clever reply was in response to MEII's comment at 10:42.

      Your point is that to the burden is on both sides of this argument/debate. For when one person makes the claim that it was the act of God or Gods and another declares there is no God, then it is now up to both, if they wish a futile course of action to go about backing up their claim. For a long time Atheist have encountered the Faithful and asked for proof, now that Atheism is becoming more vocal the request for proof of their non-belief is being asked and just like before the Atheist are being forced to now say that they have a Belief and Faith that God does not exist.

      This makes them uncomfortable because they would rather say that God does not exist and require another to prove them wrong. Now some are asking Atheist to prove their belief when they make the claim.

      It is a shift Eric, but towards a understanding of what do you believe and is it worth the time and effort to attack your beliefs or to just make another friend across the aisle in this argument.

      I also thank you for your responses and other folks responses today. The lack of name calling and ridicule is refreshing.

      August 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  3. Goldberg

    atheists attempting to woo supporters? what a bunch of hopeless hooligans.

    August 17, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • sam stone


      they are doing no more than you see with church billboards.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Bahamas

      Why do atheists focus on hating God so much?

      August 17, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • sam stone

      "Why do atheists focus on hating God so much?"

      This question is all you need to know about the poster

      August 17, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Goldberg

      Christianity spreads a message of Hope, Love and Life.
      Your message is nothing but hatred and a strong dislike for God.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • sam stone

      Get a clue, Goldie, atheists cannot hate beings in which they do believe. However, we do think many Christians are dangerously delusional

      August 17, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Bahamas

      atheism is all about controlling the thoughts and minds of another being. God is not an intellectual pursuit, give it up, already!
      silly humans you can't wrestle away God.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Atheists don't hate God as it isn't possible to hate a figment of the imagination.
      A lot of us dislike and/or fear dogmatism and the shamans who enforce and capitalize on it.
      The problem with accepting a proposition on faith is that one cannot thereafter evaluate that proposition based on reason. By its very definition, faith denies rationality and the willing cessation of critical thought required to accept dogmatic, rote answers is not a virtue.

      It is well that there are messages of hope, love and life in the New Testament – but it is hard to ignore the wrath, hate and death in the Bible. The problem with having a book that is "The Truth" is that anyone can interpret the stories to justify almost anything – and historically, a lot of evil has been rationalized away by citing God as The Authority.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Atheism is about control?
      The prefix 'A' = lack of
      Theism = belief in gods.
      That's it – a lack of belief in gods. It is a negative statement that says only what one does NOT believe.
      Christianity is about controlling the minds of others. Why do you think 4 of the Ten Commandments are about reinforcing loyalty to the religion and demanding obsequious submission?

      August 17, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Huebert

      Yes we want to control everyone's mind. We intend to accomplish this goal by demonizing critical thinking, and forbidding, on pain of eternal punishment, anyone to question our holey scriptures...no wait that is what theist do.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Eric G

      Well said Doc.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Bahamas

      How can one make a negative assertion on a positive statement?

      August 17, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Eric G

      Saying that a god exists is not a positive statement, it is a claim. If that claim is not supported by evidence that can be verified, it cannot be a statement of fact.

      A claim can be disputed due to lack of supporting evidence.

      No points for you this round.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Your only rebuttal is a semantic argument?

      August 17, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      "Why do they hate God? Because their hatred i of spiritual origin."
      Each one of us is a child or offspring of our earthly parents. In the same way, each one of us is a child of either God or the devil. Those who hate God, particular the Name of Jesus Christ are of their father, the devil. Mind you, he doesn't mind and any other religion, and tolerates it, but the name of Yeshua, Lord Jesus Christ is what he is after, and his main goal its to throw mud on His Name and discredit it, because of his envy and desire to deceive human beings which God created in His own image. That's how he "gets back" at God. But he and those who follow him are losers, and God will bring all things tho pass in His apointed time. Satan may be the ruler of this world, but even he is in a sense 'servant' of God, because he can only do what God allows him to do, and even thru his work God accomplishes what He has purposed!
      But that's WHY we see such outpouring of hatred toward God and His people, and we will see much more of it in not -so- far future.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The assertion that The One True God, Ruler and Shaper of all the Universe is both anthropomorphic and anthropocentric is the height of arrogance.
      That self-righteous confidence is being the predilect object of creation and you personally knowing and doing precisely what the Creator wants is what allows people like you to revel in schadenfreude, certain of the eternal torment that awaits those who don't drink your Kool-Aid.
      That's the kind of love and compassion that all too often comes from Christians.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • sam stone

      "atheism is all about controlling the thoughts and minds of another being."

      yet it is the Christians who claim that god can read everyone's mind and will punish them for nauty thoughts.

      Give it up, already!

      August 17, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Bahamas

      Mine is a positive statement, without you having thoroughly vetted the ends of the galaxies how did you come up with a negative assertion??

      Prism1234-Good point.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If that is your argument, how do you know that Angus, Belenos, Brigid, dana, Lugh, Dagda, Epona, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Atehna, Demeter, Dionysus, Eris, Eos, Gaia, Hades, Hekate, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, hermes, Hestia, Pan, Poseidon, Selene, Uranus, Zeus, Mathilde, Elves, Eostre, Frigg, Hretha, Saxnot, Shef, Thuno, Tir, Weyland, Woden, Alfar, Balder, Beyla, Bil, Bragi, Byggvir, Dagr, Disir, Eir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Hel, Hoenir, Idunn, Jord, Lofn, Loki, Mon, Njord, Norns, Nott, Odin, Ran, saga, Sif, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sol, Syn, Ull, Thor, Tyr, Var, Vali, Vidar, Vor, Black Shuck, Herne, Jack in the Green, Holda, Nehalennia, Nerthus, endovelicus, Ataegina, Runesocesius, Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Maia, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Pluto, Plutus, Proserpina, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Attis, Cybele, El-Gabal, Isis, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Endovelicus, Anubis, Aten, Atum, Bast, Bes, Geb, Hapi, Hathor, Heget, Horus, Imhotep, Isis, Khepry, Khnum, Maahes, Ma’at, Menhit, Mont, Naunet, Neith, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, ra, Sekhmnet, Sobek, Set, Tefnut, Thoth, An, Anshar, Anu, Apsu, Ashur, Damkina, Ea, Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Nunurta, Hadad, Inanna, Ishtar, Kingu, Kishar, Marduk, Mummu, Nabu, Nammu, Nanna, Nergal, Ninhursag, Ninlil, Nintu, Shamash, Sin, Tiamat, Utu, Mitra, Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukiyomi, Inari, Tengu, Izanami, Izanagi, Daikoku, Ebisu, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Fu.kurokuju, Jurojin, Hotei, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, Inti, Kon, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Pachacamac, Viracoc.ha, or Zaramama aren't true gods?

      How can you dismiss the Tanakh, Talmud, Midrash, New Testament, Quran, Sunnah, Nahjul Balagha, Avesta, Vedas, Upanisahds, Bhagavad Gita, Puranas, Tantras, Sutras, Vachanas, Adi Granth, Purvas, Samayasara, Niyamasara, Pravacanasara, and Pancastikaya; Anupreksa; Samadhishataka of Pujyapada; Tattvarthasutra of Umasvati, Tattvarthasutra, Pali Tripitaka, Jataka,, Visuddimagga, Tripitaka, Lotus Sutra, Garland Sutra, Analects; the Great Learning; the Doctrine of the Mean; the Mencius, Tao Te Ching, Chuang-tzu, Kojiki, Nihon Shoki, K-oki, Ofudesaki, Mikagura-uta, Michi-no-Shiori, Johrei, Goseigen, Netarean Shower of Holy Doctrines, Chun Boo Kyung, Kitab-i-Iqan, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, Book of Mormon, Dianetics, or Revelation X as Holy Books since they all claim to be The Truth?

      August 17, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Doc... What if a person is open to the possibilities that we might be dealing with the same God?

      August 17, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • jimmer

      "Your message is nothing but hatred and a strong dislike for God"

      Obviously you are too fvcking stupid to understand that there is absolutely no possibility for any atheist to hate or dislike God.

      We can't hate god for the same reason that we can't hate bigfoot, or Santa Claus or Leprechauns.

      They don't exist.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      It can't be the same God.
      Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
      The God of Abraham is recognizing the existence of other gods in this statement and is demanding to be put first in the worship line.

      Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.

      Here, The God of Abraham is prohibiting the existence of any kind of reminder of the Gods, upon penalty of torture for you, your children, your grandchildren and great grand children.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      It'll actually be easier than you think, Goldberg. Agnosticism is a natural state for man to be in. Your born that way, then somebody gets their mitts on your brain and start to feed it the information they want you to process.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      "Mine is a positive statement, without you having thoroughly vetted the ends of the galaxies how did you come up with a negative assertion??"


      Saying "I don't know" is not a negative assertion, it is a nuetral assertion where belief is witheld until proper reason to believe something is found. Without you having thoroghly vetted the ends of the galaxies how did you come up with a positive assertion?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Hi Doc. Did you notice that I did not say “different” Gods? My question was what if they are the “same” God? You are assuming that they can not be the same God because you and others such as the the 700 club interpret that it is not the same God. The possibility is something that you and Pat Robertson are not able to comprehend.

      The same question applies, what if it is the same God? Not asking as a Christian, Jew, Muslim or even Buddhist, Doc... what if all of us Faithful are worshiping the same Deity?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • jimmer

      "Christianity spreads a message of Hope, Love and Life"

      Yes, and that message is spread by holding up signs that say "God hates f a g s".

      August 17, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Hi Jimmer.

      You also have Whites that hold up signs that says that African Americans are hated. Since we know that we have Whites and Blacks so much together that we have the product of such a love in interracial offspring, such as the President and we also know that there are so many who are Gay and Lesbian and Christian .... Are you not blaming the whole for the views of part of it?

      August 17, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  4. WASP

    defintion of spirit-1.
    a. The vital principle or animating force within living beings.
    b. Incorporeal consciousness.
    2. The soul, considered as departing from the body of a person at death.
    3. Spirit The Holy Spirit.
    4. A supernatural being, as:
    a. An angel or a demon.
    b. A being inhabiting or embodying a particular place, object, or natural phenomenon.
    c. A fairy or sprite.
    5.a. The part of a human associated with the mind, will, and feelings: Though unable to join us today, they are with us in spirit.
    b. The essential nature of a person or group.

    defintion Incorporeal-: not corporeal : having no material body or form

    defintion of ghost-: the seat of life or intelligence : soul
    2: a disembodied soul; especially : the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness
    3: spirit, demon

    if you believe in angels/demons/ holy spirit/ god etc etc etc you believe in ghosts, non-corporeal beings not exsisting on our same plain of exsistance. the fun part of religion is you also believe in magic and aliens aka extra-terristrial; you can't claim you don't believe in magic because what "god" did to create the universe from nothing qualifies as magic, plus seeing he was born/created on earth he would qualify as an E.T. i love fun with words. lmfao

    August 17, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  5. Susan

    They forgot one....
    Atheists: Very rude people who love to belittle and put down everyone's beliefs that they feel are substandard to their own.

    Nice group

    August 17, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      How about this one:
      Christians: Revelling in apocalyptic schadenfreude for over 2000 years.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • WASP

      @susan: turn about is fair play. you have all those religious billboards and signs taken down and we will gladly remove ours, otherwise deal with it.
      i opt to be polite when the situation requires it, but being told "you'll see when you die" and "you're going to burn" and my oh so favorite "devil worshipper" so many times before we atheists get a little angry.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • sam stone


      Christians: Blathering EMTPY PROXY THREATS for 2,000 years

      August 17, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • syntax

      we atheists don't relish the idea of a hell reserved for people who don't share our opinions. We don't have a hell, relax on that account. Some of us do see hell in the intellectual prison where believers, from their own choice, want to live: in the acceptance of absurd dogmas restricting curiosity as to what life and all that surrounds us might be or mean. We think that, in the fable of Genesis, the one deserving the punishment is God, not Adam, who acted out of natural curiosity about what surrounded him. Curiosity for us is an asset, not something to be ashamed of. At least in the point of eternal punishment we Atheists can claim moral ascendancy over those who believe in a place of eternal torment for whoever disagrees with them. Believe in hell really betrays a sadistic inferiority complex of immense magnitude. Even Tomas Aquinas, great thinker as he was, said that one of the bigest joys of Paradise is the contemplation of the suffering of those in Hell. How very nice, don't you think?

      August 17, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  6. syntax

    The problem is accepting revelation, ANY REVELATION. Anybody going to the town's square today with the news that he just had a revelation will be laughed out. For some strange reason, however, the older the revelation is, the more credence it is given. The Mormon revelation is not too old, it claims absurd things it cannot prove and, however, millions of people, many of them well-behaved, successful by wordly standards, etc. adhere to it. The two-thousand year old Christian revelation clames things just as absurd as the Mormon revelation does, and despite this, it has conquered the world of belief, at least numerically and apparently going strong. Its Hebrew-Mediterranean fertility-cult origins are surrounded by the fog of time, which, instead of causing scepticism, seems to give it authority and force. We humans are really a curious bunch!

    August 17, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • syntax

      I acknowledge the typo: I of course meant "claims", not clames!

      August 17, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • Orem

      Mormonism is at that awkward stage where people still remember that its founder was a conman who saw his revelations in a hat.

      August 17, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • Mass Debater

      Who knows, maybe a hundred years from now there will be a cult of Trump Christians who all don the goofy golden hair helmets to worship as their once orange tan prophet of profit did while chanting in unison "Satan, Your'e fired... Satan, Your'e fired..."

      August 17, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      God speaks to people all the time.
      In 2008, He told Boyce Singleton Jr. to shoot and stab his pregnant girlfriend.
      Deanna Laney heard God direct her to bludgeon her three sons, aged 9, 6 and 15 months. Only the youngest survived.
      Blair Donnelly received instructions to stab to death his 16 year old daughter, Stephanie.
      Christopher Varian was slaughtered with a cheese knife after God spoke with one of his employees.
      God told Jennifer Cisowski to dash her infant's head on the rocks, so ""Just like Jesus raised Lazarus, I threw the baby on the stones by the pool."
      Khandi Busby got a direct message from God advising her that the only way to save her 6 and 8 year old boys was to toss them off a bridge in Dallas. Fortunately, they survived.
      Angel Rico says he received a divine command to strangle his 4 year old son, so he did just that and left him at the side of the highway.
      Lashaun Harris threw her 3 kids – aged 6, 2 and 16 months, into the San Francisco Bay after God let her know that He wanted a human sacrifice.

      Since nobody has the ability to intercept and decode Cosmic Psychic Messages, these folks' communications with the Almighty are no more or less credible than any other prophet.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:41 am |
  7. Orem

    You know people are born atheist just like they are born naked.

    August 17, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • Mass Debater

      Aye, it takes years of brain staining to become religious.

      August 17, 2012 at 1:44 am |
  8. mark

    Atheists, why don't you just hold up a sign that says: 'I really can't wait to burn in hell"?

    August 17, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • oneworld2

      Because there is no hell.

      But lets say there is one..
      It's controlled by an angel that did not agree with your god.
      I do not agree with your god, he must like me, plus you can do a lot more in hell than heaven....
      Hell sound like the place to be.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • Sim34

      Why don't you hold up a sign saying that you really can't wait to be reincarnated? Who knows, maybe in your next life you won't be such a jacka$$! 🙂

      August 17, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • oneworld2

      Plus I'm suppose to be his child...
      And he suppose to punish me for an eternity for not believing in him without proof............sounds like bad parenting.
      And don't forget about the people living in rain forest, they have never heard of your god......so they are doomed from the start.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims


      Why don't you hold up a sign that says "I believe in a god that is a morally bankrupt pri.ck"

      August 17, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Mark, assuming you do not follow the Quran, do you feel obligated to hold up a sign saying you can't wait to burn in jahannam?

      August 17, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • Jersey Shore

      I can just see God leaning back in his folding chair with plaid shorts and a wife beater holding a beer yelling at the kid's "Because I said so! Ya little fvck wads! Proof? You want proof? I'll give you proof, proof my foot can fit up yo ass over here!!"

      August 17, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • sam stone

      because atheists don't believe in hell, marky-mark. try to keep up

      August 17, 2012 at 5:52 am |
    • JWT

      Gotta love the join us or perish bullies.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:32 am |
    • sam stone

      jwt: yeah, they are amusing.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • sam stone

      petty vindictive punks take comfort in a petty, vindictive punk god. marky-mark here is yet another example.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • jimmer

      "Hell sound like the place to be"

      Better warm beer than no beer.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  9. Sharon


    August 17, 2012 at 12:22 am |
  10. Reason89

    Wonder if we would be better off explicitly splitting the “Does God Exist?” question into the two distinct questions: Was/is there a Creator? And if so, is the Judeo-Christian perception of the Creator accurate?

    While it is challenging to prove conclusively that there was or wasn’t some kind of Creator, the evidence is overwhelming that the Judeo-Christian perception of a Creator is profoundly faulty.

    Just consider these aspects of the Judeo/Christian perception of the Creator (Loving God, prayer, heaven, h-ll, original sin, flood,..) that don’t add up, i.e.:
    1) A benevolent Creator condemning otherwise good non-believers to eternal punishment
    2) A benevolent Creator creating/not destroying Satan
    3) Punishing Adam and Eve for seeking an understanding of good and evil
    4) Expecting Adam and Eve to be good (obedient) without having an understanding of good and evil
    5) Creating, testing, then punishing Adam and Eve instead of creating, testing, and fixing them
    6) A flood that killed everyone but Noah’s family yet left Native Americans, Australian Aborigines, Asians,Europeans, Africans all alive
    7) Sacrifices (killing and burning animals) being appealing
    8) A benevolent Creator that created diseases (Small Pox, Syph.ilis, Gono.rrhea, Polio, ….)

    August 16, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Chad

      I think you would need to first gain some familiarity with the Bible prior to proposing to critique it.. no?

      August 16, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Sim34

      Adam and Eve were basically children, newly created, when God told them not to touch that tree, and then he left them alone without supervision. Try that with any child these days and maybe God shouldn't have been surprised at what happened, hmm?

      August 17, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad's immediate reaction to anyone who disagrees with him is to condescendingly accuse them of being less well-read than he is.

      "You don't accept that everything is the result of divine magic?!? You need to do some READING, and you won't sound so foolish."

      (the irony can be downright painful)

      August 17, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • Reason89


      When reading the Bible from cover to cover I encountered the following verse:

      Genesis 7: 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. (NIV)

      This verse unequivocally states that all people except the people on the ark died. Yet there is indisputable proof that Native Americans, Australian Aborigines, Asians, Europeans, Africans were not killed.

      August 17, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • Sim34

      Also, if the whole surface of the earth was flooded it would have been flooded with either fresh, of salty water, not both, leaving either ocean or freshwater creatures without a place to live, and they certainly were not in the ark. So, how did both survive then?

      August 17, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • JesusNotReligion

      The Bible has INTERNAL evidence: Prophecy...1/4 of the entire Bible is Prophetic material – much of it already fulfilled EXTERNALLY/HISTORICALLY whether in the Prophesied fall of Tyre, Babylon hundreds of years prior to the event (as well as many others), or in the Historic Person & Finished work of Jesus of Nazareth (i.e. His prophesied life, death and resurrection). NOTE: 1 out of 25 verses in the New Testament alone (arguably 300+) are prophecies pertaining to the 2nd coming of Jesus – not to mention the astounding number of passages in the Old Testament that speak of Jesus' return (as we understand Him to be the Jewish Messiah)...Other evidence is based on the transformed lives of those who came in contact with the God of the Bible, with Jesus Christ, His recorded Power, His Teaching, or His appointed Apostles and followers who primarily gained NOTHING but ridicule, persecution, torture and horrific deaths (no rolls royce chariots – no material gain or prestige) – men (and women) who were hiding for fear of being crucified along with Jesus, but then 40 days after Jesus' crucifixion (and subsequent resurrection) these same men (and women) went out boldly preaching in public to His very accusers and killers. This testimony of 'changed lives and lack of gain' bears witness to not only the quality of character of these people, but acts as testimonial proof to the historical accuracy of the events they had experienced. Events prophectically announced hundreds upon hundreds of years prior, being historically fufilled in the PERSON and finished work of Jesus of Nazareth.

      No one would argue that Abraham Lincoln didn't exist yet we trust in historical docu ments. We run a series of tests that include WHO WROTE IT? (Are they reliable sources? Firsthand witnesses?, an other witnesses, etc)...Are there other historical 'people, places, things' mentioned that corraborate the stated events (or are there inaccuracies that discredit it as fallacy?)...
      Can we really determine, through literary critque, that Tom, Tom the Piper's Son is a fictional character or not? Be careful how you answer this because alot rides on even your own beliefs if we can't...

      Btw...Jesus quoted from the first 5 books of the BIBLE more than others...In particular, "Genesis"...Validating it's binding Authority...the existence of Adam & Eve...Sin, the existence of the Devil....Noah and the flood...etc, etc, etc...There's so much that many of you bloggers don't know (or think you know) – as with us followers of JesusNotReligion regarding your written material taken by faith – that it is impossible to fully and intelligently dialogue in this medium. But, it is what is, and we both try to plant some seeds for further thought – though most you guys and gals are from endearing, and far from any goodwill according to my brief experience with you CNN bloggernauts...Once again, my apologies for any typos – But afterall, I'm only a humam "accident"...Thank God for JesusNotReligion...BTW Chad, thanks for posting 1Peter 1:8-12 for me!

      August 17, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Science

      Careful Reason89, chad is about to claim that you can't say these things because you clearly aren't familiar with the bible. What he really means is that you haven't read his specific bible and if you had, you would believe exactly what he believes. Obviously there is only one answer and chad has to be right and everyone else is wrong. Right?

      August 17, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • Sim34

      Depends on whether you believe that prophecy was about predicting the future, or "professing" why past events happened? There isn't a single prophecy in the Bible that either could have been written after the event took place, or is so cryptic that it could apply to anything that you want it to. The New Testament writers had the Jewish scriptures in front of them, and could just as easily invented stories that showed how a man hung from a tree could, possibly, actually be the messiah.

      We have photos of Lincoln and newspaper stories about him, but even with that there is still much debate over the details of his life and death. The gospels are not journalism. There is no pretext that they are reporting something objectively. Their purpose is to report the "good news", which means basically to sell Jesus to the reader. Why would you even consider such docu.ments to be historically accurate?

      That Jesus could quote Tanakh is testament only to the fact that he was called a rabbi, and was familiar enough with these to quote from them. You assume that he was divine, thus that the books are true, but if he was just a man then they could still be inaccurate.

      August 17, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Sim34...I disagree with you. The Bible "historic" literature, though this is not its main purpose. Other agencies of journalism have appealed to it regarding the confirmation dates for historic timelimes, kings, historic landmarks and architecture, various other notable places, etc...as well as used for pre-planning archaelogical excavations, etc.

      Disagree with your "prophecy" comment, though "some" can fit into your category of "post assignment"...

      Pictures of Abraham Lincoln do not prove to you and I anything...I do believe he existed, that is not my point. We are at the mercy of others who have reported and chronicled his existence, via written doc ument, pics, etc...And there are literary critques and sciences in place to test the legitimacy and accuracy of these written docs...These tests have been applied to thw Bible and they would hold up in a court of law as submissible evidence...READ "More Than A Carpenter" by Josh McDowell (a quick read)...or any of Lee Stroebel's "A Case for..." books (Btw...He was a lead Journalist for The Chicago Tribune and extremely antagonistic towards Christianity/Jesus...He used his "Journalistic skills" and Journalism education to interview and test the top theologians in their various field of expertise, such as the reliability of Biblical manuscripts, etc...Fascinating)...

      Have you read how Jesus quoted the Tanakh? I dont think you would have made that comment if you did...but I do thank you for the gracious interaction...much better than you comrades in arms...JesusNotReligion...RelationshipNotRitual

      August 17, 2012 at 2:29 am |
    • sam stone

      Of course, Chad....anyone who disagrees with you is obvioiusly not as well read as you are. Nothing arrogant about that, little fella

      August 17, 2012 at 5:55 am |
    • Sim34

      It may have some of it's dates, kings and places right, but so does the Odyssey, as it turns out. Does Troy being a real place mean that the Greek gods said to have masterminded the Trojan War are also real, or that Achilles was really invulnerable over most of his body? The Bible is as much a heroic interpretation of Jewish history as the Greek stories we usually refer to as "myth".

      Name a single prophecy that cannot be explained as anything but a literal foretelling of the future? Remember that the Greeks too had their prophets in the Sibyls and Oracles. Others had them too, but because the Bible does include at least some "post assignment" prophecies why do you assume that some of the remaining have to be genuine? This also goes to the matter of God. If so many of the ancient gods of myth are believed to have been inventions why assume that a real god must exist? Certainly such a high failure rate in anything else would make any reasonable person a skeptic?

      I've read a few of Lee Strobel's books on this and they are not very convincing. He has journalistic skills, but how balanced is reportage of what those interviews produced? He isn'y interested in doing balanced pieces, was he?

      Yes, we are at the mercy of what evidence we have on historic figures such as Lincoln, but Jesus we cannot even say is historic, for sure. Yet, if you recognize this then why would so many of the faithful act as though anyone can be logically certain as to what Jesus was, said, or wanted? Isn't there enough uncertainty about what stand he supposedly would have taken on gay marriage to say that a Christian shouldn't just assume that protesting against it would have pleased him, for example?

      Jesus is made to quote Tanakh where links to messianic prophecy are needed. His wisdom sayings are in line with the house of Hillel rabinics, but much of the rest of what he says in the canonical gospels sounds scripted. John way more than the others. They show a developing evolution of Jesus from man to demigod. Ask yourself who was around to witness the temptation in the desert, or his trials at the Passion? How can these be eyewitness accounts from followers?

      August 17, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Sim34...I replied to you on a brand new post up front...Felt it was pointed and comprehensive enough for more eyes to see; those who hold to your same argumemt...thanks

      August 17, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  11. AverageJoe_Catholic

    If we're in the business of reducing Christianity to less than a paragraph, allow me to try my own reduction:
    Atheism: The belief that there was nothing. Then nothing happened to the nothing, creating everything in an orderly and self-sustaining fashion, that through a random series of events, developed life, which in turn developed a species with the mental capacity to rationally process everything prior, all apart from any pre-eminent model of order, intelligence, or existence.

    August 16, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Observer

      Christianity: the belief that God came from nothing and then created the universe from nothing.

      August 16, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • exlonghorn


      Wrong. totally wrong. So wrong you clearly haven't even tried to do the simplest search to seek understanding.

      Atheists do not purport to know how the universe came into being. They think they're gaining understanding of the time frame from the first milliseconds of the big bang to now. What came beforehand is still unknown. First things first. We may need to get to a sound unified theory/standard model before trying to answer that question.

      Everything after the big bang is actually fairly well understood, both theoretically as well as experimentally, including the creation of basic cells, organisms, and evolution. What's cool is most of that understanding has been gained in just the past 400 years. A blink of an eye. Seems like we are evolving faster, doesn't it? Not sure how you're having a problem with any of that.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • Sim34

      The big bang theory does not say that first there was "nothing". "Ex nihilo" is a religious term for the Genesis creation and, if you find that it sounds silly, you're right.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • WASP

      @AJ catholic: if any believer wishes to understand the occurance of the singularity all they have to do is look up on a sunny day. the star our planet orbits is a fision reaction that is only controlled due to it's mass. the mass of our star creates gravity, thus gravity's natural effect is to crush things/pull them inward. the explosive forces inside our star are equally attempting to blow outward so presently our star is at a happy medium where these two forces have equaled resulting in the size of our current star.
      now if any one of those things happens to become more than slightly unbalanced our star could either implode or explode depending on which force was dominate.
      that same situation would adhere to the singularity that started our universe, an internal inbalance could have easily started a cascade of events leading to the "big bang" which is a astronomically larger version of a super-nova.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  12. Anon

    Too many people on both sides are ignorant. Athiesm does doesn't equal science, and religion doesn't mean moral. Everyone is throwing around stereo types.

    August 16, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  13. Jack

    Hello. Everyone is cordially invited to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    August 16, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
  14. JesusNotReligion

    1 Peter 1:8-12

    August 16, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Observer

      If you can't quote directly or at least summarize passages, you're likely wasting your time since few people will care.

      August 16, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Not to mention the only people who care what a bible verse says are people who already believe.

      August 16, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Indeed...Well deserved...But I didn't even know it posted...Wouldn't take my cut/paste of the verse...kicked it out...Will type it out when I have time...

      August 16, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Please don't. We see that crap all day long, and it's always the same comment, that it is useless to anyone who doesn't believe. Most of the time the person thinks there's going to be some magic single quote that will convert all who see it, when that's definitely not the case.

      August 16, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Chad

      @JesusNotReligion, the reason it wouldnt let you make that post was the word "circ<bumstance"

      Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

      10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circ umstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things 1 Peter 1 8-12

      August 16, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Observer


      How could you ask why people say the Bible contains "make believe" when you know it contains the totally illogical story of Noah's Ark which violates science and intelligence as we know it.

      August 16, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • Chad

      How many animals were in the ark?

      August 16, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • Observer


      You really aren't going to try to pretend that the complete nonsense of Noah's Ark was true, are you?

      There are hundreds of thousands of land animals times (2 or more of each) gives a huge number. No possibility of that many animals plus food for a year on a ship smaller than a cruise ship.

      Get serious.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Sim34

      Were the parables just stories that Jesus made up in order to illustrate a point, or was he simply reporting actual events?

      August 17, 2012 at 12:53 am |
  15. Rufus T. Firefly

    How are pencil erasers made? Nobody really knows. You might claim that you know, but you really can't prove it. Pencil erasers didn't just make themselves, so the only possible explanation is that God exists and He willed pencil erasers into existence. You can't prove He didn't, therefore He did!

    August 16, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Zooski


      August 16, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Oh sure, that's what those godless atheist manufacturers want you to believe. You're telling me that rubber, iron oxide, sulfur, and vegetable just randomly came together? Impossible without supernatural orchestration, right?

      August 16, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad? Help me out here!

      August 16, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  16. Colin

    I took a morning and read all four gospel accounts of Chad's Empty Tomb theory. I then compared them. They are horribly innaccurate. Here they are compared.

    Who went to the tomb?

    Mark (written about 35 years after Jesus died) – 3 women – Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome.

    Matthew (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – 2 women – Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary.”

    Luke (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – at least 5 women – Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna and other, unnamed women. At least five women.

    John (written about 60 years after Jesus died) – Only 1 woman – Mary Magdalene.

    What did they find there?

    Mark (written about 35 years after Jesus died) – the stone has been rolled back from the entrance to the tomb. There is no mention of any guards. A young man in a long, white robe is inside. His identi.ty is not revealed. He tells the two Marys and Salome to go tell the disciples that Jesus has risen and has gone to Galilee, where Jesus will appear to them.

    Matthew (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – the stone has NOT been rolled back from the tomb. There is a great earthquake and an angel from heaven appears, rolls back the stone, sits on it and stares at them a face like lightning. There are guards posted, who freeze with fear. The angel takes the two women and shows them that the tomb is empty and tells them Jesus has risen and will meet the disciples in Galilee.

    Luke (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – the stone IS rolled back. No earthquake, no angels, no young man in robe, no guards. Instead, two men are there in shining garments. They tell the group of (at least five) women that Jesus has risen as he foretold. No direction is given for the disciples to go to Galilee.

    John (written about 60 years after Jesus died) – the stone IS rolled back. Mary Magdalene, who is alone, simply finds an empty tomb and flees. No angels, earthquakes, men in shining uniforms or guards are mentioned. She gets Peter and one other, unnamed disciple and they return. They find Jesus’ robes discarded on the floor, but the garment from his head neatly folded. Peter and the other disciple leave, but Mary Magdalene stays, weeping. She looks back in to the tomb and sees two angels and Jesus appears. She thinks he is the gardener until he reveals himself. He gives no direction about Galilee but simply tells her to tell the others he is ascending to the Father.

    What happens next?

    Mark (written about 35 years after Jesus died) – Nothing. The original Gospel according to Mark ends with the women leaving the tomb frightened and saying nothing to anybody about what they saw.

    However, in the forged last 12 verses that were added to the end of the Gospel according to Mark a couple of hundred years later, Christ appears first to Mary Magdalene “out of whom he had cast seven demons.” She tells the others who do not believe her, but Jesus then appears to two (unnamed) disciples as they are walking in the countryside. They tell the others, who still don’t believe, but Jesus later appears to all 11 apostles (Judas is persona non grata at this point and/or dead) and rebukes them for not believing Mary Magdalene and the first two apostles who saw him earlier.

    He then famously tells them to go out and preach the gospel to every creature and that he who believes and is baptized will be saved and he who does not will be condemned. Those who believe will speak in tongues and be unaffected by poisons and will be able to handle snakes and heal the sick by the mere laying of their hands.

    This forged passage above is, by the way, where the evangelical tradition of “speaking in tongues,” the Appalachian tradition of snake handling and the Christian Science tradition of healing through “laying of hands” all come from – and it’s a complete forgery. Oh, the irony is rich!

    Having told them this, Jesus zaps up to heaven and sits at the right hand of God.

    Matthew (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – The two women meet Jesus and worship at his feet. He tells them to tell his disciples to meet him in Galilee. Meanwhile, the guards relate their story to the elders and the chief priests who bribe them to lie and say that the disciples took Jesus’ body away. Eventually the 11 apostles see Jesus in Galilee, some still doubting. Jesus tells them to go out and baptize people of all nations and that he will always be with them.

    Luke (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – Peter runs to the tomb and finds it empty with Jesus’ clothes discarded. Jesus does not appear to him, but does to two disciples who are walking in the countryside. They do not recognize him and he feigns ignorance as they recount the story of his death and of women encountering angels in the tomb. Jesus walks with them some more, rebuking them and then spends the night with them, breaking bread at which point they realize who he is and he vanishes.

    They tell the 11 apostles what happens and then Jesus appears to them. He explains the scriptures to them and that it was necessary that he die and be resurrected. He then leads them to Bethany and is carried up to heaven.

    John (written about 60 years after Jesus died) – This is the longest post mortem account of the four. Mary Magdalene recounts her story to the apostles. He appears to them that night when they are assembled, hiding from the Jews. He shows his wounds to them. Thomas was not there and when they tell him, there is the famous “doubting Thomas” scene. This scene does not appear in any other gospel.

    Jesus later appears to some apostles while they are fishing. They do not recognize him at first. They catch nothing, but Jesus tells them throw the nets out of the other side of the boat and they catch many fish. Then they know it is Jesus. Jesus eats a breakfast of fish with them and has a strange conversation with Peter. The Gospel ends with the comment that Jesus did many other things that the author did not mention as doing so would be too great a task. No mention is made of Jesus’ ultimate departure.

    This is Cahd's "proof" that he uses to build a bridge between "we don't know" and the Judeo Christian god. He rejects evolution and cosmology, but will accept this "proof". Once agin, if anybody ever doubted the poisoning effects religion has on intellect, dwell on that for a moment.

    August 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Sim34

      Ask yourself why women, going to a tomb routinely in order to prepare a body, wouldn't have thought to bring a lever and some strong men with them to roll the rock away?

      August 17, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  17. Tachoman

    These atheists realize that they are just as bad as others when trying to convert people to their ideology right?

    Isn't atheism or religion supposed to be a personal decision reached by their own set of values and beliefs?

    Hipocrisy seems to be a common sin no matter what you believe I see!

    August 16, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • stupid followed to its logical conclusion

      becomes atheism !

      August 16, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      We are not attempting to "convert" anyone, that's what religion does. We are here to challenge the believers statement of a God. They tell us there is a God but cannot prove it and we merely seek evidence of their claims.
      As far as your "sin", in my world there isn't any as it doesn't exist and I challenge you to prove to me it does exist.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No such thing as "hipocrisy'.

      August 16, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Sim34

      Perhaps a lot of people aren't getting the other side of the story when it comes to God? If you're not exposed to the contradictions in the Bible, the problems with creationism, the history of how the Bible was canonized, the comparative mythologies that share so much with bible stories, what evolution and big bang theory actually says, and a host of other things then it's easy to assume that Christianity makes more sense than it actually does. Maybe it's our role to inform Christians that they aren't getting the full picture?

      August 17, 2012 at 1:02 am |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ,.

    August 16, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • truth be told

      All children come direct from the throne of God and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Observer

      truth be told,

      "All children come direct from the throne of God and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights."

      Except when God made them gay and they want to get married.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • WASP

      @truth untold: children come from god? what about the children born in india or some other country that isn't ruled by you christian freaks? do they not come from god? are they condemned to burn for eternity because they were born to the "wrong" family? how about the tribes in south america that hasn't dealt with modern humans due to their migratory exsistance?

      the whole inalienible rights is the one thing that religious folks only see fit to give themselves and not others...........say like same gender couples and females.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • invisiblefriend

      If you are born in Canada, India, gay or straight matters not as all are given a measure of faith. What one does with the gifts they are given reveals their true soul.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • manbearpig

      Really, invisible? Are you proposing that you would still have become a christian if you were one of the millions of human beings born without any knowledge of what christianity is? Get real.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Zooski

      The exact opposite of what you say makes MUCH more sense.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • jimmer

      "All children come direct from the throne of God and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights"

      On your birth certificate, in the space where it says "Parent", does yours say god.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  19. truth be told

    All children have seen God, it takes years of lying to oneself to adopt an atheistic viewpoint. Doubly cursed is the parent that would deny its child eternal life.

    August 16, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      All children are born Godless. It is child abuse to indoctrinate them into a cult of make believe with make believe and harmful messages. You should all be brought-up on several abuse charges involving violations for mentally abusing the young and easily manipulated.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      "Doubly cursed is the parent that would deny its child eternal life."

      Sounds like you are describing your "loving" god.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Sim34

      Can you prove that children have seen God, and is it like how they "see" monsters in their closets, or invisible friends?

      August 17, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • OTOH

      “Every time a child says 'I don't believe in fairies,' there's a a little fairy somewhere that falls down dead.”
      –Peter Pan

      August 17, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • Sim34

      And children buy into Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and a bunch of other characters too, but the point is that they have to be taught by people they trust that these characters are real. The same goes for God. The only thing truthful about truth be told's claim is that children will believe anything because they haven't learned that parent and other adults can lie to them yet.

      August 17, 2012 at 1:41 am |
  20. Socal Reggae


    August 16, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • jimmer

      She has nice ti tt ies.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:03 am |
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About this blog

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