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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. Comment

    The guy in the gleaming underwear does look like the eye-catching welcome to atheism. It's unfortunate. A competent graphics designer would have put him closer to the stuff on Mormons and away from Join American Atheists! Probably made him a bit smaller too.

    August 20, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  2. TomPaine

    Ridiculing the beliefs of others will not win anyone any points–this is just a bad idea.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheese Makers

      Sacred Cows make the best hamburger..

      August 20, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Blessed are the Tease makers

      No, Scared Cows make the best hamburger...

      August 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Placid are the Fleece Makers

      For they shall be warm and cosy

      August 21, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Rancid are the Grease Makers

      It's just the inevitable outcome.

      August 21, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Len

      TomPaine
      There are people who believe that eating rhino horn improves their se.x lives, and they have no problem with rhinos being killed just to satisfy this selfish need. Was it OK to ridicule their beliefs, or should we have "respected" them?

      August 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  3. Buddha

    The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.

    August 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Only the moment you reject all help are you freed in bed.

      August 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one in bed.

      August 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  4. Buddha

    In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.

    August 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • derf

      These are funny when you add "in bed" to the end of them.

      August 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  5. Sincerely

    Atheism doesn't offer a message of love and hope. Admit it. It doesn't. We need a Pledge of Allegiance to Each Other by which we promise to support and encourage one another and other good stuff. Oh, and lose that guy in the shining underwear. He looks happy but he's just not a credible symbol for atheism.

    August 20, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Bob

      At least atheism does not mandate and demand violence and murder and other horrid acts such as the Christian book of nasty AKA the bible does. In that evil book of that nasty religion, we find horrid instructions like the following, in both OT and NT:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

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

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

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

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

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

      August 20, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • ME II

      @Sincerely,
      Atheism doesn't offer any message whatsoever, it is a lack of belief, nothing else.

      Oh, and the guy in the glowing underwear, is supposed to represent Mormons and their "magic" underwear. Please, don't let the details get in your way.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • derf

      Bob kind of resembles Reality with all his cut and paste stuff.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • sam stone

      Atheism is not supposed to offer love and hope

      August 20, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheese Makers

      Religion's offer of love and hopr is only if we agree to join their team, if not then it is a lake of fire...no thanks.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Prospero

      Sam has an honest answer. Atheism doesn't offer anything beyond an appeal to reason. It says there is nothing to offer outside ourselves.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Mass Debater

      Yo Gabba Gabba offers a message of love and hope, should I start worshiping DJ Lance Rock now?

      August 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • stupid followed to its logical conclusion

      becomes atheism.

      August 21, 2012 at 6:04 am |
    • WASP

      @stupid followed to its logical conclusion
      "becomes atheism."

      please enlighten us less fortunate atheists how not believeing in an all-powerful thing, preached to us by another lowly human makes we atheists dumber than someone that chooses to stop thinking for themsleves, has stopped chasing further knowledge and just shuts their minds off?
      do tell oh great and powerful stupid/prayer etc etc etc.

      August 21, 2012 at 7:09 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      stupid followed to its logical conclusion wrote: "becomes atheism."

      Wow – they are never going to give this girl her job back at the Pat Robertson Fortune Cookie Factory for the Retarded.

      August 21, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Len

      Sincerely
      How does Christianity offer a message of love and hope when it lists whole groups of people who God would send to hell? It's either believe in what we say, or suffer the consequences. The "message" of atheism is that there is no hell for the non-Christian, that we are free to move beyond bronze-age ideas of morality, and that some powerful alien force isn't about to destroy the Earth. Many people find that a very strong message of hope.

      August 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  6. 2357

    Atheism and religion are just different ways of coping with the same anxiety, namely the consequences of death. Truth in either stance would lead to a peaceful existence, contentment without strife, and a joyful anticipation of self-demise. But if you struggle, as many do here apparently, do struggle to the furthest limits with utmost earnestness. And persuade others by doing not preaching. Don't aspire to be yet another book peddler or babbler of lectures whose ultimate intent is praise and profit. God knows we have enough of those shenanigans.

    August 19, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Are you aware that you are preaching? Just curious. And by the way, Atheism is not about contemplating death, how do you arrive at that conclusion?

      August 19, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Damocles

      The consequences of my death will be that I will be dead. No anxiety there. I do, however have a slight anxiety over how I will die as I'm not a big fan of a lingering, painful death. Since I doubt I will be able to die as I wish to die, then I guess I'll have to make the best of it.

      August 19, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @Damocles

      The anxiety of dying...the anxiety of going to the dentist...the anxiety of...

      It's part of the trip, enjoy every breath you take brother!

      August 19, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Damocles

      @TVA

      The anxiety about the means of my demise are not quite the same as the anxiety of going to the dentist... unless he or she is a really bad dentist....

      August 19, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • TX Red

      @ 2357

      "...joyful anticipation of self-demise", huh? Accepting your mortality is not the same thing as desiring it. I see where you're coming from though. Sometimes religion does make me wish I was dead, too...

      August 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Buddha

      Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.

      August 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • 2357

      Atheists' death anxiety is apparent in their double standard concerning volitional death. When man or nature kills in the name of natural selection there is peace and complacency. Just a part of the process, it's been going on for millions of years. In fact there are many unfit members of society ehem, who ought to be selected out of the race. On the other hand when God kills someone or some thing, well bloody murder stop the world. Here is moral outrage of the highest degree, a holy hooha who thinks he owns all three divine attributes, life death And morality? Who in the world does he think he is? This is a double standard that undermines the maturity of intellectual Atheism.
      There is in the world another kind of Atheism that does not appear on Internet discourse boards. It may not even be aware of such an activity. It is Practical Atheism, a quiet atheism in action not words. Absolute atheism is the joyful celebration of the utter meaninglessness of ALL social constructs. And the celebration requires wanton demonstrations and displays, this killings of other people's sacred cows. A goddamed billboard, are you kidding me? It's gonna take a lot more than that to kill the cows. Have some balls about Baals. Be absolute, be resolved for action. Channel your saints. What would Nietzsche do.

      August 21, 2012 at 5:58 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't know what he'd do, but he'd certainly write bout it better than you do.

      August 21, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  7. paralaxvu

    Athheism may be simple, but it's by no means reasonable. It's as much ideology as the religions it puts down. Arrogant is ANYONE who thinks they have the answer, be it god or no-god. Life is about

    August 19, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Damocles

      Life is about what? Did something shiny catch your eye and you forgot what you were going to say?

      August 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • paralaxvu

      Nope, nothing shiny...my computer just locked up when I tried to finish that sentence. I didn't know it had posted the part I had typed. When I rebooted and came back, I found the sharks were already circling;-) You go ahead and finish the sentence for me, I know you want to. You proved my point quite well, by the way.

      August 19, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Damocles

      Hmmm? No, I was hoping you'd finish it. The shiny comment was meant as a joke. I often ask friends if something shiny caught their eye if they trail off at the end of a sentence.

      August 19, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheese Makers

      What is unreasonable about non-belief in something that has never been proven true?

      August 19, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Len

      Does anyone seriously believe that paralaxvu isn't a Christian troll?

      August 20, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • sam stone

      Atheism (non belief in a god, as opposed to belief in no god) is very reasonable

      August 20, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  8. william mcadoo

    Why don't these atheist's put up a sign about Muslims or the religion of love Islam? Just kidding! about the love part. These pukes don't have the gall to do that, I guess they are worried about getting blown up.

    August 19, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      No, you dipsh!t. The two presidential candidates are Christian and Mormon. Thus, the selection before you. And yes, American Atheists have put up signs, fliers, and billboards concerning Islam. Religious mind jumping to conclusions, who would've thought?

      August 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Hey Willie Mick!

      You cannot handle the truth. When facts, evidence and proof is provided to you on a plate, that what you believe is so far off balance from reality you drool, you drool the lather of religious bile. It has no substance, it lacks intelligence, it's downright disgusting for a human being to be so vile, so oblivious of our natural world and the bounty of wonder, that they pollute our short existence with utter nonsense and inhumanity.

      August 19, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • sam stone

      billy boy....how many muslims are running for president?

      August 20, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • ME II

      They did... There were billboards put up saying something like "You know it's a myth" in Arabic and Hebrew, I think, and they were put in Muslim and Jewish neighborhoods in NYC, I think.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • ME II

      @william mcadoo,
      Ah, here it is:
      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/01/atheist-group-targets-muslims-jews-with-myth-billboards-in-arabic-and-hebrew/

      August 20, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  9. JD

    Atheists have justification in defending their beliefs in fact and not fiction like religion. We are sick and tired of religious believes becoming legislation and the rules of law that others must live by. Religion doesn't prove anything and just tells people to believe or trust them, yet never provides as proof. If you cannot provide any tangible proof in your beliefs those beliefs are not real. A good example of that is the Soul versus Gravity. Christians believe at inception that you are given a soul. Of course you can't see this soul or what it looks or for that matter where it is in the human body. Last, I check when a doctor does a MRI or an X-ray he never said, Here's your heart , oh look their's your soul and some veins. These scans don't pick-up it or see any kind of soul.......cause it's invisible and how convenient for that. However, when you walk off a cliff you know gravity is there when you hit the bottom. You don't see it but when the doctor does that scan on you .....you see and feel the damage gravity did. But you don't see a soul. Religion lacks any tangible proof, yet expects people to believe without it. That is not healthy or good policy.

    August 19, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Simran

      Prism
      "often degrading people to become lower then the beasts"

      Why do you assume that beasts are lower than us? Wouldn't that qualify as arrogance too?

      August 21, 2012 at 6:07 am |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 19, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Observer

      Nuclear bombs change things.

      August 19, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • truth be told

      Prayer is more powerful than any nuclear bomb.

      August 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • Jethro

      The other guy said prayer makes you hoard cats and he's right.

      So how are your 43 cats doing, old girlie?

      August 19, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Damocles

      @tbt

      Reaaalllyy?? Can we put that to the test? I'll drop a bomb on you and you deflect it with your prayershield.

      August 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Observer

      One single nuclear bomb affected nearly every person on the face of the earth.

      No prayer has EVER been PROVED to work and certainly no single prayer had that effect.

      August 19, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's amazing. Every single time TuBeTop posts, it seems even stupider than the last.

      I keep wondering how low it's going to go.

      What a buffoon.

      August 19, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Prospero

      Observer sometimes there just aren't enough bombs.

      August 19, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • JD

      And you have evidence and proof to back this claim up??????

      August 19, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Observer

      JD,

      @Atheism (i.e., truth be told) just spams and isn't confident enough in what is spammed to answer questions.

      August 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • PLEASE DON"T FEED THE TROLL!

      k.thnx

      August 20, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • truth be told

      Do i have evidence? Yes

      August 21, 2012 at 6:07 am |
    • sam stone

      tbt: if you have "evidence", present it. if not, go sod-o-mize yourself

      August 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  11. JT

    Why is it that the vast majority of online posts that I have seen by self-proclaimed atheists not only promote hate, but also do nothing but try to attack and belittle Christians for their beliefs? This "atheist billboard" is yet another example of that. On the other hand, you don't see many Christians constantly attacking, abusing, or insulting atheists... You know what – if you don't believe in God, that's fine - but don't harass others who do, or insult them constantly with your posts. Lastly, I see it as nothing but extreme intellectual arrogance for atheists to proclaim definitively that there is no God. Guess what – you cannot prove that to me, anymore than I can 'prove' to you that God exists (even though I believe He does, for many reasons). Atheists, grow up, get a life, and quit trying to force your NON-belief on others.

    August 19, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Sadly you live in a free country where people not only have the right to not believe in a god, but also have the right to insult, ridicule and belittle those who do. Would that we could go back in time and correct the errors of our fore-fathers and remove the freedom of religious belief (which includes non-belief) and the freedom of speech which includes the freedom to mock.

      Luckily there are many countries in the world where these freedoms are not available. There are even some Middle Eastern countries where not practicing the belief in the way handed down by god can carry a death sentence. In these countries mocking the religion by drawing a cartoon or other ridicule carries a prison sentence or death sentence.

      I'm sorry to inform you that America will probably not be that kind of country for several more years so if you can't possibly move to one of these other countries, I recommend courage in the face of adversity. I know words can be very painful, but they beat the kind of ridicule that was carried out by the catholic church when burning "heretical" scientists who promoted things like the earth is not the center of the solar system.

      August 19, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Nope!

      GFN...
      You sound like an arrogant brat who's taking the liberty that you didn't earn to boast yourself and throw insults at other people. If that's what your new found freedom from Religion did for you, what else is to come in your bag of trash that you call expression of freedom ?
      Watch out, it just may sp-lash back you in your own face!

      August 20, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • sam stone

      JT: When Christiians stop using their beliefs to deny others' their civil rights, come back and talk to me.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • sam stone

      JT: I agree that someone claiming definitely there is no god is arrogant, as arrogant as someone claiming definitelfy there is a god (whose likes and dislikes THEY know). Rather, I see most atheists here claiming that they do not see evidence for such god.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • ME II

      @JT,
      I can't count how many times I've seen non-Christians condemned to eternal torture in hell by Christians.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • sam stone

      "On the other hand, you don't see many Christians constantly attacking, abusing, or insulting atheists"

      Really? You do not see the "believe or perish in a lake of fire" or some such EMPTY PROXY THREATS from believers? If that is the case, you have not been on this blog long.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • tallulah13

      JT, your statement is patently false. I have seen billboards that tell me I will suffer forever if I don't believe exactly what that billboard says to believe. I have been condemned by street preachers. I have been called all sorts of vicious and untrue things by christians on this blog, and gleefully told that I will burn in "hell", simply because I don't believe in your god.

      It's rather hypocritical of you to play the victim while falsely accusing other. And you may have many reasons to believe in your god, but I have just as many reasons not to, there primary being that there isn't a single shred of evidence to support the existence of ANY god.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Nope!

      Do you tell a doctor who tells you "you've got malignant tumor and if you don't stop smoking and start taking treatments you'll die" that he's condemning you?

      August 20, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheese Makers

      Nope,

      The doctor has evidence, you don't....you just claim what you say is true.

      August 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • ME II

      @Nope!
      Cancer is a natural consequence of environmental and biological conditions, hell is, supposedly, God's judgement.

      August 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Nope!

      "You sound like an arrogant brat who's taking the liberty that you didn't earn to boast yourself and throw insults at other people. If that's what your new found freedom from Religion did for you..."

      I can assure you that I was an arrogant brat long before I found my way free of the god meme. However, I'm curious, what precisely was the "insult" that I threw at other people?

      August 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @JT, Lest you think I was just being hyperbolic.... Here are a couple of stories that might interest you...

      11 year old girl burns her holy book in Pakistan and is now in prison. This is lucky for her because they actually wanted to burn her alive to teach her a lesson.
      http://us.cnn.com/2012/08/20/world/asia/pakistan-girl-blasphemy/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
      You could argue that Christians are far more benevolent because the punishment for blasphemy in the bible is just stoning someone to death. (Mark 14:64)

      Here's a guy who killed his family members upholding laws that are clearly stated in the bible.
      http://us.cnn.com/2012/08/20/world/asia/pakistan-honor-confession/index.html?hpt=hp_c2
      Leviticus 20:10, Leviticus 21:9

      August 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      ME II
      You said "Cancer is a natural consequence of environmental and biological conditions, hell is, supposedly, God's judgement"

      But our fallen human nature is our 'natural' inheritance and sin that dwells in human hearts, often degrading people to become lower then the beasts, is the evidence of it.
      If any person looks at themselves and he or she thinks that they are good, and would never do any of the evil things others do... well, then they are deceiving themselves.....because even the good and noble things that we have in our hearts and the good things which we do, are all by the grace of God who put it there, otherwise we would do exactly as those who have already allowed themselves to be abased, giving in to the lust of their lower nature and the enemy of their souls who enticed them... So it is , that no man can boast before God of his own goodness!
      That's' why even the people who have never done any evil things to others, and always have helped their fellow mankind.... if they trust in their own goodness and think they can stand before Holy God who judges the living and the dead by their own good works, they will find themselves without covering, and God will expose to them what is their own righteousness in His sight without Christ whom He provided, but they refused Him and His sacrifice on the cross that they may hide in His righteousness and not their own....
      So, you who keep parroting the same old phrase, gimme a proof.... LOOK AT YOUR OWN DECEITFUL HEART, and let it teach you!.... See what's in it. If you have ever lied, hated or cheated anyone, you are doomed on you own! But who hasn't? We all did, and we all are doomed on our own. But it is pride and love of Self and rebellion against the authority of God that's keeping you from admitting the truth and seeing yourself for what you really are. And Pride is one of most deadly sins which ultimately damns the human soul. You can deny it, spew insults at what I wrote here, but the fact of it will hit hard when your time comes. Either you'll humble yourself now, or you'll do it then! And that's a fact you every one of us has to face and deal with. No exceptions!

      August 20, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      M-t-s :
      if they trust in their own goodness and think they can stand before Holy God who judges the living and the dead, *relying* on their own good works, they will find themselves without covering, and God will expose to them what is their own righteousness in His sight without Christ ...

      August 20, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Observer

      Prism,

      "Either you'll humble yourself now, or you'll do it then! And that's a fact you every one of us has to face and deal with."

      Clearly, you have no idea what the word "fact" means and the difference between that and "opinion".

      August 21, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • sam stone

      Prissy.....blah, blah,blah.....you are just yet another blowhard who purports to speak for god. Go home,boy, and get your shinebox

      August 21, 2012 at 3:46 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      Well, deary, you fail to understand that all your faith is put only in man's opinions.
      But fact is fact whether one knows it as being a fact or not.
      The creation itself bears witness of God who created it, and that's a FACT. The fallen nature that you and I have, and the need of God's redemption is FACT also. Fact denied or not recognized IS NOT fact nullified!

      August 21, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • sam stone

      Prissy: Continually referrring to your OPINION as a FACT don't make it so, no matter how much you want to believe it.

      August 21, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • sam stone

      Also, Prisspot, your faith is supposedly from the bible, which was written by man, so all YOUR faith comes from man.

      August 21, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Yes sam there does seem to be a serious misunderstanding of the meaning of words like "fact" and "truth". Merely referring to the universe as something that was "created" is a big fat lie.

      August 21, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • sam stone

      AtheistSteve: Even if it were "created", to make the leap of logic necessary to equate the "creator" with a god who judges human interaction is sizeable, to say the least

      August 21, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Agreed...however calling it "creation" is a presupposition. It "might" have been created but we have no way of knowing that. And yes all philosophical arguments for a "creator" merely point to a deistic one...there is no causal link to a personal, involved god much less the Abrahamic one. People are not and do not become Christians because of the Kalam Cosmological argument

      August 21, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  12. GodFreeNow

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3lwG4MytSI&w=640&h=360]

    August 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Tom

      Wouldn't you rather use her for sex?

      August 19, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Can't it be both?

      August 19, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Seriously

      No. She looks like the kind that would eventually make a little speech in the morning that'll shrink your dick for all time.

      August 19, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  13. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Really-O?

    A definition of Universe – I could use some help. What do you think?

    Defn: Universe – A topological space that describes our relationships as observers to all objects and events that are, or are in principle, observable by us. It has the property of being a manifold in the "almost everywhere" sense – i.e. except in countably many places.

    It needs definitions for observer and observable, and also a theory of time I think.

    August 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  14. Alicia

    LOL, yeah, join the atheist's that believe in....well, nothing. Great idea!, why didn't I think of it?.

    I couldn't think of a more morbid, dark and depressing activity.

    August 19, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Alicia

      You are the perfect example of someone that comes here and knows nothing about the subject they are criticizing. To me that's just displaying how dysfunctional you are as a human being.
      It is apparent by your post that you disapprove of an atheist's way of thinking yet you don't provide any substance to your thought. So, why or what compelled you to post? Just curious.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Alicia

      Vocal.... what compelled me to post was the same reason you did... because I have a right to.

      Thanks for asking.. have a big day!!.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I think that poor Alicia is very young and has never considered questioning what she was taught. I hope that someday she realizes that there isn't a single shred of evidence to support the existence of any god, therefore belief in any god is very much like believing in elves and unicorns.

      Maybe someday she'll understand that life without delusion is actually pretty nice.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Alicia

      tallulah13....Actually, there exists overwhelming evidence of Gods existence. You refuse to perceive it as such because you, apparently require evidence that involves complicated information (data) which, you're never going to get.

      If you have ever bothered to study God via his word, you'd know that he does not seek you out BECAUSE of the free will HE gave you to pick him. Call it an ego... call it whatever you like, His rules!

      Isn't choice beautiful?.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheese Makers

      Alicia,

      What is your evidence for god that we are just too blind to see, and what is your evidence for the specific christian god....and please don't mention the bible as that is just a circular argument.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Sim34

      Alicia
      Believing in what most likely is real, according to the evidence, is not believing in "nothing".

      August 19, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Alicia: You believe that there is a being capable of creating the universe that is watching over you 24/7, reading your thoughts and waiting to reward you with eternal life if you follow arbitrary rules set down by a specific group of ancient Middle Easterners. I would call that ego. Or delusional.

      There is no evidence for that god, or any god. If you hadn't been indoctrinated into the religion of your particular god, you wouldn't even know he exists. This is why the natives of the Americas had no idea that the christian god existed until MEN built boats and brought their religion, some 1500 years after the alleged death of Christ.

      The true believers of every one of the thousands of gods ever worshiped by humans had that same conviction you do. Your emotions are not proof of god. Your sense of awe at the wonders of the universe is not proof of god. You can certainly chose to believe whatever you want, but I certainly don't have to pretend that what you believe in is rational or real.

      August 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Alicia, you're welcome to believe in whatever you want; I couldn't care less. But stop pretending that your belief amounts to fact. It doesn't. If you and your pals continually have to insist that there is "evidence" or "proof" of the existence of your god in creation or complexity or any other such bullish!t, you can expect to be called on it and asked to put up or shut up.

      Too bad if it gripes your azz.

      August 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • mark

      Typical religious nut. So I guess ignorance and blind faith are better than believing in nothing? You just hit the very reason I loathe people like you. You are a poster child for all that is wrong in this world.

      August 19, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • sam stone

      If you want to read it that way, Alicia, fine.

      Some people think living your life on your knees begging for salvation is pretty dark.

      But. to each their own

      August 20, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • sam stone

      Alicia: There is no apostrophe in "atheists".

      August 20, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • sam stone

      Alicia: So, what you are saying is that you have to believe to believe?

      August 20, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • jimmer

      "I couldn't think of a more morbid, dark and depressing activity"

      Sunday mass.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • jimmer

      "If you have ever bothered to study God via his word, you'd know that he does not seek you out BECAUSE of the free will HE gave you to pick him. Call it an ego... call it whatever you like, His rules!"

      Yes of course, god exists. It is glaringly obvious that god exists because the story book that says he exists, says he exists.

      The intellectual bankruptcy of that position is almost as cute as it is abhorrent.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  15. eroteme

    I have wondered why so many aheists are on the defensive regarding their atheism. From time to time I have read their publications, they consistently are defending themselves.

    August 19, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Erin

      It's because of all the attacking bluehaired bible thumpers.

      August 19, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Can you give me some examples of how the atheist is defending themselves and why?

      August 19, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheese Makers

      It is not so much about defending our position as it is attacking yours. Holding irrational beliefs as being true have serious consequences.

      August 19, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Sim34

      eroteme
      The common belief amongst Christians is that we atheists actually do believe that God is real, but are denying him like petulant, ungrateful, spoiled children. They refuse to see that it's even possible not to see God as being real. That's a misconception that needs correction, wouldn't you agree?

      August 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  16. Jack

    This add is doing exactly what it claims not to do: stir hate. Why can't these atheist ads self-promote without bashing other people's beliefs in an extremely tactless (and bigoted) manner. Jesus provides strength, hope, faith in something better – I'd like to see an atheists show this particular ad to a poor Bangladeshi widow and tell her that her saviour is "useless". Or you can also tell missionaries and aid workers that they are motivated by a "useless saviour". It's bullocks.

    By no means am I a Bangladeshi widow, but Jesus Christ has helped me through a very difficult period in my life and I am forever grateful. My faith in Christ was the difference between night and day. Whereas a purely mechanistic and materialistic worldview cannot offer this.

    August 19, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Jack, I'm happy for you, whatever works for you but it doesn't make it true or real for others like myself. Keep it to yourself, in your churches and your homes but do not attempt to tell me that what you believe is true and real and I must believe in it as well. That's not going to happen.

      August 19, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Really-O?

      TheVocalAtheist may be happy for Jack, but I'm not. Jack seems to be thoughtful and intelligent and I believe he can do better for himself than relying on hope and faith. Face the world as it is, Jack. While things may not be what you wish, they almost certainly are not that bad. That said, a couple of quick points –

      – "Jesus provides strength, hope, faith in something better". Your belief in Jesus provides those things. It could just as well be a belief in Brahma or any other deity or, for that matter, a belief that aliens will rescue all of us (I don't mean to be dismissive – I'm just making a point).

      – Your "Bangladeshi widow" would be better served and show more courage by simply doing what needs to be done.

      – Your "missionaries" would show more morality if they gave aid out of compassion rather than duty.

      – "Jesus Christ has helped me through a very difficult period". You helped yourself through a very difficult period. Give yourself credit, you did the heavy lifting.

      – "...a purely...materialistic worldview cannot offer this." Yes, Jack, it can and does. I and all others who have ever lived without relying on Jesus, as well as those with no supernatural beliefs, who have survived trying times, made it through without Jesus. You may find comfort in Jesus, but that specific belief is in no way necessary.

      August 19, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @Really-O

      I wish that he thought differently for sure, the term happy is subjective.

      August 19, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Really-O?

      @TheVocalAtheist –

      I know it was simply a rhetorical device, as was my first sentence. I meant no offense and apologize if it was taken. Keep up the good work.

      Cheers

      August 19, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Alicia

      It's ironic how atheist's really only target Christians.... how many other faiths exist?... 100's?..1000's?.... it speaks volumes to me.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @Alicia

      Again, you display your ignorance, did you read the article Alicia? Go back if you didn't and then see if your post makes any sense.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Alicia

      @Vocal.. If I were write a substantive post, I'd be wasting my time, because, our (your's and mine) perceptions are what's true differ, and always will differ.
      What's the point?. I'm not here to try and convince you of something and, you will never , ever convince me of your non belief in God.
      Again, what's the point.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheese Makers

      Alicia,

      Atheists attack all religion, you just don't pay attention when it does not involve yours.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @Alicia

      I was merely pointing out that it was apparent that you did not read the article because the article clearly states that other religions have been targeted to get a message, it's not just the Christians. Also, you ask what's the point in us talking? But then further on you have already made your mind up that you wouldn't consider anything I would have to offer. I always thought that's how people learned, by having options, reading and learning, listening to two sides and weighing the evidence. Call me crazy I guess.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Sim34

      Jack
      Doesn't every church sign, Christian TV program, and gospel song that proclaims that Christ is the one true God, and that everyone who doesn't believe in him is doomed to hell bashing other people's beliefs in an extremely tactless (and bigoted) manner? They're bashing the beliefs of non-Christians and they're bashing my beliefs as an atheist. They don't seem to be overly worried about our feelings, right?

      What's more is that many Christians here bash other Christians. Born-agains bash Catholics, Catholics bash Mormons, Mormons bash mainline protestants, and all of them ignore the Orthodox as though they don't even exist, which is also pretty insulting. Jesus' comment about planks vs specks comes to mind.

      August 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      Heroin and Nicotine provide "faith" in something better also, why aren't you advocating their use. Enjoy your religion, but keep your mouth shut about it. We paid for the space. Don't even talk about "INCITING HATE" your ilk has a monopoly on that for many a century now. You are brainwashed, we are not, and we are SICK of hearing from you. You live in a country that leaves you free to meet, chant, kneel, believe in hogwash, that should be enough.

      August 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  17. SitOnThis

    The billboards are great! Hopefully the religious people will read what it says – but I doubt it. It's like trying to change a drug addict's mind about getting high. It's not going to happen, regardless of reason.

    August 19, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  18. JM25

    Many stupid/evil things have been done in the name of faith; however, if people who claimed to be Christian had actually followed Jesus teaching (to love and serve) rather than to do whatever they pleased (kill, enslave, etc.), what a beautiful world this would have been.

    May God reveal himself to all of us and shower us with his love.

    God, help us.

    August 19, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Bob

      JM25, those are nice sentiments but they aren't true to the full teachings of the Christian bible. In that book of nasty, we can also find horrid violence and awful demands like these, so the guidances of the bible are often very far from loving and commonly quite bloodthirsty. Better to give that religion the big flush and toss it out entirely, as more and more people are doing:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

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

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

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

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

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

      August 19, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Sim34

      JM25
      You're assuming that people could sort out the "good" from the "bad" parts of Christianity, but most can't. It's a system that includes both, which is why it doesn't work very well, but even if it did, and everyone behaved well with each other, would that really PROVE that God exists? What if you switched Santa for God in this, told all the kids that Santa is real, gave the presents as usual, and managed to get good behavior out of all of them. Would that prove Santa is real, or that the belief in Santa is effective? Similarly, any Christian community that had strong belief in God and managed to generate good behavior only proves that the belief in God was effective, not that God actually exists, see?

      August 19, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  19. Tolerate

    I'm an atheist and I for one am disgusted with this sign. Attacking people for their beliefs, rather than the beliefs themselves or the harm caused by those beliefs, is not only wrong but counterproductive. This billboard will just be used as evidence by the religious right that atheists are immoral and look down on religion. American Atheists are giving normal atheists a bad name.

    August 19, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Better off Without Godz

      No. I think you are wrong. But anything I say after this won't be taken seriously, so....

      August 19, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Tolerate, would you be so kind as to tell me in your own words what an atheist is?

      August 19, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • JM

      I think the problem with many "Christians" is that we are spending too much time judging others or, as Jesus said, pointing out the speck in someone else's eye when there's a big old plank in our own.

      Most atheists I know aren't the slightest bit immoral; they think; they want proof and they aren't necessarily getting proof by the (meanspirited) behavior of some Christians.

      We are all in this (life) together...

      August 19, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Tolerate, you are so full of sh*it it isn't funny, you are a liar, a Christian liar and a deceiver. Typical for the religious, they will deceive and lie for their beliefs. Pitiful and shameful.

      August 19, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Tolerate

      I don't like this billboard because it is blatantly insulting to pretty much anyone who's religious. Just becuase someone is religious doesn't make them a bad person.

      People like you, a vocal minority who does nothing but hate people unlike them, are a detriment to whatever group you claim to represent. How ironic that you accuse me of being a "Christian liar and a deceiver" but you're the one giving atheists a bad name.

      August 19, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Tolerate are you a Christian or an atheist?

      August 19, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheese Makers

      Tolerate,

      While these billboards are offensive, intentionally so, and we can argue whether it furthers the cause or hinders it. Opposing a belief or idea is not hate. No one is saying that the religious should not be allowed to believe of that they should be punished for their beliefs...if they did you could claim hate. This is saying that in the marketplace of ideas and beliefs, religion is ridiculous. If I oppose a political idea or position it is not hate. If I try and harm or persecute another person for holding that position or idea that would be hate. Stop equating the two, you are muddying the water.

      August 19, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Well Tolerate, silence speaks for itself. I have asked you a few questions, you answered none. What's telling is my last question asking if you were either Christian or an atheist. You didn't answer. I'm betting it's because you are a Christian and you just got caught in a lie and you didn't want to have to lie again because your soul would be tarnished.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Sim34

      Tolerate
      Funny, I never see any Jewish signs urging people to convert, or Muslim, Hindu, Taoist, or any other faith's. Yet, almost every church I've ever seen has bold proclamations that their's is the only true faith, and that not converting to it means doom for the non-believer. Where's the "toleration" in that?

      August 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  20. Andrew

    I have to agree the billboard's message just sound like cheap shots. No one takes cheap shots seriously... well no one of substance that is.
    Regardless, I believe as a agnostic I'd like those trying to represent the anti-religious crowd in a more adult manner and not the political bullcrap vibe the billboards give off. All that crap does is further reinforce the ignorant concepts behind atheism/agnosticism.

    August 19, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Better off Without Godz

      You are correct, but I LOVE the billboards anyways!! Sure, it works against, but also for the cause of helping to dismantle religion.

      August 19, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Andrew, would you be so kind as to tell me in your own words what an atheist is?

      August 19, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Just as I thought Andrew, you are a blatant liar. You are a typical Christian hypocrite displaying deception and lies.

      August 19, 2012 at 11:07 am |
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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.