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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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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. Jack

    Greetings folks. Everyone is cordially invited to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    August 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  2. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Chadwatch-

    By profession I sit kind of squarely between molecular biology and mathematics. After hearing Chad on sin and abortion today I want to offer any services I can. Where's the recruiting office?

    August 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Chadwatch, a public service, is an open source institution dedicated to keeping Chad reined in through fact-checking, parody, and occasional unapologetic snarkiness.

      You're in.

      August 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • sam stone

      i am an accountant. i cannot supply molecular biology or mathematics expertise, but i can excel at snarkiness, if not downright vulgarity. can i join?

      August 23, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Your skills will serve particularly well on the Snarkiness Subcommittee. Welcome.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I would appreciate your consideration of my membership. I specialize in generalized bit@hiness and vitriol; I am well-versed in invective and profanity.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      An impressive resume, Tom Tom, come on in.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I am honored. Is there an oath to which I must swear? What do I put my hand on when I swear it?

      August 23, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Initiation rituals? After watching Chad's stuff on sin, abortion, and human life in general I washed my hands. It didn't seem to be enough, so I took a long hot bath.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The 'initiation' ritual is to debate a straightforward topic with Chad and watch him go through the evolutions of creating layer upon layer of semantic arguments, using definitions of words that are peculiar to himself while wading through a deluge of Chadisms like:

      @yourhandle: something you said
      @Chad: some blithe and smug comment

      ==> more smug Chadisms like
      Sigh ....
      I'm still waiting for you to explain ....
      Why don't you do some reading ....
      hmmm ... no .... try again ....

      I am confident that if any of us met him in person he's a decent guy. Here, though, the Chadliness gets to be pretty irritating.

      Chad's favorite topics:
      – The big bang and causality: if science can't say what happened before the big bang, ergo, there must be a God
      – Evolution: sometimes he's into a theist interpretation of evolution, sometimes he's anti evolution
      – Objective versus subjective morality: the morals only come from God nonsense
      – How can atheists know anything about religion: ignoring the fact that most of us here were likely brought up in a Christian tradition and after looking at many spiritual alternatives have rejected them all as hokum.

      I admire the fact that Chad has the courage of his convictions and when he is genuine, I enjoy talking with him.

      August 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  3. Patrick

    notice that they did not insult Islam....Why? Christians and Mormons are not going to slit their Thwots(sic) so if they owned a pair we should be seeing a new bill board right? But we know that won't happen

    August 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • ME II

      Not sure it was insulting but they already put up billboards targeting Muslims and Jewish... 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.

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/01/atheist-group-targets-muslims-jews-with-myth-billboards-in-arabic-and-hebrew/

      August 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • laura

      That's right Patrick In America should our faith be slammed by hate? Guess if billboard for mohamed they're afraid get charged with hate crime

      August 22, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Or perhaps, Patrick, it is because one candidate is Protestant Christian and one is Mormon. I know you guys harbor a healthy persecution complex, but you will actually find considerable criticism of Islam among atheist organizations (Sam Harris, for example, has been accused of being intolerant of Islam). Of course, these things are only relevant if you're the kind of person who bases your opinions on facty things.

      August 22, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • sam stone

      patrick:

      1. they have put up billboards ridiculing islam

      2. this is about the presidential candidates. how many muslims are running for president of the united states.

      3. feeling a bit put-upon? are you one of those folks who feels all persecuted about following jeebus?

      August 23, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • sam stone

      laura: when the faithful try codifying their faith into our secular laws, this action is not "hate" (as you persecution happy christians like to call it), it is self defense

      August 23, 2012 at 8:15 am |
  4. Chad

    @Mass Debater "To say that it's an amazing concept for an ignorant goat herder to claim, when faced with answering the origins of the universe, that his God just must have always existed and had no begining is in fact what you would expect from somone who had no answers and was just inventing it as they went along."

    @Chad "utter nonsense, the vast majority of "gods" had a beginning of some sort, as that would have been the frame of reference that the human had.. everything they knew of had a birth.

    @Mass Debater "Infact this concept of always having existed is not new and not mutually exclusive to the God of Abaham and is found in almost every other creation myth story such as the one Moses would have learned growing up as a prince of Egypt "At first there was only Nun, the primal ocean of chaos that contained the beginnings of everything to come."

    @Chad "nun is a "watery abyss," from which gods arose... not a god itself

    @Mass Debater "Ah yes, the watery abyss that contained the beginings of everything, not unlike your supposed God you claim existed before everything else. Are you so dense Chad that you are not understanding the parralel i'm drawing? That if you can claim your God didn't have a begining then I can claim my chaos abyss didn't either, if you claim your God is all powerful I can claim my abyss is all powerful

    @Chad "The nun watery abyss is an excellent example of what you would expect a creation myth to look like.
    The "earth"(the watery abyss) is eternal, while the gods have origin.. That parallels our human experience, where the planet is eternal (that's what they would have thought at the time) and the persons (gods) had a beginning (we are all born).

    What makes the Hebrew creation narrative SO UNIQUE, is that it is flipped. God has no beginning and no end, while the earth (universe) is the created.

    quite a feat for a bunch of ignorant goat herders to have invented that eh?
    😉

    August 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad "utter nonsense, the vast majority of "gods" had a beginning of some sort, as that would have been the frame of reference that the human had.. everything they knew of had a birth."

      My understanding is that there are other myths that portray an eternal progenator/first god.
      "in the Orphic cosmogony the unaging Chronos produced Aether and Chaos"
      "Some similar ideas appear in the Hindu cosmology which is similar to the Vedic. In the beginning there was nothing in the universe but only darkness and the divine essence who removed the darkness and created the primordial waters."
      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theogony)

      August 22, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      We at Chadwatch have an anthropologist on our board, and can vouch for the fact that there are many creation stories which involve a creator god who existed before the earth. Sorry, Chad, your myth of choice is not so unique. Nice try, though.

      August 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Chad

      ME II "My understanding is that there are other myths that portray an eternal progenator/first god. "in the Orphic cosmogony the unaging Chronos produced Aether and Chaos"
      @chad "Chronos doesnt age because he is supposed to be time.. but he did have an origin,
      According to the mystery religion of Orphism, in the beginning there existed Chaos, Night, and Darkness (Erebos). Night lays an egg, from which Eros ("se xual passion") hatches. Eros is the father (sometimes also the mother) of several generations of gods, leading up to the current order.

      ME II ""Some similar ideas appear in the Hindu cosmology which is similar to the Vedic. In the beginning there was nothing in the universe but only darkness and the divine essence who removed the darkness and created the primordial waters."
      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theogony)
      @Chad "hmm.. no.. origin again..
      Hesiod's Theogony is a large-scale synthesis of a vast variety of local Greek traditions concerning the gods, organized as a narrative that tells how they came to be and how they established permanent control over the cosmos. It is the first Greek mythical cosmogony. The initial state of the universe is chaos, a dark indefinite void considered as a divine primordial condition from which everything else appeared. Theogony is a part of Greek mythology which embodies the desire to articulate reality as a whole; this universalizing impulse was fundamental for the first later projects of speculative theorizing

      you never actually look anything up do you..

      August 22, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      Where in your quote did Chronos have an origin?
      My understanding is that Chronos "produced Aether and Chaos" whereas your quote only starts at Chaos.

      If you had read further down the wiki page from your quote, you would have seen where I "looked up" my quote (not that wiki is a decent source). Where is states,

      "In the Theogony the initial state of the universe, or the origin (arche) is Chaos,..."

      "By contrast [to Theogony], in the Orphic cosmogony the unaging Chronos produced Aether and Chaos..."

      "Some similar ideas [to the Orphic cosmogony] appear in the Hindu cosmology which is similar to the Vedic."

      you never actually look anything up do you..

      August 22, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Chad

      hmm.. no.. again..

      if you do some reading, you'll see that even the forerunner of Chronos (Eros) had a beginning.. which makes sense from a mythological perspective. If you are going to make something up, it would be patterned after the reality you see around you. The earth being always there, and gods having beginnings..

      According to Hesiod (c. 700 BC), one of the most ancient of all Greek sources, Eros was a primordial god, that is, he had no parents. He was the fourth god to come into existence, after Chaos, Gaia (the Earth), and Tartarus (the Abyss or the Underworld).[5]
      Homer, curiously, does not mention Eros. However, Parmenides (c.400BC), one of the pre-socratic philosophers, makes Eros the first of all the gods to come into existence.[6]
      The Orphic and Eleusinian Mysteries featured Eros as a very original god, but not quite primordial, since he was the child of Night (Nyx).[3] Aristophanes (c. 400BC), influenced by Orphism, relates the birth of Eros and then of the entire human race:
      At the beginning there was only Chaos, Night (Nyx), Darkness (Erebus), and the Abyss (Tartarus). Earth, the Air and Heaven had no existence. Firstly, blackwinged Night laid a germless egg in the bosom of the infinite deeps of Darkness, and from this, after the revolution of long ages, sprang the graceful Love (Eros) with his glittering golden wings, swift as the whirlwinds of the tempest. He mated in the deep Abyss with dark Chaos, winged like himself, and thus hatched forth our race, which was the first to see the light.[7]

      August 22, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      Sure you aren't thinking of :
      "Cronus
      Not to be confused with Chronos, the personification of time."
      In the most classic and well known version of Greek mythology, Cronus or Kronos[1] (Ancient Greek: Κρόνος Krónos) was the leader and the youngest of the first generation of Ti.tans, divine descendants of Gaia, the earth, and Uranus, the sky."
      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cronus)

      One, among many apparently conflicting "fragments," on the Theoi site:
      "Orphica, Rhapsodies Fragment 66 :
      'This Khronos (Unaging Time), of immortal resource, begot Aither (Light) and great Khaos (Chasm or Air), vast this way and that, no limit below it, no base, no place to settle. Then great Khronos fashioned from (or in) divine Aither a bright white egg [from which Phanes was born].'
      (http://www.theoi.com/Protogenos/Khronos.html)

      August 22, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      still on the antidisestablishmentarianism kick?

      Cat got your tongue?

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/30/christian-groups-allege-threats-to-religious-freedom-in-anti-chick-fil-a-campaigns/comment-page-13/

      August 22, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • ME II

      Ex Nihilo Creation
      "The central fact of the creation from nothing, or ex nihilo, creation myth type is a supreme deity, existing alone in a pre-creation emptiness or void, who con-sciously creates an organized universe onhis own. Thus the God of the Hebrews in Genesis simply decides to create,and He 'made Heaven and Earth.' The ex nihilo creation is firmly imbedded inthe collective psyche in the parts of the world dominated by the monotheistic re-ligions; Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, religions centered on an all-powerful su-preme deity who embodies in himself all of the elements assigned to various dei-ties in polytheistic systems. But the ex nihilo creation is not lim-ited to the three Abrahamic religions and is not the exclusive product of the mono-theistic cultures. In fact, it is ubiquitous in all parts of the world and is arguably the most common of the five types. It existed in ancient Egypt, in the ancient Rig Veda of India, and is present to this day in the mythologies of many animis-tic cultures of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and North America." [emphasis added]

      – Leeming, David A. (2010). Creation Myths of the World (2nd ed.) (http://www.scribd.com/doc/39813719/Creation-Myths-of-the-World)

      August 22, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • ME II

      ...page 2

      August 22, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Chad, if you would just DO SOME READING perhaps you wouldn't appear so foolish....

      August 22, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chadwatch,

      your services were sorely needed earlier today.

      August 22, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      It's nice to be needed and appreciated, but I think in this case ME II easily bested The Chad at his own game of cut and paste, except ME II outclassed our friend in two ways – 1. he cited the source (and the primary source, at that); and 2. he in no way exaggerated or misrepresented the author's intended meaning.

      August 22, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chadwatch,

      no, not here. ME II can merrily joust with the Chad.

      I refer to the anti-abortion thread (p2).

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/22/anti-abortion-movement-stands-by-no-exceptions-orthodoxy-amid-controversy/comment-page-2/#comments

      August 22, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      notGOP, assuming that the earlier debate with The Chad involved abortion and rape issues, we at Chadwatch offer the following:

      Why would we trust someone who so clearly cannot distinguish reality from magic to handle the complex and subtle shades of grey characteristic of moral issues?

      August 22, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Indeed – which is why the Chadwatch service is valuable.

      Yesterday the Chad dropped a clanger on the establishment clause in the 1st amendment. Somehow he had it completely backwards saying:
      " "respecting" refers to prohibiting the government from restricting the establishment of a religion, as it clear from reading the entire amendment."

      I've entreated with him to address his treasonous disestablishmentarianism multiple times today, but sadly, he runs away each time.

      August 22, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Chad

      this may help you understand it better....
      As you can plainly see, it refers to (as I said before) " "respecting" refers to prohibiting the government from restricting the establishment of a religion, as it clear from reading the entire amendment."


      The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the federal government can set up a church. Neither can pa ss laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or insti tutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect "a wall of separation between church and State."

      August 22, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      I'm delighted that you have looked it up and hope you now realize that the 1st amendment is not about:
      "prohibiting the government from restricting the establishment of a religion"

      But rather is about:
      "prohibiting the government from designating (establishing) a state religion"

      The meanings are quite different, which if you have read and comprehended the tract you pasted, you will agree.

      August 22, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Chad

      you better read that again partner...

      from ACLU:
      AMENDMENT 1
      Congress can’t make any law that:
      Favors one religion over another religion, or no religion at all, or opposes any religion;
      Stops you from practicing your religion as you see fit;

      August 22, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      face it buddy. Yesterday you said something really dumb. You didn't understand the context of the word "establishment" as meaning "state religion" and it appears that you still don't. It's OK. We all make mistakes and in our world the notion of an "established church" as meaning the same as a "state religion" is archaic. Either let it go or own up to it.

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
      means
      Congress shall pass no law regarding the designation of a state religion

      Established religion == state religion == zero separation of church and state

      This is what the words mean. I think you understand the free exercise clause well enough but you were clueless about "establishment".

      This page might help. I tried to direct you to it earlier in the thread we used yesterday.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_religion

      August 22, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      there's a section at the bottom of that wiki page labeled: "Former state churches in British North America"

      There's a potted history there of the history of "establishment of religion" in the colonies.

      August 22, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Chad

      hmm... no.. try again..

      August 22, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Warning from Chadwatch: Chad is trying to draw you into a purely semantic argument, which he will likely redirect when backed into a corner.

      We submit the following: Regardless of the semantic details of the First Amendment, the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the "establishment clause" is interpreted to mean that the US Government may not endorse or promote any religion, and this includes participating in a religion through any public or tax-supported medium. Likewise, the government may not limit the practice of any religion so long as it is not at odds with the statement above.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Chad

      you could always try this,

      find where the US government used the First Amendment to justify restricting the establishment of a religion

      Good Luck!! dont give up!! you can do it!!

      August 22, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Eegad! notGOP, you are correct. The Chad totally can't grasp the meaning of the word "establish" in that phrase.

      Chad, sometimes we at Chadwatch fear you are hopeless. Let us spell it out for you: the government does not interfere with people establishing churches all around the country – that is not in dispute – it is simply not allowed to establish an official religion for the country.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      ...and the stupefying thing is how The Chad can be so smug and condescending while demonstrating that he completely fails to grasp the concept.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chadwatch.

      Yup. At this point I'm really just trying to help. No one else will ever read this.

      The misunderstanding is understandable.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Chad

      Really-O " the government does not interfere with people establishing churches all around the country – that is not in dispute."

      @Chad "precisely, because of the first amendment.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      the purpose of the first amendment IS to restrict (actually prohibit) the establishment of a religion.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      (I think it's funny that you believe Chadwatch is Really-O)

      Good luck, notGOP. I've been in your position before and it ain't easy.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chadwatch,

      I've done my best to help. I'll stop trying soon.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chadwatch-

      We must train the faithful if they are trainable. Let's not give up on Chad.

      August 23, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • ME II

      The founding fathers could have done a better job with this one, but my understanding is that the establishment clause, along with free exercise clause effectively prohibit the government, for the most part, from mucking about with religions, either encouraging them or discouraging them.

      "Two clauses in the First Amendment guarantee freedom of religion. The establishment clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. It enforces the "separation of church and state." Some governmental activity related to religion has been declared consti[.]tutional by the Supreme Court. For example, providing bus transportation for parochial school students and the enforcement of "blue laws" is not prohibited. The free exercise clause prohibits the government, in most instances, from interfering with a person's practice of their religion." [emphasis added]
      (http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/first_amendment)

      @!aGOPer, and @Chadwatch,
      Thanks for the compliments earlier.

      August 23, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Chad

      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV "the purpose of the first amendment IS to restrict (actually prohibit) the establishment of a religion."

      @Chad "sigh..
      First amendment does many things, two of which are:
      1. stops the US government from prohibiting the establishment of any religion, and the free exercise of it by people. Govt cant't say "that religion is illegal"
      2. stops the US government from establishing a state mandated religion. They cant say "Christianity is the official state religion"

      good grief.. get it now?

      August 23, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Good morning Chad,

      why did you need to be so stubborn here?

      Yes, your number 2.
      2. stops the US government from establishing a state mandated religion. They cant say "Christianity is the official state religion"

      Is exactly what "no establishment of religion" means, including any religion other than Christianity too. For them it was more about not choosing a particular Christian sect – Congregational, Episcopal, Dutch Reformed, Presbyterian, Quaker, or God forbid, Catholic!

      In your number 1:
      1. stops the US government from prohibiting the establishment of any religion, and the free exercise of it by people. Govt cant't say "that religion is illegal"

      if you will change the word "establishment" to be "formation" or similar word, then yes, absolutely, I agree.

      Your willful pride and stubborness here have dragged this out unnecessarily.

      In the context of the amendment the definition of establishement is not creating, founding or forming, but very specifically this definition from the online OED:

      Establishment, n.
      c. Now usually, the conferring on a particular religious body the position of a state church.

      1788 J. Priestley Lect. Hist. v. lvii. 449 There is no place where there are more forms of religion openly professed, and without the establishment of any of them than Pennsylvania.

      I am very happy to let this discussion go. We have spent a lot more time on it than necessary, but this topic is very important to me. The first amendment is the most important of all the amendments – which is why it, and particularly the establishment clause is first.

      August 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  5. God Exists and there is proof

    To all ATHIESTS: Here is the proof you are looking for that God exists. Go up on top of a building, a really high one, and then jump off. I ASSURE you as soon as you hit the floor and death occurs, the truth will make itself MANIFEST that God, angels, hell, heaven ALL exists. I DARE you to do it if you really want the visible PROOF.

    August 22, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • nojinx

      LoL!

      If you do this and you are an atheist, you will not find yourself dissappointed.
      If you do this and you are a theist, you will not find yourself dissappointed.

      In the case of death, there will no longer be a self to find.

      That is why I love science. It keeps us from deluding ourselves. Some of us, anyway.

      August 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • ME II

      Why don't you go docu.ment that experiment then get some fellow believers to repeat the experiment to verify it, then get back to us with your findings.

      August 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      Push off your most beloved person. Tell us how it goes. Oh...... tell them to take pictures of the angels for us.

      August 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • sam stone

      Gee, God Exists....if you want to be with Jeebus, he is only one very tall step away. Do you have a sidearm?

      August 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheese Makers

      "I ASSURE you as soon as you hit the floor and death occurs, the truth will make itself MANIFEST that God, angels, hell, heaven ALL exists."

      And since you have not done this yourself and have never gathered evidence from anyone who has, exaclty HOW are your going to ASSURE me?

      August 22, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  6. Kenny

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6axdZAxyt2g&w=640&h=360]

    August 22, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • b4bigbang

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

      August 22, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  7. Thus Spoke Zarathustra

    [God] was equivocal. He was also indistinct. How angry he got with us, this wrath-snorter, because we understood him badly. But why did he not speak more cleanly? And if it was the fault of our ears, why did he give us ears that heard him badly? If there was mud in our ears—well, who put it there? He bungled too much, this potter who had never finished his apprenticeship. But that he wreaked revenge on his pots and creations for having bungled them himself, that was a sin against good taste.

    -Nietzsche

    August 21, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • manbearpig

      Nice quote.

      August 21, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  8. Thus Spoke a Modest Proposer

    When you encounter someone who professes to be an Atheist, take the most personally advantageous action: eat him. Atheists are high in protein and a good source of B vitamins and amino acids. They tend to be greasy, so otherwise watch your intake of fats and cholesterol. Since Atheists are usually quite young and generally are the product of a somewhat privileged background, they seldom will require tenderization-– though the rarely encountered elderly Atheist can be among the toughest of meats, rendered fit for eating only by stewing or by incorporation into sausage.

    They are also good in casseroles and fricassees.

    Shield your activities in this matter from the attention of the authorities until Atheists are recognized as game animals by the state. Remember, you have nothing to fear except law enforcement as long as you have braised, roasted or broiled the Atheist to an internal temperature of at least 180 degrees.

    Do not be dissuaded from the enjoyment of freshly slaughtered Atheist by any nagging “Moral Sense”. Your “Moral Sense” is nothing more than a genetic imprint, a primitive survival advantage you have long outgrown. There is nothing “wrong” with killing and eating Atheists. There are, after all, no objective moral values in the universe.

    Some within our movement have brought to my attention that since only a small percentage of the US population identifies as Atheist, a domestic shortage will soon ensue. The problem of the importation of foreign stock is a real one, and though logistically challenging, should be met with by the harvest of readily available European animals. Atheists have become common in Europe since the great conflagrations of WW II and the Cold War. The horrors perpetrated by Nietzschean inspired Fascism are not easily forgotten. And the long and grueling Cold War– a necessary defense against the wholly Atheistic social and economic philosophy of Marx and the realized atrocities of Stalin, et al.–has left Europe moribund and stagnate. The irony that so many Europeans have responded to the historical atrocities of Fascism and Communism by embracing Atheism themselves is delicious. I suggest we take advantage of that delicious irony: literally.

    Remember, God is Dead. We are Beyond Good and Evil.

    Bon a pet.it.

    August 21, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • manbearpig

      This is...funny?

      August 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Observer

      Eating atheists seems to fit in fine with people who symbolically drink blood and eat bodies in church.

      August 21, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Observer,

      no, not symbolically. The human sacrifice is literally consumed – at least in the Catholic tradition.

      Is this 'Modest' guy* also the "Oil of Man" guy?

      * He has much to be 'modest' about.

      August 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  9. Atheism Is Healthy for Humans, But Not for Any Other Living Things Since No Other Living Things Give a $H|T Whether There Is a Magical Sky Fairy

    .

    August 21, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
  10. TUVIA

    B"H

    IT IS TIME FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO MAKE THEIR DECISION ON THIS SPEECH
    WAKE UP AMERICAN PEOPLE, TIME TO STOP SLEEPING

    CLICK ON LINK FOR VIDEO BELOWl

    Barack Obama vs the People of Israel

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=947by3X6_RU&w=640&h=360]

    ----------

    B"H

    LET MY PEOPLE GO – FREE JONATHAN POLLARD

    August 21, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Tubby, get a grip! Jonathan Pollard is a spy. He's in jail where he belongs.

      August 21, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • sam stone

      Which people are you speaking of?

      August 21, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Another post full of drivel. "Wake up, people!"

      August 21, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  11. Believe it or not....

    From what I've seen, the purpose of every religion is (1) Control the minds and behavior of their own flock of believers (2) interpret everything that happens in the known world through their own religions filter, (3) assign the belief of "...it's god's will" to what they can't understand (before science explains it..) (4) Deny or try to cover up the hypocrisy of their own leaders behaviors, gatherings of wealth or abuse of woman and children (5) steal as many sheep as possible from everyone elses flock.

    If all people are sheep looking for shepherd, please keep looking. Man made religions are not the answer.

    August 21, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  12. Commonsense

    Meh. The billboards will do little more than rile up the easily offended. Still I wouldn't mind seeing some of these around here. It would a nice change from all the Church and preachy billboards.

    August 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  13. Mass Debater

    How many Christians would have a problem paying a tax that would pay for the construction of a 10 commandments monument for each federal courthouse in America creating thousands of construction jobs?

    How many Christians would have a problem paying a tax that would pay for the construction of Unicorn crossings for each federal highway creating thousands of construction jobs?

    What do these two questions have in common?

    August 21, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • J.W

      It is always good to have more people working.

      August 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Yes to the unicorn crossings! Yes also to new uniforms for the leprechaun crossing guards! As for the 10 commandments, I feel every good and decent Christian should have them tattooed on his/her ass!

      August 21, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • nojinx

      Or face. Tattoo them in a widening spiral around one's nose. To remind them when they clean up in the morning.

      August 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  14. Honey Badger Dont Care

    "The basic premise of all of these is that something caused the Universe to exist, and this First Cause must be God. It has been used by various theologians and philosophers over the centuries, from the ancient Greeks Plato and Aristotle to the medievals (e.g., St. Thomas Aquinas) and beyond. It is also applied by the Spiritist doctrine as the main argument for the existence of God."

    First of all, it doesn't HAVE to be a god. There are many competing theories on how the BB came to occur. You really dont understand the BBT anyway based on your description. It seems like you just did a cut and paste from a indiotic creationist site.

    Secondly, lets just say that we can say that a god did it. Which god? You have no way to diferentiate one from another. It could be the war god yaweh or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. You have no idea so all you do is guess and fill in the gaps with, "my god did it."

    August 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • sane

      And of course, the question as to who created "god" is being ignored for convenience.

      August 21, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  15. correctlycenter

    What's "silly" is the belief that there is no God. Obviously, when you look at the heavens and the earth and all living things on it, it seems pretty "silly" to think that nothing can create everything! Read Genesis chapter 1 and numerous times in God's word (the bible) that He created all things! God bless...

    August 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Huh, neither correct nor centered...

      August 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • sam stone

      not as silly as to believe that creator and "god" have to be synonymous

      August 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      How do we know God created the universe? Because the Bible says so!
      How do we know the Bible is correct on this? Because it is God's word!
      How do we know it is God's word? Because the Bible says so!

      The logic is indisputable.

      August 21, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • annoyed

      "God's word" wasn't written by God. So how is it his word? It was written by a human that witnessed what happened. Who's to say that it wasn't originally written as a book to entertain? How is ANYTHING in the bible believable at all? If anything, the bible should be used as a guide to better your life, not to tell you that you are pigeon-holed into believing one religion or else your going to "hell". And I guess you havent heard of Charles Darwin or his theory of evolution. See now there is some REAL evidence about how the world was created. A book recounting events based off of the memory of a third party is hardly evidence. Have you ever talked to God? Has he answered your prayers? If God loves everyone then why did the Sikh Temple shooting and the Aurora shooting happen within basically the same week? Killing innocent people is not what a loving God does. But hey, if being religious keeps you pacified, happy, and not asking questions about ANYTHING going on around you, then be my guest and be a sheep. Just know that you are wrong.

      August 21, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • annoyed

      There is zero difference between a religion and a cult. At least over time the cult gets the hint and kills themselves.

      August 21, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Topher 2

      Correctlycenter
      One, I do want to look at the heaven u r talking about. Can u please show me the HEAVEN???? All I see above me is the sky, with sun and moon and stars and an occasional view of venus.
      When I look at the earth, I just sit in awe wondering how each of these creatures and plants have evolved to be what they are. And that awe makes me want to learn more, not shut my mind by believing they were made by God. So you see, there is a difference in perspective – that is all there is to what u see and what I see.
      And you may find solace wherever u want – u found it in Bible. I found it in another book (The Monk who sold his Ferrari) – yup, u may think it is silly. But that is what it is. It made me think better and then led me on to better books. Doesn't mean I should start worshipping the book, does it???

      August 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Praise books!! ... wait... no?.. maybe..?..

      August 21, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Austin

      I have a simple method for you to know that God exists. Pray. I can hear you laughing right now, but it's no laughing matter. The Spirit of God is a real power than can be felt if we invite him into our lives. He brings peace, comfort and true understanding to our minds. I promise you, that if you kneel beside your bed, humble yourself and ask with real intent to know if God exists, not to mock him but simply to know the truth, you will receive your answer by the power of the Holy Ghost. There is nothing more I can say than this: I know that God exists, because he has made it manifest to me through his Holy Spirit. I know that anyone can learn this truth for themselves if they apply the same principle.

      August 21, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Holy crap it's Ray Comfort! Next we'll hear all about bananas next and how they're apparently the atheist nightmare.

      August 21, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @HG,

      I love the banana allegory, particularly the handle bit, especially when monkeys open bananas from the other end.

      August 21, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do they? Well, I learn something new every day.

      Unless I limit myself to the Chard's posts. Then I regress.

      August 21, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Yes, apparently they have been observed to squeeze the 'non-handle' end until the skin splits. Then they peel it. This process is easier and more reliable than trying to use the handle by snapping the skin – which sometimes breaks the top quarter of the banana off.

      It's true. Try it out next time you peel a banana!

      August 22, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Austin,

      Your argument boils down to "if you believe, you will then believe".

      I did, and I don't. Look up "confirmation bias".

      August 22, 2012 at 12:27 am |
  16. Prophets R Us

    I don't believe in atheists...

    August 21, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • sam stone

      Good for you

      August 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Len

      and I don't believe in anyone who says that they KNOW God exists for certain.

      August 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • ME II

      @Prophets R Us,
      Pray harder... maybe they will be revealed to you.

      August 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Profits Am U, you should fall to your knees and kiss the ground atheists walk on. Without us there would be no science or knowledge outside your nonsense Bible.

      August 21, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
  17. Prophets R Us

    And Atheists continue their push as a religion. Yes... A religion... Their mind is their God, their beliefs their moral code, heck they even have obnoxious evangelists... Hence this billboard...

    August 21, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • WASP

      @r us: religion- that's a big no
      moral code- only because we don't have some book telling us how not to be moral.
      evangicals- now that is funny, we don't anything to say other than "use your own mind and stop being lead around like a bull with a ring in its nose.

      human history without religion- disease would be a thing of the past along with plenty of genetic illness
      resourses wouldn't be getting depleted as quickly due to focus on variety of renewible resources.
      exploration and information gathering of both earth and space would take priorty to further human reach and knowledge.

      human history if religion ruled- death, nothing else to be said because religion even today in our "modern" world tries to sufficate scienctific achievement if it doesn't fit in with their idea of how things should be.

      August 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • WASP

      @r us: religion- that's a big no
      moral code- only because we don't have some book telling us how not to be moral.
      evangicals- now that is funny, we don't anything to say other than "use your own mind and stop being lead around like a bull with a ring in its nose.

      human history without religion- disease would be a thing of the past along with plenty of genetic illness
      resourses wouldn't be getting depleted as quickly due to focus on variety of renewible resources.
      exploration and information gathering of both earth and space would take priorty to further human reach and knowledge.

      human history if religion ruled- death, nothing else to be said because religion even today in our "modern" world religion tries to sufficate scienctific achievement if it doesn't fit in with their idea of how things should be.

      August 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Len

      We have confidence in reason and logic. We don't worship these thinks like religious people worship stuff.

      August 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      My mind exists, your god does not.

      My morals are better than than your god's.

      August 22, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • Finally see the Light

      WASP is right everyone. All the evils of the world, caused by Christians. All the death and carnage, caused by Christians. The root of all bad things, Christians. Chritians are sooooo stupid, all of them. All of them are sheep, and just dimby dumb dumbd who don't even know hoe to spell or breath or eat or anything. We should all be ATHEIST!!!! They know everything and can prove it too. How do Atheist know it all, they figured it out on their own!!! Cause Atheist are the smartesd people. They are all super smart, like WASP. People like John Wooden, Anne Rice, Pavlav Havel, Shakespeare, every single president, including Jefferson and especially Washington are stupid stupid stupid. I thank ....well I thank the universe for the TRUTH brought to us by Atheist!!! Christians should all be crucified cause they are evil dumb people!

      August 22, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • WASP

      @see the light:
      1) a lot of those you used as examples.........weren't christian much less extremely religious; he11 jefferson made his own bible without all the magic BS and washington along with others formed a secular nation due to the oppression they knew under the church of england.
      2) atheists don't know everything, but have you truly spent any time contemplating how the universe was formed or "god did it" was good enough for you?
      3) so you are he type of religious zealot that i normally avoid conversations with, but WTH yes in your current state of mind you are acting on a strictly animal based mentality of "i'm being attacked" thus attempting to defend yourself with such a weak method of ridiculing the person you disagree with instead of having an adult conversation. so yes in that aspect i am more intelligent seeing i along with millions of others can discuss things without needing to belittle the other person, especially when the other person is correct in his ana1ysis of a situation based on historical facts and not based on a book that its' origins and means are questioned and understood less and less each year due to advancements in science that save lives..............
      oh and on that note just how many lives have your god saved? medicine invented by humans have saved billions throughout history, still waiting on your god to save just one.

      August 22, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @WASP,

      you say: "washington along with others formed a secular nation due to the oppression they knew under the church of england."

      How exactly was George Washington "oppressed" by the Church of England? He was a vestryman (a church volunteer) for crying out loud.

      August 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  18. Can't we all just CO-exist

    This is no better than the strictly religious people who try to shove their beliefs down your throat.
    As someone who does not believe in a celestial being of any sort, this is completely rude and unnecesary.
    It makes me very ashamed to call myself a part of a group who says they are fighting for acceptance, when in reality, they just want to bash the religions of others.
    I apologize for this behaviour. I wish we could accept that every one has their own beliefs, but apparently we are too daft or too stubborn to admit something so simple.

    August 21, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Mario

      I completely agree.

      August 21, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Peace, Love and Happiness is my religion

      well said- I completely agree

      August 23, 2012 at 12:41 am |
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    August 21, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      スパム! :(

      August 21, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  20. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Did I miss anything? Has the Chard shown any connection between the Big Bang or evolution and a god?

    I've been busy and I didn't want to miss the big 'reveal'. I'm sure the Chard has one planned!

    August 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      No, last post on p53 is an attempt to redefine the word 'causality' a couple of hours ago.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Quelle dommage.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
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About this blog

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