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. Mamita

    Anyone who don't believe in Jesus is not mentally healthy unfortunately....

    August 26, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And you are qualified to evaluate the mental health of others by what authority? Are you a doctor? Are you licensed as a social worker?

      Get off it, you fraud.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      I think it's pretty obvious who has the mental health issue here.

      And now for the Sunday night book club recommendation: Carrie.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Mamita please have Jesus help you with your grammar.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      No Truth, Just Claims – "Mamita please have Jesus help you with your grammar."

      I'm sure it was the main reason she was let go at the "Pat Robertson Enlightened Fortune Cookie Co".

      August 26, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • sam stone

      Spend a lot of time on your knees, mamita?

      September 4, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  2. Joseph

    Let those satanic atheists post whatever they want.... they will at least suffer and burn in hellfire for sure.

    August 26, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • yep


      August 26, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Let's play Poe? or Protestant?

      August 26, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Blessed Are the Cheesmakers

      I am going with protestant.....but I am not real confident.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      I couldn't tell. This is textbook Poe's Law:
      "without a clear indication of the author's intent, it is difficult or impossible to tell the difference between sincere extremism and an exaggerated parody of extremism"

      August 26, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Blessed Are the Cheesmakers


      I know, it's a tough one.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • fintastic

      I hate to burst your enjoyment bubble Joey but there is no such place as hell.

      It's just a fantasy.

      September 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  3. Atheism is Healthy for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

    It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. Teaching kids to be agnostic helps reinforce their understanding of the new real things they can see and learn about in life. It helps them properly separate the known from the unknown without confusing them. They just need to be taught things that are unknown, like god, and things that are made up, like all religion.

    Atheists have strong minds, and don't run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, disserving society).

    We have only begun to scratch the surface in using the mind to its maximum. Damaging it with made-up junk that politicians and salesmen dreamed up long ago is senseless, and limits the mind's potential. These politicians and charlatans didn't even do a good job of organizing and being consistent with the stuff they dreamt up to try to control people. Daddy used to say they were caught with their pants down when the bible was first translated so that common folk could read it. Very true.

    Instead of praying to make-believe people, get a good cup of tea and go on and sit down and collect your damn thoughts. My goodness.

    mama kindless

    August 26, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • nope


      August 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      nope is a dope.

      August 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • nope

      Atom tom,

      August 26, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
  4. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Few 100% true Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things:

    † Atheism is a religion that makes you angry, stupid, brainwashed, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by closet atheists)
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists are misguided and causes problem in our religious & public society.
    † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    † Atheism making you agree with Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler (denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders who killed religious people because of their religious cult!
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
    † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
    † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most atheists are uneducated... No atheists could run for presidency.
    † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
    † Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism!
    **Only 2-3% of the U.S. are atheists/agnostics VS. over 90% who believe in God (80% Christians) in the U.S.**

    † † Our Prayers goes to atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator † †

    PS! the USA is a † nation and will always be. You know it's true and stop being ignorant and arrogant!
    (Take a look at our federal/state holidays, 99% of our presidents, blue laws in parts of the nation, name of some cities/counties/streets, the majority of people, some laws, calendar, culture, etc.)

    ■There is only one God and it is to Him that you pray. All others pray to false gods and idols. Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist are all lost unless they know Jesus as their Lord & Savior.■.

    August 26, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Evangelical Christian (to use your more recognizable handle)

      why don't you go back under your bridge little troll.

      Your ignorance is stupefying.

      August 26, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • nope


      August 26, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • nope

      oops, i meant no pope

      August 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oops, you're a dope.

      August 26, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • nope

      @phony nope

      August 26, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • ....


      August 26, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • nope

      @tom tom

      August 26, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • phoney phoney nope

      Nope, phoney nope, dopey Pope.

      August 26, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • nope


      August 26, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • phoney phoney nope

      Yup. Nope is a dopey ropey Pope. Mope.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Rope-a-dope the nope!

      It's kind of an 'avoid the noid' thing.

      And such a stimulating conversationalist he is too, with such command of the richness of the English language (as is usually only seen in two-year-olds).

      August 26, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • nope


      August 26, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      Although it's been fun, I like to take this time to point out that the rubbish above about atheism from "!!!!!!" is, well, bs, obviously. But more importantly, just in case there are any grade-school kids reading this, please be aware that the statements and generalizations presented are completely without foundation and assembled by someone with an education level similar to your own, but someone whose mind is severely stunted. In other words, pay no attention to the idiot. So even if you are a Christian, you should be getting your Christian education anywhere other than from this lying psycho.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • truth be told

      True fact : Atheists have murdered and tortured more people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @truth be trolled,

      yes @Evangelical Christian defines the US as "a † nation" because "Christmas" is a Federal holiday. The fact that there are nine other Federal holidays that have nothing to do with Christianity escapes it's notice.

      Apparently it gets very lonely under it's little bridge where it belongs.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "True fact"??

      Does anyone older than 9 use such a silly term? Really, TuBeTop, consider going into the Witless Protection Program. You'll be housed in a group home for the mentally incompetent and no one will ever know.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      truth be told continues to lie about "True fact : Atheists have murdered and tortured more . ."

      Solly. Simply not true.

      Hitler: Christian
      Stalin: Christian
      Pol Pot: Buddhist

      So I guess that specifically points out several lies in your list (where there are lots of lies).

      August 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV



      Did you read the rebuttal I posted the last time you asserted your repet'tive falsehood?

      (Search for Stalin and you'll find it.)

      Are you a pathological or a compulsive liar?

      Tell us again how Mao killed one out of every three people on the planet.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      last time you did this you said: "estimates for chairman Mao range as high as 800 million. This does not include their war dead or the untold millions who died of starvation and disease under atheist compassion

      Here's what I said:

      800 million? This is off by a factor of ten. Please recheck your sources. NO plausible data correlates with this number. I can't even find implausible sources that indicate a number this high.

      Including the deaths by famines, the range of deaths in China is truly staggering but all the consensus estimates are in the range of 49M – 78M. The estimates vary all over the place, but 800M is just wrong.

      The majority of deaths in China were due to famines, and not torture and murder. The biggest of these was during the Great Leap Forward (famine of 1958 – 1961) where an excess of somewhere between 20M – 45M people died, depending on sources.

      Estimates for Stalin's purges and Gulag (not counting the Ukraine Famine of 1932 – 1933, 2.4M – 7.5M) vary anywhere from 6M – 20M.

      Staggering numbers of people died in the communist regimes in the PRC and USSR in the 20th century. The numbers are appalling. But your repeated assertion of "murder" exceeding all previous centuries is WRONG.

      So if you want to call the total "murders" 50M = 20M (Stalin) + 30M (Mao), I won't argue, but your assertion is still completely wrong that they "murdered" more people than in all prior centuries.

      Another credible analysis I looked at gives the following 'excess' fatalities for the 20th century:
      Deaths* by communism: 87M
      Deaths** by non-communism: 116M

      * including famine and democide
      ** including war, famine and democide

      You can find that analysis here: http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat8.htm

      If you want a very interesting source for 18th – 20th century information look here:

      If you want to have a reasoned discussion about this I would welcome it. The atrocities commited in the communist regimes in the 20th century were awful, but you appear to be repeating bad data that someone gave you.

      by the way, the GLOBAL population in 1950 was ~2.5 Billion. 800M would represent 32% of the world's population! Killing 800M Chinese would be one in every three people alive!

      There are more than 1B people living in China today. Can you not see how implausible your math is?

      August 26, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      I can show you an analysis, with sources, that demonstrates more than 60M people killed by violence in the wars and slave trades of the 18th and 19th centuries alone – let alone ALL previous centuries.

      While the totalitarian communist regimes were truly horrible and did murder millions of people in the 20th century – probably around 30M – 50M* between Stalin and Mao, by my reckoning your statement remains FALSE, and you know that it is.

      * Not counting deaths through famines – since we are talking about "murders" here.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  5. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    While stopping at an Illinois interstate rest stop today, I gave a man claiming to be a christian and needing gas money to get home $10. As proof that was behaving in a godly way, he said I could take anything I wanted from his car. I told him, no thanks, but asked him to consider discarding religion as there are no gods. He left at high speed.

    August 26, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
  6. Jonah

    19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. (Book of Mormon, Mosiah, Chapter 3)

    August 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • ....


      August 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm |

    Tomtom Why is this a big deal to me ? We are talking about what people believe. Though the example of these atheist billboards we are discussing how to resolve our differences for history is littered with death, atrocity, and destruction due to the inability to peacefully co-exist. With respect for all sides of the debate It is a "big deal" to me. Now I have answered your question let's see if you can answer mine. Tomtom, why have you spent so much time on this thread if it is no big deal to you ?

    August 26, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are a twit, Carlos. This is an anonymous blog on which anyone can post any nonsense one wishes. There's no vetting process and no registration. There's no moderation. It's a free-for-all, not a tea party, you silly man. I spend time here for the amusement of watching people like you get their panties in a wad over religion. It's a complete and utter waste of time to fret and whine about any 'effect', when no one but you takes this place seriously.

      Really, dude, to steal an apt plati tude: "If azzholes could fly, this place would be an airport."

      If you want to have a serious discussion about religion, Carlos, you're in the wrong place entirely.

      August 26, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


      You want people to co-exist in peace? Then fight for people to use reason instead of supersti.tion. If you are truly an agnostic you have rejected supersit.tion as reality. Good for you. Now try and understand why people who accept supersti.tion as reality are an achor for progress. Yes they have the right to believe what they want, but they have an effect on all of us. Here are just a few examples...

      Faith healers bilk money out of believers by making them think prayer heals when there is no rational reason to think it does, or they don't get proper medical help for children because it is 'god's will' whither they live or die.

      Or they teach children satan is real and he is coming to steal their soul and they will burn in a lake of fire for eternity, it is child abuse.

      Or when they don't like someone or something (Barney, Tele Tubbies, Smurfs) and equate them to devil worship.

      Or when they blame natural disasters or tragedies as their gods judgment on the nation for the "sins" of h.o.m.o.s.e.xuality, atheism or anything else they don't like.

      You may want to deny it, but there are many people who are actively working to bring about the end of the world for the cause of their religion. How many atheists can you find that are doing the same?

      Beliefs have consequences.

      Yep, no reason at all to ridicule these nutbags..

      August 26, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  8. atheist billboard?

    sh.it on a stick

    August 26, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Christian Billboard?

      Supersti.tious non-sense..

      August 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • atheist billboard?

      There is no Christian billboard, the story is about atheist crap...duh

      August 26, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Christian billboard?

      They are all over. I have one less than 2 miles from my house aging I am going to hell.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:27 pm |

    After centuries of sitting on the sidelines watching the Christians and Muslims slaughter each other it appears as though the atheist has decided to join in the fun with a, "Hey look at us we have a belief too and we have a billboard !! So now we have a three-way war between this belief and that belief and no belief at all. I just want to say thanks to all the Atheist out there for your contribution and good luck with your crusade !

    August 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      you know the billboards are being removed don't you? There were death threats.

      See about halfway down p59:

      Like many of us here, I think they were petty and irritating and a generally dumb idea. No worse than billboards attacking atheists, but that's no excuse.

      August 26, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Honestly, Carlos, you're not thinking very clearly. Atheists account for a very small percentage of the US population. Do you really think there's any likelihood of some "3-way war"?

      You're behaving as though these billboards actually had an effect on anyone. Can you show evidence that they did?

      August 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      By 'any effect' I presume you mean other than just p'ssin' off a bunch o' North Carolina red necks? 😉

      They appear to have had that 'effect'.

      August 26, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, yes, notaGOPer, I guess I meant any "meaningful or measurable effect."

      The last time p!ssing off a bunch of rednecks had any significant effect was about 150 years ago..

      August 26, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      From the same climate that brought us Pastor Charles L. Worley and the very Christlike sermon of "Put Gays And Lesbians In Electrified Pen To Kill Them Off".

      According to google, Maiden, N.C, is a scant 55 minute drive from Charlotte where the billboards were placed.

      August 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • CARLOS

      TomTom You ask for evidence of how this billboard effected anyone, how about the 7,218 responses to this article. Sadly for the atheist their billboard has only succeeded in adding more hostility and discord to our national dialogue. But, what do you care? As you have stated earlier this is all a joke to you. You are truly a sad son of a piper tom. Your heart is stone your food is bland your life is strange to you. Forgive whoever hurt you and heal while you still have breath. Peace.

      August 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      I wonder whether if in the 7,222 posts on this thread a single person changed their mind about anything.

      Many (if not most, I haven't done and won't do an authoritative analysis) of the threads on this topic were instigated by people attacking an atheistic point of view. You seem to redress people for answering back. I don't understand this.

      In the spirit of the meaninglessness of sermonizing, I'll leave you with a little Lennon/McCartney:

      Father Mckenzie writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear
      No one comes near.
      Look at him working, darning his socks in the night when there's nobody there
      What does he care?
      Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name
      Nobody came
      Father Mckenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave
      No one was saved

      So too is much of what goes on here. Why is this such a big deal to you?

      August 26, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      you seem to have been responding to me here and not @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son this the above post:

      Tomtom Why is this a big deal to me ? We are talking about what people believe. Though the example of these atheist billboards we are discussing how to resolve our differences for history is littered with death, atrocity, and destruction due to the inability to peacefully co-exist. With respect for all sides of the debate It is a "big deal" to me. Now I have answered your question let's see if you can answer mine. Tomtom, why have you spent so much time on this thread if it is no big deal to you ?

      So I'll respond to you rather than @TTTPS, since you answered my question:

      The opportunity to refute the misunderstandings perpetuated by theists about atheists is really important to me. That's why I spend (probably too much) time here.

      My point was that you level the charge of 'atheists being on the attack' as evidenced by the billboards. As I posted earlier, many (if not most, its hard to tell) atheists think these billboards are a stupid idea and they are coming down precisely because of that.

      I think you'll find that the atheist vitriol here (and yes there is a lot of it) is a response to the sermonizing judgmentalism of the religionists.

      August 26, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What does the number of posts signify, Carlos? Not a damn thing.

      Has a single shot been fired? Has anyone killed someone as result of these silly billboards? No? Then why get your bowels in an uproar over them? Don't you realize that's the goal of those created them?

      August 26, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • CARLOS

      Tomtom, Interesting that it is you that has sworn at me, it would seem you are the one with his "bowels in a knot". Peace.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I didn't "swear at" you, you imbecile.

      If you want a fight, you're in the wrong place, dude. Get a clue. Nobody takes you seriously.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Really, Carlos, if this blog irritates you so much, then leave. No one is required to abide by or be sensitive to your demands of civility. You're not the thread nanny. Go start your own blog and run it as you choose. Don't come in here and demand that everyone bow before you.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


      Quit acting like beliefs don't matter, they do.

      And quit acting like you are "above" it all, you ae not.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  10. Abinadi

    19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round. (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi, Chapter 10)

    August 26, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I pledged to diligently seek the truth about God using an evidence-based approach through reason. Where do I start, Abinadi?

      August 26, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • mfsbt

      oh geesh! This again? Just got back from a great morning on the beach, despite the hurricane's calling card. Checking the news and this silly blog – same old chatter, so going back out to enjoy God's creation instead of debating nonsense see ya!

      August 26, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Abinadi

      Read the Book of Mormon. It will bring about the right state of mind. Get On your knees. Approach God with humility, fear and trembling – remember, he is God. Ask what you want to know. Wait for his answer. He will speak into your mind and you will know. There is nothing wrong with scientific reasoning for things pertaining to this earth, but God inhabits the spiritual realm which does not depend on physical laws.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Cantard

      (translation) God is not detectable by sight, hearing, smell, touch, or taste. No instrument of man can in any way detect God's awesomeness. Now, we just have to work out the material difference between a God that is undetectable and a God that is not there.

      August 26, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "but God inhabits the spiritual realm which does not depend on physical laws."


      Prove it,

      and prove it is your definition of god.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @mfsbt: see how much you are missed?

      Have fun counting the grains of sand.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  11. Gayle

    Apropos of nothing, that's a pretty nice looking piece of toast there. Makes me hungry.

    August 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  12. Atheist02

    I think this approach may do more harm than good for our cause. Besides, there is not arguing with believers about the existence of god – they will think that way for the rest of their lives, and all we atheists can hope for is a gradual enlightenment of society generation by generation. I do like the sensationalist approach to the pitfalls of religious belief. After all, when stated plainly, religions sound absurd – almost comical.

    August 26, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Hmm.. I don't know. As an atheist that must live "in the closet" in order to maintain my position in a very, very, very "bible belt" town, I appreciate the word getting out on billboards like these. (By the way, they've been taken down due to death threats!!!!) Maybe the message is a little off-putting, but I want religious folks to know that we're out there.

      August 26, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • fintastic

      @Moby. Absolutely the same here. It's good to see someone making this point.

      September 4, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  13. CARLOS

    An Atheist and a Christian sit down together:
    Christian: There is a God.
    Atheist: There is no God
    Christian: Is to
    Atheist: Is not
    Christian is to
    Atheist: is not............

    August 26, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't have much confidence in your ability to comprehend what you read, Carlos.

      August 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


      When a claim of a god existing is made the question becomes "do I believe it"

      1. Yes I do (theism)

      2. No i don't (atheism). Atheism does not claim there is no god. It is the absence of a belief in a god, much like I don't believe in bigfoot. I don't make the claim bigfoot does not exist.

      Agnosticism refers to knowledge.

      I can be an agnostic/atheist = I don't believe but I don't know for sure

      I can be an agnostic/theist = I believe but I don't claim to know for sure.

      Most atheists will change their mind if proper evidence is found, can the same be said for theists?

      August 26, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Jonah

      7 ¶Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
      8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (New Testament, Matthew, Chapter 7)

      Tom and Blessed, you have not sought or if you have, it was not with sincere desire, because millions have sought and found. Why not you?

      August 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • truth be told

      Perhaps they are not wanted and predestined to be lost.

      August 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How do you know whether I've "sought", Jonah, you presumptuous mope?

      As I said before, you sound depressed. Have you sought therapy?

      August 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "you have not sought or if you have, it was not with sincere desire, because millions have sought and found. Why not you?"


      You have no basis for ascertaining whether we sought or not or whether we did it right other than we did not come to the same conclusion as you. This is the definition of being self-rightous, not to mention willfully ignorant. What about all the true believer pastors that then came to realize the bible was full of cotradictions an poor morality? They did not do it right? It is like someone deciding the earth is flat and any scientist that refutes that is then accused of "not doing it right. That position is pompous and arrogant.

      August 26, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • CARLOS

      To Blessed are the cheese makers: Viewing the atheist billboard, one might wonder what kind of evidence would be required to "change the mind" of an atheist?
      Further, to the question of belief v.s.knowing, both exist in the mind, changed or otherwise.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Carlos, what are you attempting to say?

      August 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • What IF

      "one might wonder what kind of evidence would be required to "change the mind" of an atheist?"

      A real smart god would know exactly what that evidence would be. A real powerful god would be able to provide it.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Science


      Pretty easy for me. A miracle would do nicely. Either growing back an amputated limb, making it rain something other than precipitation, a big booming voice from the sky that announced itself as Jehova. None of these are particularly unreasonable as the claim that god is omnipotent means that he should be able to do all of these things without breaking a sweat. There are plenty of ways to change my mind. What are some of the ways that would change yours?

      August 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      So great for you to post that. I can't wait for the day when everyone understands the terms "atheist" and "agnostic."

      August 26, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Cantard

      "one might wonder what kind of evidence would be required to "change the mind" of an atheist?"

      If the sun shown at night (which in itself would be impressive) and a voice of thunder announced that the moon would be as cheese and the Moon became cheese I would personally found or join the cult of fromage until the voice of thunder gave follow-up instruction as to which sect of Christianity or which ever religion best pleased him/her/it.

      We want proof Carols. Independent verifiable proof of a specific deity. Now, would you abandon Christianity if Thor called down the cheese?

      August 26, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • CARLOS

      Sorry CANTARD, If you look around you and see no miracles I can not help you, for none are so blind that will not see. As for changing minds, I have no such aspirations Minds are shut, hearts are hard, even a blind man can see that. Peace.

      August 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Blessed Are the Cheesmakers


      We have had a nice discussion about what defines an "atheist". After the contradiction of your last post claiming miracles and the post below claiming you are agnostic you obviously don't know what agnostic means either.

      You are either ignorant or dishonest.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
  14. TrueBlue42

    As an Atheist, I think this is totally the wrong approach to helping people who doubt the existence of a god embrace Atheism openly. All these billboards do is bolster the religious while presenting a very unappealing image of Atheism to those who might have otherwise come out as Atheists. Terryl Givens is correct in saying that this campaign is petty and vindictive, and I for one resent being painted in this light; it overshadows the good works so many Atheists accomplish (why no articles on those, CNN?) and gives the go-ahead for people like Givens (ironically) to make ridiculous comments like "When atheists organize to serve the poor and needy of the world, they will be taken more seriously."

    Time to rethink your strategy, Mr. Silverman; you're driving away potential allies by your negative campaigns.

    August 26, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Cantard

      Yeah, I rolled my eyes at the signs. They are emotional appeals which, frankly, isn't Atheism's strong suit. Something more appropriate would be to quote the old testament and ask why we aren't enacting pro-slavery legislation and capital punishment for disobedient children and adulterous women so we can properly follow biblical morality. Post the verse reference and end with: Athiesm: We can read your book too.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • samstubbs

      I think it's because some (certainly not all) atheists arrived to Atheism out of spite or out of some emotional trial. Therefore, those atheists feel the need to "get back" or feel they have something to prove. Unfortunately, sometimes if feels like they are the loudest in the group... =/

      August 26, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • CARLOS

      Atheist : One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods. The definition of atheist goes beyond "Doubt" as you define atheist. Atheism is just another fundamentalist view. Fundamentalist : One who adheres to a strict set of beliefs.
      May I suggest you take a look at agnostic: One who believes some things can not be known. Peace.

      August 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I'm not a fan of this sort of thing, either (although the guy in the glowing underwear cracks me up). Ridicule never changes minds, but education can.

      August 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • ME II

      "One who adheres to a strict set of beliefs."
      What "strict set of beliefs" do atheists adhere to?
      1) Assume there is no god.
      2) ?

      August 26, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • TrueBlue42

      @CARLOS: I'm right to use the term "doubt" to describe those who question the existence of a god, prior to coming out as Atheistic. Plus, I'm fully aware of the definition of "agnostic", but thanks anyway. Peace.

      August 26, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • CARLOS

      In response to TrueBlue42 and ME11 : I find it interesting that so many self described Atheist squirm when confronted with the definition of Atheist which is One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods. (that is your "strict set of beliefs" ME11). Be clear, Atheism is not about doubt, it is a belief, there is NO god. I conclude that an Atheist is by definition a Fundamentalist : One who adheres to a strict set of beliefs .( Atheist believe there is no God). I make this point because all wars begin with fundamentalism. Either claim Atheism and stand by it or reconsider your position. Peace.

      August 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't 'squirm', Carlos. I simply disagree. I don't "deny" the existence of a god. I just see no evidence that one exists.

      The definitions you posted are not the only ones.

      August 26, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You've already been asked to define the "strict set of beliefs" you claim atheists hold, and you have yet to post them. What are they?

      A 'set' indicates more than one.

      August 26, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • What IF


      Having no belief in a god is not a "set" of beliefs.

      August 26, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Carlos, you don't get to decide how other people think. Really. You just aren't that important.

      Atheism is a lack of belief in god. That's it. Provide proof of a god, and I guarantee that there will be considerably fewer atheists. But no one has provided evidence. What logical reason would anyone have for believing in something for which there is no proof?

      August 26, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • CARLOS

      I do not care what you wish to believe or disbelieve, but let's be clear. Answer this question if you can. Do you believe / disbelieve in the existence of a God ?

      I apologize to those who are upset by the word "Set' in regards to set of beliefs. It is really semantics after all None the less the belief "There is no god, is fundamental. (Strict no wavering).

      August 26, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • ME II

      You want to fit atheists into your definition, and yet you are a bit loose with the one you use for Fundamentalism:

      Definition of FUNDAMENTALISM
      a often capitalized : a movement in 20th century Protestantism emphasizing the literally interpreted Bible as fundamental to Christian life and teaching b : the beliefs of this movement c : adherence to such beliefs
      : a movement or atti[]tude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles

      The first hardly applies and the second, "strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles" doesn't either, unless you you have an atheist set of priciples, or doctrine, which must be taken literally. Atheism has no sacred text.

      Here's some more:

      movement with strict view of doctrine: a religious or political movement based on a literal interpretation of and strict adherence to doctrine, especially as a return to former principles
      support for literal explanation: the belief that religious or political doctrine should be implemented literally, not interpreted or adapted

      In other words, there is usually a text which "fundamentalists" feel must be taken "literally".

      August 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Lacking belief is not a 'set of beliefs', Carlos, and tally is correct: you are attempting to make atheists fit your preferred definition. Too bad for you that you don't get to decide what atheists believe or don't believe.

      Sorry if that fvcks up your world-view.

      August 26, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • ME II

      If I think fairies aren't real, does that make me a fundamentalist?

      "There are no fairies!"

      August 26, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      From reading Carlos's posts, I get the sense that he's really not terribly knowledgable about words, semantics, connotations, or nuances.

      August 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Do you believe / disbelieve in the existence of a God ?"


      I don't believe = atheist

      Do you believe the reports of alien abductions? If you don't, does that automatically mean the abductions did not happen or that you suspend you belief due to lack of evidence?

      August 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • CARLOS

      Thank you tomtom, Blessed cheese maker and the rest. This has been most instructive though a bit sad. It is note worthy that some of your comments have included personal attacks. This is the result when a fundamentalist feels their views threatened. I have chosen Agnostic as my personal position regarding the existence of a god . This allows me to remain open minded, I am not threatened by other spiritual beliefs, I do not require your co-signing. In the end, I am sure we all agree no one wants to have religious views crammed down our throats, whether it be Christian billboards or Atheist billboards. Peace.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      See ya in the funny papers.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  15. Jonah

    4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
    5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (New Testament, 1 John, Chapter 5)

    August 26, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • 1 John 5:1-5

      Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • tallulah13

      See, that's your problem. You aren't content to live in the world. You have to overcome it. Why aren't you capable of just being a good person, living a good life? Why do you need a reward for doing the right thing?

      August 26, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Jonah

      Dear Talulah, sometimes while living amidst the por nograhy, the filth, the crudity and degradation, the hate, I feel depressed and unclean – like I am wading waste high in manure (and I was raised on a farm, I know what that is like). In those times, the only escape is to turn to the Holy Scriptures which brings refreshment to my soul and lifts me up. I can't even imagine how you get by with out them.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • tallulah13

      I work hard, then I take a shower. I live in this world, because this is the only world we have. I try to make it a better place. I try to take care of it. I don't see any value in letting this world fall to pieces because of the unsubstantiated claim that there is an afterlife. In fact, I think it's utterly selfish to ignore the needs of this world because of the unsubstantiated claims of an afterlife.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Damocles


      Seems a little sad that your only source of fulfillment is a book.

      August 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jonah, if what you see in this world is as you describe it, I feel sorry for you. I don't see it that way at all.

      Have you ever discussed your world-view with a therapist? You sound depressed.

      August 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


      Don't like p.o.r.n? Don't watch it.

      Don't like gay marriage? Don't marry a person of the same gender.

      Your version of morality is not everyone elses and I don't find your "holy" book terribly moral what so ever.

      August 26, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Atheist02

      I understand that you may see the Bible as a compelling tool for argument's sake, but when speaking to someone who doesn't think the Bible has any authority, the point you try to make falls short. It's like trying to convince you of something by reinforcing it with a line from the Hindu Vedas or a line from Buddha. Jesus made some compelling points through what was written about him (I personally like Luke due to his anti-establishment rhetoric), but many things that people argue about today had nothing to do with Jesus's teachings.

      August 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  16. Julia

    I am so very very tired of "lables"..religious and otherwise. I am so very very tired of, groups and group think. I really miss focus on the individual.

    August 26, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  17. Ted Ward

    The atheist claims to be "reasonable" because atheists hold that those of faith cannot prove the existence of god. But reason dictates that you cannot prove a proposition with a negative. That is, you can't "prove" god doesn't exist because you can't prove he does exist. So in the end, atheists are no more "reasonable" than those of faith. Atheism is in the end, just another faith based on an unprovable idea, the non-existence of god. Take a look around you, make your own decision.

    August 26, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Ted atheism is non-belief. We are not claiming we know for sure.

      I don't believe in bigfoot but I don' know for sure and will change my mind with better evidence.

      Would you change yours?

      Now who is more reasonable.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • tallulah13

      I took a look around. There is no evidence for any god. There is no evidence of unicorns or dragons, either. Why would I suspend my disbelief for a god when I don't for unicorns or dragons?

      August 26, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • CARLOS

      Well said Ted: The Atheist would like to have it both ways," I do not believe in the existence of a god do to lack of evidence, but if evidence does appear I might change my mind".In a court of law lack of evidence means there can be no verdict. Why not put up a billboard the reads I JUST DON'T KNOW MAYBE THERE IS A GOD MAYBE NOT. All that hostility just vaporizes.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • fintastic

      @Carlos; In a court of law lack of evidence means you lose!

      September 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things : .

    August 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Let us praise God. O Lord...
      ...ooh, You are so big...
      ...So absolutely huge.
      Gosh, we're all really impressed down here, I can tell You.
      Forgive us, O Lord, for this, our dreadful toadying, and...
      And barefaced flattery.
      But You are so strong and, well, just so super.

      August 25, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • toad

      You know I had a dream about you? I was having monkey sex with a beautiful Cambodian who/b>re in a supermarket when you came on over the announcement system. "Prayer changes things", you said. Do you know what an orgasm is? Do you? Well you ruined a perfectly good one.

      August 25, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • chris hitchens

      Are all your relationships in dreams?

      August 25, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • toad

      The really good ones are. Who has the money for a fine Cambodian whore who doesn't mind getting really nasty in a supermarket?

      August 25, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      GOD: Oh, don't grovel! If there's one thing I can't stand, it's people groveling.
      ARTHUR: Sorry
      GOD: And don't apologize. Every time I try to talk to someone it's "sorry this" and "forgive me that" and "I'm not worthy". What are you doing now!?
      ARTHUR: I'm averting my eyes, oh Lord.
      GOD: Well, don't. It's like those miserable Psalms, they're so depressing. Now knock it off!
      ARTHUR: Yes, Lord.

      August 26, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • CARLOS

      Here you see it plane as day. the hard place in the heart, the fundamentalist hostility all over these posts. this is the place where all wars start YOU know what is TRUE the rest be damned. It's the same whether Atheist or Christian says it.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, for Pete's sake, Carlos, lighten up. Most of this is just silliness and joking.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  19. como1

    The billboards are coming down. They are disgusting. Why do atheists think, not all but a significant group, that insulting the other 80% is OK. Are they that disrespectful, ignorant and sad? It seems like it.

    August 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      How are they being disrespectful if what they state is true?

      August 25, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      So the fact that christian billboards offend only around 25% of us makes that ok? Does it really matter how many people it offends? No, we all have the right to be offended....we don't have the right to NOT be offended. There is a difference. Many of us find your "message" disgusting.

      There is a billboard not 2 miles from my house that asks the question "where are you going....heaven....or hell" and is graphic. They have the right to express their opinion, but make no mistake, the opinion is that those who are not christian will go to hell because we don't agree with a belief, and more importantly we "deserve" it. That is a disgusting and immoral position.

      August 25, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • DC

      While I agree that people should not insult other people, I think there is a fundamental miss-understanding of what atheism is. It is simply a lack of belief in a God. That is it. There is no ideology, dogma, world view in non-belief, although many atheist share a common view of the world.
      Having said that it is not inherently insulting to put the position of belief up to scrutiny. (or visa-versa) Challenging the evidence for belief is not itself nor should it be insulting to the believers. Of course this is an emotional issue.

      August 26, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  20. Jack

    Everyone is cordially invited to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    August 25, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64
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.