October 9th, 2013
02:27 PM ET
Creationists taunt atheists in latest billboard war
By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN)– A new video billboard in New York's Times Square has a message from creationists, "To all of our atheist friends: Thank God you're wrong."
The video advertisement at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan is one of several billboards going up this week in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, paid for by Answers in Genesis.
Answers in Genesis is best known as the multimillion-dollar Christian ministry behind the Creation Museum outside Cincinnati.
The museum presents the case for Young Earth creationism, following what it says is a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis, which says the Earth was created by God in six days less than 10,000 years ago.
Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, said the idea for the advertisements came from an atheist billboard in Times Square at Christmas.
During the holidays, the American Atheists put up a billboard with images of Santa Claus and Jesus that read: "Keep the Merry, dump the myth."
“The Bible says to contend for the faith,” Ham said. “We thought we should come up with something that would make a statement in the culture, a bold statement, and direct them to our website.
"We're not against them personally. We're not trying to attack them personally, but we do believe they're wrong," he said.
"From an atheist's perspective, they believe when they die, they cease to exist. And we say 'no, you're not going to cease to exist; you're going to spend eternity with God or without God. And if you're an atheist, you're going to be spending it without God.' "
Dave Silverman, president of the American Atheists, said he felt sad for creationists when he saw the billboards.
"They refuse to look at the real world. They refuse to look at the evidence we have, and they offer none," Silverman said. "They might as well be saying, 'Thank Zeus you're wrong' or 'Thank Thor you're wrong.' "
Silverman said he welcomed another competitor to marketplace, noting that after atheists bought a billboard two years ago in Times Square that read "You KNOW it's a myth," the Catholic League purchased competing space at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel for a sign that read "You KNOW it's true."
"I would suggest, if they're actually trying to attract atheists, they should talk about proof and reason to believe in their god, not just some pithy play on words," Silverman said.
Ham says part of the goal of the campaign is to draw people to the website for Answers in Genesis, where he offers a lengthy post on his beliefs for the proof of God.
Ham insists that this campaign is in keeping with their overall mission. "We're a biblical authority ministry. We're really on about the Bible and the Gospel. Now, we do have a specialty in the area of the creation account and Genesis because that's where we say God's word has come under attack."
Ham said Answers in Genesis made the decision to split its marketing budget for the ministry between a regional campaign for the museum and this billboard campaign, rather than a national campaign.
IRS filings for the ministry in recent years have shown a yearly operating budget of more than $25 million. Ham said the marketing budget is about 2% of that, about $500,000 a year. Though they are waiting for all the bills to come due for this campaign, he said he expected it to cost between $150,000 and $200,000.
Silverman noted that his billboards were not video and cost approximately $25,000 last year. He said another campaign was in the works for this year.
"They're throwing down the gauntlet, and we're picking it up," Silverman said, adding that his group would "slap them in the face" with it.
Ham said that despite criticism from other Christians for being negative and the usual criticisms from secularists he received on his social media accounts, the advertisements have been a success.
"We wanted people talking about them, and we wanted discussion about this. We wanted people thinking about God," Ham said.
The Creation Museum and the theory of Young Earth creationism are widely reviled by the broader science community.
In a YouTube video posted last year titled "Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children," Bill Nye the Science Guy slammed creationism, imploring parents not to teach it to their children. "We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future," he said. "We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems."
The museum responded with its own video.
For the past 30 years, Gallup Inc. has been tracking American opinions about creationism.
In June 2012, Gallup's latest findings showed that 46% of Americans believed in creationism, 32% believed in evolution guided by God, and 15% believed in atheistic evolution.
For as long as Gallup has conducted the survey, creationism has remained far and away the most popular answer, with 40% to 47% of Americans surveyed saying they believed that God created humans in their present form at one point within the past 10,000 years.
The Creation Museum said it recently welcomed its 2 millionth visitor since its opening in 2007.
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.
REAL Atheism does not believe in a god or supreme beings
You said dog = god
REAL Atheists don't beleive in dogs.
Best counter billboard: Science – it works.
There is no proof of God but there is proof of the Bible. But what is the Bible? The Bible is book. Just like any other book. Full of stories invented by people.
Thats exactly what I also think and it applies to all religions, including Islam.
Let us say you own a monkey right?you keep the monkey in a cage nd view it through surveilance, never touching it,but sending the househelp to aid it if necsesary. the monkey has concluded through some "research" that ure not real, afterall if you saw him messing with the cage last night, ud have punnished him.actually, u wnt to return this animal 2 the wild so its essential u don't mess with his actual makeup, the monkey in its lesser intelihence cannot prove ur existance, even wen the survelance is staring him in the eye nd it makes sence dosnt it? how can the inteligence of the monkey compare with urs.. Nd he thinks u don't exist "hehe" isn't that cute... Nw relate it to ur self
I would rate the intelligence of the monkey way above yours. That has to be one of the dumbest attempts at an analogy I have ever seen.
Yes, we wouldn't want to mess the monkey's makeup.
Dear Non muslims and Atheists, Stop fighting within yourselves, real enemy of humanity and world is ISlam, the cancer of islam spreading throughout west and weakening very basaic idea of democracy silently, through love jihad, population jihad, terrorism jihad and what not. Please try to see real problem of humanity today, channelise , mobilise your energy towards real problbem. Oppose islam in any form.,
It's OK we can walk and chew gum at the same time 🙂
Its not OK to pamper Islam in any form, there is no such thing as peaceful muslim.
46% of Americans believe God created man in the last 10,000 years? Really? 46% of Americans are that stupid?
Odd that most of them don't have any problem with science when it comes to medicine and technology and transportation and all.
Yes, everyone readily accepts the many achievements of technology, but when it comes to accepting those same methods when applied to religion, it' a no-go. This partially has to do with the detachment of people from science through our modern culture – an iPhone pops into existence, but people have no understanding of all the science that went into developing the technology.
There's a known bias in telephone surveys that overestimates the more religious groups. The media choose to ignore this as these absurd numbers make a better story.
I see Creationism very logical. I have intelligence, therefore the universe that created me has intelligence. I have consciousness, therefore the universe that created me must have that same power, and must be conscious (to be able to create consciousness). I have individuality, therefore the universe must have individuality as well. I have the ability to create life, so does the universe. I have the ability to intelligently design buildings and create beautiful art masterpeices, so too does the universe have the ability to design and create. I have the ability to manipulate genes and create/design other creatures – this requires conscious intelligence. So too does the universe have this intellectual power too.....I'm a little surprised why people find it hard to believe in God....God is the Universe and more....just understand yourself, and then you can see that the universe must have that same power....
"I'm a little surprised why people find it hard to believe in God"
Read a Bible.
I created a pizza. As I can speak English, the pizza I created can speak English too
That was a fairly illogical explanation, but then we observe many religious people needing to remake science, logic, etc. so that reality does not conflict with what they choose to believe. It's a sign that the religious feel threatened by science.
God of the gaps argument (I don't understand therefore God). The best resolution is to leave the barnyard and rural town and get out in to the real world, get an education and live in the 21st century.
"I see Creationism very logical. I have intelligence, therefore the universe that created me has intelligence."
-Really? Then why doesn't this universe apply such intelligence rather than be wasteful, destructive, inefficient.....which is what we observe in the universe? Why didn't it apply this intelligence to not cause the expansion of the universe to accelerate...ensuring the death of all life within it? Why didn't it apply this intelligence to our galaxy instead of hurdling a larger galaxy, the Andromeda, right for us in a future direct head on collision? Why didn't it apply this intelligence regarding mass extinctions of organisms and be more efficient rather than wasteful?
"I have consciousness, therefore the universe that created me must have that same power"
– consciousness isn't' a power. And it appears to be directly dependent on a material existence. Without the physical brain, you have no consciousness. Saying the universe has consciousness is merely an assertion. When we study the universe, we don't find any information regarding a thinking consciousness.
"I have the ability to create life, so does the universe."
-we are the result of self-replication, as are all biological organisms as a result of evolution. That process is unguided.
"I have the ability to intelligently design buildings and create beautiful art masterpeices"
-yet buildings and art cannot reproduce themselves since they are not biological. The universe form things. There is no evidence of a thinking mind that "creates" something for purpose in the universe.
"I have the ability to manipulate genes and create/design other creatures"
-as a result of technology. Human intelligence, as recent studies have shown, can be driven by social interaction and teamwork.The strongest selection for larger, more intelligent more complex brains, can develop when the social groups first start cooperating.
"I'm a little surprised why people find it hard to believe in God"
-You seem to be depicting a different god by describing material existence as god. Common religious assertions don't depict god this way. If you're simply calling what we observe god, then that proves nothing about how your claim is valid. You need to define what attributes that make a god what it is, and then show from where did you get that information to define a god.
Matt: How do you make the logical leap from a creator to a God?
Creationist groups tend to be the ones who are out trying to find Bigfoot, the Chupacabra, Nessie, Champ and other Crytids in their attempt to prove evolution wrong. They even have a so-called Chupacabra in one of their museums as a testament to this belief.
Why is it that Science is all good for these people when its like say, their cell phone, televisions, computers, and the countless other marvels that science provides them. But when it goes against their beliefs, it "wrong" and "not right". There is far more evidence for evolution than there is for creationism.
Funny you should say this. An old girl friend from high school was and is a pentacostal, and she is absolutely OBSESSED with bigfoot.
The Picture looks photoshopped.
The caption under the photo says it's a mockup.
For the sake of peace, why can't we all just believe that good creationists will be with God and Atheists won't go anywhere?
Why would you say "for the sake of peace" then follow it with a hateful and clueless statement like that? How can someone who does not believe in god agree that Christians will be with what they don't believe in? People of other religions think Christians are hell-bound too, and have as much support for their god as you have (none)
how could you believe in creationism?
even the church doesn't believe it...
I'm not sure contending for the faith means attack a group of people. I don't think that is a good response. Dear atheist friends.... Doesn't seem friendly to me. I would think love and kindness would draw people to considering there is a God. This, in my opinion, is pushing people away.
You do know that Christians (and other religions) have spent centuries oppressing and even killing atheists, right? It is still technically illegal for atheists to hold public office in some states. No joke.
It's a survival mechanism. Religion is evolving – if you can't destroy something, then try to make it ineffective. Personally, having been a Christian and then having become an atheist, I understand the mindset and know that, just like me, there are people who call themselves "believers" but have serious doubts. The only difference is that they have not yet found the inner strength to step forward. Whether on paper or on the phone, when polled about the question, "Does one believe," most people will answer yes even if they think "no." Part of that has to do with the socialization that religion provides – a network of church friends.
Atheists who seem to be on some kind of mission to turn everyone Atheist are no better than Evangelical Christians in my opinion. Why "pick it up and slap them in the face with it?" Why is it a gauntlet? Why is it a fight? Why can't it simply be ignored as everyone goes about their life living as they live and believing what they believe? Atheists can put up their own billboard if they want, but really, what's the point? You see, it's important to the religious folk to gain followers because that means money to them . . . but with the religious divides that exists not only between but within religions, why don't you Atheist folk just sit back and chuckle, and watch them self destruct? Why would you rather stoop to their level of fighting the fights that cannot be won?
Are you really unaware of the Religious Right and what the are trying to force upon America?
The religious right is a minority in this democracy, and they are quickly self-destructing. Try as they might, they are not going to win over this vast land of people that demand religious freedom- including the right to be free of religion if that is one's choice.
If you believe that, you need to study what is occurring in the state government of North Carolina.
I was told recently by a relative of mine that since I dont believe in the Christian God and that I dont go to church that I have no rights in the USA. And that me being agnostic means that I am in a Cult.
I told him "So much for freedom of Religion." Which i was promptly told that, exactly, Agnosticism and Atheism are not religions and that I have the freedom of religion but not freedom FROM religion.
Yeah, how nice is that. I havent spoken to him since.
It's a difficult admission (atheism) for a believer to transition to. But once you cross, the unloading of all the religious guilt and internal persecution allows you to keep helpful morality, discard the harmful morality, and then explore various moralities, adopting even more compassionate beliefs, becoming a better human being. It sounds like you are on the right track.
Ignorance, a born again believer has no guilt, the burden has and continues to be taken by Jesus.
To a great extent I agree with you but unfortunately delusional believers cannot or will not confine their craziness to their own homes or cult clubhouses. Many have a need to impose their beliefs on non-cult members through legislation. If they behaved like astrologists do, we wouldn't have to worry about them or what they might do. Until they do (become as harmless as astrologists), we need to keep an eye on them and not let them get too much power. Vigilance and public education are important parts of limiting their influence.
Any Atheist who has a problem with this is a hypocrite. If you are comfortable and confident in your beliefs, then you shrug and say "so what." No need to fight it, or even acknowledge it. Why would you give it that much credence?
1) atheism is not a belief; 2) you should ask that question to theists, as what they have is an actual belief system.
Atheism is absolutely a belief that there is no god or gods. It's all belief- none of it can be proven.
It's a belief the same way not collecting stamps is a hobby.
The complete and utter lack of any evidence is itself very strong evidence that something does not exist. Care to use your same logic on leprechauns? It's pretty ridiculous.
Free- I've heard all of those responses about proving and not proving. The simple matter is there is example after example after example of that which we thought we knew was NOT because there was no proof that it WAS, only to eventually discover the proof that it was. Point being . . . anything is possible, and faith/belief in the unproven doesn't make it ludicrous, just as faith/belief that the yet to be proven is not true is not ludicrous. Some things may be that will never be proven within the human capacity of proof.
That is true about Thor and Quetzlcoatl as well. Do you give those the same status as Jesus? You only apply that argument about your deity. You dismiss all others. You only believe what you are saying in regards to your god, not all gods.
You obviously don't know me, and are just as close minded as many of my Christian friends. I happen to be a pluralist, Free. I also happen to believe in extraterrestial life- not proven, but would you say not possible?
Extraterrestrial life is possible because the existence of life on Earth and enormous number of suns in the universe.That is plausible evidence. Deities do not have any plausible basis of evidence, so you are hardly free by believing in your personal hodge-pudge of them. Indeed, by saying that not being bound to one orthodoxy frees you, you implicitly acknowledge that religion is oppressive.
I never argued that religion was not a tool of oppression- in fact, I am arguing that certain Atheists are just as capable of oppression. Be careful, Free, you will become barely distinguishable from them if you keep it up.
So if I state my position, I am somehow an oppressor? Sorry, but that is just silly. You are going ad hominem now.
You aren't paying attention, Free. I said capable of oppression. Any group that becomes zealous about their position to the point of desiring to push others to that position risk becoming oppressors. I'm just saying your passion to sway others to your position on a matter of faith – or away from their faith – makes you no better than them. If you ask them to let you be, then you must let them be. And putting up a billboard like this is not an intrusion on your rights just as your billboard would not be an intrusion on theirs- so why not let it be?
You are posting just as much as me. Do you not see the hypocrisy of your position, that you are doing exactly what you accuse me of?
shannon: atheism is not an affirmative statement that there is no god. at least not for all atheists. atheism is a rejection of a claim that a god or gods exist. the onus of proof is on the one making the affirmative claim
Sam- that sounds like agnosticism to me. Free- no, I'm not trying to convince you that you are wrong, just supporting my original comment to which you objected- just let it be before you become as much of a zealot as they.
Atheist is a believe system, they just do not believe in a god or gods but is still is a believe system.
Not playing football is a sport. Bald is a hair color.
Simply put, Christians try to force their beliefs onto other, in anti-gay legislation, the inclusion of creationism into education, assaults on a woman's right to determine what happens with her own body, birth control, health care provisions, and so on. And Christian leaders often say very bigoted things about seculars.
Sorry, but religion is exerting an oppressive force upon the world, and after centuries of that, we will stand up and push back.
I have no problem fighting the fight when it comes to government and legislation that attempts to incorporate religious rule into the law governing the people. But if you battle it by trying to convince them their belief is wrong and yours is right, you get nowhere. If you try to slap them in the face with their words, they will slap you with yours, and since neither can be proven you will be in an endless fight with no purpose but to reveal each as a hypocrite unworthy of taking on the more important fight, which is that which began this comment.
For centuries Christians have oppressed and killed seculars, and they continue to try. You have the cart before the horse.
Our world does not work that way. We spend our time proving things. Plenty of evidence exists for a world that does not have a god as the creator, however, there is no evidence that suggest there was a god as a creator. You need to examine that argument, as well as why you are unwilling to challenge your own beliefs, especially the harmful ones, and we know what those are.
Yes much like atheists forces their believe of evolution on every kid in a public school.
yeah, damn that science, juan
there are christians who believe in evolution too
I believe fervently in Christ, but I do not believe the earth is 10,000 years old! I believe in creation. When God said: Let there be light, he was saying to all inanimate objects: "get the light of my knowledge and know your function and be what I have purposes you to be" in other words, God started the process of evolution... As his knowledge and his purpose determines. EVOLUTION IS TRUE. IF EVOLUTION WAS FALSE, CREATION IS FALSE!! So I beg all Christians to forget this young earth myth! The earth is not young!stop tht nonsense!!!
Evolution is true. Creation is false.
Creation is true, evolution is false
The process of evolution has neither goal nor direction, nor is there any centralized, organized guiding force for it. The proponents of "god initiated evolution" simply have an inadequate understanding of the process.
Atheists, remeber one thing, doesnt matter if u fight with christians or jews or Hindus or budhists, because theye dont kill atheist peoples, but when it comes to ISLAM and Atheism, Islam will punish you to death for just being an atheist, so fighting against islam and jihadis should be your life aim and you shud channelise your energy in opposing islamisation of west as well as world. Mark my words, that is the only truth. SO dont waste ur energy fighting non muslims about atheism, all will aceept u and will let u live peacefully, but islam will kill u because islam forced muslims to kill a theist legally as well as illegally.
All religions are fairy tales. They're all equally nonsensical.
True, but u cant compare heinousness of Islam wih any thing else on earth, Islam dehumanises humans and turn thtem into satan. I am atheist with very strong inclination towards Hindu culture, but you must know how islam is being killing humanityt everywhwere, so no matter, u r theist or atheist, its a duty of every non muslim(chrstians, jews, Hindus, Budhists, atheists) to oppose islam in every form. There is no such thing a peaceful islam. Hope you get my point.
You have to be kidding, right? When any particular religion has power it means torture and death for those who don't believe as they do. Christian Dominionists are rapidly gaining control of the levers of piwer in the US. Have you heard some of the men and women in congress? Have you heard some of the state based politicians. Have you heard some of the supreme court justices? They can't wait to declare America a christian nation! We have to fight against religious dogma imposing itself on people everywhere. It doesn't matter what religion it is. Believe whatever you want, just don't make me believe it too. Keep religion, other than comparative religion, out of the classrooms so children are free to grow and form their own opinions. Faith based schools should be closed for this reason too. They're nothing but indoctrination factories creating division amoung people of different beliefs, and no belief.
Islam is worst than CANCER and AIDS together, so stop undermining threat of islam to civilised democratic free world. May be you are one of them
typical. arrogantly proclaim an unfounded assertion with evidence! faith is so smart!
This whole mess is just hilarious. Tribalism at work. Everyone claims they have some moral or intellectual high ground, and then slide into doing the same crap they accuse the other side of doing.
Seems more like the most rational people just distance themselves from the entire debate and go on about their day.
So you are saying you are not rational because you joined the debate?
Yeah, because you actually know whether I'm Christian or an agnostic, do you?
You stated that rational people avoided the debate, but here you are. I made no claims or assumptions about your beliefs.
agnostics are just people who don't know how to evaluate the evidence in front of them.
The fact that you don't know my answer to the question should be evidence already that I haven't joined the debate since in order to actually join a debate, you have to pick a side. Similar to how you can express your views about election process in the United States without actually voting.
That's self-deception. And self-righteous.
Or aware that people don't change their minds based on how loud you yell or how sarcastic you can be. Take it easy on the projection.
If you're a science teacher in a state where fundamentalists are trying to rewrite science textbooks (Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, etc.), it's a little hard to distance yourself from it...
Then again, if you're a teacher, your platform is disestablishmentarinism in your classroom and doesn't involve these media campaigns and organized activism ridden with ad hom and double standards.
The complete and total lack of credible evidence is itself very strong evidence that something does not exist, as in
Harvey the Invisible Rabbit
The healing powers of crystals
Step on a crack, break your mother's back
Sounds like you're claiming all kinds of high ground for being agnostic here.
Then again, I didn't say I was agnostic, or that being agnostic gives you any kind of high ground, since after all, being affiliated with any stances doesn't make one immune from slipping into logical fallacies, which was the entire point of my original post.
It's a fallacy to say that avoiding a position is the most logical position when all evidence completely fails to even hint at the existence of god. Do you similarly say that the most logical position about leprechauns is to avoid a position?
Having fun arguing with that straw man? If you review my comments again, you will see my assertion is not that "no stance is the best stance," but that the facetious, mud-slinging that has taken the place of a level-headed debate accomplishes as much as just minding your own business.
I refuse to state whether whether I think invisible pink unicorns exist, because I believe by doing so makes me infallible. lol
And as you demonstrate, Pseud, someone can take a position ranging on any degree of rationality and approach it with the argument competence of a teenager.
And Raj is quickly reduced to nothing but ad hominem, unable to counter a valid point. So much for him.
Yes, they distance themselves from involvement until they realize Christians are attempting to put creationism into the schools and textbooks. You come off as being arrogant, self-interested, and detached from reality.
It gets hard, though, when we offer proof. Because, yes, there is proof for God. But, when we offer scientific proof, we run the risk of accidentally distilling our God into something that can be completely comprehended by our dirty, human hands and minds.
In other words, you have no proof, let alone any scientific ones.
Yes, and a loving god who supposedly wants us all to come to him certainly wouldn't want us to be able to comprehend him...
I have yet to see any evidence provided by religious people that stood up to even the slightest scientific method or was anything more than fallacious argumentation. It's always 1. "You have to use your imagination to experience it". 2. A severe mangling of science, or 3. My scripture is right because it says it is right.
They of course usually fall into fallacies instead, like "you are going to burn in the spa of fire" and nonsense like that, but that is merely denial, the avoidance of supporting their claims.
It's a shame feel so much contempt for yourself ("dirty hands, minds, etc."). You may want to reflect on that, and understand that atheist understand people are "human" – everyone makes mistakes, we can recognize those, apologize to those we have offended, and become a better person – continuous improvement.
from said god
could this lying fool be a bigger idiot-witch-demon-possessed-selfish-histrionic-borderline personality- ego maniac, spoiled brat?
isn't that sweet? faith/hhari/bethany/tex/etc is using my screen name again.
how's that big big lawsuit coming, gash?