Billboards Promoting Atheism Causing Stir In New York And New Jersey

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – “You know it’s a myth… and you have a choice.”

That’s the message the American Atheists group is sending on two new billboards erected in the heart of two religious communities in our area.

One of the billboards unveiled today is in Brooklyn near the Williamsburg Bridge, with the message written in Hebrew. Another, written in Arabic, is erected in Paterson, N.J. Both billboards depict the term for God in their respective languages to the left of the message.

The billboard in Paterson is just two blocks from a mosque.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

American Atheists President David Silverman said the group is not trying to convert anyone.

“We’re not here to change anybody’s mind about religion, except to raise the awareness of the atheists in their population and raise tolerance of atheists on a national level,” Silverman told 1010 WINS.

Blair Scott from American Atheists says his group has been contacted by people who live within the Muslim or Jewish communities there who are struggling to “come out” as atheists.

“We’re not targeting people who are Muslim or Jewish. We are targeting the atheists in those communities,” Scott told WCBS 880.”Because the Islamic and Judaic communities are very isolationist. If you break out of the mold, you are ostracized from your family and friends.”

Mohamad El Filali, Executive Director of the Islamic Center in Passaic County, said he thinks it’s good opportunity for a discussion.

“We welcome the dialogue if they are willing,” El Filali told WCBS 880. “I’ll extend an invitation to come to the Islamic Center, and we’ll have another person from the center argue the point of ‘No, there should be a God, it’s not a myth, it’s a reality.'”

“It’s no different than saying ‘Santa Claus, you know it’s a myth.’ Any criticism, anybody that dares to question those beliefs is immediately met with ‘I’m offended’ and ‘I’m upset’ and ‘How horrible you are,'” Scott said. “Well, freedom of speech means freedom of speech, it doesn’t mean freedom of speech except when you criticize religion.”

American Atheists reportedly paid $15,000 to post the billboard at the busy Paterson intersection.

The billboards are meant to promote an upcoming atheists rally in Washington, D.C.

Last year during the holiday season, the group put up similar billboards around the area with the message, “You KNOW it’s a myth. This season celebrate REASON!”

What do you think of the billboards? Sound off in our comments section below. 

  • Richard Procida

    First of all, let’s ban all billboard advertising regardless of the product or idea being promoted. This way, when I’m driving in my car and read anything that upsets my sensibilities, I won’t feel the urge to collide with another automobile to relieve my frustration. And, likewise, maybe another driver won’t feel compelled to take his (her) frustration out on me.
    As for the issue of atheism versus theism, I’m of the opinion that these topics are for the individual to decide—and keep it to themselves. I’d prefer if we had in-depth discussions about the real problems that confront us during our current existence—namely, poverty, health, education, justice, equality.
    And one final note before I end: Please, no matter what your religious belief, I respect it as long as it does not promote or direct harm towards any individual or society, And, last but not least, please don’t try to organize around it. That simply turns it into propaganda.

  • Mookie

    The only difference between God and Santa Claus is somewhere down the line people stop telling you Santa is real.

  • PinkFloydFan

    The billboards are not promoting Atheism. They are promoting Anti-theism.

  • Mo

    Islam ha no merit. Why should it? Its phony “prophet” murdered, raped, tortured, abused, enslaved, lied etc. So as far as I am concerned, they should put a dozen atheist billboards right in front of that mosque. Encouraging muslims to leave their messed up cult is a good deed.

    • Rodin

      “Phony prophet” is an oxymoron.

      • Mookie

        Actually it’s redundant.

        • Rodin

          You’re absolutely right. I stand corrected.

  • Sailor Boy

    There is lots and lots of religions, did it ever occur to you that somebody is wrong

    • Rodin

      And without death, fear, the fear of death, there would be none.

  • adios amigos

    Hey,these idiots had to pay big bucks to put up the signs, and no body should really care,because they are worthless,and have no real value or meaning…………the jokes on them hhahahaha……………..idiots

  • Rodin

    Forward from “American Atheists Plan Billboards For Brooklyn, Paterson”
    March 4, 2012


    Why is everyone up in arms? Just because someone writes something, says something, doesn’t mean it must change your views. If you have no doubts in your beliefs then this should not be an issue for you at all.
    March 6, 2012 at 7:05 am


    Let me try to explain.

    Believers, who boast their steadfastness so much, are really very insecure about their faith because that’s all it is “faith,”no reason, no science, no historical evidence of any Yet the onus of proof is on them. It is they who postulate. The burden is on them. and they hay have nothing or grab on to so they go full circle and again proclaim and cling to their “faith,” blindly, irrationally, obstinately. If any believers question, they are denounced as heretics and apostates. No dissent. In another time they would be tortured and burned at the stake. If an outsider questions, it’s an “attack.” That’s the threat.

    • Larry

      That doghouse site is dark & creepy. You do a lot of post talking.
      Get to the point. And fix that blog site. It’s like a dark bar room for drunks.

      • Rodin

        Anything “creepier” than the Babble you’ve never bothered to read?

        I say you got the point alright. When you find arguments to offer, then we can talk.

  • Jessica

    All of you religious people have a right to do and feel and believe whatever you want, but the point of this article is that atheists are reaching out to other closeted atheists and telling them, “you can believe what you want just like anyone else”. If you want to have a conversation about why I don’t believe in god, and think it’s a man-made creation to explain things which are hard to understand, then I am happy to have that conversation, sigh, AGAIN, but that isn’t what this particular piece, OR the billboards, is/are about. I don’t need you to pray for me, and I don’t need a fairy tale to teach me how to be a moral, compassionate or just person. I learned that from atheist parents, and I practice a secular humanist lifestyle every day of my life. I believe in doing good, helping others, living honestly and giving back to others, and I have worked in public service my entire professional life. I put my faith in humanity, not some ludicrous celestial being, and it has served me well. I live far more honestly and morally than a lot of religious hypocrites I know. If you believe in god, good for you. Don’t be so threatened because those of us who don’t are sick and tired of the religious people across the globe trying to impose their personal beliefs on us.

    • adios amigos

      closet athiests,who thinks up these idiotic theories,one chooses to believe,or not,that’s wht America is all about folks……….

      • Rodin

        Atheists need no theories. Believers do. And all we need to do is reject your premises and arguments as beyond proof and devoid of evidence. The burden of proof is on those who assert the gØd myths.

    • littlestar

      Sounds more like you’re just trying to expand the lezzie dating pool, sweatheart. Luv Ya !

      • Honest Rob

        wow. no other valid defense or argument, so you attack her sexuality.
        jesus must be soo proud.
        Bigfoot, too.

  • am

    War is proof that there is no god.

    • littlestar

      You are POO, that there is no God.

  • littlestar

    Did Mr. Hitler, Mr.Stalin, or Mr. Ghengis Kan kill in the name of God ? No they were atheists.

    • Robert Solomon

      Hitler considered himself a Catholic, and the Catholic church never distanced itself form him until long after he was dead. The Catholic Church did nothing to oppose him, although individuals did. Stalin was an atheist. Genghis Khan was not an atheist. But if your point is that you want to judge all atheists by the deed or misdeeds of a few, we have a long list of Christians who have blood on their hands, too. I would not condemn Christianity for murders committed by Christians, even if they had a religious excuse. The problem with religion is that it has failed to contain the primitive and primate-derived instincts of modern humans to kill each other at times. But religions keep claiming to have something to do with ethics.

      • Rodin

        Couldn’t have said it better myself but bon’t waste your time with this one. Nothing gets through to littlestar.

        Stalin may have been an atheist but dogma is dogma, divine or secular, and it all falls under the rubric of religion.

        People will substitute one form of totalitarianism for another, no matter what its nature. It would be easy to go from Communism to Catholicism, or any religion. Whether totalitarianism by state or religion, it’s all repressive of free and independent thought.

      • The Facts

        Hitleer did nnot practice any religion as an adult. He beleived in the occult.

        • Rodin

          Please cite your source for this statement.

          FYI, religion IS the occult.

          • The Facts

            History Channel.

            • Rodin

              Spoon fed. Lazy. I don’t watch TV. Haven’t in about 6 years. Don’t own one. What else do you watch, Jersey Shore, Celebrity Apprentice, Dancing With the Stars? Pfft…. Go out and work your information. You need to.

              • The Facts

                Watch none of the above. Relax and buy a TV.

    • william

      Hitler was a Jew just saying.

      • The Facts

        Hitler was baptized and raised as a Roman Catholic but abandoned his faith as an adult. He became, in fact, very anti-Catholic because the Church opposed his policies when he was in power.

        • littlestar

          Ha ! See I was right ! littlestar has big big brain. Me have big brain…. Att : Rodent

          • Rodin

            Hitler didin’t write this as a child:

            “The National Government will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life.”

            Hitler had bigger brain, if defective. You have diminishing brain. You’re fun. The Facts has less.

            • Rodin

              Sound like Rick Santorum? Ever hear of him?

            • The Facts

              Insults do not win arguments.

              • Rodin

                That’s exactly what I’ve been saying. No arguments, resort to insults. Facts win arguments. You have none. Neither does littlebrain, not to mention ‘William’. Re-read your comments. You might be blathering to the history illiterate American mob but that’s not what you’re dealing with here.

                The FACT remains that Hitler, Benito Mussolini (who ratified the Lateran Treaty of 1929 between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy Seeending the “Roman Question”, a political treaty recognising the full sovereignty of the Holy See in the State of Vatican City, which was thereby established, and regulating the position of the Catholic Church and the Catholic religion in the Italian state) and the Generaísimo Franco, their counterpart in Spain, where the Catholic Church offered ‘indulgences’ (72 virgins?) to MUSLIM mercenaries imported from Morocco for every Republican they killed during the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939), were staunch Catholics.

                Check the facts, The Facts. Yours are faulty.

                ‘Ignorance should be painful’ and punishable by law.

                • The Facts

                  Aware of the Lateran Treaty. Thanks for the info about Spain. The so-called “Republicans” there were controlled by Russian communists. That’s why Hitler supported Franco in his civil war.

                  • Rodin

                    Don’t even go there! That’s MY area.

                    You must’ve watched History Channel backwards, One-Source de Facto, or fallen asleep watching it.

                    The Republicans were the constitutional democratically elected government of Spain. Russian intervention in Spain DURING the Spanish Civil War was only to organize the volunteer International Brigades and provide aid while the signers of the so-called Munich Pact, Britain and France, sat on their butts doing nothing, Chamberlain was holding hands with Hitler and the USA dithered (even two years into WWII and after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor), emboldening and empowering Germany and Italy and fueling their ambitions.

                    The Spanish Civil War was an exercise for Germany and the bombing of Guernica a trial run for the Luftwaffe and the invasion of Poland in September 1939, just five months after the end of the Spanish conflict.

                    You need to switch channels occasionally and get your “facts” straight.

                    This has gotten really boring. Over and out.

                    “People seem to be offended by facts, or what used to be called truth.” ~ FRANCIS BACON (1909 – 1992) Irish born British painter.

                    • The Facts

                      Already aware of this. Enjoy the information you share but your attitude of pontification can, at times, be annoying. Lighten up.

      • Rob

        Hitler was a great admirer of islam. He despised Christianity because he deemed it weak. He admired islam because it’s a religion of savages. Just like he was. Get your facts straight.

        • Rodin

          Yet another genius!!!!!!!

    • Honest Rob

      Well, actually, Hitler was a Jesus lover and killed in his name – quite documented.
      You know who ELSE killed in god’s name?
      BOTH George Bushes did.
      One even called the Iraq war a “Crusade”.

      • The Facts

        Hitler was not a “Jesus lover” as an adult. He hated all Jews like Jesus.

    • mak

      Good point. You could also add Mussolini and maybe Pol Pot to the list.

      • littlestar

        Was Mussolini that bad ? I think Gloria Steiem was far worse.

        • littlestar


    • spinoza

      Hitler did. Hitler was a Christian. His first treaty was with the catholic church. Stalin was different, but still religiously based.

      • The Facts

        Hitler was not a Christian while an adult. Stalin was an atheist as an adult.

      • littlestar

        Hey Spin ! The religon of the Nazi party WAS the Nazi party !

        • Rodin

          littlestar, little brain.

          You should really shut up and read-up. Your ignorance is blinding.

          “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.”

          “The work that Christ started but could not finish, I, Adolf Hitler, will conclude.”

          ~ ADOLF HITLER

          Mussolini was Catholic as well. So was their Spanish ally Francisco Franco. All strongly tied to the Catholic Church.

          • The Facts

            Hitler had no ties to the Catholic Church as an adult. He detedted it because it opposed him.

            • Rodin

              “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.

              “The fact that the Catholic Church has come to an agreement with Fascist Italy …proves beyond doubt that the Fascist world of ideas is closer to Christianity than those of Jewish liberalism or even atheistic Marxism…”

              Yours, always, ADOLF.

              • The Facts

                Please cite your source for this quote.

                • Rodin

                  – Article 20 of the program of the German Workers’ Party (later named the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, NSDAP)

                  Happy? Cite yours.

                  • The Facts

                    This response doesn’t make sense. Why would a personal letter be in a party program?

                    • Rodin

                      Go tell it to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. It was their program.

          • mak

            Sorry for the double post ….

            • Rodin

              That’s OK, we all make mistakes. However…, Atheism was good enough for these idiots:

              I think they more than balance things out.

              BTW that’s my site.

              • mak

                How does one become a Cananite?

                Nice looking website, by the way, but it’s a little hard to read. Either my eyes are going or it’s too busy of a background. I am due for some glasses so it well could be my eyes.

                • Rodin

                  You become a Caninite by spelling gøD backwards and accepting that Dogs are superior to humans as per our Prophet Emeritus, Andy Rooney, who our basic theological belief that “The average Dog is a nicer person than the average person,” and acknowledging Anubis as the light of the world.

                  Our temple is The DOGHOUSE. Please visit

                  It’s difficult to read because, in the tradition of all religious belief, it’s obscure and mysterious.

                  May the Dogs be with you.

                  • mak

                    “May the Dogs be with you.”

                    Thank you for your blessing. I just hope they don’t pee on my leg.

                    • Rodin

                      Oh, but they MUST! You cannot become a true Caninist unless you’re Peetised. It’s the first of Caninism’s Excrements.

          • mak

            Oh, baloney. Now your talking out of your .. well, ear. Mussolini may have been baptized in the Catholic Church but he was no religion lover.

            Take a look at this list of characters that give atheism a bad name:


            In all fairness, there’s a list of characters that give religion a bad name too.

          • mak

            Oh, baloney. Now your talking out of your .. well, ear. Mussolini may have been baptized in the Catholic Church but he was no religion lover.

            Take a look at this list of characters that give atheism a bad name:


            In all fairness, there’s a list of characters that give religion a bad name too.

  • don

    Hmmm… Where is the “No different than Santa?” billboard that is so prominently featured on the home page of CBS News? Is there an actual billboard or was the headline just creative journalism?

    • Teacher From Hell

      Of course, that should have bee “No different FROM Santa.”

  • Soulful Spirit!

    Honestly, I coud not care less about the billboards. My beleis are mine and a simple billboard can’t take them away.

    What is inside you spiritually is there until your soul departs you, and from there billboard have no impact.

    Allman Brothers are back in town at the Beacon, time for some Joyful Noise!!

    • Soulful Spirit!


      • Rodin


        I hope they’re stronger than your spelling abilities.

        “Try again, fail again, fail better.” ~ ~ SAMUEL BECKETT

  • ProFromDover

    Atheism… You know it’s a myth and you have several choices!

  • Wrapper

    Belief or disbelief doesn’t prove or disprove the existence or nonexistence of the proverbial “supreme being”.

    Matters of faith are and should remain a personal choice and responsibility. An individual is, ultimately, responsible for his/her choice.

    Personally, I accept the possibility of a higher “force”, but without all the trappings and baggage of any organized “religion”. The laws of physics state that matter cannot either be created or destroyed, but I’d bet “someone” lit the fuse that caused the “big bang”.

  • Alex

    Actually, many “atheists” are really ignoramuses. To be an atheist, you have to understand and know what it is that you don’t believe in. If you’ve studies the literature supporting religion, and still have a counter-reply, fine, I’ll accept it. But if you just say”It’s a myth, I don’t believe in it – that’s not an atheist.

    And, of course, even the most hardened “atheist” will still go “OMG” when he/she sees something extraordinary, and will still scream “Oh G-D” when they find themselves in a life-threatening situation…

    • Rodin

      Happy to report that in a near death situation I had the strength to kick a Catholic sorcerer come grab my soul out of my hospital room. No need for prayer when there’s no fear of death, which I’ve long accepted as my natural end.

      As to ignorance, it’s the Atheist who doubts, questions, searches, studies, learns discerns. (See the NY Times’ “Basic Religion Test Stumps Many Americans,” 9-28-10, )

      Believers are limited by their faith. They’re so ‘convinced’ they never wonder. Besides, they’re not allowed. BTW, I was old school educated by the good Jesuit fathers who taught me to question, for which I will always be grateful.

      “Who knows most, doubts most.” – Robert Browning

      • maureen

        If there is no belief, how were you concerned about your soul? You are so much fun to mess with. I love your responses, they give me so much to think about. And I’m not being facetious. Keep it coming.

        • Rodin

          You’re not being facetious but I was … as you well know. We’ve met before. I enjoy debating this subject. It IS fun. Thanks for the compliment.

          And no, Maureen, there is no soul and I am not concerned. I don’t need an afterlife. I’m perfectly content with the one life I’ve enjoyed, free from religion, good without gØds.

    • Michael H.

      This is completely incorrect. The term “atheist” means simply “without deity”. We are all born atheist. It is our parents, our pastors, our rabbis, our imams, our monks, etc that make us the religious beings many of us become. You do not need to understand the scripture to dismiss it if you’ve never been exposed to it in the first place. Atheism is humanity’s “default”. If there were no religion we’d all be atheists, by definition.

      • kathy

        Atheist actually means that there is no Divine being anywhere in any shape or form. That’s a rather big statement. Rather these people are agnostic, meaning they have yet to see proof of the divine.

        • Rodin

          Atheists need no proof for anything. The burden of proof is always on the proponent, the believer. We’re not dogma. We’re not theory. We don’t accept your premises and arguments because you lack that proof, they’re based on blind faith. That’s what “fait” means, belief without proof. We simply say “show me.” And you can’t.

        • Scott Savage

          Kathy – Yes an No on the definitions.

          Atheist means not a Theist.
          Agnostic means not a Gnostic.

          You can be both and in fact all the atheists I know are.

          This idea that an atheist is making a “rather big statement” is a straw-man the church leaders want us to blindly accept. It is quite the opposite. The atheist is only saying that they don’t believe the rather big statement that theists make. Which is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

          • Rodin

            With you Scott but for one correction, though, and maybe we can clarify things a bit for Kathy:

            A_theist means without gØd. A_gnostic means without knowledge. The Greek prefix “a”, which so many confuse with “anti” — against — means without.

            I desperately wanted to be an Agnostic but the lack of evidence was overwhelming.

            • Scott Savage

              So I can see that – Kind of like the word “asymmetrical” means without-symmetrical? Typically the use is non or not, but I can see “without” being workable – in an odd way.

              As far as suggesting that Atheist means Agod. I have to say no. There is no need to change the actual words used to get the correct meaning. It is not “agod” it is “atheist”

              R: “I desperately wanted to be an Agnostic but the lack of evidence was overwhelming.”

              Wha? Isn’t that like saying: “I desperately wanted to have a lack of knowledge, but my lack of knowledge was overwhelming. “? Sarcasm perhaps?

            • Scott Savage

              But, i should also point out that i am splitting hairs. Either way, it means we don’t hold the belief that they do.

              • Rodin

                I don’t know where you’re getting this “Agod”. “A” in Greek, the origin of the word “atheist”, simply means “without,” without god. “A” = without. That’s all.

                “R: “I desperately wanted to be an Agnostic but the lack of evidence was overwhelming.””

                It means I could find absolutely no evidence to support the existence of gØd. Lack of ‘evidence’ is quite different from “lack of knowledge.” I never said “lack of knowledge.”

                I miss religion. I have no one to blame now but myself. I MUST accept accountability for my life.

                Finally, yes, you are “splitting hairs.’ Why? Trying to go from Agnostic to Atheist and finding it hard to leave doubt behind?’ You never need leave doubt at all. It’s our strength, their dread.

                • Rodin

                  This is all very confusing. I was simply explaining the Greek root of the word, just that the word “Atheist” defines as “without gØd.” It’s plain etymology. I’m not redefining anything

                  I’m afraid I don’t know who you are. Should I? I searched. You could be an economist, a hockey personality (doubt it), a Quaker author. If you’re the Quaker author of “A Plain Life”, we have quite a lot in common.

                  Six years ago, fed up after decades in Manhattan, we bought ourselves a small cottage on a wooded acre of land in Orange Co. NY, some 60 miles NW of the City, where the Hudson Valley turns mountainous, part of the Appalachian Trail.

                  We did away with television. I rarely use the phone, even more rarely for conversation. I do no social media. I haven’t watched a film of any length of any kind on any medium since October 2004.

                  Have a second home in Nova Scotia in a small college town, away from America’s ranting lunacy.

                  More if you contact me but you’ll have to search. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna post an e-mail address here. Go to

                  “Speak truth to power.” ~ FRIENDS

                  • Scott Savage

                    “an economist, a hockey personality (doubt it), a Quaker author.”

                    You missed the drummer for a christian rock a band and some others.

                    Try adding “atheist” to your search

                    • Rodin

                      Scott Savage, AA Alabama State Director?!?! Glad to make your acquaintance! We sill share a lot in common.

                      You’ve got a tough job where you are.

                • Scott Savage

                  R: “I don’t know where you’re getting this “Agod””

                  Okay… I am really confused…
                  You said: “A_theist means without gØd.”
                  And you said: ““A” = without. ”
                  Which appeared to me that you were stating: ~”A_theist means A_gØd.~

                  If that was a stretch on my part, then maybe you can clarify.

                  Personally, I just don’t see the purpose in redefining the word “atheist”.
                  When I say “I am an Atheist”, I mean I am an A_theist.

                  R: “Trying to go from Agnostic to Atheist…?”

                  You must not know who I am.

        • Michael H.

          Somebody, way back when, at some point had to invent the concept of a deity. Sun and moon worship were the earliest. Without man creating a deity as a way of explaining the unexplainable (ie: “We must worship the sun so it rises again”), we would all be atheists. Literally “without gods”.

          God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that’s getting smaller and smaller.

          • littlestar

            Your white blood cell count is getting smaller and smaller.

            • Michael H.

              According to my latest annual physical my blood workup is just fine. Thank you for your concern, though.

      • Cathy M.

        Actually Michael, it would be more correct to say that most of us are atheists of something. Christians are Zeus Atheists, for example. But you are right, we are all born without religion. Religion is man-made.

        • Rodin

          “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

          Australian historian and vice-chancellor of the University of Sydney

    • Scott Savage

      “To be an atheist, you have to understand and know what it is that you don’t believe in. If you’ve studies the literature supporting religion…”

      So you have this deep understanding about Zeus?
      What about Mithra?

  • Nonbeliever

    religion is fake. i was born catholic, now i see what the catholic religion is all about. Priets abusing children, horrible, how can you respect that or any other religion. religion cases war. yes you have a choice. my choice is not to believe. i believe in myself !

    • littlestar

      Realy ? I found Father O’leary to be an excellent kisser.

  • Raf Fak

    Religion permeates our culture, shows up on our doorsteps with literature, scriptures and threats of eternal damnation, influences our science books, contaminates our political systems, indoctrinates our children and postulates that its doctrine must be followed, lest we be destroyed in body, in soul or both.

    Religion gets carte blanche to be as vocal as it wants, to knock on our doors and accost us in our homes, in our places of work, in our personal and professional lives. Believers are charged with a life mission to preach, teach, disciple, shout it from the mountaintops and to “go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”. Religion…is everywhere.

    Ask yourself. When was the last time an atheist rang your doorbell with the Good News of Humanism? How often do you find Richard Dawkins books in the dresser drawers of your hotel rooms? When was the last atheist temple erected in your neighborhood? Have you ever attended an atheist revival? Has atheism demanded 10% of your household income? How many dedicated atheist television channels come through your satellite dish? How many atheist verses were you instructed to memorize as a child? When’s the last time someone thanked a FARMER (or even the cook) at the dinner table instead of God?

    On a more radical front, what’s the name of the last atheist who sawed the head off of an “infidel” or sentenced a shrouded woman to death for displeasing an oppressive husband or strapped explosives to his belt in order to kill hundreds in a public square or publicly hung a gay person for his lifestyle?

    It’s everywhere. Religion is a pounding drum that has gone mostly unanswered for a long, long time and religion is not satisfied with merely existing quietly in the homes and hearts of the faithful. Its very nature compels the believer to proselytize, preach, promote, convince, convert and prevail. If you play on the team of the religious, your game plan is to stay, always on offense.

    Throughout our history, those who raise a simple hand of protest against these advances have been portrayed as the real problem. Religion has attempted to marginalize and defeat legitimate questions and concerns by indignantly portraying any resistors as misguided, immoral, rudderless, angry, miserable, lost and alone.

    And when skepticism challenges wildly improbable (or impossible) stories found in the bible, the Qur’an and other holy books, the religious wail “Why can’t you just leave us alone?”

    The irony is thick.

  • gooeleeee

  • lieutenantdan

    Allowing the belief in God in society is good.
    Religion helps to build a conscience and establishes good from evil, right from wrong and to help others that are in need of help and less fortunate.
    Good come from people who believe in God.
    The American Atheists group appear to be a bunch of misfits and by enabling their thoughts and beliefs on society is evil.
    I speculate that most atheists are feminists and gays.
    Feminists do not allow themselves to believe in God because it is against their nature. Their mind would not allow itself to worship a man that is God.

    • danny

      If you need to believe in religion to do good, then you are just bad by nature, and will continue to do bad regardless of your belief.
      I do not believe, but I am not a bad person. I helped my neighbors during the hurricane this past year, and I always lend a hand to shovel out cars that are stuck on my block and my elderly neighbors during snow storms. I live in a house, and I do not expect anyone to help me.
      I speculate that you will continue to judge. Even though your good book says “Judge not lest ye be judged yourself”

      • Rodin

        Why bother with anyone who vomits “I speculate that most atheists are feminists and gays. Feminists do not allow themselves to believe in God because it is against their nature. Their mind would not allow itself to worship a man that is God.”

        • littlestar

          You mean lesbian, don’t you?

      • littlestar

        Yeah, Danny….. Benie Madoff was very caring with some of the investors that he knew yet he was desroying them at the same time. Did he see himself as a good person.You do not believe because you are not alive. Must you begin to experience the horror of asphyxation befor you believe that the oxegyn was there ? Luv Ya !

        • danny

          Madoff was a snake in the grass. He was caring because he was getting cash (much like the diocese). I believe that I am alive! I believe in oxygen, not because science tells me so, but because if I do not breath oxygen, I will die. I have seen the horror of man due to religion, If god truly existed, god would have wiped man off the planet. I don’t luv ya cause I don’t know ya, but I respect you and your beliefs.

          • littlestar

            You don’t know me but you respect me ?

    • val

      Spoken like a true closed minded religious fanatic. I’m sorry, but how many wars have been fought over GOD? How many people murdered in the name of religion? I am not an atheist, but I believe in allowing people to choose to believe or not to believe, and to question everything that does not make sense to them. Blindly believing in anything in just pure ignorance. You don’t take responsibility for your own life or actions because you can always say “God made me do it”, or “God will help me in the end”.

    • littlestar

      You got that right bro ! That’s exactly who is behind this. These small and bitter “people”.

  • DP

    Evangelical atheists?

    • Michael H.

      No…atheist outreach to other atheists. read the article.

  • mike

    religion is fundemental to the poor as it should be

  • Steven

    So a billboard from an aethiest group is bad, but two months of Christmas symbols everywhere is just peachy. Why does everhthing have to be controversy

  • WoopWoop

    Pesonally, I think they should have been worded a bit differently – something like “People are people, whether or not they believe.” The anti-bullying intentions of the athiest group are good, but the way the signs are phrased sounds like they’re poking people of faith with sharp sticks (for all intents and purposes, they say, “What you believe is a LIE!”).Both sides should be treated with equal repect if they want to foster true dialogue and understanding.

    • John

      Thank you for one of the most correct reviews of the situation. You should be able to promote your own beliefs (or lack thereof) freely without trampling on the beliefs of others.

  • Dee

    The billboards supporting respect for the life of preborn children was not allowed, but billboards supporting doubts of G-d are; I think it’s unfair that free speech is not truly supported.

  • karen

    I am an Atheist have been my whole life. i am tired of people yelling at me on the street i have to believe. people cross the street when they see me as if i have some disease they might get from me. i just want to live my life and not have people attack me. i have to live in fear all the time. i wish they would put a billboard like that in Astoria.

    • littlestar

      You’re gay.

      • karen

        well that is news to me, i did not know that you know me better than i know myself.. i guess you are happy when a chld dies. are you a sadist?

  • JD

    This is why God gave us free will. The freedom to choose. It’s up to you. You’ll be wondering why we’re in heaven with our imaginary friend in the sky and you’re not.

    God bless.

    • Eileen Hughes Tracey

      That’s because this God everyone touts, is a vengeful God..

  • Mary Jo

    If atheists were truly convinced of their belief and comfortable with it, they would feel no need to “come out” or try to rationalize or address the issue at all. Something (or Someone) is knocking at their hearts and they are in denial.
    Open up to what is beautiful and true!

    • Chuck

      The problem comes from a lack of tolerance and respect for each other as human beings. Any person will feel uncomfortable expressing their beliefs, ideals, etc if someone else tells them they are wrong for making that choice. I don’t believe in god, but my best friend does. I respect his choice to believe and he respects my choice not to. Although we have had several discussions of our beliefs over the years, neither of us has ever tried to force the other to “switch sides.”

      • karen

        Chuck i agree, that is why it is so hard on me when people scream at me,and follow behind me on the side walk sayhng i have to believe. is there some law i don’t know about, so i am forced to hide. Astoria is a very difficult place for an atheist.

        • val

          Karen, who are these people and how do they know you’re an atheist unless you somehow adverise it? I have never heard of anyone being randomly harrassed for not believing in something.

          • karen

            to Val they were so called friends. my family suffered a tragic loss of a child. when i told these friends they were so happy. they told me how the child wanted to die. that she is happy she is now with jesus, i won’t go into every thing they said to me i was stunned, with what they said. I was in so much pain and they were so happy she was dead. that was when i snapped and said i was an atheist, and quickly walked away from them. after that they saw me as a a person with a terrible disease. i had to speak up no one has the right to push their religion down any ones throat. they are no longer my friends they are out of my life.

    • Mary Jo

      How do you “prove” a relationship you have with another person? I am serious.

      • Michael H.

        That’s not what Boomer is asking you to prove. We’ve all had imaginary friends. Most of us outgrow them in grade school. What he is asking is that you prove yours exists.

        • Mary Jo

          Just take a good look at the intricacy of nature and the human body. It all came together by chance? That is like a monkey sitting at a computer and banging on the keys and just randomly typing “Hamlet.” And then there is the whole question of love. Where does that come from? And the deep and stirring answers to my particular prayers when I need them answered or pray for an insight. It may sound trite, but to one who believes, no proof is necessary, and to one who does not believe, no proof is possible.

          • Michael H.

            There is actually the “infinite monkey theorem” wherein you sit an infinite amount of monkeys at an infinite number of typewriters they will eventually, given an infinite amount of time, write out Shakespeare’s complete works.

            It is by no means chance but the laws of physics, chemistry and biology at work. Atomic bonds create molecules. Molecular bonds create complex proteins, so on and so forth. Given billions of years it is entirely possible (and apparently, probable since it has happened here) for life to arise from simple pre-cellular structures. We’ve witnessed it in a laboratory setting.

            If you want to throw out the “where does that come from?” question, then you have to ask the same exact thing about your god. That question goes both ways. The beauty of science is that we are free to say “well, we don’t know. we have some ideas and we’re testing them out, but we may never know, and we’re ok with that.” The theist simply says “god did it” and stops seeking new knowledge.

            As for your final statement, I beg to differ. Bring be proof of a deity. Proof that can be tested in a controlled setting and peer reviewed. Bring me that proof and then I will believe in your deity.

            • Mary Jo

              Laws of physics, chemistry and biology???? Where did they come from?
              If God could be created He would not be God! There can be no atoms without a Creator.
              Pascal said it most clearly. Look up “Paslcal’s wager” — simply put, there are 4 possibilities for us:
              If I believe in God and it turns out there is no God, I have lost nothing because if there is no God, there is no life after death, so no regrets and I just cease to exist.
              If I believe in God and it turns out there IS a God, I have eternal life (provided I live my life according to my belief).
              If I do not believe in God and it turns out there is no God, again, nothing after death.
              If I do not believe in God and it turns out there IS a God…well, you can draw your own conclusion. An awfully big “OOPS!”
              Blaise Pascal was one of the greatest minds in history and his wager makes complete sense.

              • littlestar

                Good girl Mary Jo !

              • Cathy M.

                And by that logic, there can’t be a creator without a creator creator. And there can’t be a creator creator without a creator creator creator. To acknowledge that there had to be a beginning, you have to acknowledge that before the beginning, there was nothing. Religious Myths say that God created everything in six days and rested on the 7th day. You fail to see the logic fails in your own logic.

              • Michael H.

                You’re making what’s known as a “god of the gaps” argument, and it has been a flawed argument from its invention.

                “You can’t explain how this works, so it MUST be god!!”

                See how ridiculous that sounds?

                As for Pascal. Why should I believe in the Judeo-Christian god? Why are you picking the right god? What if Zeus is the right god? What about Shiva? Why not Ra? You’re doing what’s called making an “argument from inconsistent revelations”. It’s also an argument from an inauthentic belief. “You should believe in god for the simple reason that if you don’t, you’ll burn in hell!”

    • Boomer

      Burden of proof is on you, Mary Jo- prove to me it is “true”

  • Darlene Mapes

    I will pray for all of you Athiests, that you see the light before it is too late. Praise the Lord and all his good works, He saved me in 2000 and continues to Bless me everyday. I would be in total darkness without him!

    • john

      You are an ignorant punk.

    • Lamar

      yeah and there are millions of other people from thousands of different religions who have the same story. The fact of the matter is, science and reason is exposing the belief in your imaginary friend in the sky in a way that’s never been done in the history of all christianity. Pretty soon the Bible will be in the mythology section of bookstores and libraries and no amount of prayer are idol threats of judgement is going to change that.

      • Mary Jo

        Science and reason both support the existence of God because He made them! They are definitely not at odds.

        • Michael H.

          That is incredibly circular and flawed logic.

    • R.N.

      I’m with you Darlene. I will pray with you. God help them all.

    • Eileen Hughes Tracey

      First explain to me,”His good works”.. Just what are they ?

  • michaelfury
  • Matt

    It’s hope not faith
    You hope your going to heaven

  • R.N.

    It states in the Bible that soon people will believe that there is no God and they will be lead astray by non believers ( Athiests) and God will be mocked. Well, I guess it’s all coming true! How come this was writen 2000 years ago and it is happening now? True, people have the right to believe in what they want to believe, but as for me, there is only one God, a true and loving God, that is soon to appear and everyone will know who he is. I will NEVER be led astray in what I believe. I will stay on Gods side. I am strong!!!

    • Michael H.

      You do that. These billboards are not meant for you. Read the article next time and you will understand exactly what these billboards are about.

  • Chany

    I believe in GOD and Jesus Christ. Everyone chooses its destiny and what to go for. If you feel good like that, Amen.

  • R.N.

    It states in the Bible that soon there will no God. People will mock him and stop believing there is a God. I guess it is all coming true. So tell me, how come what is in this book, written 2000 years ago, is happening now? If anyone chooses to be an Atheist, that’s fine, but we all are going to see who the true God is very soon. Billboords or not, cannot take my faith away from the only LIVING God there is!!!! I rest my case!!!

    • ejones

      People have been claiming that “the bible is coming true” for 2000 years, and predicting the end of times just as long.

      You have no case, rested or otherwise.

  • diver

    I would be an athiest but I just don’t give a crap. Believe what you wish just don’t force your opinions on me. A lesson the GOP has yet to understand.

    • jack

      diver, the Republicans arguing religious belief are campaigning harder for Obama than he is for himself.

  • Tillie

    But a billboard that says God loves you, would never be allowed.
    I find it very offensive that any mention of Jesus Christ or God is
    strictly shunned, yet it is perfectly okay to make a derogatory
    reference about God.

    • Michael H.

      There are Christian billboards EVERYWHERE in this country. Doesn’t your god say “Thou shalt not bear false witness”? That means DON’T LIE.

      • shortb101

        ahmen lmao

    • hereandnow

      Pro-religion billboards go up every day, all over the country. There is no impediment to them, provided the billboard operator is willing to take that business.

  • SantaClaus

    Santa Claus is real. To say he isn’t is just as presumptuous as the atheists. Wa-CHO!

  • Jane

    Why do the atheists care what people believe? Just like the religious freaks that try to convert everyone, here they are trying to force people into being atheist. Atheism has become their religion. Hypocrites.

    • jack

      Atheists, and others would be very content were the Constitution to read “…freedom FROM religion…” which would leave you free to practice your faith and leave me free from religious groups tinkering with the law. This is not a Judeo/Christian nation, it was founded by DEISTS.

    • hereandnow

      Try reading the article before you comment — it clearly states that their message is for people within those insular religious communities who don’t believe but are afraid to make their position known due to pressure from their community.

      They are clear that it is not about conversion.

  • Steven

    Does everyone have to believe in a god?

    • littlestar

      No I guess, but you must recognise sin.

  • toovy

    What does it mean to “Believe in G-d”?

    The Short Answer:

    To believe in G-d means not that you’re of the opinion that He exists, but that you have found relevance in Him.

    The Askmoses Answer:


    Even the honest atheist will agree that a first cause, an original being, must have preceded the universe. This original cause or source is what so humbled Einstein, although he incorrectly described it as a religious experience. The questions of faith begin with how we understand this First Cause, its nature, and its relationship to us and to the universe,2065718/What-does-it-mean-to-Believe-in-G-d.html

    • jack

      Your attempt at an academic discussion comes way too late in the life of a believer who was force fed and indoctrinated at a tender age, 6-7-8 years old with the accompanying parental push. No thought given beyond where to hold the party, and no questions asked beyond who to invite. Cannon fodder.

    • hereandnow

      The argument falls apart in the first sentence, as it is NOT a given that it is “honest” to believe in an “original being.”

      On the question of the existence of God, the ONLY intellectually honest answer is “I don’t know.”

      Anything else falls into the realm of belief, which is unprovable and about which you can make no concrete assumptions.

    • JJ

      What’s with you people and the dash?

  • Ron Darcy

    God is alive and well! Someday even non-believers will see the Light of God! He is always there with open arms to welcome you back…The billbords only strenghten my faith and remind me to pray! God Bless you all!

    • Eileen Hughes Tracey

      You’re funny..

      • littlestar

        Mark David Chapman

  • J

    Equally presumptuous as Mormons baptizing dead Jews.

    • hereandnow

      Read the article — they are reaching out to the non-believers who live in insular religious communities, not seeking to force conversions.

  • Att. Hoar

    I believe in the “Tooth Fairy” and thats my perogative

  • The Facts

    They have every right to express their opinions. However, why pick a fight?

    • Michael H.

      You’re not reading “The Facts”. Read the article again. No fights are being picked. They’re reaching out to closeted atheists within those communities. This is about telling people who are afraid of persecution that they are not alone.

      • The Facts

        Who, exactly, is persecuting atheists in this country?

        • Michael H.

          Tried to answer at length, but the censors here at CBS decided it’s better than I don’t. I’ll only refer to a 2003 study done by the University of Minnesota. Google it.

  • Ayatollah Bikh-I-Ni

    And I thought the message was referring to democracy …

    • Robert

      LOL Niiiiiice!!

  • Jessica

    I think it is about time.

    • True Believer

      We are all born with the essence of God which is love. God believes in you. Strive to seek truth and love in your lives. Surround yourselves with things that are positive and good. Give to others wisdom that will encourage, enlighten, and change the world & its people through loving one another, heal, forgive, and embrace.
      Billboards with positive things of love & God inspire me and hopefully others too.
      It is fine to question and doubt —>But search for truth. You can only believe with love in your heart. Praying for all of you and sending you love, faith & grace.

      • Rodin

        “We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” ~ Richard Dawkins

    • Eileen Hughes Tracey

      Structured Religion is the ruination of mankind.. The only purpose it serves is to keep us all separated, instead of working towards the greater good..

  • michaelfury
    • Jerry

      I want to be around when you are on your deathbed w/ a set of Rosary beads or other spiritual reassurances
      ” There’s no atheist in a foxhole” ;)

      • Rodin


        I repeat: Happy to report that in a near death situation I had the strength to kick a Catholic sorcerer come grab my soul out of my hospital room. No need for prayer when there’s no fear of death, which I’ve long accepted as my natural end.

        PLEASE SEE:

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