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The money man behind atheism’s activism
Todd Stiefel, a wealthy businessman, is responsible for bank rolling many atheism activism projects.
March 23rd, 2013
10:00 PM ET

The money man behind atheism’s activism

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) - Todd Stiefel is far from a household name, and the odds he gets recognized on a street corner, even in his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, are small.

For Stiefel, a slim, scruffy ex-Catholic, his public persona is his wallet and activism. Through the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, the 38-year-old has made an indelible impact on the nation’s fastest-growing “religious” group: the nonbelievers. Most of the highest-profile atheists campaigns –- flashy billboards in high-traffic areas, news-making efforts to get atheists to come out of the closet, and boisterous rallies - are funded by his fortune.

Stiefel isn’t shy about his far-reaching goals.

“What I am trying to accomplish is multifold, he told CNN. “I consider myself working on the next civil equality movement, just like women’s rights, LGBT rights and African-American Civil Rights. We are still in the early stages of eliminating discrimination against atheists and humanists. That is something I really want to accomplish.”

So far, Stiefel has pumped $3.5 million into those aspirations, and his money benefits a number of atheist organizations, from the Clergy Project, a group that helps atheist and doubting clergy out of the closet, to American Atheists, arguably the most in-your-face atheist group in the country.

Stiefel sees his work as far more than just money. For him, this is just the beginning.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

From Catholic school to atheist millionaire

Stiefel was born in Albany, New York, in 1974 to Catholic parents. He was raised in a Catholic household, confirmed in the church, attended Sunday school, went to a Catholic high school.

“I was a cross-wearing, praying, religious-retreat Catholic,” Stiefel said. “You could say there were points that I felt the spirit.”

But his faith, he said, fluctuated during high school. “I was always a skeptic,” he said, “and I always asked a lot of questions.”

At 18, Stiefel attended Duke University to pursue a degree in psychology. To fill an elective, he took an Old Testament history class at the Duke University Divinity School. It was there, he said, that his final “ebb” away from belief took hold.

In the class, Stiefel said he saw a flawed logic in the Old Testament. In particular, he said, he began to see much of the Old Testament as unoriginal stories that had been told in many pagan traditions.

“'Wait a second, is what I believe in really the truth or is it really the accumulation of myths bundled in a package?’” Stiefel remembers asking himself. “That was the end of my faith right there.”

After graduating from Duke, Stiefel went into the family business: Stiefel Laboratories, a company that develops products to combat skin diseases. For 12 years, Stiefel worked with his family and turned the business into a major player in their specialized market.

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In 2009, with Stiefel in an executive position, the Stiefel family opted to sell the company to GlaxoSmithKline. The price tag: $2.9 billion, according to media reports at the time.

“I only got a very small piece of that, for the record,” Stiefel said with a laugh. “I did, however, find myself in a unique and fortunate position where I was able to do whatever I wanted to do.”

And like many who have the luxury of doing exactly what they want, Stiefel began thinking about what he was truly passionate about. After kicking around the idea of starting another business, the answer became clear to the young millionaire: advocating for atheism.

“I wanted to try to help the world,” he said. “I wanted to give back and this seemed like the most productive way to help humanity.”

‘Just doing my part’

Stiefel put $2 million in to begin his foundation. In his first year, according to tax documents, the nonprofit disbursed $700,000 to groups like the Secular Coalition for America, the American Humanist Association and Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

In 2010 and 2011, the giving continued with the foundation distributing around $750,000 to different atheist and humanist causes. In 2011, he also pumped another $500,000 into his foundation.

CNN Belief: Atheists ratchet up rhetoric, use billboards to attack Republican politicians

“I am just doing my part within my means,” he said. “Different people have different means. I am doing what I can do, just like the rest of the people in the movement are.”

But recipients of the money, such as David Silverman, president of the American Atheists, see his impact as much greater than just a one-off activist.

“Todd is an example of what major contributions can accomplish for atheism,” he said. “From a donation stand point, he is really leading the movement to a different level.”

Walking the line

One of Stiefel’s major concerted contributions in the last three years was the Reason Rally, an event held on the National Mall in Washington, which was billed as a watershed moment in the atheism movement. The goal of the event was to show to religious Americans that atheism was a powerful minority in American life.

Stiefel speaks onstage at the Reason Rally.

The rally drew a number of high-profile speakers, including Richard Dawkins, the author of “The God Delusion,” and thousands of attendees, despite rainy weather.

In his speech to the crowd, Stiefel talked about what he sees as the most important problem facing atheism: “Discrimination comes from ignorance, and in this case it is ignorance about our beliefs,” he said. “We are told freethinkers believe in nothing, but that’s a misunderstanding. We believe in a lot of things; we don’t all believe the same things.”

Stiefel put $250,000 toward the rally, a contribution that Silverman, the organizer, said was critical.

“He brought the Reason Rally to a brand new level,” Silverman said. Without that money, “we would have had far fewer people and a far smaller event.”

Silverman and the Reason Rally advocated for a specific brand of atheism. Silverman, who regularly calls his group the “Marines of the Freethought Movement,” is not shy in making it clear that he views his goal in calling out religion and elevating atheism.

Stiefel says he doesn't necessarily endorse those tactics wholly, but he does see their validity.

“I try to walk a line,” he said. “I see religious criticism as valuable, and groups like American Atheists are good at that. I do think we have to have a dialogue about who has the right ideas and part of that is pointing out the flaws in religious ideas.”

Stiefel continued: “I also see inter-belief work, though. I do find a lot of value in inter-belief work and I do see a lot of value in general charity work.”

Evidence of that is his work on cancer fundraising.

In 2012, Stiefel approached the Foundation Beyond Belief with an idea of creating networks of nonbelievers around the country to help raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Stiefel tapped into his atheist network and began organizing different event.

In total, the atheist groups raised $430,000 in 2012, including a $215,000 donation from Stiefel and his wife, Diana.

“Across the country there are 150 local groups of atheists and freethinkers raising money for charity,” Stiefel said proudly.

The key, however, was bridging the gap between atheist and religious communities in the name of charity.

“We welcomed Christians, as well,” he said. “Some of our biggest fundraisers were Christians.”

For 2013, the goal is to raise $500,000.

Expanding the community

With money and resolve comes great influence for Stiefel. He has the ear of many atheist leaders, meaning he can dictate the movement’s focus.

Stiefel said he wants to see the atheism movement expand its footprint.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

“What I would really like to see is expanding out communities to people who may not just be atheists or agnostics and into people who are religiously skeptical and may still have some religious beliefs,” he said. “Nobody is a perfect skeptic and I would like to see more people like that in our community.”

For Stiefel, this is a personal priority. He says his wife, whom he describes as a skeptical Christian, is someone who would fall within an expanded atheist movement.

“My message is not only of anti-theism,” Stiefel said. “I don’t choose to attack religion itself. I see religion as something that provides both good and ill to the world.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism

soundoff (7,617 Responses)
  1. Benny Hinn Hill

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0-04VDrCbM

    March 24, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Benny Hinn Hill

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYoqoxN_nGI

      March 24, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
  2. tony

    HOLD THE PRESSES!!!

    I think I'm just starting to have a vision.

    March 24, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
  3. Josh-Wa

    Atheism is a religion in the same way that "healthy" is a disease, or "not stamp collecting" is a hobby.

    March 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Keith

      What?

      March 24, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Sense0326

      Truth!!

      March 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • atheist Realism

      well said

      March 24, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • .

      Duh, Keith. It means atheism ISN'T a religion. Get a clue.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • skytag

      Seems to me that if atheism is a religion then so is not believing in Santa Claus or leprechauns.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  4. ELH

    I do not consider myself an atheist however I do not believe in an omniscient being that in some way created the universe in which our insignificant little round rock exists.

    The universe as we know it began with a stupendous release of energy, spewing every kind of sub-atomic and atomic particles outward an near the speed of light.. What was before this event, the 'Big Bang' is unknown and even if some theory were advanced, unprovable. I have faith that the Big Bang is why and how I am here.

    In a like manner, believers cannot prove the existence of the Supreme Being, and must rely on faith alone–not truth, but faith.

    March 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Jeesh

      ELH
      You are a modern day deist, good for you.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
  5. Zobby

    Man created all gods and deities, just as he created bugs bunny and mickey mouse.

    The difference is people don't believe in bugs bunny and mickey mouse.

    March 24, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • JesusChrist Son of God Son of Mary Brother to the Holy Ghost

      I do, but I don't exist. Quite a paradox, isn't it.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  6. Mike

    Religion simple definition...Belief. He has followers. Lots of money like churches. People follow him support him. Websites a rallies promoting his beliefs. Huh

    March 24, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • tony

      Beliefs like the Earth going round the Sun???

      March 24, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  7. Snuffles

    All hail the Great Pumpkin!

    March 24, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Pumpkin Carving by Doris

      You can easily make a lovely Charles Manson pumpkin for Halloween.
      It can also be Jesus, just tilt the "X" over the forehead up into a cross.
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h_T3EYCsKI&w=640&h=360]

      March 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • @OD

      And no ma$turb@1ion allowed

      March 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • All hail

      Benny Hinn he cured my erectile dysfunction for good but I can't wear loose clothes.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Benny Hinn Hill

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0-04VDrCbM

      March 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
  8. dave90210

    Gods, have always been CREATED by mankind and SERVE mankind to explain away the unexplainable. We had sun gods, moon gods, the stars were all gods, then we sent a man to the moon god and discovered it's just a rock, and the sun is just a star and now all the gods are gone. The only purpose god now serves is as a overly simple solution to two unanswerable questions. 1) How did we get here? 2) Since I think I should go on forever, how can I do that without creating a gawd?

    March 24, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • tony

      Well, we do now have "CELEBRITIES" . . . .. . . . Awesome!!!!!

      March 24, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
  9. TC

    Seems like most of troll atheists on the CNN forums could learn a thing or two from their funding sponsor

    March 24, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • I Am God

      Maybe you should look at some of your religious brethren's comments on here and you can probably see why.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • tony

      At least atheists learn.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      You're here....shouldn't you be at church or somewhere worshiping your imaginary friend?

      March 24, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • the AnViL™

      TC ignorantly spittled: "Talk about throwing your money away. This guy could be helping the poor but instead he blows on trying to tell the atheist message to a world that doesn't."

      and from the article:

      “Across the country there are 150 local groups of atheists and freethinkers raising money for charity,” Stiefel said proudly.

      The key, however, was bridging the gap between atheist and religious communities in the name of charity.

      “We welcomed Christians, as well,” he said. “Some of our biggest fundraisers were Christians.”

      For 2013, the goal is to raise $500,000.

      maybe instead of pissing over troll atheists you should try reading the article so you don't look like such a massively ignorant tool on a national public forum.

      just a suggestion, champ.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • The Tortured

      Know why ahtiests are trolls? I'll tell you why: Over one thousnad years of being tortured, beaten, executed, shunned, fired from jobs, mocked, ridiculed, damed to eternal hell, etc – for not believing in god. Your turn believers!

      March 24, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  10. tony

    Science is why you get the right change at the Supermarket.

    Religion is why Churches give no change.

    March 24, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • psych ward staff

      like

      March 24, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Nicodemus Grumpschmidt

      Bravo, Tony! And you'll never hear of any church saying any one follower overpaid. Ain't no such thing!

      March 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • g2-b837363fe05d124be3384fdddef67d01

      +1

      March 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  11. Zobby

    Human civilization is on the verge of a new era. We can only move toward by abandoning old mythological beliefs and trusting in science.

    March 24, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • David Anderson

      I always find it amusing when I hear an atheist say we should believe in science, not religion. Science is about evidence. Religion is about faith. They exist in different domains. Most of the great scientists have been God fearing men.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Faith isn't a "different domain," it's just "believe because you want to believe because it makes you feel better." You can use faith to believe in anything, and that's why it's worthless as a DETERMINING factor.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      "Most of the great scientists have been God fearing men." The modern trend has been otherwise. However, if the domain of faith and God is such that these things are never invoked to explain anything or solve any problems, then they are welcome to their own domain.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • g2-b837363fe05d124be3384fdddef67d01

      "Science is about evidence. Religion is about faith."

      To put it another way, science is believing because you have the evidence, religion is believing in spite of the evidence.

      March 24, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  12. Zekes

    What I never understand about Athiests is that they always want to make certain that you know that they are in fact 'Athiest'. It must come from the insecurity of knowing that they will be dead some day. I bet you that 5 minutes before they die, 90% of them have a change of heart and suddenly have faith.

    March 24, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • I Am God

      Doubt it. And you making this statement is laughable at best. Remember the Westboro Church? Sort of makes your comment looks foolish.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • tony

      The other 95% come back and tell us how good it is "up there"? How about more that just one????

      March 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • What is That Thing on Aaron Neville's Face?

      I'm an Atheist so you must be talking about someone else.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • @OD

      Zekes, this is your creator speaking, I know you ma$turb@1e, I commend you to stop

      March 24, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Chris

      You are the insecure one. We don't need a fairy tale to be able to live life. And the vast majority of us don't do deathbed conversions.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Zekes

      Looks like I touched a nerve. Maybe try Scientology or something 😉

      March 24, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Saving the earth,one pithy comment at a time

      Five minutes before the terrorists hit the building on 911,they had TOTAL faith.Their faith in god was ALL they needed.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Nicodemus Grumpschmidt

      Dude, I love how you project your flaws on your enemies. It's YOU who is insecure as so conclusively proven by your religious affiliation. It's YOU who has to go to church to deal with this insecurity and be told what to do. We atheists are not like that. Moreover, I accept you and your propensity for nonsensical religious belief, You, however, choose to hate because atheists and agnostics don't believe what you do. Get rid of the hate and bias your religion has emblazoned on your brain. You'll be much more relaxed and rational. 😉

      March 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Zekes

      Sorry, but all of you are missing the point. I am probably Agnostic more than anything else. By screaming– 'I am Atheist' all the time and shoving it down our throat turns you into the same as those religious extremists. No different.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • sam stone

      There is no way of verifying that one way or the other.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Zekes

      Exactly! There is no way of knowing, one way or the other. So in the mean time, please continue to be Atheist (or what ever), but don't be Extremist about it.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • EdwardTr

      The prejudice against atheist is huge most of us do not say anything. We want to come out and be accepted for our beliefs without reprisals against us or our kids.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  13. @OD

    Ok, you try to create the universe in 6 days...after creating the Higgs boson my imagination ran out...

    March 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
  14. BruceINpanama

    I'm sick of politicians ending every speech with "And may God Bless you."

    It seems apparent to me that most politicians DO NOT believe in God based on their actions.

    Why do the members of both parties at all levels of government insist on perpetuating this lie when it is completely obvious they could care less about God?

    Could it be just to get votes? LOL

    March 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
  15. Alex R

    Can someone explain to me why Scientology is a laughing stock in our society? I agree that their beliefs are nutty, but you sound pretty dumb if you believe that a virgin have birth to a man who walked on water and rose from the dead, and you say "wow scientologists believe some crazy things!" Scientology may be less popular, but it is no less crazy than any other religion. So much hypocrisy...

    March 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Zobby

      It takes an unbiased mind to see things that way.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Scientology hasn't had the time to take hold in the way christianity has.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • sam stone

      i don't know that one belief is any more nuts than the other. however, one has had longer to take hold

      March 24, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
  16. Barb

    I asked several religious people recently: "If God has always been here, and you truly believe that he came from nothing, then why is it so impossible to believe that the entire universe came from nothing, or something very small?" I received only one actual reply "Out of cosmos is great design and mathematical precision....Are we to believe that all this precision and design is the result of chance?" To which I answered "And yet so many people believe that God was created out of nothing. They simply see that He was here, and has always been here. Why question one and not the other? Science changes constantly with new findings and evidence. I do not blindly follow science, but it has provided far more answers than that of any religion I have looked into. I question both, not just one." That was the end of the discussion. A lot of people with faith seem to be too afraid to not believe, I think. They're also afraid of the unknown and their religion helps provide them with the answers of what science has yet to answer. As for others.. (and seems a large amount in the U.S.) I'm not sure, other than they have become obsessed with God.

    March 24, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Chadrock

      I like the response, Barb. But what if the universe didn't come from nothing? What if "it always was", just like believers think that their god "always was"? There doesn't have to be a beginning and an end to everything.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
  17. Zobby

    The world will never progress as long as people in this world are killing each other and governing their lives based on fairy tales.

    March 24, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Anon

      In many cases, religion is what prevents people from killing each other. Without God, morality does not exist, save for what morality you choose for yourself. And if your personal morality doesn't find killing to be evil, on what grounds can anyone criticize you?

      March 24, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • David Anderson

      This is the heart of the matter. People see evil in the world and are unable to believe that a loving God could permit it. So they cease to believe in Him. But our minds are far too limited to understand everything. Knowing our limitations in the larger context of the universe brings us back to the place where we can reconsider the question of the origins of everything and worship that power.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Chadrock

      Anon: Sorry, but it's very arrogant to think that only your religion is "moral". Morals are learned from society, not from religions (a type/part of society) alone.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • sam stone

      david: man (with his limited understanding) wrote he books(s) that man largely uses to define god. did the bible authors have any a priori knowledge?

      March 24, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  18. Vic

    In "electromagnetics," you learn that you can receive a "radio signal" through a "beer can" for antenna for your "radio (receiver") as well as through the fanciest antenna! Why is that?! The answer is simple!

    All the power is put in the source, "the transmitter!" The "communications industry" puts great emphasis on the "ability to transmit" radio signals, as strong as possible, so anyone with any level of means can receive them!

    God is the same way! He reveals Himself through a tremendous amount of evidence so any person, regardless of their level of intelligence and/or effort, can detect Him!

    This leads us to the following:

    Science ventures into the 'physical' existence and can not venture into the 'metaphysical' which is believed to be behind this creation!

    There is a characterization of a 'universal impulse' for "God and Religion (Faith/Belief") by the scientific community! I couldn't agree more on the following premise:

    We are programmed to detect and sense the 'physical' world through our physical bodies! The same way, we are programmed to detect and sense the 'metaphysical' through our metaphysical spirits! The 'universal impulse' for God and religion (Faith/Belief) comes from the programmed spirit just like the 'universal impulses' for food and s e x come from the programmed body!

    Now, when you think about God, keep an open mind to that God Himself (Who Is Metaphysical) is not subject to this 'physical' world and its science (physical laws) that He created all. Therefore, science can not prove or disprove God! In scientific terms God is imponderable! However, this entire creation, including life, is huge "EVIDENCE" to a "CREATOR" == "GOD" !!!

    Romans 1:20
    "20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

    Colossians 1:16
    "16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him."

    Hebrews 11:3
    "3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible."

    Acts 17:24-28
    "24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’"

    [Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible (NASB)]
    http://www.biblegateway.com

    A Previous Related Post:
    http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/18/on-mars-more-water-evidence-in-drilling-area/#comment-136832

    March 24, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Darwin

      plz stop quoting the bible

      March 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      What "tremendous evidence" do you have of any of the thousands of gods man has created?

      March 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Gadflie

      So, which god? We humans have invented so many after all...

      March 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • psych ward staff

      Well that was a big bowl of stupid. Evidence? LOL.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Nicodemus Grumpschmidt

      Nice try but the problem here is with your "transmitter." In radio and TV, the transmitter is real, not imagined. The results of the actions of the transmitter are causally traceable back to that transmitter. This god you so ardently believe in is not causally traceable. Therefore, your attempt at proof of his existence falls miserably short. All your "argument" proves is that this god is an instrument of man's to control the thinking and actions of others. And with you, it worked. I'm stunned at the shortsightedness of your attempt to prove your god's existence.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Unintelligent Designer

      How does this account for the tens of thousands of different versions/interpretations of The Bible? If this God is truly speaking to us through a couple of tin cans and a string, we should all be receiving the same message, loud and clear.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • JT

      Religious crackpot quoting from a book of fables.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • YeahItsMe72

      Vic, your contorted logic and attempts at rationalizing are exactly why Atheists need to speak out.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Saving the earth,one pithy comment at a time

      Excuse me-I will now go and fashion a tin-foil hat in anticipation of transmissions from YOUR god.I know he likes to rest on Sunday,so I hope he doesn't get p o ed and cast me in to the hot place.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Agonafer

      I could not agree more, for those who only live in the material world, who don't see the true nature of God, it is easy to dismiss God. I think is an effort to strip man of his humanity and spirituality. God reveals to only those who truly seek Him. Mark 8:18

      March 24, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • sam stone

      bible quotes are only relevant to those who accept the supposed authority of the bible

      March 24, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • sam stone

      agonfer: look up "confirmation bias" and get back to us.

      while you are at it, please explain how the god of the bible is any more valid than any other

      March 24, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • g2-b837363fe05d124be3384fdddef67d01

      "God is the same way!"

      You know a lot about the God who is beyond our understanding. Just how do you manage to eff the ineffable?

      March 24, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Agonafer

      Let me give you analogy – you can't teach your dog quantum physics, so is with human mind when it comes to God. If some people can't understand God, they ought to try to understand Him through Science or Religion what ever means they chose. Don't claim you know, that He does not exist. Psalm 14:1

      March 24, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  19. TC

    Talk about throwing your money away. This guy could be helping the poor but instead he blows on trying to tell the atheist message to a world that doesn't.

    March 24, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • tony

      How do you like the nice suits, cars, big homes, etc., of the mega church owners?

      March 24, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • the AnViL™

      try reading the article, moron.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Better than blowing money on forcing science out of science classrooms in the public schools and replacing it with a bizarre brand of hate-filled theocracy.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Science

      TC ..........................and they (see below for they) are still trying and WASTING money !

      Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.

      Below are the complete transcripts from the Dover Trial. Thanks to our friends at the National Center for Science Education for helping us fill in the missing transcripts.

      http://www.aclupa.org/legal/legaldocket/intelligentdesigncase/dovertrialtranscripts.htm

      Maybe they should not have created the wedge !!!
      The wedge strategy is a political and social action plan authored by the Discovery Insti-tute, the hub of the intelligent design movement. The strategy was put forth in a Discovery Insti-tute manifesto known as the Wedge Docu-ment,[1] which describes a broad social, political, and academic agenda who

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy

      April 4, 2013 at 7:12 am |
  20. the AnViL™

    those who believe in an imaginary man in the sky are delusional.

    delusional thinking is a form of mental illness.

    those who believe in gods should be prohibited from voting, serving on a jury, holding public office, purchasing or owning firearms or teaching public schools.

    tolerance of religious idiocy is coming to a swift end.

    March 24, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • tony

      Amen

      March 24, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • TC

      I know you want that to be the case but it's not even close to that at the moment and never will be.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Unintelligent Designer

      So at the moment someone goes from being a believer to a non-believer, are they suddenly cured of this mental illness you speak of? Or is it the case that they're simply better informed? Point being, this train of thought is just as narrow as that of the young earth creationist.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      How are the two lines of thought equally narrow, again? There seem to be some missing connections there.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • the AnViL™

      unintelligent designer – people can still be batshit nuts and not believe in an imaginary man in the sky.

      also

      the constitutions of several states in our nation prohibit atheists from serving on juries and running for office – etc... they never seem to like it when anyone suggests reversing things. that's comical.

      tell me why we should tolerate religious idiocy in the 21st century – and then explain why you think it's a good idea to let people who are demonstrably delusional make decisions for society or teach kids – let alone possess firearms.

      March 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • faith

      YOUR PROOF BOB DYLAN is as you state?

      jimmy carter?

      April 4, 2013 at 6:54 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.