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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.

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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.

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“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.

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“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. Apple Bush

    The truly amazing thing about Christians is that they say they are enlightened, emboldened by the holy spirit, filled with the strength of the one true god; an army for goodness and righteousness and yet......

    when they open their mouths they tell the same tall tales the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Persians and Hindus told. And they don't even know this. How is this possible?

    March 24, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • John P. Tarver, MS/PE

      Some Christians are aware of the story of Nimrod in Numbers, where all of those stories originate; but most are oblivious blind sheep following some Judas goat to the silence of the lambs.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  2. ahmedhaider

    I can see someone just commiting sins and do;nt care ending up in the pit of fire,hell,but its hard for me to imagine a guy working so hard and spending endless hours for ahteism than thrown in hell

    March 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      I'm with you. I have lots of trouble imagining the hell part.

      Or wasn't that what you meant?

      March 24, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Jeremy

      Why do Christians think atheists are out "sinning" all the time? Because their minds are perverted by their faith and they have been told that without their religion that's what all humanity reverts to. The problem is the facts show this to be total and utter hogwash. So all they have left is to scream, rage and gnash their teeth about their God being real and anyone who doesn't believe it is "gonna get it!!" Doesn't leave you with a very pretty picture of Christianity.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Just Call Me Lucifer

      Yeah... if you've got proof that hell exists we'd all like to see it. Otherwise, you believe in fairy tales. Good luck with that.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
  3. Zachary Lailey

    Atheism preaches that God is yourself. Relativism. Discrimination against ungodly heathens ha! Life without morals, values and life. Life without the spirit of the living God is a dead life. Life without Christ is life that is dead. Athiesm activism? what is that. Saying in billboards that God is dead live your life. What blind bulshevick. He is alive and I pray that all would come to know him.

    March 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Atheism does not preach AT ALL.
      No atheist would ever say God is ANYTHING.
      Atheists, by definition, don't think there's any such thing as God.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Randall

      Hi, atheist here. I'm moral. I don't hurt people, nor do I want to. I have no desire to see people "burning for eternity" because they don't believe the same stories I do. You are deeply misguided.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • God Illusion

      Zachary – atheism preaches nothing at all. Where did you get the silly idea that "God is yourself"? Imbecilic.

      Atheism is no more a religion than the OFF button on a TV is a TV channel. Understand?

      March 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • sam stone

      Wow, you sure nailed us. We are running around without any morality. You are a maroon.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  4. Nate Higgers

    I see why CNN's ratings are in the toilet. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.......More people watch Charles In Charge re runs than CNN. ahahaaahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa

    March 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Stanley

      And yet you are here.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Stanley

      Along with thousands of others. I checked the Charles in Charge fan site on Facebook and it only had 44 likes with 0 people talking about them...

      March 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Stanley

      3439 comments to this article alone...

      March 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Quest ion

      Who is Charles?

      How do you know all that?

      Do you mean Charles, that guy in England?

      March 24, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  5. Larry Jewis

    Just more CNN propaganda to underhand God.

    March 24, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      God, the all powerful creator of all things can be "underhanded" by Todd?

      March 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Lilith

      That just sounds dirty! God would be ashamed of you Larry!!

      March 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Jeremy

      Just wait for the next article when they will discuss Todd performing the "reach around"...

      March 24, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • humanbean

      Well Apple Bush, the Devil was able to do it, so who knows? LOL

      March 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • sam stone

      Wow, your god must be pretty impotent if CNN can underhand him. Is that it, punk? Is god just an impotent reflection of the mind of an impotent person? Please, share your wisdom with us

      March 24, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  6. One one

    "Today Christians ... stand at the head of [this country]... I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit ... We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press – in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past ... (few) years."
    — Adolf Hitler, quoted in: The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol.

    March 24, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • John P. Tarver, MS/PE

      Hitler was an evolutionist liar who attempted to "evolve" a master race through genocide.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • oOo

      Hitler was just one more Christian who thinks the next Christian is not a Christian.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Stanley

      The only part of this that Christians might disagree with is that Hitler really said it... cause he was no true Scotsman.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      John John John ... Don't know what "evolution" is do you? What he was doing was selective breeding. I'm embarrassed for you.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • John P. Tarver, MS/PE

      Stanley- It was not just Hitler who saw the economic value of denying humanity to one group or another. The UK operated slave states in Africa a full century after the US ended slavery.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Yakobi

      Hey, Tarver–shall we list all the xtian creationists who sought to oppress others?

      March 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
  7. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Thanks to pizza chefism, greasy-ism of pepperoni thin crust folded, fork eating of deep dish red sauce ANCHOVIES, east coast and their pizza chef ism copy cat pizza chef Anthony, By the slice have lost meanings of traditional crust and alfredo of By the slice, ANCHOVIES, The deep dish red sauce, traditional crust and alfredo of Sappo filthy mall pizza. They hand toss the pie, but on their own pizza chef ism, ignorance. Visit bestpizzapie.com to learn meaning's of Word ANCHOVIES, deep dish red sauce, by the slice and the world ism.

    March 24, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • What is That Thing on Aaron Neville's Face?

      Deliver?

      March 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Yes, deliver ism hind filthy secular ism need gas ism pepper ism?

      March 24, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • What is That Thing on Aaron Neville's Face?

      Actually I think it's going to be pancakism and eggism here in a few. lol.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
  8. Where is your God now?

    It is dark in your South African condo. You come into the living room to switch off the television. You are ready to join your girlfriend in the bedroom. It is Valentine’s Day. As you pad quietly up the stairs, you here a peculiar sound and hear a door shut. You start, then collect yourself and retrieve your gun from the nearby closet. Thinking your beautiful sweetheart is in the bedroom sleeping, your mind reels madly. Terrified you fire without thinking through the bathroom door where you just heard noises. Four times you fire your gun. Your girlfriend is not in bed sleeping.

    March 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Randall

      You are posting to an article about atheist activism, not about Mr. Pretorius. If you are trying to suggest a plausible scenario for his version of the night's events, then I need only say that shooting someone through a door without any indication of who is actually behind that door and if they do, in fact, post a threat, is manslaughter at best.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  9. John P. Tarver, MS/PE

    Modern science is completely comppatable with creationism, it is evolution and the big bang that are false in modern science.

    March 24, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Creationism starts with the conclusion and goes out looking for evidence to support it.
      Science starts with observations and tries to draw generalizations about them.

      Guess which one has been more successful at discovering new knowledge?
      Has creationism EVER discovered ANYTHING?

      March 24, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Lenn

      How do you figure?

      March 24, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Science is a medium to learn truth absolute of a matter, and it conforms truth of creation, but followers of hindu Atheism, ignorant monkey ism deny it from their hindu soul, darkened desire.

      absolute by intention. or an atheist,
      MONKEY
      Letter M means essence or choice of an intention, Vowel O represents Quantified. Letter N means enshrined or established. Letter K identifies function of a noun. Vowel E represents unity of an adjective and a noun in essence. Letter Y means Ye, from heart and mind, base of word Yes. meaning by self choice, with dis regard to truth absolute, a Secular, self centered or an atheist,

      March 24, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      "Creationism starts with the conclusion and goes out looking for evidence to support it."

      Well, not quite. Creationism starts with the conclusion and, unable to find any evidence to support it, makes sh it up or simply refuses to address the absence of factual support.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Quest ion

      Very, very interesting!!

      How is that?

      What is "Modern Science?

      If there is Modern Science then there of course should be "ancient or older science.

      Then what is "Older Science" if any there is?

      March 24, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Creationism requires frequent discovery of the ignorance and gullibility of the people it would deceive.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • John P. Tarver, MS/PE

      The big bang attempts to look back in time by means of electromagnetic radiation. (light) Relativity is Maxwell's Equations with Time decoupled from Space into a 4th dimension and therefore eliminates the scientific basis of the big bang. The global geological record demonstrates that spacies occur rapidly following a mas extinction, the opposite of evolution.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Salero21

      The Big Bang FACTS; God Spoke it into being and BANG it Happened!!

      March 24, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • One one

      What mechanism(s) does creationism propose for the existence of life and the universe ?

      March 24, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • John P. Tarver, MS/PE

      I like the vacuum fluctuation origin of the universe as demonstrated by black box radiation, just because I know from relativity tht the big bang is not true.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Everything that relies on light for the transmission of knowledge is looking backward in time.
      We learn from experience.
      That's why we look backward in time.
      (Well, SOME of us learn from experience.)

      Man, if PE means "professional engineer", like I think it does, I hope I never have to drive across any bridge that YOU built.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Quest ion

      What is Light?

      Is it Particles or is it Rays?

      Did not God Created Light first?

      Or was it earth and water?

      So then... if Light was Created first or before the known sources of Light.

      Then... how can the measure that?

      What is the so called God Particle?

      Is God a Particle or is it the Particle God?

      March 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Yakobi

      I was spot on in my previous assessment! Tarver HAS wasted countless hours trying to get the observable facts to fit the myths he was told as a child!

      March 24, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • John P. Tarver, MS/PE

      Light is electromagnetic radiation, but Einstein created the Photon so he could collect a Nobel prize; using the identical photographs of a solar eclipse that are proof of Relativity.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • John P. Tarver, MS/PE

      RichardSRussel- You should probably stay away from electricity completely, as electrical engineers are the people in science most likely to be creationists. This probably has to do with our broad use of QM and the fact that Maxwell's Equations are the basis of Relativity. Enjoy the darkness.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
  10. robert

    I realize that arguments come and arguments go and the Atheists have their set of arguments and the Christians have their set. At the end of the day one thing is certain without a doubt. We all die and at that point for the departed the truth will be known so it is fair to say 100 years from now those who are 20 years old and older will know whether what they believe is true or not.

    March 24, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • .

      How odd that no one has ever come back to tell us.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      OK, let's test your premise. Both my mom and my dad are dead. And I know what happens after they die. They stay dead. So I guess you're right, we DO know. Thanks for pointing that out.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  11. Quest ion

    OMG, Why are americans so fat and slow?

    March 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Salero21

      You could also ask why are Atheists such fools?

      March 24, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Quest ion

      Ok sal, so... then; why are atheist such fools?

      Why do you say they're rabid wolves?

      Why are they like monkeys?

      March 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Just a guess

      But may I suggest that sal21 learned most of what he knows at KKK school but has decided to changed his target to atheists.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
  12. Hello

    Read Caesar's Messiah by Joseph Atwill on who created the christian myth and why.

    March 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Lenn

      You can't say that the Romans created Jesus, but you could argue that they made Christianity what it became for political reasons.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • John P. Tarver, MS/PE

      Lenn-very much so. The Dominichi family claims of lineage to Peter also was a major contribution to their own personal wealth and power. The Jesus in church is n othing like the Jesus of Saint Luke the Artemisia.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Yakobi

      Interesting, Tarver. So what you're saying is organized religion changes reality to fit its needs. Much like the myths you were told as a child that have been changed by numerous religions throughout the centuries to fit their worldview.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  13. If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

    Every baby born is atheist. Obviously God(s) keep trying, but "believers" keep psychologically damaging them. Glad to see a few of us keep making it through with only minor damage.

    March 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Speak for yourself horses, I am pretty fucked up.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      I'm sure there's a very good atheist psychologist that can help you with that .. or maybe a cream of some sort 😉

      March 24, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  14. Tony Pendarvis

    To the non-believer: If there is no God, this whole discussion is hogwash. It means nothing, because everything means nothing. If no God, there are no morals, no kindnesses, no love. Nothing. In which case I see three choices: get on with the party and live it up because this is it, blow your brains out since your life is meaningless, or try to be the fittest and decimate those around you (One with the most toys wins). If there is no God and you, a non-believer are right, trying to convince someone else or even espousing it is simply a waste of everyone’s time (especially your own). Your crying "foul" when someone expresses belief in God because of perceived atrocities arising from past misplaced belief is without merit. Because if no God exists, there are no atrocities, no fouls. All is fair, because there is no such thing as fairness. Anything goes, because every action, word, belief (or non-belief) is irrelevant. If there is no God, there is no worth. No right, no wrong. All is futile. No truth, no lies. If you are right, we believers are all going to look like fools and you can relish in your intellectual superiority. Oh yeah, you won't be able to relish anything because you, like me, will be dust. So can someone please tell me why the heck this rich know-it-all and all you other non-believers are wasting your breath and making noise like you are scratching a chalkboard. Get on with your self-described meaningless lives or don't. Whatever.

    Or may God open your eyes and show you the Truth. In the precious and holy name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

    March 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Tony, I could not get past your first couple of statements. Where did you come up with all this? What facts are you basing it on? Your "holy man" does not represent truth to educated people Tony.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • .

      You have overblown your position admirably. Too bad none of what you spewed is predicated on a belief in God.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • mallorywin

      atheists cry foul because of many reasons. none are the reasons you think.

      life has the meaning you assign to it. nothing more, nothing less. you are ignorant if you think atheists think that life is meaningless by definition. probably no greater meaning other than what you ascribe to it.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      You are too far gone to be saved. I doubt you could ever break free from your indoctrination.
      ALL human nature comes from evolution (physical and psychological). Morals, ethics, love, nurturing are natural. If you need a God(s) to threaten you into being a good person then by all means keep your belief, the rest of us are good people by choice.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • oOo

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCovYF51qHE&w=640&h=390]

      March 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Snowdog

      Amen Tony, Well said brother. Jesus is the Savior.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Gyrogearloose

      Frankly, I believe that morals and ethics are inherent to being a social animal. God has nothing to do with it, although religion has in some cases and for its own benefit reinforced it.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Austin

      sounds like James.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • fiftypercenthollow

      For arguments sake, i agree, all who say life has purpose only if you give it purpose are saying , what i beliveve is not the same as what you believe, but really, we all have a set of ideas of which we should do but never do them, or if we're thrill seekers do the opposite. Where does that come from if these set rules are the same for us all. Can we really tell others to change their minds without a right way to act? No.

      April 15, 2013 at 12:55 am |
  15. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    I am a Pakistani Bhungi, and this is how we write and behave.

    March 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
  16. Snowdog

    Wow, all you Atheists will be sorry when you die and meet the God you do not believe in. I pray for all of you.

    March 24, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      You should spend your time worrying about the same thing yourself. Pascal's Wager doesn't have any winners.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • .

      Oooh. Pascal's wager. How redundant.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • John P. Tarver, MS/PE

      Be kind to the poor in spirit, for you will be judged upon how you treat them.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      It's a free country. Waste your own time however you want, just as long as you aren't hurting anyone else.
      Won't make a nickel's worth of difference to the rest of us.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • mallorywin

      too bad you wont know that you're wrong when the time happens.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • taylor

      atheists trying to make a quick buck? now ive cn everything jk

      March 24, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Yakobi

      Save your useless prayers for yourself, as they aren't needed nor wanted and do nothing.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • NGB4M

      And god so loved the world he condemned to eternal torture anyone who never heard of, or could not believe in, an absurd tale from long ago and/or far away.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  17. Where is your God now?

    You are at a German “sparkle party”. You are wearing your party pants. You are ready to dancy dance. It is a hard-core German sparkle party and you are wearing your rubber boots. The music is pulsating and it feels good to dance. You notice a familiar face standing at the bar. You dance over to her as fancy as you please in your polished rubber boots. You bend low to smell her perfume and say hello. It is your father.

    March 24, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
  18. Apple Bush

    Christians, if the god you worship is all-powerful, why do you even notice an atheist, much less argue with one? You and your god must have better things to do than argue that he exists to lowly atheists.

    March 24, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Chad

      Primarily to correct the misinformation..

      March 24, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Chad, your god is all-powerful. He can't handle a handful of ignorant back-woods un-educated atheists and their potty-mouths? YOU need to to hold him up?

      March 24, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Lenn

      It's like Amway; they think that they climb up higher on the pyramid the more people they sign up. Extra points for converting people like us whom they see as potential progidical sons. Besides, negative reviews on any product aren't good for the bottom line.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Chad

      @Apple Bush,

      well said!!

      March 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Opposing View

      What civilized society in the world allows their criminal element to run free? Answer: None. So just because we are believers, that don't mean we should allow unbelievers and atheists to run amok and do and say whatever you want. Secondly, we could say the exact same thing about you. If atheists don't believe in God then why hang out on religious forums? You'd think the atheists would just go on about about their business and care less what the Christians do...

      March 24, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Thank you Chad. Thank you very much indeed.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Adam

      LOL, On his deathbed Mr. Stiefel would be the first one to break out in song and prayer ..... Happens evertime.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Opposing View

      AppleBush… And what makes you think God is even noticing you in the first place. You think too highly of yourself. God could care less about you. His only intent is to win the sheep out of the world, those who love him and those who believe. Everyone else is going to hell…

      March 24, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Austin

      2 Corinthians 10:5
      New International Version (NIV)
      5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Yakobi

      OV–
      I know in Pakistan they let the criminal element run free in the FATA zones. Come to think of it, your anti-atheist rhetoric would fit right in with that oppressive society.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • el_incr

      We don't argue with atheists, we warn them of the wrath to come because we do care about where they will spend eternity.. 1 Thess 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • What IF

      el_incr & austin, etc.
      re: Thess. and Cor.

      What makes you think that Paul of Tarsus knew anything special?

      March 24, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • fiftypercenthollow

      We are brothers and sisters, so we do it to annoy you but we do care bout you.

      April 15, 2013 at 12:58 am |
  19. bp

    If there's one thing all faiths can agree on, it's hatred and contempt for atheists. Kudos to Stiefel for fighting the good fight.

    March 24, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Chad

      Well, clearly we have evidence of Atheists attacking Christians.. What evidence is there for Christians attacking atheists?

      March 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • John P. Tarver, MS/PE

      "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." KJV

      March 24, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      "What evidence is there for Christians attacking atheists?"

      Check out Mr. Tarver's post, just below, for starters. Trying to intimidate through fear is a classic christian attack against those who disagree with them.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Chad

      "Trying to intimidate through fear is a classic christian... "

      =>Christians dont attempt to intimidate anyone anymore than informing someone that they are driving the wrong way threatens them with a car accident.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Nicodemus Grumpschmidt

      John P, how does it feel to base your life on antiquated writings that have absolutely no relevance to life in a post-modern world? Anyway, keep up the good work. Your spewing here is great comedy fodder.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • NGB4M

      Atheists (or non-believers) and members of each of the seperate faiths agree that the other guys are wrong. Yet they all cannot stand that, not only are we not one of THEM, we aren't any of the others either.
      Just another way of saying that we are all doubters in that we doubt the beliefs of others. It's funny, but I think if I was a believer I would have less trouble with non-believers than with co-religionists who believed differently.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • fiftypercenthollow

      Don't be afraid its irrational

      April 15, 2013 at 1:02 am |
  20. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    hinduism racism is based on dog ism , atheism, self center ism, not of human but animals,
    identify Atheism.
    DOG
    Letter D, means, THE. vowel O, represents, QUANTIFIED AND Letter G is result of one s intention from his mind and heart. Sounded Ga. meaning a secular, self centered by intention in opposition to truth absolute by intention. or an atheist

    March 24, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Only way to cracken ism is abandonment of that stupid mechanical owl in the original Clash of the Titans movie Zuesism, filthy medusa ism, denial of stop motion visual effects absolute ZUES by that stupid mechanical owl in the original Clash of the Titans movie perseus, ignorant Poseidon harry hamlin s, or lightening will keep giant scorpions on their feet as long as that stupid mechanical owl in the original Clash of the Titans movie and their belief in andromeda ism , hind harry hamlin ism is around.

      March 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Yakobi

      Yakobi ism = Islam ism = Dog ism = Bhungi ism

      March 24, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Austin

      bung whole ism

      March 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Yakobi

      Stop using my handle.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Austin

      just joking

      i dont like owl gods either.
      ..
      ..........
      ...............
      (flying saucers)

      March 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Nicodemus Grumpschmidt

      We're getting tired of your unimaginitive format. Do us a favor and change it, please. We're bored.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
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About this blog

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