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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. xon

    "...the nation’s fastest-growing “religious” group: the nonbelievers."

    please, please, please, be aware that atheism is not a religion.

    March 24, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  2. tony

    If god said watch the heavens for his signs, why do so many churches have billboards outside instead???

    March 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • End Religion

      Because they're about as smart as a box of crabs?

      March 24, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  3. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    CREATION PROVEN BY QUANTUM PHYSICS AND DENIED BY FOLLOWERS OF HINDU MONKEY ISM, ATHEISM, STUPID SECULAR ISM BY FAITH.

    By
    quantum physics, everything is dependent on dark matter or program, otherwise
    known as Spirit, truth of human to be in physical form. Spirit, programs appear
    in male body after reaching age of puberty by will of Allah, certain matter
    from blood of man is attracted to spirit on 125 volts. produced by
    function of human body, after attachment of matter to spirit, matter
    takes form of sperm, a living being, transferred to woman's body to grow into human form according to
    spirit, program, otherwise known as seeded, not physically but spiritually programmed.
    Woman has no other function in human life but to mother a child, a greatest
    service, man cannot do without, reason for a children to carry their fathers
    name. Heritage of person is physically attached to man's linage, not
    woman.

    March 24, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • mykroft

      So much stupidity and ignorance, so little time....

      March 24, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Lisa

      " everything is dependent on dark matter or program, otherwise known as Spirit"

      lol, spend billions on discovering new parts of the fabric of our universe by building equipment like the LHC to confirm scientific and quantum theory and two seconds later having invested nothing some religious nut will try and hijack the results saying "Yeah, thats what we knew all along, we just called it spirit you know, so like the bible is still true, for sure, no way it can ever be wrong...and if you didn't catch that dark matter is spirit and the Higgs Boson isn't the God particle but a particle of God, so there! ha!"

      March 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • lostisland

      And that, is crazy talk, and one of the reasons we atheists don't like talking to or listening to folks which mix up science, craziness, and religion.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Yakobi

      Shut up you ISLAMIC bhung, we have enough garbage on Internet, stop spamming saale SOOWAR KE AULAD.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Yakobi

      Get your own handle and stop using mine.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  4. If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

    If you need religion and fear of God's wrath of eternal fire and brimstone to be a moral, ethical, loving, compassionate human being .. by all means keep it!! The rest of us are "good" without it.

    March 24, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Thomas

      Apparently it bothers this businesman more than you.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Opposing View

      Your are deceived. The very idea that you can be good without God is the biggest lie ever told. And you believed it. Morality comes from God. If you don't have God, then it is impossible for you to be moral or good. Everything you do is evil…

      March 24, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      My point was we don't need religion to be "good", but he is doing us all a service.
      I don't care what people need to believe to behave, but we cannot allow them to force their beliefs on the rest of us.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • mike from iowa

      Yam ATheists are good for the sake of being good, CHristians are only good because they'll burn in hell otherwise, but if allowed to, they would carry out atrocities against others. Athiests protect the planet so our children have a decent place to live, Christians consume evrything , pollute and detroy because they believe the Earth is a temporary place waiting to be destroyed by god. End reglision in our lifetime, before it ends humanity.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Opposing view .. I pray to your God that you're joking.
      If you are LOL
      If you are not, I offer myself as proof you can be good without God(s).

      March 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Opposing View

      If horses… I've seen no proof whatsoever. Just because you make the statement that you are proof, that don't mean a thing. Any fool can make a statement. But being true is a different thing altogether. You are deceived and of the devil and nothing you do is good…

      March 24, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Yakobi

      OV–
      Your worldview is myopic. You believe only the "one true" denomination of xtianity can be good and moral using circular logic. But this fails the first test, since many denominations claim to be the "one true" religion. It fails the second test because there are plenty of examples of any "one true" denomination who aren't moral or good by their own standards.

      The fact is, there are plenty of atheists who are moral and good and are more akin to Jesus than plenty of those who claim to be "true" xtians.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Yakobi

      "Any fool can make a statement."
      AHA! Then prove your god exists!

      March 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Yakobi

      like Allah is a fake deal, prove it if Mohammad was ever existed

      March 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Yakobi

      Get your own handle.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Opposing view .. yes, any fool can make that statement (just like you've been doing). The difference is that I exist and can prove I am a good person without God(s). In fact, ALL good people prove this is true since there are no Gods.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Opposing View

      If horses…. You've stated, "I can prove I am a good person without God"…

      Then please do so and provide evidence of that fact. I'd love to see it. I'm waiting…

      March 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
  5. tony

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

    Religion is why change isn't a concept the collection plate allows.

    March 24, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Thomas

      But at the super market you MUST pay to receive what you are after. The collection plate is not mandatory, you don't have to pay anything if you don't want to.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • tony

      Tell that to the Mormon church!

      March 24, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
  6. macmb

    Maybe we don't really exist and this is all just a dream.

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

      I reply, therefor I am.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Opposing View

      Macmb… Trust me, if this is a dream, then when you get the that dream hell, it will still feel just as real...

      March 24, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • End Religion

      OV, lol, you little child, when we die the brain that is a necessity for our experiences will be dead a s well. There won't be any way to experience an afterlife even if there were one. No thoughts, no feeling, nothing. Grow up.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Opposing View

      End Region... And you haven't a shred of proof to back up your claims. Therefore, you have no argument. All you have is conjecture, which don't mean a thing...

      March 24, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
  7. Etch A. Sketch

    Since Jesus was an Ephraimite Jew (ie. black dude) ... then why do white people draw Jesus as a white guy? LMAO

    Would white people worship a black or Arab "God"?

    March 24, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Adrian

      Well many certainly don't respect a Black President. It's sad how disgustingly racist so many people in America still are. I think the white Jesus played a part in keeping it that way for a long time.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Lilith

      Only white people draw Jesus as a white guy?
      But I do agree with your sentiment, if he wasn't portrayed as "white" the Jesus legend would've faded long ago.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • John P. Tarver, MS/PE

      Thge King of the Jews propesies in Hosea and Exekiel are not taught in White church, but Hosea is explicit that this King would be Ephraimite, while Ezekieel adds the lineage of Perez also. Not only that, but only 12,000 of each of 12 of the 14 tribes of Israel got to God's house in Heaven, while all the Ephraimites have reconsiliation in Christ. That means there will be a lot of blacks in God's house.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • guest

      where did you get your information that Jesus was an Ephramite? Jesus was of the tribe of Judah. As to rather or not Jesus may have been black that is up for debate, a debate I'm not going to get into. I've read both sides, but in the long run it doesn't really matter to me, He is still the Savior for those who chose Him.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  8. Realist

    *******************
    *******************

    The Christian god emanates from the EVILbible.com (please visit that link)

    So we are thankful that GODisIMAGINARY.com (please visit this one too)

    ***************************
    ***************************

    March 24, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Blake Childers

      To fight for equality does not mean bashing the other side. THAT is why I disagree completely with mainstream Atheism: all you know how to do is run your mouths about how Christianity is evil and then turn around asking for "equality". You're not a realist, you're just a Freudian Slip.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
  9. Etch A. Sketch

    In case the religious nuts don't get it ... ATHEISM is not the "belief in NO GOD".

    ATHEISM is a *rational* conclusion that the defintions and ideas of "Gods" are IRRATIONAL and hence, do not exist. Only *things* which can be *rationalized* ... can be *known* to exist. If you cannot rationalize your "God" ... guess what ... it doesn't exist.

    So the assertion that the USSR and China are atheists countries that killed their citizens in the name of atheism ... is ABSURD!

    If they killed their people in the name of "NO GOD" ... then that would be an *equally* absurd and IRRATIONAL belief.

    Those leaders of the USSR and China killed their citizens for an IRRATIONAL belief that was POLITICALLY based. They feared that by allowing their citizens to learn and worship Western "Gods", their citizens would rise up against them and allow western powers into their country.

    That is what happened with Vietnam. The French Catholics brainwashed the people in the south to rise up against the Vietnam Emperor. The French gov't and army intervened. The Vietnam Emperor knowing he could not defeat the French, settled by allowing the French to colonize the south. Many years later ... the Vietnam War started ... to free IndoChina of all Western powers.

    March 24, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Opposing View

      And all that rationalization won't mean anything when you wind up in hell. Oh, wait, you don't believe in hell. Not to worry. Belief is not a requirement to go to hell. You will still go there whether you believe in it or not. Belief is only a requirement to get to heaven...

      March 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • mykroft

      Opposing view,
      You are right that we will probably go to hell. And to Heaven, Asgard, Hogworts, and the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. The mind is a creation of the brain, and when the brain dies the mind no longer exists. So it could be said that we will all go to the same place as other things and places that do not exist.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Opposing View

      Mykroft... I think you have believed one too many lies. Somebody told you the mind is a creation of the brain and you believed it. Then they told you, when the brain dies the mind no longer exists. And you believed that too. Yet it was all a lie. Maybe you should have asked them to prove it to you. But you didn't. You just accepted what they said all because it was exactly what you wanted to hear (a reason not to believe in God). And now you are deceived.

      Belief is not a requirement to go to hell. When you die you will still go there whether you believe in it or not. Belief is only a requirement to get to heaven. So feel free to continue to believe hell doesn't exist if you want. Rest assured, when you die you will still go there anyway. And trust me, those nonexistent flames in that nonexistent hell will still feel just as real…

      March 24, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Etch A. Sketch

      Please *rationalize* for us what hell and heaven is ... oh wait ... you can't even rationalize your "Jewish God"!

      LMAO

      What the heck is this thing you call the "Jewish God" (aka. "Yahweh"="Jesus"="Holy Spirit"=3-is-1=1-is-3)

      March 24, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
  10. Austin

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReklDIQS-n8&w=640&h=360]

    March 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Austin

      baby call my line call it anytime

      March 24, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  11. Eddie

    Tax the Churches.

    March 24, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  12. Fred

    Anyone know where God came from? Just asking.

    March 24, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Goodfella

      Fred
      Which one? My Godfather came from Caltobellotta in Sicily.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Just Call Me Lucifer

      God lives in Patterson, New Jersey. All gods come from New Jersey. Bruce, Frank, Bon Jovi... all New Jersey. New Jersey must be heaven. Might as well be.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  13. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Closing window to awful sounds of crying babies Barking dogs ism, ambulance noise pollution ism, Nobody cares neighbor ism, open windows, crying babies emergency noise ism Damn fire trucks sirens louder ism in to neighbor one else on front of his main street, at last holidays fire trucks looked at HOME OFFICE and wailed and same was answered by HOME OFFICE, Damn fire trucks spewing water on ash, Damn fire trucks turned in to HOME OFFICE, and HOME OFFICE turned in to Damn fire trucks, ONE ON corner WAS NOT DAMN FIRE TRUCKS BUT HOME OFFICE, EVERY crying babies, puppy follower of crying babies Barking dogs ism, ambulance noise pollution ism making noises to as his Barking dogs, ambulance noise pollution man dog. Visit TurnOffTheNoise.com to learn crying babiesism, denial of noixe absolute chaos, by crying babies noise ism.

    March 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Austin

      I know it man. its something else.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
  14. John P. Tarver, MS/PE

    Jesus was an Ephraimite. (black dude)

    March 24, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
  15. Etch A. Sketch

    In case the religious nuts don't get it ... ATHEISM is not the "belief in NO GOD".

    ATHEISM is a *rational* conclusion that the defintions and ideas of "Gods" are IRRATIONAL and hence, do not exist. Only *things* which are can be *rationalize* ... can be *known* to exist.

    So the assertion that the USSR and China are atheists countries that killed their citizens in the name of atheism ... is ABSURD!

    If they killed their people in the name of "NO GOD" ... then that would be an *equally* absurd and IRRATIONAL belief.

    Those leaders of the USSR and China killed their citizens for an IRRATIONAL belief that was POLITICALLY based. They feared that by allowing their citizens to learn and worship Western "Gods", their citizens would rise up against them and allow western powers into their country.

    That is what happened with Vietnam. The French Catholics brainwashed the people in the south to rise up against the Vietnam Emperor. The French gov't and army intervened. The Vietnam Emperor knowing he could not defeat the French, settled by allowing the French to colonize the south. Many years later ... the Vietnam War started ... to free IndoChina of all Western powers.

    March 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • jan buyck

      Exactly, they didn't kill in the name of religion, but killed for political reasons. History shows that the cruelest genocides happened in the name of religion.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  16. Kenman

    CNN, the new atheist portal! And with so many liberals, it's the obvious choice!

    March 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • tony

      Are you saying Liberal Jesus was an Atheist?

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

      punk troll

      March 24, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  17. tim operstein

    me think jew behind all this

    March 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Quest ion

      Why?

      March 24, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  18. Quest ion

    Do Atheists believe there is a Particle called God?

    Do they believe that God is a Particle?

    Would that not be the same as Idolatry?

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

      You need to read more physics text books. Misunderstandings do not a religion justify.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      The bible tells us that god created light...then later the sun. Very reliable.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • John P. Tarver, MS/PE

      CERN has used a proton that has mass to fabricate an imaginary particle that came of no mass; and then there was mass. (ie Gravity) The Higg's boson is about reviving the falsed big bang and has no place in science, but is a very nice story of faith in obsolete science and feeds populism/athiesm.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Quest ion

      Ok tony,

      Did you read the books?

      Did you understand the books?

      Can you explain what you read?

      ???

      March 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • tony

      Yes. I went to school. Where did you go?

      March 24, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Quest ion

      mmm... Very, very interesting again John!!

      So then... that to me at leas sound like some other form of Idolatry.

      I mean... to believe that a Particle Matter is capable of Creating all other matter and on and on.

      Then the atheists are believing that a Particle is a god.

      God CREATED all matter... down to the Neutrons, Protons and Electrons and anything and everything there is.

      That's why HE is God! Not a Particle neither a Particle of matter or a matter Particle can be God. Neither can it... Create Itself EX NIHILO.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Quest ion

      Ok tony,

      Can you explain what your read?

      March 24, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • jan buyck

      There is no such thing as "Atheists do believe... " like not all Christians do believe exactly the same. Atheism simply means " The lack of a belief in the existence of a god": nothing more, nothing less. Atheists don't have a common believe in something. Most atheists are very skeptical, but like some people do, some Atheist believe in other things like "the god particle", but so far, i never met one... lol

      March 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  19. Tim Roberts

    Just because his faith failed him, don't try to force your beliefs on me. Atheists trying to remove In God We Trust from out money is wrong. The beliefs of the few should not be forced on the many. I'm tired of Political Correctness ruling our lives. I will pray for this mans soul. God Loves You...no matter what!!

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

      And vice versa. Although I note religious rubbish is given tax exemption. Science publishing is not.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Realist

      I agree. YOUR beliefs should NOT be forced on me! GodisImaginary.com (please visit the link)

      March 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Eddie

      "In God We Trust" on our money is wrong. It was placed there in the '50's during the Red Scare when anyone not pledging to God and Country were considered Communists. What a black mark on our country.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Atheist Dad

      As an atheist I don't really care what the money says except for the denomination. The fact that is says "IN GOD WE TRUST" seems silly to me, as silly as if it said "IN ZEUS WE TRUST".

      March 24, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Jeremy

      "The beliefs of the few should not be forced on the many"

      So the beliefs of the many should be forced on the few? Why can't we all just mind our own business when it comes to peoples bedrooms and wedding albums, neither side get's to preach in schools, though I understand how you would think of it as the atheist getting his way by just not having you preach your God to his children in a publicly funded school, but he's not sending an atheist spokesman to influence your children, he just doesn't feel it's right to allow the religious spokesman into the schools to influence any children on his tax dollar.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      TR
      In god we trust is a lie that was put on OUR money when the christians forced their religiojn on everyone else...the same as when they changed the pledge and excluded anyone who does not follow their god from declaring their loyalty to their country.
      Atheists are just trying to put things BACK they way they were BEFORE the christians unconst!tutionally changed things.

      In god we trust is a lie...here is the simple proof.
      the we refers to we the people, meaning ALL citizens of the us. It is the all inclusive we.
      I am an atheist and I do not trust in any god, but I am one of the we in we the people.
      in god we trust is a lie

      Maybe you should change it to be more accurate, like in god many of us trust, or in god most of us trust.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • sam stone

      spending a lot of time on your knees, timmy?

      you seem to confuse "political correctness" with constutionality.

      don't worry, you are not alone

      it is an affliction common to the bible so-dom-izers

      March 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  20. Sung Yu Solp

    Me think a atheist people are just a lonely peoplee looking for attention.

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

      Theenk a leetle bit more

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

      SIlly idea. Lonely people tend to gravitate to religion to fill that void. Atheists tend to be more centered, realistic and not need artificial crutches or invisible friends.

      March 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
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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.