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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. Robert Middleton

    If we got everybody on Earth to pray at the same time, would we blow a fuse in heaven?

    March 24, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
  2. Believe

    His e-mail is TRS1470@AOL.COM if you want to send a personal message

    March 24, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
  3. Buck Rogers

    Folks, we need to drop the 'is evolution true' vs. 'is the Bible true' and simply enjoy the scientific entertainment put forth by NASA whilst they hunt for ETs.....

    http://www.fountainsofthegreatdeep.com/IFS.htm

    March 24, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      ............and land man on the moon, and develop much of the technology you are using to spew this nonsense in their spare time. Don't forget that.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • Got faith?

      Evolution requires faith

      March 24, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • JJ

      Evolution is proven fact. Religion is conjecture. They are no where near equivalent. Evolution does not make claims about the ORIGIN of life. It makes verifiable claims about how life developed.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • Got faith?

      evolution is a proven fact? Sure it is for the delusional.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • Dippy

      Evolution requires intelligence, something most religious folks are sorely lacking.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      No. It is for thousands of scientists, some of whom frequently use the fact of evolution to diagnose nutjobs like you as the mentally deranged worms that you are.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • JJ

      @Got Faith. Um yes, biologists agree that Evolution is a fact. It can be reproduced in a lab, and has been. We can trace common ancestry through genes. That is far more evidence than any faith-based explanation can present.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • janey33

      JJ...Bioligists agree??? Who cares?? That doesn't make it true. Both biology and genes were created by God. God and science are perfectly compatible. There are several references to science in the Bible.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:55 am |
  4. Thus Spoke a Modest Proposer

    When you encounter someone who professes to be an Atheist, take the most personally advantageous action: eat him. Atheists are high in protein and a good source of B vitamins and amino acids. Be discreet in your endeavors until Atheists are recgonized as game animals by the state. Remember, you have nothing to fear except law enforcement as long as you have braised, roasted or broiled the Atheist to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees. They are also good in casseroles and fricassees.
    Atheists are a small and weak minority who should be exploited.
    Make no mistake...I am an Atheist myself...but I will never reveal that to the world. It serves my interests to call myself a Christian in order to further my purposes.
    Do not bore me with notions of how I should obey my "inner moral sense". My moral sense is nothing but a biological construct, a primitive survival advantage I have outgrown...much as I have outgrown the need for God. I can discard them both easily...they are worthless to me...After all, God Is Dead and the only good is what is good for ME. I am the Superman. I am beyond Good and Evil.

    March 24, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Captain Strawman!
      Able to jump from conclusion to conclusion without a shred of evidence or relevance to the issue!!!
      It's a bird! It's a plane! It's.............a pile of bullcrap!!!!!!!!

      March 24, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • Thus Spoke a Modest Proposer

      You sound animated. I enjoy lively prey. Are you available for dinner?

      March 24, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      I don't eat dinner with cannibals. I shoot them.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
  5. Vic

    In the United States, most people believe in God!!! The silent majority!!!

    March 24, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • End Religion

      Enjoy it while it lasts. It's slipping. Bye bye.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • Dippy

      Yep. Sad but true. But people are becoming more enlightened and the tide is turning. Education is the key.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Also the stupid majority. The majority that makes this the only post-industrial country that identifies strongly with anti-intellectualism. Praise jebus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      March 24, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • Carlson

      The religious majority in America are anything but silent. If you think otherwise, you're deluded. The religious majority go door to door and preach in the streets, silent is the dumbest descriptor you could pick.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • Heinrich

      It'll be gone before the century is out I guarantee You...

      March 24, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Vic

      Faith/Belief and Religiosity are two different things!

      March 24, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Keith

      They are silent for a reason, they are DUMB, ask your average BELIEVER a serious question and they fall apart. They have NO answers other than the old stand bye "you must have faith". When I hear that I laugh and say "I win, you lose" which is always meet by embarrassed silence.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
  6. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Dark matter was first docu-mented by Mohammad himself in fart of a donkey, read the Nobel Qur'an, you atheist goons

    March 24, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
  7. pseudointellectual

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

    March 24, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • End Religion

      Your propaganda is known to contain untruths. What else would we expect from religion?

      March 24, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I wonder why Richard was being so nice to Ben Stein. He is more patient than me.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • Mekju

      The argument that God exists because the universe "must have started somewhere" is the worst argument an Xtian can make. If you can't comprehend that then you must ask yourself how Gawd was created. Don't give us the alpha and omega B.S. If you're argument is that something HAS to have a beginning then it applies to your version of the FSM as well.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • John

      It is strange to watch this while knowing God is there. You can see that he will not accept the truth as it is, that he wants God to be other than he is. He thinks of God as a 'property' he should be able to analyze, rather than a supreme being that can form everything he's studied. He doesn't want God, he wants something else that he can study and be above. He wants to be over God, studying God like some process or characteristic in nature, that he can control. If he can't have that, he wants emptiness rather than God. IMO. I know God is there, so I do not fear death, I know it is just a transition from the physical world, to the spiritual. Jesus showed the way, and he made it possible to know life after death, and forgiveness of sins through his sacrifice. He was sent by God to do this, and I thank him for that, and thank God for sending him. I know he won't listen, but someone has to say it, to say that God is right, and walk away.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • End Religion

      John, your god does not exist. I cleared a space on my desk and asked him to appear, but nothing happens. but we knew it wouldn't, right?

      March 24, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • John

      ER, how can you reject God and then expect him to do something for you afterwards? Besides, you put your trust in the nothing god, and from what I've noted, nothing never does anything, least of all, all at once like at a big bang event that science claims is so easy that nothing can form an entire universe all at once and never again, just because. That's the claim anyway. And yes, the desktop is still cleared here, ready for an enitre universe of matter and energy to form on it. Nothing is super slow today, like yesterday and the days before. Nothing isn't like the fractions of a second claimed for space time to form on my desktop with a universe spinning around and melting everything in sight. Nothing has been lame, that's for sure, not like the science descriptions of it.

      Meanwhile, God exists and did what he said he did.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • G to the T

      Is there some pamphlet all the religious people are quoting from? NO theory in science says everything was created from nothing. To say it does just shows an enormous lack of integrity. You want to argue about the origin of the singularity, fine, but stop it with these strawmen arguements or no one will every take your side seriously...

      April 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  8. Atheist

    I am happy
    I am ethical
    I never think about God
    I came from nothing and when I die I become nothing,
    Some of the finest men were atheists like Richard Dawkins, Steven Hawkings, Stalin, hitler, Mao, Sandra fluke

    March 24, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Please translate word ethical.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • Atheist

      Ethical means abortion

      March 24, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      So bad you were not aborted.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • Steve

      Atheist's are converted when they have an in-depth NDE and realize that you are NOT YOUR brain - mind and brain are separate and more and more people are waking up to that fact - sorry Atheist IS AS WRONG AS THOSE WHOM BELIEVED THAT THE EARTH WAS FLAT!!!

      March 24, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • End Religion

      Mankind understands NDE well. It has nothing to do with imaginary creatures. It is sometimes the fight or flight release of adrenaline or the body's release of dopamine during trauma that cause hallucinations perceived by @3% of the general population. Half of the people experiencing it aren't actually near death. One can experience the same effects with various drugs.
      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=peace-of-mind-near-death

      Scathing review from Sam Harris on the Eban Alexander NDE book:
      http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/this-must-be-heaven

      March 24, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Regarding NDE's and similar experiences: It's important to not make life-altering decisions or plan anything important based on what you became convinced of while your brain was starved for oxygen.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • Kenny

      Neither Hitler nor Mao were atheist. Hitler mentions being lead by god at least a dozen times in Mein Kampf, and Mao believed he himself was a god. Neither of those are consistent with someone who is atheist. It is lies like those by religious nuts like you that help convert more and more people to atheism every day.... So keep up the good work!

      March 24, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
  9. Rick

    Atheists will have all of eternity to spend with their father Satan. They have hardened their hearts and will get what they want.

    March 24, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Boo!

      March 24, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Word Satan and Lucifer means, hindu atheist, filthy denier of truth absolute, self centered, with mind set of a dog, a secular. They deserve each other to be together in hind, hell.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • End Religion

      rick, you're a laughing stock. Peddle your snake oil elsewhere.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • Kenny

      Hate to break it to you, but there is no satan, nor hell for that matter. The fact that atheists realize that is why we are able to lead much more fulfilling lives, free of fear.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • G to the T

      I know in my case it was god that hardened my heart (just like he did the pharo), so it's not my fault that I don't believe. God interfered with my free will!

      April 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  10. Ray Briggs

    Think how much money this guy could have saved if the teacher who misled him about the Old Testament was someone that understood it. He should take his money and enroll in a class that helps him discover God.

    March 24, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Looking ahead

      Once someone rejects God, he doesn't make it easy for them to come back. It's like having an anchor strapped to your chest and being tossed into the sea. What's done is done, unless God sees some value to bringing him back.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Ah. "Everybody's doing religion wrong but me!"

      March 24, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • Heinrich

      @looking ahead. So You're answer to it is that Your mystical sky Daddy made it so He wanted Him to become an Atheist? And is choosing not to let Him back?

      You are a very sad person indeed. That kind of mentality is the exact thing that needs to be purged from our society.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
  11. Journey

    99.9% of the so-called atheist in the U.S. were at one time so-called Christians, like this man states that he once was. They got rubbed the wrong way at a church or a youth group, or got their heart broke by someone, and now the whole religion (and religion in general) has to pay for it. Most of them still read the Bible in secret and want to go back to the days when they actually believed...and when they see normal religiously oriented people living normal lives they get even madder and more bitter. In short: 99/9% of atheists are complete losers that wallow in their own anger. We aren't fooled. Ignore them.

    March 24, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Who are you talking to, the atheists you are ignoring?

      March 24, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • J-Pap

      Yeah really. Nothing about what you say describes me at all. Typical.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • Pancake House

      We live in the dimly lit basement of our parent's home searching for answers to justify our beliefs.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • Heinrich

      Yeah sure Atheists are planning to take over the world with their evil machines.

      What are You 5?

      March 24, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • Frank

      Nice try. But we aren't going to be ignored, and we aren't going away. The world is growing up and one day soon, fairy tales we be only for children.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • Rapsy

      LOL – that's the typical butthurt religitard reponse atheists are used to. Yes, we were hurt by a church, or church member. Unfortunately for you, the majority of Atheists merely actually READ the bible and realized what a pile of poo it truly is.

      March 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • G to the T

      Way to bare false witness! Keep up the "good" work...

      April 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
  12. Answer

    If there is no God then there is no right or wrong so don't wet yourself.

    March 24, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • Heinrich

      Okay pally no. Who the hell said atheists have no morals on what's right and wrong? Typical Christian straw man.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • Answer

      The christian c-o-c-k-s-u-c-k-e-r likes to play with names.

      Why does atheism made you so afraid?

      March 24, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Pancake House

      Answer – Your responses are confusing and contrasting. Are your saved or are you lost?

      March 24, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • Pancake House

      Heinrich – I think the question is where do you get the authority to say what is right and what is wrong?

      March 24, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • Answer

      ==quote==
      Pancake House

      Answer – Your responses are confusing and contrasting. Are your saved or are you lost?

      ==end==

      As you see there is a christian c-o-c-k-s-u-c-k-e-r who likes to use other people's handle when they can't win arguments.
      They can't stand it when they're on the ropes so it's their way to confuse posters.

      I'm having fun playing with it.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • Frank

      I don't need an invisible man to tell what is right and what is wrong. The brain that evolved in me for 10,000 generations tells me that.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • sam stone

      right and wrong are defined by society, not god, so don't wet yourself

      March 25, 2013 at 3:08 am |
  13. Vic

    As Christians in this world, Jesus Christ is our comfort:

    Jesus Comforts His Disciples

    John 14:1-7

    "14 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."

    Oneness with the Father

    "7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

    Jesus Is the Light of the World

    John 8:12

    "12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”"

    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    http://www.biblegateway.com

    March 24, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • End Religion

      Please learn to walk in the many footsteps of Bilbo. In His name I pray...

      "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty wet hole, filled with the ends of earth worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole, with nothing to sit down on or to eat; it was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort."

      From the book of Bilbo, 1:1

      March 24, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
  14. Rocket

    Why do atheist attack Christianity much more than they do Islam. Scared huh, well I guess Muslims do threaten to kill anyone that doesn't follow their beliefs. I can see why athiest would wimp out or tone down their criticism of Islam and harass Christianity instead. Anyway I hate to see Atheist waste soo much money and time

    March 24, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • Answer

      Right back at ya.

      Why does the religious right waste so much money on denying global climate change?

      March 24, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • Heinrich

      Because the Muslims aren't shoving it down our throats.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • doughnuts

      Because in this country, the vast majority of the believing public, and the ones making the most effort to turn their faith into the law of the land, are Christians.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      You deal with the strain of a disease that is prevalent in your area first, not the one in Asia.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • Tony

      It is sad to know atheism exists. Those people are lost and will come to find they will not be welcome in the light of God if they don't change their ways.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • Frank

      Heard this argument before. Let's just say I'll clean my own house first. As for islam, it seems to be where christianity was a few hundred years ago, dominant, violent, plagued by factionalism and willing to murder and make war to keep power. That suggests a natural progression of religious philosophy from dominating myth to skeptical questioning to conscious abandonment for science and logic. This seems to be how societies grow up.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
  15. Diane

    I am praying for him.

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

      We are glad you chose to do nothing. Keep doing it.

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

      Much good it'll do anyone.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • Answer

      Please pray for me as I am probably headed for Hell.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
  16. Futureman1

    "All religion is mental illness. Christians are the sociopaths! Muslims are the psychopaths. Jews are the self loathing guilt obsessed, and the others are self absorbed and compulsive"! Every good thing about humanity comes from science and thought... From hunting weapons and fire for the Neanderthals to fusion cells for cars.. It's all science.. Religion has given us 10,000 years of division, war, torture, jihad, manifest destiny, slavery, .. It's all been done in the name of some God be it Zuess, Thor, Odin, Muhammed, or Jesus.. 10,000 years from now two guys will be discussing this.. First guy,, "you mean as late ar 2075 they believed a spirit in the sky created the universe?" ,, "Wow, says the second guy, it's a good thing the Morfisians came from the Andromeda Galaxy and proved to them that the universe was created by Fission and matter, they would still be killing each other over some God"

    March 24, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • J-Pap

      so true.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
  17. Spin knows a ???

    The United States is headed down the same road as Europe.
    We will soon be economically, intellectually and morally bankrupt, just as they are.

    March 24, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • Heinrich

      Care to elaborate on how Europe is morally corrupt? I think Europeans are quite nice thank You very much!

      March 24, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • Answer

      Let us know if you have ever visited Europe.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • Spin knows a ???

      Who said corrupt? Perhaps your reading comprehension is lacking?

      March 24, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • Spin knows a ???

      @answer: Yes, I have visited Europe. As a matter of fact I have been there too many times to count. My business takes me there frequently. Have you any other questions?

      March 24, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • Heinrich

      Corrupt and Bankrupt are interchangeable. And it doesn't change the fact that Your statement is wrong. Many people from Europe still have religious beliefs.

      You should really do Your research before You go making absurd statements like Europe has no morality.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • Answer

      Ya I do.

      Let us hear how many viewpoints of all of Europe that you have taken in to make your assessment.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
    • TheSpeaker

      Yet they consistently rank higher than us (especially in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway) in every major and important demographic. Healthiest, life expectancy, education, infant mortality, economic stability, overall happiness, etc. Why wouldn't we want to be one of those?

      March 24, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • Answer

      You must have made effort to cover the whole span of Europe in every niche and culture to make your incredible ignorance come to light. All that vast generalization must be so hard for you to just make up.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • Spin knows a ???

      @heinrich:
      Corrupt and bankrupt are synonyms? I shall have to alert Roget's.

      As far as the state of Europe is concerned, I have no need to explain my position.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • Answer

      ==quote==

      This:

      We will soon be economically, intellectually and morally bankrupt, just as they are.

      and with this:

      " I have no need to explain my position."

      ====end===

      Tells us a lot.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • Heinrich

      Unfortunately You do. Your ignorance on Europe is astounding. The only morally bankrupt and corrupt nation with religious wackamoles is America. The majority of them anyway.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
  18. kylef

    For the atheists, how was life created?

    March 24, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • Answer

      And your god?

      March 24, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    • Anonymous

      From nothing

      March 24, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • THE REALIST

      Please tell us oh wise one!

      March 24, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      kylef, I am not sure how life started.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • Answer

      Are you afraid of our answer of "we don't know?"

      March 24, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • THE REALIST

      ... too bad you were created when the Doctor kept the afterbirth.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • Heinrich

      I suggest You watch Universe from nothing. It offers a good explanation without a deity involved.

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

      no one knows. so why make fun of a group of people like Christians or any other religion trying to figure it out. Atheism is just another religion and that's where their argument fails: how life began

      March 24, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • Answer

      ==quote==

      kylef

      no one knows. so why make fun of a group of people like Christians or any other religion trying to figure it out.

      ==end==

      Let us hear that again. You religious people haven't figured it out like you said was all figured out in your bible?

      Did I hear that?

      March 24, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • doughnuts

      It wasn't "created."

      March 24, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • G to the T

      "how was life created" – Wrong question as it presupposes a creator. If you asked "how did life begin here on Earth" then I might be able to point you to some of the current theories on ambiogenesis...

      April 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  19. THE REALIST

    *****
    *****

    Your GODisIMAGINARY.com (please visit the site) and thank goodness
    ... because he emanates from the EVILbible.com (visit this one as well).

    *****
    *****

    March 24, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • THE REALIST

      *****
      *****

      Your GODisIMAGINARY.com (please visit the site) and thank goodness
      ... because he emanates from the EVILbible.com (visit this one as well).

      *****
      *****

      March 24, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
  20. chanel # 5

    everyone dies.

    any more priests or atheists want some prepubescent fellas? they are going like hot-cakes. we have a special for multi-priests, multi-athies or combos. 7 kids for the price of 8. good while supplies last. for more info call we are the faithful or god-haters abundant life.

    March 24, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • Answer

      Glad to know you feel so afraid of death.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • The Tin Foil Hat Brigade Is Here

      Everyone knows it's the good Christians in their own homes who are the worst pedophiles, chanel #5. Get off your high horse, you enabling denier.

      March 24, 2013 at 10:12 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.