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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. judy

    the gentleman said it himself,,,you could say there were points where i could feel the Spirit.everyone doubts.we are humans. but the person of Christ gives hope to the hopeless, help to the helpless. fathers the orphan, call me weak ,i was weaker before. i'm grateful.this dear soul was bought with the blood of the Lamb. Christs last words were IT IS FINISHED. we can"t change what was settled in eternity. heres more bad news for people who will stand before God alone...it was because He loved you. this guy could have saved himself a lot of cash. and he may have to spend eternity in heaven. where scripture tells us at the right hand of the Father are pleasures forevermore. it doesn't matter what we think. God didn't comfer with man. He just loved us first.

    March 25, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • Karl Denton

      Seriously...god loved first...then wiped out humans in a flood, wiped out humans in various religious wars, wiped out humans in natural disasters? Give me a break...if god existed and gave a damn he would not be killing so many people that he presumably created in his own image!

      March 25, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • Bo S

      How do you know the scriptures are true? You cannot prove it. I know you may say it's 'faith.' But I think 'faith' is believing something without logics & probability of evidence.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • Drivenb4u

      You christians talk weird. Thankfully it makes you easy to spot.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      The story of Christ is ludicrous beyond extreme. Your god sends a piece of himself to earth in human form, knowing in advance (omniscient and all) that he'll live, be crucified, die, then he would resurrect himself in human form, then bugger off to heaven to rejoin himself. No sacrifice at all! And this BS about "God's ONLY son"? Hello??? God – supposedly can do anything – why can't he make another son?
      Silly, silly, silly

      March 25, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      God loved me so much that, for some uninexplicable reason, he had to r-ape a 12 year old girl and impregnate her with himself, so that he could be born and tortured, all so that he could force himself to forgive me for some unknown and yet unperformed transgressions, because I wasn't even born. And he'll roast me forever if the reasoning capacity he HIMSELF gave me is too strong to accept such nonsense.

      How dare you attribute such stupidity to god? You religionists have defamed god in the most vile way possible. Rest assured, if god is as vindictive as you say, he's preparing the hottest part in hell for you and your ilk.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • clarity

      Are "Lambs" really that important?

      March 25, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • Pete

      judy
      You seem to be really interested in all the pleasures you imagine are in heaven, but I could never enjoy myself if I knew that others were being tortured just for the crime of thinking for themselves. Under every tyrant there are those who will do anything to garner his favor, and those brave ones who suffer the injustice. I know which side I'd rather be on.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:27 am |
    • Pete

      clarity
      Are lambs important? What do you think shepherds eat? Shepherds keep sheep in order to fleece them regularly, and for their meat. If Jesus is your "Shepherd" then guess what that makes you?

      March 25, 2013 at 12:31 am |
    • clarity

      I know Xtians are always capitalizing things, but I'm not sure I remember lamb being capitalized. But I guess "blood of the Lamb" has to sound special.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:43 am |
    • Pete

      clarity
      Jesus is the "Lamb of God", but he's also "The Good Shepherd".

      Messed up, isn't it?

      March 25, 2013 at 1:07 am |
    • clarity

      Oh yes, Pete – lol. Lamb of God, now that you mention, I should have known; I guess I didn't remember Blood of the Lamb; lol. I would hate to be a proofreader for some religious organization. There was an old, awful metal band named Impaler. They should have had a song "Blood of the Lamb".

      March 25, 2013 at 1:16 am |
  2. chuck

    THANK GOD I'M AN ATHEIST !!!!!!!

    March 25, 2013 at 12:07 am |
    • Bo S

      Me too!

      March 25, 2013 at 12:14 am |
    • Trixie

      Me too. Hallelujah!

      March 25, 2013 at 12:24 am |
  3. Bo S

    Each religion is a funny fairytale. There are so many religions and if you think that your god is the only way to heaven, it's your choice. A rational thinking person wouldn't believe any of those stories. What a waste of time & money. “Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.” -Christopher Hitchens-

    March 25, 2013 at 12:06 am |
    • Chris

      Ha! I was just reading through the Jewish book of Proverbs, 9:7-9

      "Whoever instructs the cynic gets insulted; whoever corrects the wicked gets hurt.
      Don’t correct the impudent, or they will hate you;
      correct the wise, and they will love you.
      Teach the wise, and they will become wiser;
      inform the righteous, and their learning will increase.
      The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord;
      the knowledge of the holy one is understanding."

      Clearly most the of the skeptics are impudent fools LACKING HUMILITY who ask many questions but DON’T pursue the answers lest they be proven wrong.

      I'd love to see one of you arrogant, "skeptical" morons call up Greg Koukl on his Sunday apologetics radio show at 3PM PST and we'll see how far your "knowledge" goes. You will be decimated.

      http://www.str.org

      March 25, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Ohh, watch out! Chris quoted from a book!

      What are you, in grade 2?

      Fabulous persuasive skills, bud – well done. You do all religitards proud.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      Ah yes. Greg Koukl, the Paladin of All Knowledge. He'll surely show us!

      Tell me, what sophistry......er..........I mean "apologetics" did you learn from nut-riding Greg Koukl every Sunday at 3PM? Pray, tell us.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:45 am |
  4. copernicus

    Unfortunately, god only exists in the minds of those who believe, otherwise this would be a safer and healthier planet. I only wish I had the money Todd Stiefel has to do what he is doing for the good of mankind.

    March 24, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • Emilio Dumphuque

      Since nearly every war has been a religious war at heart, what he's doing IS for mankind's good!

      March 25, 2013 at 12:00 am |
  5. Bostontola

    So if I accept Odin as my god, will my soul be saved?

    March 24, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • redzoa

      Maybe if you die heroically in battle. Still, you'll probably be obliterated when Ragnorak comes...

      March 24, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • Fish Babies

      No, but you will free beer coupons.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • PaulH

      redzoa
      One theory is that Ragnorak was invented by Christian Norse as a way of expressing the end, or death, of the old gods in favor of the new one. It first appears to surface well after Christianity came to the Northlands.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
    • redzoa

      @PaulH – I'll take your word for it. My source is Marvel comics . . . 🙂

      March 25, 2013 at 12:02 am |
    • Bo S

      Christians say their god is the only way. So, many populations in the world who don't believe in their god are doomed in their burning hell. Not a very tasteful fiction.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:12 am |
  6. Fish Babies

    I just read through all the posts for this article. Only 13 of the almost 5000 responses actually pertain to the article. Interesting.

    March 24, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Answer

      The article is a fine read. It says it all, what is left is to just comment.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • janey33

      What I find interesting is that you read almost 5,000 responses. Wow!!!

      March 25, 2013 at 12:07 am |
    • Fish Babies

      Yes, if it is written down somewhere it must be true. Therefore I did read all of those responses. You may now believe that for many thousands of years.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:11 am |
  7. Skip

    The problem of first cause exists whether one is speaking of theology or physics.

    Creation ex nihlo?

    I cannot say. Either the cosmos is eternal or god is eternal. Or one or the other is somehow created from the void...the problem of explanation in the sphere of mundane logic exists regardless.

    It is hilarious to hear atheists ask for "proof" of god's existence.
    Atheist, "prove" the existence of the cosmos...prove the existence of matter....prove the existence of space....prove the existence of time...when the envelope is pushed back far enough, observation and the scientific method fail utterly. And what you are left with is mysticism...belief...an unthinking FAITH in what we call "reality".

    March 24, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Yes, our means of finding truth is flawed, so I ask again, HOW DO YOU KNOW? What arcane means are you using to find these things out? Just give me evidence. ANY evidence. It doesn't even have to be empirical. Just objective. And have that Nobel prize speech handy.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • Answer

      You have never heard or read the word "evidence".

      Why is it that the utter idiot religious tard can never figure out that the methodology is called a "proof"?
      The underlying of a proof is then called the evidence. Are you that pathetic to not associate?

      March 24, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      "Either the cosmos is eternal or god is eternal."

      No – false dichotomy. It's not an either/or proposition.

      The existence of all of those things – save and except god – have been proved to the extent of our scientific knowledge and evidence, of which there is a great deal. On the other hand, there is NO EVIDENCE WHATSOVER tending to establish the existence of a god.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Skip

      @tank

      Please read my original post again. The answer you are looking for is contained therein.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Prove the existence of MATTER? What are you, nuts? It's all around you. How can you possibly have missed it?

      March 24, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
    • Skip

      @attack:

      You are wrong, of course. Matter itself is nothing more than quantum fluctuation-with no basis in absolute "reality" as we know it.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Eternal may not mean what you think it means, skip. One possibility: time is just another spatial dimension except at the beginning of space and time This is perhaps like formation of an ice crystal or alignment of magnetic domains, a phase change in which time becomes timelike. The Universe has no boundary and so is something like eternal, though in places where there is nothing we would recognize as time.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • redzoa

      "You are wrong, of course. Matter itself is nothing more than quantum fluctuation-with no basis in absolute "reality" as we know it."

      Looks like a worthless descent into epistemological semantics...

      March 24, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • Skip

      @Tom

      Time IS a dimension, of course. There are several others.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Skip – Absolute reality "as we know it". Well, Skipper, using your term of "as we know it" I'm pretty confident that I could prove the existence of matter to eh average Joe. I would challenge you to prove the existence of god in the same fashion m and to the same standard.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • Skip

      @red

      Really? I have never heard quantum mechanics called such.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
    • Pete

      Skip
      "prove the existence of matter"
      OK
      step one- Find a really big rock
      step two- Bash your skull with it

      Are you convinced that "matter" exists now? 🙂

      March 25, 2013 at 12:00 am |
    • Skip

      @attack

      Your "proof" of the existence of matter would, ultimately, be nothing more than faith in what is perceived. This is enough for the "average Joe". But it would still not be proof.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:02 am |
    • Skip

      @pete

      You seem like an angry young man, Pete.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • redzoa

      "Your "proof" of the existence of matter would, ultimately, be nothing more than faith in what is perceived. This is enough for the "average Joe". But it would still not be proof."

      See . . . this is what I was gettin' at . . .

      March 25, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • Answer

      @Skip

      Making yourself the arbiter of "proof".. that's funny.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Good point Skip – I can't prove that you exist, although your silly responses would tend to support the view that you don't exists. As such, I can freely ignore you and your posts. QED

      March 25, 2013 at 12:06 am |
    • Answer

      When a religious person wants to seem smart they all think that they can be the ultimate judge.

      I've seen it countless times. All wanting to be the arbiter and always defining the very verbs/nouns... etc til it meets their approval. And when it doesn't match the standard – they cry foul.

      "You're taking it out of context."
      "That isn't what that word means."
      "I know the real meaning – you have the wrong meaning."
      "I am the better authority."

      -Hilarious.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • Skip

      @answer

      I, the arbiter of proof? Nonsense.

      Please alert me to any ultimate reality that science/physics has been able to explain at its most fundamental level.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • Answer

      Oh I have to alert you?

      Try alerting me that I care for your delusion.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      Go read a little on the various kinds of epistemology, then publish that paper that conclusively debunks them all and earn that Nobel prize!

      March 25, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • Skip

      @answer

      You are quite obviously ignorant of basic quantum mechanics.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • Answer

      @TANK

      We're seeing a flunkie in Skippy boy. No chance.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • Answer

      Indulge us with you vast knowledge on it.

      Could you have another qualified authority to go over your argument come onto CNN to refute you?

      March 25, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • Skip

      @tank

      Epistemology has nothing to do with the discussion. You obviously believe I am trying to turn this into a sematic argument. Nothing could be further from the truth.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • Pete

      Skip

      And you seem like a bitter old man, Skip.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • redzoa

      "You are quite obviously ignorant of basic quantum mechanics."

      Perhaps your "understanding" of quantum mechanics "is nothing more than faith in what is perceived"? After all, can you really "prove" your "understanding" is accurate? Please . . . give us the "red pill" and let us escape from the Matrix . . .

      March 25, 2013 at 12:19 am |
    • Answer

      @Skip

      Do us a service to educate us on quantum mechanics. Let us take this opportunity to learn from you. Go ahead.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • Drivenb4u

      Proof would be great but it's not strictly required. I'd settle for at least something that rang true, complied with reason or just made sense. Christians can't even pony up any of that.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • Skip

      I am not bitter, nor old. I have a beautiful life. Happiness has a way of giving one a simple kind of faith in the eternal. Or perhaps it is the other way around.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:24 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      I'm simply asking you to justify what you claim. HOW do you know?

      March 25, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • Skip

      @answer

      LOL. Nice try. Education is ultimately a personal responsibility.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:27 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      @Drivenb4u I've been asking him/her for that for two pages now. I get nothing.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:27 am |
    • Answer

      And others don't have a beautiful because they aren't blessed to be a christian. Oh you must be pleased that you are so special.

      Kind and gentle, full of life and wants to educate that being religious will be better.

      "I'll convert them out of their misery." <<oh what joy you will gain from gaining those browny points.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      "Education is ultimately a personal responsibility."

      You're telling us we're ignorant, but you won't show us how. Brilliant.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • Answer

      ===quote===
      Skip

      @answer

      LOL. Nice try. Education is ultimately a personal responsibility.

      ==end==

      No shiat Skippy. Why do think I'm an atheist?

      March 25, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • Skip

      I would never try to prove the existence of the divine. LOL. It is a silly and childish question.

      I believe in the God of Spinoza. I believe in the God of Einstein. I believe in the God of Voltaire...of Jefferson...of countless others...
      He is not to be "proven" as if he were somehow akin to the "grand and wonderful Oz"...

      March 25, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • Pete

      Skip
      And I am not angry, or young either. I have a beautiful life as well, but my happiness is grounded in reality, not fantasy. If there is a good afterlife after I die, bonus, but I am completely satisfied with just having the one life, and then it ending. I don't really seen the need to want more than that.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:45 am |
    • Pete

      Skip
      If that's where you rest your case for believing in God then it should be easy for you to understand why plenty of us on the jury just aren't convinced.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:48 am |
    • Pete

      If the question of God's existence were a trial there would be an awful lot of people convinced by character witnesses, and only a few of us actually looking at the evidence.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:51 am |
    • Spencer Groves

      Wow. I have been reading through these comments and am absolutely stunned by the level of hatred and intolerance displayed by some people who, supposedly, just don't believe in something. Your hatred may eat you alive-god or no.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:18 am |
  8. Tracy

    Btw Darwin was a moron. Try again. He only published his research on species selection characteristics bc he found out someone else was going to publish their own similar findings. He had sat on his own findings for years bc it didn't square with his religious beliefs. Yawn.

    March 24, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      So..........that somehow means his findings were wrong? Why don't you publish your brilliant insights, and let us shower you with Nobel prize money?

      March 24, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Actually, it didn't square with his WIFE'S religious beliefs. He himself had essentially none. But he loved his wife.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • Pete

      It's true that someone else had discovered evolution at the same time, but Darwin published first. If you find something in this that casts doubt on the reality of evolution consider the fact that Vikings actually discovered North America hundreds of years before Columbus. Does this make North America any less real?

      What if the Chinese, Irish, Romans, Polynesians, Greeks, or even Hebrews found it first? They all could have because it was still there, right? Well, evolution was always there to discover. Maybe, if it weren't for the Dark Ages, or maybe if the Greeks had been able to stay strong for a few hundred more years, some scientist would have discovered it earlier. It was just waiting to be discovered, like North America.

      The character of the person who discovered it has nothing to do with it's truth. By most accounts, Columbus was a pretty big SOB, but nobody uses that to argue that North America isn't real.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:14 am |
  9. Scott S

    If I've said it once, I've said it 100 times...either God exists or it doesn't and until it shows itself to us in this waking life NONE of us will know for sure. But once you die, you will find out. So it's pretty dumb to declare your beliefs to be true one way or the other. I don't believe in God personally, but I'll tell you this... I do believe that if God does exist it LOVES EVERYONE EQUALLY. And Jesus' message that we should love each other and treat each other with respect is what is truly important during our Earthly existence.

    March 24, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "But once you die, you will find out"

      But how can you find anything out when you're dead?

      March 24, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      I don't have to wait for myself to die, I can see what happens to other people — my parents, for example,

      You're absolutely right. I found out what happened after they died. They stayed dead. Thank you for calling that to my attention.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • John

      Wrong, the bible is filled with eye witness accounts of people that knew God is there. People present day tell you too, and you deny their accounts. Face it, no matter how many people tell you, you won't believe God exists. You expect him to show up in front of you so you can examine him and be 'sure' God exists. The truth is, God exists, and you denying it, does not change the truth. Like all skeptics, you can deny anything, not just God, but you chose to deny God, while accepting that... anything... your car was repaired adequately and not tampered with... or the food was not older than the package says... or it really is a live broadcast... pick anything that someone tells you, and you had the choice to believe them, or not, based on you choozing that for yourself.

      God exists.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      "I don't believe in god personally" but if I did blah blah blah.
      You said you don't believe in god, Isn't it rather pointless to then describe the characteristics of this god you DON'T believe in

      March 24, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
    • Answer

      God exists. <<- claim.

      Now the evidence?

      March 24, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ John – and Lord of the rings is filled with eye witness and first person accounts of people who knew Sauron, and Galdalf et al. Does that make them real? No,
      The bible is simply a book written by people to control other people.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • John

      A&A, like I said, the bible is filled with eye witness accounts where they described the evidence. Your problem is that you don't believe them, so you never end up knowing God is there. God won't do what you want, how you want it done. It's as if you're taking a fire extinguisher and rather than read the instructions, you just throw it at the fire hoping that will work... it might, or it might make it worse... or do nothing. Read the instructions. I told you directly, God exists. Many others in the bible told you, alebiet thousands of years ago, but they still told you. I'm typing text right now, and I told you, what more could you ask for? But it's not what you want, so you ignore it.

      All the people telling you the truth are crazy and lying... that's what you believe. The truth is, God exists. I know that.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • Answer

      @John

      So you know. Ya you believe it.

      Your junk is worthless otherwise.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • John

      A, you have all kinds of proof that God is there. You have eye witness accounts in the bible, you have present day people telling you he's there, knowing he's there, not belief, knowing, you have vast supernatural events like the big bang that happened once and never again, you have life starting up, species forming, male and female that have to be there for offspring, and lo and behold... you deny all of them because God being there, isn't what you wanted. This is why Jesus said to walk away, because to you, it's entertainment, do those that know, it's simply acknowledging to God, that yes, he is who he said he is. And when he sent Jesus to die for our sins, that too, it's the truth. What the bible describes, it is the truth. What is said there is normal and God given.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ John: "What the bible describes, it is the truth." Really???? Have you read the bible, John? Bats are birds? Hares chew their cud? Insects go about on all fours? Not really true, John. Noah putting 2 of every animal on the ark, and farting around for a year? Not possible. Methuselah living to 969????

      It's a book, John. Written by people with agendas. Translated and retranslated and retranslated. The books of the bible were chosen by people to be included in the "official bible".

      It's all just people doing it, John. It's just a book.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:37 am |
    • John

      A, all those have been debunked, translation issues are not a problem. But they're what you wanted, so you're happy now. And really, I'm not here to plead with you or anyone else to smarten up and believe God. You'll do what ever you want. You're grown up enough to type and deny God, so you're old enough to decide for yourself who you want to side with, God, or nothing. Because really, there is only nothing left for a god, if you deny the only God there is: God. And let me say this, I'm typing so I guess you have no choice, but let's imagine you're letting me type it... he's there, I know it. All the errors and stuff you trip on, they're meaningless to me, they're stumbling blocks you get to trip on, so you can be happy in rejecting God, because God gave you what you wanted, and it made you happy... for now.

      You made the wrong choice. I know you made the wrong choice. I'm telling you what anyone in the bible would have told you that knew God is there... bad choice to reject him.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:28 am |
    • janey33

      TANK!!!!...It's very simple. Your soul does not die. Yes, you will find out.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:25 am |
  10. Millie

    I grew up in a Catholic household, went to church, and Sunday school. When I was young I tried to believe in "God" but even in 3rd grade I had my doubts. It was hard going though school, and even now in college, being different in that I don't believe in God. I had to beg my parents to let me quit Sunday school when I was about 13, going to church just isn't fulfilling to me, its frustrating.

    My Dad said to me once after I told him that I was Atheist, " no you're not, you have to believe in something, you need to have faith".

    My response is that I do have faith. I have faith in those I surround myself with, people who will better me. I have faith in the education that I am getting and that I have all the keys to my future without the pressure of some god holding me back. I have the confidence and independence to do the right thing.

    -Sincerely,

    A 21 year old atheist, who will be receiving her B.S in May without the help of a God and will do great things in life without something holding her back.

    March 24, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Let's not mush our terminology together (despite the fact that the priest class always does exactly that and would love it if you would, too.)

      Faith — belief without evidence — is the world's worst method of making decisions.

      What you have in the people around you is not faith, but rather trust.

      If you rely on mechanical things that have a track record of performance, you have neither faith nor trust, you have confidence.

      Both of these are way better methods of arriving at conclusions than faith. Nobody ever uses faith to decide anything important, and CERTAINLY not for anything that can be tested or demonstrated.

      Don't believe me? Give it a try. Go out to the busiest highway in town during rush hour, put on a blindfold and wax in your ears and rely on faith to tell you when it's safe to cross.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "I have faith in those I surround myself with, people who will better me."

      That isn't faith. If someone is actively trying to impede your development, then you use his/her previous actions as evidence to justify your removal of yourself from his/her company.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
    • Johnny Guitar

      You're doing fine, Millie, and congratulations on accepting the world as it really is. You will still feel efforts to conform you, especially your family.

      As to the other replies, you have to understand that we regularly hear words like "faith" and "religion" used to describe atheists as closet religioous people, but the reality is that the Fallacy Of Equivocation only makes it seem they are the same thing. Religious faith is not identical to the faith you are describing, and that's why there are more than one definition of that (and many other) words.

      So if some seem hard on you, it's because it's the thousandth time they heard it and they are sick of the distortion and of constantly having to restate the truth.

      All the best!

      March 24, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • Millie

      Definition of Faith:

      Definition of faith (pay special attention to #1)
      faith [feyth]
      noun
      1.
      confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
      2.
      belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
      3.
      belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
      4.
      belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
      5.
      a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • Millie

      Definition of faith (pay special attention to #1)
      faith [feyth]
      noun
      1.
      confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
      2.
      belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
      3.
      belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
      4.
      belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
      5.
      a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
    • Dippy

      Congratulations, Millie. You obviously are a cut above the rest.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:00 am |
    • Johnny Guitar

      The Fallacy of Equivocation is saying that definition 3 and definition 1 are the same. We know what you were trying to say, but we also know how noncompoops have repeatedly tried to pervert it to their own idiotic ends.

      You were not talking about religious faith.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:47 am |
  11. Adolf

    I am an atheist and I don't believe in Hell so will I still have to go there?

    March 24, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      You don't have to, you can stop by my pad for iced tea.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • HitchedBritches

      Hey Adolf. What tradition were you raised in and what tradition did you claim as an adult. Hint: it wasn't atheism. Nice try though.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • FSM

      Ignorance of the Flying Spaghetti Monster's ever-loving and noodly nature is no excuse. You will be sentenced to an eternity with STD-riddled st-rippers and volcanoes of stale beer.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Yes! You must go to hell for your heinous crime of not believing something. I believe that eternal punishment is justice for your finite crime. You dreadful person...not believing in invisible magical beings in the sky reading your every thought, and trying to communicate telepathically with you!

      March 24, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • Jesus

      Yes.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • Torquemada

      Christians love to lie and troll and all those other honest loving things that Jesus gave us.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • Dave

      Hell would be a place where you can't feel God's love, if you don't believe in God then why would you care?

      March 24, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • Opposing View

      Adolf... If you're an atheist, then whatever gave you the idea that you WOULDN'T go to hell?...

      March 24, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • Opposing View

      Dave… If you stand on the train tracks with a train bearing down on you, it doesn't really matter WHAT you believe – if you don't move your behind off those tracks in a hurry (take steps to save yourself) then you're history. It's the same way with being saved. Jesus said, "He that believeth shall be saved. He that believeth not shall be damned." Therefore, if you're an atheist and you don't believe (that is, if you don't change your belief and take steps to save yourself) then there is no way you're going to miss hell. And all that other stuff you believe in don't even matter...

      March 25, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Opposing View: except that trains can be proven, as can train tracks, as can the consequences of standing in front of a train and not moving. You are just fear-mongering, something that religions specialize in.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • Opposing View

      Proof has nothing to do with it. All that matters is whether it's true. That might be the very first train you've ever saw, and you might have no knowledge that the train won't stop. But that won't change the laws of physics, and you'll still get run over if you keep standing there. Likewise, you may not believe that there's a hell. But so what? That won't change the laws of your spiritual existence. Meaning, if you don't get saved, you're still going to hell whether you believe in it or not. And that's a fact....

      March 25, 2013 at 1:38 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      OV, How would you determine truth without proof?

      March 25, 2013 at 1:43 am |
    • Vic

      Atheists, the message of the Lord Jesus Christ is presented to you by us Christians for only one reason. That is we care about you; we want you to be saved; truth be told!! That is the Love of the Lord Jesus Christ!!!

      True Christian stewardship is to present to you the Good News of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ, without judgement nor condemnation nor imposition for you are and everyone else is at 100% FREE WILL!!!

      Now, I know people sometimes get carried away in their pursuit and differ in their understanding of what is required but that's the case with everybody, Christians, Atheists, etc.

      Anyway, we are all human beings and it is our belief that is sanctified!!!

      Love to ALL!!!

      March 25, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
  12. Quentin Leer

    Read this funny book; "Death: Are You Ready For The Truth?" And all of your questions about God, religion, and the unknown will be answered!

    March 24, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Horse hockey!

      March 24, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • Answer

      ==For the religious

      http://www.watching-paint-dry.com

      This is better for you.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      "Mom, what's 2 + 2?"

      "42, honey."

      "Oh, thanks, mom, you always have all the answers."

      March 24, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
  13. Opposing View

    FACT: More than 6 billion people have died upon the earth in the last 120 years. Except those who were saved, they are all now in hell.

    FACT: 120 years from today, not one person who is alive today will be alive then. 6 billion more people will have gone to hell – except those who are saved.

    FACT: The world as we know it was only meant to last for 7000 years. The reign of mankind will end after 7000 years. We are now living in the 6,000 year period.

    FACT: In 1000 years, or in about 10 generations from now, the world will end and Judgment Day will have arrived…

    FACT: Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; He that believeth not, shall be damned."

    FACT: All those who are not saved shall be cast into the lake.

    FACT: Your disbelief will not change the above facts…

    March 24, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      As is so often the case, Christians have their own definitions for words that don't match what the rest of us understand them to mean. Case in point: "fact", which apparently means "wild flight of my imagination" to this guy.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • redzoa

      You keep using that word ("FACT"). I do not think it means what you think it means.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "More than 6 billion people have died upon the earth in the last 120 years. Except those who were saved, they are all now in hell."

      Quoted for comic relief.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Opposing view, this is fascinating stuff. Well thought out. What do you suppose happened to the souls of all the millions of people that lived for 200,000 years before Jesus?

      March 24, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Answer

      You believe you will be going to heaven. Looking mighty fine.

      Got all your luggage ready and those condoms. Wouldn't be without those babies in heaven.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Voice Of Reason

      Amen.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • Bostontola

      According to many religions including Christianity, most of those billions aren't going to heaven. Your god is quite inefficient at saving souls, just because their parents taught them the wrong religion. God sent them to he'll because they believed their parents. That's your god.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • Dippy

      1000 years is ten generations? Deep mathematics, there, eh? 100 years per generation? Hm.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      If I accept those as facts than there is one more.

      FACT: Jesus is an asshat.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • janey33

      Bostontola...No, God is not at all inefficient. He gave us free will to believe in Him or not. If you don't believe, that is up to you.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:50 am |
  14. "Enlightenment" and "reason" are dirty words to Christians.

    57 pages of excellent reasons why this guy should keep spending to rid the world of the ignorance and bigotry and lying of religion.

    Thanks to all you religious people for proving the need for this man's efforts.

    March 24, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • Chad

      Doesnt really make sense for an atheist to oppose religion, does it?

      after all, the atheist believes that humans evolved the ability to believe in the "delusion" of a god. Atheists believe that a random mutation created the ability in the human brain to imagine that a god exists, and natural selection preserved that ability.

      If the universe feels the ability to believe in religion is worth preserving, who are you to oppose it??

      March 24, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Answer

      Chard time for you to bring out Rachel. Do everyone a favor will you?

      March 24, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "If the universe feels"

      The intelligent designer has now become the Universe, eh? Is this a new stage in the evolution of creationism?

      March 24, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • Johnny Guitar

      I the universe is such that cancer thrives, why oppose it?

      March 24, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      "If the universe feels the ability to believe in religion is worth preserving, who are you to oppose it?" Religion is preserved in much the same way that viruses are preserved. They accumulate features that allow them to persist and spread. They adapt and evolve. They move chunks of information around in ways nothing else can – as payloads that convey intolerance, suppression of ideas and opinions, even violence at times, and persecution of dissenters, all with the weight behind it of an all-powerful God and it's eternal rewards and punishments that are conveniently hidden in an unknowable afterlife.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • Chad

      cute, but inaccurate...

      Remember, as an atheist, your view is that mutations persist in populations only as they provide benefit and survive natural selection.

      What is the benefit of religion to the host? 🙂

      March 25, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
  15. Knot Shur

    I no longer tell people I am atheist because of the abusive words and actions of the ignorant. It is sad and disturbing that in this day and age (in California believe it or not) I have to keep my beliefs (or lack there of) a secret so, as not to be discriminated against by the very people who claim they are accepting of others. I've been verbally abused, threatened with physical abuse, and shunned for merely answering the question, "Are you religious?" honestly. Sadly, I no longer share my thoughts on religion with anyone that is not an atheist for I have found very few believers can hold an open discussion without resorting to insults when they feel their beliefs are being questioned.

    March 24, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Knot Shur, if that is true you are a big pussy. Man up and represent.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • Johnny Guitar

      Same here. Those loving Christians get very hostile and abusive and condescending if I say what I believe. Invariably they are the ones who bring it up, and I avoid the question as best as I can, but if I say a word, then I am "shoving my opinions down their throats". Seriously

      March 24, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • Edweird69

      I just tell people I have a "null stance". I don't label myself as anything. Sure, I'll believe in a god, as soon as you prove it exists. I feel the same way about aliens, Big Foot, etc. I don't claim there is no god, I just say "prove it", then I'll "believe it".

      March 24, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • Brett Adams

      Sounds like something similar that I experience... as a Catholic in a predominately atheist environment. Some people (but not all) don't like what is different from them, whether they're atheist or religious.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • HitchedBritches

      I agree with Apple

      March 24, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • janey33

      Knot Shur...That's funny...Christians feel the same way. They are constantly attacked, mocked, and discriminated against by those who don't believe. Athiests are no more tolerant and accepting of others. Tolerance works both ways.

      Actually, I know athiests who don't care at all that I believe in God. And I don't care that they don't believe. I am not responsible for their lack of belief. I feel sorry for them that they have rejected Jesus, who teaches love, compassion, and forgiveness, all things this world needs a lot more of.

      I think that a lot of those who have no tolerance for Christians are not true athiests. They just don't want to admit there is a God because they don't want someone telling them what they can and cannot do, so they reject Him. Christians remind them that God exists so they are very hostile and intolerant.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:46 am |
  16. Vinny

    Christian raps make big bucks!
    He is only smart.

    March 24, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Let me make it clear that as a strong believer in the free market, I endorse the monetary exploitation of religies. Billy Graham and Pat Robertson are my heroes. If only I had that level of ruthlessness and charisma to lie to vast numbers of people so elegantly and strip them of their money! *Sigh*.......

      March 24, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      The best of the religious charlatans don't know when they are lying. They are themselves true believers.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
  17. Answer

    Hey fellow atheists.. look we have a winner.

    ===quote===

    Nick

    blah, blah, blah..

    "Today is the day of your salvation."
    March 24, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    ==end==

    It is especially "today" because all the days before weren't. They especially waited until today to tell us. Never mind the 2000+ years right?

    Let's get them to say it for tomorrow also and wait with baited breathes.

    March 24, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Yep. 13.8 billion years of the existence of the Universe and 3.7 billion years of evolution are all leading to this ONE moment..............when the Flying Spaghetti Monster shall reveal himself to us as the one true Noodly God!

      March 24, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
    • Art

      Answer - It simply means that any day like today can be your salvation as you don't know when your life will end. When you are with Satan, you will no longer have a chance.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • Answer

      Oh do tell.

      Let's hear you recite everything you absolute have on satan. We're all ready to hear it. Tell us how satan has changed throughout history, please.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • Answer

      What is satan's favorite color? What about satan's likes and dislikes?

      His telephone number? Let's hear from you – all your knowledge about satan, because you know. You're "in" the know.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • clarity

      Wait a minute – is that Eastern daylight time or what? I probably don't have a damned clock in this place set right.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
  18. Terry

    I used to be an atheist until I started wondering what would happen when I died. Would life just end? If it did, why shouldn't I just do everything to fulfill my desires. I started living a life where I did what I wanted, committed sins of all sorts. The short answer is it left me feeling very empty. When I thought about how I would pay for my sins, I finally went to a church on a dare at age 33 and was introduced to the person of Christ. It took a few weeks of listening but I truly believe in Jesus and my life is changed. It hard to explain as I would have sworn that I would never believe, just like Saul.

    My point is don't beat up the atheists. They just need to draw near to God and He will draw near to them.

    March 24, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      So baically you were a morally bankrupt person, that is a personal problem with you, not with atheism.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      The only problem is that the story of Christ isn't true. 90% of the New and Old Testaments is completely fabricated or evolved from other religions. It's nice that you found a sense of ethics and comraderie in a group, but that will never change the fact that your religion is based in fiction.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      That is the silliest reason for being an atheist I have seen in quite a while. You are prone to embracing illogic, and were bound to fall into the clutches of the strain of illogic known as religion sooner or later. Start reading some good books on logic, and try again.

      What I want to know is this: what if Vishnu is the one who greets you when you die? Have you considered that possibility?

      March 24, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • The Ole Bullsh!t detector is going off in a BIG way ! ! !

      You should have started that farce with "Once upon a time . . . " and finished " . . . and they all lived happily ever after."

      You jammed every bogus Christian cliche-lie about atheists in that fiction of yours.

      I am always amazed at how readily Christian will lie.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Okay so maybe there are facts about the resurrection of Christ and that he was seen by crowds of up to 500 people at one time. I still won't believe unless he healed people from blindness, leprosy and the crippled.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Jeesh Terry, what are your desires you creep. You sound like a preist.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • Vinny

      Mine is the opposite. Feeling empty and lose of purpose is not the reason to believe in a religion. I need to be rational and emotion is not a reason to believe. I grow up believing in God and the more I read the Bible the more it contradicts itself. I know it is blasphemy to even mention it. Blind faith. The leap of faith is not the reason to believe. If I don't question my religion, I might as well believe in a generic religion. In Genesis 1 when God says "Let there be light." It implies Earth has already existed and we need it is not true. Then God created the stars after he created the sun and the moon. We all know many stars are older than the sun and moon. And when he created Adams and Eves and they have kids, there were already other unexplained humans not from the progeny.
      Sighs.... I wish God is thateasy and I won't have such difficult time.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      You were personally introduced to Christ, eh? DId you get his e-mail address? Has he gotten some gray in his beard after all these centuries? Were you close enuf to him during the hymns to figure out whether he sings alto or tenor?

      Or is this another case of where Christians have their own meanings for words like "know" and "fact"?

      March 24, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • Andrew

      I'm an atheist and my desires tend to involve things like enjoying good food, good wine, having friends, learning more about the world and enjoying my brief time here.

      Don't blame us for your lack of moral integrity. If you need someone else, or something else, to give you a moral compass, you're lost, not us.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:03 am |
  19. Skip

    The Atheist indicts god based solely on what happens in what is, cosmologically speaking, the blink of an eye. There is suffering by transient biological forms for an instant in time: therefore there can be no god. Atheists seem fond of contemplating the vastness of the universe, but incapable of admitting there is a lot of real estate to cover in the quest for the divine: spatially as well as temporally. If you were the creator of a universe 100 billion light years in diameter, that probably is also multi-dimensional as well as eternal, would you hang around trying to impress a group of arrogant primates who a milli-second ago were brachiating among the tress of Africa?

    March 24, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • .

      Atheists don't idict God. They don't BELIEVE in God. Why don't you people GET THAT???

      March 24, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      No the atheist finds god not guilty of existence due to a lack of evidence.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • Answer

      It's not part of their literature to update their flock.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      a) Alright. How do YOU know that there is a god? Show us, and start preparing your Nobel prize acceptance speech immediately.
      b) What you've proposed here is not the kind of religious belief these atheists are railing against. The "ban gay marriage because jebus cares who you stick your peen into" variety is what is causing all the problems.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • Skip

      When you place billboards ridiculing other people's beliefs, you are doing a lot more than "not believing". You are calling other people fools.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • HeavenSense

      If god were real I would beat the shit out of it for being such an asshole.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Skip, I see christian billboards all over telling me I am wrong, but that is ok right?

      March 24, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Neither science nor logic is needed to discredit God. Careful scrutiny of historical record and comparative religious study makes it plain enough without invoking deep philosophical questions.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Skip

      @tank
      There can be no "rational" proof for the existence of god. If there could be, he would not be god. Scientific "proof" requires, among other things, a subject and an object. Since god is both, he cannot be apprehended through use of the scientific method.

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

      Here Skip:

      *Informing you of your own ignorance.

      ==quote== http://www.desmogblog.com/who-donors-trust
      Donors Trust Funds Climate Denial Groups

      According to IRS tax returns, between 2002 and 2010, Donors Trust provided over $90 million in funding ($90,989,710 to be exact) to 84 groups that deny the scientific realities of climate change. Between 2004 and 2010, the partner group Donors Capital Fund, provided more than $28 million in funding ($28,490,862) to 75 groups that deny the scientific realities of climate change.

      ===end===

      Now let's see about your post:

      ==quote==
      Skip

      When you place billboards ridiculing other people's beliefs, you are doing a lot more than "not believing". You are calling other people fools.

      ==end==

      Don't believe in climate change? Then pour money into it. You were saying?

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

      And yet.. The bible tells us so. Please, go on.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Skip,

      If god cannot be rationally found and reason is the pathway to truth that god is useless to believe in. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed for the same reason.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      I am not asking for scientific evidence. All I ask is that it be objective, whatever the evidence may be. "God revealed it to me"..................kind of shoddy.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • Skip

      "Dull atheist, could a giddy dance
      Of atoms lawless hurl’d
      Construct so wonderful, so wise,
      So harmonised a world?"

      Charles Darwin

      March 24, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • Tracy

      We don't believe. Just accept it without trying to Jedi mind trick us with your "logical" psychobabble. It's in quotes bc I think it's your best attempt but its craaaaap.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • RELIGION IS BULLSHlT

      And that's all there is to it.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
  20. Frank

    Imagine being born with an instinct to love and accept yourself and others(because you evolved as a social animal). Then imagine having this instinct taken away as a child and told that you are nothing in the eyes of some invisible man that controls everything. What's more, you are told that in order to get the love and acceptance that you crave, including the acceptance of yourself, you must believe what others say about this invisible man. If you do not believe in the invisible man, you will not deserve to be loved and accepted and you will also be forever tortured by burning after you die. Imagine saying this to children. It is the essence of cruelty and religion is where cruelty comes from.

    March 24, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Seconded.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Skip

      Oh, gosh folks !!!
      Frank is outraged by the rest of the world's refusal to accept his moral relativism.
      How COULD you be so cruel as to believe there might be some absolutes in the cosmos?

      March 24, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Millie

      I agree, I nanny two kids who go to church every Sunday and it makes me cringe reading their religious picture books to them. They also use "God" as an excuse, If one would be chewing with their mouth open I would say could you please chew with your mouth closed, he just responds with "no, this is just how God made me". Very frustrating. I will teach my children to be good human beings, but they do not need to believe in a god to do so.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Skip, Christianity is morally relative.

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

      regarding love and acceptance..

      without free will, how can an atheist possibly believe in either?

      If every object in the universe, and event in your life is the results of past events and the laws of nature, how could "love" even come into the equation?

      The atheist believes that "love" is merely the deterministic result of the particles that make up your brain interacting in accordance with their properties and the laws that govern the universe.

      Without free will, "love" and "acceptance" are merely illusions..

      March 24, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Morality and our concept of what is good and what is evil has no influence on the progress of events in the Universe outside our tiny slice of time on this tiny little world. We are only important to each other and not to the Universe and not to any god. We define for ourselves what is moral and good and try to make that work for everyone.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • Answer

      Hey Chard, when will Rachel show up to pat you on the back?

      March 24, 2013 at 11:21 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.