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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. ReligionIsBS

    Humanity descended from one man and one woman....who only had sons! Base your life on this nonsense!

    March 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      I'm picturing Samuel L. Jackson as God: Get these MF people out of my MF garden!

      Because, if the bible is true, then Adam and Eve's sons had to be a bunch of MFers.

      Okay, seriously: how does ANYONE believe the Bible? How, how, how, how, how?

      HOW???

      March 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Alias

      Wrong.
      They were daughters, it is just that women weren't worth mentioning. There is enough godd material for criticism, let's not start giving things they can defend.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  2. TC

    Assuming Todd's right, there is no life after death, nothing we do in this life would matter after 100 years(assuming you can live that long). "Contribution to humanity, enlightenment for next generation, or proving someone's religion is wrong and etc" would not matter. Indeed all the discussions generated from this thread will become meaningless once those who read this article pass away. Can you remember about your life once you die?

    March 25, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Ward

      Take all you can – it doesn't matter. If you commit a crime – and don't get caught, don't worry.

      You are not responsible. What you do doesn't really matter.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • TC

      @Ward

      That's exactly why there are so many murders and all kind of crimes nowadays.

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

      The fact that there is no afterlife does NOT mean that what we do in this life has no meaning and does not affect the future. ever hear of a guy named William Shakespeare? He's dead, but in a sense alive though his amazing works. Mozart? Ditto. The fallacy that, without the moral guidance (and threat) of a god, the human race would descend into debauchery is ludicrous. We have evolved as a social species that has developed an inherent morality based on self/group survival. Now, YOU may be the type of amoral monster who would run amuck, murdering and raping unless restrained by a fear of god, but most people aren't.

      Oh, and isn't biblical morality a mess of murder, genocide, r-ape, human sacrifice and slavery?

      And why is it that about 85-90 % of inmates in American prisons are Christians, whereas only about 1-2% of inmates are atheists?

      March 25, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      And this proves your god how?

      And you dont think anything Thomas Edison did still matters today?

      LOL. No wonder you beleive in talking snakes.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      TC, look up some statistics about american jails. You'll notice over 90% of the inmates are christian and less than 1% are atheists. So not only does that invalidate your argument, it also makes you look like an idiot.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Ward

      Most inmates are African-Americans (and mostly Christian). They are being oppressed.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      If you do commit a crime and don't get caught, don't worry about making amends to those people you actually hurt, just say you are truly sorry to Jesus and everything will be OKEY DOKEY. You don't have to be responsible, Jesus did that for you.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Ward

      @Blessed

      Nope. One does have to make amends – telling Jesus is just part of repentance.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • TC

      @ReligionIsBS

      "TC, look up some statistics about american jails. You'll notice over 90% of the inmates are christian and less than 1% are atheists. So not only does that invalidate your argument, it also makes you look like an idiot."

      Does your opinion or mine really matter after 100 years?

      March 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Ward

      We don't have any Einsteins or Shakespeare's posting on this blog.

      Our posts are being deleted... 🙂 They aren't worth money, that's for sure.

      Only about 1 in 1,000,000,000 of us will be remembered. By others humans that will eventually die.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      TC, It will depend. As Attack said people like Shakespeare, Darwin, Da Vinci, Mozart are remembered centuries after their death.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Ward

      None of us on here will be remembered... we are just fan boys of others.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Ward

      @ Oh, and isn't biblical morality a mess of murder, genocide, r-ape, human sacrifice and slavery?

      The Bible paints an honest view of the people... yea, they were just as bad as us.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "Does your opinion or mine really matter after 100 years"

      You're not really this ignorant, are you? Yes, my opinions affect other peoples opinions and beleifs. Just like your do. Do you think your grandparents opinions didnt affect your parents, who then had opinions affect you? Please think before typing. Take all the time you want to. We dont have a magic monitoring system that shows you grasping for straws. We notice that when you type hilarious bs like this.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • TC

      @In Santa we trust

      "TC, It will depend. As Attack said people like Shakespeare, Darwin, Da Vinci, Mozart are remembered centuries after their death."

      They are all dead. Unless their souls live and read your comments, there is nothing to remember or to be remembered about as far as Shakespeare, Darwin, Da Vinci, and Mozart concern.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Ward. so basically you are saying you beleive in this ludacris fairy tale solely because you want to be remembered? You think too highly of yourself. You arent any more significant than any other animal. And thats the beauty of it. Too bad you are too self centered to realize it. To the christians, its all about me, me, me!

      March 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Ward

      It takes *faith* to believe in Shakespeare, Darwin, Da Vinci, Mozart...

      March 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      TC, that last question goes for you too. Do you just want to beleive because you are scared nobodys going to remember you? You sound like a coward who only "beleives" something for the reward.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "It takes *faith* to believe in Shakespeare, Darwin, Da Vinci, Mozart..."

      Nope, we have complete records that show they actually existed. You make yourself look worse with every post. Keep it up, thats why religion is dying, because people like you show their ignorance!

      March 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Answer

      Leave a note on your tombstone saying that you want to be remembered.

      "This pr!ck wants to be remembered." <<–should take care of things.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Ward

      @ Ward. so basically you are saying you beleive in this ludacris fairy tale solely because you want to be remembered?

      No.

      @ To the christians, its all about me, me, me!

      That is more of a human being problem, nothing exclusive to Christians.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Ward – you missed my point. The murder, r-ape, slavery, genocide etc in the bible? That was COMMANDED by the god of the bible. That wasn't just folks being folks; that was folks following the commandments of God. IF the bible is true.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Ward

      @ we have complete records that show they actually existed.

      You have faith in those records?

      March 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "You have faith in those records?"

      You dont know what faith means, LOL

      You also dont think Mazart was real, LOL

      March 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Answer

      @Ward

      The same retarded words can be said and asked of the bible.

      ===>>You have faith in those records? <<====
      Do you?

      March 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "@ Ward. so basically you are saying you beleive in this ludacris fairy tale solely because you want to be remembered?

      No. "

      LOL, you dont even know what you are arguing about! Then what is this entire thread even about? LOL. You are ranting about wanting to be remembered, but now you are saying that it doesnt matter! Man, it must suck knowing you are wrong but lack the courage to admit it. Thats the definition of a coward.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Ward

      I have faith in God.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Answer

      The sad reply will most likely be:

      "It's the bible from god so therefore it must be, so I do." <<–Circular reasoning, add the spin cycle.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      TC, Well I have to disagree. I have some of the works of all of them and works from many more including Amy Winehouse. Why do you think they are not remembered?

      March 25, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Ward

      @ ReligionIsBS

      Are you asking me if I want to be popular and famous? So popular and famous that after I'm dead, people still talk about me?

      Or are we talking about being eternal beings? Does our soul live past our body?

      Is death the final outcome?

      Or is there more to life?

      March 25, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Ward

      @ Answer

      I worship God, not the Bible.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "I have faith in God"

      You have faith in A god. You lack faith in 99.9% of all gods ever considered.

      The question is, why do you have faith in this particular god. Let me guess, because mommy told you about this one.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Answer

      The fact about christians and their plight with their god is that they are constantly challenging reality.

      The most insecure form of challenging the records of man is to say... "mankind should not be trusted because my delusional god gives me more trust."

      You're dogmatic because you were broken down to instill you with the dirt ridden state that you're comfortable in accepting.
      You're a piece of sh!t because you want to be.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Answer

      @Ward

      So you worship god? Let me ask you when do you stop?

      You're in heaven and you'll tell me about your daily worshiping. You're fascinated by your god, and worship. Tell me when you're allowed to stop. What do you after you stop?

      March 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Ward
      "i have faith in god"

      Which one? There are thousands..meny of which are the one true god. Why can you so easily discount thousands of other gods, yet you cling to the one you have chosen?
      Why don't you believe in the norse gods, the greek gods, the roman gods, the native american gods, etc. etc. etc.

      Lastly, why don't you see how ridiculous it is to have chosen one god out of the thousands that man has created?
      You disregard 99.99% of the gods, but you claim yours is real...do you not see how illogical that is?

      March 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "Are you asking me if I want to be popular and famous? So popular and famous that after I'm dead, people still talk about me? " You are the one talking about being remembered and now your asking me to clarify it to you? LOL

      "Or are we talking about being eternal beings? Does our soul live past our body?" There is absolutely zero evidence of a soul.

      "Is death the final outcome?" How would I possibly know that if im still alive?

      "Or is there more to life?" How would i possibly know that if im still alive?

      You see, the difference between me and you is that when i dont know something, i admit it. Whereas, you just post nonsense that at times, even disproves the nonsense you just previously stated. I dont know what happens when we die. Neither do you. The only difference is i dont lie about it.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Ward

      the original post: "Can you remember about your life once you die?"

      No. Unless death is not the final outcome.

      I have faith there is more to life than meets the eye.

      There always is.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Ward

      How sad to feel you don't have a soul.

      No wonder spiritual matters sound so odd to you.

      You are stuck in the material world.

      There is more...

      March 25, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Answer

      "I have faith there is more to life than meets the eye.

      There always is."

      ==end quote

      And spilling your sob story of how you can't trust/love/count on mankind proves that you've seen the world.

      You've been to every corner of it, experienced everything and then god is your completion.

      All the while you've done nothing but whine "there is more to life, because I'm just saying it and not doing it."

      March 25, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Answer

      "Soul"

      Now we'll begin that next phase in a retard's argument. "You can't enjoy more of this world and the next because you don't believe my god can give it to you."

      "My place in heaven is secured." << insert << "I pity you" comment from the christards. Will always happen.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Answer

      @Ward

      Loving your snake oil buddy.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "How sad to feel you don't have a soul.

      No wonder spiritual matters sound so odd to you.

      You are stuck in the material world.

      There is more..."

      uuummmmm, you dont have a soul either. you just think you do. Thats is what is sad. Believing in a delusion.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "There is more"

      You have evidence of their being more? Then please, write it down, get it peer reviewd and collect your Nobel Prize.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Ward

      Oh Great Spirit,
      Whose voice I hear in the winds,

      And whose breath gives life to all the world,
      hear me!
      I am small and weak,
      I need your strength and wisdom.

      Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes
      ever behold the red and purple sunset.
      Make my hands respect the things you have made
      and my ears sharp to hear your voice.

      Make me wise so that I may understand the
      things you have taught my people.
      Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
      in every leaf and rock.
      I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
      but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
      Make me always ready to come to you with
      clean hands and straight eyes.
      So when life fades, as the fading sunset
      my spirit may come to you
      without shame.
      –Chief Yellow Lark, Lakota Tribe

      Which God is he praying to?
      Is he selling snake oil?

      March 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Answer

      There it goes. Sing your fantasies out so "these heathens can hear my holy words of praise."

      March 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Ward

      I do have a spirit.

      Thank God.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Ward

      Let go and let God. It is quite freeing.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Answer

      @Ward

      If you took a look at every poem and felt god. Hey that's great. You'll notice that there are people who write about their own god, and not even your own. Isn't that funny?

      –Chief Yellow Lark, Lakota Tribe <<- see it's a native's song.

      You're a heathen to them. You admire their tribute to their god. And note the bible "10 commandments.. you shall have no other gods"

      So hilarious. You'll then have to blend in your explanation that all the other god are indeed your god to justify. Please do.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Ward

      Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
      Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
      where there is injury,pardon;
      where there is doubt, faith;
      where there is despair, hope;
      where there is darkness, light;
      and where there is sadness, joy.

      O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
      to be consoled as to console;
      to be understood as to understand;
      to be loved as to love.
      For it is in giving that we receive;
      it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
      and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

      March 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Answer

      Let go and find god... you apparently didn't.

      So tell us how it feels to be in "your stupid state"?

      March 25, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "Which God is he praying to?" I dont know, but if I had to take a guess, i would say YOURS. Because you dont see to care much about other peoples gods for some reason

      " Is he selling snake oil?" Yes, all religions are cons. Except yours...right?

      Please prove to me you have a soul. Show me a picture of it. Let me guess, its invisible, just like your god.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Ward

      @ Answer

      What are you? Nobody has ever been as vile and mean spirited toward me as you and ReligionIsBS...

      I think Chief would treat me kinder than you.

      Jesus asks me to love God and others, that is what I'm trying to do. If a Native American prayer helps me to that – good.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      You beleive in an invisible man in the sky and claim i am living in a stupid state. LOL! They just keep getting better.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Answer

      Me = vile? Nah? You don't say?

      Do I ridicule? XD

      March 25, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      This one takes the cake of all-time rediculous religous comments.

      "So tell me how it feels to live in your stupid state"

      Then in the very next post....

      "Nobody has ever been as vile and mean spirited toward me as you and ReligionIsBS..."

      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL! Theres no way you arent a bored person sitting in their basement tryin to mess with me. You cant be this painstakingly dumb.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Answer

      @Ward

      I'm doing you a favor. You can build those barriers right back up and thicker and HIGHER. You can definitely say you've been broken properly by the infusion of a good dose of reality.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Answer

      @ReligionIsBS

      I'm constantly surprised at the lower levels of stupid that can be found.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Did yuu hear the one about the delusional christian who walked into a bar?

      He sits down and says "Jesus asks me to love God and others, that is what I'm trying to do"

      Then he turns to the guy nexst to him with a different opinion and says "How does living in your stupid state feel?'

      You must be making your god so proud. Dont worry, ill save a good seat in hell for you. WE're both going to burn for eternity, you know, because god love us so much.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • 404 Error

      Ward

      Re"

      "Oh Great Spirit,
      Whose voice I hear in the winds,"

      Message undeliverable. Enti'ty unlocated.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Ward

      God is real.

      I do have a soul.

      I don't have to prove it to people who don't understand this.

      God' has a plan for salvation for his whole creation. And not just my part of it.

      I love people in other religions.

      I love people who do not believe in God.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Answer

      I've already pledged my soul to myself. I'm the devil incarnate. XD

      March 25, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      I'm constantly surprised at the lower levels of stupid that can be found....said the guy who just claimed to be loving others as god has directed him!

      You know, if god does exist, he must hate you. You make him look really bad and youj make no effort whatsoever to turn the other cheeck. A perfect candidate for hell.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Answer

      @Ward

      You're not the first with these claims. You won't be the last.

      I will be honored to have broken the very last of your kind.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Ward

      Guys, thanks for talking about God with me.

      God must be working on you – God is on your mind, too. Good luck in your search!

      March 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      God is real.

      I do have a soul.

      I don't have to prove it to people who don't understand this.

      God' has a plan for salvation for his whole creation. And not just my part of it.

      I love people in other religions.

      I love people who do not believe in God.

      Translation....
      I beleive in god, even though i cant prove he is real or that other gods are fake.
      I beleive i have a soul, even though there is no evidence whatsoever.
      I want to prove it to people who think critically, but cant, so i wont even try
      Things happen, so I ascribe it to a gods plan
      I treat non-beleivers like crap and call them names

      March 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Answer

      @Ward

      Only in the small comforts of your mind. You'll leave with that thought because that's what you want to believe.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Ward,

      Thanks for finally tucking your tail between your legs and running like a coward. Its only a matter of time with folks like you. And by the way...Thor. See, now you are thinking of Thor, so he must be real!

      March 25, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Ward,

      Please point out where the Bible says that one must make amends to the person offended in order to be forgiven by god.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • TC

      @In Santa We Trust

      "TC, Well I have to disagree. I have some of the works of all of them and works from many more including Amy Winehouse. Why do you think they are not remembered?"

      Whether they are remembered or not, it really does matter after 100 years. And it doesn't matter to Amy Winehouse because she's dead(assuming there is no life after death).

      March 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      TC. I thought your point was "the actions and contributions of now-dead people are not remembered, so there's no point to our lives". Those people mentioned (any many more) are remembered for their contributions to our knowledge and spirit.

      March 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  3. sam stone

    "Flaunt their wickedness"?

    Do you actually believe this tripe?

    Are you flaunting your servile sycophantry?

    March 25, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • sam stone

      That was in response to the Vatican stooge below

      March 25, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      "Vatican Stooge" -i love it! Just picture: "Hey, Francis! Woop woop woop woop woop!" "Why, I oughta!" BONK!

      March 25, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  4. Chick-a-dee

    @Science: What the frig does this "wedge strategy" have to do with ANYTHING in this thread. Feel free to find another thread where it's actually being discussed.

    @End: Yes, the Genesis story begins with "In the beginning...the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss" however four lines later it's already narrating "Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other." which says to me that the shayman/mystic/prophet telling this revealed knowledge to the cave people sitting around the fire put water pretty darn close to the beginning of the story.

    @SevenPup: "The number of adherents mean nothing. I could find an equal number of creation stories that start from the earth – the number of people who believe might be smaller but how is that of any importance?"
    I'm not personally interested in creation stories that have only small numbers or adherents and little or no impact on the cultures that brought forth the western technological society in which I live. I am interested in knowing why a group of nearly naked primates came up with a creation story that has survived to the present day and why it has similarities with what the scientific method has produced as hypotheses for the history of earth and its inhabitants.

    You said "their world was part.itioned into three "knowns"...water, earth, and the sky. " I pointed out that Earth, Water, Air and Fire are what that the ancients recognized and considered the elements. Fast forward quite a bit...and the Hellenistic Greek philosophers were talking about what turned out to be very close to atoms. How did THAT happen? Why is it that ancient people were able to intuitively understand that which we educated, literate, modern people require the scientific method to legitimize?

    March 25, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • OTOH

      Chick-a-dee,

      Look up what the often brilliant Aristotle posited about human conception - and how females were conceived!

      The ancients had a LOT of time to observe, ponder and speculate on all sorts of things. Sure, they got some things right.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Hellenistic and Greek philosophers thought, and studied, and WERE very educated for the time. Are you trying to posit that their theories were as a result of some divine intervention?

      March 25, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Doobs

      @Science: What the frig does this "wedge strategy" have to do with ANYTHING in this thread. Feel free to find another thread where it's actually being discussed.

      The discussion of the organized political and social action plan to have intelligent design as a required subject in public schools is appropriate to this thread as christians want ID taught to all children in the USA in spite of the separation of church and state.

      You don't get to dictate what is discussed here just because you don't like the subject, chik-fil-a.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ Attack of the 50: I'm trying to ponder why we as a species have rejected knowledge acquired in forms other that literal and scientific – so much so that we ignore our intuition, instinct and mysticism.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • SevenPup

      Chick-a-dee –

      Then what exactly are you interested in? Can you specifically name the creation stories you care about? Note that the Judeo Christian, Hindu and Buddist creations stories do not begin with water...so what important and popular creation story is of relevance to you?

      So what is your point? Bad explanations of the world spread throught time and cultures?

      March 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • .

      Dang, chick-a-dee sounds a lot like live4him. Never being satisfied with any answer but the one that fits her "apriori", LMAO!

      March 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Doris

      If we really paid attention to our intuition and instinct, then we'd ignore our mysticism.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Doris

      "chick-a-dee sounds a lot like live4him"

      If that's the case, then I demand to be put on its "list".

      March 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Then what exactly are you interested in?
      While the Genesis account obviously skips over quite a bit, there are points that seem to have corresponding data in the scientific creation hypotheses. I want to know why we don't question why and how ancient peoples came to hold these beliefs and why we hold knowledge acquired by means other than the scientific method in distain.

      I expect to be back online in approx 8 hours if anyone is interested in continuing this.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Peregrine

      Chick. So ancient people fired a shotgun at a target from 60ft. A few of the pellets hit the bullseye and so now they're marksmen (had advanced knowledge through divine guidance)?

      March 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chick-a-dee,
      "I'm trying to ponder why we as a species have rejected knowledge acquired in forms other that literal and scientific – so much so that we ignore our intuition, instinct and mysticism."

      Because, while "intuition, instinct and mysticism" can occasionally hit on something that is correct, or almost correct, science has proven itself to be a far more reliable method of understanding how the world actually works than any other method... ever.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • ME II

      P.S. Ancient Greek atomism, i.e. " Atoms are indestructible and immutable and there are an infinite variety of shapes and sizes." (Wiki) is not the atoms of today's understanding. What we understand of atoms today is that they are not indestructible, nor immutable, nor "un cuttable".

      They just inherited the name is all.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  5. ReligionIsBS

    Can you imagine the converstations people are going to have in 1,000 years?

    "You mean to tell me that there were people who beleived a god came down to dessert and told everyone to beleive in him or else there would be trouble...before the printing press was invented, before world-wide-communication was invented, before cameras and camcorders were invented, before TV was invented, and before the internet was invented? Why wouldnt this moron of a god just wait a couple thousand years to proclaim himself? He obviously waited tens of thousands of years after he made them anyways. Was he getting bored?"

    March 25, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Or;

      Can you believe the arrogance they had back then? Totally unable to comprehend the mysteries of bread and wine, they presumed to set themselves above the Almighty and flaunt their wickedness.

      March 25, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Saraswati

      Bill, we may think we had a lot of stuff wrong, but it will be easy to tell those who had reasonable assumptions given the data from those who were willing to believe anything.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Bill – I'd say we have a pretty good grasp of the concept of bread and wine. A nice full red, not bitter, with a smooth, lasting mouth feel. Some fresh crusty bread. A nice sharp aged cheddar.

      it's not mysterious, but it's damn good!

      Hey, and if your god is good, why was Jesus turning water into wine? Alcohol is the number one most destructive drug we have going. What's with that? And please don't give me that "free will" BS, because some people, based on their brain/body chemistry, are much more susceptible to alcohol abuse.

      Why didn't your god think that one through?

      March 25, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Hindsight

      What they called scientific fact is now folly.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Can you imagine the converstations people are going to have in 1,000 years?

      AAAAHHHHHHH IT IS SO HOOOOOT DOWN HERE! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

      March 25, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Bill, you mean the whole death cult thing? Yes, im sure people in the future will laugh at you for beleiving that a wafer magically turns into jesus and that you thaught it would be wise to consume this zombie wafer. Its funny that you dont notice you're in a cult infatuated with death. A wafer is a wafer, not jesus. Dont beleive me? Take on of those jesus tablets down to a lab and have it tested. I gaurentee you it comes back as a wafer, not a zombie.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Facts

      A wafer, plus the Word of God.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ facts – A wafer + the "Word of God" = A wafer + 0 = A wafer.

      A wafer = a wafer. Some guy in an outfit mumbling in latin over it has no effect on it. It's still just a wafer.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Facts

      According to you. Not according to God. I'll trust in God, not a blog commenter.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Facts, which god are you reffering too? Because i gaurentee you that 99% of all of the other made up gods would agree that a wafer is just a wafer.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      fact?
      You trust in what others have told you god is, the ones who made up your bible and the god described therein.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Facts – which god, exactly, are you relying on and having faith in? There are thousands of gods. Hopefully not the god of the bible – a murderous, jealous, petty, cruel, genocidal tyrant. Which sounds like your typical Bronze age ruler trying to maintain order and domination. Hmmmmmm.

      Personally, I'd have faith in Venus. You know, riding around on that clamshell, long hair just about – but not quite – covering those curves Yeah, she's my kinda god! Make love, not war!

      March 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll. Do you miss the pope stories Billy, the good and the bad, have you overcome your persecution complex?

      March 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  6. The Non Believer

    ARGUMENT FROM THE BIBLE (II)
    (1) The Bible says the Bible is true.
    (2) Therefore the Bible is true.
    (3) The Bible says God exists.
    (4) Therefore, God exists.

    ARGUMENT FROM HISTORY
    (1) The Bible is true.
    (2) Therefore, the Bible is historical fact.
    (3) The Bible says that God exists.
    (4) Therefore, God exists.

    March 25, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Saraswati

      Pretty accurate.

      March 25, 2013 at 11:54 am |
  7. ReligionIsBS

    Camera invented...miracles stop!

    March 25, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Saraswati

      lol...nice summary.

      March 25, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Who needs a camera when there is toast? Or in this case bird poop?

      http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/oh_cuyahoga/northeast-ohio-man-claims-bird-droppings-show-image-of-christ#ixzz2LqfzU4fP

      March 25, 2013 at 11:44 am |
  8. End Religion

    The Judeo-Christian Genesis stories DO NOT begin with the earth being a wet environment.

    March 25, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Science

      The soup.......................... ER the creationists are stuck IN maybe ?

      How Did Early Primordial Cells Evolve?

      Feb. 28, 2013 — Four billion years ago, soon after the planet cooled enough for life to begin, primordial cells may have replicated and divided without protein machinery or cell walls, relying instead on just a flimsy lipid membrane. New research on bacteria examines exactly how these primitive cells could have evolved without such crucial structures.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228124138.htm

      March 25, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • End Religion

      My post was a reply that got lost in the page flip bug. It was Chickadee I think who asked why most religions seem to start with a watery-soup myth, however Genesis begins with no earth at all.

      March 25, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Science

      Yea that bug.............................. splat goes the bug !

      Strange Spaghetti-Shaped Creature Is Missing Link: Discovery Pushes Fossil Record Back 200 Million Years

      Mar. 13, 2013 — Canada's 505 million year-old Burgess Shale fossil beds, located in Yoho National Park, have yielded yet another major scientific discovery - this time with the unearthing of a strange spaghetti-shaped creature.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130313142526.htm

      March 25, 2013 at 11:39 am |
  9. Amazing - Grace

    Go to page 61

    March 25, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      There you can hear about the unconditional love of Amazing – Grace's god who is going to torture and burn his children for refusing to follow his one condition.

      March 25, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Madtown

      is going to torture and burn his children for refusing to follow his one condition
      -----
      And, some of these children will have never heard of this one condition!

      March 25, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  10. Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

    John, those parts of Leviticus 11 are still in the bible, and they are still factually wrong. They were "gone over" decades ago? By whom? And to what result.
    My concern is this: your faith – and you are 100% enti-tled to believe what you want – is based on the contents of the bible. Now, how does one determine what parts of the bible to accept? If some parts can be factually wrong – and they clearly are – they who is to say that other parts are also factually wrong? Is it entirely arbitrary? if someone writing in Leviticus says that hares chew their cud, surely there could be other errors in the parts that deal with Jesus, right?

    We're talking the foundation of your belief system, and I'm saying, look, there are some obvious holes in the foundation. How do you know that that rest of the foundation isn't rotten as well?

    March 25, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  11. Amazing - Grace

    The liberty, freedom and free will bloggers are exercising is the wonderful part of GOD's grace and mercy (for a season).

    You don't have to believe in GOD, HIS only son JESUS CHRIST and the HOLY SPIRIT.

    However, when you do meet your maker one day – and you will – please don't play dumb and say you never knew you had to believe.

    Maybe you think you are a good person. No worries, right? You don't believe in GOD or HIS justice, so no need to point out that there is a real Heaven and a very real Hell.

    See, if you go through life saying, "no God, no GOD, no JESUS, no Heaven or Hell" doesn't mean you would be right. Just in denial. Because you would have to be accountable. And, you want to be free from accountability or judgement. Blindness to GOD and HIS perfect will for your life will not be a great excuse.

    Would you like to know more?

    Are you an open minded person?

    Stay tuned. More to come your way – when you are ready.

    Just know this fact, no man is promised tomorrow. So time is an enemy to us all.

    March 25, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Science

      Time will either expose or promote ?

      March 25, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      So basically you are saying the unconditional love of your god has one condition....

      March 25, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Thoth

      "Just know this fact, no man is promised tomorrow."

      Doesn't that run counter to the religious 'promise' of eternal life if only you humble yourself to the service of god 'X'?

      Perhaps it is you that is in denial. At least about what is and isn't provable.

      March 25, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Amazing – Grace", but all of your words in capital letters denote elements of mythology, and therefore your assertions are unfounded.

      March 25, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "However, when you do meet your maker one day – and you will – please don't play dumb and say you never knew you had to believe"

      So you arent going to use that excuse when you meet Allah? Or Vishnu? Or the jewish god, who is going to be furious that youve been worshiping a false god(jesus) the whole time? LOL. Nice logic. No wonder you beleive in talking snakes.

      March 25, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Saraswati

      The problem is that your god sounds like and idiot. Since Christianity general claims he is not, that leaves us with a story that really isn't even worth investigating. Frankly I'd be more likely to listen if you said "My god is kind of a simpleminded jerk, but he's all powerful, so you'd better listen up." At least that would be plausible enough to be of interest.

      March 25, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • sam stone

      Amazing – Grace.....your proxy threats are absurd.

      March 25, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Madtown

      don't play dumb and say you never knew you had to believe.
      ----–
      The HUGE problem with this, is that it leaves out many humans(your equals) throughout the world who've never heard of Jesus Christ, and never will because God placed them in an area of the world where christianity doesn't exist. How could you be punished for not traveling a path you didn't know existed?

      March 25, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Peregrine

      Ag. So your god will burn me in hell for all eternity for:
      Being exactly the way he made me.
      Having perfectly rational doubts (as did Thomas and he witnessed how many miracles?).
      Being disgusted by his best representatives on earth (child molesters, rapists, hate mongers,mega church millionaires and power hungry politicians).
      Doubting because science describes our world differently than his scribes did.
      Doesn't sound like perfect justice or morals.

      March 25, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • Amazing - Grace

      All replies were predictable.

      Blindness becomes you.

      March 25, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Peregrine

      Ag. As predictable as gravity and yet you adressed none of them. How smugly superior you are. Run away now

      March 25, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Amazing - Grace

      Blind men should not box with GOD.

      The battle you have is not with anyone but GOD.

      No answers man would give you will open your blind eyes (spiritual eyes).

      March 25, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • sam stone

      As are you, pen-day-hoe

      March 25, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • midwest rail

      A – G ......God didn't pose the question, YOU did. You received some replies that were worthy of a response, yet you choose to deflect and run. You do your cause no good by being disingenuous.

      March 25, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • sam stone

      You are delusional, AG.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Doobs

      The liberty, freedom and free will bloggers are exercising is the wonderful part of GOD's grace and mercy (for a season).

      No, it is the result of technology and democracy. No god required.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Peregrine

      Ag. If I am blind then that is exactly the way god made me. He knew it before I was born and yet he will burn me in hell for all eternity for it. That is not perfect justice or unconditional love.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "No answers man would give you will open your blind eyes (spiritual eyes)."

      Since that is the case if we are blind to your god it is his fault.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      "No answers man would give you will open your blind eyes (spiritual eyes)."
      .
      And yet your faith is in men who wrote your bible. lol

      March 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
  12. Austin

    Austin
    Austin
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Austin
    @ Mass D
    "By the way, there are many people who keep dream journals, but only psychopaths try to decipher them as divine inspiration."

    i am going through this again...
    all of the dreams I had, that I discern were visioins, were because I was having dreams that were LEADING what my reality and awake life was about to actually present to me. Did I know when i wrote them down, or expect, for these dreams to be doing such a thing? there were a few where I knew that I could expect something. and they did hit .

    two nights in a row, and a little space between the third dream,

    #1I dreamt about the tile patio , a huge and beautiful rock tile with wide grout and a beautiful pattern and color, ater i had entered a stone arch entrance. There was an arm reaching into a whole, a whole chizzeled out of the ground. and the arm pulled out a leather bag full of gems. wrote these down in the middle or the night half asleep. The next day....I kept reading my bible.......

    Jeremiah 43:8-13
    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    8 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying, 9 “Take some large stones in your [a]hands and hide them in the mortar in the brick terrace which is at the entrance of Pharaoh’s [c]palace in Tahpanhes, in the sight of [d]some of the J.ews; 10 and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold, I am going to send and get Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and I am going to set his throne right over these stones that I have hidden; and he will spread his canopy over them.

    #2 the next night I dreamed that i was being attacked by a motorcycle gang and that the leader of the gang had a huge animal horn, att.atched to his seat. he could not even sit on his bike. he was trying to run me over. they were a rebel gang.
    the next day, i had finished reading Jeremiah and gotten into Lament.ations

    ◄ Lament.ations 2:3 ►

    New International Version (©2011)
    In fierce anger he has cut off every horn of Israel. He has withdrawn his right hand at the approach of the enemy. He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire that consumes everything around it.
    ◄ Lament.ations 2:17 ►

    New International Version (©2011)
    The LORD has done what he planned; he has fulfilled his word, which he decreed long ago. He has overthrown you without pity, he has let the enemy gloat over you, he has exalted the horn of your foes.

    I DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH AND THE STONES, AND I HAD NO RECOLLECTION OF LAMENTA.TIONS. i COULD NOT HAVE TOLD YOU WHAT ONE MAIN POINT WAS OTHER THAN I KNEW JEREMIAH WAS A PROPHET.

    #3 a few days later I had a dream that there was a huge pile of feathers underneath a bed. that day, I was reading in the book of daniel, ◄ Daniel 4:33 ►

    New International Version (©2011)
    Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.

    the kid who i had the dream about, got into trouble that day, which i had suspected the feather was a sign that he would be humiliated. he had his work pass suspended which was a major blow.

    #4 dreamed I was poisoned by mercury in alcohol. the next dream, didnt have a single dream for two weeks, this next dream I had just let two snakes out of a cage. one was a viper, the other was a rattler. but I had not thought even thought the word viper for a long time. when i woke up, i said to the kid next to me................."something is going to happen today, this one is a sign" i knew the snakes were a sign..

    two hours later i went down to bible study, the leader, on the second passage, said turn to proverbs 23:32

    29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
    Who has strife? Who has complaints?
    Who has needless bruises? Who has blo.odshot eyes?
    30 Those who linger over wine,
    who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
    31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
    when it sparkles in the cup,
    when it goes down smoothly!
    32 In the end it bites like a snake
    and poisons like a viper.

    #5 Dreamed i was in a wh.ore house and I flooded it because i turned on a water spitot upstairs and just let it go and left it on. I had been praying about lust. I didnt catch this dream, until a few week later i did a study on water. I had no clue about this dream. i seemed like a random joke. but i got kicked out for letting the water run and flood.

    15 Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. 16 Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? 17 Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. 18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 A loving doe, a graceful deer– may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. 20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man's wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman? 21 For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all your paths. 22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast.

    # 6 dreamed i was touring a house and went out back and there was an ABOVE ground pool with an flush deck and a privacy fence right around the deck.

    two days later the kid sleeping next to me pulled out a piece of paper , sheldon clay was his name, and he showed me his blue print he drew, of a new house, with an above ground swimming pool , with a flush deck around the pool, and a privacy fence on the deck.

    #7 this kid on night threw a roll a tp and racked me. I was furious and said to myself, I wonder if he has the light in his eye. and then i rebuked my judgment of his spiritual condition. THE NEXT MORNING he woke up and came up to me and said, "i had a dream last night that i was going around to see who had a special light in their eye to see if they were possessed or not"
    this kid was not a bible verse type of guy.

    #8 had a dream that the kid who was ripping on me lost his money
    a month later i over heard him talking about how he lost his money, and i said watch this, and pulled out the dream i had that he had lost it.

    #9 the cat dream. I had a cat at my house, that night i dreamed that a demonic voice sang to me which inverted my body and then presented the same cat, covered in blood.

    I woke up and the cat was dead in the highway, 550 feet from my house.

    #10 I had a dream i was inside the st. louis arch and I was in there with my cousin, and she was pointing at a glass case , with a bust of someone. she said "look, its thomas Jefferson" and the place was very nice. very expensive and ritzy.

    I had no idea what the st. louis arch was about. but what i had been doing, was getting heavily into the rumors about masons, and this dream just came to me. and when I googled this and I started trembling . this is called "a word of knowledge" which is a type of spiritual gift.

    There have been numerous other ones that I believe were spiritual words of knowledge that i wont get in to .

    None of this stuff, is me trying to fit things together. everything i dreamed, and then experienced in real life as i have stated. Some of these, are totally obvious. others, I have complete faith that they were also spiritual revelations, because I know %100 that some were, so I can have faith that others probably were too. and 8 of the first ten there, all happened in jail.

    This is organized, and relevant information that is a dream, relating to reality that i was about to live.

    That is spiritual revelation.

    March 25, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Dead Cat = God of Abraham

      March 25, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      LOL. Please see a doctor before you shoot up a mall.

      March 25, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • OTOH

      Austin's family and his "pastor" have a great onus upon them to keep a close watch on this guy.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  13. Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

    John, those things are in your bible. Leviticus 11. Why are they not an issue? Who determined they weren't an issue?

    You're obviously basing your faith on the contents of the bible. Isn't it therefore important to look at the validity – or lack of validity – of that foundational text?

    March 25, 2013 at 10:45 am |
  14. chris cox

    science and humanism are the future of "humanity"! athiesm will be the philosophy of our post fathers + mothers!

    religion has done far too much damage to the human race and people are starting to wake-up from the misery and realize
    humanism definitely outweighs scripture of any kind.

    March 25, 2013 at 10:08 am |
  15. Atheism is a form of Autism, more specifically Asperger Syndrome--Fact

    Atheism may not be a religion, but "clear" is becoming more of a color these days 🙂

    March 25, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      What an odd screen name you have chosen. Is that your attempt to circuitously equate an intellectual response to a claim that a god exists with a mental health condition?

      Hmmmmm

      March 25, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • Atheism is a form of Autism, more specifically Asperger Syndrome--Fact

      You want to talk "odd screen names" ?

      March 25, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Thoth

      'Fact' – supported by evidence..... what is your universally accepted evidence linking a 'rejection of religious claims' (Atheism) to Autism?

      March 25, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Why, yes – yes I do! Mine, for example is a play on the 1950's movie "Attack of the 50 foot Woman" while taking a poke at the Mormon practice of wearing "magic undergarments" to protect them from evil.

      And the genesis of yours?

      March 25, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • History Channel's "The Bible" Parts 3 & 4 - In Under 11 Minutes!

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTRn28iZD_g&w=640&h=360]

      March 25, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • Atheism is a form of Autism, more specifically Asperger Syndrome--Fact

      It is a theory shared with a few colleagues of mine who study psychopathology backed by a culmination of evidence and research.

      March 25, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • SevenPup

      "It is a theory shared with a few colleagues of mine who study psychopathology backed by a culmination of evidence and research" –

      Ha ha if you had any idea how silly that sounds i doubt youd post it...i doubt you really understand the term psychopathology

      March 25, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Those who have to use the word "Fact" in an attempt to give their statement more validity are most often attempting to deceive.

      March 25, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Saraswati

      This is the same as saying religiosity is the same as schizophrenia. Religiosity is higher among schizophrenics, but that in no way makes it the same thing. Atheists are just lower on the "schizophrenia spectrum".

      March 25, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • FACTOID, revealer of little known facts!

      FACT! Your a d-bag. FACT!

      March 25, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Thoth

      What? "It is a theory shared with a few colleagues of mine who study psychopathology backed by a culmination of evidence and research."

      Ok, so where did you, and your 'colleagues' publish this 'evidence and research'....the Creationist Times?

      How many of these 'colleagues' are clinical reasearchers with MD following their names?

      On a basic level, how do you dismiss the overwhelmingly abundant evidence that there are many, many atheists who do not fall into the Autism spectrum? Is it in the same manner that Creationist 'scientists' dismiss data that contradi.cts 'god's word'?

      This should be fun....

      March 25, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Hmmm – really? I as-sume you are a scientist? A researcher, perhaps? University professor? What might your credentials be? Your "colleagues"? What insti-tutions are they affiliated with? And this theory. It's been published in peer-reviewed journals, no doubt?

      Please be so good as to provide some proof of this claim that you've made. You see, we atheists have this thing about requiring proof before blindly accepting what – on the surface at least – sound like ridiculous claims.

      Please proceed.

      March 25, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Saraswati

      By the way, last time I did an autism spectum test (for fun through a university study) I fell dead center for the population. Autism spectrum-wise I am the absolutely average citizen – which means less autistic than the average male and more than the average female. As a non-believing "Jane average" exists right here you'll need to tighten your theory. None of the non-believers I know exhibit any autistic symptoms at all, and the one person I know well with aspergers attends church. Certainly asperger's diminishes the type of creativity needed to make up religious stories and draw imaginary connections, but no more so than schizophrenia increases those tendencies.

      March 25, 2013 at 10:55 am |
  16. William H

    Whatever convictions you hold, be honest about them and take pride in. Seek to raise them up if you want, but don't hurt or drag down anyone just to make yourself better about yourself.

    March 25, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • Madtown

      And, understand that your convictions may not be shared by other human beings who are your equals. If you are in a position of power or authority, do not attempt to influence or control other people's lives based on your beliefs/convictions.

      March 25, 2013 at 10:07 am |
  17. Thoth

    IMO the way to expand the atheist movement is through education, and reaching out to the youth. While most kids are probably pre-programmed by their parents to follow the chosen family tradition, many kids are indoctrinated through community programs established by various religious organizations. While these programs are usually beneficial to the community, they serve as platforms for religious dogma – the old "hey we are doing something for you so you need to listen to, and believe what we tell you regardless of how counterintuitive it may seem". Appealing only to intellect, when the human condition is rooted in emotion, will never generate enough skepticism among the masses.

    March 25, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • Saraswati

      Education is certainly important, but it isby no means the only thing at play. People turn to religion out of a need when something is missing. It is the societies that reduce marginalization, poverty and loneliness that see secularism grow.

      March 25, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Thoth

      @sara – your post supports my assertion that community programs are a good way to reach youths. If you note, I specifically state that appealing only to intellect would not sway the masses......

      March 25, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Saraswati

      Thoth, I may have been misreading what you said as discussing community programs that also had an agenda rather than referring to the providing of social services alone regardless of propaganda.

      March 25, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Thoth

      @Sara – IMO individuals who are genuine in their desire to help others would do so even in the abscence of any 'God'. However, let's not pretend that these programs operated by Churches don't have a core motive to disseminate dogma. Even 'missions' for humanitarian purposes have a fundamental goal of propagation. For example, food, tents, etc... sent out for aid nearly always of religious notations of some sort (provided to you by group "X") or ("serving God through mission"). Religion, as I'm certain you know, is a competi.tion for 'souls'.

      March 25, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Saraswati

      "Religion, as I'm certain you know, is a competi.tion for 'souls'."

      I might agree for most forms of Christianity and Islam, but that's not a big part of most religions.

      March 25, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Thoth

      @Sara – I typically agree with you, and not sure why you are trying to pick apart my posts, but your last one seems incorrect, unless I'm not following your reasoning. Islam and Christianity are by far the largest currently followed religions which would make them the 'biggest part'. Additionally, and I'm open to being corrected, but save a few Far East concepts, most every religion Ive studied involves commitment of the soul.

      March 25, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Saraswati

      I guess I put less emphasis on the size of a religion since that seems to me quite separate from its essence or merits, but I can certainly see that considering size is also a valid way to look at it. Sorry if it seems I'm picking apart...didn't mean to!

      March 25, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
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    March 25, 2013 at 9:25 am |
  19. krhodes

    There is nothing as unreasonable as an atheist...just look at the comments. Nothing more than name calling and insult, but when you have no "reasonable"argument then I guess that works?

    March 25, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • Fundies Gone Wild!

      Who doesn't have an argument?? LMAO!

      March 25, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • Realist

      atheist have no reasonable argument? How silly,, it's the religionist.

      March 25, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • sam stone

      krhodes: it is the theists who have no argument, and regress to empty proxy threats

      March 25, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      We are frequently asked to justify our unbelief in particular gods, usually the God of Israel. The failure in logic occurs in the believer before the question is asked. Perhaps if believers could come up with something we could work on the discussion would be more interesting. I don't know of a more profoundly failed position, or a more poorly defended one, than the assertion that a particular God is real, alive, and intimately involved in the lives of people.

      March 25, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Theist: I believe that God X exists.

      Atheist: Really? What evidence do you have to support that belief?

      Yeah, I certainly see what you mean about all that name-calling and insults those atheists engage in.

      March 25, 2013 at 10:01 am |
  20. Fundies Gone Wild!

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0-04VDrCbM&w=640&h=360]

    March 25, 2013 at 8:59 am |
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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.