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The money man behind atheism’s activism
Todd Stiefel, a wealthy businessman, is responsible for bank rolling many atheism activism projects.
March 23rd, 2013
10:00 PM ET

The money man behind atheism’s activism

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) - Todd Stiefel is far from a household name, and the odds he gets recognized on a street corner, even in his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, are small.

For Stiefel, a slim, scruffy ex-Catholic, his public persona is his wallet and activism. Through the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, the 38-year-old has made an indelible impact on the nation’s fastest-growing “religious” group: the nonbelievers. Most of the highest-profile atheists campaigns –- flashy billboards in high-traffic areas, news-making efforts to get atheists to come out of the closet, and boisterous rallies - are funded by his fortune.

Stiefel isn’t shy about his far-reaching goals.

“What I am trying to accomplish is multifold, he told CNN. “I consider myself working on the next civil equality movement, just like women’s rights, LGBT rights and African-American Civil Rights. We are still in the early stages of eliminating discrimination against atheists and humanists. That is something I really want to accomplish.”

So far, Stiefel has pumped $3.5 million into those aspirations, and his money benefits a number of atheist organizations, from the Clergy Project, a group that helps atheist and doubting clergy out of the closet, to American Atheists, arguably the most in-your-face atheist group in the country.

Stiefel sees his work as far more than just money. For him, this is just the beginning.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

From Catholic school to atheist millionaire

Stiefel was born in Albany, New York, in 1974 to Catholic parents. He was raised in a Catholic household, confirmed in the church, attended Sunday school, went to a Catholic high school.

“I was a cross-wearing, praying, religious-retreat Catholic,” Stiefel said. “You could say there were points that I felt the spirit.”

But his faith, he said, fluctuated during high school. “I was always a skeptic,” he said, “and I always asked a lot of questions.”

At 18, Stiefel attended Duke University to pursue a degree in psychology. To fill an elective, he took an Old Testament history class at the Duke University Divinity School. It was there, he said, that his final “ebb” away from belief took hold.

In the class, Stiefel said he saw a flawed logic in the Old Testament. In particular, he said, he began to see much of the Old Testament as unoriginal stories that had been told in many pagan traditions.

“'Wait a second, is what I believe in really the truth or is it really the accumulation of myths bundled in a package?’” Stiefel remembers asking himself. “That was the end of my faith right there.”

After graduating from Duke, Stiefel went into the family business: Stiefel Laboratories, a company that develops products to combat skin diseases. For 12 years, Stiefel worked with his family and turned the business into a major player in their specialized market.

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In 2009, with Stiefel in an executive position, the Stiefel family opted to sell the company to GlaxoSmithKline. The price tag: $2.9 billion, according to media reports at the time.

“I only got a very small piece of that, for the record,” Stiefel said with a laugh. “I did, however, find myself in a unique and fortunate position where I was able to do whatever I wanted to do.”

And like many who have the luxury of doing exactly what they want, Stiefel began thinking about what he was truly passionate about. After kicking around the idea of starting another business, the answer became clear to the young millionaire: advocating for atheism.

“I wanted to try to help the world,” he said. “I wanted to give back and this seemed like the most productive way to help humanity.”

‘Just doing my part’

Stiefel put $2 million in to begin his foundation. In his first year, according to tax documents, the nonprofit disbursed $700,000 to groups like the Secular Coalition for America, the American Humanist Association and Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

In 2010 and 2011, the giving continued with the foundation distributing around $750,000 to different atheist and humanist causes. In 2011, he also pumped another $500,000 into his foundation.

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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. guest

    When I first read this article it was of little interest to me; I chose not to respond, but there was a lot of people who were interested so I thought to make an input.
    Stiefel said:
    “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.”
    Question: How are Atheists discriminated against any more than they discriminate against religious believers?
    Although not published, I recently heard of an evangelist that planned a series of meetings. He expected about 400 attendees. The response was: 4000 and grew to 4500. The venue had to be quickly changed from a church to an athletic stadium. I wonder if Stiefel could generate such a response?

    April 9, 2013 at 5:33 am |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Do you need to worry about being fired if your boss finds out you're Christian? Are there court cases, many of them, where the ACLU has to step in because the judge wants to take your kids away because you are a Christian? That is true of atheists.

      Discrimination is not someone disagreeing with you. Discrimination is not when you are unable to have your religion's creation story taught as the only alternative to science in schools. You're 70%, we are a very small percent. You've no notion of what discrimination is.

      April 9, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Jim P.

      Another logical fallacy called the "argument from popularity". Millions of people flock to Mecca each year all at one time for the Haj and it gets larger and larger every year, therefore that one must be even better than someone who can fill up 4,000 seats, yes?

      April 9, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
  2. Kilto

    There are a lot of Atheist trolls on here I noticed. They can't refute the evidence presented to them and when asked to give specific examples they have a hard time clarifying anything. They are like scared monkeys screaming at us Christians because they are afraid of the truth. Atheists believe in nothing that is what I understand, at least I asked a few and they don't believe in the existence of Gods. I bet Atheists know more about the bible then I do. They are so adamant in making fun of us Christians. I do not see that happening with other beliefs. If Atheists don't believe in anything, why the hell are you arguing with Christians about our faith? You don't believe in anything yet you are so keen in trying to convince others and yourself that there is no God. All you are doing is opening yourselves up to the realization that there is a God.

    April 9, 2013 at 2:37 am |
    • o

      It is their blog, I visited because I saw faith

      April 9, 2013 at 2:43 am |
    • Science

      Morning o

      Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says
      By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...
      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/17/heaven-is-a-fairy-story-scientist-stephen-hawking-says/

      April 9, 2013 at 5:02 am |
    • o

      Ignorance is obvious if you have the truth

      April 9, 2013 at 8:02 am |
    • sam stone

      arrogance is obvious if you claim to have "the truth"

      April 9, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • o

      arrogance is obvious too: The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story,"

      April 9, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • The real Tom

      Kilto, what do you care whether atheists are here or not? From the tenor of your posts, it appears you are the one who feels threatened. If you believe, great. I don't care as long as you don't insist I do so. Your beliefs are your own business. As long as you don't MAKE them my business by interfering with the law, public school policy, or science research, I don't care what you believe.

      Quite frankly, I think you're just some bored kid who gets on here because he likes arguing and wants to be able to call other people "monkeys" without any repercussions.

      April 9, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      There are a lot of Theist trolls on here I noticed. They can't refute the evidence presented to them and when asked to give specific examples they have a hard time clarifying anything. They are like scared monkeys screaming at us non-believers because they are afraid of the truth. Theists believe in mythology that is what I understand, at least I asked a few and they believe in the existence of Gods. I bet Theists know less about the bible then I do. They are so adamant in making fun of us non-believers. I do not see that happening as much with other beliefs. If Theists believe in mythology, why the hell are you arguing with non-believers about your faith? You don't believe in facts or science yet you are so keen in trying to convince others and yourself that there is a God. All you are doing is opening yourselves up to the realization that there is no God.

      April 9, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • Kilto

      @ AtheistSteve...way to be original there. Just reaffirms the point that a lot of Atheists on here are idiots and can't think for themselves. You plagiarizer.

      April 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Jim P.

      Ad hominem and straw man arguments. Atheists are not a monolithic block any more than Christians are. (Granted there are not supposed to be *any* divisions in Christianity which some of us feel is a pretty good argument that you don't have the "one true religion".)

      You don't believe in Jupiter for example? I don't either but an entire Empire grew and flourished under a belief he was a real and potent god. One of his "prophets predicted the Empire would last only until the statue to the goddess of Victory was removed from the Senate.

      Christians forced its removal and within a century the western Empire was dead and buried. So, that must be the correct religion yes?

      Here is my version of my atheism: I have yet to see any evidence that convinces me any gods exist at all and quite a bit that convinces me the anthropomorphic all-loving, all-knowing, omnipresent god of the Abrahamic religions does not.

      That's basically it.

      Arguments based on your version of a book compiled from dozens of sources hundreds of years after the events they claim to relate and for many parts of which contradictory evidence is a'plenty (No historical evidence whatsoever of an Exodus, for example plus we now know the Egyptians did not use a slave-based economy for construction as one example. A lack of any evidence for a major earthquake in Jerusalem the day your man-god died is another, let alone the dead rising from their graves and wandering back into town to chat with their friends and relatives. *Someone* would have noticed and made a report.)

      April 9, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
  3. faith

    "Kent Marveau
    If your god is omnipotent, then why did it need to sacrifice a son to save anyone? Sure sounds like you made up your god, or some other human(s) did?"

    bernie, hankie, murray on october 15th, 87

    how ga guess?

    April 9, 2013 at 1:54 am |
    • Science

      Hey faith........................soon ......................ethics will beat it up maybe ?

      The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

      Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising
      questions of ethics and environmental disruption.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408165955.htm

      April 9, 2013 at 7:14 am |
  4. faith

    They were using this question as a trap,in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.

    what did he write in the ground, dorothy, hmm?

    April 9, 2013 at 12:48 am |
    • Victoria

      Why should we give a hoot what your nth translation generation book of crazy old stories says that your Jebus said?

      April 9, 2013 at 12:51 am |
    • o

      Jer 17:13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, [and] they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.

      April 9, 2013 at 1:00 am |
    • Marie Laveau

      @o

      Papa Legba, open the gate for me, Ago eh
      Papa Legba, open the gate for me
      Open the gate for me, Papa
      For me to pass, when I return I will thank the Lwa!

      (psst: there is as much evidence that this chant works as there is that yours does)

      April 9, 2013 at 1:07 am |
    • o

      Jhn 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

      April 9, 2013 at 1:48 am |
    • faith

      "Victoria
      Why should we give a hoot what your nth translation generation book of crazy old stories says that your Jebus said?"

      i'm being honest here Vicki, you shouldn't care

      April 9, 2013 at 1:56 am |
    • laststonecarver

      @faith
      what did he write in the ground, dorothy, hmm?
      April 9, 2013 at 12:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
      possible answers:
      1. There's no place like home? –
      2. The number of hairs on her head? –
      3. A fish drawing (a personal favorite)?
      4. A spoiler alert for the movie "The Sixth Sense"?
      5. A Native American sand painting

      or maybe you know, faith?
      or is that part not in the Book?

      April 9, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • biggles

      How would anyone know? But, just maybe he wrote the names of the women her accusers had committed adultery and fornication with, you know?

      April 10, 2013 at 11:44 am |
  5. Salero21

    You foolish atheists; how can you be so stupid?

    April 8, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • The real Tom

      How many names are you going to post under?

      April 8, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Kent Marveau

      Salero, that`s very Christian of you, to say that.

      April 9, 2013 at 12:59 am |
    • tallulah13

      You know, Salero, I think you're the most boring troll on this blog. And that's saying something.

      April 9, 2013 at 1:51 am |
  6. clarity

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MIj5ilCKYI&w=640&h=360]

    April 8, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • Praise Jesus VI

      What? clarity...again with this guy?

      He crows about us eventually being vital at 200.....God's been there – done that = Noah died at 950 years old.....built a ship single handedly at what? 500? .... A ship that held every type of species on earth even whales and fish...as they never would have survived the drop in salinity – or rise in salinity for fresh water fish........you try to build a 450 ft x 70ft ship at 500 ..and Sam thinks 200 years is good?

      ...and God has his reasons for not mentioning electricity or DNA....clearly he wanted them to master animal sacrifice and slavery first......

      souls might start at conception.. thats up to God....

      Sam has a silver tongue that just keeps flying.....

      keep em coming clarity......maybe I should debate the man....hes easy to crush as you ve seen.

      April 8, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • Kent Marveau

      PJVI Why should Jesus be praised? If he was truly a god, he could have done anything without effort. How would that deserve "praise"?

      And you wouldn't last past the intro in a debate with Sam Harris.You'd be on the floor crying your eyes out at your loss.

      April 9, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • Praise Jesus VI

      Re read my post....all of it.

      P.S. careful ...there's a wild Satire on the loose!

      April 9, 2013 at 1:56 am |
  7. Austin

    We can tell Adolf is a Christian by his eye ball charts.

    April 8, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
  8. faith

    There is nothing to indicate otherwise. ( and your man made book describing your one true god is not a reference source for evidence kromusdomus

    y lie?

    April 8, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • faith

      we knoed bible is real cause hitler was a christian

      April 8, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • faith

      adolf loved the good book, c, and god-haters knoed hitler was a man of the cloth. he was a devout xian and god-hating demons love the guy, so that answers that

      NEXT!

      April 8, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
  9. faith

    "There is nothing to indicate otherwise. ( and your man made book describing your one true god is not a reference source for evidence)"

    u r a liar

    April 8, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • faith

      otay. i fess. i wrot the knew tesament. twas me. foolod u din't i? wasn thakhart neithor. dit it n 3 hoors.

      April 8, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
  10. LAST DAY

    Sam Harris,

    Jesus was a true prophet sent by a real GOD,

    not because some people said so,

    but because what Jesus said here (=John 6/27, 40) has absolutely come TRUE

    in the Language of MATHEMATICS now!

    So please, see and ABSOLUTELY verify it for yourself here now:

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES!

    April 8, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
  11. clarity

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JI-0py-YQY&w=640&h=360]

    April 8, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Praise Jesus VI

      Sam Harris is not to be trusted....any atheist in fact...George Bush l even said so!

      If any do watch this video, immediately go to youtube and watch yerself some Hinn, Haggard, Roberts, Graham, or Robertson sermons.. they ll put you right again after this Sam Harris's filth!

      April 8, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • clarity

      Hinn, Haggard, Bush? Do you have any other snake-oil salesmen up your sleeve, there Jeebus VI??

      April 8, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • Praise Jesus VI

      Do yourself a huge favor and watch a Benny Hinn video on youtube...especially the ones where he REALLY heals people....true story! he pummels them in the head and they are right as rain....kinda counters your boy Harris here claim doesn't it?? ...Though this Sai Baba character he brings up ...and mocks...thats unwise ... this Sai Baba guy has obviously make a pact with Satan for those abilities. The Harris probably doesn't believe in the Devil...that's ok....hes gonna do a stretch (Eternity!) in a hot place that ll cure his thinking!

      Mess with the bull...get the horns!!...

      April 8, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Benny Hinn? That phony baloney?

      Bwaa haa haa.

      April 8, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • clarity

      You must be joking, VI. Hinn's charlatanism was uncovered long ago. People have come forward to expose the snake. His shows were always filled with actors, and for anyone truly sick, they were kept from coming forward by his legion of bouncers. One of the most notorious Christian charlatans ever.

      April 8, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • Praise Jesus VI

      ok neither of you are Hinn fans...ok np, you ll see...

      My man Haggard II stood his ground and defeated that Richard Dawkins ...what about that? Haggard's cool head and sharp responses left that silly Oxford clown red faced and exasperated!

      April 8, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      What? Ted Haggard? The [i]gay[/i] Ted Haggard?

      I don't have any issue with him being gay, just a hypocrite.

      April 8, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • clarity

      LOL – that closeted druggy Haggard? LOL.

      Now Merle Haggard was something more worthwhile even though I'm not a huge country fan.

      April 8, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops – wrong pa-rser ...

      What? Ted Haggard? The gay Ted Haggard?

      I don't have any issue with him being gay, just a hypocrite.

      April 8, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "My man Haggard II stood his ground and defeated that Richard Dawkins ...what about that? Haggard's cool head and sharp responses left that silly Oxford clown red faced and exasperate"

      Was this a dream you had?

      April 8, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • clarity

      You got that right, not(GOPer), T. Haggard – hypocrite extraordinaire.

      April 8, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Interesting bit regarding the Dawkins interview on the wikipedia page on Ted Haggard.

      "As Dawkins and his film crew were packing up to leave, there was a brief altercation in the church parking lot. According to Dawkins, Haggard ordered Dawkins's crew off his land with the words "You called my children animals" and threatened legal action and confiscation of their recording equipment. Later, Dawkins speculated that Haggard actually believed that Dawkins had implied that his children were animals, something Dawkins reflected he agrees with, given common descent."

      April 8, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      This, also from the wikipedia page, sounds honest from Haggard:

      "In an interview published in the February 2011 issue of GQ, Haggard said, "I think that probably, if I were 21 in this society, I would identify myself as a bisexual," though it was followed by something perhaps less so.

      April 8, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Praise Jesus VI

      ahhh see?! you focused in on a minor lapse in judgment, who doesn't have those? ...and technically the drugs and the gay encounter happened during the same incident ...so the man slips up once...he still crushed that Professor of Biology with the strength the lord granted him!

      April 8, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "a minor lapse in judgment,

      yeah that lasted for THREE YEARS! "Minor lapse" indeed!

      "In November 2006, escort and masseur Mike Jones alleged that Haggard had paid Jones to engage in sëx with him for three years and had also purchased and used crystal methamphetamine.

      April 8, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • Praise Jesus VI

      Good thing Christ had his back 2k years ago, huh? In fact not just Haggard but all Christians everywhere! (Except the Mormons, and the Seventh day Adventists.... anyone that goes to church on Sat. instead of Sunday in fact)

      All their sins...gone! too bad you people don't believe...you d get a free pass too.

      April 8, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
  12. Kilto

    @ Richard Cranium The bible has never been dis proven nor is it wrong in any way. I would love for you to give us your insights on why you think the bible is wrong?

    April 8, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      How about, bats aren't birds, the earth isn't a circle with four pillars immobile with a canopy upon which the starts are put. There was no global flood, the entire human race didn't come from two people in a garden who ate a fruit and got kicked out, there is no archaeological evidence of an exodus of over 1 million Israelites coming out of Egypt and wandering the desert for 40 years.
      And that's just to start with.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • clarity

      There are many things that have never been proven wrong. I don't need to look at all the items in great detail in my spam folder to have a comfortable feeling as to what is really spam in there (that is useless and something originating from someone trying to sell me something). What should convince anyone that ancient mythology is anything but just that?

      Now, if I'm not mistaken, where I think we last left off was that you were going to tell me exactly who the authors of the gospels were.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Kilto

      Wow, Clarity, you can't even give me an honest answer once again. You make the comparison to using a spam folder. Really? I wouldn't take something as important as someone's belief as Spam. Mythology? Christianity is not a myth. There are numerous historical records that coincide with the stories from the Bible. There is even proof that Jesus walked this earth 2000 years ago. Mythology, far from it you idiot. How do you know anything is Spam unless you've read it? I hope you haven't been deleting important e-mails now.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • clarity

      Well, Kilto, there are certain things we know reasonably well from history and there are some places where there are some convenient holes – like the gospel stories for instance. So let's get back to those since they really are the make-or-break case for the supernatural Jesus. So I think where we left off was that you were going to tell me exactly who the gospel authors were. I hope that's not too much of a challenge, Kilto.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • Kilto

      @ Clarity I think that question regarding gospel authors was directed at somebody else not to you. I will say the same thing I told the other guy if you can't figure out who the authors of the bible are not even I can help you. My advice to you would be to pick up a Bible and figure that out for yourself. It is good advice for someone who really wants to know...but I think your full of bull crap so I will tell you this I can lead a horse to water but I can't make him drink now can I?

      April 8, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Translation of Kilto's post: "Oh, noes. Clarity done beat my ass AGAIN! I don't know how to answer so I'm gonna do whut I always does and bluster and bloviate like some cow in season until everyone gives up and goes away."

      April 8, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • clarity

      You see, Kilto, you display the same behavior to that question that many Christians display. Although I will hand it to you that you didn't just blurt out what the most uneducated Christians would say. So I guess you and I both know that no one knows precisely who the authors of the gospels were, now do we? That presents a problem for validating the supernatural aspect of Jesus that we conveniently are missing that key piece of information. I mean, how can you speak to eyewitnesses that are written about in the gospels if we don't actually know who wrote the gospels – you see what I mean, Kilto? We have some hearsay "historians" of the day like Josephus, but, as it turns out, there is much contention among scholars about his works and how much they may have been tampered with. And there is more, but I'll let you think about that for a bit.

      April 8, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Kilto

      @ Clarity You can find the answers in the Bible. The authors of the Bible are made known. The answer is quite simple. The question really is if you believe in what the Bible has to say is true. You have to read it first before you can answer that question. You can't be critical of something when you haven't read the thing. That's like taking a test without preparing for it. I would be lost.

      April 8, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • clarity

      Wow – Kilto, you assume an awful lot. Regarding what I've read, that is. Now regarding finding the answers about authorship in the Bible (I have to assume that's what you meant in your last reply), do you know what circular reference/self-validation means, Kilto?

      April 8, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
  13. clarity

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCdJT8avbpo&w=640&h=360]

    April 8, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Praise Jesus VI

      leave it to atheists to focus on small matters like consistency.....sign of a weak argument pointing out flaws in The Unalterable Word of the Almighty! Them Greeks was inspired by the Holy Spirit!

      April 8, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Praise

      You're joking right?

      April 8, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • Praise Jesus VI

      @ hawaiiguest

      So me and my god are jokes now? Some upstart on his high horse picks a couple minor details from the book of Our Lord – anyone could get mixed up...even a writer inspired god! Have you read the Babble...errr Bible man?!!! it takes a trained scholar to tell you what is should say..not what it says!

      April 8, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
  14. Salero21

    No doubt about it! Atheist are like the proverbial monkeys in a barrel.

    April 8, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • clarity

      Well, since you refuse to discuss your beliefs, Salero – maybe I can throw up a video and you could discuss that – how would that work out? Here goes...

      April 8, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Maybe you should give him a map and a flashlight, clarity. Then hand him his ass and see if he can find it.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • His panic

      @Fuzzed clarity,

      How about answer and/or refute my post below first you fool!

      April 8, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • clarity

      Where was your question – His panic? When?

      April 8, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Salero21

      @Fussy clarity,

      I think he mistype my instead of his, but is a good question, yeah; how about trying to answer my post about ALL of the TRANSFORMATION processes that are intrinsically part of Creation as a whole? Those processes that foolish atheists and Idolaters confuse all the time with the so called "Evolution".

      April 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • clarity

      "he mistype"

      Who is he? What are you blabbing about?

      April 8, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Kilto

      clarity is a fool as well. Ask her what she believes in and she can't give you a straight answer.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • clarity

      Do you even know what an atheist is, kilto? It's about disbelief, not belief. You didn't seem to understand that last time and since you obviously needed some basics, I directed you to the wiki page on atheism – just to get your feet wet. Too much for your little head still, kilto?

      April 8, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Science

      Science

      Origin of Life: Natural Cause no god(s) required.

      Hypothesis Traces First Protocells Back to Emergence of Cell Membrane Bioenergetics

      December 20, 2012 — A coherent pathway – which starts from no more than rocks, water and carbon dioxide and leads to the emergence of the strange bio-energetic properties of living cells – has been traced for the ...

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/news/fossils_ruins/origin_of_life/

      It would be NICE......... but

      Maybe they should not have created the wedge !!!
      The wedge strategy is a political and social action plan authored by the Discovery Insti-tute, the hub of the intelligent design movement. The strategy was put forth in a Discovery Insti-tute manifesto known as the Wedge Docu-ment,[1] which describes a broad social, political, and academic agenda who

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy

      Peace

      Please watch

      The African Rift

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okWkmgkS00w&w=640&h=360]

      Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.

      Below are the complete transcripts from the Dover Trial. Thanks to our friends at the National Center for Science Education for helping us fill in the missing transcripts.

      http://www.aclupa.org/legal/legaldocket/intelligentdesigncase/dovertrialtranscripts.htm

      And the missing link !

      Looks like that funky talking snake ?........................is the fairy in the fossil bed ?

      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

      Looks like that funky talking snake ?........................is the fairy in the fossil bed ?

      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

      Science

      And facts works too .

      News Release

      3-D structure of the evolved enzyme (an RNA ligase), using 10 overlaid snapshots. In the top region, the overlays show the range of bending and folding flexibility in the amino acid chain that forms the molecule. The two gray balls are zinc ions. (University of Minnesota)

      University of Minnesota researchers unveil first artificial enzyme created by evolution in a test tube

      Media Note: To request high resolution images of Dr. Seelig and/or of a 3D structure of the evolved enzyme, please contact Matt Hodson at mjhodson@umn.edu.

      http://www1.umn.edu/news/news-releases/2013/UR_CONTENT_429344.html

      April 8, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
  15. Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one (over 4,000,000 members) in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

    One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

    One sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    Some believe the Pope is the Anti-Christ. Some believe Obama is the Anti-Christ.

    Some believe that celibacy is appropriate for certain people, or for certain people or positions. As we read about each day, this unnatural practice continues to cause problems for the religious institutions that advise/employ it. Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but pretend not to understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease.

    Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create more extreme divisions as time goes by, constantly subjecting others in its crossfire.

    April 8, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Salero21

      Looks more like a Roman Catholic Idolater than anything else. That's just to begin you ignorant atheist.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Salero21

      In your foolish and total Ignorance of God's word you like a Frustrated Idolater fail time and again to see the difference. Because you ignore Scripture. Idolaters and atheists walk hand in hand. As a matter of fact, atheists always walk hand in hand with all kind of perverts.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • clarity

      Ah, Scripture. Which Scripture? What writings are you referring to?

      April 8, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
  16. Salero21

    There's no doubt, atheism is stupidity in full bloom. Atheists are like rabid and ravenous wolves.

    April 8, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • clarity

      So Salero- what keeps you a believer? You seem to love to spew emotional nonsense. But what do you really have to say to support your belief – anything at all?

      April 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • clarity

      I'll tell you what, Salero21. I'lll post some of the things that upset me about the conflicted nature of Christianity, but with some reasons – you know, not just an emotional ploy. And maybe you could address these things to prove me wrong – who about that?

      April 8, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Salero21

      I tell you what Fuzzed clarity, your response is nothing more than monkey business. Stupidity in full bloom.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • clarity

      Oh – I see, Salero. You'd prefer not to actually address it. I understand.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Nothing makes you look less intelligent than mixing metaphors.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Salero21

      Address what you foolish hypocrite? You have not posted anything but foolish tr*sh!

      April 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • clarity

      And it's trash because . . . . come on – you can do it, Salero...

      April 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Salero

      yes, keep trying to get rid of that self-loathing from your religion. All it does is showcase your own mental damage.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Can't you even read, Salero? I knew you were learning challenged, but clarity's post was perfectly clear.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • clarity

      Oh the thought did occur to me that Salero may not know that I occasionally post as "Over 40,000 denominations of insanity". There – that's the post you can address, Salero – you know, so we can get past your emotional outbursts and really learn something about your beliefs.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Salero21

      @Fuzzy clarity,

      I think he may have mistype mine instead of his. But it is still a good question, yeah; how about trying to refute my post about the TRANSFORMATION processes that are part of Creation. Atheism is stupidity in full bloom, if atheism can bloom!

      April 8, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Salero

      people don't respond to you because you're not interested in the actual answer. You just want to spew your stupid rhetoric over and over. You're worse than useless.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • Salero21

      @Hawaiian uninvited guest,

      You are useful only to the monkeys in the barrel!

      April 8, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Salero

      Yes yes continue to showcase your utter worthlessness. It only hurts your own cause, and gives perfect examples of the damage religion does to the mind.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
  17. Salero21

    So it's clear that atheism is stupidity in full bloom; if stupidity could bloom! They have nothing to show for except belief in the Non-existence of God. Big problem is that God does a whole lot more than just merely existing. God Created! Even those things that are unseen like the Higgs-boson. As part of Creation, many processes that repeat themselves over and over were Created. But atheists are too stupid to understand that.

    April 8, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Still trying to get rid of that self-loathing your indoctrination has foisted upon you?

      April 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • sam stone

      more "blah, blah, fvcking blah" from salero

      April 8, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Such a loser.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • clarity

      Seems like same post as the last time I looked here, Tom. Salero seems very hung up on some very simple concepts, and yet it gets into trouble so easily by attempting to understand current scientific research. It must be a challenge for it to figure out how to get back to this website each day.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Are you kidding? Get back to this website? He can't even find the on button for the computer!

      April 8, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Salero21

      Now, most atheist see many processes in Creation that repeat time and again, over and over and they think is evolution. Do they confuse revolution with evolution? How stupid is that! Any and ALL processes that TRANSFORM one thing into another is still an integral part of Creation. You drink Created water and within hours is PROCESSED by the Created body AND TRANSFORMED into pee. You eat Created food, any and all Created food and the Created body PROCESS IT AND TRANSFORMED into waste.

      Water the most abundant Created and visible liquid on the Created earth evaporates and becomes invisible Created gas. If is cold water freezes and becomes solid Ice. On and on and on; the list of Created processes and systems is almost endless. All of them processes and systems without exception were Created within all of Creation by God.

      Most atheist if not all, are so stupid they see these TRANSFORMATION processes and systems as THE Origin of things and called the THE Evolution. Like if Matter could all of a sudden created Itself EX NIHILO. That's how stupid atheists et al are!

      April 8, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Salero21

      😀 😀 Atheists are having a case of the rabies. They are like rabid wolves. Jesus said so!

      April 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • clarity

      LOL – Salero – I think you had better stick with making and keeping fresh ice cubes in your freezer if you can handle that much.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Salero21

      So ignorant and stupid atheists can't refute what I said.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Geez, get a life Salero.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Salero21

      @the Real Fake Tom,

      Can you respond or refute what I said or not? Are you a descendant of some baboon?

      April 8, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Salero21

      OMG! I made some typo mistakes! Now the legal enforcement Branch of atheism THE GRAMMAR GESTAPO OF THE INTERNET will fall upon me with their sharp toothpicks, and beat me without mercy. That's because atheists are ravenous wolves.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, good. Now the mental midget brings up wolves in addition to baboons.

      How original.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Salero21

      @the Real Fake Tom,

      Baboons and wolves are also Created creatures. You probably believe in the so called evolution. So you should not be offended by me comparing you atheists with baboons. After all if you are a descendant of some sort of ape, then they're your cousins. Do you see how stupid your non-belief is?

      April 8, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • The real Tom

      No, all I see is how stupid you are. Also boring, dull, repet itive, silly, moronic, and asinine.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Salero21

      Real Fake Tom,

      You haven't evolved, you still a baboon!

      April 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Salero
      You state a bunch of beliefs and expect someone to refute what you believe...obviously you won't believe what science has tld us, you'd rather stay in the virtual bible world.

      It doesn't matter how sound the argumens for evolution are, you think that some grandfatherly space fairy created everything. Fine ...I can't prove otherwise. But if you believe the bible over knowledge, you are not going to find any reality there. The bible has been and will continue to be proven wrong...and you will just keep denying reality.

      Why do you bother to ask qusetions when you will never comprehend the answers?

      April 8, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "you still a baboon!"

      Good job there, Elroy.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • His panic

      Lol Hey Sal it looks like monkey atheists can't refute your post about the natural and Created processes of Created Creation.

      We finally coincide around here. I've doing some commenting about the North Carolina proposed legislation to declare christianiy a State religion. They are in a State of Panic over there and I can see atheist are panicking here also.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  18. Truth

    The fool says in his heart there is no God. Psalm 14:1

    April 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • sam stone

      The fool quotes ancient comic books as if they had any relevance

      April 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      The methods of every scam in existence – predict skeptics while preaching something ridiculous – then point to the existence of skeptics, as if it proves your prediction some sort of miracle.

      April 8, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
  19. ViK100

    The world has always had and will always have fools like this. God always wins!

    April 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • sam stone

      God always wins? A bit delusional, aren't you? Point out any verifyable evidence for any god

      April 8, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • ViK100

      sam stone – yes, God always wins. He created everything regardles of how much scientist come up with 100,000 theories.. Just because you haven't met him or are blind to see him, it does not mean that he does not exist.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • sam stone

      So, ViK, where is this verifyable evidence?

      April 8, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • sam stone

      Also, ViK: Just because you believe in him does not mean he does exist

      April 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  20. allfaith

    THIS WORLD AND EVERYTHING IN IT WAS THE GIFT. It is impossible to separate anything from it. We re argueing over perspective, not truth.

    April 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      The world and everything in it was a random celestial occurance.

      There is nothing to indicate otherwise. ( and your man made book describing your one true god is not a reference source for evidence)

      April 8, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Kilto

      Richard Cranium is an idiot!!! Do not listen to any of his nonsense.

      April 8, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • LightOfTruth

      I'm sorry, Kilto, but Richard Cranium speaks the Truth.

      April 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Juan

      No, Kilto speaks the truth. The rest of you guys sound like retards. How can you create something from nothing without an intelligent creator? If we descended from apes, why aren't their apes giving birth to humans today?

      April 8, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • sam stone

      Juan: Really, pen-day-ho?

      How do you make the logical leap from a creator to a god?

      Your question about apes shows you are truly a spit for brains troll

      go home, punk

      April 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • sam stone

      lastly, cholo, since humans ARE apes, apes ARE giving birth to humans every day

      April 8, 2013 at 4:23 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.