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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. Dummy Munny

    What a waste of money. How many people could you feed with that? Does it really matter what someone believes if they're starving? A person of a gift of privilege shouldn't waste money on such ignoble causes.

    April 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • Saraswati

      As long as you also argue that money spent on religious conferences promoting their beliefs is wasted equally you would at least be consistent. Where I would disagree is that you ignore the fact that beliefs matter to what actual gets done. One reasons that there are so many people starving in developing countries is that the Catholic church has fought international funding of programs that provide birth control. Ditto for AIDS. I'm not making a claim that promoting atheism will save the world – it may well be other ideas that maximize happiness. But it isn't insane to think changing ideas might help.

      April 17, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • zometimer

      Lets tax churches! They really dont provide for the community anyway.

      April 17, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • Terrance

      Stiefel – $3.5 million spent promoting his beliefs.

      Catholic Church – $6 billion spent paying off victims of their abuse.

      I guess all those abused children and their family's spent those billions on food so it's like the church was just feeding the poor, right?

      April 17, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      How many people could be fed if the RCC and Pope-A-Dope sold their treasures and ceremonial clothes? Hypocrite!!

      April 18, 2013 at 1:42 am |
    • Science

      Or taxing the proberty.....................would feed millions ?

      April 18, 2013 at 8:36 am |
  2. Sad

    Perhaps Mr. Stiefel could bring more benefit to the world if he spent some of that wealth educating the other followers of his faith what it means to be a humanist. Perhaps if he took a few quiet hours to read through the continuous postings of bigotry, intolerance and plain hatred spread about by people who loudly proclaim their atheist affiliation.

    Or, perhaps the church of atheism truly is just the "religion of me" and the concept of respect for other human beings is simply not possible.

    April 17, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • zometimer

      Its a constant battle with christians who force their beliefs on everyone they can. As an athiest I just want to be able to live in this secular country without some wacko declaring christian this or that.

      April 17, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
  3. Damien

    Satan - Winning since chapter 3 of genesis. Come join the winning team!

    April 17, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  4. Something to think about

    Isn't it kinder to let people on their death bed lie down with whatever they want to think of. For example, if I tell you Captain Kirk is going to beam me up on the enterprise..and it's my last few hours of life are you going to proove me wrong or just kind of go with it out of compassion?

    April 16, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • Dash Riprock

      The only deathbed conversion attempts I have seen were Christians. I had a real problem with that when my father died. He was non-religious, but some Catholic friends kept showing up and spattering him with Lourdes holy water, and a fundamentalist couple twice did some mumbo jumbo soul-snatching-macarena-for-Jesus ceremony. It was in very bad taste as he would not have tolerated a minute of it, but he was drugged to the gills and unconscious, so I did not throw them out like I wanted to. I did have to tell them not to do it again, though.

      Christian arrogance is truly astounding.

      April 16, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • biggles

      Get out your violins

      April 17, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • Dash Riprock

      No violins, just a towel for the stealth holy water flinging.

      April 17, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • laststonecarver

      I walked with my mother, across the bridge, to death –
      I held her hand, and told her stories about the great Used-to Was –
      She squeezed my hand to acknowledge –
      I walked back across the bridge alone, but she will always be a part of me –

      April 17, 2013 at 5:42 am |
    • Something to think about

      My mom was a Christian. She died last week. She was anything but arrogant. I didn't tell her I didn't believe in God. If someone has time left I'll talk about it, if they are on their way out...I'd rather they not be scared. I'd rather they think whatever helps at that point in time.

      April 17, 2013 at 6:32 am |
    • laststonecarver

      @Something,
      Your mom will always be a part of you –

      April 17, 2013 at 6:56 am |
    • Jim

      The problem is that's not all religion does. If it was most people wouldn't have a problem with it.

      April 17, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • joey navis

      the amazing and incredible hubris, on all sides really, is that so many think they KNOW, the believers and the skeptics all think they know what is beyond knowing. we DONT have a clue. afterlife?? heaven?? nothingness??? we have NO idea. our problem is we can't accept that we have NO idea.

      April 17, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • laststonecarver

      @Jim and joey,
      This particular story was really not about religion, or of knowing something you can't know.
      It was about compassion, for the dying –

      April 18, 2013 at 5:41 am |
  5. rusty cheeks

    benny hinn proves there is no god

    April 16, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • Lord Krsna

      I'm blue dabo dee dabo di..
      I'm blue dabo dee dabo di..

      April 16, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
  6. Mike

    It's not the book, it's the worship of it. Why can't religions just be gathering of readers and greeters who share what they like and dislike about the stories they read? It's not like it wasn't people who wrote the Bible; even most Christians will agree with that. Religions should just be giant book clubs.

    April 15, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • biggles

      Start your own club

      April 16, 2013 at 1:06 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I'm sure he meant "Start your own cult."

      April 16, 2013 at 5:33 am |
    • Gutsy333

      SEVERAL VERSIONS OF THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE CLAIM DIFFERENT THINGS. SO IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE CONTRADICTORY BOOKS, THE MORE RADICAL, THE LESS TRUST W0RTHY.

      April 16, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
  7. biggles

    We'd love to see the new study that shows the god-hating demons r happier than anybody, Dorothy, unless you or yours conducted the fraud.

    Atheists on this forum are not smart, either. Jesus shed his blood for korn Welch to save him from the world, the flesh and the devil. [and little fvck sambo] lol

    April 15, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • sam stone

      "blah, blah, fvcking blah" – biggles

      April 16, 2013 at 7:13 am |
    • fintastic

      Mr Wiggles@ = 9 years old.

      April 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • faith

      feel better?

      April 18, 2013 at 1:50 am |
    • Science

      Biggles and faith

      Holy Hallucinations 35

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XTCRdC8Dlo&w=640&h=360]

      May 2, 2013 at 5:54 am |
  8. Salero21

    No doubt about it atheism is the Full bloom of stupidity! Practical atheists are the worst of people, they're worst than wild animals. Jesus said so!

    April 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Awww poor salero. Your self-loathing got the better of you again? How sad it must be to be you.

      April 15, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
      • bananas

        she is lost

        October 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • sam stone

      salero: if you have the courage, take that big step to go meet jeebus

      April 16, 2013 at 7:29 am |
    • Saraswati

      "Practical atheists"?

      April 16, 2013 at 7:34 am |
  9. Tim

    The problem with atheism? Prove that there isn't something out there. I'll take agnosticism thank you

    April 15, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • Atheism Duality

      There are two types of atheism: One see's no evidence for any God's and thus does not believe in any. The other makes the claim that there are no Gods and cannot be any God's.

      The important difference is that the first atheist is allowing for new evidence to be presented which could alter their conclusion, but at this time see's no evidence for any God's and thus does not believe any God's exist. Some might claim this is agnosticism but it is not as an agnostic believes there may or may not be God's but we have no way of verifying it so they see no reason to commit.

      April 16, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • fintastic

      @Tim, how do you prove a negative? If you are making a claim, you must provide the evidence for that claim. Is this so hard to understand?

      April 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • lol??

      God is a triune God, so naturally one would see elements of His nature in nature.

      "Zec 13:8 And it shall come to pass, [that] in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off [and] die; but the third shall be left therein."

      May 2, 2013 at 5:35 am |
    • Science

      Oops lol??...................video post above for you too !

      May 2, 2013 at 5:56 am |
  10. Someone explain to me

    How is no hope better than false hope if the outcome is the same...I am not getting that point at all.

    April 15, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
  11. Atheism is a form of SEVERE mental illness

    Jesus saves

    April 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • sam stone

      Ironic that people desire to spend eternity with a being from whom they have to be "saved". Spiritual Stockhholm Syndrome.

      April 15, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Eric

      Let's go get 'em, boys and girls. Zombie jesus can't have our children's brains anymore.

      April 15, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Atheism is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      Atheism is like watching paint dry. BORING!!!!!!! Atheism is like picking up your dog's poop. It's a hassle, but you gotta do it or else your entire existence would in vein. Atheism is like a black hole. It sucks you into nothingness. True Atheism is like searching for your keys when their lost. You know its somewhere and you just got to find it...doesn't mean its not there!!

      April 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Dippy's sub

      It's "vain." Not "vein."

      Do you make an effort to write poorly or is it a natural talent?

      April 15, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Really?

      "Atheism is a form of SEVERE mental illness"

      That's why there's a new study out that shows atheists live happier and healthier lives than conservative Christians. Then there's the study out that people who just act religious but aren't true believers suffer from mental illness.

      April 15, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
  12. Salero21

    OK, here I'am again you foolish ignorant atheists! To remind you that atheism is stupidity in Full bloom.

    April 15, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • sam stone

      eat your sidearm, pen-day-ho

      April 15, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Red Dwarf

      Keep posting Salero21! You make it much easier to pick which side of the debate to join with your unwitty responses and even less witty ideology. It's like picking teams for any sport where no one wants to be picked by the Captain who's pants fell around his ankles tripping the whole team up and losing the game last time... the Christians are standing off to the side trying to hide behind the bleachers to avoid getting picked by him and being made to look foolish.

      April 15, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Salero21

      @ Sammy stoned,

      Can't disprove or refute what I said huh?

      April 15, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
    • Salero21

      @Red Barf,

      Are you sick, still barfing?

      April 15, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • sam stone

      Why should I seek to refute stupid statements from stupid people?

      Follow jeebus, like all the other sheep.

      April 16, 2013 at 7:31 am |
  13. Felix Sinclair

    Why shouldn't people who actually ADMIT they don't believe in gods make some money from it?

    April 15, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Someone explain to me

      Same reason people who believe in them shouldn't make money. Why should I pay you for your opinion..y'know?

      April 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Someone,

      You pay people for their opinions all the time: doctors, lawyers, accountants... You might also pay just for the entertainment value, perhaps the equivalent of a performance artist. Few people in a modern society actually produce goods.

      April 16, 2013 at 7:36 am |
    • Someone explain to me

      Yeah but there is a big difference between me paying a doctor to get a tumor out of my body, and me paying to hear someone tell me there isn't a figment under the bed.

      It's like: "So what do you have proof of?"
      him: "nothing"
      me: "Hey..me too!"

      ((shrugs))

      April 16, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      You don't really want to put astrologists out of businesses, do you? And the difference between a god believer or jesus myth cultist is?

      April 16, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  14. LAST DAY

    GOD is absolutely real;

    see and witness these "Ultimate & Irrefutable Proofs" in this regard

    with your own eyes

    here now:

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

    April 15, 2013 at 5:25 am |
    • Science

      Hey last day.....................are you as smart as a 5th grader ?

      Is he smarter than a 5th grader ?

      Listening to the Big Bang - In High Fidelity

      Apr. 4, 2013 — A decade ago, spurred by a question for a fifth-grade science project, University of Washington physicist John Cramer devised an audio recreation of the Big Bang that started our universe nearly 14 billion years ago.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130404170154.htm

      April 15, 2013 at 7:00 am |
    • Science

      And the only miracles are in the soup !

      Origin of Life: Power Behind Primordial Soup Discovered

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130404122234.htm

      April 15, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • Science

      An illusion it is.

      Engineering 'Ghost' Objects: Breakthrough in Scattering Illusion

      Feb. 19, 2013 — A team at the NUS Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering led by Dr Qiu Cheng-Wei has come out with an optical device to "engineer" ghosts.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130219090643.htm

      April 15, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Dennis

      Pastafarianism is much more fun than plain old Atheism!

      April 15, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
  15. von

    I've heard people scream this ignorantly towards the heavens, "if you're real,God, show yourself." So, when God does come down to show himself (Jesus), we reject him and have him killed. If God showed up in all his glory to the whole world, we would STILL rationalize his appearance and STILL not believe.

    April 14, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • von

      Furthermore, this is not an anti-religious movement, this is an end-time anti-Christ movement. This guy thinks he's making his own path. NO, he's right on time according to God's calendar – FOOL!

      April 14, 2013 at 6:13 pm |

    • rinse and repeat lunacy –

      April 14, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Ted

      "rinse n repeat" – yeah try to be a little more cliche, please

      April 14, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • sam stone

      wow, von.....pretty impressive.

      April 15, 2013 at 6:11 am |
    • Hmmmm

      "I've heard people scream this ignorantly towards the heavens, "if you're real,God, show yourself."

      I call bull shlt. I do not think he has ever heard anyone scream this but is inventing what he thinks non-believers in his mind would do...

      April 15, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      wow, the end times.....luckily, that hasn't been predicted before

      April 15, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
  16. Salero21

    All animals of all species and subspecies have been observed and recorded showing affections and compassion even to animals of other species, genus and families. Domestic and farm animals of course do show affections even sympathy towards their masters, owners/farmers. I once saw a cricket trying to revive another cricket that I have step on while doing some work in the crawlspace.

    Animals have of course customs, instincts, practices and rituals, like in mating rituals. However animals do NOT have or practice Religion, because they don't have an innate discernment of Right and Wrong. If well trained some domestic animals and pets appear to show remorse or guilt. However they don't do that on their own. Only Human beings belong, follow, have or practice Religion.

    I'm not a religious man but I don't hold grudges against any religion. It is a characteristic that separates us Humans from the animals.

    When atheists attack in their irrational and ravenous rants any and all religions, or in particular Christianity; what they're doing in fact is attacking the very fiber of Humanity. In doing so these atheists descend to levels lower than that of Wild animals. They [atheists] become as dogs, goats, swine and wolves in their irrationality.

    Just as Jesus said and compare them to! Jesus called Herod a Fox, and said of those who refused to believe (in a Metaphorical way of course), that they were such as dogs, goats and swine and wolves. Jesus said so, the Scriptures say so, God says so!

    Always keep in mind atheists that atheism is stupidity in full bloom. I'll be around to remind you in case you forget. Now you can bark, bleat, squeal and howl all you want. I'm not listening!

    April 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • oOo

      LOL. starting with the second paragraph – this just falls apart quickly showing exposing the mind of a very deluded, uneducated individual.

      April 14, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • tallulah13

      You actually don't know if animals practice religion or not, Salero. Perhaps those who are untouched by humanity do so.

      But I doubt they do, simply because animals tend to live in the "now, and deal in what is tangible. Humans, on the other hand, do not like what they do not understand, and strive to quantify it. For some, research and observation are enough to take the fear out of the unknown. But those who lack the means or the will to look for honest answers often turn to the supernatural, to the detriment of the society around them.

      April 14, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • Salero21

      @ tallulah13,,

      Aha, I don't know but you do know right? You fool the reason God granted man to have religion is because unlike animals, man was Created after God's own likeness. But once man disobeyed God started to die and became a fool, you fool!

      April 14, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
    • Salero21

      oOo,

      Aha, so you're so "Educated", that you may be another one of the many a$$es with a Diploma. Can't refute or disprove what I said right?

      April 14, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "I'm not listening!"

      Are you putting your grubby little fingers in your ears and yelling, "Lalala, I can't hear you", Salero?

      What are you, 15?

      Is English a second language for you? If not, why are you capitalizing random words? You seem incapable of writing even your simple thoughts in any coherent way.

      April 14, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • Roger

      Oh Salaro, where do I begin – first off, you would need to prove that animals "don't have an innate discernment of Right and Wrong" to prove your point. We are starting to learn that animals do have morals, and if you are not looking at right and wrong from a religious perspective, then it's all subjective anyway. Good luck with that. If you are looking at right and wrong as coming from God, then that's different, but you'd have tons more to prove there. Good luck also proving that religion is a necessary fiber of humanity. Once you get past that, then claiming any advantage we have over animals might make sense (in regard to religion).

      April 14, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "what they're doing in fact is attacking the very fiber of Humanity."

      What utter nonsense. There are billions of people on this planet. Are you actually contending that all civilization owes its existence to religion? Do you have any evidence that bears that out? There are plenty of thriving societies that are nearly completely secular. There's absolutely nothing remotely true about your claim.

      April 14, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Salero, as I said you can't prove that animals don't have religion. You cannot prove humans were created in the image of god because you can't even prove your god exists. All you have is the fear of your own inconsequentiality. You are a pitiable being, and if indeed you are created in a god's image, then you worship a pitiable god.

      April 15, 2013 at 1:17 am |
    • redzoa

      It appears a premise of the original post's argument is that unlike animals, humans have an innate sense of right and wrong. Clearly, this poster has never raised human children. . .

      April 15, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • Salero21

      @ Roger,

      So.. when you say "we are starting to learn", should I suppose that includes you as a researcher/scientist; or are you just parroting? You fool! You'll probably discover that atheists fall below animals in their irrational scorn of Christianity. Just as Jesus said!

      April 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Salero21

      @ The real Tom is a Fake Tommy,

      Your Vernacular language is Gibberish!

      April 15, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Shove it up your rectum, Salero, you little dick.

      April 15, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Salero21

      @ The real Tom tummy fake,

      Psst, your orientation is showing!

      April 15, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Science

      Sally.............. video posted above for you too ...................sweet cheeks !

      May 2, 2013 at 5:59 am |
  17. My name is Bond

    I'm bloody mad now! I asked for it to be shaken and I got it stirred by Todd Stiefel.

    April 14, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • M & Q

      He is full of wacky backy Mr. Bond.

      April 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  18. mason

    Maybe Todd can help launch a SBN Secular Broadcasting Network for television??? One can hope.

    April 14, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  19. Mary Romans

    Its very simple, believe in God and you go to heaven, if you do not then you go to HELL

    April 14, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • faith

      believe in dorothy and go to a mythical somewhere, sometime, not too sure exactly, maybe dorothy will tell us in her next best seller,

      I AM GOD, GOD IS ME, SO BEAT IT UNLESS YOU PLAN TO BOW DOWN TO WORSHIP ME or i don't have a clue but i enjoy asking xtards who wrote matthew. i know who wrote it, but do you?

      April 14, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      “The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullspit.”
      _ Richard Pryor
      If god created man in his own image, how come I'm not invisible?”
      _ David Powers

      April 14, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • sam stone

      very simpleminded.....

      how do you expect that people can fear retaliation from a being in which they do not believe?

      do you fear thor? odin? ganesh, baal?

      ignorant fvcking diseased gash.....

      April 15, 2013 at 6:13 am |
  20. rh

    Funny how the only article I see on the "Belief" blog about atheism mocks it.

    And "atheism movement"? Please – is there a "creamy peanut butter" movement? I don't believe in a god but I believe in morals. Hopefully that puts me with other people who happen to believe in a god.

    The only movement there should be is the "separation of church and state movement" – why is the idea of "God" so pervasive when the government is not supposed to establish a religion? Why do I as an atheist not have access to tax benefits that anyone who touts a belief in a god can get?

    April 14, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Roger

      rh – "Please – is there a "creamy peanut butter" movement?"

      Hey, don't knock it. Believe me, it's much more comfortable than an extra-crunchy peanut butter movement.

      rh – "I don't believe in a god but I believe in morals. Hopefully that puts me with other people who happen to believe in a god."

      Do you think morals come from a god? Take a look at the other article "Where do morals come from?" Read some of the discussion regarding "objective morality".

      April 14, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • biggles

      Cry me a river

      April 14, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Science

      biggles

      not even a small one

      April 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.