Anytime you are in an argument with New Atheists or there is a discussion about New Atheism around the workplace or at a gathering, you should make sure that people understand New Atheism is a movement. It is not a philosophy, it is not science, it is not even a world view. It is a movement. It is not intellectual in nature; it is political in nature. It is important to do this so that people understand that the New Atheists come to the table as activists. There is a tendency among many Christians to think the New Atheists are just fellow seekers and travelers and they would be oh so happy to become Christians if only the evidence could be provided. The New Atheists count on that. But you see, given that they are activists, they come to the table with a closed mind and an agenda. You will be played and manipulated if you do not open your eyes to this.
Now, there is plenty of evidence that New Atheism is a movement. As I have documented on this blog, the leaders of the movement themselves have acknowledged this. But to drive the point home even further, you should know that there is Big Money out there that is helping to peddle New Atheism. I give you one example: millionaire Todd Stiefel.
Consider this article from CNN:
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 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.
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 put $250,000 toward the rally, a contribution that Silverman, the organizer, said was critical.
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.
The “Marines”? It is fitting that warfare terminology is used to describe the militant atheists. And they have some serious money behind them.
Just heard about this story tonight. As far as I can tell, Fox News is the only news media covering it:
Professor Makes Students Stomp on Jesus.
Wow. According to that site, this is what the lesson was supposed to convey:
“Have the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper,” the lesson reads. “Ask the students to stand up and put the paper on the floor in front of them with the name facing up. Ask the students to think about it for a moment. After a brief period of silence instruct them to step on the paper. Most will hesitate. Ask why they can’t step on the paper. Discuss the importance of symbols in culture.”
I didn’t see anything about punishing and suspending students for not doing the stunt. In fact, the lession instructions clearly assume many would not be able to do it. That professor and school have some explaining to do.
But that statement seems to be side-stepping the real issue. They acknowledge the “the offensive nature of the exercise” and that it was “insensitive and unacceptable.” Yet, according to the student, when he complained about this offensive, insensitive, and unacceptable exercise, he was suspended from the class. That is the issue that needs to be addressed.
I find this interesting:
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, ..
When New Atheism’s loudest supporters are extremely critical and largely intolerant of religion and religious organizations, why would Stiefel give moral and financial support to people who might otherwise be considered part of the problem? Certainly the support may encourage some to leave the church, but are clergy who choose to remain an active part of their religious communities expected to support the tactics and goals of the more radical GNUs, including the eradication of evangelical Christianity?
“As far as I can tell, Fox News is the only news media covering it:”
I did a quick Google News search on the student’s name, Ryan Rotela, and got about 1270 results. They all seemed to be covering the same story.