Great Article About Atheist Benefactor

It made the rounds quite a bit yesterday, but in case you missed it, the Raleigh News & Observer ran a fantastic article about atheist benefactor Todd Stiefel.

Todd has given organization-changing gifts to the Secular Student Alliance, Secular Coalition for America, and American Atheists in the past year.

That’s not all:

Last week, he donated $20,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi so it could sponsor a high school prom after the Itawamba County School District canceled the dance rather than allow a lesbian to bring her girlfriend as a date.

Yonat Shimron‘s article explains why Todd has made atheist activism his passion:

Stiefel wants to create a culture in the United States in which secularists — be they atheists, agnostics or humanists — are respected…

… Stiefel has made it his mission to raise the profile of atheists and lower the volume of hostility directed at them. He acknowledges that some atheists have been outspoken, perhaps even intemperate, and he says he’d like to lend them a softer, more diplomatic image.

… more than anything, Stiefel is interested in dispelling the notion that atheists don’t believe in anything and are therefore capable of anything.

“We’re equally capable of being ethical as people who are religious,” he said. “We just want to be good for goodness’ sake.”

And to top it off, he’s just a really nice guy. He’s a donor, yes, but he’s also one of the most active volunteers I’ve ever met. People like him don’t come around very often, so we’re fortunate he’s on our side.

(Thanks to Amy for the link!)

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  • Trace

    “Stiefel wants to create a culture in the United States in which secularists — be they atheists, agnostics or humanists — are respected…”

    The nerve!

  • Jagyr

    If he ever shows up in my town, I’ll buy him a drink.

  • Ron in Houston

    He acknowledges that some atheists have been outspoken, perhaps even intemperate

    Intempreate atheists?? Why that spineless, no nothing religious accommodating troll.

    F*** him and all those spineless folks that support him.

    There’s clearly no such thing as an intemperate atheist.

  • Guffey

    People like him come around all the time!!. People like him *with that much money* might not. A person and his/her money are not the same thing.

  • Jenea

    Is there an email address or other contact method by which we could send fan mail?

  • muggle

    This is great but he’s hardly the first:

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=214×82106

    Think the surprise over Atheists acting ethically will ever freaking end already? How much do we have to do first?

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant Mehta

    Jenea — There’s no public email address, but there is a facebook group for Todd’s foundation