You know the names of Richard Dawkins, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, PZ Myers and some of the other more strident, more condescending and aggressively hostile atheists. And there’s no questioning the fact that their arrogance and pride greatly limits their influence. That’s why the name Todd Stiefel, while not as recognizable, may have more impact for the agenda of the atheists than the boisterous evangelists of the group ever could.
Called the “Atheist George Soros,” Stiefel is a 37 year old multimillionaire businessman who has committed the rest of his life to finance and help spread the agenda of the atheist, with a promise to respect the views and freedom of expression for people of faith (this might be because Stiefel’s wife still attends Protestant Christian church services).
While Stiefel’s story is an interesting one, the most intriguing part of his mission is found in the way he describes what he is pursuing. Check it out:
“I want to fight for love, freedom, integrity and reason...I see this as a civil equality movement in a very similar vein to other movements of the past,” he said, referring to atheists’ fight against the discrimination they claim to regularly face.
Leave the question of whether atheists really face discrimination or whether they are actually advocates of discrimination alone for the time being. Notice the four values that Stiefel seeks to promote: love, freedom, integrity and reason. Don’t miss the significance of Stiefel wanting to advance these ideals, and ask the questions why and how?
How does Stiefel define love? What is love? What is freedom? How do you measure a person’s integrity? Where does reason come from? These are not questions to be taken lightly. Keep in mind that these things are easy questions for Christians.
Just like in mathematics, you can grade a math test based on which person’s answers abide by the laws of mathematics as expressed in an answer key, a Christian understands that the Moral Authority of the transcendent Creator is the answer key by which we measure love and integrity. The degree to which someone’s actions conform to the character of the Creator is how we can measure those things. God is perfect love, He is perfect integrity. So we use His revelation and His natural law to measure those attributes.
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But how does a humanist/secularist like Stiefel do so? Who is to say that Mother Teresa’s actions were any less loving than Adolf Hitler’s? Again, the ease with which we answer that question presupposes that there is an ultimate standard (or answer key) by which we define those terms.
And think of “reason.” Atheists like Stiefel absolutize human reason as the most significant of our abilities. But where does it come from and what are the laws that bind our reason? And where do those laws come from? To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, if the universe has meaning, there must be one who gave it reason. And if the universe has no reason or meaning, we should never be able to figure out that it has no meaning. In other words, human reason necessitates a transcendent authority. The same is true of all our physical laws, logical laws and moral laws of the universe. Those natural laws presuppose a natural lawgiver.
Finally, consider the nickname that atheists the world over give to their brand of thinking. They dub it “freethought.” It remains my contention that if you want to find the most shackled thinkers in the world, look to the atheist/humanist. Consider the minute amount of information in the universe – all there is to know – that we actually possess as human beings. For the sake of argument, let’s be arrogant – extremely arrogant – and suggest that the number we decide upon is 1%. As humans we have 1% of all the information of the universe. Yet here are the atheists that close their minds off to that 1% box as defined by Darwin or Mill or Marx or whoever and say, “I will accept any conclusions that fall within the confines of this box. But any conclusions that come from the belief of a Supernatural Creator that falls on the outside of that which I know...I will reject that and refuse to accept it.” That isn’t “free thinking.” It’s the exact opposite.
I applaud Mr. Stiefel’s decision to pursue a more dignified opposition to faith than is taken by those he funds (though I would question his commitment to such so long as he continues funding derogatory, mean-spirited vulgarity festivals like the so-called “Reason Rally” organized in Washington by angry, militant atheists earlier this year). But if Stiefel really seeks an explosion of free thinking, he will find his way back to the faith of Christianity that accepts the existence of the One God, inexhaustible in knowledge, infinite in power, and omniscient in scope. The exploring, discovering and learning that comes from the pursuit of such a glorious Creator is enough to last any “free thinker” an eternity of wonder and amazement.