|File:Al Stefanelli 2012.JPG|
Al Stefanelli in 2012
|Born||2 May 1963|
|Residence||Peachtree City, Georgia|
|Known for||Atheist activism, Separation of Church and State, Criticism of religion|
Al Stefanelli (born 1963) is an atheist activist and author from Brooklyn, New York. He is the Georgia State Director of American Atheists. He is also on the Board of Directors of The Clergy Project. He is the author of Free Thoughts - A Collection Of Essays By An American Atheist.
Career[edit | edit source]
Stefanelli became an ordained minister and pastor within the Pentecostal and Southern Baptist denominations, and he founded "Eternal Light Christian Fellowship" in 1992, a North Carolina church that has since been closed.
In 1993 he started writing a weekly column for The Zebulon Record, which has since been bought out by McClatchy Newspapers. During his tenure from 1993 to 2003, the newspaper published 513 weekly columns titled "Lightly Salted" and "Think About It." He also produced a weekly radio program called Millennium, which was syndicated on three radio stations.
Stefanelli became an advocate for the atheist point of view, and 2005 founded the civil rights organization United Atheist Front, Inc. which had, at its peak, 6500 members. The organization became dormant when Stefanelli accepted the position as Georgia State Director for American Atheists.
Stefanelli later co-hosted the weekly Internet radio shows "American Heathen Radio" and "Reap Sow Radio." He contributes to the "No God Blog" on the American Atheists website, writes the "State Director Spotlight"'and other content for the American Atheists Magazine. Stefanelli also contributes articles to the "Mad Mikes America" and the "The American Heathen" blog.
Stefanelli made several appearances on radio and television, and was quoted in the print media, including the Huffington Post. He addressed the atheist viewpoint on current events and pointed out what he saw as violations of the First Amendment Establishment clause. He challenged the Peachtree City, Georgia, City Council to change their invocation before meetings to be more inclusive, and spoke out about the State of Georgia "In God We Trust" license plate stickers and inclusion of the Ten Commandments as part of official State displays, and criticized the Fayette County Board of Education for allowing Christian ministers to address the general student body during school hours.
In 2011 Stefanelli wrote an article for American Atheists that called for the eradication of certain aspects of Christian doctrine that are used by some individuals and organizations to justify discrimination and acts of violence. This article was picked up by Glenn Beck's national conservative website The Blaze, and interpreted as Stefanelli's call for the actual eradication or murder of Christian individuals. The story was subsequently picked up by many of other conservative Christian outlets, including his hometown newspaper, The Citizen. and the Conservative ezine, Red State". Stefanelli appeared on local news outlets and Christian radio programs, including The Janet Mefford Show and "Xervative Radio", denying that he was advocating eradication of any person, only ideas and religious doctrine. Religious journalists continued to characterize him as arrogant and foolish.
Stefanelli has also been featured in several atheist media outlets, including "A News," He is a recurring guest on The God Discussion Show, Atheists' Perspective on News and Events. and has had several articles published on the Richard Dawkins website. He has also been quoted and discussed in The Christian Post. and other magazines.
Stefanelli has delivered lectures on various topics over the past five years at local venues, including The Atlanta Freethought Society, and The Humanists of Georgia. As a former Pastor, Stefanelli volunteers his time with "The Clergy Project". In 2012, he warned his fellow atheists against assuming airs of superiority and arrogance.
Publications[edit | edit source]
- Stefanelli, Al (2012). Free Thoughts - A Collection Of Essays By An American Atheist. UAF Publications. ISBN 0-61563-825-2.
- Stefanelli, Al (2011). A Voice Of Reason In An Unreasonable World - The Rise Of Atheism On Planet Earth. UAF Publications. ISBN 0-61545-35-89.
References[edit | edit source]
- David Seidman (10 March 2015). What If I'm an Atheist?: A Teen's Guide to Exploring a Life Without Religion. Simon and Schuster. pp. 29–. ISBN 978-1-58270-406-7.
- "The Problem With ‘Atheist Activism’". Huffington Post, 12/22/2011 By Chris Stedman
- "Mandatory U.S. Army Survey Says Non-Believers Unfit to Serve". Huffington Post, January 1, 2011. By Chris Rodda
- "Atheist Activist Targets Two National Christian Fellowships". The Christian Post, Alex Murashko | Jan 21, 2012
- John Munford (August 24, 2011). "PTC Mayor Haddix gets prayer request from atheist activist". The Citizen. Fayette Publishing. Retrieved 2011-08-24.
- "Public Prayers Attacked In Peachtree City". WXIA-TV]]. 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
- "Prayer before meetings sparks controversy". WSB-TV, Aug 25, 2011
- "Taking The Gloves Off". American Atheists. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- "American Atheist Leader Calls for the 'Eradication' of 'Fundamentalist Christians". TheBlaze LLC. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
- "American Atheist group calls for Christians to be eradicated". The Citizen. Fayette Publishing, Inc. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
- "Top Atheist Leader Calls for the 'Eradication' of 'Fundamentalist Christians'". Red State. Eagle Publhishing, Inc. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
- "Al Stefanelli from American Atheists defends his recent polarizing article". Salem Communications. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-19.[dead link]
- "Why are atheists foolishly arrogant?". by Frank Gillispie, September 27. 2011
- "Interview With Al Stefanelli". A News. ApartmentJ. 2011-09-02. Retrieved 2011-09-02.[dead link]
- Murashko, Alex (2012). "Atheist Activist Targets Two National Christian Fellowships". The Christian Post. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
- "Atheist Activists Adopt Civil Rights Strategy of Current, Past Movements". The Christian Post. 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-26.
- "Atheist Woman Sues New Jersey for Rejecting '8THEIST' Vanity License Plate While Accepting 'BAPTIST'". The Christian Post, Vincent Funaro | May 20, 2015
- "Some Things are True". The Poached Egg, October 13, 2011, by Gregory Koukl
- S. Kettell. "Faithless: The politics of new atheism:. page 72.
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- Official Author Website
- A Voice Of Reason
- The Clergy Project
- The American Heathen
- Reap Sow Radio
- American Atheists, Inc. Website
- The No-God Blog
- The Atheist Viewpoint TV Show
Publications[edit | edit source]
- A Voice Of Reason In An Unreasonable World - The Rise Of Atheism On Planet Earth (2010, 1st edition), Al Stefanelli. ISBN 0-6154535-89-0-
- Free Thoughts - A Collection Of Essays By An American Atheist(2012, 1st edition), Al Stefanelli ISBN 0-61563-825-2
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