Matt Dillahunty

On this date in 1969, public speaker and internet personality Matthew Wade Dillahunty was born in Kansas City, Mo. He was raised in a Southern Baptist home. He was a fundamentalist Christian for over 20 years, but after serving from 1987-95 in the U.S. Navy and working in high tech, he found a need to reaffirm his faith in order to continue a life with the ministry. This attempt to fortify his faith turned into a long-term investigation to understand reason in terms of his religion.

From 2006-13, Dillahunty was president of the Atheist Community of Austin, Texas. The ACA is a nonprofit organization with a variety of goals including developing and supporting the atheist community, providing opportunities for socialization and friendship and working with like-minded organizations to oppose discrimination against atheists. Not only does the ACA serve its local community, it provides an online portal of free resources accessible to the community at large.

One of its most-effective outreach projects is “The Atheist Experience” TV show, a weekly program geared towards a nonatheist audience. Dillahunty has been hosting the show since 2005 and was a co-host of “The Non Prophets” internet radio show prior to that.

He also founded The Iron Chariots, an online encyclopedia intended to provide information on philosophical apologetics and non-apologetics. Additionally, he contributed to the novel Deconverted: a Journey from Religion to Reason (2012), an autobiographical account of a Protestant Christian who eventually creates a popular online atheist community called The Thinking Atheist. Dillahunty travels nationwide as a member of the Secular Student Alliance’s speaker’s Bureau. In 2012, he won the Catherine Fahringer Freethinker of the Year Award from the Freethinkers Association of Central Texas.

In Episode 771 of “The Atheist Experience” (July 22, 2012), Dillahunty called the Catholic Church “a nonsensical organization; a bunch of fat lazy do-nothings who have been living off the public dole for centuries. The fact that they can do good is a testament to the fact that there are good people who will do good. But the organization is corrupt, it is poison to its core and it serves no essential good purpose – no true purpose. It’s lie after lie, promoting harm to real people …”

In 2011 he married Beth Presswood, an “Atheist Experience” colleague and co-host of “The Godless Bitches” podcast. They divorced in 2018.

PHOTO: Dillahunty in 2014 at SashaCon; Mark Schierbecker photo under CC 3.0.

Freedom From Religion Foundation