Jerry Johnston Interviews Todd Stiefel on Contributing Millions of Dollars to Atheism

22 September 2016

Contributing 4.5 million dollars towards the secular movement, Todd Stiefel has been a consistent supporter of the atheist cause. Away from the hustle of the American Atheist Convention in Memphis, my team and I filmed with Todd Stiefel, former Catholic and founder of Stiefel Freethought Foundation. I asked Todd if the migration to atheism is personal or if it could be induced. He replied,

You can’t force somebody to believe something. I mean you can force them to pretend and maybe it sticks over a few generations, you know, if you say if you don’t believe this way we’re gonna kill you, this is how a lot of the religions spread was through threats of violence.  I mean so you can theoretically do it over time, but in a country like America and a place where you’re just talking about ideas not using force or military people have to come to their own decisions and you certainly can provide the resources and you can certainly provide the information that helps them come to the best decisions, but I don’t think you can force someone to believe something they don’t want to believe or they don’t truly in their hearts accept.  I mean I think in a lot of ways it’s kind of an interesting conversation in that it is a belief like atheism, a belief system like atheism.  Is that something you can even really choose?  And you know because I don’t think I could choose right now to believe in god again.  I’d have to be convinced.  It’s not a conscious choice I’d be making.  It’s really almost like a sub-conscious acceptance of my own perceptions and the information my brain has processed.  And I think for a lot of people they come to atheism because it’s what makes sense, it’s what resonates and feels right based on how they see the world around them and the way the world operates.”

For the cause of Christianity, Cristie Jo and I are traveling around the world, interviewing leaders and developing multiple resources. We are seeking to educate people, and in Todd’s words, “provide the best information that helps them come to the best decisions.”

Todd Stiefel is the founder of Stiefel Freethought Foundation

Researchers, Drs. Jerry and Cristie Jo Johnston, are Executive Producing a quick-paced film via trans continental, staccato interviews documenting the shocking rise of the non-religious.