Recently I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing the one and only TJ Kirk, also known as "The Amazing Atheist" on Youtube. TJ is well known for his loud mouth and aggressive delivery of anti-religious and anti-feminist views. It was a pleasure to be able to work with TJ on this interview and I appreciate his honest, helpful answers. If you'd like to check out TJ's channel you can do so by clicking here. You can also visit his facebook page by tapping on the picture of him above.
Q: What inspired you to start Youtubing?
I was very active and opinionated on online forums, and when YouTube came along, a lot of people that I knew online told me I should do YouTube. I ignored their advice for a while, but when I started to see the potential for YouTube, I ended up starting my channel, just intending to do a video every week or so to blow off steam. The reaction to me was immediate. People instantly gravitated towards my content. Which was surprising to me, because I had never been a cult of personality in my day to day life.
Q: Do you have a job outside of Youtube or is it your only source of income?
Youtube is my main source of income, though I have diversified my revenue streams as broadly as possible. And I do have several non-YouTube ventures that I am invested in.
Q: Over the years, your channel has adopted a more aggressive approach. Is this because controversy sells or is it simply because you feel you can be unfiltered and honest in your opinions?
A lot of people believe the opposite--that I have become more toned down as time has gone by. Personally, I have just always tried to state my opinions in a matter of fact way. My reckoning is that people will interpret what I create however they wish. I have no control over other people's perceptions. I can only make what I think is good and hope others agree.
Q: Do you ever feel you should "tone down" your videos in order to better articulate your message?
Q: Would you say your videos reflect you or a persona you play specifically for your channel?
I would say my videos refeclt my unfettered personality. I'm not the kind of person who is super forceful with their opinions when talking to others. Usually, I remain silent when others are sharing their views. YouTube is where I take down those barriers and just be my true self.
Q: What has been the hardest part of being such a controversial Youtuber?
People are always trying to take you down when you have real opinions. If you run a channel about hydraulic presses or putting ipads in a blender, no one gives you shit. But if you speak your mind on politics and social issues, you get people who will go to absurd lengths to destroy you.
Q: You’ve mentioned in many videos that you’re associated with different charities and organisations. What are they and how do you contribute to them?
With the help of my fans, I have raised over 10,000 dollars for wells in Africa. We raised nearly 100,000 for the International Women's Health Coalition. We raised thousands for animals displaced by Katrina. I helped The Bible Reloaded raise money for St. Jude's, including contributing I believe $1,500 of my own money. I also privately donate to Doctors Without Borders, the ACLU and the EFF.
Q: Many of your critics claim you’re just a hateful person who does nothing to contribute to serious issues. Do you feel that your work actually helps or benefits society in any way?
I really don't care if what I do benefits society or not. Benefitting society is not my end game. Like George Carlin before me, I am simply trying to point out the failings of humanity. I try to maintain a detachment from this species, however. Despite this attitude, I do get messages frequently from people telling me that my content has helped them through difficult times. So, if nothing else, there are people who find solace in my work.
Q: The Amazing Atheist rationalwiki page states, “much of the skeptic and atheist community now considers him a detriment to the cause.” What do you say in response to this?
Well, rationalwiki used to have a very nice article about me. But after I went against feminism, that's when their article changed into something hateful. So, it's purely motivated by ideology.
Q: Would you say you actually have or belong to a cause, or rather are you simply a man with an opinion?
I am not a joiner. I don't need to be part of a cause or group. I would rather be an independent voice.
Thank you again to TJ for the opportunity and honesty. If you think TJ has it right, you should head over to his channel and hit subscribe.