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Thomas James "TJKirk III (prominently known as the Amazing Atheist) is an American internet personality, podcast host, and author. His online presence rose to prominence through Kirk's criticism and commentary of dogmatic ideas such as religion, conservatism, and various other social issues.

Kirk has since expanded his focus to a variety of political and social issues, ultimately leading him to drop the "Amazing Atheist" label in April 2017 before reinstating the name in June 2018. He is politically left-wing but criticizes the more radical aspects of the left including Social Justice Warriors and Third-Wave Feminism. He has been cited as one of the "most controversial YouTubers" by WatchMojo, who described his content as "brutally provocative."

Kirk currently has more than 1 million subscribers on his main Youtube channel, and more than 364 million views in total. From 2014 until 2017, he was one of the hosts of The Drunken Peasants Podcast.

Background

Early Life

Kirk was born in Pasadena, California, though he was primarily raised in Mandeville, Louisiana. His father was Thomas James Kirk Jr. (July 1, 1946 – January 3, 2008), who operated several fraudulent higher education organizations and served three years in U.S. federal prison following a plea deal. At the age of sixteen, Kirk dropped out of high school with aspirations of being an author.

The Rise of the Amazing Atheist

Kirk was inspired by another, began posting videos on YouTube in November 2006. His younger brother, Scotty Kirk, assists with his YouTube content. In creating videos on Youtube, Kirk drew inspiration from the works of another fellow atheist YouTube user by the name of Brett Keane.

In 2007, Kirk posted a video which included a warning about the mental instability of Finnish 18-year-old Pekka-Eric Auvinen, who would later perpetrate the Jokela school shooting. In 2011, a series of sexually explicit videos were leaked of Kirk, which were later known as "BananaGate 2011", the first act involving a banana and another subsequent act involving hot oil. Kirk later made a video on his Amazing Atheist channel where he expressed no regret in his actions and stated "The things I did, I did because I enjoy them. I was not ashamed of them when I was doing it in private, I see no reason to be ashamed of it now that they are public."

In 2012, Kirk was widely criticized for incendiary comments made on Reddit before he deleted his account. In their argument about trigger warnings, Kirk repeatedly stated that one of the participants, a self-described rape victim, should be raped again. Science blogger PZ Myers condemned these posts and went on to debate many of Kirk's past claims about feminism, writing that "this kind of thing has always been part of his YouTube schtick." After the incident, Kirk apologized to the Reddit user in a private message and later made a public apology. Kirk addressed the issue further in a 2014 video entitled, "Rape, Feminism, and The Amazing Atheist," in which he again apologized for the incident and explained the context in which it happened: his vicious remarks were meant to be satirical commentary on trigger warnings.

In 2013, Kirk was a guest on a CNN panel, where he discussed the rise of atheism in America with Christian apologist William Lane Craig. He was also mentioned by news media in 2015 when the perpetrator of the Trollhättan school attack was found to be a fan of Kirk and other similar YouTubers. In 2014, Kirk and a friend of his, Ben Ghazi (Benpai) founded the "No Bullshit Podcast" which was later re-branded as the Drunken Peasants Podcast.

Kirk interviewed Milo Yiannopoulos for The Drunken Peasants podcast in 2016. Also in 2016, TJ Kirk partnered with the International Women's Health Coalition to launch a campaign that raised over $120,000 to help women in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.

In 2017 Breitbart, CPAC and Simon & Schuster severed their ties with Yiannopoulos based on comments from the episode where Yiannopoulos spoke positively of sexual relationships between boys and adult men. Kirk has made two appearances on The Joe Rogan Experience, one in January 2016 and another in March 2017.

Another podcast called Deep Fat Fried was launched by TJ Kirk, Paul Parkey, and Scotty Kirk in 2018.

Trivia

Gallery

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