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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Freethought?

A: Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason and should not be influenced by authority, tradition, or any other dogma (including religion). Freethinkers utilize freethought and generally contend that there is insufficient evidence to support the existence of supernatural phenomena.

Q: How do you pronounce "Stiefel?"

A: It rhymes with "Gleeful."

Q: Do you accept grant requests?

A: No. We independently identify the charities that we support. Further, we focus our resources on national organizations and those local to our base of operations in Raleigh, NC. The Foundation does not offer support to local charities in other parts of the country and does not offer grants or scholarships to individuals.

Q: Do you help fund the creation of documentaries?

A: No. We receive several requests a month to help finance documentaries and have a policy to not fund any of them. While these are worthwhile projects, we see minimal incremental value in funding additional documentaries given how many are already in production. Further, this policy saves time that would be spent reviewing documentary project requests that can instead be spent on other aspects of freethought activism.

Q: Do you have any open positions?

A: We do not have any employees. Not even the president of Stiefel FF is employed by the Foundation. We believe it is best to focus our resources on special projects and helping existing organizations that do work related to our mission.

Q: Who helped create your website?

A: Mary Ellen Sikes created the site as a volunteer in exchange for a gift to Camp Quest. Bruce Harris volunteered to create the logo for the Foundation. A huge thanks to both of them!

Q: Can you quantify the discrimination against nontheists?

A: Yes, in several ways. In seven countries, atheism is punishable by death: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan, Mauritania, and the Maldives. In the U.S., there are seven states with provisions in their constitutions that prohibit nontheists from holding elected office: Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and my home state of North Carolina. These provisions have been found by the courts to be unenforceable and unconstitutional (under the U.S. Constitution), but remain on the books serving as a reminder to all nontheists that their government views them prejudicially. Further, in a 2012 Gallup survey, atheists scored as the group that would be the most discriminated against by voters.

Gallup Survey Line Graph