Did you know that Fox News’ John Stossel, a libertarian who frequently touts personal freedom and individual responsibility, is an agnostic? Revered for his right-of-center views on a variety of issues, the fearless television personality has made his lack of a belief in a higher power known in the past. And this morning, he challenged “Fox & Friends” host Gretchen Carlson about the merits of religion in society, doubling down on his stance.
Stossel noted that, while he doesn’t believe in organized religion, he wishes he could. But based on the facts (or purported lack thereof), he simply cannot bring himself to do so.
“I want to,” he said of his urge to join believers in embracing a higher power. “I see the peace and purpose it gives most of you who believe — and I tried. I just can’t.”
Curious as to his reasoning, Carlson pressed Stossel, asking, “Why not?” Considering the investigative pieces he has become known for, his reaction to her inquiry is somewhat unsurprising.
“Because I want evidence. I want reason and explanation,” Stossel proclaimed.
Watch the fascinating exchange, below:
While Carlson attempted to sway him, noting that he misses the point of religion, an institution that is predicated upon faith in the unknown, her efforts fell flat. Despite being unable to convince Stossel to become a theist, the conversation did bring forth some intriguing details about his life.
The host was raised Protestant, although his parents were Jewish; they had come to America right before Hitler rose to power, subsequently joining a Congregational church. Stossel also noted that his wife, who is Jewish, raised his children in that tradition.
This isn’t the first time that he has discussed his failure to embrace organized religion. In 2010, the host first publicly labeled himself an agnostic. While he said he doesn’t currently believe, Stossel noted that he is open to the possibility that God exists.
“God may exist, but I want more evidence and I’ve looked for it,” Stossel said during the segment, noting that he can’t bring himself to see the Bible as “the word of God.”
We’ll leave you with video of that admission, below: