Stephen Fry is a man of many talents. The 57-year-old Brit is a witty comedian and satirist, a novelist, an Emmy Award-nominated presenter, and a Golden Globe-nominated actor. He’s also a disciple of polemicist Christopher Hitchens, and shares the late writer’s disdain towards religion.
So Fry, a staunch atheist, made for a particularly compelling guest on the Irish TV program The Meaning of Life, which features host Gay Byrne interviewing famous people about life, religion, and the afterlife.
In a clip released online, Byrne asks Fry what he’d say when “confronted by God” at the pearly gates—assuming there is a heaven, that is. Fry chuckles, and then lets it rip.
“I’d say: ‘Bone cancer in children? What’s that about? How dare you! How dare you create a world where there is such misery that is not our fault. It’s not right. It’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?’ That’s what I’d say.”
Then, Byrne asks him whether he thinks he’d get in if he gave such an answer. “But I wouldn’t want to! I wouldn’t want to get in on his terms. They’re wrong,” Fry says.
You can watch Fry’s full response here:
The openly gay Fry was recently married to Elliott Spencer, 27, and is half-Jewish (on his mother's side). He didn't have a religious upbringing, and identifies as a “humanist,” thus lending his support to the British Humanist Association. He's been critical of the Catholic Church's views on sexuality and LGBT rights, and once took part in a debate (along with pal Christopher Hitchens) against Ann Widdecombe and Archbishop John Onaiyekan on whether the Catholic Church was a force for good, or otherwise.