Irish police investigate Stephen Fry for calling God ‘mean-minded’ & ‘stupid’
Police in Ireland have launched an investigation into allegedly blasphemous statements made by Stephen Fry in a 2015 interview. Under Irish law, the comedian and actor could face a fine of up to €25,000 for sharing his controversial opinions.
Fry made the remarks in question in an interview on the TV program The Meaning of Life, which was aired by Ireland’s RTE public service broadcaster. When asked what he would say to God if he had the chance, the self-described atheist and outspoken opponent of organized religion said:
“How dare you create a world in which there is such misery? It’s 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?”
He added that he would fare better appealing to the more human-like gods of the ancient Greek pantheon than the single omnipotent deity of Christianity.
“Because the god who created this universe, if it was created by God, is quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac, totally selfish,” he explained, adding “we have to spend our lives on our knees thanking him. What kind of god would do that?”
Although the complaint was filed back in 2015, the police reportedly didn’t act on it for 18 months, after which the plaintiff, who prefers to remain unidentified, wrote to the head of the Irish police, Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, asking for a follow up, according to the Irish Independent newspaper. He was then contacted by a detective, who said they were looking into the matter.
The newspaper cites a source as saying that prosecution is unlikely in this case.
Fry’s comments have since gone viral online. He said he was pleased that more people were thinking about the ideas he expressed, which have been discussed for millennia.
“I never wished to offend anybody who is individually devout or pious, and indeed many Christians have been in touch with me to say that they are very glad that things should be talked about,” he told BBC Radio 4 in an interview.