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Vocabulary. Read and check you understand this before you read and listen to the article:
maniac: a person with wild,violent behaviour
utterly: completely, absolutely
deity: a god or goddess
How dare you!: a phrase used to express indignation
the pearly gates: the entrance to heaven
to burrow: to make a tunnel by digging through something
to banish: to exile or remove, to get rid of s.t. unwanted
Stephen Fry is one of Britain’s leading actors, comedians and intellectuals
Stephen John Fry is an English comedian, actor, writer, presenter, and activist, who studied English literature at Queen’s College, Cambridge. While at university he met his long-time collaborator Hugh Laurie (Dr. House). As half of the comic double act Fry and Laurie, he co-wrote and co-starred in A Bit of Fry & Laurie.
Fry’s acting roles include a Golden Globe Award–nominated lead performance in the film Wilde, Melchett in the BBC TV series Blackadder, a guest role as Dr. Wyatt on Bones, and as Gordon Deitrich in the thriller V for Vendetta. He is also host of the BBC quiz show QI.
Besides working in television, Fry has contributed articles for newspapers and written four novels and three volumes of autobiography. He also appears frequently on BBC Radio 4. Fry is also known for his voice-overs, reading all seven of the Harry Potter novels for the UK audiobook recordings.
Stephen Fry has denounced God as “utterly evil, capricious and monstrous”, if he were to exist. The comedian’s attack on the notion of a deity will be heard on an Irish religious affairs programme on Sunday night.
A brief clip of Fry on RTE television’s The Meaning of Life on Sunday has already caused a storm on Youtube with over 2m views even before broadcast. On the short clip, Fry is asked by veteran Irish TV presenter Gay Byrne what he would say to God if he died and had to confront him.
In his imaginary conversation with God, Fry says he would tell him: “How dare you create a world in which 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?” Pressed by Byrne over how he would react if he was locked outside the pearly gates, Fry says: “I would say: ‘bone cancer in children? What’s that about?”
“Because the God who created this universe, if it was created by God, is quite clearly a maniac, utter maniac. Totally selfish. We have to spend our life on our knees thanking him?! What kind of god would do that?” On how to explain the wonders of the world, Fry then launches another attack on all seeing, all knowing God creator.
“Yes, the world is very splendid but it also has in it insects whose whole lifecycle is to burrow into the eyes of children and make them blind. They eat outwards from the eyes.
Why? Why did you do that to us? You could easily have made a creation in which that didn’t exist. It is simply not acceptable.
It’s perfectly apparent that he is monstrous. Utterly monstrous and deserves no respect whatsoever. The moment you banish him, life becomes simpler, purer, cleaner, more worth living in my opinion.”
Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-suvkwNYSQo
Something to chat (and write) about
- Have you ever heard of Stephen Fry or seen/heard him on a TV/radio programme or film?
- Do you believe in (a) god, or any spiritual creator?
- What do you think about Fry’s comments? Do you think he was being funny or serious?
- Do you think that it is fair that some people, who have done nothing wrong in their lives, have terrible diseases, and other corrupt people live in perfect peace and tranquility?
- Would life be better without god? Why/Why not?
This story was adapted from: http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/feb/01/stephen-fry-god-evil-maniac-irish-tv