Friday, March 09, 2012

Comedian Ricky Gervais: Atheism Not Offensive

Ricky Gervais is the star of one of my favorite movies, The Invention of Lying.
He also has a series, An Idiot Abroad. Originally on in the UK on Sky1 but recently on The Science Channel here.
Here's an excerpt from a recent interview with CNN's Piers Morgan where, as a Brit, he seemed to be underestimating the reason and reality quotient in the U.S. It must be hard for him to understand that, in America, particularly in the southern states, people do actually take offense to the fact that some people don't believe in god. To quote Gervais,
"When some one says 'Thank God', I don't get offended."

I think this is the most serious I've seem him. He's usually just a goofball comedian, enjoying life.

People don't realize it, but it is difficult being honest enough to admit that I don't really buy into religion. There are some bars in Tulsa where you shouldn't say, "I don't believe in god". You could get your ass kicked. Or, like when a family member asked me if I was atheist, I had to say, "Yep, I was born that way. I can't help it." I laughed, but he didn't. I don't talk to that side of the family much, but it's probably just as well.

It's good to see more celebrities like Ricky Gervais actually being that honest about the situation. It shouldn't be offensive, anymore than as if one were a Buddhist or Hindu or some other religion than your own. To be free to choose your religion should be extended to include not to choose one. Or would it be less offensive if one were to claim they are still "choosing"? There are so many to choose from.
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