Irish police open blasphemy investigation into Stephen Fry for calling God an "utter maniac"

Appearing on The Meaning of Life, hosted by Gay Byrne, in February 2015, Fry had been asked what he might say to God at the gates of heaven.

Fry 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 went on to say that Greek gods “didn’t present themselves as being all seeing, all wise, all beneficent”, adding “the god who created this universe, if it was created by god, is quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac, totally selfish”.

The investigation was triggered by the complaint of a single viewer.

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Wow, a blasphemy law being abused by some butthurt asshole? How could this be?

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If God wants to take Fry to court for slander then that’s His business.

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How did it work out for Billy Connolly?

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As far as legal actions go it’s a well known fact that the Devil has all the best lawyers.

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It’s unlikely, but there’s the remote possibility that the plaintiff is trying to get a case brought to court in the hopes of the law being struck down.

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“I told the Garda that I did not want to include this as I had not personally been offended by Fry’s comments - I added that I simply believed that the comments made by Fry on RTÉ were criminal blasphemy and that I was doing my civic duty by reporting a crime.”

what a absolute wanker.

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Blasphemy Probe? Sounds like something from Burroughs.

Tasty.

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Hey Melchett - you still worshipping god? Last I heard, he started worshipping me! Ah HA HAHAHA HA!

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I’d contend that a “blasphemy law” is an abuse of logic and reason on its own.

If your god is too wimpy to defend itself on its own without human help, then you’re pathetic for worshiping it, or dishonest about how powerful you think it is.

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There is no god so, what is the problem?

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Then WTF am I supposed to eat my soup with?

ETA: Sorry, wrong movie!

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I’m reminded of George Bernard Shaw’s defence of atheism. He took out his watch, said “Right, God, if you exist strike me dead in one minute”. Then a minute later he put his watch away.

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Done. Thanks for getting the ball rolling @dfaris!

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I don’t think that has anything to do with the blasphemy laws though, in fact the last couple of prosecutions in 1850s were all related to Catholics burning Protestant bibles (so the law was being used to ‘protect’ the Protestant religion, though even then there were no convictions in those cases). If you go further back you can find some convictions, but they were usually against Unitarians, Puritans and Presbyterians, not a tool for persecution of Catholics. You have to go as far back as the 1300s to find examples of the law being used against the natives.

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Fair enough. I’m just talking about the language that Fry is using, and how someone in Ireland might interpret it and why they might to do so. It will have as much to do with perceptions of the history of British as much as the reality of it.

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Perhaps God is testing Stephen Fry?

/religion logic

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I don’t think that has much to do with it either, Fry is hardly seen as a figure of the British establishment (it takes more than posh accent, and he even played Oscar Wilde in a film). Also, the guy who complained in this case explicitly said he wasn’t offended by what was said, so there’s a good chance he made the complaint to simply highlight the stupidity of the law, others have done something similar by reprinting his comments, asking for themselves to also be prosecuted under the law (like with the reprinting of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons). It’s certainly possible there were some little old ladies watching who were genuinely offended (that’s the kind of audience Gay Byrne attracts), but I doubt it would have had anything do with his Englishness, and it obviously wasn’t enough of a problem to make a complaint.

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