Gay Byrne responds to reaction to Stephen Fry's views on God on 'The Meaning of Life'
Published 02/02/2015 | 16:22
Legendary broadcaster Gay Byrne is unfazed by the fact that Stephen Fry's response to his question about God on 'The Meaning of Life' has gone viral and garnered 4 million views online.
Byrne asked the British broadcaster and author what he would say to god if he encountered "him, her, or it" at the gates of heaven.
Fry's response caused a stir among viewers. He said, "I'll say, 'Bone cancer in children? What's that about? How dare you? How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that'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?"
Byrne appeared taken aback by Fry's response but, speaking to Ray D'Arcy on his new show on RTE Radio 1, Byrne said, "Everybody is getting much more excited about this thing than I am because we've had a good number of people on the programme down through the years and we've done a lot of programmes with many people expressing atheistic views and beliefs and views on God and so on."
He added, "This time we happened to have a man who is a particularly good speaker, particularly robust at expressing his views and cantankerous about it and expressive about it."
Byrne continued with an anecdote which was related by Fry on the programme in which he revealed he stole a jacket as a teenager and lived the high life off credit cards he had found in the pocket for three months.
"He gave as his answer as to how he got away with it for three months, part of the reason was he is a very big guy, and secondly he said, ‘because I had an aura of authority about it’." said Gay.
"He had this voice, this very upper class British voice. He said, ‘When I issue a statement it stays issued and you’d be a very brave person to take me on.’”
Byrne would not be drawn on what his own beliefs are in relation to god.
"I would say never let on to anybody what my own beliefs are on the basis that it would be unfair to those people coming on the programme in future," he said.
"If they knew where I'm coming from they might be tempted to edit or censor their own answers before they give me an answer. They might say, 'I know where Gay is coming from, I better not offend or insult his beliefs.' On that basis I don't let on what my thoughts are."