Thursday 19 October 2017

My seven-year-old son said God couldn't exist because of Hitler

Stephen Fry's response to the question of God attracted five million YouTube views - but it's not like he said anything revolutionary

German dictator Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945) (Photo by Heinrich Hoffmann/Getty Images)
German dictator Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945) (Photo by Heinrich Hoffmann/Getty Images)
Sarah Carey

Sarah Carey

Last year my favourite word was "authentic". I liked "authentic" people, even if I disagreed with them. My new favourite word is "binary": I've diagnosed it's the reason behind the rot of public discourse. One must be either for or against; in or out; left or right; liberal or conservative. Perhaps it's because I live in the middle of Ireland, but I often find myself in the middle ground.

This Stephen Fry business is a classic example. I don't watch 'The Meaning of Life', so perhaps like many people I only became aware of the "Stephen Fry Says Something Mad" incident when the counter-comment cycle began in the media. Then I heard the offending two minutes replayed on radio in which Fry said, amongst other things: "Why should I respect a capricious, mean- minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?"

"Oh here we go," I thought to myself. "Another intolerant, liberal, intellectual, evangelical atheist Brit having a go at us peasants". Then the Mauras and Marys poured forth their passive aggression on Liveline, telling us that they felt sorry for the poor fella, with him being "unwell" and all that. Which might be well meant, but is patronising: almost as patronising as Fry sounded.

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