Wednesday 17 January 2018

Fry is the real monster in our eyes, not God

Man of wit's logical rejection of a 'mean-minded and stupid' God seems to have got under a lot of believers' skins

Whats it all about then? Gay Byrne and Stephen Fry
Whats it all about then? Gay Byrne and Stephen Fry

Emer O'Kelly

Not having seen the live broadcast of Gay Byrne's Meaning of Life interview with the English National Treasure Stephen Fry, I was under the impression that the man of keen wit and effortless intellectual brilliance had indulged in an hour-long vituperative rant against everything decent that "normal" people hold dear.

But the only vituperation involved was in the response, if callers to RTE's Liveline are anything to judge by. There was a sense hovering over the radio that hanging, drawing, and quartering was too good for him. Indeed, the majority of the callers could have been used as exemplars of exactly why Fry condemns the notion of a Godhead, in particular the Godhead worshipped by Christians; charity of any kind, Christian or otherwise, didn't come into it. Clearly, he was a dangerous contaminant.

What actually happened a week ago on The Meaning of Life was that Gay Byrne led Stephen Fry to range over his life, ruminating on its complexities, dwelling only lightly and without self-pity on the mental problems which have bedevilled him. It was only in the last couple of minutes of the programme that Fry explained his atheism, defining it in simple, easily understood terms.

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