The incoming head of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland has accused Stephen Fry of spiritual blindness.
The comedian (inset) denounced God as "monstrous" if he were to exist, during an interview with Gay Byrne on RTE.
The Rev Ian McNie was elected moderator-designate by the church on Tuesday night and will lead around 240,000 people across the island when he takes up office in June.
He said: "I felt sorry for the man that his understanding of life is simply confined to the here and now and from his position of atheism there is no hope for the future."
Mr Fry was asked by Mr Byrne what he would say to God.
Mr Fry said he would ask: "How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is 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?"
Pressed by Mr Byrne over how he would react if locked outside the pearly gates, the comedian and broadcaster said: "I would say: 'Bone cancer in children? What's that about?'
"Because the God who created this universe, if it was created by God, is quite clearly a maniac, utter maniac. Totally selfish. We have to spend our life on our knees thanking him? What kind of God would do that?"
"It's perfectly apparent that he is monstrous. Utterly monstrous and deserves no respect whatsoever. The moment you banish him, life becomes simpler, purer, cleaner, more worth living in my opinion."