Stephen Fry’s Blasphemy Could Cost Him, But He Says It Was Worth It To Get People Talking

Stephen Fry is one of the more outspoken celebrity atheists and his public remarks often land him in hot water with the online community, but the V for Vendetta star’s latest commentary is brewing up serious heat in the Irish community. It seems Fry, who still lives in his hometown of London in the U.K., has raised the ire of his country’s neighbor, Ireland. In fact, Ireland law enforcement has launched an investigation into Stephen’s life after the actor had been accused of blasphemy for his remarks made during an interview in the country.

Stephen Fry Calls Out God and Ireland Fires Back

Stephen Fry, The Meaning of Life
Stephen Fry shares his views on God during an appearance on 'The Meaning of Life' in Ireland. [Image by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images]

BBC reports the investigation into Stephen Fry was instigated by his appearance on an Ireland talk show, The Meaning of Life. The V for Vendetta star, who has often come under fire for his open criticism of organized religion, was unrestrained when asked what he would say to God if there was an opportunity for such an exchange.

“I’d say ‘Bone cancer in children, what’s that about?’ How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault,” Fry replied. “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?”

Fry’s fans would applaud his frank response and many might agree with him, but, unfortunately, Irish authorities want to charge him for violating the country’s 2009 Defamation Act. The fairly new law requires that anyone found guilty of blasphemous statements, either in print or through spoken word, should face a penalty of up to €25,000 ($27,402.50).

Mr. Fry continued, explaining that he would have far more tolerance for the Greek gods because they were never presented as infallible or omnipotent. The Meaning of Life producers might have been happy to see Stephen diverted toward discussions of Greece’s polytheistic past, but Fry was soon right back on track with his harsh criticism of the Christian god.

“Because the god who created this universe, if it was created by God, is quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac, totally selfish,” said Mr. Fry. “We have to spend our lives on our knees thanking him. What kind of god would do that?”

The Meaning of Life Viewers Stir Charges Against Stephen Fry for Blasphemy

Stephen Fry, blasphemy
Stephen Fry risks violating Ireland's blasphemy law to get people talking about religious dogma. [Image by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images]

While the Defamation Act has been on the books since 2009, there has yet to be a trial for blasphemy in that time, and sources report to the Guardian that an actual case against Fry might likely be dropped before it goes to trial. In fact, the current investigation into Stephen, following his remarks on The Meaning of Life, was only launched after viewers contacted authorities.

An anonymous source states that he filed a complaint against actor Stephen Fry two years earlier at the Ennis Garda station in County Clare. The insider says he told police officials that he wanted to report Fry and named RTÉ as a co-defendant for allowing Stephen to broadcast his criminally blasphemous statements.

“The garda then took a formal written statement from me in which I quoted Fry’s comments in detail. This written statement mentioned both Fry and RTÉ specifically.”

The source added that he chose not to add a personal statement to his complaint because he had not been offended by Stephen Fry’s words. He filed the complaint with police only because he felt Fry had violated the law.

At that time, the individual’s complaint was under review, and nothing further came of it, but authorities have recently contacted the complainant, once a new investigation had been launched against Fry.

Stephen has since responded to the initial response with the online community, though has not remarked on the Irish investigation. Fry says he was surprised by the amount of attention his statements have received, adding that he’s pleased it has gotten people talking.

“I was merely saying things that many finer heads than mine have said for hundreds of years, as far back as the Greeks… I never wished to offend anybody who is individually devout or pious, and indeed many Christians have been in touch with me to say that they are very glad that things should be talked about,” said Stephen Fry.

[Featured Image by Justin Tallis/Getty Images]