Harry Potter is an Atheist

The Religious Right extremists now have another reason to burn Harry Potter books.

Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who plays Potter in the movies, is an atheist.

Need proof?

We got lots of it.

In a recent interview on Inside the Actors Studio (with host James Lipton), there is an exchange where Radcliffe explains that his father has a Northern Irish background and his mother is Jewish (with an Anglicized name). He then adds:

… I wasn’t really brought up in kind of any religious context at all.

You can hear that around the 1:56 mark in the clip below:

Not enough?

We get this exchange later on in their conversation:

Lipton: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Radcliffe: “Bet you’re surprised to see me!” [laughs] because it would be… because I’m not, as I said, religious…

You can see that bit at the 5:31 mark below:

In an article about the interview by Charissa Che, we also read about a portion of their exchange which may have been left on the cutting room floor:

Radcliffe was born to a Northern Irish Protestant father and a Jewish mother, both of whom were initially adamant against their son entering the entertainment industry due to their religious piety. At around 12 years old, Radcliffe became decidedly less religious. “I realized I can’t believe more out of fear than anything else,” he said. Ultimately, his folks backed him in his ambitions.

There’s one more clip — an older one — from an Australian talk show in which Radcliffe is asked whether or not he is religious (at the 2:34 mark).

The exchange is as follows:

Interviewer: You spend so much time as Harry Potter messing with the “Dark Side.” Are you a religious person?

Radcliffe: I’m not, no, at all. I’ve grown up in… My mom was of Jewish blood and my dad was Protestant… So I grew up in a very… I’m very interested in religion as something to study, but I’m not a religious person in the slightest.

Interviewer: Don’t want to wake up, thinking, “oh my god, what have I done, what have I done, what have I done.”

Radcliffe: I don’t think I’m a sinner. I don’t think I’ll be condemned.

We’ll add Radcliffe to the list of famous wealthy atheists, alongside Bill Gates,Ted Turner, and Zac Efron :)

(Thanks to Deanna for the terrific compilation!)

  • http://skeptigirl.blogspot.com kimbo jones

    Since when does “I’m not religious” equal “I don’t believe in god. I’m an atheist”?

  • http://localhost/ Troll

    As far as “Teh True Christians” are concerned, it’s teh same thing.

  • http://www.nautblog.blogspot.com Sean the Blogonaut

    Until he gets asked the question – Are you an Atheist? and says yes, then it’s pure speculation.

  • http://blackskeptic.wordpress.com blackskeptic

    Just because he’s not religious does not automatically equal atheism. He could believe in God, but just not be religious. I think we’re a little too excited to have someone on our side. But we have to be honest.

    The title of this post should be “Daniel Radcliffe is not religious.”

  • Brian C Posey

    I am curious as to if there are many famous and “straight out” atheists. This is obviously besides the obvious Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, etc. Basically people who’s main claim to fame comes from something else besides their atheism.

  • http://peacefulatheist.wordpress.com Lily

    Skandar Keynes, the 17-year-old actor who plays Edmund in the Chronicles of Narnia movies, is an atheist:

    I am an Atheist. I know the film’s really Christian and everything but it doesn’t really affect me. Oh and you know I’m related to Charles Darwin.

  • http://mylongapostasy.blogspot.com ATL-Apostate

    I am curious as to if there are many famous and “straight out” atheists. This is obviously besides the obvious Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, etc. Basically people who’s main claim to fame comes from something else besides their atheism.

    Penn Jillette

    Don’t know if that’s famous enough or not, but his claim to fame is being a magician, and a damn fine entertainer.

  • http://www.CoreyMondello.com Corey Mondello

    Well either way, if anyone knows him, tell him I am looking for him…if he needs a place to stay if he is ever in the Boston Massachusetts area, I have room….

  • http://www.celebatheists.com/?title=Main_Page Deanna

    To check out other famous atheists, agnostics, and plain old “non-religious”/Ambiguous, check out the Celebrity Atheists website.

    And, Lily, thanks for the info on Skandar Keynes. That’s great to know.

    Thanks, Hemant, for posting your blog entry!

  • http://starseyer.blogspot.com Mikayla

    Cool. He didn’t say ‘atheist’ but I’ll accept ‘not religous’ any day.

  • Pseudonym

    Troll:

    As far as “Teh True Christians” are concerned, it’s teh same thing.

    True but irrelevant, since according to “Teh True Christians”, neither his Northern Irish father (presumably Roman Catholic or Anglican) or Jewish mother follow the One True Religion(tm) either.

    Mikayla:

    Cool. He didn’t say ‘atheist’ but I’ll accept ‘not religous’ any day.

    It’s all fun until someone prefixes it with “spiritual but”.

  • Jerica

    I am a secret atheist, and to hide it from my parents, I told people I was “non-religious” or not interested in church.

    But I truly believe that “non-religiousness” can go either way, into atheism or agnosticism. The point is, Daniel doesn’t seem to care if there is a deity out there, and he’s not afraid of Judgement Day if there is.

  • Yael

    In an enterview with Esquire he said:

    I’m an atheist, but I’m very relaxed about it. I don’t preach my atheism, but I have a huge amount of respect for people like Richard Dawkins who do. Anything he does on television, I will watch.

  • http://www.atheistnation.net atheistnationblogger

    Yup just read he was an atheist on Celebatheist list. It was in an interview for Esquire, like Yael said. And Keynes is hot! lol But that’s probably because he’s from northern Europe.

  • Ste’

    It takes quite a bit of faith to be an atheist doesn’t it? I mean, proclaiming that one avidly believes there is no god can be likened to adhering to a doctrinal statement.

    Daniel has said he “isn’t religious”. As those above have posted; this does NOT equate with “I’m an atheist.” Boggles the mind that atheists would care anyway.

    Stephanie

  • Dass

    I really like Daniel as a person and an actor and YES HE’S AN ATHEIST. He already said that, and that’s really great.


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