Those are the words of Irish actor and comedian Chris O’Dowd, star of films including Bridesmaids and Gulliver’s Travels. O’Dowd was featured on the cover of Britain’s GQ Magazine last month. In an article in the magazine, he describes how his atheism has led him to equate atheism with racism, and to believe that people of faith should be silenced.
According to O’Dowd:
“There’s going to be a turning point where it’s going to be like racism. You know, ‘You’re not allowed to say that weird s**t! It’s mad! And you’re making everybody crazy!’. And you know, now America can’t have a president that doesn’t say he believes in God. So we’re f**ked! Like, they f**ked everything! You wanna go and live in your weird cult and talk about a man who lives in a cloud, you do that, but don’t. I mean, you really think that Barack Obama believes in God? No way!”
He referred to religion as a “weird cult” and insisted that belief in God is “crazy.”
So let me get this straight:
- O’Dowd thinks Christians are nuts.
- He thinks religion is halting human progress.
- He thinks faith—which leads people to regard all men as their brothers, and to reject prejudice of any kind—will soon be regarded as socially unacceptable, like racism.
- He thinks Barack Obama has intentionally bamboozled the American people, claiming a belief in God, just to get elected.
Well, now…. Way to talk really crazy, O’Dowd! In fact, it’s so crazy that even my atheist compatriot at Patheos, Hemant Mehta, recognizes it for the nonsense it is. Mehta, who writes as “The Friendly Atheist” (?), published a post regarding O’Dowd’s obtuse interview which offered a disclaimer:
(I take it that O’Dowd doesn’t mean that religious opinions ought to be literally outlawed — that with the phrase “not allowed,” he means there will be social repercussions for pious babble, not legal ones. In which case, I agree with him — but that’s a non-negotiable caveat!)
* * * * *
If only I could recommend some relevant reading to O’Dowd (and if only he’d read it!) My recommendation would be Harry Crocker’s Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church. “For 2,000 years,” says the publisher, “Catholicism–the largest religion in the world and in the United States–has shaped global history on a scale unequaled by any other institution. But until now, Catholics interested in the faith have been hard-pressed to find an accessible, affirmative, and exciting history of the Church.”
Triumph is that history. Inside its nearly 500 pages O’Dowd could find sweeping drama, stormy controversies, and a brawling, colorful history. What he couldn’t find, though, is evidence that the Faith is irrelevant.