EVANGELICAL Christians – particularly those in the US – have never gone a bundle on Harry Potter books and movies, denouncing them as “unchristian”,”demonic” â€¦ blah, blah â€¦
Now these joyless twats have one more reason to detest HP: the revelation in Esquire today that Daniel Radcliffe, star of Harry Potter, is an ATHEIST.
In an interview in the August edition of the magazine, Radcliffe, 19, said he did not believe in God.
He also expressed his admiration for Professor Richard Dawkins, the prominent atheist and bete noir of Evangelical Christians.
According to this report, Radcliffe has been reticent on the subject of religion in the past, but in an interview to promote the latest instalment in the film franchise – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, due for release on July 15 – 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.
And he joked:
There we go â€¦ that’s half of America that’s not going to see the next Harry Potter film on the back of that comment.
J K Rowling’s stories of the schoolboy wizard are taken very seriously by some Evangelical Christians in the United States. One of the largest Christian groups in the country, Focus on the Family, denounced the books as “witchcraft”.
The Church of England, however, has been more relaxed about the series – and has even published a guide advising youth leaders to use Harry Potter to spread the Christian message, as the characters face:
Struggles and dilemmas that are familiar to us all.
Veteran British actor Jim Broadbent, who plays Professor Horace Slughorn in the new movie, is no believer either. In a Telegraph interview in 2007 he said:
If I was ever to go back to religion I would likely go to the Quakers first. I never did have it, really â€¦
“So what does he think happens to you when you die?” he was asked:
Absolutely nothing. I’m with Arthur Morrison on that one.
(Arthur Morrison is the character he played in When Did You Last See Your Father?, the film adaptation of the 1993 Blake Morrison memoir.)
UPDATE: July 15 – Daniel Radcliffe further pissed off the Religious Right when he said in an interview with Moviefone that he thought it was “awesome” that some people thought he was gay.
I grew up around gay people my entire life, basically, that’s possibly why I’m quite camp, and some people think I’m gay when I meet them, which I think is awesome. It’s always good to keep them guessing [laughs]. I don’t go on any blogs or chats or anything, but my friends are demons for them, and apparently someone said ‘Daniel Radcliffe is gay. He’s got a gay face!’ [Laughs] I really don’t know what a gay face is.
He also thought it was “wonderful” that Albus Dumbledore, Hogwarts school headmaster, was revealed as gay by J K Rowling.
Half of me thinks Jo Rowling just did that to see if she could piss off the right wing, but I’m not sure how true that is. I think she had it planned, I think she always knew he was gay.