A television show in which comedian Stephen Fry denounced God in an interview with Gay Byrne has been nominated for a religious broadcasting award.
The Meaning of Life caused controversy when it aired on RTÉ One as Fry, who is an atheist, said that if God did exist then he must be a maniac who does not deserve our respect.
His comments came after Byrne had asked him to imagine that God actually did exist. Byrne asked Fry what he would say when he comes face to face with God at the ‘Pearly Gates’.
Fry replied: “I’ll say: bone cancer in children, what’s that about?
“How dare you. 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? That’s what I would say.”
When Byrne told him that he would be unlikely to get into heaven if he spoke that way to God, Fry replied: “No, but I wouldn’t want to get in on his terms, they’re wrong.”
The episode caused a great deal of controversy with many people angry with Fry, and many others agreeing with him.
After sparking such religious debate, it has been put up for the Interview of the Year at the Sandford St Martin Trust Awards.
After the interview aired on RTÉ, Fry told BBC Radio 4: “I don’t think I mentioned once any particular religion and I certainly didn’t intend – I know I didn’t – to say anything offensive towards any particular religion.
“I was astonished that it caused so viral an explosion on Twitter and elsewhere. I’m most pleased I think that it’s got people talking. I’d never wish to offend anybody who is individually devout or pious and goes about their religious ways.”
Take a look at a video of the original show below.