English comedian Ricky Gervais has caused more upset amongst Christians following his appearance on the front cover of New Humanist magazine. The mastermind of The Office is seen in a Jesus-style pose with the word “atheist” written across his chest.
As I reported on Digital Journal earlier this week, Gervais has also been at the centre of controversy following several anti-religious tweets.
Alongside Clyde Phillips of Dexter fame, the 50-year-old is currently working on a new show called Afterlife, which documents an atheist’s journey to heaven.
According to the Daily Mail, Gervais – who plays God on the show – told New Humanist magazine: “[My character is] an arrogant, wisecracking son of a b****, who thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread.”
“He (God in the show) also loves welcoming atheists to heaven with a smug grin on his face. He likes atheists deep down though. Or rather he likes good atheists,” Ricky said.
“He admires the fact that they were moral people even though they didn’t believe they would ever be rewarded with everlasting life. It’s not anti-religion, it’s just fun.”
Ricky continued by saying that he once believed in God, before acquiring a firm interest in science, nature, reason, logic, honesty, truth, equality and fairness.
He added: “By the age of eight I was an atheist. (That word shouldn’t even exist. It shouldn’t be needed. But it does. And it is.)”
It was just yesterday when Gervais tweeted a quote from the writer Voltaire. “Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities,” he posted, much to the dismay of several Christians.
User GodsWordIsLaw – who later burnt Ricky's picture before uploading it to YouTube (embedded below) – replied: "ANY CHRISTIAN THAT FOLLOWS @RICKYGERVAIS IS NOT A CHRISTIAN" Good Christians hate you more than I do Keith. #embarrassment.”
Ricky soon struck back, posting: “I am not anti-Christian. I am anti-bigot @GodsWordisLaw I don't believe in ANY god. I treat all religions equally. And all good people.”
So should religious people simply stop following and ignore Ricky? Or do they have reason to take offence?