Ireland: Stephen Fry Blasphemy – Is Prosecution Likely? (No Chance…)editor
Stephen Fry is being investigated by Irish police over blasphemy claims more than two years after his outspoken comments about God on RTE’s The Meaning of Life went viral.
Mr Fry described a hypothetical creator as “stupid” and an “utter maniac” for designing a world filled with undue suffering.
Asked in 2015 by the programme’s host, Gay Byrne, what he would say to God if he arrived at the pearly gates of heaven, the actor and author replied: “I’d say, bone cancer in children? What’s that about?”
The committed atheist added: “How dare you? How dare you create a world to 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 that is so full of injustice and pain?
“We have to spend our life on our knees thanking him? What kind of god would do that?
“The god who created this universe, if it was created by god, is quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac, totally selfish.”
A Gardai spokeswoman told The Independent: “We’re not commenting on an ongoing investigation.”
According to the Irish Independent the comment were originally reported to police in 2015. The complainant is said to have followed up last year, and to have received a phone call from a detective some weeks ago to discuss the case.
The paper quoted a source as saying a prosecution was unlikely.
Under Ireland’s 2009 Defamation Act, anyone “who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence” and liable to a fine of up to €25,000 (£21,200).
A spokesman for Mr Fry told the Daily Telegraph there was “nothing for us to say while this is under investigation”.
Tweeting about the story, the British Humanist Association said: “What is the world coming to?” Source
Just imagine the outcry from the liberal elite, LGBT etc “community” if we were to suggest that there is no such thing as “homophobia” (which there isn’t) just people who are “insecure” in their own
sins orientation and the same goes for all the other “victims” of alleged hate crimes.
Stephen Fry and others with his level of ignorance, fail to understand that those of us “outraged” by blasphemy are not “outraged” because WE are offended, whether as individuals or collectively. The offence is not aimed at any of us – blasphemy is aimed at God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. THAT is why Christians MUST be “outraged” – at any offence caused to the God Who made us, and especially at blatant insults such as those served up by “celebrity” types with oversized egos, looking to make the headlines.
Reflect, Stevie boy. Reflect…
Mr Fry has surely posed a question commonly asked by many Christians: “where is God when people suffer?”.
This thread might have a positive outcome if people were to give sound Christian answers to the question, and seek to help him with his unbelief, rather than seek to prove him guilty of blasphemy.
Having spent time with many people who have experienced, or witnessed at first hand, the kind of suffering he describes will know such people – many with deep faith – I know they pose the same questions.
I, for example, think the Church says Jesus Christ himself suffered for our sake.
Stephen Fry knows perfectly well what the answers are to the problem of suffering in the world. He’s been involved in enough debates on the Catholic Church (his obsession) to know by now, but he doesn’t care about the answers, he just wants to attack God and the Church. He doesn’t attack God on that one subject only, but he bangs on about several subjects, the “usual suspects”. This is a short extract from one of his debates.
For the record, I do think he ought to be prosecuted, but of course, he won’t be.
I have seen Catholics at the funeral of their dead child, or spouse, who have “heard” the answers but they still have the same question. That is not blasphemy. If practicing Catholics are sometimes seeking to understand how much more difficult is it for an unbeliever?
One of the most devout people I have ever met has never felt able to go back to Church since her husband inexplicably, suddenly. died. If she still prays I suspect it is more a questioning of God, than an act of praise or adoration.
They’re funny sorts of Catholics who lose their faith or question God on the death of a loved one. For heaven’s sake! It’s death that makes our Faith necessary!
I found this video of Fry at his most illogical – he doesn’t blame Hitler for all the suffering he caused, doesn’t use the same “logic” that he uses to blame God for suffering. It’s a laugh a minute. He doesn’t call Hitler “stupid” or “an utter maniac” – personally, I think Fry is seriously mentally unbalanced.
I think it is well known that Mr Fry is bi-polar, and that even believers ask questions when people die. I have cited some examples already.(Can I recommend you read The Five Stages of Grief by Elizabeth Kubler Ross, or even recent articles about Prince Harry on his long quest after the death of his mother, and any number of books on mental illness.)
That is a classic. A real classic. All the arguments that defend God against the claim that He is responsible for all the suffering in the world, are used by this numpty to defend the evil perpetrated by Hitler & his regime! Crackers.
I only wish I knew where to send the link to this thread – he really does need to know that he is not as universally popular as he undoubtedly believes and surely craves.
Your “most devout person I have ever met” has some nerve, questioning God. I hope you direct her to this thread. She really needs to read it. I mean, has she never heard a sound sermon about God’s will, and does she really think that SHE knows better than God?
These people are about as “devout” as any atheist. Let’s just hope that SHE doesn’t die, inexplicably suddenly, as did her husband. Instead of praying for a better God, so to speak, she ought to be praying very hard indeed that she does not die an un-provided death – otherwise, with her attitude as described by you, she is not going to have a happy eternal end. That’s a given.
I agree entirely. Never heard so much rot in my life, a “devout” woman who blames God for her husband’s sudden death and doesn’t go to church any more. No idea how that equals “devout”. That woman is not so different from Stephen Fry in her faithlessness.
I agree with you agreeing with me! This fashion of questioning God and feigning shock horror at the existence of pain and suffering in the world is calculated to make the doubter seem much more intelligent than the rest of us, whereas the truth is the polar opposite. – they are, not to put too fine a point on it, as thick as mince.
I agree – he should be prosecuted but he won’t be, since the Irish are as bad as everyone else these days. Although I suppose it’s something that they still have a blasphemy law – but for how much longer, she asks, cigarette and wine glass in hand…
Another squeaky, tiresome, narcissistic wheel looking for attention….
I’m a bit puzzled as to why Mr. Fry’s foolhardy statements, directed against God, are a violation of Ireland’s 2009 Defamation Act: “according to the Defamation Act 2009, a defamatory statement is one which tends to injure a person’s reputation in the eyes of reasonable members of society.” https://www.lawyer.ie/defamation/ So…God now has a “reputation”?
I’m even more puzzled as to why Mr. Fry’s comments would be considered offensive [to God?]. and yet Ireland’s laws permitting “gay marriage” and abortion.are not considered offensive to God.
There appears to be something seriously amiss in the minds of Irish politicians…not to mention in the minds of the Irish people who elected them.
There’s no doubt whatsoever of the truth of your concluding statement – there most definitely IS something seriously amiss (to put it mildly) in the minds of the Irish people who elected their faithless and feckless politicians. See your previous paragraph for elucidation on this…
My mistake, apparently abortion is not yet legal in Ireland, but may soon be: https://cruxnow.com/global-church/2017/04/26/ireland-legalize-abortion-just-pope-francis-visits-country/
I thought there had been a change to the abortion ban in Ireland, but seems not. I have no doubt, though, that they will legalise it soon enough. It’s a purely secular state now, and the hierarchy is toothless and, frankly, unconvinced about the evil of abortion if Pope Francis’ exhortation not to “obsess” about it, is any measure by which to judge their mindset.
I’ve read the Five Stages of Grief by Elizabeth Kubler Ross; used to teach it, in fact. Stephen Fry is well past stage 2.
I’m sure many – if not most – of us here have experienced, or witnessed at first hand, the kind of suffering he describes. How do you comfort those afflicted?
What do you mean by devout?
We generally use the term “devout” to refer to the external disposition of others especially during acts of worship, or prayer. I am surprised the term is not understood by you.
Exactly what I do to help the “afflicted” is not the topic under discussion.
I think if you have read the Five Stages of Grief, or indeed any such publication, you would know the stages do not follow a set chronology, and that people might regress to an earlier state, or enter it again when beset with a similar difficulty. [Ed: nasty personal remark removed.]
Yet again, after some time away from the blog, you return to make trouble.
Now, you ARE in danger – NOT of finding your posts moderated and censored, but a much worse fate for any troll.
If you have no problem with Stephen Fry’s blasphemy, don’t comment here. It’s that simple.
I don’t care if he’s got this or that problem, mental or otherwise (cos there’s nothing I can do about it) but if he knows he is inclined to insult others, especially God, he should keep his stupid mouth shut and stop being a monumental bore. Not the Monumental Bore of the Year – if only that were the extent of it – but the Monumental Bore of EVERY Year. He really is a “yawn yawn” case. So, try not to follow his idiotic example.
Now, either comment with some level of seriousness on the topic, or go away. It really IS that simple. And if you make even one more personal remark about anyone on this blog, you will be gone. And I mean, gone. I’ve no intention of reading through a pile of silly comments to see if they are OK to publish. I’m done with that, so behave or be gone.
The term is understood by me, and I thought it would be understood by anyone with a modicum of understanding. Clearly I was wrong.
You, wrong? You’re a woman – that’s not possible…
The whole question of suffering in children is a particular challenge to faith. As a young nurse I worked for some years at Great Ormond Street hospital for children and found it difficult to reconcile the image of God as a loving Father with some of the very sad cases I encountered there. “Why does God let this happen to my child!” Was a frequent question from heartbroken parents. I had no answer except that suffering is a profound mystery and that Our Lord also suffered for us and with us. I think it is a question that we can only bring in silence to God.
Many adult patients would also ask what they had done to deserve such pain. Illness was in their minds nearly always seen as punishment. I think the only way is the simple way of offering suffering to God in the hope of the time when every tear will be wiped away. There are no human answers that do not sound contrived and unconvincing.
So for an out and out atheist such as Steven Fry of course he cannot understand any arguments for a loving Creator. He has no concept at all of a theology of suffering, a theology which is difficult for people of faith to accept. Being the poser that he is he is probably quite pleased with his contrived anger against a , in his mind, non existent God! Whether he should be prosecuted for blasphemy I don’t know but I guess he would hesitate to make similarly heated comments against Allah!
When my eldest niece was born with a serious heart condition, and given only two days to live, I don’t recall any of us questioning God or blaming God, much as we were upset and anxious over the days following her diagnosis. I have NEVER been able to understand this attitude which is, by definition, faithless. I can’t say, even, that I find it “understandable” because I do not. The Catholic mind knows that God cannot do anything bad, that He loves each of us as if we were the only soul in existence. So, while we would, of course, be sad and upset at the loss of a child or to see a child suffering, it should not pose a “problem” for a truly Catholic mind.
Reading the Genesis story of Abraham and Isaac to children, always brings forth a “shock horror” response: How could God ask Abraham to sacrifice his own son? But the teaching in the story isn’t about God’s instruction to Abraham to kill Isaac – the teaching is that Abraham’s faith was operating at such a level that he knew that God would not ask anything of him that was wrong. God loved Isaac more than Abraham loved Isaac, and the same is true of every other child who suffers and dies. Just because we don’t understand why God is allowing this or that illness or death in a baby or child, doesn’t mean God got it wrong. I can’t see how that classic Christian answer is “contrived” and “unconvincing” – it’s true.
It’s a real pity that so many of us, Catholics, have fallen into the error of applying human ways of thinking and acting, to God, “Whose ways are not our ways…” It seems now that God has to act in accordance with our will, our rules, not the other way round. In that sense, I know that your assessment of the normal attitude to such suffering is spot on – it’s just not Catholic, not faith-filled. Catholics calling God to account, just doesn’t sit well.
Anyway, I haven’t had time to check out Fry on Islam, but I guess you are right that he would “hesitate to make similarly heated comments against Allah”. Well said!
Stephen Fry has a bad conscience and is reflecting his guilt onto God. Bishop Fulton Sheen understood this kind of person well and warned that it is useless to debate with them on the theological level because they already know the answers. It was his contention that such people have a conflict going on in their soul, usually of the moral order, and that they must come to admit to that as the real source of their unhappiness.
Stephen Fry is said to be bi-polar, the new fancy word for manic depression. That only adds to the very strong possibility that Stephen Fry really hates himself but just won’t admit to it. He is more to be pitied than scorned.
Hear hear, Athanasius, hear hear!
Is this what you’re looking for…?
It’s a bit big for an ear pick, is it not? Pity it isn’t emerging from the opposite ear, that would have been something to behold. Why do I have the urge to pour water into that spout?
This page opened at your comment, so I read it without seeing the picture I’d posted earlier. I was puzzled, thinking, “why’s he on about ear picks, what’s an ear pick” etc. Then it all came together. I laughed a hollow laugh…. and I remembered this ‘misunderstanding’ joke…
An old, blind cowboy wanders into an all-girl biker bar by mistake. He finds his way to a bar stool and orders a shot of Jack Daniels. After sitting there for a while, he yells to the bartender, ‘Hey, you wanna hear a blonde joke?’
The bar immediately falls absolutely silent.
In a very deep, husky voice, the woman next to him says: ‘Before you tell that joke, Cowboy, I think it is only fair, given that you are blind, that you should know five things:
1. The bartender is a blonde girl with a baseball bat.
2. The bouncer is a blonde girl.
3. I’m a 6-foot tall, 175-pound blonde woman with a black belt in karate.
4. The woman sitting next to me is blonde and a professional weight lifter.
5. The lady to your right is blonde and a professional wrestler.
Now, think about it seriously, Cowboy. Do you still wanna tell that blonde joke?’
The blind cowboy thinks for a second, shakes his head and mutters, ‘No…not if I’m gonna have to explain it five times.’
Fun… it’s great, isn’t it (“great fun” – get it? It’s the way I tell ’em…)
Very good! And they say it’s the blondes who are dumb. I’ll need to remember that one.
That only adds to the very strong possibility that Stephen Fry really hates himself
I think that is an astute analysis Athanasius.
I think Fry’s problems are multifaceted. In his youth – a long time ago – he was talented, handsome, successful. But the “wheels have come off” in later life.
His erstwhile professional partner, Hugh Laurie, has long since gone on to higher levels of Stardom in the USA. But Fry was left behind and his career today is really just being a ‘celebrity homosexual’ and the occasional presenting job.
He struggles with his weight and is often seen to be very fat (I say this as someone who could lose a few pounds himself). This would be bad enough, but the great vanity which affects “gay culture” will exacerbate the negative feelings this will cause for him.
Drug and alcohol abuse, another constant in “gay culture”, have wrecked havoc in his life. These probably contributed to his suicide attempt – yet another common feature of a homosexual lifestyle. How sad to see him, a few years back, bragging about having taken drugs in Buckingham Palace in a desperate attempt to get his name in the papers.
He “married” a man 30 years his junior and the two of them look absurd together. Like a fat pederast and a young boy whom he has managed to lure away from his friends. I think the young man is chiefly interested in his money. As for what Fry is chiefly interested in, well, I daresay the less said about that, the better. Fry will know full well how most people will regard this arrangement, even if they keep their views to themselves.
I think his obvious hatred for the Church comes from the fact that (i) he knows full well what it says about his lifestyle is correct and (ii) people who live such lifestyle are often seeking a target to blame their self-loathing on.
I once saw him in a debate regarding whether or not the Church is a force for good in the world. He viciously argued it was not. How pathetic. The largest non-governmental educational body in the world is “not a force for good”. The organisation which provides 26% of the world’s total healthcare is “not a force for good”.
It was ridiculous to see him telling lies and presenting his own prejudices are reasoned argument. The sad thing is, he – remarkably – enjoys a reputation for being intelligent and so many of his fans will no doubt have been influenced by his rantings.
Yes, it is very sad indeed to see this man deteriorate in so obvious a fashion. I think the eyes in that picture tell the real story of his life and lifestyle! The thing is I really liked him as an actor, he is extremely talented. But alas, like many talented people in this age of celebrity worship, success has led him on the road to ruin. Tragic!
Pathetic man. He really does need prayers.
Gabriel I take it you were referring to his stitched up BBC interview where Ann Widecombe was ripped to shreds by an anti Catholic Pro Homosexual BBC audience where Fry was assisted by the late Atheist Peter Hitchens. Ann’s backup was an African Bishop who could barely speak English. I probably like yourself don’t watch T.V much especially the BBC where Fry is practically on it everytime I flick through channels. If he’s not on it’s that other Homosexual Sue ( couldn’t get a laugh in a caper house ) Perkins. I personally think the Guy has now really lost the plot and just wants to be loved ,and that ain’t gonna come from his Lover Boy who most certainly has struck it rich . As for his going out of his way to run down and blaspheme Christ and mostly The Catholic Church the guy after all is an Atheistic Jew . Boy when you look at that list he ain’t got much goin for himself.
I think you mean the deceased atheist, Christopher Hitchens, since his brother, Peter, is an Anglican. Christopher took part in that debate, not Peter who would have been on the other side, had he participated.
Ann’s backup was an African Bishop who could barely speak English.
Yes that is the very debate I was thinking of.
A more pre-staged and biased affair I could not imagine.
The people on the pro-Catholic side was clearly chosen to make the faith looks like the preserve of elderly eccentrics and the 3rd world.
Still, at least Widdicome and the Bishop (whose name escapes me) defended their faith, unlike the fradulent London luvvies (Odone, Stanford etc) so often associated with Catholicism in the media.
If the audience had enjoyed a brain cell between them, they would have paused at the thought of supporting an argument advanced by two alcoholic, drug-fueled narcissists, one a homosexual and the other an adulterer.
Gabriel that debate was a complete Stitchup by the Pro Homosexual Anti Catholic BBC and since then it’s just got worse.A .Widecome done more than her best but as for the African Bishop he was completely set up as far as the Language Barrier was concerned. I can always remember someone in the audience ( a plant obviously) who pleaded with The African Bishop to take millions of condoms back with him to stop the terrible spread of AIDS in Africa.Funny how all the Homosexuals in London can have 100s of free Condoms if they so wish yet AIDS according to one Doctor on a Program called Unsafe Sex and The City is at the Epedemic stage in London . Question. We’re always told practically on a daily basis how much say treating cancer or the aged on the NHS costs yet very seldom do we here how much if ever do we here how much Rampant Homosexuality costs the NHS .
I do not think anything will come of this investigation. Rather, I think the Irish State will ignore its own laws, in order to seize another opportunity to thumb its nose at the faith which sustained Ireland for centuries.
I have long had a dislike of Stephen Fry but I more pity him than dislike him. Of course nothing will come of this blasphemy. Ireland has degenerated faster than I could have imagined at one time. But then, look at the state of the Church right now. There was a time when I could not have imagined that either!
I know this is probably somewhat off topic, but it’s just come into my inbox and I can’t help making the link between Godlessness, blasphemy and downright stupidity. The attitude (even of some Catholics) to death and funerals, is exposed in this Scotsman report.
I’ve said it before, and I say it here, again: they whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad!
Quite right. And all this must stem from a profound godlessness and absence of a sense of sin. Maybe no real belief in an afterlife either. So if there is no need for prayers for the dead and repentance then why not have a party and celebrate the deceased. Don’t imagine there is much comfort for the bereaved however. Even in the Church it is now rare to have a funeral Mass with black vestments. Me? I want all the prayers and solemnity I can get when it is my turn!
Me, too, Elizabeth. With bells on (so to speak – ungrammatically!)
That is the explanation – no sense of sin. It is really unbelievable that people organising a funeral think so ridiculously about the event, as if it is a fun thing to die.
The Lunatics have been let out of The Asylum for a day just even looking at that photo. That reminds me of a funeral I went to about 10 years ago the man who died was a Humanist and I did not know this . Anyhow some music was played and this Man got up and spoke The Eulogy which lasted nearly 45min . He spoke of the deceased as if he had known him all his life . After the marathon talk I approached the man to offer my condolences to whom I thought would have been his best friend and was taken aback when he said he did not know him . Turned out he was a Humanist Speaker his Fee for the 45min which if we had known it was going to be so long we would just have asked him to write a book was £ 150 . Not bad for 45min.
“if we had known [his eulogy] was going to be so long we would just have asked him to write a book…”
Glad a made you smile . You were right of course earlier on about Christopher Hitchens. God Bless .
I had an article on this subject published many years ago in the SCO, but I can’t find it now. It was entitled “Death is no laughing matter”. Maybe you still have it on file somewhere?
I remember being severely slated in the letters page of the SCO for that piece, Catholics all having a go at me because I dared to declare that death is a very solemn affair and Catholic funerals should reflect the fact. They went nuts because, of course, we’re all going to heaven regardless!!
“Death is no laughing matter”
I’d love to read that article. I hope editor finds it on file.
Sorry, but I don’t have any article by that title on file. I don’t remember it, either. I Googled the title and SCO but nothing is listed. Maybe you filed it under a working title on your own computer? If so, feel free to post it here.
I well remember the death of Pope Pius XII. I was a seminarian at the time at The English College in Lisbon. We sang a solemn Requiem Mass for him. It was in Latin of course We did everything in full. It was such a moving experience for me and I have never forgotten it. I would dearly love to have such a requiem for myself but I am resigned to that being an impossibility. Who would know it? Who would be able to sing it? Who still has a “Liber Usualis”? Of course I still have mine. It cost me one pound, seven shillings and sixpence when I bought it. The price is still pencilled on the first page!
This is just one example of the treasures which the Church had, but has lost!
Sorry folks, I’m just full of nostalgia at the moment!
Did you continue in seminary – were you ordained to the priesthood? Just being nosey!
No Lily I did not become a priest. I received Minor Orders that is all. I left the College after that. The College closed down and now it has become a series of desirable flats in the centre of Lisbon. I saw it again in October of last year when I went on a pilgrimage to Fatima and Lourdes.
Probably a blessing in disguise. Imagine trying to be a sound, faithful priest in the midst of this chaos. It’s hard enough being a Catholic Truth blogger 😀
Isn’t it ironic that the Vat. II revolution was conducted largely under the ruse of speaking for and responding to those laity who allegedly wanted their faith “updated,” “improved,” “reformed,” more accessible, more relevant…when in fact the overwhelming majority of the laity wanted no such thing?
Exactly. Got it in one. I remember thinking, when this talk of a more involved laity started, “good luck to you” since we had had zero success recruiting members for the Legion of Mary in the parish and wider archdiocese, and the SVDP didn’t fare much better. As it turned out, we now know, the “active laity” meant a handful of the usual suspects, who were restricted to dancing around the sanctuary playing at being priests, so the whole thing has been farcical.
John R, I was at the funeral of a friend’s father last year and it was the full works. A Tridentine sung Mass. It was in their parish church and was very beautiful. So it IS still possible, fear not! Request it in your will and inform your family of your wishes.
Surprise, surprise. Did they really fail to find enough people? If so, shame on Catholics for not complaining. But I suspect even if 100,000 had complained, they would say it was ‘not enough’.
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