Stephen Fry responds to Christian backlash after confronting God with 'Bone cancer in children? What's that about?'

The actor clarified his remarks on BBC Radio 4's Today show

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The Independent Online

Stephen Fry’s mock confrontation with God during an interview with Gay Byrne saw Twitter transform into streams of philosophical pondering, angry Christian trolling and admiration.

“Suppose it’s all true, and you walk up to the pearly gates, and are confronted by God,” Bryne asked on his show The Meaning of Life. “What will Stephen Fry say to him, her, or it?”

“I’d say, bone cancer in children? What’s that about?” Fry replied.

“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. That’s what I would say. ”

His comments led the incoming head of Ireland’s Presbyterian Church, Rev Ian McNie, to brand him “spiritually blind”.

“I felt sorry for the man that his understanding of life is simply confined to the here and now and from his position of atheism there is no hope for the future,” McNie said.

Speaking about the outcry his comments have caused on BBC Radio 4’s the Today show, Fry apologised for any offence he might have caused.

“I don’t think I mentioned once any certain religion, and I certainly didn’t intend, and I know I didn’t, to say anything offensive towards any particular religion,” he said. “I said quite a few things that were angry at this supposed God. I was merely saying things that Bertrand Russell and many finer heads of the mind have said for many thousands of years, going all the way back to the Greeks.

  “I am astonished that it has caused so viral an explosion on Twitter and elsewhere. I’m most pleased 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, and indeed many Christians have been in touch with me and said that they’re very grateful that things have been talked about.”

Also being talked about today is this satirical response piece created by Irish spoof site, joking that Byrne had had to receive counselling following his interview with Fry.

“He felt a little faint after all that ‘what’s the craic with dead children God, huh?’ nonsense from Fry, so we let him have a lie down,” a definitely didn’t explain to RTÉ, “but we can confirm he’s booked in for intensive counselling. Six months should do it.”