Shock, horror! Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is an atheist

EVANGELICAL Christians – particularly those in the US – have never gone a bundle on Harry Potter books and movies, denouncing them as “unchristian”,”demonic” … blah, blah …

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.

Two atheist stars of the latest Harry Potter movie: Jim Broadbent and Daniel Radcliffe

Two atheist stars of the latest Harry Potter movie: Jim Broadbent and Daniel Radcliffe

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 … 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 …

“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.

232 responses to “Shock, horror! Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is an atheist”

  1. Chris says:

    You can not believe in god and still be agnostic, atheists clam with certainty that no god exists, agnostics claim either to not know (not enough information to make an informed judgement) or that the question is inherently unknowable, but they can still believe that god does or does not exist in the same way you might believe that Sasquatch is real but not claim to be certain of it.

  2. belinda says:

    first of all, u shouldn’t steroetype ALL americanz becauze of a few brainwashed moronz. last time i checked, they live all over the world. i happen to be an american & i love harry potter. oh yeah, & i’m athiest. =P

  3. says:

    This fundy atheism is so lame!! getting happy because Harry Potter is atheist (by the way, he isn't) only to piss off believers it's so stupid, so go on, go to lick Dawkin's balls…

  4. says:

    Go on, aprove my comment if you have the balls…

  5. Michelle says:

    Ugh. Christians are going to war against atheists. It's persecution. Fundies are on their way to becoming terrorists. In Texas they are teaching children how to use guns to prepare for a war against non-Christians, and it's not illegal. The majority of the U.S. is disgusted by schools that ban Harry Potter books and churches that condemn them. I am not an atheist, but I lean in that direction because religion disgusts me and God doesn't make sense to me. To base ANYTHING outside of your personal life on religion is wrong. Trying to censor others, force your beliefs on people, knock on people's doors, and influence politics is wholly unacceptable and unconstitutional. I cannot believe in 2009 we're still horrified that people don't share our religion. Fundies freaked out when they discovered Jack Black is pro choice. Who gives a shit? Stupid people keep breeding and breeding. It's terrifying. It's sick. I'm American and I despise my country. At least we don't have a fucking fundamental Christian president any more.

    You Brits also need to quit this holier-than-thou bashing of all Americans. It's ridiculous. You're basing all your beliefs about us on what the media teaches you. England is better than the U.S. in many ways, but to puff up your feathers and look down your noses at all of us in unproductive discrimination. I can't stand this country, but you need to listen to the majority instead of assuming we're all like the politicians and morons you see on TV. It's unfair and makes you look like snobs.

    That said, most of the time I'd still rather live in Europe, preferably Sweden. Somewhere you can actually show boobs on TV.

  6. barry_duke says:

    This blog has never sought to stereotype all Americans as stupid – but we frequently criticise the many who are, both in the States and on our own patch. Oh, and us Brits are not holier-than-thou. We're a damn side UNHOLIER-than-thou!

  7. barry_duke says:

    Happy now, moron?

  8. barriejohn says:

    "Harry Potter" is a fictional character I just thought I`d point that out to you!

  9. Usually I put Ziggy says:

    I can't find it, but I believe I've read a more complete interview where he says the bit about eing an atheist and mentions his Jewish heritage. So, both.

  10. […] year the paper argued that Harry, played by atheist, gay-friendly Daniel Radcliffe, was the wrong kind of hero and the stories, although compelling, […]

  11. mp1 says:

    can't. stop. laughing.

  12. rika says:

    How many nineteen year olds are there that don't question what the hell is out there?! Not big news there…

  13. Stephanie says:

    Yeah, I don't care. I'm catholic and don't give a damn. Who cares?! It doesn't matter! And for one, these books are about witchcraft and wizardry for god's sake! Who are these stupid, racist, people that think the 'Harry Potter' books are bad?! And, I don't really give a damn about religion, so I might switch to Atheism! God.

  14. izzydrc says:

    who gives a rats ass if the actors are religious or not… the movies are great!!! religion is way over rated anyway!!!

  15. Rosita says:

    Not true. There are agnostic Christians and agnostic atheists. Agnostics simply don't think it is possible to know whether a god exists or not. Some decide not to believe in a god because their is no evidence for one; others decide to believe in a god for other reasons. Some are fence-sitters.

    Most atheists are "soft" atheists, that is, they do not believe in a god because there is no evidence for one but insist that they would believe in one if the evidence became available. In other words, they take the scientific approach.

  16. Rosita says:

    There are plenty of Jewish atheists. Many of them atttend synagogue. Some of them are very open about it. See Karen Glasser of the Atheist Experience podcast and TV show. They say that celebrating Jewish rituals is part of their heritage and that is all.

  17. Rosita says:

    Most atheists have better morals than most theists. The more atheistic a nation or a region within a nation, the less serious crime exists, the fewer abortions and the better its social health across a range of measures. The greatest crime spots in the US are full of Christians. Ironic, isn't it.

    Morality was not invented by Christians, as some seem to think. There is a natural morality which every child learns as part of their normal developmental process. Religious morality is partisan morality – it varies by religion and by each group within it.

  18. Nicole says:

    Why is it that most atheist were catholic? Oh well I guess it was all too strict or too much pervsion and hypocrisy in whatever religon a person practice so they said screw it. I was schocked when this came out but once I thought about it not surprised. I like Dan but this seems like a slight attention move for when the flick came out. Too many people(mostly young people) have allowed all the angst and cynicism in the world push them to believe that there is no GOD or greater being. I don't feel it's right to push your beliefs on anyone so it's whatever. But I have seen somethings happen that were indeed blessings. Work in a hospital for about 10 15 yrs you will see somethings that might sway you into a more positive way by no means on your knees shouting but might open you up to more. Most Atheist change their minds when they are laying on that deathbed taking a last breath or walking down the last mile to a death penalty. Why is that? Maybe all along they knew they were more than just flesh and blood. Just for the record I EFFIN LOVE HARRY POTTER!!!!!!!

  19. I do love Harry Potter, very much, but there is no way you can convince an african that a god doesn’t exist, supernatural stuff happen around us everyday this isn’t sci-fi, we never asked for religion but you europeans conquered us and forced it on us, we accepted and now we practice it better than you!, IRONY, you have the right to have no god, I also have the right to tell you that there is God in heaven, in the end it all boils down to you. look into into yourself now before you find out you have been deluded, cheeeeeeeeeeeeeers to Hp..

  20. Michelle says:

    I just love how movies like Harry Potter and L.O.T.R. are getting modern kids to consider the possibility of alternate religions such as Wicca and Asatru. And, just when you think it couldn’t be any better, Radcliffe comes out as an Atheist! Yipeeeee! I got the news a little late, but any kiddies who Google him frequently will eternally get the news. Then, all the rumors that he’s gay (don’t think so) promote acceptance of gay people. And, as if it couldn’t get any better, I read some stuff about THAT PLAY. Hee hee hee! Hilarious! The more I read or find on the net, the harder I laugh. I just LOVE the fact that the little man waited until H.P. was almost at an end and he had a huge fan base and then he went all subversive. I almost wet em laughing when I think about how funny that is. I mean, dang, that’s funny. That’s Gilbert gotfried at a Friars Club Roast funny.

  21. Dave G. says:

    Funny. I know many conservative Christians, and few if any of them seem to care one way or another about HP, much less the lives of those who play in the movies. In fact, I know some who are HP fans. Oh, there are a few – in comparison to the global population of some 2 billion – who have denounced the books. But then, there are some atheists who go radical and denounce and call for the eradication of religion. So what are you going to do. It doesn’t shock me that a young, wealthy English kid thrust into the British high culture is an atheist. That’s about common. What would have shocked me is if he said he was religious. In that environment, that would be the rebel. But conformity beckons to all. And it doesn’t shock me a bit. He seems low key about it, though he can’t seem to resist the swipes at religion – which never fails to puzzle me. Atheists will often take swipes at religion, and then point fingers at religious people when they react as if that shows something flawed about their religion (but mention atheists and their lack of basis for objective morality, and you get a similar ear full). Oh well, it shows that atheists really aren’t any different than anyone else I guess.

  22. daniel(le) says:

    pagans who worship imaginary gods, are in my opinion, no better than any atheist..
    and Christianity and religion are two very different things, by the way..
    I’ve also read some comments that denounced religion and Christianity, and well, if these two are gone, there wont be a basis for any moral in the world, now..
    if there is no god, then everything is just a coincidence, and life do not have any meaning, which leaves us to ‘can just kill anyone’ because the the existence of life is meaningless without a creator.
    but then, further scientific investigations reveal the ‘glitches’ in Darwin’s theory of evolution..i just want to say it here that science can also contribute to saying that there is a god

  23. daniel(le) says:

    to zino okrobodo, I kinda like your comment by the way..and I also kinda agree on it

  24. daniel(le) says:

    i read someone who said that an atheistic nation has less serious crime..but then, i think its because its like a situation where it will seem to a person that a person does not transgress(or commit a crime), cause there’s no law existing in them

    christian morality and religious morality are, i think, different because there are religions that are christian in the name but really isn’t

    there are those who say they’re Christians but then if you look closely, they’re really not..this is probably why a lot of people are discouraged to believing in God.. they probably weren’t able to see those true Christians out there..

  25. daniel(le) says:

    if people cannot find the proof of God existing, then i think they’re looking at the wrong place. but the, its pretty hard not look at the right place..then again, maybe yes..

    but when you look at the trees, or the sky, it just looks so beautiful, and coordinated,too, that it’s pretty hard to believe that there wasn’t Someone who created them.

    when i read about articles concerning the human anatomy, the human body’s nature is just way too complex to think that it just connected because it so happened..and that from nothing, the dust and a lot of other matters appeared, formed, and had life..

  26. daniel(le) says:

    also, about the propose big bang theory, was it really just a coincidence that the earth was this far from the sun? cause if it were just a little bit further, then it would have been too cold..and a little closer and it would have been too hot.. i think it would have taken a lot more believing that we were just a result of billions of years’ explosion than believing that there is a Supreme Being who designed it all..

  27. daniel(le) says:

    a lot of people don’t really care if there’s a god though, because most probably, they do not really know what’s in store for them– paradise and hell.. and “hell is a very real place”

    and a lot of people probably chooses not to accept that there’s a god, and that you’ve got to have morals, because it interferes with their freedom to do whatever they want, i.e., their sexual freedom..

  28. daniel(le) says:

    who agrees with non-Christian persecution? I don’t..and please don’t think that every Christian in the world agrees with the persecution,too.. it’s a big world, and a lot of Christians disagree to it..and i think those ‘Christians’ who support persecution aren’t really Christians at all

    to those Christians there who do support, i mean, Christ died for all the sinners, right? doesn’t everyone deserves to have a chance, at least, before being persecuted?

  29. daniel(le) says:

    God wouldn’t really mean anything to someone unless that person would really know who God is. because a lot of people out there say different things about God which wouldn’t really make sense, and will really drive you to atheism..

  30. Nikita says:

    Im an atheist and I don’t care what anybody thinks. People that believe in gods hate it when others discriminate against their religion so why discriminate against atheist beliefs. In W NW UK (West Cumbria) we respect what we all believe and don’t give tuppence bout others beliefs (but they are still important). Harry Potter is great! Why should some actor relieving his beliefs put you off the books and films. I mean if you like Torchwood the actor on there is Gay and this doesn’t stop people liking it, so why stop watching Harry Potter?
    Some people believe “God put the colours in the Rainbow”
    Others believe that “Optical and Meteorological phenomenons of light in the spectrum appear in the sky when the Sun shines onto droplets of moisture in the Earth’s atmosphere taking the form of a multicoloured arc puts the colours in the Rainbow”

    Who cares? Harry Potter is good and if I recall rightly,… Religion isn’t even mentioned once in any of the Harry Potter books or Films so what’s the big fuss about it!?

  31. Miguel says:

    I dont believe in atheists. Atheists dont exist they just think they do. Just lazy people who refuse to make any effrot in finding God. Closed minded and blind is what they are.

  32. Regeret says:

    You’re kidding right? Please tell me that you’re kidding…