Unbelievers: 11 Celebrity Atheists
According to a Gallup poll, about 77 percent of Americans identify with being Christian. When it comes to not believing in a god, atheists are in a small minority. These celebrities however, are going against the popular opinion and speaking out against organized religion.
When one thinks of celebrity atheists, Ricky Gervais is usually the name the pops up first. The comedian and actor is outspoken when it comes to his belief (or lack thereof), as well as most things he has opinions about. If you search "Ricky Gervais atheist," thousands of results pop up, including interviews where he speaks on the topic, celebrity atheist lists, compilations of his quotes and fired-up posts from Christian bloggers. In 2010, Gervais wrote an essay in the Wall Street Journal called "Why I'm an Atheist," where he explains his strong stance.
This is the woman who said "Suck it, Jesus, this award is my God now" when she won her Emmy in 2007. Are we really all that surprised she doesn't believe in a supreme being? Apparently, the Catholic League and Bill O'Reilly were. O'Reilly called her a "pinhead" for her statement. Griffin gave her best IDGAF response, saying his name-calling was a "badge of honor."
Instead of calling herself an atheist, however, Griffin sticks to "non-believer" as her preferred term. She claims the stigma associated with the title "atheist" is what led to the label, telling The Age:
"In America, they'll pretty much shoot you for saying that you're an atheist so I'm just trying to live another day. But the stigma of not being religious in this country is actually pretty frightening. It's not like atheists start wars."
Harry Potter got heat from Christian groups for the use of witchcraft and sorcery, so it's not surprising that Harry himself continues to keep those groups buzzing. It was an interview with Esquire in 2009 where he said he was a "militant atheist when religion starts impacting legislation." He expanded on that interview further, telling The Telegraph that while militant, he's "very relaxed" and doesn't preach his atheism.
The actress once joked that she wished she were Catholic because she would "just get to ask for forgiveness." She went on to say, "It sounds much better than having to live with guilt. It’s absolutely extraordinary. If only I wasn’t an atheist, I could get away with anything."
This "Game of Thrones" queen believes in neither the new gods or the old gods. Or any god for that matter. In 2007, she was interviewed by a "Tudors" fan site for her role as Anne Boleyn on the show. When asked if she's ever had a supernatural experience, she responded: "I’ve got an open mind. I say I’m an atheist but I wouldn’t mind being visited by a ghost, I’d be open to the experience."
This Hollywood legend admits to loving religions and rituals, despite being an atheist. In a 2007 interview with Entertainment Weekly, the reporter flat out asked Foster, "Are you religious?" While she's an atheist herself, she encourages open-mindedness in her children, saying "We celebrate pretty much every religion in our family with the kids. They love it, and when they say, 'Are we Jewish?' or 'Are we Catholic?' I say, 'Well, I'm not, but you can choose when you're 18. But isn't this fun that we do seders and the Advent calendar?'