Atheism: Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
Usually a taboo subject for mainstream media and general dinner-table talks, atheism has recently become somewhat of a comfortable stance for people as a way of life. A lot of closed-minded people consider Atheists and non-believers to be evil, often comparing them to the likes of people like Adolf Hitler and saying such things as “Hitler was an atheist, and look how that turned out”… when in fact Hitler was a man of God himself. So how did that turn out anyway? I personally don’t believe there is anything wrong with atheism, agnosticism, and having a lack of religious faith. I actually find it harder in this society to come out proudly and tell everyone (family, friends, and the general public) that you are a non-believer than it would be to tell someone you’re a Christian. I’ve compiled a list of Famous celebrities that have taken that plunge and have proudly announced their beliefs… or lack thereof.
Here they are in no particular order:
Quote: At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whther I believed in a certain book, or whether I’d been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn’t say, “But you were never a Christian, so you’re going the other way from heaven.” If so, I was going to reply, “You know what? You’re right. Fine.”
Quote: Is there a God? Hmm… For some people. I hope so, for them. For the people who believe in it, I hope so. There doesn’t need to be a God for me. There’s something in people that’s spiritual, that’s godlike. I don’t feel like doing things just because people say things, but I also don’t really know if it’s better to just not believe in anything, either.
Quote: I still feel very much like an atheist in the religious aspects of things. But there are spiritual planes that I’m aware of that I don’t know anything about and that I can’t explain. That’s why I think musicians are so revered and so important to our culture: We’re the wizards, we sort of reveal a little bit of this extra-powerful communicative force.”
Quote: I think there is a puritanical wind that is blowing. I have never seen such a lack of separation between church and state in America, I don’t believe in God, but if I did I would say that sex is a Godgiven right. Otherwise it’s the end of our species.
Quote: “He did not subscribe to his family’s religion. Even at a young age he was too mathematical, too logical, to make the leap of faith. He adopted his father’s ethical underpinnings, but not his belief in an unseen divinity.” –from Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist
Quote: I used to work with born-again gang-bangers installing closets in Burbank. These were amongst the scariest people I’ve ever met in my life. A guy thumping a bible, asking for traveling mercy and speaking in tongues with a teardrop tattoo. This is a frightening guy. People are scared to die, and the second somebody figured out somebody died and got frightened about it they had to concoct a fairy tale. It amazes me that intelligent people buy into it.
Quote: I’m an atheist. But I absolutely love religions and the rituals. Even though I don’t believe in God. 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?
Lee felt that anything which substituted the ways or beliefs of others in the place of teaching you how to cultivate your own was a step in the wrong direction. For this reason, Lee was opposed to the doctrines–or rather the dogmas–of organized religion.
Quote: I believe in people, I believe in humans, I believe in a car, but I don’t believe something I can’t have absolutely no evidence of for millennia. And it’s funny — people think analysis or psychiatry is mad, and THEY go to CHURCH…
Quote: Every single religion that has ever been on the face of the Earth, ever, is a cult. That’s all they are. Just a cult with millions of people in them. Meanwhile, they have a bunch of really bad stories that require more belief than an episode of “I Dream of Jeannie”.
Quote: I’m sickened by all religions. Religion has divided people. I don’t think there’s any difference between the pope wearing a large hat and parading around with a smoking purse and an African painting his face white and praying to a rock.
Quote: I don’t believe in god. I don’t believe in an afterlife. I don’t believe in soul. I don’t believe in anything. I think it’s totally right for people to have their own beliefs if it makes them happy, but to me it’s a pretty preposterous idea.
Quote: Lipton: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Radcliffe: Bet you’re surprised to see me! because it would be… because I’m not, as I said, religious…(from an interview with James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio)
Quote: I’ve got my own religion. Iceland sets a world-record. The United Nations asked people from all over the world a series of questions. Iceland stuck out on one thing. When we were asked what do we believe, 90% said, ‘ourselves’. I think I’m in that group. If I get into trouble, there’s no God or Allah to sort me out. I have to do it myself.
From an article in The American Prospect: After all, consider Donahue’s actual politics. For one, he’s a pious atheist, a viewpoint represented nowhere in the cable news media. Indeed, in a 2000 interview in The Progressive, he was still bragging about introducing the world to the late Madalyn Murray O’Hair. Similarly, he campaigned for Ralph Nader in 2000, complaining of the stranglehold of “corporate power” on the political process. Whatever you may think of this particular brand of politics, like atheism it’s not well represented in the small world of cable news.
And now, Agnostics to round the list up:
Quote:When asked if I consider myself Buddhist, the answer is, Not really. But it’s more my religion than any other because I was brought up with it in an intellectual and spiritual environment. I don’t practice or preach it, however.
Quote: You see, when I was a kid, my parents on the first Hanukkah gave me a top to play with. They call it a dreidel, but I know a top when I see one. And as I looked down at what is truly the dumbest toy ever created in the history of civilization, I thought, you know, I’m not gonna be Jewish for long.
Many Americans reaffirmed their faith this year. I didn’t, because I have no faith.
I consider myself (the author)to fall more into the roll of an agnostic, only because I would like to see more evidence on the existence of gods, spirits, etc. I’m fascinated by shows on the supernatural and ancient religions, but just because I enjoy the subject matter doesn’t mean I believe it… not yet at least.
One recent thing that has given me more hope for the enthusiasm of Atheists everywhere was when President Obama was giving his inauguration speech and included non-believers in his piece about human rights. I’ve never heard anyone of importance speak highly of non-believers, so hearing that really gave me hope that the world is moving (slowly) in a new direction. Far removed from George W. Bush and his foreign policy of spreading the word of God… or George H. W. Bush claiming that non-believers are not patriots and don’t deserve any rights in this country.
As much as the right-wing conservative bible-thumpers love to say that this country was founded on christian beliefs, they are sorely mistaken. Ben Franklin was actually an atheist and said things such as “Lighthouses are more helpful then churches”. Thomas Jefferson actually made his own bible, crossing out all the hocus pocus, walking on water stuff and just left in the common sense lines, like be good to thy neighbor, etc. It was actually somewhere in the 1950’s that America became a God-fearing nation and starting losing their mind. I hope we’re heading back in the right direction though, and I hope more famous people are willing to come out and declare themselves as non-believers without fear of losing their jobs or their reputation.
Crap… did I just lose mine?