British Comedian Ricky Gervais ended his reputedly raucous evening of hosting The Golden Globes ceremony Sunday night with the mildly witty remark, “Thank God for making me an atheist.” I can’t help but reflect that God might well respond, “No, really, Ricky, thank you.” The atheism of someone like Gervais – a man who radiates unhappiness and self-hatred – has to be the best thing to happen to religion since the atheism of Bill Maher – a man who radiates unhappiness and self-hatred. Every time someone like this declares himself an atheist, twenty people must fall to their knees, crying, “Jesus Christ, don’t let me become like THAT guy!”
All these celebrities have to recommend their opinions to us are their personae. We don’t think they’re particularly smart or insightful or wise or spiritual. At best, they’re just attractive. At best, we want to be like them or at least want them to like us. That’s the only reason I can think of we would want to take any of their opinions as our own.
But who wants to be more like Ricky Gervais or Bill Maher? Who wants Ricky Gervais or Bill Maher to like them? Rather, while their atheism doesn’t constitute a proof of God’s existence, it certainly could be added on to the long list of “Reasons to Believe.”