For those 2 or 3 folks who don't read Pharyngula, here's an interesting announcement:
(How old is he now? Nearly twenty? Awesome!) Please, oh please, let an excuse present itself!
Our respectability among juvenile fans of Harry Potter may have just gone up a notch: Daniel Radcliffe has cheerfully declared himself to be an atheist.
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.
I understand that this same segment of society has also found a heightened interest in the works of playwrights like Peter Schaffer, so we know the Harry Potter effect can help. If only Radcliffe had an excuse to take his clothes off for atheism…
Okay, seriously, this is great news for younger folk who might be struggling with their godlessness. It can be tough, discovering you're an atheist with nothing but god-bothering role models round you. Here's a smart, charming, well-adjusted, and immensely talented young man who shows you can live a satisfying life without God. Of course, fundie parents are gonna howl, and J.K. Rowling's book sales will probably spike as frothing fundies buy them for bulk burnings, but all that does is point up how foolish and shallow the Bible thumpers are.
My opinion of Daniel went up several notches, too. Not because he's an atheist, although that shows he's got a good brain. It's because he's so self-possessed. I respect people who live comfortably with who they are rather than living uncomfortably with who they think other people expect them to be.
Now, to write something that will give him an excuse to take his clothes off for atheism...