mistersnappy is licensed under CC BY 2.0

mistersnappy is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Office star and The Late Show host get into a war of words over religion yet again.

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Colbert broke into an interesting debate about religion again on Colbert’s show. Star of The Office, Gervais is an atheist who has often come in conflict with religious people for his openly frank takes on theism. On the other hand, Colbert, host of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, is a renowned Catholic and an ardent fan of Pope Francis.

Gervais was on The Late Show promoting his stand-up comedy tour. It was no surprise to people who have been following the show closely to see that two invariably started debating their religious beliefs yet again, as they had in the past. Gervais even pointed out to Colbert that while he disbelieved in the existence of all known gods but one, he himself disbelieved in the existence of all of them. He also said the doctrine of God sending himself to earth to die for the sins of man and return to heaven was too farfetched for him.

Actor and animal rights activist, Gervais has often publicly defended atheism. Addressing accusations that atheists were arrogant, he retorted that belief in a God who is just as responsible for good things that happen as he is for the tragedies that occur in the world is real arrogance. Adding on to this point, he said arrogance is never more evident than when a believer thanks God for helping him pass a driving test, even though the same God had let the Holocaust happen.

For Gervais, science is the ultimate form of humility and not God. In an article for the Wall Street Journal, he said of science that “it bases its conclusions and beliefs on hard evidence – evidence that is constantly updated and upgraded. It doesn’t get offended when new facts come along.”

Colbert, on the other hand, is known for his strong Catholic beliefs. He is especially awed by Pope Francis’ reforms, which he finds as more inclusive and accepting than it ever was. He also pointed out in an interview how he could joke about religion, and then sit with a priest and laugh about it. For Colbert, this is a healthy sign of how much the Church has matured from a time when accusations of blasphemy would have been flung at him.


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