Atheists Demand Apology from Kasich for Daniel Radcliffe Remarks

Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

John Kasich mocks Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe in an Ohio Bookstore

John Kasich, the Governor of Ohio, during the campaign trail for Chris Sununu, the gubernatorial candidate from New Hampshire, made a nasty comment about atheists. He mocked Daniel Radcliffe, the Harry Potter star when he was campaigning in Exeter, New Hampshire.

On August 29, inside an Exeter bookstore, Governor Kasich spied a Harry Potter paperback. He asked his companions and the assembled gathering whether they were aware that Daniel Radcliffe is an atheist. He further added that it was a mystery to him that a successful person like Radcliffe could turn out to be an atheist. Kasich also asked what was wrong with the movie star. The Republican implied that successful individuals should not be atheists.

Governor Kasich did not elaborate on why he thought that achieving stardom in movies would pull one to believe the existence of God.

Daniel Radcliffe had publicly declared that he was an atheist in 2009. He said it during an interview with Esquire magazine. The major Hollywood movie star said he is an atheist and he is extremely relaxed about his stance. He admitted that he does not preach atheism, but respects prominent atheists like Richard Dawkins, who has written a number of books on the subject. The Harry Potter star confessed that he will watch anything that Dawkins does on television.

Radcliffe was also aware of the ramifications of his confession of being an atheist. He joked about how half of the U.S. population will boycott his movies after they learn that he is an atheist.

Kasich's remarks were noticed by the atheist community. In response, David Silverman, the president of American Atheists, sent the Governor an open letter through the Atheist Voter. The letter stated that Radcliffe has nothing “wrong” in him – along with the millions of Americans who identify themselves as atheists. Silverman asked the elected official to have a meeting with his atheist constituents and ask them what they want from the government. The American Atheists president also requested the governor ask atheists what the lack of belief means to them. He also asked the latter to state the place and the time for such a debate. 

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