Let me be the very last person to presume that I can take on Stephen Fry. Not because I think that he is too smart for someone like me to take on. I’m not all that stupid, but more than this I refuse to be a sycophant. Fry may be a very clever man, but he certainly is not the genius that popular opinion requires him to be. Let me be the last person to presume to take him on, not because he is brighter or better than the rest of us, but because I do not wish to take him on. I happen to agree with his rejection of the tyrant of the skies, and I cherish the freedom that we share which enables him to hold and share his clearly well-thought out opinions. What I will take on, however, is the notion that whatever this man says can be accepted – uncritically – as the dogma of a popular and hyper-aggressive atheism. He does not believe in God and I do. This does not make either of us superior or inferior to the other. It merely shows that we have come to different conclusions from the world that we share.
He takes a simple Sunday School presentation of God and foists this on adults as an absurdity. Of course it is an absurdity. This is the God of children. He is correct that the world of nature and human society is both a beautiful and an ugly place. He does us all a great disservice to imagine that we are not all capable of understanding this truth of existence. Do the religious not live through great pain and trials? Do they not feel frustration at cruelty and injustice? Of course they do. One difference, in my own experience, is that this shared knowledge of the world has driven the religious to work for fairness and justice – not to simply sit back and comment upon it. I was perhaps twelve the last time that I thought God might possibly stoop down and bend the laws of nature to help me if I asked nicely enough. Why must Fry insist that I think the same now? I can’t know that God exists. I simply believe that there is a God, and it is this faith that gives me the courage to challenge the suffering of the world. Injustice no longer seems absolute precisely because I trust that history has a judge who is absolute.