entertainment

Stephen Fry reported to Irish police for blasphemy

2017-05-07
Police in Ireland are investigating Stephen Fry after a complaint was launched against him for blasphemy. The police have launched an investigation after a member of the public complained about comments Fry made during a February 2015 appearance on RTÉ One series The Meaning of Life.  During the interview, host Gay Byrne asked Fry what he would say to God if he met him at the pearly gates. Fry responded fiercely: "How dare you create a world in which there is such misery? It’s not our fault? It’s not right. It’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?" He went on to call the Christian God a "maniac": "The god who created this universe, if it was created by god, is quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac, totally selfish.
"We have to spend our lives on our knees thanking him. What kind of god would do that?"
The country's Defamation Act of 2009 means that a person who uses speech that is deemed to be blasphemous "shall be guilty of an offence". If convicted, Fry could face a fine of up to €25,000. The member of the public who reported Fry's comments, told the Irish Independent why they got the police involved, on the condition of anonymity.  "I told the Garda I wanted to report Fry for uttering blasphemy and RTE for publishing/broadcasting it and that I believed these were criminal offences under the Defamation Act 2009.
"The garda [Irish police] then took a formal written statement from me in which I quoted Fry’s comments in detail. This written statement mentioned both Fry and RTÉ specifically." The member of the public said that they were not personally offended by the comments, merely that it was their "civic duty" to report what they view as a crime. A spokesperson for the police said: "A complaint has been received and it is currently being investigated. Detectives will speak to those involved if they are available and a file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)." A police source revealed to the paper that a prosecution would be "highly unlikely". Fry's spokesperson said that there is "nothing for us to say while this is under investigation." Stephen Fry recently revealed that his husband Elliot Spencer has become an "expert" at monitoring his mental health. Stephen, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, opens up about his experiences in a new film for Heads Together, a mental health awareness initiative currently being backed stars including Andrew Flintoff and Professor Green, as well as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Explaining that speaking to others about his mental health proved to be “a strong part of the healing,” Stephen credits his husband Elliot, who he married in January 2015, with providing a vital source of ongoing support. “My best friend of all, my husband Elliot, he’s become very expert in detecting when my moods are more than just being annoyed because I’ve locked myself out of the house to a genuine fall in mood,” he said.
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