Matt Dillahunty is the main host of The Atheist Experience, that I’ve mentioned before. Matt’s a very smart guy. Every now and again he lets his ego get the better of him when dealing with callers but on this occasion he was on fire.
A few weeks back, there was a caller named John. Matt asked whether John thinks that as an atheist he should go to hell. Over and over again, John replies that it’s not his decision and only God can decide. In the end, Matt gets so frustrated with the inability of John to think for himself that he hangs up on him and launches into this fantastic rant:
Right inside of you right now, dealing with those difficult questions, there is a moral struggle where you’re beginning to realise that you are more moral than the God that they forced you to believe, that they’ve conned you into accepting. You don’t believe that I necessarily deserve to go to hell for exercising the ‘free will’ that you think your God gave me. You don’t think that the dictates of a conscience, whether or not somebody believes, is a sufficient justification for eternal torture, and yet you’re just too damn cowardly to say it!
You are better than your God, you are better than your religion, so am I, so is Don (co-host) so is damn near everybody on the planet. I wish you people would wake up and see this. Stop apologising for this! (holds bible up) It’s not the good book, there’s nothing ‘good’ about it. All it does is poison minds. All it does is make you sacrifice your humanity – the only thing that you have that is of any value – in order to sit around in deference to your Gods.
This perfectly sums up what I find most disturbing, dangerous and downright offensive about religion – namely brainwashing, deference and the loss of personal identity.
Part 2 is the best bit but you can watch part 1 here if you like.
Yikes it’s been ages since I wrote anything on the site, so here’s a catch up:
Saw an excellent new version of Sunset Boulevard before Christmas at the Comedy Theatre. I’ve long been a fan of the show – I saw the original production at the Adelphi twice and then also on tour in Birmingham. This one is very, very different and far more captivating. Directed by Craig Revel Horwood (he was milling around in the bar with friends on the night we went) the show follows the tradition of the Watermill Theatre in Newbury by having actor/musicians on stage throughout. The original production was all about spectacle, glamour and glitz. This time round it’s dark and claustrophobic which breathes a new lease of life into the show. Highly recommended.
Also before Christmas I saw Tim Minchin at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. My sister had seen him perform in Cheltenham and said I must go and see him. Quite unlike any performer I think I’ve seen before. Definitely not one for a lazy night out – “you mean I’ve got to think about what is being said on stage rather than just laugh along?”. Here’s an example of his brilliance recorded on of the London nights.
In January, I saw previews of Milk and Bolt 3D at BFI Southbank. Both completely wonderful and followed by Q&A with Gus van Sant and John Lasseter. I saw The Times of Harvey Milk documentary at the BFI last year and thought it was amazing. Sean Penn puts in a spellbinding performance.
Finally, this month I took my mum out as a birthday treat to see An Inspector Calls at the Birmingham Rep. I’d seen the production at the NT in the early nineties with Kenneth Cranham as the inspector and remember liking it but I think this production made a much bigger impression. It’s such an amazing show. Not just for the cinematic quality of the staging but the performances are wonderful – the Inspector and Shelia in particular. It’s on tour around the country until June 2009 and I’d urge you to go and see it if you can. Theatre at its absolute best.