July 6, 2009

Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) is an Atheist

Harry Potter World

Many people do not like to admit that they care what celebrities think about much of anything (until we elect them president), but it is fairly clear that this is not the case. People are interested in celebrities, and it should come as little surprise that many celebrities end up using their massive platforms to share their thoughts on a variety of subjects. While there are many cases where we wish they would shut up and stick to doing whatever made them famous, most of us can think of at least a few situations in which we are glad to hear from them.

Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who has player Harry Potter in the films of that name, confirmed in an Esquire interview that he is an atheist. As reported in The Telegraph, Radcliffe not only identified himself as an atheist in this interview but expressed his respect for Richard Dawkins. I suppose Christian extremists have yet another reason to boycott the Harry Potter films, which they were already doing.

Radcliffe was quoted as saying,

I'm an atheist, but I'm very relaxed about it. I don't preach my atheism, but I have a huge amount of respect for people like Richard Dawkins who do. Anything he does on television, I will watch.
It doesn't matter that I wasn't crazy about the Harry Potter books or the films. I still think it is good to see another celebrity join the ranks of the reality-based community and help to normalize atheism. Nobody is going to run out and become an atheist because of anything Radcliffe said (I hope), but hearing from him might lead some people to investigate atheism or Dawkins who would not have done so. I'd call that something positive.