Easter with Ricky Gervais

Last Christmas season saw a bit of controversy in the form of a Wall Street Journal essay entitled, "A Holiday Message From Ricky Gervais: Why I'm an Atheist." Many nonbelievers applauded Ricky's honest explanation of his personal atheism. Some Christians counted it as another volley in the so-called War on Christmas. And some (on both sides) questioned his actual points.

This Easter season brings a new essay, "A Holiday Message From Ricky Gervais: Why I'm a Good Christian."

Let's clear up any potential misconceptions right from the start. Despite the title, Ricky Gervais is still an atheist. He did not find god, and he is not looking for him-her-them-etc.

Instead, Ricky clearly lists the reasons why he considers himself to be a good Christian, while still being an atheist. Some of his opening sentences say it best:

I am of course not a good Christian in the sense that I believe that Jesus was half man, half God, but I do believe I am a good Christian compared to a lot of Christians.

It's not that I don't believe that the teachings of Jesus wouldn't make this a better world if they were followed. It's just that they are rarely followed.

Gandhi summed it up really. He said, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

The rest of his essay goes on to explain just what makes him a good Christian, including a point-by-point look at the Ten Commandments and how his own actions stack up against them.

Ricky Gervais also made a recent stop on the Daily Show for a spirited chat with Jon Stewart. The (hilarious) interview ran over and cut short just as Ricky was about to unveil his Easter Card (pictured above). Fortunately, the entire interview is available at the Daily Show online. Or you can watch both parts of the interview below.

Highlights include Ricky's half-joking explanation of the Easter card:

"On the face of it, that looks like a sort of artistic way of saying that Jesus was persecuted for his religious beliefs and so am I as an atheist... but really, I just wanted to show that I've been working out."

And my favorite quote, which was a reply to Jon's question about whether Ricky first stopped believing in god or Santa Claus:

"I worked out there was no god first. Santa had another couple of years because at least he was possible."

Here is Jon Stewart's recent Ricky Gervais interview in its two-part, unedited entirety (courtesy of the Daily Show). Enjoy!

Part 1 (Mainly "Talking Funny," comedians and the Golden Globes):

Part 2 (On his Easter card, atheism, creationists and his biblical body):

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