Stephen Fry Blasphemy Investigation Dropped as Police Did Not Find Enough People Offended by Comments

After facing a blasphemy investigation for referring to God as “capricious” and “stupid,” British comedian Stephen Fry is off the hook as Irish police dropped the probe.
Actor Stephen Fry arrives for the American Theatre Wing's 68th annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Reuters/Andrew Kelly

After facing a blasphemy investigation for referring to God as "capricious" and "stupid," British comedian Stephen Fry is off the hook as Irish police dropped the probe.

The authorities announced they did not find enough number of people who were offended by Fry's comments against God, prompting them to drop the investigation.

"This man was simply a witness and not an injured party. Gardaí (Irish police) were unable to find a substantial number of outraged people," a source said to The Independent. "For this reason the investigation has been concluded."

In 2015, Fry gave controversial remarks when he appeared at the program 'The Meaning of Life' hosted by Gay Byrne.

Byrne asked him what he would say to God if he went to heaven. Fry said he would question God as to why He created an "unjust" world with so much misery, the BBC reported.

"I'd say, bone cancer in children? What's that about?" Fry said. "How dare you? How dare you create a world to which there is such misery that is not our fault? It's not right, it's utterly, utterly evil."

He added that he would not give respect to a "capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world that is so full of injustice and pain." He also compared God to the Greek gods, who did not "present themselves as being all seeing, all wise, all beneficent."

"We have to spend our life on our knees thanking him? What kind of god would do that? The god who created this universe, if it was created by god, is quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac, totally selfish," he said.

He later said he did not intend to offend any particular religion.

Fry's comments stirred up controversy but nobody had brought up charges against him until last year, when a man filed a complaint for his remarks. Blasphemous comments are punishable by law in Ireland, and the guilty person could be fined up to €25,000.

Ireland is not the only one with blasphemy laws in place. New Zealand also have such laws, but these haven't been used since 1922 that even Prime Minister Bill English and the Anglican Archbishop have forgotten they existed.

Fry's case prompted New Zealand lawmakers to repeal the laws, and the move is backed by the prime minister.

"Laws that overreach on addressing robust speech are not a good idea," English said, according to another report from The Independent.

The British Humanist Association lauded the Irish police's decision and the New Zealand lawmakers' effort to repeal its blasphemy laws.

"This is important not only to ensure they are never resurrected, as almost happened in Ireland, but also to send a clear message to the rest of the world that blasphemy laws are unacceptable and that the fact that people are still dying over them in many countries must come to an end," Andrew Copson, the organization's chief executive, said, according to The Independent.

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