Archbishop of Canterbury: Stephen Fry should be free to call God a maniac

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The Archbishop of Canterbury has stepped in to defend Stephen Fry, after he labelled God a “maniac”.

The QI host – who is an atheist – told Irish broadcaster RTE that if God existed, he would be “evil”, “stupid” and “a maniac”, for creating a world that is “so full of injustice and pain”.

His comments have sparked a new debate about Ireland’s blasphemy laws – which mean his comments are technically illegal – and Archbishop Justin Welby has now stepped in to the controversy.

Speaking in Westminster, the Archbishop said: “We find it fine to say that a particular church is going incredibly well and is full every Sunday. But at the same time – we see reports about it – we are deeply uncomfortable about the mosque down the road that has people outside because they can’t fit them in.

“Well, if we believe in freedom to choose, if we believe in freedom of religion, what’s good for one is good for all.

“We must speak out for others persecuted for their beliefs, whether it be religious or atheistic: taking responsibility for someone else’s freedom is as important as protecting my own.

“It is as much the right of Stephen Fry to say what he said and not to be abused by Christians who are affronted, as it is the right of Christians to proclaim Jesus Christ as their Saviour: that is his freedom to choose, that is given to us in creation.”