Pat Condell, an English stand-up comedian, born November 1st 1949, is an atheist who devotes his time to proclaiming God doesn’t exist. He was raised as an Irish Roman Catholic and attended Church of England schools as a boy. It is here that he started believing that what people believe and the way they behave were two different things. In an interview with Time Out London, Pat states, “I found myself segregated in assembly and shunted into another room while everyone said their morning prayers. I didn’t mind. The whole pantomime seemed hollow to me even then. Once you become aware of the gulf between what people profess to believe and how they actually behave, it’s hard to take any of it seriously.” (1) His father, an alcoholic, compulsive gambler, and thief, died in prison of leukemia. His family lived in poverty, moving from one place to another. Pat has and does spend his life proclaiming that God doesn’t exist, Christ is a storybook character, and devoutly opposes all religions and their followers.
His video, “Hello Angry Christians”, he starts with, “I’d like to thank all the angry born again Christians who have been writing to tell me how much they are looking forward to my eternal torment in the flames of Hell….furiously typing pages and pages of scripture.” Well Pat, I am a born again Christian, but I am not angry and I certainly do not wish to see you eternally tormented in the flames of Hell. I also am not going to furiously type pages and pages of scripture to you, I am sure you know them already anyway.
When asked what he believes, in his video, “What do I believe?” he states that, “If God exists, he’s either insane or dead.” The common thread in this statement and most of Pat’s statements, is the word, “If”. In his video, “Children of a Stupid God”, which is a total of 7 minutes and 52 seconds, he uses the word “if” 13 times. That’s because in his heart he knows God exists and he’s expressing doubt every 1.62 to 1.85 seconds. That’s a lot of doubt.
Pat expresses a lot of anger toward religion and believers. This is evident when he says, “It must be quite galling for religious people to see atheist like me going about their business without a shred of guilt, or self-loathing, and not in the least inclined to pray, or to do penance of any kind and not in the slightest bit worried about any form of eternal punishment.” Pat is raging a war, a war within himself, not with God. I believe his anger started as a child when he was segregated in church. For whatever reasons they did this, I do not know, but he has a lot of deep seated anger toward the Church, God, and believers partly because of this.
Pat expresses in “Hello Angry Christians” how he feels regarding Jesus dying for our sins. “I mean it’s bad enough that Jesus died for my sins, I still haven’t really gotten over that. …. I do feel somewhat guilty that I’m not more grateful to Jesus, but I just wish he’d taken the trouble to ask me before he went ahead with it because now I feel like I’m being billed for something that I didn’t order. And that really is the deal isn’t it, if you’re a Christian, you’re born already in debt to Jesus. And it’s a debt that you can only repay in full by dying.” When you receive something that you didn’t order, don’t you simply return it? First, you aren’t being billed for it; it’s a gift of love, given freely without the expectation of being repaid. We are not indebted to Jesus. It’s there for the taking if you want it. Jesus isn’t forcing his gift on anyone, if you don’t want to accept it, you can simply refuse delivery. Second, I am glad to hear that Pat feels a morsel of guilt which shows he hasn’t pushed God completely out of his heart like he wants to convince himself and everyone else he has.
Pat also claims in “Hello Angry Christians”, “Especially that there’s no hard historical evidence that Jesus of the Gospels even existed.” Simcha Jacobovici, The Naked Archaeologist discovered what he believed to be The Tomb of Jesus and they have been studying what they found ever since, finding evidence that it is the Tomb of Jesus. The National Geographic has show after show on the scientific evidence of stories in the Bible. That is if you need historical proof. I don’t need scientific proof of God. I have proof within myself which cannot be disputed. Once you experience the presence of God in your life, you don’t need any hard scientific or historical proof, you already have proof.
He also states in “Hello Angry Christians”, “So, I don’t know who you think you’re praying too. But, it doesn’t seem to have done you much good does it? Maybe you should try praying to Elvis for awhile, see how that works out.” Praying has done me much good, praying to God that is, not Elvis. God has protected me in dangerous situations, numerous times. God has given me the necessities I need to live in this life, without asking for any repayment. God has taken care of me in all situations. God has filled me with love, patience, peace, and happiness which I didn’t have before giving my life over to Christ.
Pat, I will pray that God continues to speak to your heart, like I know he is and you’ve spent a life time trying not to hear it. I will also pray that you know the love of Christ because it’s a love that you’ll not find anywhere else. I will pray for you because I want you to have what I have.
(1) Hay, Malcolm (2006-1-03). “Pat Condell: interview”. Time Out London. http://www.timeout.com/london/comedy/features
(2) Condell, Pat. “Hello Angry Christians” http://www.youtube.com/patcondell
(3) Condell, Pat. “Children of a Stupid God” http://www.youtube.com/patcondell
(4) Condell, Pat. “What do I Believe” http://www.youtube.com/patcondell