‘Harry Potter’ doesn’t believe in God, criticizes religion

I was over my in-laws house this past weekend when I saw a copy of Parade Magazine, which featured a cover story with Daniel Radcliffe, the utterly charming actor who grew up as the title character in the Harry Potter film series. Radcliffe’s enthusiasm was infectious when he promoted the movies. It was a series that never got particularly religious, but would sprinkle aspects of Christianity throughout. Characters routinely celebrated Christmas, while Harry had a beloved godfather, Sirius Black. But, faith has never been a big part of Radcliffe’s life, as you’ll see in the answer below to a question about it in the Parade profile. In fact, he says he doesn’t believe in God at all.

Parade: Your dad is a Protestant from Ulster and your mom is English and Jewish. Were you raised in a particular religion? Radcliffe: “There was never [religious] faith in the house. I think of myself as being Jewish and Irish, despite the fact that I’m English. My dad believes in God, I think. I’m not sure if my mom does. I don’t. I have a problem with religion or anything that says, ‘We have all the answers,’ because there’s no such thing as ‘the answers.’ We’re complex. We change our minds on issues all the time. Religion leaves no room for human complexity.”

In some ways, you can’t blame the 20-something actor. He was raised without God and religion and, thus, has little understanding of those things. Religion, more than anything, ponders the complexity of life, rather than dismisses it. Religion’s question make us think about so many things bigger than ourselves. It’s disappointing to think that Radcliffe, appears as closed-minded as he makes religion sound.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.