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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    Ricky Gervais, Holy Terror

    By kyle | October 4, 2009

    In my Sunday column I wonder why Ricky Gervais went out of his way to insult believers in religion in his new film flop, “The Invention of Lying.”

    Topics: History, Movies, Religion | 12 Comments »

    12 Responses to “Ricky Gervais, Holy Terror”

    1. Tony Says:
      October 4th, 2009 at 2:33 pm

      Kyle…Faith, reason and science have a long history of being linked. The notion set forth by many of today’s loudest atheists that religious belief runs counter to reason and science is complete nonsense. Thanks for acknowledging that in your column. I don’t mind people believing differently than I do, but I do mind when they think I’m an idiot for believing as I do. From what you write, that seems to be what Gervais has done in this film. I was tempted to see it because the commercials looked funny and because Jennifer Garner was in it. But even Jennifer’s presence won’t get me to pay $12.50 to see it now – and I saw “Elektra” opening day! Maybe I’ll check it out on video to see what the fuss was about. Anyway, thanks for being an athiest who doesn’t see Christians as the enemy.

    2. K Says:
      October 4th, 2009 at 4:19 pm

      Where have all the agnostics gone?
      Long time passing.
      Where have all the agnostics gone?
      Long time ago.
      Where have all the agnostics gone?
      Gone to logical positivism, every one.
      When will they ever learn?
      When will they ever learn?

    3. Floyd R. Turbo Says:
      October 4th, 2009 at 9:23 pm

      Kevin… ardent atheists — like ardent Christians — often can’t handle that others see the world as they do. The fundamentalist atheist sees the religionist as his enemy — as if they’re too weak-minded to say “No thank you” if someone does actually try to proselytize them. They also pick on Christians precisely because Christianity is not dangerous (as opposed to say Muslims (some) and even hard core atheists — the modern day new religion of the State). Some ardent Christians try to shout down atheists — also misguided.

      We can all get along in civil society (I refuse to quote Rodney King) and have done pretty well in this area — but the atheist evangelists are on the move it seems (Harris, et al.) My wife’s friends who are atheists just can’t shut up about it. Is that what it’s like to sit next to a Baptist in an airplane? To my atheist friends I’m sorry. 🙂

    4. Floyd R. Turbo Says:
      October 4th, 2009 at 9:24 pm

      and by “Kevin” I of course meant “Kyle”…

    5. James Frazier Says:
      October 5th, 2009 at 2:06 am

      My mother was (or is, I suppose) a hardcore Republican and an atheist. Though she found all religion foolish, she always made of point of instructing me to respect others’ beliefs and to avoid antagonizing others. That used to be my view of the average atheist, but over the past few years I’ve seen an increase in freethinkers (talk about a euphemism) who aggressively flaunt their beliefs in a manner designed to be as antagonizing to others as possible. It’s an irony that the most religious people I know are atheists, because they spend more time each day thinking about God than my Southern Baptist grandparents.

    6. Zeke Says:
      October 5th, 2009 at 11:33 am

      Man that Genesis line was the best that I’ve read in years.

    7. yankeefan Says:
      October 5th, 2009 at 12:16 pm

      What I know of Gervais’ movie is what I’ve read on this blog and in Kyle’s column, and I gather that’s all I need to know.

      I will add this, though: My fellow Christians often get too touchy, whiny, and thin-skinned about snarky criticism from smug elitists like Gervais, Hitchens, et al. We’ve begun to sound like yet another aggrieved victim group.

      I’d just remind my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that a certain Someone warned us we’d be mocked, even “persecuted,” for our beliefs. (You could look it up.)

      Anyway, we superstitious peasants are supposed to have more important things to do than whine about what our more enlightened betters say about us.

    8. Floyd R. Turbo Says:
      October 5th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

      Can a Yankee fan be a Christian? Isn’t there a verse about that?

    9. yankeefan Says:
      October 5th, 2009 at 3:24 pm

      Floyd, I believe the passage to which you refer is: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a fan of the Bronx Bombers to enter the kingdom of God.”

      It is true, no doubt, and a terrible conflict for me. My penance is to root as well for the Jets, Knicks, and Rangers. Also, the 2004 collapse vs Boston is a crucifixion from which there’s yet been a resurrection.

    10. kg Says:
      October 6th, 2009 at 1:15 am

      Kyle, I don’t remember any of this tolerance for one’s beliefs when you made of fun of The Secret a few years back. That was simply another belief system based on positive thinking, which also promoted non-judging and taking responsibility for ones life. I’d rather pay thirty bucks for an infomercial than giving one-tenth of my salary for life for fear of going to hell.

    11. yankeefan Says:
      October 6th, 2009 at 11:46 am

      @ kg: There’s nothing “secret” about “The Secret”: it’s a warmed-over version of the dangerous fallacy that “you can be whatever you put your mind to…” Sure, “know what you want and ask the Universe for it” blah blah blah. Tell that to the 3 billion people — half the world’s population — who live on less than $2.50/day. Tell that to a 5-year-old in a refugee camp who’s lucky to get any food or shelter.

      “The Secret” is narcissistic, consumerist nonsense.

    12. Floyd R. Turbo Says:
      October 6th, 2009 at 8:50 pm

      kg… Kyle is smart enough to thank his Judeo-Christian stars he lives in the country religion — specifically Christian Protestant religion — (not dissin’ my Catholic brethren mind you) helped create.

      The Secret is secularist “name it and claim it” or prosperity gospel. If that lady had a polyester suit, tarted up wife and big hair we’d call her a “televangelist”.