George Will: 'I'm an Amiable, Low-Voltage Atheist'

Sunday, 04 May 2014 10:54 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Conservative columnist George Will says that he respects religions and religious people, but he's not a believer.

"I am not religious at all," Will said during an extensive interview with The Daily Caller after a reporter commented that he'd heard the syndicated columnist wasn't particularly religious.

“I’m an amiable, low-voltage atheist,” Will went on to explain. “I deeply respect religions and religious people. The great religions reflect something constant and noble in the human character, defensible and admirable yearnings. I am just not persuaded. That’s all."

Will, who was in the midst of an extensive Caller interview to discuss politics and his new book, "A Nice Little Place on the North Side: Wrigley Field at One Hundred," also commented on a statement from his friend and fellow Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, who quoted a philospher's claim that he doesn't "believe in God, but I fear him."

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“Charles is a great friend of mine and I noticed when he said that," said Will. "Give me a break!”

Krauthammer, unlike Will, does not openly describe himself as an atheist. In an interview last year with The Daily Caller, he said that he doesn’t believe in God in the traditional sense, but instead has a “complicated notion of the deity.”

Will's comments to The Daily Caller aren't the first time he's admitted to being a non-believer, but ironically, he majored in religion when he was an undergraduate, reports The American Conservative. In addition, Will follows religious debates avidly and follows many religious' people's beliefs when it comes to fighting abortion.

But he has written that he approaches "the question of religion and American life from the vantage point of an expanding minority. I am a member of a cohort that the Pew public-opinion surveys call the 'nones.' Today, when Americans are asked their religious affiliation, 20 percent — a large and growing portion — say 'none.'"

But, he has argued before that he does not believe a person's faith is a prerequisite to be a good citizen. A democracy does not require its citizens to be religious, he believes.

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