Entertainment

A Hollywood Actor’s Blunt Message for Atheists

Why Jay Mohr is telling others directly, 'I am Christian' — and asking for respect, unity and understanding

Comedian and actor Jay Mohr is one of the rare actors who is open about his faith. Through his podcast, Mohr Stories, he has interviewed priests and told the story many times of his late-in-life conversion.

It’s something for which the 46-year-old artist has also taken some heat, as people on social media have mocked or even antagonized him for his faith beliefs. In a recent piece for Patheos, Mohr had a message for these atheists — as well as for his fellow Christians.

In an article titled “Comedian to Atheists: A Message from Jay Mohr,” the funnyman laid it all on the line, questioning atheists for so passionately attacking his faith.

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“I am Christian. And I know you’re an atheist. You’ve told me. Written me. I’ve heard you telling someone else. It’s in your twitter handle. The name of your weekly meeting. Your poker night. Your podcast has the word atheist in it. Stitched across the front of your softball jersey is something secular like Faithless or Godless. Your fantasy football team has a name like ‘Hail Marty,'” wrote Mohr.

He continued by saying he has become increasingly frustrated by seeing how little atheists and religious individuals get along.

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“When I listen to atheists and Christians argue, I’m struck by how little either side actually listen [sic] to each other,” he wrote. “Both voices get louder and louder as the talk continues. Simple questions are answered with ‘Let me answer your question with a question’ (GRRRRR). A small item in a long paragraph will be parsed and dissected ad nauseam, eventually leaving both parties feeling confused as to how they got that far into the weeds. The listeners are never confused. One guy is right no matter what he says. The other guy is wrong no matter what he says.”

His most powerful message came as he questioned the motivation of prominent atheists who argue so aggressively against the faithful.

“My question to atheists is a simple one: What did you win? Rarely does the religious person walk away from the debate with a changed mind and throw their faith into the nearest trash can. Even if they did, what was your victory? One less believer? I’m not being snarky here, I am genuinely in wonder,” he wrote.

Mohr summed it up simply then by saying, “You lack belief in a God, I believe in a God. I don’t understand why we’re arguing.”

The “Jerry Maguire” star also had criticisms for some Christians who act as aggressively as the vehement atheists with whom they disagree.

“My question to atheists is a simple one: What did you win?”

Mohr’s ultimate goal with his story, however, seemed to be trying to get people ideologically opposed to come together more. And that’s a constant theme of his podcast, where he has spoken to fellow people of faith, as well as to non-believers such as comedian and illusionist Penn Jillette.

“My friends, we are far more interesting than our beliefs or non-beliefs. Praying to a God doesn’t make a single man, woman or child interesting. It doesn’t increase their importance or social currency,” he wrote. “I don’t think more highly of someone because they’re religious. I would hope you don’t think less of me because I am. Because that would make you eerily similar to the Christians you’ve spent years beating back with a stick.”

Related: A Director Takes on Hollywood’s Aggressive Secularism

In the end, Mohr had kind things to say to his critics. He even offered them prayers.

He wrote, “I will pray for your well-being and your happiness. Only because when I am alone, in private and calm, that’s just what I do. And that should never bother you. Peace … Love … Kindness … acceptance … good fortune … I truly wish these things for you.”

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