The Onion Researches the God Question:
Is There a God?

(Top Posts - Philosophy (General) - 101102)

Responses in a recent article from the Onion,
with the following excerpts reflecting quite
a bit of dissonance from traditional God con-
cepts ...

---
Volume 38 Issue 37
October 9, 2002
http://www.theonionavclub.com/avclub3837/avfeature_3837.html
---

- - - begin excerpts - - -

...


Conan O'Brien can be seen every weeknight on
Late Night With Conan O'Brien, repeats of which
now air at a respectable hour on Comedy Central.

The Onion: Is there a God?

Conan O'Brien: Yes. Wait, hold on. No.

---

The former lead singer of Talking Heads, David
Byrne is an author, musician, and head of the
world-scouring Luaka Bop record label.

The Onion: Is there a God?

David Byrne: Um... whoa. I'm going to resist
trying to go for a flip and funny answer. [Pauses.]
I would say yes, but in a form so strange and so
convoluted and so unusual for us that we will
never, ever comprehend it.

---

John Leguizamo is an actor and monologist
known for his one-man shows and appearances
in Summer Of Sam, Carlito's Way, and The
Pest.

The Onion: Is there a God?

John Leguizamo: Yeah, but there's not just
one God. There's a whole lot of gods, because
one God couldn't have possibly made so many
mistakes all by Himself. This had to be done by
committee.

---

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, label mogul, and
rock icon Ani DiFranco just released a live
double album called So Much Shouting / So
Much Laughter.

The Onion: Is there a God?

Ani DiFranco: Well, it depends on how you
mean. In my book, no. I guess the quick
answer would be "no" for me. I think, what-
ever my spiritual leanings are, that the deities
are many and that we possess them. I do not
assign responsibility to a higher being. I think
that we're responsible to each other, and God
is a metaphor.

---

Performance artist, musician, and author
Laurie Anderson's most recent studio album
is 2001's Life On A String.

The Onion: Is there a God?

Laurie Anderson: Yes.

O: Do you want to elaborate on that?

LA: Well, okay, at the risk of being completely
corny, it exists as a potential in every single
person. That's what attracts me to Buddhism,
because it's the only belief system in which
there is no God at all. There is no big authority
figure; there is no ultimate anything. You are
God. And that's really terrifying.

Suddenly, you realize, "Oh my God, that means
I'm responsible, and there's nobody to grovel
in front of, no one to blame, and no one to praise.
I need to do this myself." That's almost more
than anybody can take, but that's what I admire
about Buddhism.

---

Andy Richter, the former co-host of Late Night
With Conan O'Brien, has gone on to act in
countless movies and TV shows.

The Onion: Is there a God?

Andy Richter: I don't think so. I don't know.

I don't think about it much, because I figure,
what's the point? I don't know if it's agnosti-
cism. There are things that are beyond our
comprehension, so why bother?

That's sort of my spiritual feelings.

I feel like there might be some design.

You can't think, like, "Well, how did everything
get here?" I don't know. That's how it is.

"I don't know, next, now what's for lunch?"

When you pray, I don't think anyone's listening.
Besides other people, I don't think anyone cares
if you murder people or masturbate or shove
things up your butt. I don't think there's any-
body sitting in the sky watching you. You're on
your own.

All you have is other people around you, and how
you treat them. I actually think that not having
a focus on God would make life better, because
there would be more of an imperative to be nice
to each other. There would be no more brand-
name wars over stuff, and pointless arguments
over east side/west side, go-fight-win.

But I don't know. People have got to worry about
something, and there's obviously some kind of
anthropological, almost zoological need. This
particular animal does this particular thing.

Instead of constructing a hive out of paper that
they chew up, they create a God. It's just some-
thing that they do.

---

A contributing editor to the radio show This
American Life, Sarah Vowell has written three
books, the latest of which is The Partly Cloudy
Patriot.

The Onion: Is there a God?

Sarah Vowell: Absolutely not.

---

America's greatest living writer, Neal Pollack
is the author of The Neal Pollack Anthology Of
American Literature.

The Onion: Is there a God?

Neal Pollack: God does not exist, unless you
are my mother-in-law and are reading this, in
which case I definitely do believe that He exists,
and will raise my children accordingly.

But if you're not my mother-in-law, and she's
not reading this, then He does not exist.

---

Armistead Maupin's Tales Of The City newspaper
serial ran for more than a decade, spawning six
books and three television miniseries.

The Onion: Is there a God?

Armistead Maupin: No.

O: Anything further to say?

AM: [Laughs.] What further is there to say?

---

Todd Solondz wrote and directed Happiness,
Welcome To The Dollhouse, and Storytelling.

The Onion: Is there a God?

Todd Solondz: Well, me, I'm an atheist, so
I don't really believe there is. But I suppose
I could be proven wrong.

---

Prolific comics writer/artist Frank Miller is best
known for The Dark Knight Returns and his Sin
City books.

The Onion: Is there a God?

Frank Miller: I don't think so.

O: Any elaboration on that?

FM: No. Well, let's put it this way. This month
[not long after Sept. 11, 2001], I don't think so.
It's been a long couple of months.

---

Joss Whedon is the creator/producer of Buffy the
Vampire Slayer, Angel, and the new Firefly.

The Onion: Is there a God?

Joss Whedon: No.

O: That's it, end of story, no?

JW: Absolutely not. That's a very important and
necessary thing to learn.

---

Actor, director, writer, and occasional singer
William Shatner is best known as Captain James
T. Kirk on various incarnations of Star Trek.

The Onion: Is there a God?

William Shatner: There is, but we don't know
where. Or who. And, indeed, why.

---

- - - end excerpts - - -