Ellen Page on religion: ‘Personally, I’m an atheist, so I just have no time for it’

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Ever since Ellen Page came out last year, she’s just seemed so much lighter, happier, more engaging and overall “better.” Like, coming out publicly made her a better person and she feels better about herself. Ellen has a new interview in Time Magazine – I’m pretty sure that this was supposed to be a breezy, short interview to preview her Oscar-baity film Freeheld, but Ellen ended up giving a really in-depth interview about LGBTQ politics, religion, Canada and a lot more. And yes, I think Freeheld will probably be up for some awards – it’s the true story of a New Jersey cop (played by Julianne Moore) who is dying and wants to leave her police benefits to her partner, played by Ellen Page, and the larger struggle for equality in domestic partnership. You can read Ellen’s full Time Magazine piece here. Some highlights:

Don’t call actors “brave”: “Maybe this is a bad thing to say, but I have a hard time when people call actors brave. I don’t really get that, because our job is to read something on a page…When people are [called] brave in regards to playing LGBTQ people, that’s borderline offensive. I’m never going to be considered brave for playing a straight person, and nor should I be. It’s hard to say this, because the context of the film is so deeply tragic, but for me there was a deep sense of peace on set that I had not felt in a really long time…There was something about being out, getting to play a gay character, and getting to play a woman who is so inspiring to me—it was such an amazing experience for me. Honestly, if I played gay characters for the rest of my career, I’d be thrilled. I wish I could, honestly!”

How she decided to come out: “I remember watching the Pussy Riot documentary and thinking, “Oh my God. The courage of these people.” It’s just like, “Dude, come out—just say you’re gay. You’re privileged, you have a family. You have no excuse.” It kind of got to the point of—I felt guilty, to be honest with you, and I believe I absolutely should have. It’s become kind of a moral imperative to speak up. I know there’s been so much progress, but there’s still so much suffering in America, in Canada, and all over the world.

Before she came out, she was depressed: “For me, the level of sadness and lack of inspiration and joy in general—that was hurting my work. I didn’t feel motivated. I was just depressed. Going to meetings, or trying to push for things: It was this little flame that was barely flickering anymore. The moment I came out, I felt every cell in my body transform. I was happier than I ever could have imagined. You feel excited about life, and motivated and inspired. You want to do more. You want to go on adventures. For the most part that was gone.”

Backlash to the SCOTUS gay marriage decision: “In regards to the gay-marriage decision, we’re seeing tons of backlash. The anti-gay rhetoric of the right is turning into, “Gays are actually bigoted against us because we don’t get to express our religious freedom.” Religion has always been used for beautiful things, and also as a way to justify discrimination—whether it’s gender, or race, or the LGBT community, or what have you. Personally, I’m an atheist, so I just have no time for it. So that will be the next challenge”

The cruelty toward the LGBTQ community: “It still happens everywhere. There hasn’t been one GOP candidate, I don’t think, who’s outwardly spoken to a gay rights activist. There’s plenty of areas in places we consider gay havens or gay meccas that are not necessarily comfortable places to be existing as who you are or to grow up as who you are. That’s what really breaks my heart: The shame and toxicity that exists in people. Or some of the most homophobic people, the most violently homophobic people, probably just are gay themselves. That’s obviously going to be more of a massive societal consciousness change, which is probably going to take a while.

Whether Canada is better for LGBTQ issues: “Canada has a lot of issues, and a lot of similar issues in terms of racism, treatment of native people… The difference I feel in Canada is religion is way less intense. That’s not to say there’s not lots of religious people in Canada who observe whatever religion they choose to partake in, but the rhetoric influencing politicians, laws, and human rights, is just not the same. For me, that’s what separates it.

[From Time Magazine]

At the end of the interview, Ellen is asked about religion and speaking to religious people about LGBTQ issues and she talks at length about how difficult it is to even have a conversation with hardcore believers and how she’s been told that someday she’ll find God and settle down with a man and she replies with “Well, not gonna happen, but you enjoy your time in heaven. I’ll be down in hell.” Which is the equivalent of a shrug and a “You do you, I’m fine, thanks.” Anyway, Ellen was really on-point here. Love her.

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Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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188 Responses to “Ellen Page on religion: ‘Personally, I’m an atheist, so I just have no time for it’”

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  1. Jay says:

    I just adore her on so many levels.

  2. Chichi says:

    My girl!!!! I noticed that lesbians in general dont get much traction here and I dare say were this wisdom coming from a gay man or transwoman, this post would probably hit 300 glowing comments in under 6 hours. I guess I’m predicting this post will fly under the rader, but asking regardless that you give us more Ellen Page and less Jenner-Kardashians.

  3. Little Darling says:

    What an impressive, well articulated interview. Ellen Page never ceases to bring it on all fronts. I love how she is living her own personal integrity in life, and how that is making her more passionate in her work. I like how she spins playing gay characters, or any character, is “brave”, that’s an interesting take on it that not many actors have.

    She’s just honest and refreshing. A brain cleanser from being dumbed down by The Nanny & Dadbod with Manboobs, Ring Central, Religious Zealots & The Secret Cheaters and all of the other spitball stories that are being shot through a straw our way.

  4. Imo says:

    I can respect her views on religion even if I don’t agree with them or understand them. I’ve almost given up, however, on people showing the same respect when they don’t agree with or understand Christianity.

    • michelleb says:

      I guess that I didn’t take her words on religion that way. I felt that she was talking about the right-wing hardliners using faith as a weapon to discriminate. She makes a point to say that religion has been used for beautiful things too.

    • Imo says:

      Michelleb
      Oh I completely agree with you and I adore Ellen. Perhaps I shouldn’t have worded myself so clumsily. I’m just frustrated with the mocking tone so many use when discussing Christianity because they either don’t believe in it or they are transferring their disgust with the horrible things some people do in the name of Christianity.

      • MSat says:

        Well, Christians have done it to themselves. They’ve been so obnoxious and overbearing, shoving their bible crap in our faces for so long, preaching, testifying, trying to convert, condemning, judging, steering legislation, forcing their dogma on our public schools — personally, I’m just done with it. Your ilk has never, EVER been tolerant of anyone who doesn’t think the way they think, so why should we be respectful of them anymore? I’m so fucking done with it. Christianity and all other bullshit religions are harming humanity and need to be examined, criticized and yes, mocked. Daily. If you don’t like it, too bad. Now you know how the rest of us have felt for hundreds of years. Boo hoo!

      • Imo says:

        MSat
        The struggle towards unity and understanding is a fight that is always worth undertaking. It is not a fairy tale that someday all religions and beliefs will peacefully coexist and grow/learn from one another. I don’t beleve you speak for all non Christians nor do I believe all Christians behave/think the same way.

      • Carol says:

        I would argue that there are plenty, possibly the majority, of Christians who are moderate, or at least respectful of other people’s lifestyles or opinions but that’s not what we see on TV or any public arena. What we see are hardcore Christian zealots who have no tolerance for any view other than their own. And are willing to discriminate people’s basic freedoms because of their beliefs. They give Christians a bad name.

      • Imo says:

        Carol
        Unfortunately this is so true.

      • Sixer says:

        It seems to me that extremists have hijacked the word “Christian” in the US – and all the poor Christians who aren’t evangelical fundies have been dragged into it, because the fundies go on and on and about Christian this and Christian that. They mean ONLY their version of Christianity but of course, those who argue against them use the same terminology back, thus also dragging in all the “normal” Christians whether they like it or not.

        I’m an atheist, but if I were a “normal” Christian, I would be bloody frustrated, I’m sure.

        Having said that, I agree that fantasies of discrimination against Christians are just that – fantasies.

        Imo – I’ve said before on here that reading about the Duggars from here in the UK feels a bit like going to the zoo to stare at the strange creatures. That’s because while we do have a few religious extremists here, they are generally relegated to the position of oddities. Nobody takes any notice of them. They don’t have any influence over public life or politics. If you’d like mainstream Christianity to stop getting lumped in with these lunatics, I’d actually suggest to you to join up with the atheists and get religion kicked out of public policy altogether.

      • Imo says:

        Sixer
        Well said. I think the partitioning of policy and religion is absolutely necessary. As a Christian I would rather vote for a principled Christian who practices love/compassion in a way that informs his policy than vote for a Christian who publicizes his faith for the sole purpose of forcing it to *become* policy. Creepy.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        IMO, people who are non-Christian have seen the more extreme members of the Christian faith insert their beliefs into public policy and politics. Whether or not they represent the majority of Christians, they represent enough to be elected and get legislation passed.

        The way Christianity has impacted our laws, especially over the last 30 years, has left a lot of people feeling they need to defend themselves against the legislation of religion and morality.

      • Imo says:

        Tiffany :)
        Agreed but I would just say that the way some people have interpreted Christianity has impacted policy and law. The extremists have hijacked the religion, it seems.

      • morc says:

        MSat
        Sweat Honey Iced Tea I agree so much.
        Christian complain about mocking but never seem to really realize how toxic religion is for minorities.
        What with these pray-the-gay-away camps and it’s habit of influencing politics despite a separation of church and state.

      • FLORC says:

        MSat
        Are we to judge beliefs and religions by the worst extremes within them? That all have? It’s such ignorance on both and all sides that can make it seem ok to paint with such negative strokes. I’ve never preached to others about any faith I hold. And when others have to me i’ve been respectful. I might not share their beliefs, but that is no reason to be preachy to them on my stance of their beliefs. That would be hypocritical. *wink*

        I find these statements both funny and disgusting for people to act like the distaste and hate contempt they have for anothers beliefs and actions justifiable for them spewing the same judgement in different manifestations.

      • ImFlying says:

        Wow, who are these Christians and what horrible things did they do? I am really asking because… was it a bomb, or a sneaky bad law?

    • Esmom says:

      Imo, just curious, have you really had many experiences of people being intolerant or disrespectful of your faith? I agree with michelleb that Ellen’s points were thoughtful and intelligent and very true — a very vocal faction of Christian conservatives are crying “religious discrimination” when it’s clear that their real agenda is to undermine marriage equality. That clerk in Kentucky is the most recent example to come to mind.

      • Imo says:

        Unfortunately I have. I have many friends who are atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, agnostic etc and the intolerant remarks are problematic. It seems that there is an implied acceptance of everything but Christianity with many of my friends/acquaintances because they are a very well educated, socially progressive, esoteric, cultivated lot. Inclusivity and cultural awareness are points of pride for us – except when Christianity comes up. The aspersions and negative, mocking comments are thrown around quite comfortably. My interpretation is that because Christianity is the “vanilla religion of their parents or the religion they associate with waspy patriarchy and privilege they feel justified tearing it down – even in front of me. All intolerance makes me sad, really.

      • platypus says:

        @Imo: That sounds very odd, and would probably make me question how genuine their inclusivity and awareness actually is… That might answer your question better than anyone here could.

        I don’t think religion/spirituality needs or deserves a special exemption from being discussed as honestly as we’d discuss any other topics, but of course there’s never a reason for outright rudness.

      • Imo says:

        Platypus
        Exactly this!

      • FLORC says:

        Platypus
        How true. Why can’t we just be nice and respectful. I won’t have to agree to your personal opinions and beliefs to still treat you in a respectful manner.
        And whenever I get some door to door people I listen. Offer them bottles of water if it’s a warm day. Politely decline. And we part with handshakes, well wishes and smiles. I think my early christian upbringing played a strong role in that. People too often forget the basic ideals. Ugh.

    • Tifygodess24 says:

      @IMO I don’t think its that. I’m going to say this coming as a catholic who no longer practices so I do get to see both sides. (In my opinion) The reason why some people don’t respect the views of some Christians is because they expect everyone to abide by their rules because it’s what THEY believe. Like for example, gay marriage – why should we not allow gay marriage ? Just because certain Christians don’t believe in it? Why should their opinions and beliefs trump others who don’t have that view? Why should a one sector get to decide for everyone. That doesn’t seem quite fair now does it? This is where a lot of the issue is. Not to mention It’s not religious persecution ( which people cry A LOT so this isn’t aimed at you ) and religious discrimination to allow others to live how they choose even if it’s against what you practice – that’s just not an attack on religion no matter how it is spun. No one is taking away anyone’s right to choose their beliefs , people are just saying you don’t get to decide for everyone and discriminate. Everyone needs to start at the same point and decide what they need. I mean if someone is against gay marriage dont get married to a same sex partner. It’s simple but why stop others from doing it? This is why certain Christians feel attacked and not respected because it’s either their way or no way. So people have become defensive against them. Not to mention there is a lot of hypocrisy that is very noticeable , like people won’t serve gays but will serve people who have been divorced , remarried, who have had premarital sex and so forth. That makes no sense because all sin is equal so it’s hard for people who have been discriminated against to show respect to people who want to pick and choose what’s ok for thems and others and tell them how to live their life.

      • Santia says:

        “No one is taking away anyone’s right to choose their beliefs , people are just saying you don’t get to decide for everyone.” I wish I could up-vote you for this. THIS is what the religious right does not get.

      • Anniefannie says:

        THIS!!!
        Thank you for a cogent counter view to the endless “faith persecution ” position.
        I am a former catholic and feel like the character in Woody’s ” Hannah and her Sisters”
        “If Jesus Christ returned and saw what was going on in his name, he’d never stop throwing up!”

      • Lucy2 says:

        There was a line Jon Stewart said on his show one time, something along the lines of “not getting everthing you want exactly as you want it all the time does not equal a war on your religion.” I’m probably misquoting it but it’s the same basic idea.
        It’s extremely frustrating to me that some people are claiming religious persecution simply because they are discriminating and others are saying hey you can’t do that anymore, everyone has equal rights under the law.

        Also yes on the hypocrisy. The most vocal anti-gay marriage rights person I knew had been married and divorced THREE TIMES, and still felt she had the right to deny others equality because of the “sanctity of marriage”.

      • Imo says:

        These are all good points which I agree with but I would just say this: would these responses be so insistent if more time was taken to carefully read what my complaint actually is? I am not “crying persecution” I am just expressing disappointment that there is often a lack of civil, friendly respect when Christianity/faith/religion comes up.i’m simply wishing for less snark/mockery. Imagine how much better the conversation would be!

      • Tifygodess24 says:

        @IMO I did read your comment and understand it. I was only offering an opinion to why the disrespect might be there. My whole comment wasn’t aimed at you , which I did point out, just in addition to.

      • Imo says:

        AnnaFannie
        I have enough common sense not to conflate disrespect for Christians with persecution of Christianity. It doesn’t further any relevant conversations if we intentionally use hyperbole to encourage reactionism. Although some Christian persecution exists around the world it is isolated and uncommon. Any American Christian who claims persecution is being disingenuous either intentionally or out of profound ignorance.

      • Imo says:

        Tifygoddess24
        Of course – apologies for not being specific.
        :)

      • Anniefannie says:

        IMO
        My comment about “Christain persecution ” was directed at the various retailers refusing goods or services only to posit they are being persecuted when there’s the inevitable outcry. Your personalizing something that’s not there.
        Reread Tifanygodess as THATS what I was responding to…

      • jammypants says:

        Add me to the snark crowd. I have no more patience for butthurt Christians. If you think it’s ok to deny other people their rights, I have every right to get snarky at you. Hurt feelings versus actual denied rights is not the same thing. Frankly I am tired of being nice and patient. I got into a HUGE argument with my Christian sister last night. This is how it went:

        She still hasn’t been able to answer my question how are Christians being denied rights. She was stumped and admitted I was right when I said that we all pay taxes, gay and straight. Yet straight religious people are telling gay people they are not entitled to the benefits they pay into. Yet straight people are. How is the moral? Especially since we are talking about morals. I asked her how is it fair and equal in the eyes of the constitution which guarantees that everyone is entitled to human rights, yet gays are being denied actual rights. Heck Christians get tax benefits for their gazillion organizations! So yea, I made her stumped. What made me rage so hard was when I asked her if she was in a voting booth, what would she vote for? Equal marriage or no? She said no. I asked why. Then she explained it goes against her faith. I asked her but does it go against her rights? Couldn’t answer. I said it goes against the rights of people who are gay. I told her then she voted for a group of people to be denied rights that she enjoys. I told her you look at two people. Remove the sex. Now did she think these two people, gender less, deserve rights, and she said yes. I asked her is it fair that one gets benefits they pay into and not the other? She said no. I told her then in conclusion, the people who were denied actual rights are homosexual people, not Christians. She did not listen to me for so long and FINALLY, she gets it.

        Unfortunately, no other Christian I argued with ever admitted I made a point. They fight me tooth and nail on the issue of equality. Or they walk away from the argument, spouting that I am a babykilling liberal, wtf. Like I said, I will snark if someone talks to me in said manner. In the case of my sister, I snarked less because we talked about principles and ideals. We didn’t attack each other as people.

      • Imo says:

        AnnaFannie
        Understood :)

      • Imo says:

        Jammypants
        You did what I wish more people would do. You had a passionate, difficult conversation with someone of a different religious persuasion. You raised important points, made analogies and (hopefully) listened to what your sister had to say. To me it sounds like you did *not* accuse your sister of every horrible crime ever perpetrated by other Christians, nor did you tell her she was foolish for believing in fairy tales or made up Gods and saints. I’m glad your sister was able to see that equality is an important foundation for a society that seeks to give everyone the rights and dignity they deserve.
        You say you are tired of being nice and patient but I would argue that that statement has more to do with the frustration you feel because you’ve dealt with judgemental Christians in the past. It seems, to me, that you are instead, naturally thoughtful, feel strongly about justice and aren’t afraid to try and make a difference.

      • jammypants says:

        @imo, thanks, I try to! It’s so hard, but I try! Even if I’m talking to a very hardheaded namecalling Christian, I go after their words, but not them. One statement I truly agree with is “Hate the sin, not the sinner.”

        I actually, despite feeling frustrated to the nines with Christians, respect that they have a belief system to live their lives by. What I don’t respect is how some of them go about with their faith. And that is where I have to speak up.

      • Imo says:

        Jammypants
        You’ve gone straight to the heart of the real problem here. Christians who act in a way other than what true Christianity dictates. And you have every right to call people out on that double standard or hypocrisy. If that is done respectfully and without attacking Christianity as a whole I believe there’s actually a chance that many Christians will rethink their positions and embrace the concept of Christianity that are a reflection of Jesus Christ himself.
        Your comment made me very happy today. Thank you.

      • jammypants says:

        @Imo, My pleasure!

      • Marny says:

        Exactly, exactly. I think most of it is motivated by fear of losing power and fear of the unknown.

      • Mytbean says:

        Both politics and religion form the frameworks within people live their lives. For those that attempt to glean who their God is from literal (and subjective) interpretations of guiding texts – these are the ones that can’t cope.

        Most functioning people are incapable of living in the kind of insular bubble that would be necessary for a true separation of church and state. If your religion dictates that you pray multiple times per day but your employer is an aethiest, someone is probably not going to have their comfort zones respected. Who wins is dictated by the majority and the decibal of sound.

        To expect someone who truly believes that their deity desires that the world be a certain way to function other than how doctrine describes is futile. But its just as futile to expect someone who believes in nothing to genuinely respect people who live their lives according to what those athiests see as fairy tales. Tolerance is all we can hope for but support of actual political policies which push for access and acceptance of that which is counter to what they believe and feel (from either side) is always going to make for a stale mate.

      • FLORC says:

        Yes to this all!
        Reading comments like all christians are evil and responsible for the worse state of the world is insanity. In a way they’re justifying the actions of people with religion.

        Also, not practicing for Sunday worships, but I wish people well in my thoughts. My hair stands on end when I see nuns. And the qualities of acting “christ like” arre ones we can all share and learn from.
        So, to give an exampe of how basic and universal these principles are, A quote from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Be Excellent To Eachother..

    • Guesto says:

      @Imo – But she hasn’t given her views on religion. All she’s said here is that she has no time for the bigotry that often accompanies strong beliefs – a perfectly reasonable position to hold and one I’d have thought most people, religious or not, would wholeheartedly embrace.

      She hasn’t dismissed or disrespected ‘religion’ at large, merely said that pushing a bigoted agenda based on any religious beliefs – is, for her, as an atheist, a total non-starter.

      What a lovely interview. Definitely more Page, please.

      • Imo says:

        As I responded to Michelleb I really like Ellen and this is an excellent interview. Intolerance, under any guise or banner, hurts us all. I just don’t like the disrespect often levelled at caring, inclusive, conscientous Christians just because some people dislike Christianity. “Christians” who are judgemental, intolerant or hateful deserve backlash but it is their tragic misinterpretation and execution of Christianity that is to blame.

    • Nina says:

      Oh no, poor persecuted Christians.

      All religion is terrible and has caused most of the problems in the world.

      • Franca says:

        Well, you aren’t full of prejudice at all.

        Greed, money and power have caused most problems in the world. Misinterpreted religion was just the excuse.

      • Ronda says:

        THere are no “misinterpreted religions” Franca. religions are a tool of power and law. what people still dont get is you dont ahve to have a religion to have faith. do you tihnk you need fancy buildings? old men in silly dresses? that has nothing to do with a belief in a greater power. its just so that a couple of people can wield power over others. why would the pope have more power than an average christian?

      • Franca says:

        Of course you can. Half of the things groups like ISIS preach isn’t in the Quran or part of Islamic teachings.

        As I sadi below, I am a practising Catholic. Even if I wasn’t religious, I’d call myself Catholic just because it’s such a huge part of my national identity. The Catholic Church has been an oasis during our hard and turbulent past, especially during the times of the Ottoman invasion.

        But why do you care what I need or don’t need when it come sto my faith? If I need old men in silly dresses, that’s my bussiness. But thanks for talking down to me.

      • Imo says:

        Rhonda
        This is my whole point. Is there a reason good enough to be this rude? Imo, if you wanted to explain or explore you wouldn’t shut down Franca so unpleasantly.

      • Sixer says:

        Imo – Ronda’s just expressing the Marxist view of religion as a tool used by the powerful. You can respond with the functionalist argument that it is a social emollient that binds communities together. And then nobody’s been rude.

        Blimey! That was a flashback to the sociology A level I did almost a quarter of a century ago! I think I am going senile and living in my own past!

      • Imo says:

        Sixer
        I’m not Catholic but if I were I would be deeply offended by calling my clergy a silly old man in a dress. It is so unnecessary. If I referred to a Buddhist monk as a silly old man in a dress many would be offended, and rightly so.
        As for slipping into the past – bravo! This is the first truly brisk weekend in an otherwise scorching summer and I intend to slip into the past myself – footed pajamas, The Facts of Life seasons 1 and 2 and chocolate chip cookie dough! I imagine your own restful weekend would involve….rhubarb?
        *shrugs*

      • Sixer says:

        Blackberries! Free from the hedgerows hereabouts right now! (I send the Sixlets out to get them if it’s raining).

        Seriously: I’d just skim over the rude detail and focus on the point being made, then respond to the point. It’s just the nature of interwebz discussion to stick a rude bit in, isn’t it? I get into trouble for putting rude bits in sometimes but with me it’s more a comic timing fail than intent to offend. In any case, it’s not worth taking offence over anything ever written on the interwebz, especially when there’s a decent discussion to be had, as there is here. People just get a bit extreme in their attempt to express themselves, is all.

      • Imo says:

        Sixer
        Cobbler. Please!

      • Lesley says:

        Actually, until nina’s comment, I was really enjoying the respectful banter of everyone here coming in with different religions and all different takes on belief. Nina you spoiled the very intelligent, and awesome way everyone was communicating on the matter. Your comment totally disappoints me- and I am an atheist fyi

      • FLORC says:

        Imo
        They are imo men in gowns. Ceremonial for ceremonial purposes. For a show.

        Ultimately, most of it is incorrect by its own rules. Man can and will make mistakes. Yet, men wrote the rules claiming the pope cannot make mistakes…. So, I do think of them as silly and not great. Those ladder rungs aside we’re all people and can all make mistakes and can all forgive.

        Nina
        People cause problems. Not religion. That’s why there are so many variations of the same religion/core beliefs. The variations to fit in the groups that want to think alike. Be it racist facts, a Jesus that was born in winter vs summer. A religion that preaches love, but only to and from those who those currently worshipping are on board with. It’s people that cause these issues. NOT the beliefs.

    • Jessica says:

      The Christians I know believe I’m going to burn in hell, and that I have it coming. It’s all very nice that they’d like to ‘save’ me, but end of the day they believe that if I don’t share their beliefs I deserve an eternity of horrific agony.

      Now if they keep their beliefs to themselves (in which case I’ll never know they’re even religious) I couldn’t care less, but if they say anything that even hints at the above beliefs to my face, then I have absolutely no problem telling them what hateful creatures I think they are.

      • Franca says:

        I have a few atheists friends and they never experienced anything like this. Mostly it’s been the other way around, I have been called stupid for believing in God.
        Maybe it’s because we were under communism for so long, people at least know what atheism is.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I’m a Christian, and I think if you live your life with good intentions and do your best, you’ll be fine. But your “friends” probably think I’ll burn in Hell, too. The problem with being a Christian these days is there a so many very vocal people who claim to speak for all of us, and they don’t. This is a terrible thing to wish, and it would be monumental and sad in a way, but I wish Christianity could split into two groups. Mine would be inclusive and as my Rector says before Communion “everyone is welcome at God’s table.” The other one could be called “if you don’t believe what I do, you’re going to Hell.”

      • jammypants says:

        People have done that to me too. I can’t take anyone seriously if they want me to rot in hell simply because I don’t follow their beliefs. Or they tell me, “You’ll come round.” No My decision is final. RESPECT that.

        @GNAT, I wish that was the case too. Maybe you can start the movement ;)

      • Imo says:

        Gnat
        If this dream of yours could come true imagine how many more people could have an opportunity to interact with loving, compassionate Christians. Unfortunately people like the Duggars do so much harm to true Christianity that brotherhood and unity are hard to achieve.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @Imo and Jammypants
        It would be impossible, I think, but our beliefs are almost entirely different. Our common ground is Christ and his teachings, but we interpret almost all of them so differently, and have such different intentions, I really don’t feel like we are the same religion.

      • OSTONE says:

        I am born, raised and practicing Catholic. I do have a problem with the fundie Christians, intolerant, homophobic, racist etc etc. as they give Christianity a horrible name. I live in the South, so to many people (my MIL especially) Catholicism is not even being a Christian. Heck to them, only ultra mega conservative Baptists are Christian. But the truth is, so many people interpret the bible to fit their needs and their agenda. So many people claim to be “righteous” but are nasty people. I never and will never tell anyone how to live their life and neither should the government. Nor will I ever condemn anyone to hell. Who the f*ck am I to do so? What do I know? I am privileged to live in a country where I can worship and believe in whatever the f*ck I want without fearing persecution. I think the Christian thing to do would be extend the same courtesy to our LGBT, atheist, agnostic, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist etc etc friends.

      • Imo says:

        Ostone
        Well said!

      • littlestar says:

        “you live your life with good intentions and do your best, you’ll be fine” – GNAT, I am an atheist, and that’s how I try and live my life too :) . If only everyone in the world would practice this!

        Edit to add: And treat everyone, loved ones and strangers, with kindness.

      • @GNAT
        Oh yes. It’s really bad, but I’ve found the ones who say they’re “fundamental, evangelical, bible believing Baptists” are the first ones to put down ANY religion, that isn’t the exact same as them i.e. Catholics, Lutherans, etc. It’s really bad, because it’s almost like they don’t know that their religion is the same as all the other ones–in the sense that they all believe that THEY’RE RIGHT. Meaning, in my experience, the Evangelical Baptists are the ones who are all “OMFG, I can’t believe they (either other religions or other branches of Christianity) say that you have to believe this/do this, other wise you’re going to hell” WHEN THEY DO THE SAME EXACT THING. Or they say it in the way that YES, you can be saved and not go to church…BUT….. It drives me crazy (and my dad, who used to be uber religious, but he got really mad when they kept going on like they were better, when they do the SAME thing).

    • Ronda says:

      atheists are still one of the most distrusted groups in the united states despite never having any big influence.

      the crap atheists get from people of faith is so terrible and who gets killed? christians by atheists or atheists by christians?
      we couldnt even have this discussion if it wasnt for atheists. people were burned for READING THE BIBLE IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE.

      so please christians are sometimes persecuted in other countries just like muslims arent oppressed in saudi arabia but its always oppression by other religions.

      how often do you hear “the agnostic alliance suffered heavy losses after being shelled by the united atheists?” and how often do you hear about religious people murdering others?

      and then religious peopel think atheists are evil because “nothing holds them back”, except you know human decency. actually if you need the fear of hell and the reward of heaven to act good yuo are not a good person but merely afraid and greedy.

      to make the point clear: yes atheists will probably mock or criticize you, but they were murdered and tortured and still are around the world by religious people. maybe being attacked VERBALLY is way nicer than killing and torturing people.

      • Franca says:

        You know people were killed by atheists in the past? For believing in God? Communism and all that?

      • Ronda says:

        first of all they were no atheists and even if it was communism is very debatable, as again only a handful of people profited from the labor of the workers. there has never been a real communist state. best example look at china now, they are still describing themselves as communist but are incredibly capitalistic.
        Stalin was did not believe in any other god beside HIMSELF.

        also were those people killed FOR atheism?

        that sounds a lot like Fox News. atheism and communism the great evils of our time.

        you wont find ANY war in the history directly connected to atheism. Or name me those wars led in the name of atheism to kill believers. Im sorry i cant provide a list of all the wars waged because of religion, it would take too long.

        compare it to feminism, when some women go on the street they are called militant, yet its only those women who get murdered and torutred and not the other way round.

      • Franca says:

        What do you mean there was never a communist state? What?
        My country was part of Yugoslavia, and I’m the first one to acknowledge some of the great things communism has done, especially in social policies. There are a lot of people who say they lived better during communism than they do now. Granted, Yugoslav communism was much more open that Soviet communism, whit the Tito-Staljin split and the Non-aligned movement. But it was still communism.

        And atheisam was the official doctrine of communism, and people who were religious were opressed, their homes and churcehs destroyed and, yes, they were killed. Mainly in the Soviet Union. We’re talking about millions of people here.

        I’m not completely sure what your argument is.

        In my opinion, religion was mostly a tool to wage a war, rarely the main reason.

      • jammypants says:

        “maybe being attacked VERBALLY is way nicer than killing and torturing people.”

        exactly, butthurt is in no way equal to actual suffering

      • Illyra says:

        Well said Franca.

      • Lamppost says:

        Too many people are misrepresenting Atheism. It is neither a doctrine or a belief. It is not a group nor is it organised. It simply means that a person does not have a religious belief. In fact quite the opposite if doctrine or belief.

    • MrsB says:

      Some of y’all need to go back and read what IMO wrote. There was nothing in that post about “religious persecution.” Just a comment about a lack of respect and people making generalizations about a very large group of people. A few of you proved her point.

      • Tifygodess24 says:

        @mrsB well for me I brought that up in my comment to IMO as part of a larger discussion and explaination to the original comment it fit in the answer. Other people also picked up on it. So for me it was worthy of being brought up and conversations evolve and branch off from original comments regardless

      • MrsB says:

        Thanks for clearing that up. I re-read and can see that you weren’t directly responding the OP with that comment. There were some commenters who were so dismissive of @IMO without trying to understand and that’s really what I was referring to. Btw, I think you had some great points in your post. There is no religious persecution going on in America, and anybody who thinks there is, is delusional.

        I think it’s important for people to remember that just because the Christians who yell the loudest about the issues are the most staunch in their views, does not mean that all or even the majority of Christians think this way. It just so happens that the most obnoxious people always get the most attention.

        I do understand somewhat, because as a kid I went to a private Christian school, and I really couldn’t stand the people there, and so I assumed to be a Christian, you had to act like these people, so I claimed agnosticism for a good many years until I realized that Christianity is about MY relationship with GOD. Not about rules, and not about the people who tell me I need to follow these rules. So, I think I get both sides of the issue.

      • Imo says:

        MrsB
        Thank you. I’m never sure if I’m laying out my thoughts as I want them to be understood or if I’m going in circles lol. You’ve summed things up wonderfully.

    • PinaColada says:

      I completely agree with you, IMO.

      I agree that people misuse religion. But I also feel like Christianity is the one religion that it’s ok to mock, put down, etc. I personally hear and see nonstop jokes and the vibe of “you must have the iq of a rock if you believe in a God, I’m so much better and more evolved than you.” It might be because I landed in a very liberal group of friends and aquaintances, I don’t know. That’s just my experience. I’m someone who practices my religion privately- I never espouse it or really even mention it in passing- probably because I know I’d be mocked. But we are out there- advanced degrees, moderate social ideas, able to mix in the secular world like anyone else- but we pray at night! :)

      • Algernon says:

        You have just described the vast majority of people of any faith that I know/have met in my life. However, as several people have pointed out, Christians, as a group, are trying to use their belief system to dictate how others who do not share those same beliefs live. That is where my problem lies. I don’t care what a person does or who they pray to, or don’t pray to, but the minute someone starts quoting the Bible as a reason to implicate a law, I’m done. I have zero patience for that. I actually enjoy discussing theology with people of all faiths because it’s fascinating to me, and I have had some lively and enlightening conversations with people of all faiths, but I have no interest in discussing law with a priest. One has nothing to do with the other, or it shouldn’t. The separation of church and state in the US is kind of a joke, and that is where many non-religious people have a problem.

      • littlestar says:

        “But I also feel like Christianity is the one religion that it’s ok to mock, put down, etc.”

        What about Islam? Every day people use “evil Islam” as an excuse to be intolerant to those who are Muslim. For example, I read yesterday that Slovakia is willing to accept refugees into the country, but only if they are Christian – no Muslims allowed thank you very much.

      • @littlestar
        I think maybe she’s referring to every day conversation? It’s like that where I live. A lot of people are VERY conservative/religious, and people who aren’t, make fun of it. I think it’s kind of like HS. Some places, where there are more Christians, they whine about how they’re persecuted, while the other part of the population, who isn’t Christian, whine about how Christians are shoving their religion down their throat. And so on. It depends on YOUR perspective.

        But I also agree that those kinds of things are small beans compared to what people who “don’t look American” face. Sure, some Christians might get doors slammed in their faces or lose a few friends. They don’t get stopped at the airport. They aren’t refused service or stopped by the police because they look suspicious. So, I think it’s nothing to whine about. You can’t complain about being persecuted when in other countries the Christians there are actually being killed or thrown in jail, and the worst thing to happen to you is that you aren’t allowed to stick fliers in people’s mailboxes, unless you want to go to jail for a few days (one thing I heard a pastor complain about, as though it were this HUGE injustice/civil right that was being taken away).

        And for a lot of people, it’s hard to be “different”. Like I remember when I was in HS and my family went to church every day the doors were open. We were probably one of the few in our grade, whose families did this. So I never really felt like I could connect with anyone. Like I never wanted to say “Oh, I can’t do this, because I have to go to church….”……because majority of the kids I went to school with thought church/religion was stupid.

        But my school/area isn’t religiously saturated. Like there are a lot of churches around, and there’s a creepy statue of Jesus in the next town over, in a park, but for the most part (except the one I went to, ironically) they are very respectful of people. They don’t shove it down people’s throats. And my thing is, is that this is 2015 and most everyone knows the basics of Christianity. So if they want to go to church…..they’ll go.

    • Brittney B. says:

      Imo, I’m an agnostic and I agree with the others about religious persecution claims in general, and the toxicity of most organized religions… but I also get what you’re saying about your belief, and I read your follow-up replies about the specific people you’re referencing.

      I was once a Christian… but then I was one of those people. The “enlightened” ones who can’t separate hypocritical and ignorant Christians from people who practice Christianity but are tolerant and kind. I’m sure I’ve made insensitive remarks in the company of Christians without realizing it, because after a while, that whole “us vs. them” rhetoric just sticks so hard, and it’s easy to forget that not ALL intellectual progressive liberals are nonbelievers.

      I’m sorry for your experiences, truly… it doesn’t speak well of the people who act that way. As I get older and wiser, I realize that I have no clue about the personal journeys and reasons that led to specific people’s belief systems. I have some very smart and tolerant friends who also believe in Jesus, and that’s fine! It doesn’t mean they’re stupid or that they pick and choose Bible verses; they may simply have a longtime, personal relationship with their god, and religious worship may give them comfort and stability. We all have our coping mechanisms and opinions and beliefs, and some are more harmful or inaccurate than others, but who are we to judge others without walking in their shoes? I try to be more respectful these days, especially because it doesn’t do me any good to perpetuate the stereotype that non-Christians are judgmental heathens.

      • Imo says:

        organized religion the world over has harnessed the very real power of a beautiful, personal relationship/journey and used that power to their own ends. But for many of us the inner greatness of that personal, spiritual walk remains unpolluted. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed your comment – eloquent and insightful.

      • I Choose Me says:

        Well said. Your entire comment sums up my own journey as a fellow agnostic. It helps that I happen to know a few Christians who walk the walk and have never once tried to shove their beliefs down anyone’s throat. They live their faith with quiet integrity and are saddened at the intolerant views espoused by other people who profess to be Christ-like.

        Imo was speaking to her experience and I agree with him or her that we could all be a little kinder and more respectful in our discourse. But seriously, CB has the best discussions of any online entertainment sites by far.

      • Imo says:

        “CB has the best discussions of any online entertainment sites by far”
        This!!

    • littlestar says:

      Seriously? You think Christians have it as bad as gay people or even atheists, when it comes to derision? I think your comment just helped prove the points Ellen Page was trying to make.

      • pinetree13 says:

        I agree with everything MSat said: “Well, Christians have done it to themselves. They’ve been so obnoxious and overbearing, shoving their bible crap in our faces for so long, preaching, testifying, trying to convert, condemning, judging, steering legislation, forcing their dogma on our public schools — personally, I’m just done with it. Your ilk has never, EVER been tolerant of anyone who doesn’t think the way they think, so why should we be respectful of them anymore? I’m so fucking done with it. Christianity and all other bullshit religions are harming humanity and need to be examined, criticized and yes, mocked. Daily. If you don’t like it, too bad. Now you know how the rest of us have felt for hundreds of years. Boo hoo!”

        In many countries in the world it is incredibly dangerous to come out as agnostic or athiest. Both extreme Christians and Muslims have murdered athiests for not believing. This is why to this day, I will not identify as one in public for fear of some religious wacko coming after me. Time magazine published that Athiests in America are still the number one most mistrusted group. Some states have rules that you cannot run for office if you are an athiest. How is that constitutional?????

    • Me too says:

      When was Christianity mentioned? Does religion automatically equal Chrsitianity? What about the many other religions practiced in the world?

  5. michelleb says:

    Ellen is always so eloquent. I really like her and it is nice to see her happy now, and I agree that there seems to be a lightness to her since she came out. It is infectious.

    I am looking forward to Freeheld, though I think that it will make me cry buckets.

  6. TheOtherMaria says:

    As someone who got lectured by her physician yesterday about my existence being irrelevant without god 😒, bless her.

    I also agree with her opinion on bravery.

    • TorontoE says:

      whaaaaat? Not his/her place to lecture you on religion. Get a new Dr, before you ask for a prescription, procedure or info that conflicts with his “religious freedom”.

    • michelleb says:

      Wow, that is horrible. I’m not sure that I could trust a physician that would lecture me on God. How could someone feel comfortable talking about intimate things in the face of such judgement? Why would a physician risk jeopardizing the doctor/patient relationship like that? Here’ hoping that you find a nice, reasonable and non-zealous physician in the future.

    • Hudson Girl says:

      Whaaaat?! Holy Crap!!!
      I would change Doctors ASAP!

      Is there a Yelp-like site for Doctors so we can avoid this kind of thing? Sort of like, “Good bedside manner but, strongly religious- mentioned the Bible/Koran in a consultation.

    • Esmom says:

      So sorry. I had a similar experience when I brought my autistic son to a doc who was supposedly highly respected and regarded. He saw my son for about five minutes then sent us home, telling me I needed to read some books. It was baffling. He wrote down a few titles that I had never heard of and when I went home and looked them up on Amazon, they were all Christian self-help books. I was floored and frankly enraged but thankfully out of all the high dedicated professionals in the field we’ve seen over the years he was the only bad apple.

      • Charlotte15 says:

        I would have absolutely had a rage stroke if this happened to me. I am so sorry you came into contact with such a smug, condescending moron!

    • Lucy2 says:

      Definitely time for a new doctor! And yes there are generally places online where you can review your experience with a physician.
      With that doctor said to you sounds completely inappropriate and in no way their business.

    • MSat says:

      See? This is what I’m on about. I’m so fucking done trying to tiptoe around religious assholes who can’t keep their beliefs to themselves. We’re supposed to be respectful and sit there and listen to their judgmental, holier-than-thou diatribes. I refuse to do it any longer. If that had been my physician, I would be looking for a new one.

      Wasn’t it Jesus himself who said prayer was supposed to be done in private? Something about “don’t let the right hand know what the left hand is doing”? Since these people love to interpret their bible passages so fucking literally, what about that one? Huh? Seriously, fuck these people. They had their chance to run the show for thousands of years and let’s face it, they’ve blown it.

      • PinaColada says:

        I’m sorry you feel that way, MSAT. I’m catholic and I’m not zealous. Even as my friend you’d probably not even know I go to church or pray. I donate to everything from the IPPL and WWF to the American cancer society- I don’t even donate to religious orgs. My point is, I’m not hurting anyone or telling anyone how to live. So don’t forget that we’re out here too, more often than not. You just don’t realize because we *do* keep it to ourselves. Not everyone of any group is bad.

        Edited to add: I don’t even KNOW anyone who is religiously pushy, and if I did I’d definitely space away because I consider it a private issue.

      • Judd says:

        MSAT, bless your heart….. Seriously, stop putting all who do NOT believe as you do in a box, tied neatly with a bow. It is not about religion, it’s about a relationship.

      • HeySandy says:

        I think one of the problems people have with Christianity is how loud the fanatics are and how quiet the moderates/liberals are. This really applies to a lot of religions. I’m an Agnostic but you better believe I don’t like or except other agnostic/atheists putting down all religions or religious people. And if the Atheist movement ever gets enough traction to be able to make change, I would be as upset as any religious person if Atheist fanatics tried to limit freedom of religion or any other lifestyle choice based on Atheist belief.

      • Algernon says:

        My grandfather, who was a deeply devout Christian, always said not to trust anyone who made a show of their faith. I think he was paraphrasing something Jesus said, about people who pray in the center of town, or something like that. He said you should be able to spot a Christian by the quality of their life, that their kindness and compassion and service to others would show them for who they truly are. Unfortunately, I don’t think most Christians are interested in leading service-oriented lives where they put others before themselves, so instead we’re treated to their thoughts on everything from other people’s marriages to what women should be doing with their wombs.

      • jammypants says:

        It’s a shame the quieter ones don’t speak up. I’m all for a new face of Christianity. Very tired of the vocal ones getting in our faces and don’t practice what they preach.

      • bokchoi says:

        Algernon – your grandpa was a very wise man.

        I absolutely get what MSat is saying, and why. I really wish more Christians would stop ranting about their beliefs and how rule breakers will burn in hell, and how God “hates” this or that or anything, (and I self-identify as a Christian btw) and actually be followers of of Jesus instead. I’m trying to, and fail daily. But I love what Jesus preached, and I am trying.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        This is one amazing discussion. Praise be to everybody.

        My very late and sure to be unnoticed comment is that the moderates in each branch of religion are tasked with cleansing it of extremist elements, but it doesn’t seem to happen, at least not these days. No one outside any given sect can do much to moderate it. Moderate Catholics can’t shut down Jewish extremism; moderate Muslims can’t shut down Protestant extremism; and on and on. Self-policing isn’t happening, because members of one faith, like a family, close ranks when under attack. Believers (unaffiliated deists, I guess) can’t moderate ANYBODY, atheists are mistrusted and agnostics are viewed as hedging their bets. I have no answers other than to think it’s the responsibility of moderates in each organized branch to actively do something because this current environment of all types of extremism is killing us once again, and for what. This planet has much bigger problems to solve than who prays to what, and when, and how.

  7. Jayna says:

    Great interview.

  8. Astrid says:

    More Page posts!

  9. Franny Days says:

    Just popping in to say I love her so much!

  10. insomniac says:

    THANK YOU, Ellen, for the “We’re just reading lines on a page” statement. Glad to see someone’s got some perspective.

    I’ve always liked her; glad that she seems so happy since coming out.

    • Algernon says:

      I love it when people call actors brave. I love to respond with, “For what? Being paid millions to recite words someone else wrote and follow instructions someone else gave them? Real heart of a champion, that actor has.”

  11. ichsi says:

    That was so on point! I was always so-so about her as an actress, some things she did I loved some others left me meh. But she seems to be a great person and I hope to hear from her a long time coming.

  12. Ayra. says:

    I remember the argument I had with several of my family members on the issue.. freaking explosive really. They kept going on about God this, and God that, he’d forgive me.. and said that as an atheist I’d be going to hell for supporting something so unholy (LGBT)

    Long story short, they said that they would pray for me, and I just finished my cereal and played Hozier’s “Take Me To Church”.

    • Brittney B. says:

      When I came out as queer in high school, a friend approached me and my other queer friend, promising to pray for us.

      Cut to a decade later, and she’s grown immensely, gone through divorce, met many trans and gay people… etc. She’s apologized for treating us like sinful heathens, because even if she still believes homosexuality wasn’t God’s intent (which… ugh), she realizes the gist of the Bible: everyone sins! Everyone! She was deflecting by mourning for the darkness in our heart instead of looking inward, or looking at the people she assumed were completely virtuous but were actually just hiding their intentions better.

      My point… sometimes people come around. Others stay sheltered and insulated, and double down on their beliefs… but some people realize that religion and sexuality aren’t the end-all criteria through which to judge someone else. They may even decide that hell isn’t a guarantee simply because you don’t have faith; if I believed in God, I really wouldn’t want to accept that kids without access to religion were damned to eternal torture. What kind of loving god would allow that?!

      Also, I love that Hozier song. Good for you.

  13. Franca says:

    I just love her. I wish more atheists and religious people could be like that. You do you, I’ll do me. I’m Catholic and jave friends who are agnostic, atheist, Muslim, etc. As long as you don’t push your beliefs on other people, you’ll be fine. We are all fairly liberal, maybe it’s harder with conservative people.

    And she also seems to be right about religion in America. As someone wazching from the outside it’s quite scary. I mean, my country is 90 % Catholic, yet we had an atheist prime minister and an agnostic president. Fundamentalists don’t really exist here. Nor can you be a “proffesional” Christian the way the Duggars were.

    • Esteph says:

      Some people in the US are fairly liberal when it comes to their religious beliefs, the thing is, the US has always said “separation of church and state” yet that doesn’t really happen. When gay marriage was legalized in all 50 states, (I live in one of the most conservative states – Texas) people were adamant to not allow their religious beliefs to be disturbed if you will.
      (Sorry if this gets into a mini-story/rant) Government offices that were conducting same-sex marriages, some of their workers were refusing to do what the law was affording same-sex couples, but the issue is that those workers made an example of how church and state isn’t really separated, because if it had been, then you’d have workers carrying out their jobs as dictated by the government, not their religion.
      Ellen is spot on about religion in America, and I think your example about religious liberalism is also spot on.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Story in Calgary, Alberta, Canada today – a city bus driver doesn’t want to drive the rainbow bus parade because “as a Christian, I can’t condone homosexuality.” The city transportation chief says, “If you are assigned to drive the bus, you drive the bus.” The driver threatened to quit over the assignment. 99% of the comments on the story were as follows: “Go ahead, quit.”

      • Franca says:

        I completely agree with the comments. If he doesn’t want to drive it, he doesn’t have to. But he also doesn’t get to keep his job.

      • KAI says:

        @Whoarethesepeople
        You are misstating the facts. He is not being asked to drive a bus in the pride parade but he is being asked to drive his usual route in a bus decorated with the flag.

  14. renee says:

    I don’t know why it’s so hard for religious people to understand no one is trying to force you to attend gay weddings or pride parades. People are just asking you to show respect. I’m lucky to know some deeply religious people who get that but they seem to be the minority.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Ooh, Renee, see above story about the bus driver in Calgary!

      • KAI says:

        The bus driver is not being asked or forced to participate in the pride parade. A Calgary Transit bus has been decorated with the pride flag as support for the upcoming parade. Driving a Calgary Transit bus is his job and if that bus is used on his assigned route, he will have to drive the bus.

  15. Lucy2 says:

    I love reading interviews with her, I think she’s very intelligent and well spoken. In this when you definitely get a sense of how much freer and happier she is now that she can truly be herself. I also admire her for stepping up and fighting for what she believes in.

  16. mädchen says:

    Great interview. Even if you disagree with something, it is still better to do it in a respectful way and have a polite discussion about it, more productive.
    But I completely disagree about coming out being a moral imperative. It’s wrong. It’s always should be personal decision, no matter how privileged you are. Those who refused to come out in a big way but live their lives openly are as important for the cause as those who decided to speak up.

  17. Hindulovegod says:

    I’m delighted a celebrity has acknowledged being an atheist. I suspect there are a lot of us, but Americans still act shocked when you say it.

    • Josefa says:

      Religion really is intense in the USA, eh? Whenever celebs come out as atheists they have to more or less explain their reasons. Atheism means you simply dont believe in God. And there really isnt much of an explanation to that other than the fact you simply don’t.

      • MSat says:

        Religion is like blood sport here. It permeates everything we do. I feel like I can’t get away from it, sometimes. The “History” channel re-enacts parables from the bible like they really happened. The “Learning Channel” makes reality stars out of Jesus freaks. At the PTA, which I now avoid like the plague, the other mothers want to start every meeting with a prayer.

        It is interesting to me that I have never, not even one time, asked someone upon meeting them what religion they are, but it’s the Christians who volunteer that information within seconds of meeting, and ask what religion I am. Sometimes it’s slightly more subtle, like “what church do you go to?” Like they just can’t wait to blurt it out and make sure that you are also Christian. Only recently have I decided to respond with, “None of your business.” I no longer care if it’s rude. It’s the truth. I don’t know how these people have decided that they are the ones being persecuted when they never shut up about their religion! If you were being persecuted you’d be afraid to talk about it. That’s what being persecuted is!

      • Algernon says:

        ” If you were being persecuted you’d be afraid to talk about it. That’s what being persecuted is!”

        So much this! I am going to quote you on this topic from now on.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        MSAT, thanks for your comments. Blood sport captures it perfectly! I’ve lived in Canada and in the USA and there is such a difference that way. I also reached my limit and my manners are not particularly good with missionaries and non-missionary evangelicals. Don’t try to get into my soul; it belongs to me. If I want your help, I’ll ask.

  18. InvaderTak says:

    The thing with the Catholic school she wanted to use for her film still rubs the wrong way though.

    • JKL says:

      I think they said yes and then changed their mind? I can see that pissing off a film production, and on flimsy reasons.

  19. E.M. MAXX says:

    She’s full of $hit and full of herself.

  20. ncboudicca says:

    I like Ellen Page, she’s one of the few actors/actresses that I think could be friends with “normal” people. She doesn’t seem like she’d only have friends in the business.

  21. original kay says:

    I found her comments on Canada interesting. I too find Canada to have a division between church and state, much more so than the US, but that could be my lack of knowledge.
    Not that we don’t have our own political problems.

    Anyone else have thoughts on this subject? I need info!

    • Jedi says:

      I think, generally, yes Canada has a lower tolerance level for serious political interference by fundamentalists, but it’s not as separate as she makes it seem.

      The existence of Catholic schools are enshrined in our Charter, which means they are publicly funded religious schools (but for only one religion).

      There have been some serious legal battles in Quebec about the separation of the province and the church too. For a lot of communities in Quebec, they are all about secularism, as long as it isn’t targeted at the Catholic Church. They just don’t like other religions. That’s when arguments about prayer before city council meetings become legal battles and it blows my mind.

      Overall I would say there is a complicated history in Canada when it comes to religion and the state. It’s not a separate as people think.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Quebec and the Catholic schools is a very interesting case going back deep into historical compromises with the French after the English took over, but maybe it’s at least as much as a political/nationalist as a religious matter at this point.

        Ontario had a big case whose outcome was that children can attend Catholic (public) schools without having to attend classes in religion. The church was probably steaming, but the court was very clear in its ruling.

        It still “reads” as a Protestant country but it’s so much more toned down and far less evangelical than the USA. Without Southern Baptists and the many charismatic movements, religion still seems to be considered more of a private or personal matter. No government prayer breakfasts or National Days of Prayer. Political candidates don’t have to flaunt their religiosity for votes. But it may depend on whether you’re in a small town or the big city, just like in the USA. The act that women had abortion rights and gay people had marriage rights earlier than in the USA (though not without some struggle) testifies to Canadian public policy and law being less influenced by religion.

    • bokchoi says:

      I agree with her. For a politician in Canada to even talk much about whatever religion they do or do not practice is borderline political suicide, especially in urban areas. Some places it plays well, but they are few and far between. They are expected to largely leave that issue at the door when it comes to doing the job.

      But a politician’s personal life does not have nearly as much focus in Canada as it is in the US either. I would be willing to bet most Canadians dont even know the first name of PM Harper’s wife off the top of their heads, they would have to google it.

      • littlestar says:

        Isn’t it Lauren? Lol. Oh how I wish I could tell you the gossip I found out about the Harpers while I was visiting friends in Ottawa last fall. But I’m too afraid, what with bill C51 being passed and all… They could be monitoring my comments! Lol.

      • Lurker says:

        It’s Laureen, and if you’re Canadian and want to know the scoop, all you have to do is google her name. It’s an amazing tidbit that the Globe and Mail wimped out on doing.

      • littlestar says:

        Lurker, that’s definitely NOT the gossip I heard….. And it was more about what two-faced dog Harper is. Although she’s not any better. Ahhhhh, Canadian politics gossip :D .

      • Lurker says:

        Get out! What did you hear? I thought my bombshell was pretty big!

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        I’ve read hints about Laureen too and whatever, it’s funny that she gets trotted out to “humanize” him. Doesn’t work! Still, shh, C-51! Or as you non-Canadians might want to think of it, the Police State Bill!

        We don’t need rumours about her hubby to know what a dismal job he’s done of supporting democratic rights and parliamentary independence above all, let alone manage the economy (2 recessions! good job!). The facts speak for themselves.

        One of the funny things about watching US politicians speak is how they have to add their little PS to speeches…”and God Bless America…” before they run out the door. Oh the sincerity.

    • littlestar says:

      I agree with her comments. People are really uncomfortable with politicians in Canada talking about religion. We have a federal election going on right now, and I don’t think there’s been a single instance of religion being brought up in the parties campaigns. A few years ago in Alberta there was a Wild Rose member (very right wing provincial political party) who said all gays would burn in a lake of fire in hell, and most people were wtf, get out of here you nut.

      I think Canada in general, even with it’s complicated history as Jedi pointed out, is becoming more and more… What is the right word? Unreligious? Less and less people to go church, more people no longer practise religion in their home/on their own. Their religious beliefs don’t dictate how they think politically (just a small example, I have a cousin who says she believes in god and consistently votes for Canada’s socialist party).

      • Algernon says:

        @ Littlestar

        Secularized is the word you’re looking for. There was a recent study that was interesting that said that while there are more religious-identifying people around the world today, within the first world national governments are largely secular.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        The NDP is about democratic socialism, not socialism socialism, yes? More Bernie Sanders, less Karl Marx.

        I thought that membership in organized religious groups is on the decline in the USA too … more splinter groups and just plain less membership. Society is restructuring itself. But the extremists in every group are screaming. I guess they’re not happy about people deciding they can make their own choices.

    • original kay says:

      Excellent, thank you for all the comments.

  22. Sue says:

    I am not a bible thumper but I believe there is something more then us. Over my lifetime I have known a lot of atheists including my sister and when death knocks at their door, they sing a different tune. I wonder how many of you atheists know how Madalyn O’Hair died? That fouled mouthed women, her son and daughter in law were kidnapped, tortured and murdered by one of their atheists group members. Just saying.

    • Brittney B. says:

      To address your claim about “singing a different tune”… to me, that’s one more reason to remain an agnostic instead of attempting to find faith.

      It speaks to the fact that faith is often a coping mechanism; when someone we love dies, or when we face death ourselves, we DO tend to cling to hope of an afterlife. As a species, that is part of what makes us gravitate toward belief of some kind. But because I don’t know for sure, faith would be a “just in case” thing for me, and that’s not strong enough to be real faith. I’d rather live a life that I believe is ephemeral, with no hope of living forever in some hypothetical paradise. Maybe there’s a higher power, maybe there isn’t. I choose to live with compassion and constantly try to improve myself as a person, so that I can make the world a little better than I found it. Like Ellen, I don’t have time for religion; there are too many belief systems and too many horrific organized religions for me to dedicate time and emotional energy to the off-chance that one of them is right. I’d rather believe that if there is a god, he or she will look kindly on those who treated people and animals with respect.

      Also… “just saying” what, exactly? I honestly don’t understand.

      Madalyn O’Hair’s death doesn’t speak to atheism in general… it may have brought her and her killer together, but he was an abusive and sadistic man. O’Hair did a great thing by taking Bible readings out of public schools; it was religious indoctrination, and it discriminated against kids with other belief systems. Our country was founded to PREVENT stuff like that.

      She said some transphobic and off-base things, and it wasn’t right to cast her son out of her life for becoming a believer, but ultimately I agree with many of her sentiments about organized religion, and she wasn’t killed because she was an atheist. Her son’s kitten was tortured and killed by Christians because was an atheist, though… how’s that for Christlike love? Many of her detractors were Christian sociopaths, and her murdererer was an atheist sociopath. Her murder also went unsolved for years because defensive Christians were apathetic and didn’t care about her family’s whereabouts… that doesn’t sound very Christlike either. I’m not sure how that should change my beliefs at all.

      David Roland Waters was a hateful and abusive man, and she challenged his abuse, and he killed her for it. The same thing happens to women throughout the world every single day, and it speaks to a patriarchy in which men don’t come to terms with their emotions and abuse victims don’t receive the help they need and women pay the price. Her horrific murder had nothing to do with atheism and everything to do with a violent, greedy, repressed sociopath.

    • HeySandy says:

      LOL okay no offense Sue, but you are doing nothing but confirming the beliefs of many of us non-religious that the religious are narrow minded and holier then thou. I’m an agnostic that believes there might be more then just us in this universe, so just because I don’t believe in nice daddy God and angels on high doesn’t mean I’m going to grasp at those straws.

    • Algernon says:

      Holding up cases of atheist-on-atheist crime, or atheist-on-Christian crime, or Christian-on-atheist crime, or Christian-on-Christian crime don’t get us anywhere. Christian fundamentalists murder doctors who perform abortions, atheists kill people, too. Anyone is capable of anything.

    • littlestar says:

      Um wtf? I do know who she is, and she was murdered because the man who kill them wanted her money. It had nothing to do with her being an atheist. Yes, she was a nasty person, but there are nasty people from all walks of life; believers, agnostics, and atheists.

    • pinetree13 says:

      God i hate people like Sue…the world would be a better place with less people like her and her idiotic reasoning and way of thinking.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Ah, the old “there are no atheists in foxholes” argument. Let’s resurrent all the atheists who died in foxholes and find out.

      Ah, the old “you people” phraseology.

      Ah, the old “let’s find the worst example in your group and make her stand for everyone,” bigotry.

      People who don’t believe in a god or gods – and say so – don’t stop anyone else from enjoying their own personal belief systems. They just tend to point out that it’s a matter of belief and not evidence.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Sue, people will say and do all kinds of things the don’t normally say and do when faced with death.
      And by the way, there are also people who after facing the death of a loved one or other tragedies denounced faith in god and prayer. So I’m not really sure what your point is.

  23. Alex says:

    I’ve always loved Ellen and I agree she seems so much happier.
    And her responses are spot on. Keep doing you Ellen

  24. Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

    An atheist saying that they have no time for religion isn’t very profound.

    • Linn says:

      Pretty sure she referred to the “Gays are actually bigoted against us because we don’t get to express our religious freedom.” movement when she made the “to time” statement, not religion.

  25. serena says:

    I love her too!

  26. WallFlower says:

    I’m glad that Ellen is an Athiest. That means no one can hold their stupid religion over her head, and make her feel convicted. I’m Agnostic and could give a flip about a Jesus or Allah or some other made up god. I was just arguing with my cousin about Caitlyn Jenner being a woman since she got herself legally changed. My cousin’s religious too, and kept declaring her a man. No, if she wants to be a woman, she’s a woman. You only get one life, I say live it on your own terms. Thing is, I can pick out the sins of every religious person I’ve come in contact with. Period. Nobody’s doing what those atrocious books say because it’s too fu(king hard to live like that. Hopefully, religious people will leave others alone and let them be. Nobody’s infringing on their rights.

  27. Carole says:

    As I get older..not ancient, just middle aged, I start questioning things and realizing we all have to face our own mortality.
    This wonderful, darling older wise man said one simple thing to me once that has always stayed with me in regards to the after life and heaven hell when I was pestering him with questions that someone with pure faith in things unseen wouldn’t ask..

    All he said was “yes but what if?”….

    That was it…what if ?..eternity is a long time..we are all unique finding our own way and Ellen is young, I recall how it was mostly about myself, a sort of nihilistic, narcissistic view of life..growing up sometimes changes everything, sometimes not..it’s a long journey of self exploration..I used to be more judgmental when I was young and now I realize most of us are walking wounded and doing the best we can.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Ellen’s not that young and seems to have had time to sort out her views. If she is comfortable with atheism, it’s probably a reasoned choice that had nothing to do with being self-centered. If anything, she sounds like a pretty tolerant, positive person.

      “Yes, but what if,” — hmm, yes, but what are people supposed to do about that? Suddenly scramble to behave differently just in case they need to get to heaven? If the point of believing is to receive divine instruction in how to lead a good life, there are plenty of people who can lead that good life without the divine instruction. Belief is inside one’s own head; actions are outside. Maybe this is the influence of Judaism: deeds not creeds. In fact, Jewish and atheistic can go together like peanut butter and jelly!

  28. Colette says:

    Lesbian?
    I thought she dated Alexander Skarsgard
    Just kidding

  29. funcakes says:

    Ellen page and Kristen Stewart would kick ass as a couple.

  30. Zeroth says:

    Many Christain missionaries are the worst kind.. They come here with their own agenda with the pretense of helping poor peple. We are from very poor country and basically there way of helping is:
    - Convert to christanity and we will provide you with jobs. If not , you are useless..It’s like some kind of special club and they try to coax people into it. They seem to be funded by rich people. They have been building churches everywhere while people barely have drinkable water. Why not just give job to poor people?

    They were jenova witness , bunch of evangelical? or whatever they call themselves. They target people in isolated areas of our hilly and himalaya region and nowhere near found to be in cities. It seems to them that they are doing something special while what they are doing is creating rifts between tribes culture. Such sad situation. Even islam doesn’t come knocking to the door.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Sorry to hear about this intrusion into your area. You may be encountering Jehovah’s Witnesses. They also come to the door in the United States and Canada, in pairs, often young men wearing black suits. You are wise to sense that they are trying to buy your faith. In the end, having the church established in your area gives them some kind of power. It’s a problem.

  31. Naddie says:

    Can I like even more? She’s lovely but fierce, what’s not to love? I believe in God but some religious people can be seriously annoying.

  32. Scr says:

    What a lot of people fail to realize is that religion is just an antique form of government to handle among other things allocation of resources and to form civil societies. It was useful in the olden days but now human nature being what it is, religion has become mostly a security blanket for the fearful and the avoidant personalities. Obviously there was evolution, otherwise people would be certain of their origin and the beginning.

  33. Lex says:

    The comments section on this site is like the Twilight time capsule argument at the Parks&Rec public forum.

  34. nadia says:

    how can you guys support this gay lifestyle, soo gross

    • Arlene says:

      I know right; I have gay friends and when I see them grocery shopping, dropping the kids to school, going to work, paying taxes, eating, walking the dog, I immediately think it’s just such an abnormal ‘lifestyle’.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      @nadia: Are you lost, little girl? Michelle and JimBob Duggar’s fan club page is in that direction->

  35. LaurieH says:

    Ellen Page is one of those people one instinctively knows is gay. Her coming out was as anticlimactic as Rosie O’Donnell and Ellen DeGeneres coming out; sort of the way a parent knows their child is gay before they ever come out. I do think it’s so sad that we will in a world where people truly do NOT feel free and at liberty to be who they really are, say what they really think and do what they really want. And it’s not just the LGBTQ crowd; it’s literally EVERYONE to some degree or another. Certainly, there are segments of the population more openly stifled (that’s obvious), but societal constructs touch on everyone. Men are still expected to open doors for women, even when women don’t need or want the door opened for them. The rule now is that you do it (make the chivalric gesture), but give the woman first right of refusal. Religious people feel the sting too, as the world grows more secular. I think “you do you, I’m fine, thanks” about sums up how we should all treat each other. Personally, I’m religious, yet LGBTQ people have no bearing on my beliefs. And I know plenty of LGBTQ people who are themselves religious. It’s not a mutually exclusive thing. It’s an INDIVIDUAL thing.

  36. Dinah says:

    When Ellen Page is cremated, I hear they’re going to pay tribute by playing Dust in the Wind. Atheists need to lighten up a little and quit taking death so seriously.

  37. Otaku Fairy says:

    I’m an Agnostic. I support people’s right to be a part of (or not be a part of) whatever religions they choose (and at the same time, I believe parents should respect their sons and daughters as human beings by letting them choose), am not offended by people speaking of god, Allah, Jesus, Buddah, etc., saying merry Christmas or singing Christmas/religious songs, praying publically, having their religious books out in a public place, or outward displays of religious symbols at all. But I’m also okay with certain forms of mocking a belief system, as long as it’s not done in a way that contributes to the discrimination and violence a marginalized group faces.

    I’m sure their are people who hate Christians in this country, but they’re probably rare, and the idea of “The Oppression of Christians in Western Society” is about as real as the idea of ‘heterophobia.’ Christians have the same exact rights as everyone else in this country and are not being killed, beaten, raped, or otherwise victimized for their faith. They’re not being dealt with abusively by police officers for it, having their Christianity used as a blame for sexual or non-sexual crimes or abuse they face, (if you don’t want it to happen, don’t present yourself as ‘christian’), and it has never been illegal or a source of abuse and scandal for two Christians to date or marry.

    It’s not Christians that most people hate; it’s basically ‘Christian Supremacists’ and people who impose ‘Traditional Values’ that are getting the hate, and rightfully so. There’s a reason why Christians like Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas don’t get religion-related insults directed at them, but Christians like Mike Huckabee, the Duggars, Bill O’reilly, Michelle Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh, and the Palins do.

  38. Wolf says:

    Ah, the smug dismissal of the young. I am not religious in any way but dismissing the 2.2 billion Christians in the world, let alone all religions combined, shows a breathtaking amount of navel-gazing and inability to assess the world around her.

    I don’t accept religious dogma for myself, but I understand that on all hemispheres there are profoundly devout people, and they simply cannot all be insane or stupid.

    • Dinah says:

      Well said, Wolf.

      The world is no longer enchanted with Americans. I personally don’t believe American culture will ultimately survive on the new world stage.

      Islam is one of the fastest growing religions, if not the fastest growing one. Give Muslims their due, they generally live, fight and die for what they believe in. Britain is bursting with converts. I know a few British women who have embraced Islam and feel reborn. I believe I will live to see the dawn of the day of Islam on American shores. Those who believe it can never happen, well, never say never. It can.

      • Wolf says:

        Um, I think you thoroughly misunderstood what I said. I might respect religious people but that is a far cry from hoping for your vision tomorrow. No thanks.