Gov. John Kasich thinks it’s super-weird that Daniel Radcliffe is an atheist


True story: throughout the last year, whenever I tried to remember Ohio governor John Kasich’s name, I could never remember it. Like, he’s such a charisma vacuum, his name always escaped me, and I just thought of him as “WhatsHisGuts BlobStuff OhioFace.” Kasich’s unsuccessful bid for the GOP presidential nomination was seen as disappointing by many, even though he’s largely a by-the-books hardline Republican, complete with archaic ideas about women, reproductive health, unions and LGBTQ people. He’s also down with the Evangelical community, because of course. So, over the weekend, Blob OhioFace couldn’t help but randomly bash a British actor for daring to identify as an atheist. This is really one of the weirdest stories (in a year full of strange political stories).

John Kasich waded into the New Hampshire state primary last week, endorsing Republican Chris Sununu at the Legislative Office Building in Concord. The former presidential candidate then promptly stole the spotlight. Following the announcement, the Ohio governor toured downtown Exeter with Sununu and his posse in tow. Inside a bookstore he didn’t much discuss Sununu’s candidacy. Instead he looked at the latest Harry Potter book and pondered why British actor Daniel Radcliffe is an atheist. Then he wondered aloud which Olympians would find success after the recent Rio games.

“You know that Daniel Radcliff has declared himself an atheist?” Kasich said to no one in particular. “I’m serious. What a weird thing. Why would a guy who has had all that success just, I mean, what the hell is wrong with him?”

Kasich quickly changed gears. “It’s going to be interesting to see who is going to make it big from the Olympics,” he said, wondering aloud whether it would be U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps or Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.

[From Concord Monitor]

Wow, that’s a lot of bulls—t to unpack. First of all, it’s true that Radcliffe has identified as an atheist in interviews, but he’s also talked about how he’s open to discussing spirituality, and how his mother is Jewish and more. Not that Radcliffe needed to talk about any of that – his spiritual life or atheism is his business alone. Politicians shouldn’t take pot-shots at atheists or any believer for their religion or non-religion of choice. Imagine saying, “That guy declared himself a Hindu. What the hell is wrong with him?” As for this: “Why would a guy who has had all that success just, I mean, what the hell is wrong with him?” I don’t even understand that? Like, DanRad is supposed to believe in God because he was part of a successful franchise? That makes zero sense. I suppose only unsuccessful people are allowed to be atheists in GOP Blob-World.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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60 Responses to “Gov. John Kasich thinks it’s super-weird that Daniel Radcliffe is an atheist”

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  1. lassie says:

    Verbal diarrhea-the politician’s bread and butter.

  2. Jenns says:

    That read like an Onion article.

  3. Lyka says:

    Kasich is a living dong, but what he said here isn’t really that far off from lots of (even very moderately) theist people I know. The comment was bewilderingly random, but it’s legit weird to some people who truly believe in a diety that some other people truly don’t. And the other way around too! It happens. I’m sure Radcliffe gives negative fuqs.

    • GingerCrunch says:

      Were most people raised by wolves (not to disparage any wolves out there)??? BOUNDARIES, people. What the holy f***.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      Well, I’m a practising Catholic and I don’t think being an atheist is weird at all? I’ve never even met anyone who thinks being an atheist is weird? What is wrong with people?
      That whole speech by Kasich makes zero sense.

      And aren’t the super duper evangelicals against Harry Potter? Because fictional magic is anti-Jesus or something?

      • Lyka says:

        Oh, of course you don’t! I know many, many people don’t! Personally I’ve had plenty of experiences where outing myself as an atheist led to uncomfortable looks, a litany of questions, or sometimes even aggressive pressing about my personal spirituality. Meanwhile some of the most recognized pundits and scholars in the atheist community are ridiculously condescending and closed-minded about people who practice religion or believe in a deity. I think there’s definitely a distance between our camps overall.

        I lived across the street from my evangelical aunt when I was first falling in love with the Harry Potter books, and her big issue with them was that they promoted witchcraft (which is associated in many ways with Satanic stuff, I think?). But fantasy tends to be rife with biblical allegory, so maybe she could have given them a chance!

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        Yes, to your last questions? I have a former *school teacher* neighbor who is quite religious who said to me once ( sort of conspiratorially) that kids shouldn’t be allowed to read HP because the magic in it was Satan’s work. No joke. A teacher. Restricting what kids should read-/discouraging reading and free- thinking…

        Scary stuff.

      • Zuzus Girl says:

        I’ve met plenty of people who think being an atheist is wierd and they’ve come from a lot of different faiths. I was even called arrogant for that belief. Truth is, I don’t care what people think and I sure don’t care what they believe (regarding faith at least.)

      • Sixer says:

        Lyka – Locke is not in the US.

        Locke, it’s like that here in the UK, also. Technically, we actually have an established religion in the Church of England but the default assumption on meeting people would be that they were not religious (agnostic if not atheist). Here it would be more a matter of outing yourself AS religious rather than the other way around. Few people ever mention God.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        Our relationship with religion is kinda weird anyway. Pretty much everyone is Catholic so there isn’t any need to proclaim your religion or mention God every two seconds. Catholicsm is so wraped up in our national identity, because of our past and closeness to Islam and Christian Orthodoxy. I know a bunch of people who don’t really believe in God but consider themselves as “culturally Catholic”. For a lot of people, even christening your kids or getting married in the Church is more of a cultural thing, rather than a spiritual one. You don’t need to out yourself as an atheist or Catholic, because it almost feels like believing in God isn’t necessary to be considered Catholic.
        But I guess there isn’t so much misconception about atheism because we did have communism so at least people don’t think it has something to do with satan.
        But with politics it’s a whole othe matter, with the Vatican Concordat and everything. The Vatican was actually one of the first countries to recognise us as a independent country. And in the last few years the right wing are using religion more and more which is very disturbing.

    • AngelaH says:

      Thank you all for your very intersting and polite discussion of this topic and for acknowledging issues on both sides of the line. I was raised Southern Baptist and while I don’t identify as Southern Baptist, I consider myself a Christian.

      I don’t like people that believe in a God or many Gods looking down on people that don’t and I don’t like people that don’t insulting my intelligence because I believe in a “giant beardy man in the sky.” Yeah, I’ve heard that statement. I always get defensive and distrustful when I’m dealing with an atheist in person because I’m waiting for the insults and the demands of proof that God exists. I said “bless you” one time when a friend of a friend sneezed and he ranted about how he doesn’t need my blessings and he was intelligent enough not to believe that fairy tales are real and on and on. Of course I know that not all atheists are like that, but I do tend to feel judged and found lacking when I know someone is an atheist.

      And I’m not saying it doesn’t work the other way as well. Believe me, I know. Again, I was raised in a Southern Baptist church. I know the things that get said to and about atheists.

  4. Anne says:

    What a waste of space. Dan Radcliffe is an awesome person and he doesn’t need the validation of small minded people like Kasich.

  5. Rai-rai says:

    The Radcliffe thing aside, what does ”make it big from the Olympics” even mean? Does he think that the Olympics are just the beginning, like some sort of show for potential pop singers? Urgh.

    • Esmom says:

      I know, right? And Phelps and Bolt have already “made it big,” haven’t they? he really sounds off his rocker. Bullet dodged, Trump notwithstanding.

  6. I Choose Me says:

    Some people are so entrenched and dogmatic in their beliefs that they can’t imagine that anyone can think and feel differently. These are the people who would like nothing better than to control other people and make their world view the mandate. This is why people like Kasich (who shall hereinafter be known as What’sHisGuts Blobstuff OhioFace) is dangerous.

    Even though I’m not an American and therefore not directly impacted by his policies, I’m deeply uncomfortable with the power this man wields as a politician.

  7. Shambles says:

    It’s because atheists are supposed to be miserable, hateful, awful people to whom terrible things happen because Satan.

    So this man’s brain, which is the size of a Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Bean, cannot comprehend that an atheist is happy and successful. It’s tough being stupid.

  8. Whatabout says:

    edit: Nevermind I thought the Sununu family never held office outside of one term senator. I was wrong.

  9. lunchcoma says:

    How shocking that a person he doesn’t know, raised in another country, from a different family background might have beliefs that differ from his own! This is the worst sort of American Christian parochialism.

  10. thebeachedwhale says:

    #ohioface. Lmao

  11. Kitten says:

    I guess you haven’t heard about the supposed “War on Christianity” and how Christians are always being mocked and denigrated for their beliefs?


    Kasich is a very sad man.

  12. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    He thinks that way because he actually believes that god bestowed Radcliffe’s success upon him, and Radcliffe should be on his knees supplicating in blind worship for it.

    • adastraperaspera says:

      Yes, it is the prosperity theology viewpoint that god is your ATM. That is what Kasich is saying here.

  13. Cee says:

    I’m agnostic and I respect religion and spirituality. I respect and tolerate those around me who identify as whichever religion they choose. I also tolerate their attacks on my lack of faith.

    Religion (or lack of it) is PERSONAL. And success has nothing to do with it.

    • Kitten says:

      You mean it SHOULD be personal. Religion is not personal here in the United States and it never has been, unfortunately.

    • Jwoolman says:

      Many people belong to a religious group for cultural, historical, and ethical reasons but don’t hold all the traditionally associated beliefs. They just don’t talk about it. The very word God means very many different things to different people, and that’s why people who are actually non-theistic can use the word comfortably within their religious groups. One friend who actually has a degree in ministry went through a period when he used the phrase “the divine” instead as a way around it.

      Many religious people don’t believe in a god the way the Ohio governor thinks they do. Non-theism is much wider spread than realized, it’s just that many people don’t worry about it and just adopt religious language regardless for convenience of expression (or for protection against people like him).

      Some long-standing formal religions also don’t include a god and/or an afterlife within their framework. The earth hasn’t opened and swallowed them up yet…. . There is considerable diversity under the umbrella of religion.

      Jesus himself said that not everyone who cries Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven but rather those who do the will of his Father in Heaven. Jesus certainly had a traditional view of God, but also made it clear again and again that the key point is what you do, how you treat others is what is truly important. My feeling is also that the exact framework you use to hang your thinking about the universe and your place in it doesn’t matter, it’s what you do that matters. Considering how badly so many people behave toward others in the name of their God, it is ironic that some fear that non-theists will be dangerous without the restraint of a belief in God and an afterlife. Obviously such beliefs aren’t much of a restraint. Although I did once make someone shut up at least temporarily about the need to drop bombs on other people by simply asking “Would Jesus do that?”.

  14. Ankhel says:

    Circular logic? The beloved domain of many religious people. “God gives success to the ones who believe in him and love him, so why does this successful person say they don’t believe!? Well, he simply must do, so weird and ungrateful of him to deny it.”

    Well, that or he simply thinks that Daniel’s good fortune should prove to him that God exists, obviously!

    • Naya says:

      The circular logic is hilarious. “The Bible must be the word of God because it says it is.” “God stands by his word because his word says so” et cetera et cetera. Ordinarily, I try and ignore it but not when you come for my Daniel.

    • I Choose Me says:

      ^This exactly!

    • pinetree13 says:

      I will never get it.

      “God helped me find my car keys! Thank you lord!”
      “oh…that person that’s in a war-torn country, starving and miserable, praying in the corner hoping for food…well….um….God has mysterious ways…it’s all big plan, we can’t know why. Little blessings for me and suffering for others….allllll part of the plan. Oh and the plan is still good even if some people suffer and others don’t. Great plan.”

      I’ve just always thought the idea that a deity was interfering in your life to help you in little ways while letting others rot was incredibly narcissistic. Yet I’m constantly called “selfish” for not believing?! I feel like I constantly am being put on the defense rather than being left alone.

      • Jwoolman says:

        When I was a little kid, maybe six or seven, I remember being uncomfortable with the idea that God was always watching. Not that I was doing anything wrong, just didn’t like constant supervision. I quickly decided that he had better things to do and stopped worrying about getting spied on 24/7. Likewise, I was weirded out by the idea of a guardian angel at the same age. For a while I felt obliged to make room on chairs for mine. I finally decided he or she was kind of a pain to have around, so I must have politely suggested finding someone else to guard! I don’t mind cats monitoring me, but they are quite unjudgmental.

    • Jwoolman says:

      I wasn’t raised in one of those “God makes believers successful” churches, we knew about the Book of Job… But in the US, we have some Protestant “prosperity churches” such as you describe (especially prone to selling their religious beliefs on tv and collecting money for it, making the preachers prosperous at least). People hoping for more success are attracted to them, but also it’s a way for people already quite rich and successful to feel more comfortable about their money. Jesus said some disturbing things about rich people and the difficulty of leading a good life in the midst of material success. So he seemed pretty sure prosperity was a distraction that could easily lead you astray if you weren’t careful. I wouldn’t mind taking my chances myself… Many people really are quite generous with their wealth, though, so it’s not impossible to maintain a decent attitude about it.

  15. Insomniac says:

    Remember: This is the guy who was supposed to be the “sensible and moderate” Republican during the primaries. Hoo boy …

  16. Sixer says:

    Yes, but this isn’t nearly so much Potter fun as we have had here in the UK over the last week. It’s been like Potter does politics. JK came out – in er… no uncertain terms – for one candidate in the Labour Party leadership election, while little Dan came out for other. Oh, the ructions. And now Pottermore got monetised and Sirius isn’t even GAY. Cos that’s where we are with our mature politics.

    Thank God we don’t do much in the way of religion hereabouts because we create quite enough ludicrous dramas of our own. We don’t need any more of it, thanks.

    • Cee says:

      What do you mean with Pottermore got monetised?
      I can’t spend any more money.

      • Sixer says:

        The ebooks that JK recently put out (for cash purchase) were just content from Pottermore. And, to boot, half of it was written by Pottermore staff and not JK herself. Didn’t go down well in all quarters.

      • Reece says:

        I thought those ebooks were…questionable!
        Thanks for the confirmation Sixer

  17. Kate says:

    A lot of evangelicals like to pretend the concept of atheism is completely baffling. Not just in a ‘obviously there’s a God’ way, but in that ‘what even is atheism, I don’t get it, it’s crazy’ Steve Harvey kind of way. As though the idea is so horribly confusing they can’t even begin to comprehend the basics of it. I think it’s meant to turn others off atheism but all it does is make them look exceptionally thick.

    • Jwoolman says:

      I wonder if it’s like the phenomenon of people loudly anti-gay who are actually gay themselves (or at least are afraid they are). Maybe their faith in a god isn’t all that strong, so people comfortable with no god make them especially anxious.

  18. QueenB says:

    shouldnt he hate daniel because of his propaganda of witchcraft?

  19. Suzy from Ontario says:

    I agree with your comments completely Kaiser. What a completely stupid thing to say! And he asks what the hell is wrong with Daniel? What the hell is wrong with Kasich? I think I Choose Me hit the nail on the head saying how some people are so caught up in their own dogma that they can’t imagine how others could believe differently. That’s a big part of the problem with the world today… people like that have no ability to understand others because they can’t put themselves in someone else’s shoes or try to see the world from a different point of view than their own! We need more compassion, empathy, understanding and tolerance in this world and people like Kasich are part of the problem because they just assume the way they believe is the only right way and everyone else is wrong.

  20. Monie says:

    I think what he was getting at is that successful people surely have God to thank for their success, surely. In his view, unsuccessful people should be more apt to be atheists because it would be understandable to believe there is no God since they are in such dire straits. In my experience, it tends to be poorer folks who have a very strong belief in God, hoping their plight will change.

  21. Ginger says:

    Just from my own experience, some people have to put things in neat little descriptive boxes or it doesn’t make sense to them. I’ve been a practicing Buddhist for 17 years and still get odd looks, statements and/or questions about my faith. Like “You’re a Buddhist? But you aren’t Asian?” (For the record, I’m White and European descent) And some of these folks have seemed as genuinely confused as Kasich is about Daniels Atheism.

  22. Maleficent says:

    He sounds like he’s just talking to hear himself talk.

    And I think being an atheist is weird too –and I’m married (we just celebrated our 10 year anniversary Saturday!) to one. But different strokes….

    Edit: I do find his comment seething with arrogance and disrespectful.

  23. Miss Jupitero says:

    There are a lot of religious people who truly have their heads up their asses about people’s lives outside of their tight little circles. They can understand someone being a fundie in some other religion, but not being religious at all? The concept does not exist.

    I lived in a very religiously conservative part of Turkeyonce btw– people generally were very perplexed by my lack of a religion. They would have been perfectly okay as long as I was orthodox *something*.

  24. Jwoolman says:

    Ha ha. If he only knew how many non-theists there are in the pulpits and the pews… Or maybe he does, he could easily be one of them. But it’s political suicide in most places in the US to admit it. We talk big about religious tolerance, but are a long way from it.

  25. Sasha says:

    The US has freedom of religion but I wish it also had “freedom from religion”. Many Americans can’t even understand the concept. The religion is everywhere, it is impossible to get away from it. It is suffocating.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      The original idea of the establishment clause WAS “freedom from religion” (religious interference in government) but it quickly and too easily got re-purposed as “freedom of religion.” Makes for a very churchy country.

  26. msw says:

    I am an “out” atheist in a very religious community. Trust, there are TONS of these people. A former co-worker once told me her dog didn’t like me because my soul was empty (one example of numerous awful insinuations I hear about what a terrible person I am for being an atheist, as if going to church makes you a better person than me). Living as an atheist in a very religious community is like being bombarded with other people’s beliefs all the time, but mostly, I find if I don’t start none, there won’t be none, so I don’t even bother bringing it up. I’m perfectly happy to live and let live. There are tons of people on the other side, too – I overheard a conversation once from another student on my hippie college campus, “I don’t like Christians, they’re so judgmental.” *cough*

    • Jwoolman says:

      But what religion was the dog?

      I lived with one cat who was Roman Catlic (named after a human bishop, St. Sylvester), the next one was Jewish (named after a famous Jewish American whose gentle ways never really rubbed off on her), the next two seemed to be free thinkers, and another one should have been called Gandhi because she was so expert at nonviolent resistance when dealing with the original feline residents (never an unkind word or action in response to their hisses and growls, but she also refused to budge).

  27. Faweya says:

    Success! That’s why Travolta stays with CO$

  28. Kath says:

    I hate to break it to this knobhead, but in many countries outside of the US, being agnostic/atheist/not-giving-a-crap-about-religion is the NORM, not the exception.

    For Australians, this type of judgmental religiosity seems downright weird and we tend to look a bit askance at it. This has also been my experience across much of W. and N. Europe, Canada and Asia.

    However, for reasons I don’t quite understand, right-wing religious conservatives seem to disproportionately end up in our parliament, despite not reflecting the overall population. This is why Australia STILL doesn’t have marriage equality, despite the overwhelming majority of people being in favour of it.

  29. Meg says:

    I grew up mainly in Europe, in a Catholic by culture but basically atheist family, and I concur with everyone’s points above about being non-religious/agnostic/atheist-leaning is the norm in many, if not most, first-world countries.

    I’ve struggled with the pressure to become religious since moving to the U.S., and the pressure I’ve felt from my Jewish-but-agnostic fiance’s family to convert, incorporate more Judaism into our lives and raise our possible future kids Jewish has been incredibly intense and, frankly, out-of-line. (And, yes, I do understand that Judaism has a more complicated history with intermarriage than many other religions)

    It’s just bizarre to me how anyone thinks they have a say in another person’s religious views or lack thereof and so strange that simply opting out of religion could be such an affront to some people.