One More Celebrity Atheist September 3, 2007

One More Celebrity Atheist

This one isn’t really news like Zac Efron was. Jodie Foster has been an open atheist for some time.

But she is on the cover of the latest Entertainment Weekly (picture via


Here’s an excerpt from her interview (p. 41):

Are you religious?

No, I’m an atheist. But I absolutely love religions and the rituals. Even though I don’t believe in God. We celebrate pretty much every religion in our family with the kids. They love it, and when they say, ”Are we Jewish?” or ”Are we Catholic?” I say, ”Well, I’m not, but you can choose when you’re 18. But isn’t this fun that we do seders and the Advent calendar?”

Ok, so it’s not the same answer Richard Dawkins would give. But it’s still good to see someone bluntly saying, “I’m an atheist.”

A fuller (but not-so-updated) list of celebrity atheists can be found here.

(Thanks to Deanna for the link!)

[tags]atheist, atheism, High School Musical 2, The Brave One[/tags]

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Hey, I love celebrating Jewish holidays- especially Passover (I try and get to a friend’s Seder every year).

    I’m not Jewish- religiously or culturally. But they know how to party.

  • Miko

    I can see a sentiment like this enraging fundamentalists even more than Dawkinesque rhetoric: not only is she saying that she doesn’t think their belief is true, she’s also calling their solemn rituals fun.

  • Jen

    Interesting. People have known for years that Jodie is a lesbian, but she has never actually admitted to it. But atheism, she is willing to admit to. How strange. Does this mean that atheism is more acceptable than gayness?

  • Gadren

    Jodie Foster is one of my favorite actresses, if only because if her great performance in Contact. I think that the book was far better, because it:
    * actually showed society changing from the alien technologies and industries, whereas the movie showed a world essentially unchanged by the Message
    * ended on a more upbeat note, with the hidden message in pi being found which could prove that the mission actually happened, whereas in the movie, it was left as a subjective experience that was equated with faith

    But even so… Contact rocked, and Jodie Foster even more so…

    “They should have sent a poet…”

  • Darryl

    Jodie is classy, good, and bold.

  • So what if it’s not the same answer Dawkins would give? One cool part about being a freethinker is not having to parrot what anyone else says. 😀

    I happen to think that’s a great answer. I love holiday traditions too, and I think it’s foolish to give people the impression that they have to give up their traditions when they stop believing in God/gods, as if the religion owns the tradition. I talked about this in my post Tradition! and about allowing kids to chose a religious identity at 18 in this post.

  • Gadren: I agree that the book is much better, partially for the reasons you list, but since the movie is a movie with limited space (and time), I think they did a fantastic job adapting the book.

  • stogoe

    Dawkins did say something at one point about happily celebrating Christmas because it’s become unglued from its religious origins. It’s about giving gifts and spending time with family, not baby jesus in the food trough.

  • Dr Robert Price still attends church services, because he loves the pageantry of it. Some atheists are put off by this, but it does show the diversity of atheism. He associated it with being able to see a temple ceremony in honor of Zeus, you can’t easily do that now, but you can witness a ceremony honoring a creator god and his offspring who made sure you’d be able to hang out with his dad, even though you’ve been naughty.

  • stogoe

    I don’t like going back to the church where I was raised – it’s a little like rubbing their noses in their failure to retain me as a believer (not to mention it’s a pretty generic midwest suburban church in terms of design). But when I was studying abroad I loved going to see the beautiful architecture of the old churches. Thinking about the amount of human effort that went into their construction and the intricacy of the floors and the ceilings and the walls, it’s amazing.

  • Polly

    I love Christmas and the Christmas season – especially Santa Claus. I have no intention of letting my “mere atheism” interfere with my enjoying the carols or watching Christmas movies, or putting up a tree.

    It put a smile on my face to read her flat-out say “I’m an atheist.” Finally, someone famous for being something other than an atheist, cops to it. No beating around the bush – “I’m not religious”, “My family is not religious”, “I don’t believe in organized religion” etc etc.

  • Ute

    I celebrate christmas with my family, and I celebrate easter. I’ve always done that, I grew up doing that. I was told once by a Christian that I’m not allowed to celebrate christmas. I asked her if she had a christmas tree. She said of course she did. I told her that she wasn’t allowed… after all the christmas tree is a pagan tradition. 🙂 Oh well…
    After years of being subjected to criticism I have heard all the arguments and I have just about all the answers to silence those who would like to see me burn in hell.

    I love Jodie Foster. She is simply brilliant and I love that she flat out says she’s an atheist. Being a celebrity that takes guts.

    I will link to you on my blog if you don’t mind.

  • Jodie Foster is a lesbian? Boy, do I live in the closet. Obviously not the same one as Jodie foster, though.

  • Meade Skelton

    Why is it such a big deal that she’s an Atheist? I’m a Christian and it doesn’t bother me… I don’t see why Atheists go on such a big crusade and such about their non-belief just as people can go overboard with their belief in God.

  • Gadren

    @Meade Skelton:
    1: This is an atheist blog for atheist issues, so it would make sense that we would notice atheism in famous people.
    2: Atheism is something, if not outright persecuted, then at least frowned upon in our society. The closest most famous people get is “I’m not religious” or something like that, and for someone to say “I’m an atheist” means something.
    3: We aren’t trying to force anyone to be atheist or pressure them unethically. Comparing our efforts to a “crusade” is simply distasteful.

  • Meade Skelton

    Sorry, I must disagree with you again. Atheism is something that is encouraged in our society. We basically live in a Godless society- and you can go to communist countries and thats the majority that rules are Atheists. Atheists also aren’t beaten and tortured for their beliefs in places like China- its the Christians who are murdered and beaten and slain and left to die in the streets. No atheist has ever been robbed of their right to not believe in God.

    Its the Christians who are up against all odds. In Hollywood, you have much better luck if you proclaim yourself an Atheist- or even a Scientologist, than you do if you are Christian. Some Christians have been fired from jobs in Hollywood for their beliefs.

    You make it seem like Atheism is a social taboo. Its actually the mainstream in the world in which we live today.

  • Karen

    You make it seem like Atheism is a social taboo. Its actually the mainstream in the world in which we live today.

    You need to educate yourself with some data, Meade, because you are way off the mark. I suspect you may have bought into the “we’re a victimized minority” falsehood that many U.S. Christian leaders shamelessly perpetuate. has international religion statistics here that show the non-religious making up about 8% internationally. The latest Gallup polls show non-theists at about 9% or 10% in the U.S., if I recall correctly.

    The facts show that the world is highly religious, as is the United States. Certain parts of Europe are rapidly becoming more secular than religious, but those countries are very much the anomaly, not at all the norm!

  • HappyNat

    Atheism is something that is encouraged in our society

    Where do you live? Atheism is looked at quite differently all over the world. In the United States a majority of people would not vote for an atheist for public office and we are amoung the least trusted groups in society. So it is hard to say it is encouraged in America.

    No atheist has ever been robbed of their right to not believe in God.

    Robbed of their right no, but many feel pressure to act like they believe or at least keep their lack of belief quite.

    Its the Christians who are up against all odds. In Hollywood, you have much better luck if you proclaim yourself an Atheist- or even a Scientologist, than you do if you are Christian. Some Christians have been fired from jobs in Hollywood for their beliefs..

    What odds are you talking about? If a TV show or movie bother you don’t watch it. There is plenty of Christan movies, TV shows, and books you can use to entertain yourself. The majority of America is Christian and Hollywood makes what Americans buy, if all Christians stopped watching the trash they put out they would stop putting out such trash. By in large, Hollywood cares about profits not religion.

    Do you have a link where somebody was fired be being Christian?

  • Polly

    @Meade Skelton,

    I think you might be confusing non-xian with atheist. There are many in Hollywood and throughout the US who are “spiritual” or otherwise have beliefs that definitely conflict with atheism. When someone actually says that angels, spirts, or god(s) are all just fantasy, I am pretty sure they are in a tiny minority even within Hollywood.

  • skyotter

    Meade Skelton said, ” Some Christians have been fired from jobs in Hollywood for their beliefs.”

    indeed? please name one. just one

    thanks in advance

  • Meade Skelton

    Sure. Ever hear of Kirk Cameron?

    Most are not fired, but they have to keep their faith secret. Because most Hollywood is Atheist and Secular. So being a Christian in Hollywood is like being a wino during Prohibition.

  • King Duncan

    No atheist has ever been robbed of their right to not believe in God.

    History begs to differ. Although I guess not literally, but many athiests have been locked up or killed in past times for voicing their beliefs. Science was held back for centuries because progress disagreed with a literal interpretation of the Bible.

error: Content is protected !!