“Prof. Richard Dawkins, the High Priest of atheist rationalism and author or The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion, has revealed to Gay Byrne that Elvis Presley once inspired him to become a fervent Christian.
Speaking on tonight’s edition of The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne, which airs at 10.35pm on RTÉ One, Dawkins also discusses his controversial views on abortion and clerical abuse. At one point in the interview, he also reminds Gay that Adolf Hitler was a Catholic.
“The Professor says that in his teens he became a fervent Christian after hearing one of Elvis’ religious albums,” says Roger Childs, the producer of The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne. “He thought to himself, `well if religion is good enough for Elvis, it’s good enough for me. I can become Elvis’ prophet!'”
Childs told TEN that getting Professor Dawkins for tonight’s show was a coup as they had been turned down by his publishers earlier this year. “I found that I had the Professor’s personal number so I rang him up and asked him to do it.” says Childs.
Dawkins also discusses his controversial opinions about the harm done to children by religious instruction and about the morality of abortion.
During the interview with Byrne, Dawkins resists the temptation to replicate Stephen Fry’s famous rant on The Meaning of Life . . . in the face of God at the Pearly Gates, and chooses, instead, to present “this Master Scientist” with a series of questions about how the world works, “. . . before I’m sent downstairs.”