Gay and Lesbian Humanist

Autumn 2000

Warren Allen Smith

Gossip from Across the Pond

by Warren Allen Smith

Björk, a recording artist, has gone on record as saying, “If I get into trouble, there’s no God or Allah to sort me out. I have to do it myself.”

She added, “I do not believe in religion, but, if I had to choose one, it would be Buddhism. It seems more livable, closer to men. I’ve been reading about reincarnation, and the Buddhists say we come back as animals and they refer to them as lesser beings. Well, animals aren’t lesser beings, they’re just like us. So I say fuck the Buddhists.”

She is but one of the contemporary musicians whom I list as non-believers in my just-published Who’s Who in Hell: A Handbook and International Directory for Humanists, Freethinkers, Naturalists, Rationalists, and Non-Theists (NY: Barricade Books, $125 – reviewed in this issue of G&LH). There are other musicians, and the book documents why they are included as non-believers: the composer-conductor Pierre Boulez, Scottish pop-rock singer Justin Currie, noted composer David Diamond, Brazilian musician-songwriter Gilbert Gil, composer Lou Harrison, popular musician Billy Joel, songwriter-entertainer Tom Lehrer, singer-entertainer Barry Manilow, violinist Yehudi Menuhin, a member of the British Humanist Association, singer-songwriter Randy Newman, orchestra conductor Seiji Ozawa, French flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal, the Residents, a San Francisco-based band, composer Ned Rorem (see CD review, this issue), folksinger-composer Pete Seeger, recording artist Al Stewart and vocalist Michael Stipe.

CNN did a story about the book, filming me and my 32-year-old companion Randy Box. When National Public Radio interviewed me, the subjects of atheism, gays and lesbians were freely discussed. In the numerous other radio interviews, I did not hesitate to mention my being gay and a Humanist, and to my pleasant surprise no negative flak has yet ensued. However, a Brazilian journalist complained that I’d omitted their President Fernando Cardoso.

Also, I’ve learned that Chile’s President Ricardo Lagos is a socialist agnostic. Since the book was published, Jane Fonda not only left her freethinking husband Ted Turner (who once described Christianity as “a religion for losers”) but also gave up her own freethinking and became a Born-Again. As the secular Humanist Kurt Vonnegut Jr would say, “So it goes!” For details about the above monumental book, which lists this magazine and has page after page about Humanism and gay topics, go to

First, the celebrities Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche broke up. Now the rock star Melissa Etheridge and director Julie Cypher have broken up, reportedly vowing to remain friends for the sake of their young children. One celebrity who will never need to divorce is the non-believer Jodie Foster. She simply never got married and has never revealed who sired her child.

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Created : Sunday, 2000-10-29 / Last updated : Wednesday, 2007-12-12
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