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Pharrell Williams, the singer/songwriter behind “Blurred Lines” and “Happy,” recently spoke to Stylist (a free weekly magazine in the UK) about his religious views, telling the interviewer not just that he believes in God, but that there’s something wrong with anyone who doesn’t believe in a higher power:

I wonder, does he considers himself spiritual – does he believe in a higher power? “I believe in God but I also believe in the universe… and I believe in that innate ability to make decisions and to exercise our feelings as human beings.
“How do you see all the stars and think there’s nothing else out there? It’s so incredibly arrogant and pompous,” he exclaims. “It’s amazing that there are people who really believe that. It’s unbelievable”…

Every person who doubts is another person unconverted to better ways of thinking. So, with no conversation there’s no conversion. With no conversion, there’s no conviction. And with no conviction, there’s only confusion. You understand what I’m saying? If you don’t believe there is a change that is due to you then you will never, ever find it. Change won’t come and tap you on the shoulder. You have to be open for change.”

If someone can interpret whatever the hell he just said, I’d appreciate it…
But that first comment, about thinking there’s nothing else out there, is a straw man. There’s plenty of stuff “out there” and we only know about a fraction of it, but to insist that the mystery points to some Higher Power is completely misguided. There are plenty of reasons to be awed by the universe. God doesn’t have to be one of them. And you could argue it’s even more “arrogant and pompous” to believe that a Higher Power is looking out just for you.
Maybe the hat’s cramping his ability to think.
On a side note, since I’m talking about popular singers and their religious beliefs, you might remember that Cee Lo Green changed the lyrics to John Lennon‘s “Imagine” on a New Year’s Eve special a couple of years ago so that he wouldn’t have to sing “And no religion, too.”
(Image via Debby Wong / Thanks to Justin for the link)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.