Though Kurt Vonnegut identified as a secular humanist, he often described himself as a “Christ-loving atheist,” and readers can find a wealth of reflections on Christ and Christianity within Vonnegut’s work. Among The Daily Vonnegut’s favorites:
From Fates Worse Than Death:
“The first story of mine that got into trouble with the sincerely Christian far right was about time travelers who went back to Bible times and discovered that Jesus Christ was five feet, two inches tall. I think I liked Jesus more than the story’s naysayers did, since I was asserting that I didn’t care how tall or short He was.”
From God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian:
“My great grandfather Clemens Vonnegut wrote, for example, ‘If what Jesus said was good, what can it matter whether he was God or not?'”
Also from God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian:
“I myself have written, ‘If it weren’t for the message of mercy and pity in Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, I wouldn’t want to be a human being. I would just as soon be a rattlesnake.”
And from the Playboy Interview, found in Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut:
“I admire Christianity more than anything–Christianity as symbolized by gentle people sharing a common bowl.”
For more, read Vonnegut’s friend Dan Wakefield’s essay from Image Journal, “Kurt Vonnegut, Christ-Loving Atheist.”
For trivia fans, the correct response to our last question was D. Mary Kathleen O’Looney was the mysterious Mrs. Jack Graham in Jailbird.
Finally, here’s 1 1983 interview in which Vonnegut discusses his life and career.
Happy holidays from The Daily Vonnegut.