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For Penn Jillette, Every Day Is An Atheist Holiday
For Penn Jillette, Every Day Is An Atheist Holiday

AIR DATE: December 13, 2012

Penn Jillette is so outspoken about his atheism that he once wrote 10 commandments for non-believers. So it may come as a shock to learn that on his list of literary must-reads, along with Shakespeare and Moby Dick, is the Bible.

“I start at the beginning then I go all the way through. Then I start again at the top. I don’t read much, just a couple of pages a day to mull it over,” says Jillete. “It’s part of our culture.”

It’s also the book he most often recommends to aspiring non-believers.

“When somebody comes to me and says, I’m starting to question my religion, what book do you recommend by Hitchens or Dawkins? I say, don’t get those yet. Take the Bible, start with Genesis, ‘in the beginning,’ read through the crazy revelations, read through the whole thing without a study guide, without a spin master,” he says.

Christmas carols also ring bells with him, and not the merry jingling kind.

“Listening carefully to Christmas carols is the quickest way to realize - the ‘Joy to the World’ they’re talking about is a joy to the world in the future,” says Jillette. “What scares me most is not that I won’t be alive in 100 years. What scares me most is that I’m not alive enough now.”

Listen to the rest of our hour-long interview with Penn Jillette in which he offers a linguistic take-down of the theme from Shaft, thoughts on why Harry Houdini is more culturally significant than Elvis, and ideas about how politicians should talk to atheists.


    comments powered by Disqus
    this was a fascinating interview Penn is such an intelligent person and its great to listen to him he makes sense on a great many levels and each is entitled to his opinion on religion really enjoyed listening
    elizabeth kaminskiDec 12, 2012 18:10:56 PM
    I enjoyed this interview. Penn is so cool and a fascinating person. I don't know if there were audio problems or what, but it was very hard for me to hear him at times, even with headphones on and the audio all the way up. Penn seemed to be speaking very softly, which is unlike him. Thanks for the segment!
    ElliottDec 12, 2012 15:44:57 PM
    In Scandinavia adult reindeer lose their antlers in December, however young reindeer don't lose their antlers until spring. The More you Know. I agree with the Frosty thing though.
    Jason SavageDec 11, 2012 19:35:39 PM
    BEST two hours I've spent listening to this show in a long time. Penn Jillette is a fascinating fella.
    AllenDec 11, 2012 11:00:53 AM
    As a life long mormon,I just wanted to say that I agree with Penn about the "Christianity" and Mitt/Obama stuff. I think we should all just be considered Human Beings. While I think it's natural to be attracted to those that believe the same - it's also so much fun to learn about other humans!!!
    Tennille AndersonDec 11, 2012 10:33:45 AM
    I been living in Las Vegas for over 5 years and I still haven't seen the Penn and Teller show
    JamesDec 7, 2012 20:12:24 PM
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