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August 18th, 2010
02:37 PM ET

Happy birthday, Ray Bradbury

In this space there will be no mention of:

The proposed ground zero Islamic centerGay marriage. Or any religious strife at all.

We’ll talk instead about love–and the faith of Ray Bradbury.Last month I had a lot of  fun writing an article on one of my childhood heroes, Ray Bradbury, author of classics such as “Fahrenheit 451” and “The Martian Chronicles.”  This month, UCLA celebrates Bradbury's  90th birthday (which happens August 22) with a its own online  tribute.

I focused on Bradbury because I  noticed that there’s a religious sensibility that runs through many of his stories. So I asked the man himself: what is your faith and how has it shaped your writings and your life?

Bradbury calls himself a Zen Buddhist, but he mixes in elements of other faiths. He’s a man, I said, who is in love with love.  This is how he described his faith to me:

At the center of religion is love. I love you and I forgive you. I am like you and you are like me. I love all people. I love the world. I love creating. ... Everything in our life should be based on love.

UCLA's  tribute to Bradbury is playful, like the man himself. It's filled with archival photos, videotaped interviews and some glimpses of  the author’s distinctive spirituality.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Art • Buddhism • Science

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Colossal surpasses earbuds Is better than Simply by Dre Alone Purple

    Hello very cool website!! Man .. Beautiful .. Wonderful .. I'll bookmark your web site and take the feeds also?I am happy to find numerous helpful info right here within the publish, we'd like work out more techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

    June 8, 2012 at 6:17 am |
  2. Skip

    It sounds as if his commitment to freedom has dimmed with age as he now embraces the harsh intolerant Republican Agenda. Maybe the electronic version of Fahrenheit 451 should be renamed Fahrenheit 221 the flash point of Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene the casing for the most eBooks

    November 30, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  3. Michael Stevens

    I love Ray Bradbury, but he seems to think that Ronald Reagan was our best President-ever, even better than Lincoln, either of the Roosevelts, Thomas Jefferson, etc. He also watches Fox News all day long. Sadly, this is not the Ray Bradbury who wrote angrily about McCarthyism in the 1950s and channeled his anger via his brilliant novel, Fahrenheit 451.

    Is the world so terrible now that Ronald Reagan can be regarded as our best President?

    September 1, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  4. Ron Nospam

    Just watched F451 again or the first tiem in a long time. Planning to reread it again. Happy Birthday, Mr. Bradbury!

    August 23, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  5. Betty

    Thanks for this. As an atheist I struggle to remember that not everyone's experience with religion has been as negative as my own (see http://tohellwithbetty.blogspot.com re my experience coming out of born-again Christianity). I wish that all religions (and atheism) would focus more on loving others!

    August 18, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  6. Rich of Butler

    I've been a fan of Ray Bradbury for over 35 years – since the age of ten. At that time, I was a an avid reader who was growing tired of stories I got to read in school. I was about to stop reading. The October Country and Dandelion Wine reversed that for me. Every good thing that has happened to me career-wise is due to my love for reading and writing. I credit Ray and one (only one) of my so-called teachers. So, Ray is one of my teachers! How cool is that? That said, Ray's greatest talent is his example. He does what he loves, and he loves what he does! His love of life is infectious! My only other role model like that is Tony Bennett. And let's not forget Ray's tireless support of Public Libraries. That may be his greatest legacy. I sure wish I could meet him.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
  7. Susan

    I just finished Dandelion Wine and Farewell Summer. I forgot what a wonderful writing he is because it has been years since I read any of his books. What a treat to go to the library and start checking out his books. He is one of the greatest writers of our time. Happy Birthday, Mr. Bradbury.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  8. Philippa

    I had the great pleasure of seeing Ray Bradbury's panel at San Diego Comic Con. Even more than that, I asked him a question and had it answered. I've been in love with his words for the best part of forty years. Thank-you, sir. Your words have haunted me [in the best way!] and taken me on many a voyage of the imagination. I love you :-)

    August 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm |

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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.