Stephen Fry has revealed he was "absolutely astonished" by the enormity of the reponse to his attack on on God.
Fry, who recently married his partner Elliot Spencer, said on BBC Radio 4's Today programme he had not meant to cause offence.
"I don't think I mentioned once any particular religion and I certainly didn't intend to say anything offensive towards any particular religion.
"I said quite a few things that were angry at this supposed God. I was merely saying things that Bertrand Russell and many finer heads than mine have said for hundreds of years, going all the way back to the Greeks."
A storm of controversy erupted worldwide after Fry condemned God as "utterly evil, capricious and monstrous" on the Irish religious affairs programme The Meaning of Life on RTE television.
In an imaginary conversation with God, Fry said he would challenge him: "How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault? It's not right. It's utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?"
Among responses across social and print media, a comment based on Christian apologetics by Krish Kandiah for Christian Today proved one of the most popular.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby declined to comment on Fry's specific criticisms but defended the "freedom" of atheists to make such statements.
The next leader of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland, Rev Ian McNie, accused Fry of "spiritual blindness".