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An Optimistic Agnostic

That's how Green Day bass player Mike Dirnt describes his beliefs in this fascinating interview about faith, rock 'n' roll, Star Wars, and the claims of Christ.

Green Day has been one of the best, and most enduring, mainstream punk rock bands for the last decade, and their most recent CD, American Idiot, recently won the Best Rock Album award at the Grammys. These punkers have sold millions of albums, they've played Woodstock, they've been on the cover of Rolling Stone. They're the picture of success … but where are they spiritually? Author Doug Van Pelt wanted to know, so he got bass player Mike Dirnt on the phone to talk about Jesus. In the following excerpt from an interview that appears in Van Pelt's book, Rock Stars on God: 20 Artists Speak Their Minds About Faith (Relevant Books), Dirnt says he's "down with JC"—but also that he's an "optimistic agnostic." How's that add up?

Do you believe in evolution?

Mike Dirnt: Yeah man. You know, when Beck said, "In a time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey," well I was also a monkey. I'm sure of it. I just feel it in my bones."

Is that what you base your belief on?

Dirnt: You know what? I'm an optimistic agnostic. I think the second we die, within a matter of seconds, everybody else arrives, and that's the party, and you live your hell on earth. I don't know.

What do you think of Jesus Christ?

Dirnt: I'm down with J.C. He's cool. Whatever.

What do you think of his claims to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that "No one comes to the Father but by me"?

Dirnt: Sounds a little mafioso to me. You know, to each their own. Everyone has the right to believe in whatever they believe in. Like I said, I'm an optimist, so I believe in some sort of life after death, I don't know what kind.

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