Mathijs Schaap



Hunter "Patch" Adams

The American Doctor Hunter "Patch" Adams is not a regular doctor. This doctor has inspired many people world wide. He also inspired moviemakers: his life is portrayed by the one and only Robin Williams!

Patch Adams is someone special. He's a man with a special charisma who does not fear for making someone else happy. For Patch the other human being is centered, not himself.

Patch challenges many people to start realizing that it is liberating when you realize that it is much more fun when you give something to one another instead of another giving you something...

Patch's vision has also lead to what we know as the CliniClowns.

This man fascionates me. That's why I thought the time was right for an interview. Here you can read the result...

Dear Patch;

You have inspired people all around the world with your vision on joy & humour. You care for the sick, you are a doctor and I can just quote many more of your qualities.

When you were in Holland in November 2005, for the dutch television you've mentioned that you've also got a serious side. I think that's really good: that means you are a human being! And actually I am interested in your serious side on some subjects. That's why I really wanted to ask you the following questions:

1) I once read this following quote about you:

Admitting he never had any religion, he calls a friend his "god" and the love of other people, God's spirit.(1)

Now, I can agree with that in a certain way. In the movie "Patch Adams" God is also involved in the scene where Robin Williams wants to commit suicide and challenges God. God answered with the butterfly. Did this scene reflect some of your personal view on theology and God?

Patch: The movie took a secular story of an encounter with a butterfly and injected it with religious meaning which is not me. I've never really had thoughts about God, because of the abstract of this. It makes no sense.

2) Jesus once said the following:

"Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' "Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'
(Matthew 25, 34-40)

Personaly, I think this passage is also about everything that you stand for. I think it can be read today in the way looking at our world where people should love people, and use technology instead of otherwise around AND bring to joy to one another. How come people fail too much to do so, you think?

Patch: I agree the biblical quote you gave from Jesus is also how I feel. I think I got it from my mom, from a consequence of loving people and life and from a call for justice.
I think the world of humans behaves so badly because the people have thoughtlessly chosen a vain system based on greed and power over (the message of the media) instead of a value system based upon compassion and generosity (almost never on tv).
20th century lifestyle all over the world speaks of this choice of couch sitting peoples so they live lives without meaning and alienated. I think capitalism is the worst thing to ever happen in history.

3) Are you often being spoken to by Christians who think you are an example for the Biblical call for all of this (caring for one antother/bringing joy to the world, etc.)? What do they tell you most of the time?

Patch: Yes, people (christians) often say my message is Christ's message, which is most all mother's message. I try to tell them, if thought is put to the world, one will come to the conclusion to love everyone: it makes sense.

4) What do you think of the quote "I don't know if Jesus laughed a lot when He was walking this earth, but I do know that we are able to laugh are heads off thanks to what Jesus did for us"?

Patch: There is a group here that have posters of Christ laughing -Fellowship of Merry Christians- makes sense to me that the real Christ laughed a lot. Religious are famous for not being funny.

5) Do you think people who believe in God, should not be afraid of death just exactly as is mentioned in the movie when Robin Williams is in court?

Patch: If someone really believes in God -it means they are without doubt- and if that's true -which means when dead one goes to sees Christ- so how could they be frightened? If they are not frightened, I have more the impression that they are real christians (most in u.s. are fake).

6) When you and I meet in heaven, how will I recognize you there? What will you be wearing?

Patch: I can not make an image to myself about Heaven and I am not busy on the subject. The abstract thinking about Heaven makes no sense to me.

I feel the experience of life as a piece of Heaven.

In Jesus,


Patch, thanks so much for taking time for me. I will always be practising your view on life.

With enormous love,

Mathijs Schaap

(1) Source:

Update May 6th 2006:
Some people doubt Patch's faith in God after reading this interview. However, Patch only describes that his own, real life was a little different than the movie portrayes. Anyone who realises that translating somebody's life into the cinema's, understands that movies need their own particulair way of telling a story.
Patch talks a bit about his own personal prayer life in his book 'House Calls'.

Read also:
Biblestudy on the movie "Patch Adams" (PDF-file, 98 KB)