Christopher Hitchens has a new book “God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.”
Some things about Mr. Hitchens from Wikipedia:
Christopher Eric Hitchens (born April 13, 1949, in Portsmouth, England) is an Anglo-American author, journalist and literary critic. Currently living in Washington, D.C., he has been a columnist at Vanity Fair, The Nation, Slate and Free Inquiry; additionally, he is an occasional contributor to other publications and has appeared regularly in the Wall Street Journal.
Hitchens is known for his iconoclasm, anti-clericalism, atheism, antitheism, anti-fascism and anti-monarchism.
Anti-, Anti-, Anti-. That just about sums up Mr. Hitchens. Hitchens is generally anti-God and pointedly anti-Catholic. This fine gentleman once called Mother Teresa the “The Ghoul of Calcutta” and a political opportunist in the guise of a saint. Nice.
To promote his anti-God / anti-religion book, Hitchens recently had a debate with Campbell University theology professor Dr. Adam English on the nature of God and the value of religion in today’s society. Some Hitchens quotes from this debate via the Daily Record:
“Religion comes to us as infants, perpetuated by pious individuals who pretend to know intimately the mind of God,” he explained. “If you like to believe that Jesus was born of a virgin go ahead, but please don’t teach it to my children.
“The absolute, totalitarian, unchanging nature of religion is completely beyond reason,” Mr. Hitchens added. “Is this not our problem, our wish to be slaves, to be completely absolved of any responsibility? Is it thinkable that we could outgrow this teaching and rise from our knees in opposition to this irrationality?”
Citing the multiplicity of religions in the world as evidence that religion is man-made, Mr. Hitchens said, “If God had made man there wouldn’t be so many gods.”
It strikes me that atheists are mostly a dour lot. Who would want to spend their sunset years with an atheist? Not me. Look at many of the notable atheists; it usually doesn’t end well for them. They often lead lives that wither away in drink, drugs, and suicidal desperation. (Think Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, and Hunter Thompson.)
When I think of militant in-your-face atheists I am often reminded of a quote from the Notre Dame sports movie Rudy, in which Fr. Cavanaugh says to Rudy:
“Son, in 35 years of religious study, I have only come up with two hard, incontrovertible facts: there is a God, and…I am not Him.”
I think this quote gets to the bottom of what really bothers these folks. It is not that God exists, but rather they are ticked off that they are not Him. For them, that is an untenable situation. This is the same problem that Satan had. There really is nothing new under the sun.
Noted atheist author and drunkard Sinclair Lewis once stood at a church pulpit and gave God ten minutes to strike him dead. When God did not, he thus concluded that there is no God. However, all this really proved was that Sinclair is not God.
Like many atheists, Christopher Hitchens does not strike me as particularly happy or hopeful but as rather a bitter, resentful, heavy drinker type, sadly bereft of all hope. A modern Sinclair Lewis actually. I understand. Without God, what can one hope for? What is the point?
Even if one cannot find within themselves the ability to fully embrace religion, the best hypothesis continues to be to live as if God exists. If you are wrong, hey, you will never know and you will be much happier along the way.