Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Christopher Hitchens and Jerry Falwell

Christopher Hitchens has thrown his hat in the ring as the latest author with a grudge against God. His book, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, goes several steps beyond those of Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins in railing against all things religious. But while Sam Harris’ book The End of Faith is very readable – and a must read for those who want to understand the perspective of unbelief – I find most anything that Hitchens says or writes to be so full of bile and vindictiveness as to be irrelevant. Even Dawkins, who can be petty and harsh when he writes or speaks about religion, seems mild by comparison.

I have clipped some of the words Hitchens wrote about the death of Jerry Falwell and pasted them below. It would be perfectly legitimate to write a column filled with well-reasoned arguments about the faults of Jerry Falwell and one’s disagreements with his beliefs and/or methods; it’s another thing entirely when a column contains nothing but personal insults and name-calling. For someone as bright as Hitchens, this is inexcusable. But this is merely his way of operating; instead of using his intellect to craft a well-reasoned argument Hitchens would rather use cheap insults as he seeks to provoke and emotional reaction rather than a thoughtful one.

In his own words, here is Hitchens –

The discovery of the carcass of Jerry Falwell on the floor of an obscure office in Virginia has almost zero significance, except perhaps for two categories of the species labeled "credulous idiot." The first such category consists of those who expected Falwell (and themselves) to be bodily raptured out of the biosphere and assumed into the heavens, leaving pilotless planes and driverless trucks and taxis to crash with their innocent victims as collateral damage. This group is so stupid and uncultured that it may perhaps be forgiven. It is so far "left behind" that almost its only pleasure is to gloat at the idea of others being abandoned in the same condition.

From his wobbly base of opportunist fund raising and degree-mill money-spinning in Lynchburg, Va., he set out to puddle his sausage-sized fingers into the intimate arrangements of people who had done no harm. Men of this type, if they cannot persuade enough foolish people to part with their savings, usually end up raving on the street and waving placards about the coming day of judgment. But Falwell, improving on the other Chaucerian frauds from Oral Roberts to Jim Bakker to Ted Haggard, not only had a TV show of his own but was also regularly invited onto mainstream ones.

It's a shame that there is no hell for Falwell to go to, and it's extraordinary that not even such a scandalous career is enough to shake our dumb addiction to the "faith-based."

If this is the voice of atheism, I am even more determined to have none of it.


Abundant Blessings said...

Good post, and point well made. It seems many atheist authors feel so strongly about it that it has become a religion itself, although I am sure they don't realize it. They are surely looking to convert:)

Fighting4theLord said...

I feel sorry for Mr. Hitchens and the people who share his view, and the reason is because there is a place where people who didn't believe in God go and burn forever. And I know this because of the things in my life I have seen and heard and believe me these things was so supernatural that no one in their right mind could say it didn't happen. The Bible has been around for 1,000 of years and has been talking things that are now starting to happen. The Bible says that seasons of the year will be hard to tell apart which is starting to happen with more days in the winter being warmer and more days in the summer being cold. The Bible also talked about when the people of Israel became a nation again was another sign that the time of the end was getting nearer. And yes I know that Israel became a nation a long time ago, but what I’m getting at is the Bible was around and saying that before Israel became a nation. Now you tell me how the Bible could know what was going to happen before it happens if there was no GOD. And for the comments that Mr. Hitchens has made towards Jerry Falwell was just stupid didn't make any sense and basically showed me that Mr. Hitchens had to have cheated his way through college if he went to college. Mr. Hitchens was not from Lynchburg, VA and I’m sure Mt. Hitchens barely seen Jerry Falwell in person. So how can Mr. Hitchens say that Falwell was a liar and all about the money, well Mr. Hitchens you can say that all you want, but you’re wrong once again? So since Mr. Hitchens can make up statements about people that he doesn’t know, then I will do the same thing. When I seen Mr. Hitchens talking on CNN the first thing I thought about, was Mr. Hitchens doesn’t like Jerry Falwell because Mr. Hitchens must have had a boyfriend. So for everyone who feels like Mr. Hitchens I will be praying for you also everyday. (God Bless Everyone)

Reverend Mark said...

If you say that about mister Hitchens, you have Not read his writings.
Please do not lie about reading his book if you have not!

He is rational and very straight forward, have an open mind. If you are Not afraid of Losing your Faith.