Tag Archives | Christopher Hitchens

Just Say No To Freedom Of Religion

Mitt Romney. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi (CC)

Mitt Romney. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi (CC)

The inimitable Christopher Hitchens says the taming and domestication of religious faith is one of the unceasing chores of civilization, at Slate:

A recent blizzard of liberal columns has framed the debate over American Islam as if it were no more than the most recent stage in the glorious history of our religious tolerance. This phrasing of the question has the (presumably intentional) effect of marginalizing doubts and of lumping any doubters with the anti-Catholic Know-Nothings, the anti-Semites, and other bigots and shellbacks. So I pause to take part in a thought experiment, and to ask myself: Am I in favor of the untrammeled “free exercise of religion”?

No, I am not. Take an example close at hand, the absurdly named Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. More usually known as the Mormon church, it can boast Glenn Beck as one of its recruits.

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Christopher Hitchens: On The Topic Of Cancer

Christopher HitchensHitch describes his coming to terms with cancer, in Vanity Fair:

I have more than once in my time woken up feeling like death. But nothing prepared me for the early morning last June when I came to consciousness feeling as if I were actually shackled to my own corpse. The whole cave of my chest and thorax seemed to have been hollowed out and then refilled with slow-drying cement. I could faintly hear myself breathe but could not manage to inflate my lungs. My heart was beating either much too much or much too little. Any movement, however slight, required forethought and planning. It took strenuous effort for me to cross the room of my New York hotel and summon the emergency services. They arrived with great dispatch and behaved with immense courtesy and professionalism. I had the time to wonder why they needed so many boots and helmets and so much heavy backup equipment, but now that I view the scene in retrospect I see it as a very gentle and firm deportation, taking me from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady.

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Christopher Hitchens: ‘Everyone’s A Little Bit Gay’

Christopher HitchensChristopher Hitchens tells Deborah Solomon why, for her New York Times Magazine column:

Solomon: What did you mean to suggest by including the detail about your long-ago flings with two men who became part of Margaret Thatcher’s administration?

Hitchens: There are still people who want to criminalize homosexuality one way or another, and I thought it might be useful if more heterosexual men admitted that they are a little bit gay, as is everyone, and that homosexuality is a form of love and not just sex.

Solomon: Not everyone is “a little bit gay,” as you say. Do you think your basic sexual confusion underlies your political confusions?

Hitchens: No, I wouldn’t call it confusion. I’d call it a punctuated consistency. I argue in the book that my principles were the same throughout…

[continues in the New York Times Magazine]

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Christopher Hitchens on ‘Real Time with Bill Maher': The Pope is a Criminal (Video)

Christopher HitchensHere's Christopher Hitchens discussing the "petty gossip" as the Pope puts it on Real Time With Bill Maher. A longtime critic of how the Catholic Church has handled abuse allegations, Hitchens believes the current Pope was actually involved in the cover-up before he took the top job. Hitchens also contends that the Pope is subject to criminal prosecution due to his involvement in the latest sex scandal.
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It’s Idiotic to Blame Anything Other Than Geology for the Haitian Earthquake

Christopher Hitchens writes on Slate:

On Nov. 1, 1755 — the feast of All Saint’s Day — a terrifying combination of earthquake and tsunami shattered the Portuguese capital city of Lisbon. Numerous major churches were destroyed and many devout worshippers along with them. This cataclysmic event was a spur to two great enterprises: the European Enlightenment and the development of seismology. Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were only some of those who reasoned that no thinkable deity could have desired or ordained the obliteration of Catholic Lisbon, while other thinkers — Immanuel Kant among them — began to inquire into the possible natural causes of such events.

CaribbeanTectonicPlate

Today, we can clearly identify the “fault” that runs under the Atlantic Ocean and still puts Portugal and other countries at risk, and it took only a few more generations before there was a workable theory of continental drift. We live on a cooling planet with a volcanic interior that is insecurely coated with a thin crust of grinding tectonic plates.

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Changing the Conversation on Religion (Before it Kills Us All)

New York Times best-selling author Frank Schaeffer has strong opinions on religion, writing in the Huffington Post:
The media-labeled "New Atheists" such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have put forward what they regard as the answer to religion: grow up, human race, and abandon your myths! Most Americans, and maybe even most people around the world, have another answer to the extremes of religion that infect people like Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who (allegedly) tried to blow up an airplane over Detroit: hunt down and kill the extremists. I think just about everyone has missed the real point: religion won't go away because -- like it or not -- people are spiritual beings. Telling religious people to be moderate is not going to solve anything once they are convinced everyone not like them is the enemy of "truth." Killing more people just makes martyrs. That being the case, the way to confront religious poison is to change religion, not try to win by eliminating it. And that change means we have to try and get to the next generation before the fundamentalists do...
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‘Collision’ Attempts to Answer ‘Is Christianity Good for the World?’

Collision carves a new path in documentary filmmaking as it pits leading atheist, political journalist and bestselling author Christopher Hitchens against fellow author, satirist and evangelical theologian Douglas Wilson, as they go on the road to exchange blows over the question: "Is Christianity Good for the World?" The two contrarians laugh, confide and argue, in public and in private, as they journey through three cities:
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