Although Hitchens’ book is lively and well written, it is fatally marred by its many rhetorical evasions and falsehoods. Throughout the book, whatever Hitchens dislikes is blamed on religion and whatever he likes is credited to something else. A clergyman Hitchens admires, Martin Luther King, is dismissed as someone who was “in no real … sense … a Christian.” By contrast, Hitchens blames the atheistic dictatorships that killed more people in the 20th century than had been deliberately killed by the state in all the preceding centuries on religion, offering up the Jesuit missions of Paraguay which protected the Indians until their dissolution as the first successful instance of totalitarianism and claiming that “A totalitarian state is in effect a theocracy.” What Hitchens ignores is that Christian Europe produced very few theocracies, because the Church, basing herself on its founder, has always taught that men should “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” The political legacy of Christianity is thus one of law and liberty, not one of unitary despotism and worship of the state. In Hitchens’ strange mental universe, religion is to blame for slavery—a primordial human institution abolished in major part by religious men such as William Wilberforce—and the Rwandan genocide, where one Catholic ethnic group slaughtered a different Catholic ethnic group. Hitchens also repeats the Communist inspired lie that Pius XII was “pro-Nazi,” citing as his sole authority the book by John Cornwell that has been so thoroughly discredited by serious historians that even its author no longer makes such a claim.The whole article may be found here.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Interesting Article on one of the Neo-Atheisism Fad Favorites
A Blog called Taki's Top Drawer has a very interesting article on Christopher Hitchens, one of the Neo-Atheist fad's top of the pops celebrity authors. The Neo-Atheist movement has all the serious depth and reflection of a fifth-grade English essay. "Taki" takes on Hithchens and in so doing reveals much of the shallowness of the au courant atheism.