The other night I went on a Christopher Hitchens YouTube bender, watching video after video of Hitchens deftly arguing with righteous Christians. Perhaps the quintessential moment is in this Sean Hannity segment wherein Hannity patronizingly tells Hitchens that he agrees with his point that some crazy people pervert religion. This is, of course, exactly counter to the main thrust of Hitchens’ book. (Religion doesn’t need perverting to be harmful.) Earlier in the segment, Hitchens sizes Hannity up as someone who has not come into contact with the counter-arguments to his own position.
My bender was kicked off by this fabulous radio interview linked to by PZ Myers. It’s some pathetic, arrogant Christian radio host playing a game of “What if?” with Mr. Hitchens. As in, “What if God exists and created you and made everything in your life possible. Wouldn’t you say he had treated you well?” Hitchens has none of it, remarking that he’d rather not be under 24/7 surveillance by such an entity. I would have added that if God were truly responsible for everything in my life and the lives of others, then he had disturbingly often treated us very poorly.
The rest of the questions were similarly stupid. He cycles through the Ten Commandments, judging each by such an absurd standard that no one could ever hope to obey them. Then he asks that if God truly existed and the Ten Commandments truly were God’s law, then wouldn’t a just God be right to send Hitchens to hell? Which is a false premise to begin with: no just God would behave like that.
Then the guy moves on to Jesus, daring Hitchens to say that dying on a cross for mankind’s sins isn’t the most wonderful thing ever. Hitchens response baffles his interrogator again. We could not possibly be bound to an arrangement made long before our births, and we certainly can’t be moved by such a barbaric ritual that he didn’t and wouldn’t ask for. I mean, really. All to satisfy the whims of some jealous desert God?
Thankfully, we no longer even have to use our imaginations to know how repulsive the Christian myth is. Yeah, I watched Mel Gibson’s Passion movie. It’s tedious, pointless, and the opposite of uplifting. And I’m done pretending any of it makes any sense.