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Previous | Next :: Christopher Hitchens : Atheist Alliance International : DC | October 1, 2007, 7:39 am

Christopher Hitchens : Atheist Alliance International : DC
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No gathering of intellectual atheist types would be complete without a few of the rock stars of the new atheism. Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins were there but Christopher Hitchens has got to be, for my money at least, the star performer.

Christopher Hitchens is not just an atheist but an antitheist and antireligious. Hitchens often speaks out against Judeo-Christian religions, or what he calls "the three great monotheisms" (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). In his book, God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Hitchens expanded his criticism to include all religions, including those rarely criticized by Western antitheists such as Hinduism and neo-paganism.

Hitch said he found it unusual and oddly disturbing to be in a room full of people who agreed with him. He has spent the last 6 months promoting his book 'God is not Great' and has certainly not shied away from a potentially difficult audience, he took his book tour to the US bible belt states.

So he must have become more than used to people not agreeing with him. I actually think he prefers it that way. He knows damn fine that possibly the majority of the people in this particular room are classic US liberals as well as atheists. They hate Bush and the war in Iraq. So he gave a full on defense of the "Bush Cheney" decision to invade Iraq. He dismissed people who start their remarks about Saddam with "OK he was a bad guy but...." as people who "know nothing" about the genocidal regime he ran. Also anyone who pretends that Saddam Hussein was a secular tyrant for Hitch is also a person who "knows nothing" . He gave many examples of how Saddam used religion and reminded them that the Anfal campaign to exterminate the Kurds in the North which deployed chemical weapons against towns and villages was named after a Koranic verse justifying pillage of the property of infidels. He thinks that, far from the dangers of Saddam's Iraq being overstated, they were in fact understated and that people who think otherwise are delusional. He finished his remarks about Iraq by saying there was "no higher calling" in soldiering or better use of the men of the 82nd Airborne Division than to kill Islamofascists and therefore to protect us all (or words to that effect).

In my view Hitch is better when he has got the audience slightly on edge or perhaps ideally for him, leaning vaguely towards hostile. He was great, and in the end they gave him the standing ovation he deserved.

I've read 'God is not Great : How Religion Poisons Everything'. It's an entertaining read, full of absolutely fascinating material and insight with of course Hitch's damning wit. Well worth at least one read. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Cheers Jez XX

PS....... I was so enjoying watching Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Hitch that I totally forgot I'd left my car on a meter and let it over run by 2 hours........... luckily God must have been smiling on me as I didn't even get a ticket...... never mind towed away.

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