Saturday, January 5, 2008

Hitchens: God Is Not Great

I finished "God Is Not Great" by Christopher Hitchens (who was also one of the presenters at last October's Freedom From Religion Foundation convention).

Here's a good idea of what this man is all about (from Canada's "The Hour" news program). I agree with what he says, but I'm hesitant about his intolerance.


Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that depending on who you talk to and "what they are into," nearly every group seems to feel alienated or railroaded currently.

The Dim Wit said...

It's an interesting phenomenon, all right. Even more amusing is how some groups, even when they are in a position of unwarranted power and influence (CBN, Focus on the Family, etc.) still loudly maintain they are harassed underdogs. *Sheesh!*

While I will grant that any group can feel justified in claims of discrimination or marginalization, not all of them feel the need to do anything about it because it seems petty to do so. I like using left-handedness as a good example of this: I'm a southpaw living in a world where technology is adapted for the wrong side of my body. I have adapted (as most lefties do) and moved on. There are enough left-handed products out there to suit any special needs I have (like scissors - without lefty scissors I can't cut a straight line to save my life) and no one really gives a fig I am a lefty... except other lefties, because then there's something to bond over. :)

Being a secularist used to hold a similar distinction, however, in this country: it really did not matter because everyone preferred to do their own thing when it came to theology and philosophy. It's only been in the last few decades (Hello, Barry Goldwater!) that the secular nature of our government has come under systematic attack by theists, and those who do not believe in a Higher Power have become publicly suspect. In fact, the first President Bush once said in an interview that he believed atheists are not true Americans and should not be allowed the same civil protections provided by the Bill of Rights. Shouldn't I feel a little marginalized by that?

I strongly recommend picking up a copy of Susan Jacoby's fine work "Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism." Reading the introduction alone is pretty durn eye-opening.