The Pen is mightier than the sword, but the Pen must sometimes move the sword against corruption if the corrupt are not moved by the pen.. An idea without an implementer is useless. "The Rulers do not carry the sword in vain"Rom 13:4

Saturday, November 30, 2013

(The Late) Christopher Hitchens- a campaigner 'for' Christ and the Gospel.

No, I didn't get the first name wrong. Perhaps most know by now that Peter Hitchens, Chris's brother is an evangelical Christian, while Christopher is the ardent atheist of world renown.  But having just listened to Christopher's arguments (such as they are) for "God is not great/no he does not exist" in the video below,  my hope is not that fragile Christians will avoid it,  nor that atheists will greedily consume it, my hope is that clear thinking individuals will actually analyze Christopher's words in terms of actual argument and thesis rather than the cleverly decorated and adorned rhetoric that seems to flow so confidently from his mouth.

It seems Chris's hall of fame includes other eloquent atheists like Thomas Paine and his verbal repertoire is from the best of English classics, but his arguments are from sentimentality and romantic visions of a naturally harmonious world, at least I gain that he means people who think like himself. He certainly recognizes evil, but denies the Christian idea that it arises from the alienation of man from God.

His rhetoric is quite strong and confident, as long as he is given an uninterupted free pass and a microphone. But still, nothing to me is very persuasive.  He sounds like a defeated unionist having a gripe about capitalist bosses... not that I'd regard him as being pro union...that I am aware of, it's just how he sounds.  He tries to score a point or two by quoting Dawkins, and suggests God observed the struggling quest for survival of early man with folded arms and an aloof nonchalance.  This is not an argument from anything but speculation, and assumption, even projection and transference.

 Christopher makes a rather transparent blunder towards the end of question time, as he tries to wax intelligent about the problem of Israel/Palestine. He draws out the idea that 'religion poisons everything' by claiming that both sides, Jew and Muslim, claim  "God gave the land to us". Then Chris says "Religion and all it's filthy disgusting dirty texts cannot co-exist with secular fairness, and the sooner we are done with it, the better off we will all be".... (slight paraphrase).  But think!.... let's do some basic philosophical logic.  If "P" is true, then it cannot be "Q".. the law of the excluded middle. So if the religion and secularism cannot co exist...the obvious solution is... to make one or the other disappear.  Without realizing it, Christopher H is actually calling for some kind of genocide of all people of faith. he doesn't need to articulate it in those words, the meaning is inherent in his overall thrust. In condemning fascism, he is also calling for it....but a secular fascism.

Peter makes the entirely valid argument that following on from Christophers world view of non Creation, that morality is meaningless and nothing we do actually matters one way or the other. "Just don't get caught" is how MLKjr described how people follow the 11th commandment in his sermon "A knock at midnight".  Christopher responds to this by beginning with a basic agreement that the world is greatly troubled by nihilism which is a reality, but then he tries to counter this with the assertion "But what about people who believe God is on their side?" He draws this out to include the justification of any action, callous or cruel that people indulge in by claiming "God is on our side".   While I totally agree that the evil he speaks about there is valid when it comes to Islam, it is not valid when it comes to Christianity. To give one example, during the liberation of Iraq from the tyrant Saddam Hussein, an American soldier was shot by a sniper,but his body armor saved him from serious injury. He was a medic.  The sniper's position was identified and other marines shot him, but only wounded him.  When they caught the sniper, they took him to a medical facility and you must wonder 'who' tended his wounds? Of course it was the man who he had shot! Contrast this with the mass beheadings happening right now in Syria where Al Nusra jihadists ask a truck drive which sect he is from at a checkpoint... when he gives the wrong answer they march him off to the side and blow his brains out.

The point through, is that the argument should   not to be decided from ad-hoc anecdotal incidents, it should be drawn from the teaching of the respective faith, ie.. the Quran or the teaching of Christ, because it's true that anyone can say "God is on my side", but without reference to a specific ideology it's just words and nothing more, and could be used without the slightest basis to justify what the person wants to do.  Clearly, "love your enemies and do good to those who persecute you" is not an ideology that could be used to justify  marching into a village, line the inhabitants up and summarily execute them.

The strongest argument 'for' God is Christ, and His resurrection and it's huge exclamation mark of the transformation of Paul from antagonist and brutal anti Christian thought policeman to Christian evangelist extrordinaire. The most persuasive argument 'against' Islam is the brutality, lust and  megalomania of Muhammad it's founder. But against God?  Chris has not really advanced anything that has not been trotted out for centuries, and thus far has 'not laid a glove' on either the Gospel, Christ or God.

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