August 5th, 2010
08:09 AM ET

Thoughts before debating Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens (right) with author Mark Danner in 2004.

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor. CNN's Anderson Cooper interviews Christopher Hitchens tonight at 10 ET on "AC360."

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

After professional provocateur Christopher Hitchens announced that he had come down with cancer, legions lined up to pray for him. I have been known to lapse into prayer on occasion, but I did not pray for Hitchens, and I don't expect I will.

I understand why Mormons want to baptize the dead and, on the theory of "no harm, no foul," I don't object to it in most cases. But praying to God for the Great Unbeliever seems like something akin to sacrilege (and not against the divine).

Not so ripping into him. In a scathing review of Hitchens' "God is Not Great" published in the Washington Post, I wrote that I had "never encountered a book whose author is so fundamentally unacquainted with its subject."  I also wrote, however, that "there is no living journalist I more enjoy reading."

I stand by both statements. This post is prompted by the latter.

I teach a course at Boston University called "Death and Immortality," and in it we read remarkable work about the "undiscovered country" of death and whatever (if anything) lies beyond.  Hitchens wrote this week in a piece in Vanity Fair of "the unfamiliar country" of people with cancer, and his reflections rank up there with the best writing I know on that sickness unto death.

The Provincetown poet Mary Oliver has written of prayer as paying attention. And so she does - to the humpback whales and peonies and red-tailed hawks that animate her native Cape Cod (and mine). Hitchens pays equally attention to literary and political things, and writes down what he sees with care and courage.

It would be more Hitchenesque of me to body slam him while he is down. This is, after all, the man who called televangelist Jerry Falwell "an ugly little charlatan" just hours after his death, adding that "if you give Falwell an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox."  But I don't have it in me, and not because I am a better man.

Hitchens and I are scheduled to square off for the first time for a panel on the Ten Commandments with David Hazony in New York City on November 4, and I am fairly certain that if that event comes to pass he will have me for lunch, dinner, or whatever else is being served that day.

I am rooting for him nonetheless. We need people like Hitchens in our debates over God and war and torture and adultery and literature and other things that actually matter. We also need his writing, to remind us what passion sounds like.

"In whatever kind of a 'race' life may be," Hitchens writes in his Vanity Fair piece, "I have very abruptly become a finalist." I hope this finalist has a lot more laps in him, even if that means he will run headlong into me in New York City in November.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Atheism • Culture & Science • Opinion • Prayer

soundoff (526 Responses)
  1. Sanity Claws

    Hey...found him, gave him everything, trusted him, had a stronger faith than many people, had plenty of grace, ...did it all....that's why I trusted him to answer my prayers for the TRUTH.

    Now I am free.
    A secular humanist / agnostic / atheist

    Now explain that if you can, IMJ...or anyone else who had their wheaties for breakfast....c'mon....let's rumble...

    August 5, 2010 at 10:07 pm |
    • watcher

      I still wonder why CNN of all places would have a "belief blog". All of them just spiral into trolling grounds and flaming wars.

      August 5, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
    • Sanity Claws

      @watcher ....ahhh...another troll.....you never show up at the meetings, watcher....

      August 5, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
    • IMJ

      So you are saying that your prayer was answered.

      August 5, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
    • Sanity Claws

      @IMJ What else could you call it? Simply discovering the truth as opposed to something else?????

      It boggles the mind, doesn't it? Mind you, I was in a bit of a shock when I realized it...

      August 5, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
    • IMJ

      If it is in your heart to turn away from God then he will answer that prayer and you will find yourself where you are now.

      If it is in your heart to seek God with all your heart then there is always the chance that he will be found.

      August 5, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
    • Sanity Claws

      @IMJ You don't get it, do you? I never turned away and I can find "him" whenever I want.

      and my prayer was not to "turn away" but to find out the real, unvarnished TRUTH. It was a prayer to become CLOSER to "god". Is it not written that "he is the truth" ????

      Your argument is disjointed and contradictory, to say the least.
      And if I want to believe in the TRUTH...who are you to contradict me and yourself in the same breath? It's thinking like yours that makes this world a hell....among other things....and that is another TRUTH.

      Since I had "god" on my side and had my prayers answered, I guess you're just a bit jealous, eh? Well, get a grip.

      August 5, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
    • Sanity Claws

      @IMJ ...or rather, "get a clue."

      August 5, 2010 at 10:54 pm |
    • IMJ

      I said that your prayer was answered what more do you want?

      But if your answer was such that you no longer glorify God then there is no truth in your answer.

      August 5, 2010 at 11:01 pm |
    • Sanity Claws

      @IMJ Ahhh, the cross-eyed response. A favorite of Mr. Rove's, btw. Well, where do I start?....

      For one, anyone reading closely will be able to see what you are trying to do with your response, so I will point out your fallacious reasoning as it appears in your answer. I warn everyone to step back as this may get a little messy as I review IMJ's comments *de novo*...

      IMJ, I know how you are feeling right now, so I will be gentle. I am NOT lying. You accuse me of lying using sophistry as your tool.
      I must say that I take exception to this extremely rude tactic of yours. But perhaps it was in response to my implying that you were jealous, so I won't rip your lungs out through your sphincter.
      As to "what more do I want."...well...nothing from you, that's pretty clear I hope. The TRUTH set me FREE.
      So if you need a personal reference for that particular passage in the Bible, I'm your man.

      As for the rest of your answer: You confuse glorification with truth. One is an action, a verb if you will. The other is a noun describing reality. You really don't have a leg to stand on. I've clawed both of them off....
      ...and it's not just a flesh wound, either.

      August 5, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Are you sure you did all the things you said you did? You must have stopped. You aren't supposed to stop in mid-stream....you need to show endurance and persistance and mean it...not just for a day, or a week, or a month....but forever!

      August 5, 2010 at 11:37 pm |
    • Sanity Claws

      @Catholic Mom *sigh* You poor child. Girl, you have got to pull it together. How can you have trust in your creator if you won't accept the reality that is around you? What is trust without truth and honesty? If honesty matters not, what of truth?

      You obviously have a good heart that cares about people, so why is honest, unvarnished truth so hard to bear?
      Don't you want the burdens of an honest life? I only ask because you make me think you're seeking out painful experiences so you can feel like a martyr on these pages. The truth is a two-edged sword more often than people would like, I'm sure.
      If you want to help the Catholic church, drive out the sick child-molesters and theives and extortionists.
      If you want to help people with their faith, go be with people who have faith, don't go looking for fights with unbelievers unless you are willing to argue. Quoting scripture is not arguing. Rambling sentences filled with religious babbling will not help you here. But you are a nice person. Go do nice things. This is a nasty place filled with trolls like me.

      August 6, 2010 at 12:29 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Sanity Claws,

      I never thought of anyone as a troll, you know, orange hair bushing out around your ears…kind of stiff and dry and scraggly; eyes rather close together; pudgy body, almost helpless looking...ears too large but still can't hear….but then who am I to go up against your beliefs?

      August 6, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
    • Sanity Claws

      @CatholicMom: Thankyou...however, you have not answered any of my questions so far...

      So I will ask you these again, since the others are probably too hard for you:

      How can you have trust in your creator if you won't accept the reality that is around you? What is trust without truth and honesty? If honesty matters not, what of truth?

      August 6, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
    • Guest

      Sanity Claws-
      Everyone heard testimony to the Truth, everyone that is of the Truth, heareth His Voice, that you also may believe!

      and also do you know where I can get a Get Well Card we are "pulling for you" it's sooo touching and thoughtful sounding, why would anyone want to pray for someone.

      I can't decide who I'm "pulling more for" Chris, Luke, or Sanity Claws....

      August 6, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
    • Sanity Claws


      I've said it before and I'll say it again: Quoting scripture is not arguing. Sentences filled with religious babble will not help you here.
      If you have a problem with reality, I suggest you seek out ways in which your delusions will not hurt others. If this is too complicated for you, then maybe you need to find a different person to insult. I've got your number.

      August 6, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
    • Guest

      Another gift from Heaven above- "Sensitivity"–something I'm told I lack, but if you have my number (and you don't) use it, nothing like a little "Hands on Communication".

      August 6, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
    • Sanity Claws

      The "I've got your number" was a metaphor, you wonderful example. Perhaps I should have said, "I won the argument and I expect to win every argument that YOU can choke out onto your keyboard."


      August 6, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
    • Guest

      Now your getting it....you think your a legend in your own mind! When you finish worshiping yourself, look to the one with the Truth.

      If I have spoken evil, give me testimony of the evil: but if well, why strikest thou me?

      August 6, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
    • Sanity Claws

      Are we not – each one of us – the hero of his/her own tale? Speak, thou, (forsooth!) and tell me your tale, strange wayfarer...
      Art not all base and selfish before your "god"? Wherefore, then, dost thou keepest me from mine errand, varlet? Thy base calumny is but an offense too dear for you to part with...

      Are you so selfless with all your insensitivity( that you say you have?)
      (And I agree with that assessment, btw)

      Shall I judge you then? Is that what you really, really want?

      So tell me what you want – what you really, really want.

      August 6, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
    • Guest

      Insane Claws–

      If you haven't killed your conscience, you can answer your own question, but we are to judge actions and words to determine Truth....leave the judgment of souls to God, we aren't even to judge our own. Comes back to free will what you do with it is up to you. You have nothing I could want....

      August 6, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
    • Sanity Claws

      @Guest LOL...I like the bit about "free will". So you admit that I'm the hero of my own tale? What of your own tale? Aren't you the hero in all that you do? The protaganist, I mean? Don't you play a role in whatever it is that you do? Yes?
      Then tell me who gives you your lines. Is it yourself or someone else? To assert free-will you must exercise it in a circular argument....so do you, then, enslave yourself to the words of another?

      Can you not think and speak for yourself?

      August 6, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
    • Guest

      Insanity Claws-

      When you finish worshiping yourself, try a little humble pie, your not going to be around forever. Atheism is a Religion.

      August 6, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
    • Sanity Claws

      I'm sorry. This humble pie is as bitter as usual....

      August 6, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
  2. IMJ

    Prayer is how we communicate with God. When we are troubled we have the option to pray, such an option is not open to a man like Hitchens.

    The Lord our God is a great King who will not listen to the wicked or those that are filled with pride. A humble and broken heart are what the Lord listens to.

    Our God can be found by those that seek him with all their heart.

    Our Lord heals souls and sometimes he heals bodies. It cost nothing to request his help, but men would rather die than surrender their pride or their ways.

    It is God who decides the day of our death and judgment.

    August 5, 2010 at 9:26 pm |
    • Luke

      Ya know...I'm just gunna go ahead and like...uh...disagree with you.

      August 5, 2010 at 9:58 pm |
    • Donna

      This is what you believe, just like I believe that when I die I will become worm food.
      Simple as that.

      I'm blown away with the idea up there ^ a few posts ago that the only reason people would good things and don't murder others is because they believe in God.
      By far one of the silliest things I have heard in a long time.

      August 5, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
    • Luke

      Donna – I do enjoy the worm food cliche. It's cute. But in all seriousness, the day I realized that death is going to be exactly the same as it was before I was born, I set myself free. Think about a second. What was it like before you were born? 13.7B years had gone by in this universe, and nothing. Then suddenly, your conscience awoken. When you die, the universe will go on.

      August 5, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
    • IMJ

      You do agree that prayer is not an option for Hitchens or yourself.

      August 5, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
    • verify

      IMJ, If praying is the best way that you know to wish someone well, then do it.... just don't expect it to be any more valuable than a voodoo chant, wishing on a rainbow or sending a get well card (all of which can be heartfelt).

      August 5, 2010 at 10:48 pm |
    • IMJ

      I expect prayer to provide comfort.
      I expect prayer to transform souls.

      God's will be done.

      August 5, 2010 at 10:54 pm |
  3. Steve Bonser

    During the Bush years Hitchen's seemingly endless water carrying in favor of the Iraq war and its expensive and bloody toll annoyed a lot of us progressives (and fellow atheists). Certainly, many of us rarely agreed with this fellow. Yet, his writing and mental curiosity are indisputably first class and he has probably caused more real reflection among Americans on important issues – ranging from the contemporary U.S. body politic to atheism – than almost any other journalist and television talking head. Forthrightness and intellectual honesty are in very short supply in the domestic media these days, especially on network and cable news, which is why we need people like Christopher to come across the pond and shake things up. When he beats this thing he'll probably come back with a vengeance that will serve to remind us how much he's contributed already and how much more he will in the future.

    August 5, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  4. tinyprof

    Praying is between you and your God, or, if you're a Buddhist, as I am, between you and the cosmos. If you're not praying for Hitchens because you resent him, or even because he wouldn't want you to, it still isn't right. You should make a spiritual emphasis of good feeling for his sake because it is the right thing to do. Not praying for him, or not praying with him in mind, makes bad karma because you are withholding compassion for the sake of a self-righteous feeling. If not praying for Hitchens makes you feel better about yourself, you're not doing the right thing. Hitchens made no bones about the fact that he thought Buddhism was foolishness. But the derision of an adversary should have no bearing on one's behavior. It isn't right to send a negative reaction back to someone who sent a negative attitude toward you. That's just two wrongs.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:46 pm |

    Get a dog dude, take walks, and you will survive for another many years. Read Dr. Dean Ornish reversing heart disease and get on the diet. You can outthink this by concentrating on the dog. This is not God, this is not hokem, this is letting go and concentrating on the dog instead of the cancer. Go swim on Cape Cod on the beaches in Wellfleet Mass. Do this right away. Eat right get sleep get exercise and get the dog. Get out of your head and also quit smoking...do not quit drinking, but do not drink to excess. I am not a doctor, but am welll aquauinted with these things.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  6. Steve

    Jihad: I would imagine your statistic (a Joke, I know) is nicely balanced by suicide bombers and Christian church-goers killed by anti-abortion zealots. Even if it were "true," I say better to live a short and delusion-free life than to waste one following antiquated nonsense.

    I am puzzled by the framing of this article, which seems to be a CNN-validated, shadenfreude-filled vigil to see whether Hitch becomes a foxhole convert (with the nice cover of a story about an impending "debate" that Prof Prothero will lose miserably). Atheists are not unaware of death or the possibility that one's life can be cut shorter than one expects by disease or some other misfortune. This does not leave us anymore wililng to believe any of the Eight Major Nonsense Narratives chronicled brilliantly by Prof Prothero that include such gems as the earth is 10,000 years old and Adam created women out of a rib; or make us more desirous of an "eternal life" (doing what, exactly?) with a god that kills people indiscriminately, or tells his minions to do so, than we might otherwise be. What many of us want is to extend the length and quality of our lives, and I hope anyone who can do so will help Hitch extend his.

    One tends not to see similarly framed CNN pieces written by those waiting to see whether the already-suffering survivors of the latest absurd and meaningless natural distaster (those not among the 212, 000 Hatians killed in the recent earthquake, for example) would reject the predominant Christian theology there given the oft-demonstrated indifference of the earth's crust to human existence. I also don't recall CNN inviting Hitch or Sam Harris to snicker about the recent case of lightning striking a statue of Jesus in Ohio and burning it to the ground. That would be equally unkind.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  7. Kevin

    "It would be more Hitchenesque of me to body slam him while he is down. This is, after all, the man who called televangelist Jerry Falwell "an ugly little charlatan" just hours after his death, adding that "if you give Falwell an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox." But I don't have it in me, and not because I am a better man"

    Excuse me, but didn't this passage do exactly what you claim to be "better" than? Talk about passive aggressive.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  8. child molesters believe in god

    Just ask your local priest

    August 5, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  9. Billy Zoom

    My only criticism of Mr. Hitchens is that he chooses to debate MADE UP STUFF. Christians, Muslims, Jews. Hindi – it's the 21st century. Wake up and smell the truth.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
    • keith

      My only criticism is that he did not choose to seek the truth, contrarily he made up stuff that suited his lifestyle instead...His brother on the other hand lived a life he chose, then sought and turned to the truth

      August 5, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  10. a simple question

    If there is no god or afterlife and I am an atheist, why should I do anything for my fellow man unless it some how benefits me. If there is no god or after life, then good and evil are just points of view... correct? Why not spend the limited life I have doing only what benefits myself and what I can get away with within societies laws. If there is no afterlife, then if I can kill someone and can get away with it, what is to stop me? Lying, cheating and stealing are only crimes if caught then, correct? I can be self serving for my own interest. Morals serve no purpose but to limit oneself by this account? If there is not a higher power, then aren't all of societies rules just obstacles to be subverted for self gain?

    I don't believe any of what I just wrote, but would be interested in an atheist response to this.

    August 5, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
    • Here's a response for ya

      Geez, I guess all the atheists I know that do volunteer work, give to the poor and are very kind people are just faking it for the hell of it? No. They do all those things because it feels good and is a kind thing to do, not because somebody told them it will get them into a heaven they don't believe in.

      August 5, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
    • Steve

      You must be joking, right? You've mastered the art of the nonsequitur (I count seven in a single paragraph–well done). Please give me a single piece of evidence that those who claim a belief in an afterlife live better or more morally principled lives than those who don't (clue: both ancient and recent history will give you lots of trouble on this one). I live this life fully and with as much kindness and understanding as possible BECAUSE it is the only one all of us have and because treating people well is the right thing to do. I don't need an invisible friend in the sky to validate these beliefs. They aren't complex, or lofty, or worthy of worshipping their inventor.

      August 5, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
    • Luke

      a simple question – Go read the two books Sam Harris wrote on religion a few years ago and report back in a week. Ok?

      August 5, 2010 at 10:00 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Here's a response for ya and Steve,

      you both said .....
      ....'it feels good and is a kind thing to do' .....
      and ...'much kindness and understanding' .....
      and 'because treating people well is the right thing to do.'....is your conscience working! That is a good thing...a gift from God!

      August 5, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
    • a simple question

      Amusing. As expected, you've missed the point completely.

      August 6, 2010 at 11:16 am |
    • CatholicMom

      I doubt they missed the point....but they don't have an answer for their consciences.

      August 8, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  11. Carol

    He is one of the saddest looking men I have ever seen. I guess if I spent my life as an atheist, I would look sad too, when faced with a cancer diagnosis. I've always wondered how atheists balance the idea that there is no God with there possibly being a God to whom they will answer at the time of their demise. I would much rather live my life with the hope there is a God (I am a believer), than bet the farm there isn't and at the moment they meet eternity to confront a God that does not know me.

    August 5, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
    • Kevin

      Carol – Why do you think the existence of a God has anything to do with an afterlife? The two ideas have simply been lumped together for what seems to be completely arbitrary purposes. For example, if it were absolutely proven without any doubt that God didn't exist, would that impact your belief on what happens after you die?

      Why tie one idea to the other?

      August 5, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
  12. Kevin

    pathetic man writing pathetic things.. what a shocker.

    August 5, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
    • Sanity Claws

      I thought the shocker was : 2 in the pink and 1 in the stink???????

      August 5, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  13. Jesus

    Awww....I lub u Gigi....

    August 5, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  14. nyckid

    This guy is INSANE. How 'bout I guarantee you that on his death bed he will recant and ask for forgivenesss. There are no atheist on death beds. Either's way, he has furthered satan's work. As far as I know he is in deeeeeep. I bet his illness will be prolonged and agonizing. He will meet Jesus upon his death and understand bye and bye what happened over 2000 years ago. Good luck you empty loser... I will pray for him just because we Christians are suppossed to pray for their enemies! And by the way saying that God is great only belittles His true greatness. Serious understatement...

    August 5, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
    • Sanity Claws

      I gotta admire your spunk, kid....but I advise you to be a little more cynical...especially in NY..

      August 5, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
    • Kevin

      If there's one thing you should know about Hitchens, it's that he will never recant his Atheism. I've known a few Atheists that have died, and only one of them "found God" prior to his death.

      August 5, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      You don't know that he hasn't recanted. I would think he has already but it is just between him and God and you will never know for sure, will you.

      August 5, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
    • Luke

      CatholicMom – i do love the way your mind works. Let's review:

      Anderson Cooper: Did you recant?
      Hitchens: No.
      CatholicMom: You don't know he didn't.
      Reasonable People: ???

      It's like you stick your fingers in your ears, start yelling and kicking your feet when you hear something you don't like. I really love it. Please do continue.

      August 6, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      You are so silly! I wrote my statement after the interview....and even at this very moment... something could be happening if it hadn't already!!

      August 8, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
  15. Gigi

    Everyone knows that there is a God. Everyone knows that Jesus is Lord. The problem that people have is that they don't agree with His word so they discredit Him. We have free will and so we can choose to believe or not. Only cowardly people deny him. They can't help it. Hitchens will see him soon and he will see that Jesus is really sweet, kind, loving and just.

    August 5, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
    • KEKC

      There is no logic in your passages. How not believing in silly tales makes normal people cowardly, and the rest of us brave? What is so brave about not thinking clearly?

      August 5, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
    • @Gigi

      Actually NO, everyone doesn't know there is a god. I for one don't KNOW there is a god. I choose not to believe in fairytales created by man to control the masses.

      August 5, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
    • tinyprof

      If that were true, faith would be unnecessary. Faith is necessary because no one knows whether God exists or whether their prophet or religion is the right one. One cannot believe in something which is proven. That's the essential difference between faith and reason. Claiming to know that God exists is actually an admittance that one has no faith. Believing without seeing is important for a reason–without that challenge, religion is a redundancy.

      August 5, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  16. People die all the time

    People die all the time. It's a fact. While cancer is a terrible way to go, we all have to go sometime. The most we can hope for is a quick and painless death.

    August 5, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  17. Spendlove

    This was a fantastic article. The author made some very interesting points and I too wish Mr Hitchens a speedy recovery and good health.

    August 5, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  18. Richard Mavers

    Please stop posting this author's articles! They are just advertisements for his (poor selling) book.

    August 5, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
    • Really??

      Everyone is allowed their say. It's called the 1st Amendment. God or no God. You don't want to read his stuff nobody is forcing you.

      August 5, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  19. Al

    Mr Hitchens, May whatever it is that you believe in, pull you through this difficult time. Get well soon. I will keep you in my prayers, may Allah be with you.

    August 5, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  20. Here and now is all there is

    I wish people would care more about the here and now rather than the hereafter. Perhaps we'd all be kinder, gentler people who care more about others than acquiring the latest iPhone.

    August 5, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
    • TH

      War never solved anything....except for slavery, genocide, and concetration camps.

      August 5, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
    • keith

      I'm rather sure that the iphone is the "here and now" and if one was concerned about the hereafter, they wouldn't care about materialism...

      August 5, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
    • Really?? @Keith

      So you're saying that people who have to have the latest and greatest gadget every time one comes on the market doesn't care about the hereafter??? I guess that means that those people are all atheists.

      August 5, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
    • keith

      @really, I am assuming that your reply was some flippant attempt at a joke, but regardless focusing at the latest market item is focusing on the here and now, regardless of religion....religious or non-religious all people fall into the trap of materialism, but if one is utterly focused on the "hereafter" it should (notice I said should, not does) spur people towards love...

      August 5, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Caring about the here and now IS caring about the hereafter.

      August 8, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
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