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December 16th, 2011
04:45 PM ET

My Take: An evangelical remembers his friend Hitchens

Editor's note: Larry Alex Taunton is the founder and executive director of the Fixed Point Foundation. This article is adapted from his book “The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief.”

By Larry Alex Taunton, Special to CNN

(CNN)– I first met Christopher Hitchens at the Edinburgh International Festival. We were both there for the same event, and foremost in my mind was the sort of man I would meet.

A journalist and polemicist, his reputation as a critic of religion, politics, Britain's royal family, and, well, just about everything else was unparalleled. As an evangelical, I was certain that he would hate me.

When the expected knock came at my hotel room door, I braced for the fire-breather who surely stood on the other side of it. With trepidation, I opened it and he burst forth into my room. Wheeling on me, he began the conversation as if it was the continuance of some earlier encounter:

“The Archbishop of Canterbury has effectively endorsed the adoption of Sharia law. Can you believe that? Whatever happened to a Church of England that believed in something?” He alternated between sips of his Johnnie Walker and steady tugs on a cigarette.

My eyebrows shot up. “‘Believed in something?’ Why, Christopher, you sound nostalgic for a church that actually took the Bible seriously.”

He considered me for a moment and smiled. “Indeed. Perhaps I do.”

There was never a formal introduction. There was no need for one. From that moment, I knew that I liked him. We immediately discovered that we had much in common. We were descendants of martial traditions; we loved literature and history; we enjoyed lively discussion with people who didn’t take opposition to a given opinion personally; and we both found small talk boring.

Over the next few years, we would meet irregularly. The location was invariably expensive, a Ritz Carlton or a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. He disliked cheap restaurants and cheap liquor. In his view, plastic menus were indicative of bad food. I never ate so well as when I was with Hitch.

Christopher Hitchens, standing, debates his friend Larry Taunton.

More than bad food, however, he disliked unintelligent conversation. “What do you think about gay marriage?” He didn’t wait for a response. “I don’t get it. I really don’t. It’s like wanting the worst of both worlds.” He drank deeply of his whiskey. “I mean, if I was gay, I would console myself by saying, ‘Well, I’m gay, but at least I don’t have to get married.’” That was classic Hitch. Witty. Provocative. Unpredictable.

Calling him on his cell one day, he sounded like he was flat on his back. Breathing heavily, there was desperation in his voice.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, anticipating some tragedy.

“Only minutes ago, I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.” He was almost gasping.

I didn’t know what to say. No one ever does in such moments, so we resort to meaningless stock phrases like, “I’m sorry.” Instead, I just groaned. I will never forget his response:

“I had plans for the next decade of my life. I think I should cancel them.”

He asked me to keep the matter private until he could tell his family and make the news public. Hesitatingly, I told him that while I knew that he did not believe in such things, I would pray for him. He seemed genuinely moved by the thought.

“We are still on for our event in Birmingham, right?” He asked. I was stunned. Sensing my surprise, he continued. “I have made a commitment,” he insisted. “Besides, what else am I going to do? I can’t just sit around waiting to die.”

Hitchens brothers debate if civilization can survive without God

As time approached, he suggested a road trip from his D.C. apartment to my home in Birmingham, Alabama.

“Flying has become a humiliating experience, don’t you think?” He said. “Besides, I haven’t taken a road trip in 20 years and it will give us a chance to talk and for me to finally take you up on your challenge.”

Arriving in Washington some five months after his diagnosis, I was shocked by his appearance. Heavy doses of chemotherapy had left him emaciated, and hairless but for his eyelashes. His clothes hung off of him as though he were a boy wearing a man’s garments. He was, nonetheless, looking forward to our journey, having packed a picnic lunch and, predictably, enough Johnnie Walker for a battalion. After breakfast with his lovely wife, Carol, and his sweet daughter, Antonia, Hitch and I headed south on an eleven-hour road trip.

“Have you a copy of Saint John with you?” He asked with a smile. “If not, you know I do actually have one.” This was a reference to my challenge of two years before: a joint study of the Gospel of John. It was my assertion that he had never really read the Bible, but only cherry-picked it.

“Not necessary.” I was smiling, too. “I brought mine.”

A few hours later we were wending our way through the Shenandoah Valley on a beautiful fall morning. As I drove, Hitch read aloud from the first chapter of John’s Gospel. We then discussed its meaning. No cameras, no microphones, no audience. And that always made for better conversation with Hitch. When he referenced our journey in a televised debate with David Berlinski the next day, various media representatives descended on me to ask about our “argument.” When I said that we didn’t really argue, they lost interest.

But that was the truth. It was a civilized, rational discussion. I did my best to move through the prologue verse by verse, and Christopher asked thoughtful questions. That was it.

A bit put off by how the Berlinski event had played out, Hitch suggested we debate one another. Friend though he was, I knew that Hitch could be a savage debater. More than once I had chaired such engagements where Hitch went after his opponents remorselessly.

Hence, I was more than a bit anxious. Here he was, a celebrated public intellectual, an Oxonian, and bestselling author, and that is to say nothing of that Richard Burton-like, aristocratic, English-accented baritone. That always added a few I.Q. points in the minds of people. With hesitation, I agreed.

We met in Billings, Montana. Hitch had once told me that Montana was the only state he had never been in. I decided to complete his tour of the contiguous United States and arranged for the two of us to meet there. Before the debate, a local television station sent a camera crew over to interview us.

When he was asked what he thought of me, a Christian, and an evangelical at that, Hitch replied: “If everyone in the United States had the same qualities of loyalty and care and concern for others that Larry Taunton had, we'd be living in a much better society than we do.”

I was moved. Stunned, really. As we left, I told him that I really appreciated the gracious remark.

“I meant it and have been waiting for an opportunity to say it.”

Later that night we met one another in rhetorical combat. The hall was full. Christopher, not I, was of course the real attraction. He was at the peak of his fame. His fans had traveled near and far to see him demolish another Christian. Overall, it was a hard-fought but friendly affair. Unknown to the audience were the inside jokes. When I told a little story from our road trip, he loved it.

The debate over, I crossed the stage to shake Christopher’s hand. “You were quite good tonight,” he said with a charming smile as he accepted my proffered hand. “I think they enjoyed us.”

“You were gentle with me,” I said as we turned to walk off the stage.

He shook his head. “Oh, I held nothing back.” He then surveyed the auditorium that still pulsed with energy. “We are still having dinner?” he asked.

“Absolutely.”

After a quick cigarette on the sidewalk near the backstage door, he went back inside to meet his fans and sign their books.

There was something macabre about it all. I had the unsettling feeling that these weren’t people who cared about him in the least. Instead, they seemed like a bunch of groupies who wanted to have a photo taken with a famous but dying man, so that one day they could show it to their buddies and say, “I knew him before he died.” It was a sad spectacle.

Turning away, I entered the foyer, where 30 or so Christians greeted me excitedly. Mostly students, they were encouraged by what had happened onstage that night. Someone had spoken for them, and it had put a bounce in their step. One young man told me that he had been close to abandoning his faith, but that the debate had restored his confidence in the truth of the gospel. Another student said that she saw how she could use some of the same arguments. It is a daunting task, really, debating someone of Hitchens' intellect and experience, but if this cheery gathering of believers thought I had done well, then all of the preparation and expense had been worth it.

The next day, the Fixed Point Foundation staff piled into a Suburban and headed for Yellowstone National Park. Christopher and I followed behind in a rented pick-up truck. Accompanied by Simon & Garfunkel (his choice), we drove through the park at a leisurely pace and enjoyed the grandeur of it all.

The second chapter of John’s Gospel was on the agenda: The wedding at Cana where Jesus turned water into wine. “That is my favorite miracle,” Hitch quipped.

Lunching at a roadside grill, he regaled our staff with stories. Afterwards, he was in high spirits.

“That’s quite a - how shall I put it? A clan? - team that you’ve got there,” he said, watching the teenage members of our group clamber into the big Chevrolet.

“Yes, it is,” I said, starting the truck. “They enjoyed your stories.”

“I enjoy them.” He reclined his seat and we were off again. “Shall we do all of the national parks?”

“Yes, and maybe the whole Bible, too,” I suggested playfully. He gave a laugh.

“Oh, and Larry, I’ve looked at your book.” He added.

“And?”

“Well, all that you say about our conversation is true, but you have one detail wrong.”

“And what is that?” I feared a total rewrite was coming.

“You have me drinking Johnnie Walker Red Label. That’s the cheap stuff. I only drink Black Label.”

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Larry Alex Taunton.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (1,648 Responses)
  1. Praise God

    AGuest, I could have predicted a post like yours. Yes, I know exactly Penrose speculates the cyclic universe when I said it. But you see, the low entropy argument is solid science. And I do support him fully, in his solid science as do other scientists. However, his (and no, others too, he's not "some scientist" it's "some scientists" as I said) cyclic theory is just speculative. In fact, Penrose has gone on Christian radio in England to dispute Hawking when Hawking came up with his "no god necessary" book. But I guess you didn't know that. And I guess you think because I support Penrose's solid science that I have to agree with his musings about a cyclic universe? Lol, sorry to disappoint you, no inconsistency except in the one you wanted so hard to think you could catch me in. 😉

    And as far as a slam dunk, what do you know about science? Don't you know science doesn't "prove" theories it just gathers evidence till its more and more and more likely? Look it up, it's true. Now there are theories that many accept as "fact" – slam-dunk proven fact – and are proven to less probability than 10^123 to 1. No that's beyond astronomical. It's slam-dunk likelihood. But oh yeah, it's not proof. Just like evolution isn't proven AT ALL.

    December 17, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      I marked this for abuse. It is spam. We heard it the first time.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Clayton

      Well, here's a simple test: pray for something and stand back. What happens? Nothing.
      Or take your "relationship" with your "god" and try to have something called a "conversation."
      Hear anything? Nope. Invent some fancy device that uses single photons, or electrons, or just pray that your "god" just move a single atom or form a single word or something we can all see and judge for ourselves.
      Because that's what it comes down to: judging the worth of your evidence for ourselves and YOU DON"T HAVE ANY!
      So guess what we have to admit as the best conclusion from all these judgments? That your god does not exist.
      Just show one single thing, scientific or otherwise incontrovertible, that proves your "god" is anything more than words on a page somewhere and you really don't know anything about it because none of it makes any sense nor is it moral in any way for humans to worship what is not there!

      Religion is evil and has nowhere to stand but it is believed that religion must murder and enslave every last damn one of us or else why have a religion? It is to be wondered why they insist when they have no proof to support their assertions when seeking to do violence and oppression on others. They cannot show why we should listen to them and their immoral insanity.
      Why should we consider your magical explanations when you cannot show us any magic?

      December 17, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Praise God, if you are unaware of how a blog works, not even I can help you. Your response is below, in the original thread. You're a real piece of work.

      December 17, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
  2. GodofLunaticsCreation

    Dedicated to the troll, Kenneth! Thank you for coming! : )
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7G15-egwL10&w=640&h=360]

    December 17, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
  3. Kenneth

    You guys can go pat yourselves on the back for being oh so true to whatever it is you think just happened here.
    I am going to cook some dead cow, throw some cheese on it and grab a beer.
    I wish you all a good night.

    December 17, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • .

      God is dead. Now go away already, Kenny!

      December 17, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • Kenneth

      If God is dead, then you are admitting he was alive?
      Interesting.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • .

      Shoo, Kenny!

      December 17, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • Answer

      That's a funny twist Kenneth..

      Trying to play his words to fit your imagination. That's hilarious. Try again and you'll see he wants you to die.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      Fitting considering your goose has been thoroughly cooked.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
  4. Answer

    @Kenneth

    -quote
    To Answer and Clayton-
    Congratulations, you found me out. I've got nothing better to do than try to make you feel bad about being arrogant and foolish.
    You two are real pieces of work.
    As I said, we all benefit from the fact that our opinions of one another are just that, opinions.
    And, being a moron, I guess I'll just have to give Annapolis their ring back.
    –end

    Pieces of work.. yes of course. Satisfied that another religious moron is found once again hiding in the facades of arrogance in denying that when someone is right – that arrogance is not to be proud of. When it IS exactly a right to be proud of.

    Religious people can just die off – all of you rejects – tonight for all I care. Your kind are utterly useless to society.

    December 17, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      Kenneth wasn't fooling anyone here. I was already wary upon reading his first post/condemnation. I assumed he was a Christian troll trying to disguise himself as something else. Now we all know.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • Kenneth

      You guys are back benchers.
      Hitch would be ashamed to be associated with the likes of you.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • Answer

      @Kenneth

      Nope this is the same tactic that Christopher would employ to out your kind.
      -

      To all atheists and with respect ..

      The two most fundamental mistakes that outs a religious moron are:
      1) the assertion that you need a person to prove a negative.

      *The most fundamental knowledge of any atheist who understands science is that one conclusive statement. You can not prove a negative. All religious morons follow the need to prove the negative. Make note of it Kenneth! Your kind never changes because your kind are simply too stupid. You need your god – you need a EXISTENCE. Therefore your kind and the way your minds work is to SAY SOMETHING IN A NEGATIVE.

      2) Assertions of one arrogance is right. It is a sign of reaching a logically conclusion and having the determination to speak rightly of your assessment. When you apply the facts to your arguments, which all atheists and science does.

      So be proud of being an atheist and out the religious fools that want to hide and deceive the world.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • Answer

      2) Assertions of one arrogance is "NOT" right.

      –corrected

      December 17, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
  5. Ronnie Harper

    You will be missed, Mr. Hitchens.

    December 17, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Why?I didn't even know he was here till he was gone. A drunk and blasphemer whose throat rotted out of him. Seems appropriate. Low end literary hack who worked for a third rate rag, missed? I think not.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • AGuest9

      So, who do YOU write for, Alfred E Neuman?

      December 17, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Never mind my question. I guess that would be Mad Magazine.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      I assume if there was a God he must have really loved Hitchens considering he only had his "throat rot". He could have had him nailed to a cross and tortured only to be erected in a desert where he most likely shat himself and was unable to wipe, like Christ. : )

      December 17, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
  6. chris

    I'm personally an atheist ... However, I would have no problem with religious people of any faith, if they were not usually such idiots about it. eg. 'you can use and abuse the earth because we're all going to be raptured soon anyway', ' god said love thy neighbor but didn't mention the buck, birds, rhinos etc. that you can blow them away with your high powered rifles because they are put their for your enjoyment.', or my favorite " every life is sacred... until they are born... then fry the mothers on a Texas electric chair!".... If Christians, in particular, were not so hypocritical and destructive, I would never feel the need to voice opinion.

    December 17, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
  7. Kenneth

    And my motive coming in was to say I appreciated Hitch for his logical arguments, if you are not too lazy to read my first post.
    Any other agenda, you brought in.

    December 17, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      You mean this comment? ".....his ideas were his own, unlike many of his groupies, who could only regurgitate what he had said, without giving it any analysis of their own." Oh you are so pious and humble kenneth. Please end your exercise in arrogance before you do your cause more damage.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Quit cherry picking and put the whole comment in there, candy-butt. I said many religious people do the same thing.
      You
      Are
      Busted!

      December 17, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      LOL I thought you had already covered the first part and I did not counter it, so what are you talking about? So I assume you are cherry picking when you only gave half of the comment? You just keep contradicting yourself don't you. You are obviously a troll but it works out better for me since I get to post more Hitchens videos I would not have posted if I never had the displeasure of reading your idiotic comments.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      Care to contradict yourself any further?

      December 17, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
  8. enemy of dogma

    Why doesn't the Evangelical author of this article say what he really beleives – That Christopher Hitchens is going to Hell because he didn't accept Jesus as his "personal lord and Savior?"

    December 17, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
  9. modern

    It is refreshing to know that a Jew and a gentile can have civil debate. Christians have to understand that they are the salt shakers of the earth but they can do it with class and do not need to jam their beliefs at people. For a moment, as a devote christian, I have found out that Christians in America I like white washed tombs which in the end poison the way how we interact with our fellow mankind. Thank you Larry for showing how to be a christian.

    December 17, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • YWH

      ...and thank you for your civil observations...

      December 17, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
  10. Homer

    Evil is in Evangelical

    December 17, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
  11. Kenneth

    There is no contradiction between faith and reason, just as there is no contradiction between my being gay and a Christian.

    December 17, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • Answer

      Sure. Just prove it.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      Kenneth forgives all the torture, murder, terrorism, genocide..... that the bible calls for and it's people undertake because of THIS!!!! That is what he says below.
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78f3xGVR0Ks&w=640&h=360]

      December 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • o.k.

      Here's the question: Can you be unrepentent and still claim Jesus as lord of your life?

      December 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      Kenneth, I don't believe that you are even gay. You have been masquerading on here, constantly contradicting yourself and attacking mourners of Christopher Hitchens. Im sorry but you have absolutely no credibility.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • Observer

      Reason tells you that talking animals and unicorns don't exist. Faith says they do.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Ha Ha! You guys just got played. This isn't the Kenneth you have been arguing with!
      Oh lord, someone trying to haze me got all of you instead!
      I am going to go arrogantly grill a cheeseburger.
      You guys have a good night.
      Ha ha ha ha ha!

      December 17, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      Sure thing Kenny.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  12. Observer

    Even if it was proven that there was something that created the universe, this does not in anyway PROVE the existence of God from the Bible. The "creator" could have been anything from a committee of zombies or 2 gods name MOEsus and LARRYsus who let another god CURLEYsus play with an explosive.

    December 17, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  13. Gman

    Russ, your a self rationalized dolt!
    Simplistic name calling...yes
    Accurate...yes
    Your definitions are clealy based on your own point of view which is based on blind faith fairy tails fron 2000 years ago.
    Try to break out of your lala land fantasy.
    Not likely.

    December 17, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
  14. nano nano

    It seems all the accusations of hatred and contempt by the atheist's concerning Christians, are visiably seen in the posts by atheists towards Christians. But of course the atheist say its not them but the Christians who are narrow minded, and are the haters, but I have seen in these post the oppposite. It seems Hypocritical, the very accusation used in extremes by atheists, they themselves do and say they do not.

    By your examples you have revealed you are no different, nor any better in your so called knowledge or reason. It just shows how ignorant you really and truly narrow minded people are. Your dispaly of contempt to those who embrace faith, has revealed just how narrow minded you are. And beside all atheist do have faith, faith in knowledge which is finite, faith in science which again is finite. Faith in that nothing else exist after life, which again cannot be proven by reason. Yes my dear atheists you have great faith in finite and unproven things. It sounds to me your no better than anyone who embraces faith in a fairy tale god, and by reading your posts, you act no differently as well. So if I had to chose over the faith of an atheist or that faith of a Christian, given a choice i will play the safe side and have faith in a fairy tale god. For i see no difference in your logic, behavior and faith vs a Christian. You both have faith in what you believe. You both behave and act the same (hyprocritical) I see no difference in the faith of Reason and Science vs faith in Religion, other than the direction one's faith leads them.

    These post by the atheists have revealed they are no different, just as ignorant, just as closed minded, just the same.

    December 17, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • racer x

      @nano nano
      What a mess. Try to learn to think logically. Your emotional babble is just a waste of time.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Clayton

      Bye, Kenneth! Don't let the internet hit you in the ass on the way out!

      December 17, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • Lisa

      Your use of the word faith is incorrect. Faith is believing in something despite no evidence or even evidence to the contrary. One does not have faith in knowledge or faith in science. Science is a discipline, part learned and part studied.

      Yes, people can be rude. Atheists or believers are often quite rude to one another. It's becoming quite the fad to be rude to others today – politics has gone from rude to ridiculous. It's a sport to ridicule those who have different beliefs or political opinions, so much so that people don't bother to have substantial debates or discussions anymore. Like you, I wish it would stop. Unlike you, I am an atheist.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • Aphod

      Nano Nano. Dear Lord, who taught you to think that way? Your comment is the biggest bunch of waffle I've ever read. Seriously Dude; learn better English and Edit, Edit, Edit.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      I see no such thing. If a prisoner of the Holocaust was to speak ill of his Nazi guard would you say that he suffers the same hatred as Nazi Ideology? I am not directly comparing Christianity to Nazi's just the relationship between oppressor and oppressed.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • Rich

      I'm an atheist, and while I may share the fundamental understanding of the world, I do not belong to a collective consciousness as you suggest. WE are people. We just have different opinions of what is real and what is not. I'm sure, as a Christian, you do not necessarily share the views of other theists.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Rich, excellent post. There are many here who could follow your example.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      Kenneth, the troll who demands you have more morals than him! What a joke. lol

      December 17, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • Tracey

      " just as ignorant, just as closed minded, just the same" – – same goes for your post.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • nano nano

      Thank-you Lisa that helped. And yes, my english is broken, and I need to do a better job of editing. But once again, Lisa, Rich, and Godoflunaticscreation wanted to help, but racerx and aphod just wanted to bash. So i get it, racerx and aphod, if i become more like you guys, you won't make fun of my weaknesses??? Thanks again to Lisa, Rich and GodoflunaticsCreations.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  15. Kenneth

    I always wonder why people get so smug about trying to use science or logic to prove or disprove an article of faith. While science and faith are not mutually exclusive, they are two totally separate things.

    December 17, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • racer x

      "Faith" is wishful thinking, nothing more. Some people have elevated delusion to an art form.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • Kenneth

      And some people have elevated arrogance to an art form.
      Try harder next time.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • racer x

      Kenneth, a truth stated arrogantly is a truth nonetheless. Grow up!

      December 17, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Clayton

      Kenneth, I guess your retreat into insults means you don't have any rebuttals? Thanks for stopping by.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Answer

      When you are right – arrogance is natural. It is wholesome and respected when you are right.

      Don't get that confused with just plain arrogance when you are not going to accept facts.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      Kenneth, I speak for myself. I am human and sometimes get upset, especially when living under the oppression of Religion. I don't think I am right when I get upset but given the circu-mstances, my words will never be as harmful or evil as the crimes perpetrated on humanity by the religious. If you don't think it's ok for me to save a few harsh words for the perpetrators and enablers because they are "courteously" holding humanity hostage then our conversation is over.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Okay Clayton- I won't insult you.
      But, try this. I learned this from a physics professor.
      State your case in absolute terms, yours being 'there is no god'.
      Now, since you have made a declarative statement – prove it.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Answer

      A classic example of arrogance is in the natural world of dominance. Take for example the alpha male in a pack.

      They assert their strength in display to gain mating rights. In their environment the strength is the show of being right – the arrogance. They don't use petty logical fights. This is simply their world! In the world of humanity – they are the facts.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Answer-
      I know a lot of people who spend most of their lives being right about their areas of expertise. Most of them are confident. Few of them are arrogant.
      Arrogance is an ethical failing. Please don't try to make it a positive trait.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • Answer

      @Kenneth

      Your thought and methodology do not apply. You have to prove the existence of a god. Not the other way around.

      Your physics lesson – you mislead your teachers lesson on your own volition. You can not propose in proving a negative – you moron!

      December 17, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • Kenneth

      And, as for all of the terrible things that have been done in the name of religion, cry me a river.
      Stalin was an atheist, and he was as cuddly as rusty barbed wire. And the last time I checked, feeding the poor and housing orphans was a good thing.
      People will always find a way to justify their cruel natures. Religion, politics, money, ethnicity.
      You guys really need to step up your games.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • Answer

      You morons always go this one stupid route in trying the patience of others for not understanding the basic of proofs!

      Get it to your thick skull when a person like myself is correct and in the right – we know we are and are proud to stick it in your face that we are proud to be arrogant. We know what you do not.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • Answer

      @Kenneth

      Another fundamental problem with your lack of education and logic. Did Stalin himself kill all those numbers? Or is it not fact that other people who follow such person are doing the killing. No matter the leader – it is the followers of faith who are doing the killing. Once again proving without a doubt your inferiority complex at rejection of logic.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Keep trying kids.
      I haven't said there is a god or not, so I don't have to prove anything.
      I respect the opinions of people who say they don't know or don't believe.
      But again, if you want to make declarative statements, prove them. Otherwise, try opening up your minds a little and admit you can't.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      Kenneth, You are the one with the same old arguments. One guy who happened to be an atheist vs...I don't know a few million or so Christians who followed a BIBLE which TOLD them to kill! You are going to have to try harder. Oh and I notice that your arrogance argument just flew out the window since you are the arrogant one here.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Clayton

      Kenneth, I have all the evidence ever collected, all the data being processed at this moment, and the whole realm of physics and technology that shows no evidence of any "god" ever existing. No "god" is sending you an email to tell you he doesn't exist, so I guess you're quite narrow-minded and arrogant to insist that he exists when you have a total lack of evidence supporting YOUR position. How about you? Have you got anything to support your assertions? No you don't.
      We could form a group to study the question – does your god exist? And we would find what has been found by other studies and the personal experience of everyone in human history – that your god does not exist and your Bible is shown to be utter bullshlt.
      That wasn't very hard. Got any harder questions? Or would you like to insult me some more because I proved your god doesn't exist on the internet...again....?

      December 17, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
    • Answer

      @Kenneth

      Little kids like yourself are in need of education or replacement in our society. You are inept at your life point, time to ceed the right to life for someone else more worthy of eating and breathing and bringing better changes and contributions toward our society.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • Observer

      Kenneth,

      Hitler was raised as a Catholic and believed in God.

      What was your point about Stalin?

      December 17, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Clayton, since you can't even process what you read, I will lay it out in simpler terms.
      I haven't stated anything that I need to prove.
      I said maybe, maybe not.
      You have.
      Now, prove it.
      Insisting you have the whole internet only proves you have google.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Observer, my point is that, as I stated in my previous post, people do not need religion to be cruel or murderous or stupid or any of the cry-me-a-river condemnations of religion.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • Clayton

      Ah, but Kenneth I was only playing along with your troll-game, since you wanted to pretend that you were not the one making the claim when it was clear that was exactly what you were attempting to do with your loaded question.
      Want to try again?
      How about you tell us your "secret" belief or non-belief and then we can discuss it like adults, okay?
      You hug your deliberate evasions to yourself and tell us they are secrets? Really, Kenneth, you need mental help.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      Kenneth im sorry but dangling food to gain converts is a disgusting act. Especially considering all the poor starving people Mother Theresa stole from to give to the RICH! Also the current Christian jihad that was brought to you by catholic missionaries in Africa. Try harder!

      December 17, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Childish Clayton, but okay.
      I am a Christian. I believe what I believe because it works for me. I don't ask anyone else to understand or follow. They can find their own way.
      I get that you are too stubborn to actually accept the beliefs of anyone who disagrees with you, and that is okay.
      As I said, I have a belief, an article of faith. Your terror of something you don't understand is, what are the word?

      Oh yes, your own problem.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
    • Answer

      People like Kenneth are the dry hand-washing type of morons in society. They creep out of the woodworks, pat people on the head for comment they support and for comments that they don't want others to read. Fear in letting out their position on a topic they just want to look as the persona for a vast truth that they themselves only see.

      They despise others for showing the right of arrogance when they want to the ones who are right while not claiming or pretending to be arrogant. It's a fake mask to deceive other and hide their motive.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Well, I can see trying to take the high road and give people the benefit of the doubt has bitten me on the ass.
      Since that doesn't seem to work, how about this-
      Anyone who disagrees with me is wrong!
      There, do you guys feel better now?
      I have joined your little brotherhood.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • Clayton

      Wow, I guess you aren't talking to me anymore but some voices in your head or something. Thanks, Kenneth! I knew I could count on you for an irrational, schizophrenic response! Where would I be without wonderfully demented people like you?
      Hmmmm.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Answer-
      Cute, but wrong. But, it is obvious that by trying to be open-minded, or ask others to be open-minded, I have fried your brain.
      It's okay. Our opinions of one another don't affect one bit of change in the world.
      If you think arrogance is a positive personality trait, I am confident that you will reap all of the rewards you deserve.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • Answer

      No Kenneth

      You had a motive coming in. You wanted to be "not the arrogant one". You only showed that you were arrogant when you were pressed to finding out your real desire to assert that your religion has you where you wanted to be looking at. That you wanted to make others believe that being arrogant was not a virtue when you are right – when in fact being arrogant when you are right is completely normal.

      You were just hiding – pretending with your little facade to smooth over your position. Secretly wanting others who were right to express arrogance to plainly shut up. Which anybody can spot.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • Answer

      It is proves that those that are most likely to try to deceive others to win (and so badly to shut others up) are the religious morons.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Clayton, do you feel all warm and fuzzy inside now?
      I'm just asking, since you couldn't even understand what I was trying to say when I said it in single syllable words, I'm wondering what you got out of this conversation.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • Kenneth

      To Answer and Clayton-
      Congratulations, you found me out. I've got nothing better to do than try to make you feel bad about being arrogant and foolish.
      You two are real pieces of work.
      As I said, we all benefit from the fact that our opinions of one another are just that, opinions.
      And, being a moron, I guess I'll just have to give Annapolis their ring back.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      Kenneth, the most pious and coy troll I've ever seen. It's just funny to read his comments and watch the evolution from humble and moral to arrogant ignorant.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • D.K.

      Kenneth – I like your answers/comments. Obviously what you are saying has logic and merit otherwise they would all quit replying.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • D.K.

      I would also like to point out, GodofLunaticsCreation, that once one reverts to name calling, i.e. "an idiot", "troll".....one has nothing more intelligent to say. Thanks for proving my point.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      DK. I have been very courteous up to this point and have given many arguments that you have failed to acknowledge. I am angered by Kenneth and now you. I will not ask forgiveness for being human! GROW UP!

      December 17, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
  16. GodofLunaticsCreation

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vhoP2YPbyI&w=640&h=360]

    December 17, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      This is an excerpt taken from the Hitchens/Boteach debate at the 92nd st Y. Full debate on Youtube.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
  17. spottedsharks

    Hitchens was top drawer. Top drawer.

    December 17, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Kenye

      He was the best debater of all time! All time!

      December 17, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
  18. yeap that's right

    Hitchens should be front page...period

    Thank you my Brother

    December 17, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
  19. webo

    Not retarded. Just perhaps looked at it a little deeper than you. Look at the "simple cell", the things going on within it, the "information" found in DNA. When we see "information" we see thought, design. Way to complicated to have happened by random chance. The "law of entropy", accepted in every scientific discipline as fact, except that of biological evolution, screams that this didn't happen by chance.

    December 17, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Kevin

      Information is everywhere. What is an electromagnetic band gap if not a form of information? What are temperature and pressure if not forms of information? What is the beta decay rate of atomic nuclei if not a form of information? Information is everywhere, it's not artificial or unusual. Information merely requires an intelligent observer to interpret it into something meaningful to that observer. Information doesn't require an intelligent designer to produce it. DNA is a form of chemically information about the organism's environment that is encoded and decoded through chemical affinity, no intelligence required. I'm not even going to bother correcting you on the topic of entropy, suggesting only that you look up the role of entropy in an open system.

      December 17, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      Wesborough, You have stated a flat out lie. On what basis does Evolution go against the laws of entropy, CONSIDERING...To argue that evolution is inconsistent with the second law of thermodynamics it is usually stated that evolution is a continual process of achieving higher order and design, which is against the second law. This is an argument based on casual definition of terms, rather than on quantification of order, design, and entropy. I hope that by this point it is reasonably clear that this argument actually has little if anything to do with the second law of thermodynamics. How would one propose to measure the relative order or design increase that would accompany any evolutionary step? What number represents the difference between standing erect and walking on all fours, between having only day vision and between having also developed night vision...?

      December 17, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Observer

      webo,

      Even if everything you have said proves to be true, you have in no way proved the existence of God from the Bible.

      December 17, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @webo, Building on what @Observer said, even if god does exist, only those who believe he's right to murder children or order the murder of women and children would follow him. I'm sorry but this isn't someone that deserves my worship. Any moral person should do everything in their power to destroy such a vile creature.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • Nissim Levy

      I can't let you get away with that. The law of entropy holds in any closed system but within that system pockets of order can emerge at the expense of disorder arising elsewhere in that system. Have you ever heard of Chaos Theory? Order arises spontaneously everywhere but the order of the entire closed system must decrease. So having said that, it is not true that the order of DNA or genes is proof of an intelligent creator.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Praise God

      @webo, good post. Don't worry about the misinformation from the keyboard "scientists" and "theologians." Your point about the "'simple cell" is well put. I personally had to laugh Richard Dawkins was offering $50,000 to a person who could explain abiogenesis on his website. There is indeed no theory that doesn't involve hugely improbable luck. Yet that doesn't dissuade those with blind faith in materialism. Note, I say materialism too, for science only supports God, and says nothing against His existence. It's materialism, the blind belief that there is nothing beyond that which can be observed, which people use against God. Though I don't agree with some of his points, your "DNA entropy" argument is exactly Dr. John Sanford's 2005 book. His particular arguments aside, I simply agree that God can be guiding or pre-setting evolution. And if you're not familiar with Roger Penrose, the odds against the universe popping up by random chance with the low entropy it must have had are 10^123 to 1 against. Any scientist should be able to see that is basically a slam dunk. The universe did not pop up by chance. Now some scientists recently are scrambling to suggest there was a cyclic universe or pre-existing matter, but you know what, it only pushes the question back.

      Finally, the thing that amazes me the most are the atheists who don't believe in any god, but take it upon themselves that direct evidence for an intelligent creator doesn't prove "your" God. How sad. Well we know it doesn't prove their god for they have none. Yes, it definitely supports the God of Abraham for He has directly revealed to man that He is our creator.

      God bless and merry Christmas.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      Why did you waste the time with all the science mumbo jumbo if your main argument is based on "well god told us so!" Just cut to the chase and tell us you are happy being ignorant.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • Observer

      Praise God,

      I believe you slandered me in a previous blog, so how about attempting to justify your slander with facts?

      December 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Praise God

      GodofLunatics, the next time you want to call something mumbo jumbo, you might do a google search. Roger Penrose is one of the world's leading physicists. He worked with Stephen Hawking. And I guess you were so busy calling that mumbo jumbo, that you missed that many of my "main arguments" as you put it are from science. I demonstrated indeed multiple points from science that support God. My last point is only the confirmation that the God science demonstrates and the God of Abraham are the same God.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • Praise God

      Observer, no slander, buddy. Gave you a full straight up explanation already – it's right there on page 2 complete with exactly your dishonesty to give a knee-jerk "wrong" just because you want to say "wrong" to something you OBVIOUSLY don't even understand.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • AGuest9

      webo, your assertion that things are "Way to complicated to have happened by random chance" puzzle me. At the lowest levels of matter, events occur based upon the laws of probability. Even in biological systems, reproduction of DNA in species even as advanced as human beings and other higher mammals are based upon the laws of probability. Based on this probability,one's child may receive the dominant or recessive gene in each pair in the DNA strand. As the dominance of these genes occur, evolution takes place over multiple generations.

      You also assert that "The 'law of entropy', accepted in every scientific discipline as fact, except that of biological evolution, screams that this didn't happen by chance." The attempt to provide a link between entropy and disorder should not be interpreted as saying that an increase in disorder is equivalent to an increase in entropy. Furthermore, I would like to know which works you refer to when you make this claim. I have located papers addressing this very issue going back to 1995.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • Observer

      Praise God,

      If you are so IGNORANTLY going to slander someone as a "weasly liar", you ought to at least have the integrity to get to specifics: Statement and proof for why you erronously made the statement. I'll wait.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Praise God, I find it disturbing, but not surprising that a believer who first attacks scientists and the science-minded, then goes on to simultaneously praise and attack the same scientific reference:

      "Roger Penrose, the odds against the universe popping up by random chance with the low entropy it must have had are 10^123 to 1 against. Any scientist should be able to see that is basically a slam dunk. The universe did not pop up by chance. Now some scientists recently are scrambling to suggest there was a cyclic universe or pre-existing matter, but you know what, it only pushes the question back."

      So, which is it? Do you support Roger Penrose or not? He is the main "some scientist" who has proposed a cyclic universe. Furthermore, one scientist's estimation of odds is not "a slam-dunk". It's ironic that atheists are frequently accused on these blogs of cherry-picking.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • Praise God

      Observer, I had to tell you once before, you're tiring. Quit wasting my time. I'll now give it to you for the third time. The first time you can see for yourself – click on page 2 of this comment thread. I explained it there. 2nd time is above. I explained it there. Here it is third time for you, nice and simple. You came on this board not understanding the very simple post that the old covenant is still valid for Jews like Christopher Hitchenson. You give this a knee-jerk "0/10" which is simply another way of giving a knee jerk "you are wrong." Your motivation is pure pride and it required your direct dishonesty to make the post. You obviously say wrong to something you don't know whether is right or wrong. And you knew that when you said it. That was your first dishonesty. Your second was when you were confronted with what you just did and said it was honest. Here's another dishonesty by you – you say you're "still waiting" but you were just given the explanation in the previous post. So you now have it. 3 times. A clear explanation of your dishonesty.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • Observer

      Praise God,
      The statement was made: "I think Hitch many times was keenly aware he was playing the devil and saw it as a way to bring people closer to God."

      Based on a lifetime of saying he was an atheist, I rated this statement a ZERO. It was MY OPINION. So MY OPINION makes me a "weasly liar"? Wow! You have some real issues.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • Nissim Levy

      To Praise God

      How can you say that was a good post? He said something about Entropy that was inaccurate. This is not a matter of opinion, it is a fact of Physics. Entropy must increase within a closed system but there can be pockets within a closed system where entropy can decrease. That's a fact, not an opinion. So the fact that genes and DNA have order does not contradict the principle of entropy because genes and DNA are inside a closed system, they are parts of a system and not the entire sustem. Case closed. This is not a proof that an intelligent creator does not exist but it is a proof that the argument appealing to entropy cannot prove the existence of an intgelligent designer. So how is his argument good? Please explain that?

      December 17, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • Praise God

      AGuest, I could have predicted a post like yours. Yes, I know exactly Penrose speculates the cyclic universe when I said it. But you see, the low entropy argument is solid science. And I do support him fully, in his solid science as do other scientists. However, his (and no, others too, he's not "some scientist" it's "some scientists" as I said) cyclic theory is just speculative. In fact, Penrose has gone on Christian radio in England to dispute Hawking when Hawking came up with his "no god necessary" book. But I guess you didn't know that. And I guess you think because I support Penrose's solid science that I have to agree with his musings about a cyclic universe? Lol, sorry to disappoint you, no inconsistency except in the one you wanted so hard to think you could catch me in. 😉

      And as far as a slam dunk, what do you know about science? Don't you know science doesn't "prove" theories it just gathers evidence till its more and more and more likely? Look it up, it's true. Now there are theories that many accept as "fact" – slam-dunk proven fact – and are proven to less probability than 10^123 to 1. No that's beyond astronomical. It's slam-dunk likelihood. But oh yeah, it's not proof. Just like evolution isn't proven AT ALL.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • Praise God

      Observer, count that one more lie for you. You quoted only half the post.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • Observer

      Praise God,

      "Observer, count that one more lie for you. You quoted only half the post."

      THAT'S WHAT I COMMENTED ON. THAT COMMENT. Can you really be this dense? Keep up the slander and I'll report you. I have told the truth about what I said and why I said it and I don't need to put up with someone with a very limited IQ telling me that I am lying.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
    • Praise God

      Nissim Levy, why do I have to repeat my whole post? Did you only read the first line? I already said the things I agree with webo on including abiogenesis (his "simple cell" very nicely put), the general improbability of random mutation. I specifically differentiated "DNA entropy" which is a loosely used term from 2nd law of thermodynamics entropy. I know they are different. That's why I referred webo to Dr. John Sanford's book which makes the argument for the loose term "DNA entropy" with reference to the fact that 99% of mutations should be harmful. That's the real DNA entropy argument. But I gave a separate argument from Roger Penrose that does show that to a number beyond comprehension the universe began with such low entropy (2nd law entropy) that it is ridiculously unlikely that it occurred by chance. So take your pick, you can look at DNA entropy (loosely used term) or Penrose's 2nd law entropy argument. But I never said the 2nd law applied directly to biological systems on earth. We know this is not a closed system since there is a continual energy input from the sun.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      PraiseDog is a troll and not a very swift one at that. Earlier I made a joke alluding to the fact that people like him view science as mumbo jumbo and he totally misunderstood it, or purposefully...I don't care. A troll is a troll. I have thus far gave many arguments in support of my stance and he has ignored them all to take cheep shots at his own expense. You are a sad individual and unfit for debate.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • Praise God

      Well that's awfully convenient isn't it. You say "0/10" to a whole post but only referred to half of it? Sounds like a convenient way to weasel out. But ok, let's have it your way, I take it back, you didn't lie, you just in very confusing manner responded to a whole post being wrong even though you only meant half of it. Good. Next time instead of a knee jerk "wrong" to a whole post, how about making an intelligible response to the one part of it you disagree with.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Praise God: "And I do support him fully, in his solid science as do other scientists. However, his (and no, others too, he's not "some scientist" it's "some scientists" as I said)"

      So, you understand NEITHER science, nor grammar?

      December 17, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
    • Nissim Levy

      Praise God

      IF 99% of mutations are harmful that does not mean the 1% that are not harmful will not have a substantial impact on the evolutionary trajectory of an organism. By definition those organisms witht he harmful mutations are less likely to survive and pass on their mutated genes.

      There is no doubt that functional systems can arise spontaneously. There is no need for outside intervention. This is what Chaos Theory is all about. This principle of functional systems arising spontaneously has been demonstrated by genetic computer algorithms. Perhaps that's what god is, the tendency for functional systems to arise out of chaos. That's what the second sentence of genesis actually says, that god created the universe out of chaos.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • Observer

      Praise God,

      I will do that. And next time someone gives an OPINION that is a rating, don't trash them as a "weasly liars" and "dishonest" when they HONESTLY gave their answer.

      I might do more research than anyone else does before making statements. I am prepared to back up anything I say. I don't need anyone questioning my integrity.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • Praise God

      AGuest, really you are a piece of work. Here's what we have from you. 1. Not having a clue that Penrose's low entropy argument is solid science supported by many scientists, but that his cyclic theory is little more than speculation supported by few. 2. Assuming these are the same and flailing badly in a failure of an attempt to claim I was wrong by supporting Penrose in one but not the other. 3. Having this pointed out to you and your response is to look for what a spelling error? And tell me I don't understand science or grammar? Really I'd laugh but that's sad. You can't even acknowledge that I not only understand the science but that you didn't and all you can do is look now for a spelling mistake and what pretend you were right? Ok, go bury your head in the sand I don't care.

      December 17, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Praise God, you want to infer that you are a scientist, when in fact, you are nothing more than a charlatan. Any one can quote a few snippets from Penrose or Hawking or Feynman or Wheeler, however, from the foolishness that you apparently believe, e.g., that evolution is false and that some very old, invisible man is floating around in the clouds watching everyone, it's apparent that you may be able to read the words on the page, but certainly don't comprehend their essence. It is further apparent from your lack of comprehension that you continue to cling to your foolish views, in view of valid scientific theory, which you simply continue to cherry-pick for your own satisfaction.

      December 17, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  20. Kenneth

    I appreciated Hitch. He helped me understand my faith and made it stronger. Plus, his ideas were his own, unlike many of his groupies, who could only regurgitate what he had said, without giving it any analysis of their own. A trait shared by many religious people also.

    December 17, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Kevin

      Hitchen's ideas were his own? Nonsense. Atheism, like all topics, is a dialog of proposal, criticism, and agreement or culling of ideas. I'm certain that Hitchen's, like many outspoken activists, had many fans that didn't bother critically examine his or even their own views. But it is not accurate to stereotype atheists who agree with Hitchens, particularly when atheists who advocate religious accomodationism do not.

      December 17, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Kevin, perhaps I should have said his analysis was his own. My point being that he did not just regurgitate others' ideas without putting some time in to think about it. Nor did I intend to insinuate that all of his followers were mindless drones.
      The difference being that, when pressed, he could articulate the underlying analysis of his positions, which many people on every side of this debate either can't, or won't do.

      December 17, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Clayton

      Kenneth, since I do not fit within your bigoted attempt to label so many people with the same brush, let me just tell you, as you have surely heard before, that you are incredibly stupid.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Clayton, learn to analyze what you read.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • Praise God

      Kenneth, I agree, I am convinced (in fact this article proves it) that Hitch knew he was helping people in their faith. And that would include me. Challenges can indeed strengthen a person. Hitch by his debates both made atheists more aware of Christian beliefs and helped strengthen Christians in their beliefs. Ultimately he served God, and you know, I suspect again he knew that and didn't mind. The irony too is he wasn't really an atheist. People these days use "atheist" but really mean "agnostic atheist." We didn't have that when I was growing up. It was believer, agnostic, atheist. And you know what, technically that's still the definition. But since Dawkins made his 7 point scale (and he's honest enough to say he's a 6 – he's open too) it's clear many people are in the middle. And Hitch was one. He said he'd believe if he was shown evidence. He just thought he hadn't seen the evidence yet. And finally, the posts since his death have made me realize many Christians don't understand that the old covenant is still valid. Christians ought to read Romans more closely. St. Paul, despite lamenting his fellow Jews were not coming to Christ, well noted that God would after the time of the Gentiles restore the natural branches to the tree of life. That means Jewish people like Hitchens still have the old covenant. Which actually really makes me afraid for those who aren't Jewish but are Hitch wannabees, trying to be proud atheists like him. I hope they give a little more thought to their salvation before assuming they're in the same boat as Hitch. They're not.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • Clayton

      Kenneth, or should I say George, your inability to make intelligent remarks is very clear and exists on the internet for all to see.
      Either you are an troll pretending to be one of the stupidest posters I have ever had the misfortune to come across, or you really are that incredibly stupid.
      If you can't see the damage you are doing to your religion, I'm not going to point it out too often. I'll just sit back and let you do all the work. How old are you, really? And do you have a doctor who knows of your condition?

      December 17, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      Either way, Kenneth has proven himself an idiot and not fit for intelligent debate.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • ashrakay

      Yes, praise god... murder of children.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      And Jesus was really an atheist because he strengthened my disbelief. Jesus denied God before he rotted away.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • GodofLunaticsCreation

      By the way, Hitchens was no atheist. He was an Anti-theist. Now go pray to your Mulla.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • Nissim Levy

      Kenneth, I appreciate you believers. You helped me understand my lack of faith and made it stronger!

      December 17, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.