Hitchens: Pope's a Dim Bulb [Tim Graham]
The media loves to find balance in religion stories by seeking out the nasty atheist for comment. For the papal visit this week, the Washington Post-Newsweek "On Faith" site has been welcoming Christopher Hitchens and Susan Jacoby to lob their atheist bombs. When Mother Teresa's book on her struggle with doubt came out, Newsweek invited Hitchens to lob an op-ed. (Now imagine Newsweek granting a page to someone who wrote a whole book denouncing in the most vicious terms Martin Luther King, and you get the point: they agree with Hitchens on the nun. Otherwise, he would be seen as beyond the pale.)
It's perhaps less tedious to see Hitchens interviewed on atheism by trendy-left websites like Radar, but Hitchens really underlines how there's more bile than intellect in his analysis. He says the former Cardinal Ratzinger is in no way distinguished:
Joseph Ratzinger, who now calls himself Pope Benedict XVI and claims to be the vicar of Christ on Earth, doesn't strike me as someone who is up to the average intelligence of most of my friends. If he weren't making these claims about himself, no one would listen to a word he says! He's a completely undistinguished human being.
Hitchens betrays his view — all religious people are dim bulbs, all atheist people are wise — by claiming (wrongly) that Congressman Ed Royce is "a very bright guy from some greater Los Angeles district, and he simply says, 'I'm not a person of faith.'" (Even Radar found that Royce's staff reports he's a practicing Catholic.)
Any religious conservative who likes Hitchens for his views on jihadis should realize the admiration is not returned. He doesn't like the religious right, but doesn't consider his atheist rantings are directed at them: "They're hardly worth mentioning. They don't say anything interesting now. They're just sick people."
It seems Radar's favorite quote is Hitchens insisting that Heaven is like North Korea, except you can never leave:
Why did Heaven sound like Hell?
Eternal penance. You can never stop—like North Korea. In North Korea, they have compulsory worship from dawn until dusk. That's all there is, everything is praise. So now I know what it would be like. I know it must be the most proximate place we have on Earth to being in Hell. But at least you can die and get out of North Korea. Kim Jong-Il does not promise you he'll follow you into the grave. But you can't die and get away from f—-ing Jesus.
04/18 11:19 AMShare