Christopher Hitchens' anti-mysticism book God Is Not Great: Why Religion Poisons Everything is extracted in The Times today. He thinks there are four “irreducible” objections to religious faith:
It misrepresents the origins of man and the cosmos (Yet we do not know the origins of mankind or the cosmos. We know little or nothing. There are only scientific theories and religious fables).
It combines servility with solipsism (So does Janice Turner of The Times when she encounters Christopher Hitchens as she did yesterday. She did everything but suck his cock as a useful showcase for her considerable writing talent).
It causes sexual repression (So does peer pressure. Hitchens readily admits to alcoholism but denies his bisexuality. He fears the social and professional consequences of coming out, though he “makes lunges” at men when he’s pissed, so Turner claims).
It is wishful thinking (So is all political aspiration. So is Harry Potter. So is good health. You have to start somewhere. Or not. Not believing in a god is wishful thinking too).
Aside from the odd suicide manque, I have rarely ever encountered anyone who does not place their faith in something - be it God or gods or money or Pilates or Neuro-Linguistic Programming or literature or one's own fecund secular talent, or whatever. He would do better to examine the purpose and function of faith, with religion as one of its by-products; but let that pass.
What really matters here is that Christopher Hitchens continues to write.
Words fountain out of him in wonderful order; no tombstone will be large enough for the long long, self-authored epitaph. In the beginning was the Word and everything else assembled around it in the Hitchens universe. He exists to fill space with words – everything else is secondary. It’s probably in his horoscope. I bet, when he leaves a room, people say, “My, it’s quiet now!” The capitals of civilisation are rich with Hitchenses: the industrious word factories, the driven spouters, the irksome noisers, the wordy-wordy-wordy-wordsmiths. They have names for everything, they know a penumbra when they see one. What they think is neither here nor there: their actual raison d'etre is word birthing.
The Times runs with Hitchens' book because of the writing, not because of its argument, which merely apes religious tract by dressing opinion as fact. The writing is the end in itself, entire of itself. Fabulous articulacy is the destination. In the Hitchens theme park, the shiny, labelling prose style is a sign of inner order and rightness. A dangling participle is a symptom of spiritual anarchy or indolence, of something generally not quite right. He skewered Jimmy Carter recently for "sophomoric" use of language.
Long may his words flow, whatever he writes.
Read Hitchens' gorgeously wrought crap, click here