Saturday, July 14, 2007

Beatitudes Are In the Eye....

Christopher Hitchens is described by Michael Gerson as an "intellectually courageous and unfailingly kind" atheist.

In "An Atheist Responds" (WaPo), Hitchens rejects this description, and then unkindly skewers Gerson's recent column "What Atheists Can't Answer" as "insulting" with the "appalling insinuation that I would not know right from wrong if I was not supernaturally guided by a celestial dictatorship..."

Hitchens rejects the justifying premise of believers that even if religion is not metaphysically "true," at least it stands for morality. Hitchens points to the hypocrisy of religious teachings which have included the slaughter of other 'tribes,' the enslavement of the survivors, the mutilation of the genitals of children, the burning of witches...." you get the idea, it's a long list.

Hitchens issues a challenge to Gerson, he wants him to name "one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed, by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a nonbeliever."

Let me here interject that I have nothing against religion as long as it is allowed to remain in the personal spiritual realm. The spiritual can instruct and enrich our inner conversation.

The objection comes from what nonbelievers must endure from those who insist they must accept, or worship, some particular organized brand of supreme being.

The intellectually courageous holdouts will be subjected to self-satisfying judgments and mob shunning until they "believe".... at which time many purveyors of the God message abscond with worldly goods, tax dollars and personal freedoms.

It is supremely ironic that the practices of so many religious leaders and believer-pandering politicians are so.... well.... unChrist-like.

These actions speak louder than all of their words.

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