Monday, October 15, 2007

Christopher Hitchens, the Ann Coulter of the Alcoholic Left

O Cthulhu, I've put Hitchens's name into the title of a post. Who knows what I'll do next?

My fellow atheists are such a disappointment to me. For example, this morning on Avedon Carol's Sideshow blog, I read this account of Hitchens's performance at the Freedom from Religion Convention:
He told us what the most serious threat to the West was (and you know this line already): it was Islam. Then he accused the audience of being soft on Islam, of being the kind of vague atheists who refuse to see the threat for what it was, a clash of civilizations, and of being too weak to do what was necessary, which was to spill blood to defeat the enemy. Along the way he told us who his choice for president was right now — Rudy Giuliani — and that Obama was a fool, Clinton was a pandering closet fundamentalist, and that he was less than thrilled about all the support among the FFRF for the Democratic party. We cannot afford to allow the Iranian theocracy to arm itself with nuclear weapons (something I entirely sympathize with), and that the only solution is to go in there with bombs and marines and blow it all up. The way to win the war is to kill so many Moslems that they begin to question whether they can bear the mounting casualties.
Avedon commented, "Hitchens' 'atheism' turns out to be indistinguishable from everything he's said is wrong with religion, Jihad, Crusades, and all." I'd noticed that about Hitchens too, and not just Hitchens. Sam Harris is a big supporter of the "war on terror" too, and The End of Faith bore a blurb from torture supporter (and plagiarist, and all-round liar and thug) Alan Dershowitz. I checked the book's index when I noticed that, and found that it contained a long attack on Noam Chomsky, which is one reason I still haven't read it. But I did read Letter to a Christian Nation, Harris's plea to Christofascists to join the crusade against Islamofascists. As though Christofascists weren't already foaming at the mouth for more Saracen blood! So much for Dawkins's argument that a world without religion would be a world without war, or at least a world with much less of it. To say this doesn't mean that I've started liking religion, only that being an atheist doesn't automatically make you rational, any more than being a theist automatically makes you good.

Thanks to Avedon's link to Maureen Dowd, I found this piece ("Carson-Era Humor, Post-Colbert", which may or may not work -- you may have to go to the Dowd piece to get to it) which also mentions Hitchens: "Mr. Hitchens, a one-time pariah for his support of the Iraq invasion and his savaging of Mother Teresa, still serves as something of a social arbiter in Washington." Social arbiter? Still? That's even more discrediting than supporting the Iraq invasion and endorsing Bush in 2004. "One-time pariah"? Why not "still", especially since he keeps adding reasons to shun him?