Clash of the Titans

May 8, 2007

Christopher Hitchens, author of the new book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, had a debate last night with the Rev. Al Sharpton on the nature of religious faith and the question whether God is, in fact, great. I’m not sure that most atheists or religionists would have been entirely happy with their representatives that night, but to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you go into debate with the paladins you have, not the ones you wish you had. The blogger who covered the debate likens it to Bertrand Russell taking on C.S. Lewis, and I hope for his sake that there is no afterlife because if there is, those two eminent gentlemen are going to fry his balls over that insult.

It’s easy to see why Sharpton retains his religious faith — considering the ease with which he’s skated away from the Tawana Brawley hoax and any number of other messes, some kind of intervention may have been involved, though not necessarily divine. But when compared with the teeming maggot-heap of corruption that is the Bush administration, Sharpton’s sins seem downright paltry, especially when he zings Hitchens as elegantly as this:

“At the end what is refreshing is that you are a man of faith,” Mr. Sharpton told Mr. Hitchens, to much laughter, “because any man that at this point has faith that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has more faith than any religious person I know.” 

As was the case with the recent fettucine-wrestling match between Andrew Sullivan and Sam Harris — which you can follow noodle-by-noodle here — Sharpton and Hitchens spent more time arguing past each other than with each other. But don’t take my word for it. You can listen to the whole thing here.     

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One Response to “Clash of the Titans”

  1. Chucky Says:

    A boozed-up warmonger plays patty-cake with a censorship advocate.

    As Joan Jett once sang, you don’t lose when you lose fake friends.


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