I complain from the land down under.
Here is an opinion from an atheist in Australia about Hitchen's "in your face" style.
It's the longstanding infighting between the two camps "play nice" vs "no holds bared".
According to this guy no good can come from " It is no good just banging on about how evil God is and how dumb and evil believers are."
Once again these well intended politically correct atheist types miss Hitchen's point. It was because he valued reality and because he valued freedom that he was tough on religion and religious claims. His approach was not one of hate but one of Jeffersonian attitude in the fearlessness to challenge social norms. Human progress cannot be complacent with social norms "Just because".
Hitchens attacks were not on people's rights, his attacks were on their claims and concepts and that those beliefs poison life and create needless division. Much like one would be right today to attack anyone claiming today that the earth was flat.
This author ignores that he was valued by many in the believing community and most certainly in the media. His contributions to humanity cannot be marginalized by the suggestion that blasphemy be scrapped because some don't like his delivery.
It was the blasphemy of people like Paine and Jefferson that the value of questioning is protected by our government. It is because of blasphemy of social norms that slavery ended and women can vote. It is because of the blasphemy of social norms that we no longer believe the earth to be flat.
His bravery in doing such has made the world take notice that claims cant hide nor should be allowed to hide from scrutiny. Hitchens was the unprecedented trail blazer of the second and much needed Age of Enlightenment part 2.
"Why did he have to be so mean"
Mean? Because he hated religion being used to subject women to submit to men, so they cant drive or vote? Because they use religion to murder women on soccer fields? Because it is used to publicly hang gays? Because it is used to deny rights to minorities? Because it is used to murder doctors? Because it is used as a litmus test in politics and infects education?
Hitchens never confused decent people with belief with what he was fighting which were the people who used their religion as a weapon. As long as religion is a weapon, people like Hitchens are the safety trigger lock keeping fascism at bay. He was by no means "mean". He simply was tough on religion because that is the only way you can prevent it from gaining absolute power.
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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