Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes . . . and New Atheists!

This excerpt is from an interview in which retired, Unitarian minister Marilyn Sewell interviews New Atheist author Christoper Hitchens. Sometimes Hitch says things that are so obviously true that they form a sharp contrast to the usual blather about evil, materialism, the failings of religious leaders etc..

Let's listen in:
Sewell: "The religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories from the scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement (that Jesus died for our sins, for example). Do you make and distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?

Hitchens: I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.

Sewell: Let me go someplace else. When I was in seminary I was particularly drawn to the work of theologian Paul Tillich. He shocked people by describing the traditional God—as you might as a matter of fact—as, “an invincible tyrant.” For Tillich, God is “the ground of being.” It’s his response to, say, Freud’s belief that religion is mere wish fulfillment and comes from the humans’ fear of death. What do you think of Tillich’s concept of God?”

Hitchens: I would classify that under the heading of “statements that have no meaning—at all.”
"Let's go someplace else" - I love that response. But just once, all together now, let's all say it: "Go Hitch! Preach it!"

HT to Rod Dreher and Kathyrn Jean Lopez

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