Christopher Hitchens joins Richard Dawkins in writing a book defending the atheist position. It’s called ‘God is not great’. In this interview with The Atlantic he fires off some wonderful zingers:
On finding out that he was Jewish:
You found out a few years ago that you’re technically Jewish.
As is Carol. We do a rather vestigial Passover seder so our daughter knows what the tradition is.
What value do you find in that?
The value in celebrating the murder of Egyptian children? I don’t think very much. But it is a tradition.
My favorite time in the cycles of public life is the time when the Pope is dead and they haven’t elected a new one. There's no one in the world who is infallible for those weeks. And you know, I don’t miss it.
On the Second Coming:
There’s a film—I’ve never seen it—about a village atheist in America. At one point, there’s some incredible thunderstorm or some other apocalyptic event that makes it seem as though the Second Coming really is about to happen. Everyone’s incredibly impressed. And even he thinks it seems to be true. But he keeps muttering as these events unfold, “But where did Cain get his wife?” All the old questions have to occur to you when you read the Bible. Maybe you can’t read, but you hear the story—wait a minute, there are only two guys in the world, and their parents, and then one of them finds a wife. Where did she come from? Once you’ve thought it, you can’t unthink it.
The subtitle of the book is ‘How Religion Poisons Everything’. If you don’t want to read 307 pages of Hitch’s screed to get to that conclusion, just watch 4 minutes and 43 seconds of Brian Sewell building up to the same point while relating the story of the Last of the Medici. Glorious stuff. The man deserves a knighthood for this alone.