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Friday, 10 August 2007

Contra Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens' critques of religion get a thorough rebuttal here.

My favourite paragraph is this expose,

The effectiveness of Hitchens’ book is also undermined by the large number of errors it contains, many so glaring that they will be picked up by even a casual reader with some knowledge of history and theology. The Gnostic gospels are not of the “same period and provenance” as the canonical Gospels, but were written several decades later; the “synoptic” Gospels are not synonymous with the “canonical” Gospels; “Q” is an assumed source for the Gospels of Luke and Matthew, but not Mark and John; the process of deciding which books to include in the New Testament was not one in which “many a life was horribly lost;” “the Vulgate” was what the Reformers were trying to get away from, not what they were attempting to translate the Bible into; Luther declared “Here I stand, I can do no other” at Worms, not Wittenberg; John Adams was not a slaveholder, nor was T.

S. Eliot a Catholic; the amount of wood from relics of the True Cross would not be sufficient if gathered together to recreate the Cross, much less create a “thousand – foot cross;” Christians have never practiced animal sacrifice, nor did the Arian heresy teach that the Father and the Son were “two incarnations of the same person;” the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption were promulgated in 1854 and 1950, not 1852 and 1951; the Lateran Treaty was signed seven years after Mussolini marched on Rome, not after he “had barely seized power;” Maryland never prohibited Protestants from holding office, and condoms are not a “necessary” condition for preventing the transmission of AIDS, or else celibates would all be infected. Given all these errors (and many more), there is no reason to accept anything Hitchens writes on his own authority, and he offers no authority other than his own for most of what he writes.

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