90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Christopher Hitchens on Religion
photo

Christopher Hitchens has never been a friend to religion. The sharp-tongued British-born critic and provocateur called Mother Theresa “the Ghoul of Calcutta.” He was early and loud in denouncing “Islamic fascism.” He’s a dukes-up-on-all-fronts anti-theist.

With his new book, the gloves are really off. He’s called it: “god is not Great.” Subtitle: How Religion Poisons Everything. You may love it. Billions do.

But Hitchens calls organized faith “violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism and bigotry.” And that’s just for starters.

This hour On Point: Christopher Hitchens versus God.

Guests:

Christopher Hitchens, contributing editor at Vanity Fair and author of the book, “god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.”

Stephan Munsey, Senior Pastor of the Family Christian Center, which has 10,000 members and author of “Unleashing Your God-Given Dreams.”;

Bill Leonard, professor of church history and dean of the Divinity School at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

Quotes from the Show:

“That’s part of what I’m criticizing in this book — the presumption that faith is a virtue.” Christopher Hitchens

“It’s only in the United States that there’s a constitution that separates the church from the state.” Christopher Hitchens

“It’s part of a change in the zeitgeist. I think there’re a lot of people, very great number of people … who are fed up with religious bullying and coercion and clerical lecturing and with the damage being done to civilization by faith. They want to find a way of pushing back at it.” Christopher Hitchens

“Religion comes from the terrified infancy of our species. … [It] is innately coercive as well as innately incoherent. Because it’s man-made, there’s an infinite variety of it for them all, and these sects proceed to quarrel among themselves, religious warfare having being one of the great retardances of civilization of the time we’ve been alive and very much to this day.” Christopher Hitchens

“You can believe in God, be a deist, as Thomas Jefferson was for example, … but not believe in religion. … Religion means that you claim that you know God’s mind.” Christopher Hitchens

“It [religion] allows people to avoid the consequences and the reality of what they need to be dealing with.” Listener

“He can’t go up against the testimony of believers. … He’s out to prove that my testimony and my salutations of my belief in a God is dead wrong. And I do agree with him on the fact that I think religion has poisoned a lot of things because religion is a man-made issue. … The key is that it’s not fair upon this planet, to human mankind, to discredit a personal testimony … .” Stephan Munsey

“I’m unsure how you can look at nature and the things that are unexplainable by scientists and unexplainable by mankind and not see that there is a God that has formed these things on earth.” Listener

“I do think [the book] gives a short shrift to the dissenting Christians.” Bill Leonard

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 23, 2014
Specialist Ronnie Howard, center, calls out prices as he works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Beyond the turmoil shaking financial markets, the U.S. economy remains sturdier than many seem to fear. (AP)

The global economic wobble. Europe weakness. China fears. Wild markets. We’ll lay out the global economy now.

Oct 23, 2014
A screenshot from the interactive game, "Depression Quest," the game at the root of the ongoing #GamerGate controversy. (Courtesy  "Depression Quest")

#GamerGate. Sexism, misogyny and rough stuff in a video game world culture clash.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 22, 2014
Authors Nicholas Kristof and wife Sheryl WuDunn attend the premiere of "Meena" at the AMC Loews Theater on Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York.

Author and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says regular folks like us can change the world. He explains how. Plus: we remember the late, great Washington Post editor, Ben Bradlee.

 
Oct 22, 2014
Health workers carry the body of a woman suspected of contracting the Ebola virus in Bomi county situated on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. (AP)

We’ll go to Liberia, and hear from a pastor and a physician at the epicenter of the Ebola crisis.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
1 Comment
 
Two LIVE Tracks From Jazz Violinist Regina Carter
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Regina Carter shares two live tracks — one arrangement, and one original composition — with Tom Ashbrook in the On Point studio.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 17, 2014
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

We talk Facebook mishaps, whether Katy Perry was actually right and the glory of architectural giants and their iconic windows.

More »
Comment