Fight the good fight: Blair v Hitchens
By PAUL HARRIS - OBSERVER
Added: Sun, 28 Nov 2010 07:55:03 UTC
Thanks to Linda Ward Selbie for the link
Christopher Hitchens walked on stage with the evidence of his cancer plain for the world to see. His dark suit jacket hung off a much-reduced frame and his head – now devoid of hair due to chemotherapy – shone under the arc lights. He shuffled slowly to the white chair and sat down, occasionally sipping from a plastic bottle of water.
But if Hitchens, who knows that his cancer of the oesophagus will probably be fatal, is preparing to meet his maker, it was not apparent. Not that anyone would expect anything else from one of the world's most prominent atheists. "Religion is a real danger to the survival of civilisation… it will be the death of us all, the end of humanity," he declared.
Hitchens was on stage in Toronto to take on Tony Blair and debate whether or not religion is a force for good in the world. Blair, perhaps the world's most famous convert to Roman Catholicism, was on the side of God. Hitchens, author of the uncompromisingly titled book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, was not.
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Why should he sit still and see a valued and precious discipline being insulted, even threatened with not being taught?