Anglican Samizdat

April 24, 2010

How Christopher Hitchens copes with futility

Filed under: Atheism,Nothing in Particular — David Jenkins @ 11:10 am
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Albert Camus in his novel, The Plague, makes the point that without God humans live in an indifferent, incomprehensible universe that has no rational meaning or order. Camus’ solution to this little problem is not resignation or stoicism but to fight back even though it may be with the knowledge that the fight is futile. For an atheistic existentialist, life’s meaning is found not in overcoming, but in struggling against  the apparent evil in the natural order of things. This struggle in the certain knowledge of ultimate failure defines man’s freedom: he is not merely a puppet of the natural order that created him.

I think this is a daft way to live but, as can be seen in this exchange with William Lane Craig, it seems to be an energising principle behind Christopher Hitchens’ attempt to live with the futility of his own existence. The difference between Camus and Hitchens is that, whereas Hitchens never tires of expressing his hatred of all things Christian, Camus had a grudging respect for believers who lived by their Christian principles.


April 20, 2010

Homosexuality a major cause of priestly paedophilia in the church

From Lifesite News:

A must-read paper produced by Human Life International Research Director Brian Clowes has closed the book on the question of whether homosexuality in the priesthood is a root cause of the clerical sexual abuse crisis.  Citing numerous research studies, Clowes demonstrates that homosexuality is strongly linked to sexual abuse of minors, and that celibacy is definitely not a cause of pedophilia.

Clowes cites studies, including:

– Homosexual Alfred Kinsey, the USA’s preeminent sexual researcher, found in 1948 that 37 percent of all male homosexuals admitted to having sex with children under 17 years old.

– A recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that “The best epidemiological evidence indicates that only 2.4% of men attracted to adults prefer men.  In contrast, around 25-40% of men attracted to children prefer boys.  Thus, the rate of homosexual attraction is 6-20 times higher among pedophiles.”

– A study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that, “Pedophilia appears to have a greater than chance association with two other statistically infrequent phenomena.  The first of these is homosexuality … Recent surveys estimate the prevalence of homosexuality, among men attracted to adults, in the neighborhood of 2%.  In contrast, the prevalence of homosexuality among pedophiles may be as high as 30-40%.”

– A study in the Journal of Sex Research noted that “… the proportion of sex offenders against male children among homosexual men is substantially larger than the proportion of sex offenders against female children among heterosexual men … the development of pedophilia is more closely linked with homosexuality than with heterosexuality.”

– A study of 229 convicted child molesters published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that “eighty-six percent of [sexual] offenders against males described themselves as homosexual or bisexual.”

If the Roman Catholic church does weed out homosexual priests to protect children, will those howling for blood – the dripping with sanctimony Hitchens-Dawkins conglomerate – applaud or shriek “homophobia”. Let me guess.

April 15, 2010

Arrest Christopher Hitchens for supporting an illegal war

Filed under: Atheism,Roman Catholic child abuse — David Jenkins @ 5:18 pm
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As it happens, I supported – and still support – the Iraq war, but this is considerably more sensible than Hitchens’ crusade to arrest the Pope:

It should also be remembered that Hitchens was an outspoken advocate of the 2003 Iraq War which some international lawyers deemed illegal. A case could arguably be made, therefore, to have himself brought to the ICC for war crimes on the grounds of being a leading cheerleader for an illegal war. After all, he now seems to be a keen proselytizer for international law, at least when it suits his ideological goals.

April 13, 2010

Another anti-Pope diatribe from Dawkins

Filed under: Richard Dawkins — David Jenkins @ 11:38 am
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Richard Dawkins is still at it:

The pope should stand trial.

Why is anyone surprised, much less shocked, when Christopher Hitchens and I call for the prosecution of the pope, if he goes ahead with his proposed visit to Britain? The only strange thing about our proposal is that it had to come from us: where have the world’s governments been all this time? Where is their moral fibre? Where is their commitment to treating everyone equally under the law? The UK government, far from standing up for justice for the innocent victims of the Roman Catholic church, is preparing to welcome this grotesquely tainted man on an official visit to the UK so that he can “dispense moral guidance”. Read that again: dispense moral guidance!

A few obvious questions:

  • What law is the Pope supposed to have broken?
  • Assuming he has broken an international law, where is the presumption of innocence for the accused?
  • Much of what Dawkins writes in this article is based on the Kiesle letter which appeared to imply that the Pope favoured the Church’s reputation over exposing an abusive priest. This contention has been refuted convincingly enough to introduce at least a reasonable doubt here. Where is Dawkins’ scientific detachment in all this?
  • If, as some claim, the predominant problem turns out to have been one of homosexual priests in the Catholic Church, would Dawkins approve of a ban on homosexual priests before or after admitting that the sun revolves around the earth?

Dawkins and Hitchens, for all their moralistic posturing, have no basis for their self-appointed positions as ethical arbiters of how the Roman Catholic Church should cope with the child abuse scandal. As atheists, not only can they not appeal to moral absolutes, but the principles that fire their affected indignation are not even their own: they were derived from the very institution they are out to destroy, the Christian Church.

Atheist says he has converted to Christianity after listening to Christopher Hitchens

Filed under: Atheism — David Jenkins @ 8:39 am
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After being a hard atheist for 8 or 9 years, the speaker from the audience at the University of Florida says he has converted to Christianity having seen Satan himself – in the guise of Christopher Hitchens – on stage.

Obviously the speaker is not serious, but the reaction of some of the bystanders is interesting – they want to shut him up.

March 5, 2010

My favourite description of Christopher Hitchens

Filed under: Atheism — David Jenkins @ 8:54 pm

Can be found here:

‘I always thought that Hitchens was someone who, like a lot of people when they are handsome in youth, spent a lot of time looking in the mirror and admiring himself. That is the vein through which he drew nourishment through his life.’

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