As I mentioned last week, Christopher Hitchens will be undergoing chemotherapy for what is believed to be esophageal cancer, and in response to this news, George Berkin reminds us once again why almost all Christian apologetic attempts to explain anything about our universe are worthy of nothing but a sigh and a facepalm.
But to our question: how can cancer be an example of God’s grace to this suddenly stricken intellectual, who has made a career of arguing the case for atheism? A cancer which God didn’t “give,” but certainly permitted.
The short answer is this: if God really wanted to “get” Hitchens, God would just ignore the man, and let him go his blissful way, unchallenged, to a peaceful death.
At which point Hitchens would stand, face-to-face and unreconciled, with that very God.
Of course, Hitchens doesn’t believe a word of that scenario I just outlined. He might explain that he is, after all, a heavy smoker. And in his 2008 book, “god is not Great,” Hitchens goes to exceptional lengths to explain why he rejects theistic belief.
(Emphasis his, by the way. In fact, this guy uses uses so much boldface type, I felt like I was reading an Archie Comic. Except less intellectually engaging.)
In case you didn’t catch that, Berkin is suggesting that God (only his god, by the way) is actually being good to Christopher Hitchens by “permitting” him to get cancer, because he can’t think of a better way to get his “I exist” message across than through a debilitating cellular-growth irregularity that claims thousands upon thousands of lives a year, and so he’s giving him a chance to repent.
Congratulations, George Berkin. You’ve actually managed to lower my expectations for Christian apologetics even further.
Anyone who seriously tries to convince themselves that their god uses cancer forany purpose is worshiping a god who is either incredibly incompetent or capriciously cruel.
But the icing on the cake comes a little later in this diatribe:
As with many atheists, Hitchens’ non-belief got its start in childhood, when he heard a religious person say something that, even to a child, came across as dumb. With Hitchens’s mentor, it was something about the color of the sky and human eyeballs.
For me, there’s something inane about an adult beginning to base their adult worldview on something wacko recalled from childhood.
But now, let’s talk, one grownup to another…
First of all, considering the fact that the overwhelming majority of religious believers aren’t post-pubescent converts, but merely adopt the religion they were exposed to in their youth, I’m not sure Berkin really wants to use this argument.
Second, “one grownup to another”?
I’ve got news for you, Berkin. A person who believes in Jewish zombies, talking snakes, and an invisible man who grants wishes, does not get to be condescending to people who decide that they’d rather base their beliefs on things that can be empirically and reasonably shown to be true.
Guys like this make me wonder why people still haven’t figured out why atheists like me are angry all the time.