Ever since professional provocateur Christopher Hitchens published God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything he has become the patron saint of 21st century atheism. But is Hitchens really an atheist? Here at LivingHour.org we’ve always suspected no; that Hitchen’s diatribes were directed toward simply the literal sects of religion and those who anthropomorphize God as an old man in the clouds, living in a gated community with pearly gates.
Hitchens is currently starring in the new documentary Collision, with Pastor Douglas Wilson. Unfortunately, like most ‘religious’ experts who battle Hitchens, Wilson tries to out-intellectualize the Vanity Fair writer, fails miserably, and ultimately the whole debate devolves into two peacocks pruning. To promote their new movie, Hitchens and Wilson published opposing articles in today’s Huffington Post. Hitchen’s post is titled Religion Is Absurd, while Wilson’s counterpoint is elegantly titled Atheists Suck at Being Atheists.
In Hitchen’s article, the ‘atheist’ finally lets it slip that he is indeed not an atheist. He writes:
The great cultural question before us is therefore this: can we manage to preserve what is numinous and transcendent and ecstatic without giving any more room to the superstitious and the supernatural.
Numinous? Transcendant? Ecstatic? Let’s quickly run down what these terms mean. Numinous: describes the presence or power of a divinity. Transcendent: beyond and outside the ordinary range of human experience or understanding. Ecstatic: a feeling of great rapture, often used to describe a religious experience. These are all terms not commonly associated with atheism, but rather the Spiritual But Not Religious, which we suspected Hitchens of being all along (and whether he comes out and admits it or not).
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