Christopher Hitchens on Religion
According to Christopher Hitchens:
I have never understood why conservative entrepreneurs are so all-fired pious and Bible-thumping, let alone why so many of them claim Jesus as their best friend and personal savior. The Old Testament is bad enough: The commandments forbid us even to envy or covet our neighbor's goods, and thus condemn the very spirit of emulation and ambition that makes enterprise possible. But the New Testament is worse: It tells us to forget thrift and saving, to take no thought for the morrow, and to throw away our hard-earned wealth on the shiftless and the losers.The Ten Commandments also say “This shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife,” but I haven't heard anybody cite that as a reason not to get married. I am less acquainted with the New Testament, but as far as I know the context of the instruction was a universal state that was starting to get corrupt. Under those particular circumstances, poverty really was the sign of good moral character and wealth was something to be ashamed of.
I also doubt if the following attempted appeal to Jewish voters will get very far:
Perhaps one could phrase the same question in two further ways. At the last election, the GOP succeeded in increasing its vote among American Jews by an estimated five percentage points. Does it propose to welcome these new adherents or sympathizers by yelling in the tones of that great Democrat bigmouth William Jennings Bryan? By insisting that evolution is "only a theory"? By demanding biblical literalism and by proclaiming that the Messiah has already shown himself?There are Orthodox Jews as Creationist as any Christian. There's an even larger number of Jews who know an Orthodox Jew as Creationist as any Christian. As for Biblical literalism, most Jews have no objection to a Christian who is literal enough to wait for the lion to lie down with the lamb before proclaiming the Messiah.
But wait, there's more. According to James Taranto in the other half of the debate:
This attitude is politically self-defeating, for voters know when politicians are insulting their intelligence. Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, recently framed the abortion debate in this way: "What we want to debate is who gets to choose: Tom DeLay and the federal politicians? Or does a woman get to make up her own mind?" He also vowed that "we're going to use Terri Schiavo," promising to produce "an ad with a picture of Tom DeLay, saying, 'Do you want this guy to decide whether you die or not? Or is that going to be up to your loved ones?' " Many voters who aren't pro-life absolutists have misgivings about abortion on demand and about the death of Terri Schiavo. By refusing to acknowledge the possibility of thoughtful disagreement or ambivalence, Mr. Dean is giving these moderates an excellent reason to vote Republican.As far as I can tell, Orthodox Judaism is one of the most pro-feeding-tube religions around and even secular Jews are not unanimously anti-tube. If the Democrats try exploiting supposed disagreement with the Religious Right by citing the Schiavo case, it's likely to backfire.