No, God Is Great!
Christopher Hitchen’s recent book, God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, assigns blame to religion for most past and current societal and cultural ills. In history, might we name a few atheists that attempted to control the world, e.g., Lenin, Hitler? One factor Hitchens fails to address, as most atheists must do, is outcomes. That begs the questions, “What has atheism done for me lately, or ever?” Has it changed lives for the better, given meaning and purpose where none was to be found, transformed souls from the most vile to a most Holy state yet human in form, created new values and intentions that serve toward the betterment of individuals and even all humankind? Has it given peace on earth, purpose, and yes, even serenity by its conquest of death? Please give us an example for something you are for other than being against those who are religious in the true sense of the word. Your silence is deafening and your history is vacuous.
On the other hand, “Anything that happens is not impossible.” Since God via the personal relationship with each of his created beings fostered by any number of religious vehicles has indeed done what is questioned above, then his impact cannot be questioned. I would suggest that perhaps Hitchens has it backward; humankind has corrupted religion and not the reverse as your premise so states. Heard the word, “mankind is sinful in nature?” Recent examples of “religious” extremists disrupting our world society are evident, be it radical Islam and its international terrorism or radical “Christianity” and its killing of abortion doctors or patients. Both work in opposition to what we have left of our common morality, and both with a warped reading of the Bible or Q’ran with the fulfillment of this warped transgression of God’s will and word as their raison d’etre. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and in the grand continuum of life, only we stand as spoiler to the omniscience, omnipotence, and divinity (transcendence) of God, or anything truly “good.” WE were given “free will” to choose our course and the capacity for imperfection as our nature, not our choice.
Atheists, if truly concerned about the negative influences of God on our community, nation, and world, need do more than be against what the large majority of us have found to be good, God. Will Rogers once said, “Someone who has had a bull by the horn knows a bit more about a bull than someone who never has.” When reading theses such as represented by “God is not Great,” I must question whether this author or any atheist ever really “felt” the scars on his hand or the wound in his chest? Ever really “felt” the empowerment that the unending grace of a Lord and Savoir willing to give it all up for something or someone other than himself. All I see and hear from atheists is the poison in their pens and the bilious commentary from their waggling tongues. Christians who has known the both the “world” and the “spirit” can give testimony to the fact that Christ’s blood flowing from the cross can become the wellspring of one’s life, the living water that by its consumption grants you not only life everlasting, but also that peace on earth or “earthly” heaven that we are promised.
We believe and through that belief we are sustained through the good, the bad, and the ugly. And even through modern science cannot prove empirically to atheists like Hitchens that God exists, no more can it prove that He does not. Atheists are only for things seen; we have also the knowledge of things unseen, yet real. Believe in love? Can’t see it, can you. What about hope? And I could go on. Keep turning a blind eye toward what we know and feel is true and you only subsume yourself in a doctrine of nothingness, and you will fail to realize the many blessings that only a living God can bestow.
And as the popular book title states, “I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.”
Robert L. Baldwin M.D., M.A.