“Hitchens secretly loved my Jesus,” is the overarching message that Larry Taunton tells himself but shows absolutely no evidence for in “The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist.” The radical, religious fundamentalist slanders the late atheist writer and thinker, Christopher Hitchens, in a short, badly argued book, designed not to illuminate, but rather to make yet another religious huckster a lot of money. In the book, Taunton wholesale invents an inner life and struggle of the superior author, creating a straw man so flimsy Hitchens himself could have blown it down with a single puff of cigarette smoke.
As an atheist myself, I’m not nearly as well read as Hitchens, but even I have heard every one of the shallow arguments presented in the book many times over. The author isn’t even an effective or interesting advocate for his faith. He’s trite and lazy, lobbing the sort of silly claptrap Hitchens spent a lifetime refuting. The central conceit of the book is that the author’s arguments were so “persuasive” that Hitchens began to warm to Jesus. It would be laughable, except that it’s utterly disrespectful to the deceased man and his life’s work.
It could be ignored or laughed at, except that the book isn’t just a mediocre hit job on Hitchens himself. It’s filled with subtle jabs, outright insults and fiery damnation aimed at the usual fundamentalist boogeymen—atheists, gays and liberals. Aside from insulting Hitchens, Taunton creates something much more sinister. He denies the rights of all atheists, agnostic and freethinkers—every single one of us—to exist. Continue reading The Ugly Slandering of Christopher Hitchens