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Saturday, December 22, 2007
Hitch's challenge

Christopher Hitchens, in his atheistic perambulations around US chat shows, news studios, and other modern versions of the bear pit, has issued the following challenge to all and sundry: "Can you name me a good action done or a good thing done by a believer that couldn't have been said or done by a non-believer?"

As I write this, I'm just hearing that Tony Bliar has, at last, been received into the Roman Catholic Church. This gives me the opportunity to let everyone know that, to compensate, I've just started to worship Satan (Have I got that right? I have such poor vision these days that I may have committed a typo. I was also reading recently that 'Satan' is an anagram of 'Santa'). Now, where was I?

I wonder if we could apply Hitch's test, suitably modified, to Blair's behaviour. We should ask "Do you think that Blair's behaviour exhibited, in any way, the sort of thing you couldn't find in a non-believer?' I'm thinking particularly of his passing off the Iraq decision as something that could only be judged by god.

Yes, I think that is something that only a believer could do: completely avoid responsibility by arrogating a vital matter to 'god'. A non-believer would have put such a decision down to his/her own poor judgement – no hiding in anyone else's beard/church/cloud cuckoo land – and move on, trying to dodge the brickbats from people (like me) who predicted the debacle.

So good luck in your new religious home, Tony Bliar. I wonder how you'll cope with the legacy of your worthwhile achievements: support for abortion and stem cell research for a start. Then there's the crap you'll be letting yourself in for, beside virgin birth, the trinity and resurrection that you're already stuck with. Transubstantiation, eh? No women priests; no female popes… I hope you get a nice, cheap indulgence. Cheaper than a peerage, I'll bet. Don't you still wish you had Campbell to tell Ratzinger that you don't (really) do god?

Finally, here's someone else with something to say about the Church of Rome. Click here. (Sound needed.)

Hmm, I think I may well lose my entry on the list of UK 'God Blogs' for this little bit of petulance…

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"received into the Catholic church" despite his participation in the murder of war - says everything about Christians if you ask me, and I enjoy being supported by the Hitchens brain.

Many others have claimed that the performance of Dame Helen Mirren as Her Majesty was the highlight of that film, but for me, the highlight was the hysterical string-puppet 'not really a curtsey' the CherieBlair character gave The Defender Of The Faith.
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