Monday, April 13, 2009

Christopher Hitchens Plays the Lion to Christian Todd Friel

Todd Friel is apparently one of these slick smarmy evangelicals who likes to play pedantic "what if" games, and Christopher Hitchens is, well, the guy who writes "No, no, fuck you" on Nazi posters in full knowledge they are watching him do it. The combination has to be heard to be enjoyed (part 1, part 2). Here are some tasty tidbits:

Friel: Have you ever committed murder?

Hitchens: No.

Friel: Have you ever been angry with somebody?

Hitchens: Repeatedly..., justifiably and unjustifiably...

Friel: If you have been unrighteously angry, then you have committed murder in your heart because God examines our thoughts and our intentions, and our desires.

Hitchens: Oh well, you should have just asked me if I've committed murder in my heart, I've certainly done that.

Friel: What about lusting Sir? Jesus warned that if you lust in your heart...

Hitchens: All the time. All the time.

Friel: So you've broken the commandment of adultery, correct sir?

Hitchens: None of your fucking business.

Friel: Alrighty, so what we've basically done is determine how you would be doing on judgement day, it doesn't sound like you'd measure up at all to God's 10 Commandments.

Hitchens: Who gives a shit?

Friel: Well, we're just playing a little game of what if.

Hitchens: Yes I'm playing it right along with you. I'm glad you think its a game, by the way. I rather agree with you.


It goes on like that for about 12 minutes, like watching a marshmallow man jump into a mulcher. Friel could not seem to be able to digest the notion of someone out there who really doesn't see the point in all his religious flap doodle. The irony of it all is that Hitchens' was actually taking the scenarios far more seriously, and thinking them through far more, than was Friel, and Friel never seemed to catch onto this. Hitchens' unstated theme was "No, I wouldn't be happy and feel indebted for that, and if you thought about it for five minutes you should be able to see that." The section on the 10 Commandments was especially revealing, as Hitchens attempted to go through them in detail and Friel grew impatient with that. He didn't want to actually think about the answers he was getting to the questions, he wanted particular answers. He didn't get them, and now instead of thousands of converts, he has thousands of us laughing at him.

3 comments:

Luke said...

Kind of a stupid game, isn't it? It would be more fun to have to reverse it halfway through and see how flexible Friel would be in dealing with opposite assumptions.

ScienceAvenger said...

Yeah Luke, especially since people like Friel don't see them as assumptions, but as self-evident truths. Or better yet, why not make all the same assumptions except that the new and improved God is going to punish all who believe as Friel does?

Troublesome Frog said...

I still don't get it. This game appears to be, "What if I'm correct? In that case, would you not agree that I'm correct?"

I suppose it's a very short and efficient way of getting to your conclusion.