In the foreword to God Is., Joel McDurmon informs us that the CNN news reporter, who with his questions led Christopher Hitchens to proclaim his loathIn the foreword to God Is., Joel McDurmon informs us that the CNN news reporter, who with his questions led Christopher Hitchens to proclaim his loathing towards the then recently deceased televangelist Jerry Falwell by saying "I think it's a pity there isn't a hell for him to go to", is "reportedly homosexual". He calls Hitchens "The Atheist", barely concealing his loathing towards both the man and even the word itself. Furthermore, in a desperate attempt at killing two birds with one stone, he spews out this joke of an intellectual juxtaposition:
«At the base of Islam is the well-known confession, “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.” This defines the fundamentalism of that oppressive and close-minded religion: One authority, and one voice for that authority, anything outside of which is damnable. Atheist’s say they abhor this type of dogmatism, preferring “freethinking”—a not unwholesome thing in itself—but many unwittingly fall into a very similar type of self-imposed mental blindness in the name of free-thought. One need only recall the history of Marxist- inspired revolution, and the mass graves of “dialectical materialism” (a fancy phrase for “atheistic struggle,” or which could well be put, “atheist jihad”).»
Apparently for Mr. McDurmon, one (or no) God constitutes as fundamentalism and oppression while three-in-one, and only that, counts as open-mindedness. Oh, well...
In all honesty, I don't have that much quarrel with what Douglas Wilson has got to say about Christopher Hitchens's oratorical protestations against religion; he does a fine enough job at dismantling them, but oratorical it may be, Hitchens's discourse is so intellectually pathetic that, rising up to the challenge is not that hard of a job to begin with. Granted, Wilson does not come off as the homophobic and shallow buffoon McDurmon makes us fear he would be, but he is not the great rhetorician McDurmon would have us believe he is either. I am very well aware of the limitations a book this thin brings at addressing a complicated point delicately, but even though he is basing his main argument on a very familiar ground, which is that, as Dostoevsky puts it in his magnum opus The Brothers Karamazov, "If there is no God, then everything is permitted", that when you take God out of the equation, you're left with no absolute frame of reference whatsoever to base your morality on, he fails to present it in a convincing and engaging manner. To make things worse, when it comes to Islam, he does come off as the shallow buffoon McDurmon makes us fear he would be. He falls into the exact same pits of ignorance and vicious misinterpretation of religious philosophy and history he accuses Hitchens of falling into when it comes to Christianity ("intellectual dishonesty", late Edward W. Said would say, shaking his head). Consider this horrendously illiterate caricature of Islamic creed he portrays, which is somewhat laughable in its misguided audacity:
«Yeah, right. This, written about a religion which allows each Muslim male to have up to four wives, and as many slave girls as he wants. This, written about a religion that awards faithful men at least three score and ten virgins in the paradise hereafter. Islam is all screwed up when it comes to sex, but the problem is not that the men are prohibited from it. Hardly. The problem is that their worship of raw power has turned their conception of anything sexual into some form of rape.»