Melly's Reviews > God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens
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it was amazing
bookshelves: philosophy-to-read
Recommended for: Sara

As a fellow Atheist, Mr. Hitchens is preaching to choir, so to speak, in this informative, captivating work in which Hitchens judiciously provides historically documented and personal examples of what he sees as an ever-increasing war being waged by a variety of religious fundamental organizations. In our very own country we have troops of well-funded, born-again fanatics preaching hatred of anyone who doesn’t fall in line with their standards.

Worse, these groups instill a deep-rooted fear in the most vulnerable, forced members of their congregation; young, helpless, defenseless children, sometimes as young as three. Hitchens provides chilling eye-witness accounts of these tactics which are slowly tearing away at the fabric of this great nation.

Regardless of your religious beliefs, if you have an open mind and enjoy reading well written, fact-based, relevant nonfiction, then you will enjoy this book. Certainly, deeply religious people may find certain parts upsetting as fundamental beliefs are challenged with factual, cited information. Hitchens has a way of peeling away the absurdity of certain religious beliefs and how these beliefs, at their very core, are contrary to very ideals shouted to the masses during worship services. Something I learned at an early age, as a baptized Roman Catholic about to be confirmed, is that before anyone blindly accepts what they’ve been told over a period of time about a particular religion, it is your right, your responsibility and your duty to pick up a couple of books about Judaism, Hindu, Islam, Buddhism, Heavens Gate Kool-Aid Lovers or whatever they were all about, even Mormonism and Jehovah Witness, and read. Read about each of these religious. Get a book along the lines of Religion for Dummies (there is a joke in there somewhere) and get an overview of what these groups are all about. Then study philosophy and science and art and history. Read Ayn Rand and Aristotle and Plato and study and research and think for yourself. And then, one day, years later, you’ll realize what is true for you and that will be your own religion.

There are too many great stories in Hitchens’ book but some of my personal favorites pertain to religious interference with women’s reproductive rights. Islamic authorities of the Council of Ulemas in Indonesia urged that condoms only be made available to married coupled (HUH?), and then only with a prescription. He also quotes an article from Foreign Policy magazine in which a n official of Pakistan’s AIDS Control Program stated that the [AIDS] problem was smaller in his country because of “better social and Islamic values,” This, in a state where the law allows a woman to be sentenced to be gang-raped in order to expiate the “shame” of a crime committed by her brother.

Good ol’ repression and denial. The building blocks of religion. Pro or con. Christian or Agnostic. Cubs or White Sox. This book will, if nothing else, be educational and thought-provoking.

I give this FIVE Pac Mans
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 1, 2007 – Finished Reading
August 30, 2007 – Shelved
October 15, 2011 – Shelved as: philosophy-to-read

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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message 1: by Servius Heiner (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:43PM) (new)

Servius  Heiner You know, I have always struggled with religion. Something about the bible seems corrupted; (probably because people had a hand in it) I have always, even as a child considered my self un-affiliated, so I guess that makes me agnostic. I am open to the possibilities of a higher being, though doubt leaks in at the seems, I think it is much more rational to say, if there is a higher power then it probably doesn’t really care what we do, it has more important things to do you know… anyway, back to the reason for this comment… is the book hostel? The title seems hostel and I’m not really into badgering other people’s beliefs, I’m just looking for perspective.

message 2: by Morgan (new)

Morgan I know where you're both coming from. But I'm from the Christian camp. I agree that most of the problem with religion is the people that represent it. Sure, we serve a perfect God, but we're far from that and seem to mess up our witness on a daily basis. And doubt is a stranger to no one, me least of all. I agree with you Melly, that people should research and firmly seek truth. I hate that people choose religion because their parents, friends, culture, anything. If you're going to give your heart fully to anything, you need to know what you're getting into, and whether you believe it to be true. I enjoyed hearing what you both said, thanks for the review.

message 3: by Savannah (new)

Savannah If there is no God then explain to me how you & I were created. There is no evolution. You should read the book of revelations. The non-believers will stay on earth. There will be a battle called armageddon and then the earth will be destroyed by Gods wrath. Matthew 25:31-41
31-when the son of man shall come in his glory,& all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32-and before shall be gathered all nations: & he shall separte them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33-and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34-then shall say the king say unto them on his right hand, come, ye blessed if my father, inherit the kingdom from the foundation of the world:
35-for I was hungred, & ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, & ye gave me drink: I was a stranger m, & ye took me in:
36-naked, & ye clothed me: I was sick. & ye visited me: I was in prison, & ye came unto me.
37-then shall the righteous answer him, saying, lord, when saw we thee an hungred , & ye fed thee? or thirsty, & gave me drink?
38-when saw we thee a stranger, & took thee in?or naked, & clothed thee?
39-or saw we thee sick, or in prison, & came unto thee?
40-and the king shall answer & say unto them, verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me
41-then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, depart from me , ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil & his angels

My father is new found athiest. He laughs at my religions. You might but if the lord doesn't terrie his coming you will find out how hot hell really is after the day of Armageddon. When god destroys all non-believers. You will be among those people if you don't give your heart to god. I will keep you in my prayers.

Give god the glory,

Everett What a great review of this book. Hitchens has a brilliant mind and it shows in this work.

Love the Pac Man rating system.

message 5: by Diana (new) - added it

Diana Adhiambo Love this review! The Late Christopher Hitchens was an incredibly insightful being.

message 6: by Skyler (new)

Skyler I will pray for you.

message 8: by Sm-14 (new)

Sm-14 This is an excellent review, Melly! Intelligently critiqued, and often very funny.

Fear and ignorance...important building blocks of religion, too.

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