I read an article in the Guardian UK by Richard Dawkins nominating Christopher Hitchens as his hero of 2010. You can read for yourself here.
Let me say this: I have a great deal of respect for both Richard Dawkins and Chris Hitchens. Both of these men, in whatever venue I have heard them, are engaging and intelligent, and rarely do they not entertain or enlighten me to something I had not thought out before. While (obviously) I disagree with them in the areas of Christianity and the validity of religion, I do have to say that at the very least, they are mentally engaged on the topic.
I bring up Mr. Hitchens because it bothers me that many Christians who know who he is look at him, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and others as the boogeymen who have come to scare away all of the Christians and make us all leave the faith. I have a better idea. Let’s look at what they actually contribute to faith. I can tell you right now that few people have forced me to think critically about the questions of my faith than Hitch and Dawkins. These two men have propelled me to rationally look at my faith, look at the evidence, and decide in favor of my beliefs (and yes, I know if I am ever privileged enough for either of them to read this, they will think I have obviously failed miserably at following the evidence, but I can’t help it 🙂 ). When it comes down to it, I think that rather than vilifying these men, we should look at their questions of religion and answer them for ourselves.
Hitch, hats off to you, and yes, I am one of those people praying for you. And Mr. Dawkins, although we disagree vehemently about Christianity, I am smart enough to give credit where it is due, and in the arena of biology, you have few competitors. I respect you both.