Things I did not know about Christopher Hitchens

As a non-believer, I find myself agreeing with the basic premise of Hitch's latest book, God is not Great. That is to say I agree that not only is God not great, but he doesn't even exist and that the widespread belief in a supernatural explanation for the creation of the universe is truly counterproductive and dangerous. As I have noted before, however, I fear that Hitchen's will use his atheism, ala Sam Harris, in perverse ways, such as to advocate perpetual warfare with Muslim countries -- which is, frankly, and insane idea that cannot credibly be claimed by a so-called rational thinker.

Max Blumenthal, in a post about a week ago, alerts me to something I had not known about regarding Hitchens.

In the Fall of 2005, Hitchens gladly accepted the invitation of the Family Research Council to speak before its Witherspoon Fellows. Hitchens subsequently regaled an audience of young Christian right cadres with excerpts from his book, “Thomas Jefferson: Author of America.” For attending Hitchens’ lecture and participating in several similar events, the FRC’s Witherspoon Fellows received academic credit for study at Pat Robertson’s Regent University, a school that has placed 150 of its graduates in Bush administration posts.

Presumably Hitchens was aware of the mission of the James Dobson-founded Family Research Council. How could such an intellectual giant be unaware of the FRC’s charge to “promote[] the Judeo-Christian worldview as the basis for a just, free, and stable society?” How could Hitchens have missed the FRC’s many “Justice Sunday” rallies staged at mega-churches and telecast across America to advance the confirmation of George W. Bush’s most theocracy-minded judicial picks? (To my knowledge, these rallies occured well after happy hour). And how could Hitchens have been ignorant to the FRC’s vitriolic crusade to ban abortion and undermine gay rights?

Regarding FRC President Tony Perkins’ ties to white supremacists, I would like to paraphrase Scripture and say, forgive Hitchens for he knows not what the hell he is doing. My well-publicized report detailing how Perkins once purchased the phone bank list of former Klan leader David Duke for the price of $82,500 and how he headlined a 2001 fundraiser for the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens had only been out for a few months.

Perhaps Hitchen's can justify this -- we shall see -- but I sure detect a strong whiff of hypocrisy.