You’ve got to hand it to atheist champion Christopher Hitchens for going out and engaging with his ideological foes. Ever since the 2005 release of his best-selling book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Hitchens has been publicly debating Christian speakers on the existence of God. In advance of his latest bout—a March 3 face-off with Oxford University professor John Lennox at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama—Hitchens spoke about his atheistic, er, crusade with Greg Garrison at the Birmingham News.
Hitchens is in fine, feisty form in the interview. Here a few highlights:
On the God question: “There is not another greater topic. It’s the first question humanity began to ask itself. Religion was our first attempt to make sense of things.”
On Mother Teresa: “I was invited by the Vatican to testify against her, and did. I’m the only person who’s represented the devil pro bono.”
On the sincerity and depth of Christian belief in America: “A lot of people go to church for reasons that are not strictly theological.”
On the success of his book: “There’s a big thirst for a reply to the theocratic bullying that’s been going on. There are a lot of people of faith buying it on a ‘know your enemy’ basis.”