god is not Great

Another new book about atheism is out. If this keeps up, maybe the one tiny shelf dedicated to this subject — smack dab in the center of the 50+ shelves of the religion section at my local bookstore — will overflow its boundaries and the topic will get another shelf.

The book I’m talking about is god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens. (I accidentally capitalized all the words in the title of the book, but have edited to fix my mistake.) Now, I’m not a fan of Hitchens for reasons that I won’t got into at this time. And I wasn’t planning to read his book. But Slate has published a few excerpts this week and I think I’ve changed my mind. Why? These pieces made me laugh. I found the humor in Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion to be the most appealing part of the book, and I laughed out loud quite a few times while reading it (although I’m sure that many readers failed to see anything that was funny between those two covers). From these excerpts, it seems like Hitchens’s book might be even more fun to read…. see for yourself.

1. Religion Poisons Everything

2. Was Muhammad Epileptic?

3. Mormonism: A Racket Becomes a Religion


P.S. Hitchens says that Karl Rove is an atheist. Ain’t that interestin’?


Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

Related Articles


  1. I can't wait to start reading this. I loved The Missionary Position, and I think Hitchens is hilarious, thought provoking, and occasionally infuriating. And Karl Rove, an atheist? Can the anti-christ be an atheist?

  2. I believe the original working title for "The Missionary Position" was "Holy Cow" (or possibly "Sacred Cow").

  3. I apologise in advance but I'm compelled to do this

    "overflow it’s boundaries"

    should be

    "overflow its boundaries"

    Now why is it that all my friends avoid me?? Oh and I'm totally buying this, I read the mother teresa one recently.. v interesting n I like his style :)

  4. Thanks, Liam. My brain knows that, but my flying fingers throw in extra apostrophies from time to time.

  5. Rebecca: Well, as far as I know, the Anti-Christ's personal beliefs are irrelevant. The only requirement is that he bamboozle a lot of Christians and lead them down a false path.

    If that doesn't describe Karl Rove, I don't know what does.

  6. Well, I guess I probably won't be reading this book after all…. unless that is a free copy lands on my doorstep specifically for a skepchick review.

    Apparently there are huge errors in the book, many which sound like they are anti-Semetic to me. Being half Jewish, I have absolutely zero tolerance for this kind of thing. You can make fun of any religious beliefs you want, including those of Judaism. But there's a line where making fun of people–especially a whole race of people is just *not* funny. Not even a little bit.

    Read more here:

    I will check into this further.

    Also, I saw Hitchens on a panel on BookTV (I think, my husband had taped it), yesterday. And basically, he just doesn't get religious people or religion. At all. One of the other panelists made some perfect and fantastic points that I watched go right over Hitchens's head, and he answered smugly with a down-pat answer that he obviously had memorized. I hate when Christians do this and I hate when Atheists do this. If you're going to engage in a discussion, engage. Don't be an idiot and just regurgitate pablum.

    Plus, I generally think Hitchens is a prick. Which, of course, has nothing to do with the accuracy of his book. And I haven't met him in person, so maybe he's not as pissy as he acts in pubilc.

  7. That Oppenheimer piece at the HuffPo was interesting, although near the end it verged toward Courtier's-Reply territory. Ignorance of facts is one thing (and it's an error I don't forgive lightly), but the facts we should expect Hitchens to know pertain to the history of religion and the current state of mainstream religious belief. Anti-Semitism is vile, but Wittgenstein is irrelevant.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button