Friday, May 13, 2016

Larry Alex Taunton Is Morally Disgusting

Specifically: Taunton is a douchebag who has written a book claiming that Christopher Hitchens was "shaky in his atheism." I'm not going to give a link to the book or even tell you its title. All I'm going to say is that Taunton is both a bad person and completely mistaken.

It takes a lot to get me to defend Hitch. Taunton made it there easily. Anybody who knows anything about Hitchens knows that he was extraordinarily committed to atheism and to combating religion (/spirituality, po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to), and that he wavered on that about as much as the Washington Monumnet is going to crumble into a heap of dust because someone stands beside it and sneezes.

What makes Taunton's effort to re-write Hitch's biography so vile is how important Hitch's atheist cause was to him. It was nearly everything to him. That cause is significantly different from my own atheist cause. I'm not here to defend Hitch's stance on religion, I'm here to defend simple common decency. This behavior on Taunton's part is disgusting.

That's all.

Well, wait, there is more: I've noticed a widespread tendency for Christians to mis-represent history which has to do with religion. Claiming that fundamentalism is no more than 200 years old, claiming that Christianity is responsible for everything good in Western society. (Calling certain things in Western society good which are not good at all...)

So, unfortunately, I can't really say that Taunton's bad behavior comes completely out of the blue. In some Christian circles, and by no means only fundamentalist or conservative circles, it's downright typical. Perhaps if more Christians were expert in history, some of them would become ashamed and speak out against this mendacity. I don't know. If Christians are reading along here who respect my honesty, my interest in history and primary sources, and my commitment to getting historical statements right, perhaps they will heed my call to be on the lookout for Christians who are supposed to be historians, who are lying. Lying to themselves in many cases, I am sure, and convinced that they are telling the truth, and so it is perhaps more accurate to say that they are mistaken, than to call them liars.

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