An Interview Between Christian Todd Friel and Christopher Hitchens

Friel plays a game of “What if?” with Hitchens. Below is a condensed paraphrase from Luke at Common Sense Atheism:
Friel: “What if God exists, and what if he has provided everything for you… life, health, food, trees, royalties… would he not have been good to you?”

Hitchens: “No. If that were true, I would have an eternal supervising parent who would never let me get on with my life, never let me grow up, and constantly be asking me to thank and praise him. It would be like living in North Korea and having to continuously praise the ‘Dear Leader.’ I think it’s servile.”

Friel: “If God created you and provides everything for you, does he have rights on your life?”

Hitchens: “No. I don’t accept anyone’s right to own me. I created my children and provide for them, but I don’t own them. Besides, would this mean that the sick and starving for whom God has not provided are not owned by God?”

Friel: “Um… next question… does religion really poison everything?”

Hitchens: “Yes. If I am someone’s slave, that ruins everything. The Bible calls for slavery and genocide, too, but that doesn’t make it right.”

Friel: “What if there’s a judgment day? How would you measure up to the Ten Commandments?”

Hitchens: “The first commandments are about pandering to God’s jealous and self-esteem. I’ve never obeyed those and don’t think anyone should. Same for the Sabbath. Murder, thefy, and lying… I don’t need a Bible to tell me those are wrong. As for honoring parents, it depends how well they treat me. And unfortunately the Ten Commandments do not prohibit child abuse, slavery, or genocide. Coveting, though, is a good thing because it leads to innovation. It’s good to want things, but of course not good to steal them.”

Friel: “Have you ever been angry, which is committing murder in your heart?”

Hitchens: “Yes, many times.”

Friel: “Have you ever lusted?”

Hitchens: “All the time.”

Friel: “Have you ever committed adultery?”

Hitchens: “None of your fucking business.”

Friel: “So if God saw you committing all these sins, would he send you to heaven or hell?”

Hitchens: “Not heaven, I hope. An eternity of praise and groveling and thanksgiving would be my idea of hell.”

Friel: “But if you’ve broken the Ten Commands, you’d be going to hell, right?”

Hitchens: “Not by the God of the Old Testament, no. There is no hell in the Old Testament. The idea of eternal torture of the dead for minor infractions doesn’t arrive until Jesus meek and mild.”

Friel: “What if it’s true that Jesus died on a cross to save your sins? Isn’t that the ultimate act of kindness?”

Hitchens: “No. I didn’t ask for a human sacrifice and don’t want it. I would’ve tried to stop it. It’s barbaric. I don’t want anybody to immolate themself for me. And I’m not bound by it. It’s an act of extreme presumption to say that ‘What I’m doing now binds millions of unborn children and takes away their freedom.’ It’s a tyrannical act.”

Friel: “Is it possible the reason you rage against God is that you want to live your own autonomous life?”

Hitchens: “That’s highly probable, yes.”

HT: Common Sense Atheism for the condensed paraphrase.
Now that was good, really good of Hitch.

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