By Ben Cohen
I have very mixed feelings about Christopher Hitchens and his role as a public intellectual. I view his advocacy of the Afghan and Iraq wars as a shameful pander to the corporate media and political elite, a despicable act of vanity and a very big black mark on his name.
However, Hitchen's crusade against all forms of fundamentalism is an important one, and his views are extremely valuable when it comes to public debate. While I don't necessarily agree with him (I think his constant sneering and hard dogmatism gets in the way), he articulates a position that many are afraid to express.
Here is Hitchens on 'Hard Ball' taking apart Ken Blackwell of 'The Family Research Council' on the issue of Christianity's role in America:
It's an interesting debate, and Hitchens is quite clearly in the right. Blackwell's revisionist history is immensely damaging to Christianity is it is wide open to searing attacks like this. There is certainly a time and place for religion, but for too long it has become synonymous with idiocy. If it carries on, Hitchens may well be right - it could be a death spell in this country in a time when intelligence matters more than ever.