The AltTulsa team tries its best to monitor the Zeitgeist. That's what led us to writer Christopher Hitchens, whose new book, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, has reached the bestseller lists and, not surprisingly, sparked considerable controversy.
Hitchens, along with authors Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, are part of a recent trend in anti-religious books, according to a Stanley Fish op-ed piece published last month in the New York Times. As Fish reminded us, Harris published The End of Faith couple of years ago and Dawkins published The God Delusion in 2006.
We also read a recent AP article on Hitchens and his book that noted the success of his "all-out assault on religious faith." Hitchens told the AP reporter, "There are a lot of people, in this country in particular, who are fed up with endless lectures by bogus clerics and endless bullying."
We haven't read Hitchens or these other authors, but we are curious about this trend, if that's what it is. Fish suggests that some of the anti-religious sentiment is a backlash against religious fundamentalism. As the AP put it, "Bad behavior in the name of religion is behind some of the most dangerous global conflicts, the atheists say."
The AP piece quotes religious leaders answering the atheist challenge. The Rev. Douglas Wilson at New Saint Andrews College in Idaho told the AP that he sees these books as a sign of secular panic. Perhaps so.
We can't endorse Hitchens or his fellow nonbelievers. As we noted, we haven't read these books. But we were surprised to see the Hitchens book selling well and attracting actual nonbelieving fans.