‘It’s Bolshevism for the Home Counties’ Interesting interview with the brother of Christopher Hitchens of ‘God is not Great’, fame. Peter Hitchens tells Ed West of The Catholic Herald, 30 April 2010, that the New Atheism promoted by his brother, Christopher, is corroding our culture. He concludes:
“Who is Dawkins’s main opponent? Himself. Who is my brother’s main opponent? Himself. The fact that he is interested suggests to me he is at least open to the possibility.”
Here is a potted biography of this very English, Englishman:
At the age of 15 Peter Hitchens burned his Bible, leaving the Holy Book a “disagreeable, half-charred mess” and the teenager with a sense of anti-climax. It was his “year zero”, and he went on to develop, throughout his late teens and 20s, the typical “enlightened English person’s scorn for faith”, a feeling he characterises by Virginia Woolf’s words upon hearing that T S Eliot had become a Christian: “He may be called dead to us from this day forward.”
Christianity was one of the “nursery myths” that the progressive post-war generation had put behind them as they built a glorious new future and overturned the old order.
They were very successful: today the post-war cultural revolution is complete, but Hitchens is its most notable critic. It would be wrong to call him a “born-again Christian”, for he’s far too English for that. Neither did Hitchens have a Damascene moment as such; rather, in his early 30s he began to feel drawn back, despite the social disapproval. But it was while gazing at Rogier van der Weyden’s Last Judgment, a 500-year-old painting that shows in graphic detail the torment of sinners in hell, which he saw while on a cycling holiday in Burgundy, that he realised he was a Christian again.
The Rage Against God: Why Faith is the Foundation of Civilisation is published by Continuum, priced £16.99.