God is Not Great: The Unlikely Christopher Hitchens-Al Sharpton Debate

Slate Magazine brings us this debate that was held last week.  Andrew Bowers introduces this video of the full debate:

“You know you’re in for a raucous dialogue when the guy who wrote a book called God Is Not Great is the less controversial of the two speakers.  A week ago, Slate contributor and God Is Not Great author Christopher Hitchens and the Rev. Al Sharpton faced off in a debate about religion at the New York Public Library.  Slate Editor Jacob Weisberg moderated the event.

The evening made headlines because of Sharpton’s biting comment about Mitt Romney, the one Mormon candidate in the presidential race (Sharpton said “… those that really believe in God will defeat him anyway.”)  But there’s a lot more as well.

Here’s a video of the entire NYPL event, provided to Slate by the video site Fora.tv.  (Notes: The video takes a few moments to load after hitting the play button.  And you’ll find Sharpton’s comment at 00:27:38.)

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Jerry Falwell Pronounced Dead

May there be an Afterlife, where he might learn to regret the grief and sorrow that he inflicted upon multitudes of others.

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Alan Wolfe has observed that Falwell made a career out of portraying others as wicked, wondering why one should not expect that his death would be met with similar reactions from those speaking for groups that had been vilified by him. In today’s edition of Salon Magazine, Wolfe went on to conclude:

“Instead of pondering Jerry Falwell’s legacy, we would be better off asking how this man ever become a public figure in the first place. America has had more than its share of religiously inspired demagogues — Dr. Fred Swartz, Billy James Hargis, Carl McIntyre come to mind — but they are forgotten figures, marginal even to the times in which lived. One would like to believe that the United States has become a bigger and better country since the days when men like them preached about captive nations and denounced the pernicious influence of rock ‘n’ roll. But then there is Jerry Falwell. In death, as he did in life, he reminds us that demagoguery never dies; it just changes its form. Jerry Falwell expressed great hate for a lot of his fellow Americans. It is no wonder that so many of them will greet his death with something less than love.”

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