Hitchens, Sharpton and Faith


#1

By Sewell Chan

You could tell from the background music that played beforehand – alternating recordings of James Brown and Gregorian chant – that this was going to be an unusual debate.
The question under debate (“Is God great?”) and the speakers — two men who are often depicted in harsh caricatures by their critics — might have caused some to expect something like a circus. Perhaps surprisingly, it turned out to be the public intellectual event of the evening, a bit like Bertrand Russell vs. C. S. Lewis.

Taking the atheist position was Christopher Hitchens, the journalist and author of a new book arguing that “religion poisons everything.” In defense of God was none other than the Rev. Al Sharpton, a man of the cloth who is perhaps even better known for his political and civil rights activism than for his training as a preacher.


#2

Although it pains me to say this, I have been impressed with Sharpton now for the second day in a row! First, he took to the streets this weekend to confront the rap industry moguls who encourage and profit from the disgusting lyrical content of rap music and immoral behavior of it’s artists. And now, a debate with one of the most notorious (and platitudinous) atheists currently spewing nonsense. Sharpton presented a few good points, but a few of his comments distrubed me, and really should have received some MSM attention:

“As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyway, so don’t worry, that’s a temporary situation.”

Tell me how that is an acceptable (and not terribly discriminatory and derogatory) statement about a presidential candidate?


#3

Not to defend Sharpton unnecessarily, but I think the previous Mormon teachings concerning African-Americans were what made Sharpton say such a thing about Romney, even though Romney (and Mormons since 1978) no longer believes in such teachings. (And, to be fair, Joseph Smith did ordain at least one African-American male to the priesthood – and even planned to ordain women – but all that stopped with the ascension of Brigham Young.)


#4

I understand his motiviation. However, how is this any different than Don Imus defending his statements about “nappy…” by saying the black rap community is the chief promoter of this language? I see a tremendous double standard. Besides, Sharpton’s comment specifically attacks the Mormon belief in God and it’s validity, not it’s tenets regarding African Americans.


#5

Well, not to defend Sharpton unnecessarily again (:D), but do you think that a religion’s views on people of different races, would be a factor in deciding whether that religion is of God or not?

I think one could make the argument that Imus’ choice of words was puerile, whereas Sharpton simply communicated his belief (without using derogatory language) that the LDS is not of God. I happen to disagree with Sharpton on that issue, but I don’t think he did a “Don Imus” on the Mormons. I think he simply honestly disagrees with Mormon claims.


#6

Personally, I do not believe the LDS is of God. Perhaps Sharpton agrees and stated that. My point is that in this culture, one is not supposed to question anothers faith, or the validity of their religion, without suffering some politically correct backlash. Hence, the VTech campus being festooned with wiccan symbols in memory of the murdered students. Since I see Sharpton as a major headliner in the politically correct circus, I find it quite ironic that his comment was completely overlooked. In the case of Imus, his comments were directed at virtual nobodies (apologies to the team but really, had anyone even paid them notice until this incident?) while Sharpton is questioning the religious beliefs of a presidential candidate. Is that not newsworthy?


#7

Al Sharpton DOESN’T impress ME.
Where was he for the last 20 odd years when Rap was growing and causing such hate among the races and sexes. It was only until people came to the defense of Don Imus that he “acknowledged” the evils or Rap.
No, Sharpton is nothing more than an opportunist and a hypocrite.
An opportunist, because he is seldom heard from until there is some scandal or controversy that he can benefit or profit from.
He is a hypocrite because he demands apologies AND firings yet he REFUSES to apologize for HIS racist rants and accusations. He has called Jews, “Diamond merchants”. He has called White people, “Interlopers”. He said that if a Black man stood up to a White person he would see them for the “whore that they really are”. Remember the case of the Central Park jogger who was savagely beaten and raped by a gang of thugs? Because she was White and they were Black, he called her a “whore”. Remember the Tawana Brawley case that he invented false accusations based SOLELY on race and nearly ruined a man’s life? No apology.
No apologies were ever made for ANY of these comments, yet he uses strong-arm tactics to shake down businesses and entities that won’t capitulate to his threats.
WHY on EARTH would I be impressed by ANYTHING he does?


#8

I emailed the link, with the offensive comment, to the Glenn Beck show last night. This evening on his show, Glenn said he was going to ask Reverand Sharpton about his anti-Mormom statements. I will be watching closely to see how Sharpton attempts to wiggle out of this latest gaffe.


#9

Seems there has already been some response from the Romney camp and the very predictable denial from Sharpton.
newsmax.com/archives/ic/2007/5/9/142040.shtml?s=tn


#10

Sharpton is a cheesy, greasy, pompous blowhard
who ought to be ignored and banned from the airwaves.

Christopher Hitchens is also a blowhard - and a blasphemer.


#11

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