You may have heard of Larry Taunton. He is Executive Director of Fixed Point Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the public defense of the Christian faith. He is also the author of the book The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist. I take issue with his claims and question his motives for writing the book. First lets get to know Larry Taunton.
Either Taunton does not have a clear understanding of atheism or he willfully misrepresents it to fit his agenda. It’s important to understand this first because Taunton misrepresents Atheism constantly. So lets start with a clear and correct definition atheism. Atheism is the rejection to the claim that a god exists. This is it. There is nothing more. It is not a claim to know god does not exist.
It’s my opinion, Taunton is not interested in the truth. He is not interested in providing supporting evidence for his views. He is only interested in furthering his personal agenda even it it means lying, twisting the truth or casting unsupported accusations on anyone or anything that would challenge his christian view. Let me provide some examples. In a debate with Christopher Hitchens in Montana Taunton said the following:
“Atheism is demoralizing”
He gives no example or evidence to support his claim. He just makes the claim as if he is the authority on the subject and it’s the unquestionable truth. (sound familiar?) Here is something I like to do to see if someone understands atheism. Lets replace the word atheism with the definition of atheism. “The rejection to the claim that a god exists is demoralizing”. To who? To everyone? This is clearly not the case for me, my friends or my family. How does he know this? Did someone tell him this? Did he experience it personally? I think this statement is directed at the believers in god who are questioning their belief. This is a warning that if you stop believing you will be demoralized. The bible is filled with these kinds of self preserving statements.
“Treating children like animals is consistent with Atheism”
This just does not make sense. Lets replace the word atheism with the definition of atheism to see if make more sense. “Treating children like animals is consistent with the rejection of the claim that god exists”. Nope, it still makes no sense. What Taunton is saying here is Atheist treat children like animals. What is his proof for this very serious accusation? He does not give one. This is offensive but typical behavior from many christians. Lets talk about who is treating children like animals. The Abel Harlow Child Molestation Prevention Study revealed “93% of sex offenders describe themselves as “religious” and that this category of offender may be the most dangerous”.
“Which of our two philosophies restrains the darker impulses of man and which one exacerbates it? Atheism, ladies and gentleman, absolutely exacerbates the darker impulses of man kind. It offers no compelling reason why I shouldn’t just treat you like an accident in space and time.”
Once again Taunton stains atheism with his false claim that if you are an atheist you have nothing to keep you from being a bad person and giving into your “darker impulses”. What dark impulses is he talking about? Is he talking about rape and murder? Does this mean if Taunton did not believe in god he would be capable of these “darker impulses”.
On the subject of that terrible book (I’m not talking about the bible … this time)
The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist. Taunton takes a swing at Hitchens when he cannot defend himself. He wrote this book to claim Hitchens for christianity and to make money. Tauntan could not defeat Hitchens on the debate stage so he stabs him in the back long after he is already dead all the while calling him a friend. No shame. He received a much deserved backlash when the book was released. One of these public beatings was this interview on BBC Newsnight. I am not going to spend any more time on this book or the subject of its implied Christopher Hitchens deathbed conversion. Nick Cohen of The Guardian lays it out perfectly in his article “Deathbed conversion? Never. Christopher Hitchens was defiant to the last”
A must read.