That’s One Way to Rebut Christopher Hitchens… August 8, 2007

That’s One Way to Rebut Christopher Hitchens…

That is one strategically placed sticker.


You win this round, clever Target employee…

(Photo taken by Elizabeth S.)

(Update: For those who don’t get the joke, the book is called God is Not Great. The subtitle, How Religion Poisons Everything, might give away the author’s intent, but most people only notice the main title.)


[tags]Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great, Target[/tags]

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  • Were it not for the subtitle, that might actually lure religious folk into reading it by accident. Not that I think it would suddenly change them, but it is an amusing thought.

  • Vincent

    You think people stop to read (and understant) the subtitle?
    I bet you this WOULD fool at least a few religious into buying it – can’t say they’d read it though.

    Are fundamentalists allowed to read other books?

  • Are fundamentalists allowed to read other books?

    Yes, but usually they only read those approved by their church, denomination, or sect (however they define their in-group). It’s rare for Baptists, for example, to read Pentecostal books, or vice versa. I’m talking about the die-hards here. Not all people who attend fundy churches follow, or even care about, the “rules.”

  • You know, Hemant, it’s my policy that whenever I see something positive about Christopher Hitchens that I remind everyone that he was a great supporter of David Irving, the infamous Holocaust denier. He called him “a great historian” well after it was apparent that he was, in fact, a phony historian who was, in fact, a great supporter of Nazism.

    Don’t fall for the “freedom of speech” line either, the only real attempt at suppressing speech was when Irving sued Deborah Lipstadt to suppress the publication of her book about Holocaust denial. And the idiot Irving lost spectacularly (maybe that’s what you get for having an evolutionary psychologist, anti-Semite for your major witness).

    Other than that, it’s not nice to deface a book unless you buy it first.

  • I agree that it might actually trick others into reading it. However, if they flip through it at all, they would get a shock. I doubt there is a single page where Hitchens isn’t attacking.

    It is funny how people used to say Dawkins was so mean, Hitchens make him look like Mr. Rogers. (Both are great reads as well.)


  • Aj

    I smiled thinking about a religious person picking it up by mistake.

  • Vincent

    Actually, Hitchens said “David Irving is not just a Fascist historian. He is also a great historian of Fascism.”
    This could be perfectly true without touching on Irving’s holocaust denial.
    Hitchens didn’t say he was a great historian generally, but narrowly on that subject.

    Hitchens also said “Irving is my political polar opposite.”

    And most historians agree that Irving has done great work, so long as you avoid his view of Hitler and the Holocaust.

  • you think it was the work of a religious employee sending his/her message that “God is great”, or a non-believing employee hoping to get unsuspecting believers to pick up the book? We’ll never know…(very amusing, regardless of intent).

  • Hitchens also said “Irving is my political polar opposite.”

    Not likely given Hitchen’s support for Bush’s Iraq War.

  • monkeymind

    Submitting once again to the temptation to respond to off-topic comments but…

    Vincent, WTF??? was that meant to be a defence of Hitchens? I know nothing about this guy Irving, but apparently no one disputes that he is a Holocaust denier. The idea that such a person could be a “great historian of Fascism” is ridiculous on its face. It’s like saying “Hwang Woo Suk is a great geneticist, if you just stick to the results he didn’t fake.”

    Personally Hitchens finally lost me when he opined on “Why Women Aren’t Funny” in Vanity Fair. Anyone who tries to pass of such a regurgitated mess of recycled prejudice and misrepresented science as insightful commentary has a lot of ‘splaining to do before I will take him seriously.

  • Vincent, he said and did a lot more in support of Irving than that. I believe that quote is from 1998 or 1999, well after real historians had begun to find the glaring omissions and problems with his alleged history. Those have been largely confirmed and expanded by the historian Richard Evans. As an historian the guy is merely a great Nazi propagandist. If you read the time line (including Hitchens’ saying that his grandmother was Jewish as Irving was going down for the third time. Oddly, his brother doesn’t seem to remember their family history the same way), it gives you an insight into Hitchens that some of us got from reading his Minority Report in The Nation. The guy is trash rapped up in himself.

    Hitchens, never at a loss for getting his name in in the news through exploiting a sordid situation- any publicity is good publicity for a psychotic egomaniac- tried to explain his support as “freedom of speech” when, as noted above, it was really Deborah Lipstadt’s publication that was suppressed by Irving. That Irving had trouble finding an American publisher was due, I’m fully confident, to the two who backed out not wanting to publish what would soon be exposed as Nazi propaganda. Irving’s work was increasingly being held to the light and seen for what it was.

    Read his various statements about Bush and his support for the invasion of Iraq, very likely the most insane and idiotic action taken by an American President in our history. He sounds like someone clipped from Dr. Strangelove because no one could believe someone could sound so irrational and unhinged.

    It’s very odd. From supporter of Bush, who has done more to damage the wall of separation than any president in modern times, to atheist idol for writing a hate book. Hitchens knows how to have it every way. From those who aren’t familiar with him and not particularly interested in integrity , at least.

  • daniel

    why does a religious person need to be changed?

  • Jason


    The supposed “wall of separation” started off a couple of bricks high at our founding, and has progressively been built up to the size of the Great Wall of China as this country becomes more and more secular. If you think Bush is tearing down the wall, I would love to see what you would think if you lived in this country 200 years ago. You would probably conclude that you were living in a theocracy. I tire of all this talk that Bush is tearing down the wall of separation (which the Constitution does not call for anyway–it calls for non-establishment). He is doing no such thing.


  • I just wanted to say that the line “You win this round, clever Target employee” makes me think of Family Guy. “Touche, salesman.” Non-defeats like that are totally my favorite sarcasm.

    While the subject’s up, however, I want to add that the more I see and hear of Hitchens, the less I like him. All I’ve ever heard out of him was “What’s religion ever done that’s so great?” This appears to be all he says in public media, regardless of what the topic actually is. As an example, there was a recent editoral back-and-forth between Hitchens and Maichael Gerson. I was thoroughly unimpressed with Gerson’s question about where atheist morality comes from, but Hitchen’s evaded the question entirely. It was brushed off, and quickly became “Religion’s not so great!”

    Sorry about the verbosity, but he kinda gets a bug under my skin.

  • Chuck

    Hitchens writes well, and he sounds intelligent, but once you cut through all of his self-important crap it turns out that, most of the time, the emperor has no clothes.

    This was an interesting set of reviews.

  • Ahhh, reminds me of the day I reshelved “Why I Am Not a Christian” next to “God and George W. Bush” on a Barnes & Noble display. Good times, good times…

    – L. W.

  • -30-

    Yep, that’s exactly the way it looked when I bought my copy at Target a few weeks ago in Denver. I wonder if the store directed all its outlets to do this? Or if it was just one person at some central distribution point where all the labels are put on mechanically. In any case, it certainly looks deliberate, when you see how close to the corner the other books’ stickers are.

  • Um, thanks for publicizing my photo! I knew it was funny, but who knew it would be so popular?

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