Hitchens Makes Case For Orthodoxy

WaTi's review of God Is Not Great makes an interesting observation on Hitch's latest atheist screed (which, if the reviewer is to be believed, is basically a list of every bad thing religious people have ever done).
Mr. Hitchens contends -- persuasively, I think -- that the great totalitarian despotisms were a brutal, technologically enhanced extension of a fundamental religious impulse.
On the face of it that's perverse: the great despotisms were expressly atheist and he doesn't get to pin those murderous regimes on religion. But at a deeper level I'm inclined to agree with him. The great energy of totalitarian regimes seems to come from hatred of religion --the need to suppress the innate religious impulse in any and all of its expressions. In that sense, via negativa, the will to power can be seen as an expression of religious impulse. (One might say the same about those who write books about a God who doesn't exist. I can't think of anyone more obviously being pursued by the Hound of Heaven.) If that's what Hitch sees, I agree with him --heck, the Pope agrees with him. Religious people remain sinners and they can go astray. If the impulse to religion is innate, it's not surprising to see that its suppression leads to alienation of the self and violence. That's an argument not for tossing religion out, but for getting it right.

In a different vein, Mr. W. asks, "What does this man want? He doesn't want religious regimes, but then he looks at atheist ones and says, 'See?' That's asinine.