Q&A last night

02 Oct

Have you tried the Twitter version? Spammers certainly have!

Last night’s episode – transcripts from 2 pm today our time – was a bit of a hoot in some ways. With major political incorrectness kicking in I found myself thinking “arrogant Pommy bastard” quite often whenever Christopher Hitchens opened his mouth. His “religion poisons everything” thesis is up there with the most classic sweeping generalisations but it does attract attention. I thought he was just awful with the Iranian girl who was making rather reasonable points – in fact he didn’t really listen to her in the last part of that exchange. I suspect she is a supporter of the Iranian opposition.

Waleed Ali was really good as the first actual tweet I have seen so far notes; that tweeter was rather fonder than I of Hitchens. There’s a lot to be said for judging people by the actual things they do and the policies they endorse rather than by the most extreme positions their faith tradition may hold. I thought Ali’s version of the secular society being one where all views, religious or not, may contest without any of them being the line the state must take was well conceived. But perhaps that’s just me.

I will be saying more, by the way, about Mark Davis’s book – believe it or not this is almost relevant! – as it has many merits. He has thought through much more thoroughly than I have quite a few positions which I have been moving towards myself for years now. Later…


Posted by on October 2, 2009 in faith, faith and philosophy, interfaith, TV


3 responses to “Q&A last night

  1. Benjamin Solah

    October 2, 2009 at 9:37 am

    I didn’t see this last night but I had a friend sound quite pissed off at Hitchins. I’ve never been a fan.

  2. Martin

    October 2, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    I thought Chris was magnificent although patently an arrogant bastard on the night. Waleed was as usual quite thoughtful but off his game last night, I thought. I felt he was quite avoidant off forthrightly discussing Islam v “the gays” as I would expect a relatively liberal Muslim would be but each panellist has the right to answer questions as they see fit so who am I to complain. It was a fun night if not unusually enlightening in my opinion.

  3. Martin

    October 2, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    I should stress that I am aware that the Qur’an itself appears quite ambiguous if not quite reasonable concerning punishment of homosexual acts (apart from its frequent references the cities of the plain and Lot’s evil people) and only unrepented ones at that and that Muhammad is not known to have felt the need to punish any such acts in his period at the head of the community.


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