One of the most endearing features of atheist Christopher Hitchens is his intolerance of intellectual posturing. Do you believe Jesus was God incarnate and raised from the dead for sinners? Fine. Hitchens will respect your position and argue with you in honest debate. But claim to be a Christian and doubt the essence of the faith and Hitchens will sniff out your inconsistencies, find them, and slap you in the head with them. Like he did recently with Unitarian Marilyn Sewell. You’ve probably seen this, but if not, this is from a recent interview. And if you have seen this, it’s worth reliving again:
Sewell: The religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories from the scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement (that Jesus died for our sins, for example). Do you make and distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?
Hitchens: I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.
Sewell: Let me go someplace else. …
… like the nearest cave.