Christian Dad Who Mocked Son’s Atheism

Christopher-Hitchens

 

 

 

I saw that Christopher Hitchens died on this date back in 2011. With this being an anniversary of sorts, I thought I’d share a little story that involves Christopher Hitchens, my son, the reddit website, and the start of my journey.

I was a father who mocked my son’s atheism.

god-is-not-great-bookThe year was 2009. I discovered that my oldest son had bought and read Hitchens’ book entitled God is Not Great. As a Christian, I was offended. “What!? How dare this man write a book with such a title!” I also certainly didn’t like the notion that “religion poisons everything”.

After discovering the book in my son’s room, I lightly skimmed it but I was literally too scared to seriously read it. I feared for my soul and the potential influence of the book.

So what did I do?

Using a poor attempt at humor, I printed up a fake book cover entitled “Atheism, And the Morons who believe it” with a fictional author name of “I.B. Wright”. I put the fake cover over a Scott Adams’ book (probably a Dilbert book).*

I wrote something stupid on the back page cover too, a feeble attempt to support my revised book title. I left my creative work in my son’s room for him to admire.

So what happened?

My son took a picture of my handiwork and posted it to the atheism group on reddit.

His post got over 1000 points, which in the Reddit world, is quite a lot. I didn’t know about the Reddit posting for quite a while, but after discovering it and reading through the comments, I was skewered. Severely. And rightly so.

The text I put on my back cover said: “In Mr. Wright’s latest book, I.B. shows that God is truly good and that through His son, Jesus, the world was rocked by a mere three years of ministry that culminated in Christ rising from the dead, which skeptics have been unable to disprove or rationally dispute.”

While I intentionally tried to add an air of comedy to what I did, I look back on all of this with embarrassment. Unfortunately, indoctrination shuts off critical thinking, and I was very indoctrinated during my early years. I’m just grateful now that my son didn’t hide his change in beliefs and that eventually, I broke the spell. I’m very grateful too that the relationship with my son is loving and respectful of one another.

Tonight I will raise a glass to the late Hitchens who put it quite well: religion poisons everything.

 

* It was ironic for me to use a Scott Adams book since Mr. Adams is an atheist (which I didn’t realize at the time).

 

3 thoughts on “Christian Dad Who Mocked Son’s Atheism

  1. Thanks for posting that, Logan. There are so many great books I want to read. I don’t feel so alone in my logical life when I know many feel just like I do.

  2. I haven’t read it. Thought about it but I’d already made my journey out and one can only read so many books. 🙂

    I was in a bookstore though and heard a wife say enthusiastically to her husband, We should read this book. Not sure if they left the store with it or not.

    During a visit with my mother and sister and a back and forth about believers and non-believers this book was mentioned. Mom had actually bought it, hated it, then shared it with my sister who hated it. Not sure if they read the whole thing or parts of it but when I had heard she had bought it I actually asked her if I could read it and she told me she had thrown the book out. Told me it was terrible and he was a horrible man. My sister nodded her head in agreement. I simply said, Oh, well I would have liked to have read it. They looked at each other and then at me with my three heads. :/

    Though I haven’t read any books by Hitchens I did hear him give a speech/talk on the radio once. I stopped and sat down to listen. I remember actually being moved to tears. It was a great talk and he literally seemed more loving and benevolent in his approach than many a Christian orator.

  3. I heard from a friend that they got Hitchens’ book on audio and that it was Hitchens himself that read his own book, and they highly recommended it in that format! I never actually read the whole thing but my son’s copy of the book opened the door to me to the world of Christopher Hitchens. I love to hear him speak.

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