Atheists Strike Again: Christopher Hitchens Back From the Dead on Midway City Billboard

HitchensBillboard.jpg
One wonders if Christopher Hitchens, the fierce-witted writer and devout atheist, had a big "oh shit" moment on Dec. 15 after he breathed his last, having succumbed to complications from esophageal cancer at the age of 62. 

Regardless, his words will live on in countless essays and books, including the atheist-edifying bestseller "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything".


And for time being, Hitchens himself has been resurrected in Orange County, on a new Midway City billboard featuring a phrase attributed to him: "what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence."

The Backyard Skeptics are sponsoring the billboard, which is up at the American Legion parking lot, 14582 Beach Blvd, about 3 miles south of the 22 Freeway.

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61 comments
yourfriendthepopmaster
yourfriendthepopmaster

i noticed homeboy hunter s. thompson-wannabe hipster journalist here doesn't have any snide remarks for hitchens on this one.  ill assume it should be credited to his shallow love for contemporary philosophies that are 2 feet deep.

Samito
Samito

Um, Jeff, your avatar/icon/image is the Pabst logo.... and you have a problem with drunkards?  Once I noticed this I knew the rest of your comments would be entertaining.  Thanks, amigo.  

chrisdbarry
chrisdbarry

What horribly gleeful relish you express, contemplating the idea of Hitchen's burning forever in hell. Shame on you and your pseudo-Christianity.

Rick T
Rick T

The Backyard Skeptics choose well with this billboard.  It is reminiscent of Carl Sagan's phrase "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"

Metrojeans
Metrojeans

"One wonders if Christopher Hitchens, the fierce-witted writer and devout atheist, had a big "oh shit" moment on Dec. 15 after he breathed his last, having succumbed to complications from esophageal cancer at the age of 62. "Yeah, if you like to ponder such fantasies.  And is it Christian to ponder the eternal agony of another?   I hope not with gleeful relish.    That would be positively sadistic.

"Regardless, his words will live on in countless essays and books, including the atheist-edifying bestseller "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything"."

You got that one right.

nixus
nixus

Fanatical attitude, eh? I think I can hear the irony-train entering the station..

Metrojeans
Metrojeans

As usual another ad hominem attack on the man.  The quote you cited was during a speech regarding freedom of speech btw (often misappropriated and edited together with his atheistic comments on You Tube.)    And how is he "fanatical"?  He is a staunch believer in the U.S. Constitution.  He would stand by your right to your beliefs as he felt he had his right to his atheism.  What he was against was anyone being silenced.  How is this "fanaticism"?  And how was he a "drunkard"?  Because he drank?  Its not his fault others can't hold their liquor the way he could.

909Jeff
909Jeff

I suppose if you want to hinge your fanatical belief of disbelief on the words of a drunkard who also said... 

"My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, anyplace, anytime. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line and kiss my ass" 

Seems to me the atheist should have used this quote. Its more fitting their fanatical attitude.  

Now, let the onslaught of christian accusations begin!

909Jeff
909Jeff

Which is the point i'm trying to make... Its literally the pot calling the kettle black.  Are their Christian fanatics? For sure... But the backyard skeptics have become that which they accuse the Christians of being.... Fanatical zealots hellbent on alienating and attacking another group of people.  

909Jeff
909Jeff

Ad Hominem? I'm attacking the backyard skeptics use of Hitchens, not Hitchens himself so in fact I am attacking the argument... not a fallacy.

But you learned a big word and felt compelled to use it (<---- Ad Hominem)

The Sunday Times described Hitchens as "Usually armed with a glass of Scotch and an untipped Rothmans cigarette.

Hitchens admitted to drinking heavily; in 2003 he wrote that his daily intake of alcohol was enough "to kill or stun the average mule", arguing that many great writers "did some of their finest work when blotto, smashed, polluted, shitfaced, squiffy, whiffled, and three sheets to the wind."He argued, "The plain fact is that [drinking] makes other people, and indeed life itself, a good deal less boring.

And I was calling Bruce Gleason and the backyard skeptics Fanatics not Hitchins.  

I fully support Bruce's ability to preach his Atheist gospel.. I take umbrage with the method he chooses.

ageofknowledge
ageofknowledge

But ultimately nothing you say, feel, think, or believe in matters so we can disregard you completely.

Nina
Nina

So a highly educated scholar who happens to like to drink is to be dismissed, but ignorant nomads who believed the earth flat, are absolutely to be believed without question. Mindless, irrationality = Religious fanaticism

Bjames0928
Bjames0928

909Jeff: The quote you've plucked articulates one of the key tenets of modern liberalism—its espousal of individual rights, particularly the rights of free speech, expression and conscience (which the religious, after the Reformation, quite appreciate).

In liberal democracy we defend the rights of every individual to hold a view without being silenced by a tyrannical majority. Hitchens, in the remark above, expresses that modern principle.

Not quite sure how you've construed it as "fanatical." Your lack of education/critical faculties probably has a bit to do with it. Read some Tocqueville, Mill or Locke and get back to us.

Jack Grimshaw
Jack Grimshaw

"My own opinion is enough for me ..." Uh, isn't that also the basis of every religion in the world?

Nina
Nina

When religious zealots stop legislating their immoral, idiotic, irrational beliefs into the policy of the land, then I'm sure Atheists will live and let live. 

Metrojeans
Metrojeans

Stay on topic.  Is there something about the billboard that is fanatical?

Metrojeans
Metrojeans

"I suppose if you want to hinge your fanatical belief of disbelief on the words of a drunkard who also said... "Are you trying to deny you weren't trying dismiss Hitchens as a "drunkard"?  I take umbrage at your liberal use of the word "fallacy".

Metrojeans
Metrojeans

Are you merely trying to prove my point?

I do not know "ageofknowledge" nor is he/she planted by me or anyone I know.  "ageofknowledge"  Another irony train rolls into the station which is totally lost on them.  Hitch would have loved this.  The literal minded which he despised have come out the woodwork.

UponTruth
UponTruth

Comment seems a bit childish...not to mention irrelevant. In an 'age of knowledge', reason and logic should ultimately prevail...not drivel.

909Jeff
909Jeff

For the purpose of discrediting the source that they cite.. Yes... 

You need to take off your objectivity glasses for a second. 

909Jeff
909Jeff

Me?  You and Metrojeans are fixated on my Hitchens quote when the argument isn't even about him? 

Where did I call him fanatical?  I have read and reread my post... I'ts quite clear that i was referring to the Backyard Skeptics as fanatical... 

I wont insult your education or critical thinking except to say I can clearly see how you already knew what you wanted to say before you even thought about what I said.  

909Jeff
909Jeff

precisely... 

So when a group of people (Backyard skeptics) claim to be just innocently spreading their beliefs... "We just want other atheist to know they aren't alone" But they do so by publicly insulting another... You don't see the hypocrisy? They are doing to the christans exactly what they say the christians do to everyone else, which is fine, except they wont admit it. 

909Jeff
909Jeff

I'm talking about the billboard which this article was about. Which is sponsored by the backyard Skeptics.

Metrojeans
Metrojeans

The words "Separation of Church and State" are not in the 1st Amendment but the concept is there and it is a reasonable interpretation of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".  

" I supose you're one of those people who over cite the first amendment and ignore the second? "

You suppose wrong.  The 2nd (The Right of the People to Bear Arms) bolsters the 1st.  This is what I believe and Christopher Hitchens expressed this as well in print. I believe it was in Hitch-22 his memoir.

You keep bringing up the Backyard Atheists.  I'm talking about the billboard which this article was about.  Even as an atheist I personally do not like atheists trying to get rid of Christmas or the word "Christmas" and the tactics they use (Its become a secular commercial holiday anyways.  An American tradition.  So we may actually see eye to eye than we seem)  Regardless, whether its an atheist quote by Christopher Hitchens, Eisnstein, or Twain that in of itself is nothing to get upset about.  Let me give you an example.  I hate PETA and much prefer an organization like ASPCA or Human Society.  But I can discern between some of the tactics use by them.  I hate them for throwing stunts like pouring paint on a total stranger for wearing fur.  But an innocuous billboard saying don't buy fur.  Okay.  I have no problem with that.  Whether I believe wearing fur is wrong or not.

909Jeff
909Jeff

And you found that in the Bill of rights? 

Because you've tossed around words like CONSTITUTION... And the protections Afforded... Where does it say Separation of Church and State?

 "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

If you and Hitchens are such strict constitutionalists... You would agree... Its not there never has been... I supose you're one of those people who over cite the first amendment and ignore the second? 

So to hopefully end this once and for all... 

People of religion can put up billboards that say their religion is true  ( You're right)

Non-believers can put up billboards saying religion is not true  (You're right) 

What is your objection to this?  For the final time... The backyard skeptics are running this campaign to not only further their cause but also to publicly insult people of faith... Which, in and of itself I don't have  problem with EXCEPT they claim that they are innocently just trying to spread their message, to make other atheists feel that they aren't alone... To which I call bullshit... Its a ruse... They are doing nothing other than smacking Christians on the nose in the same manner and with the same tactics and with the same frenetic zealotry that they claim about the Christians do to non-Christians.  

If you seek further proof look at every religious symbol on public lands that have had to been removed... All lawsuits by Atheists and the ACLU.  Why? Who is it hurting if there is a cross on a hill... Or a star of David?  

Or are you here just to practice your debating skills (Usually) 

Metrojeans
Metrojeans

In clear language the anyone can look up, read and understand

"Separation of church and state" (sometimes "wall of separation between church and state") is a phrase used by Thomas Jefferson (in his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists) and others expressing an understanding of the intent and function of theEstablishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The phrase has since been repeatedly cited by the Supreme Court of the United States."

People of religion can put up billboards that say their religion is true.  Non-believers can put up billboards saying religion is not true.  What is your objection to this?  Do you have anything substantive to offer that is based on your beliefs or ideas. Or are you here just to practice your debating skills?

909Jeff
909Jeff

I cant counter a non argument? 

Nor have I claimed to be christian... 

You have drawn a conclusion of me  based on a preconceived notion that I have to be one side or another. 

Lastly since you seem to like to throw around the constitution and how Hitchins was such an advocate of it why dont you find me the part where it says "Separation of Church and State"

... I'll wait. 

Metrojeans
Metrojeans

Instead of presenting a counter-argument to my post you focus on "You People"?  Yes, "you people" are easily offended.  Well more and more of "us people" are starting to be offended too when science is being corrupted by the un-scientific.  The wall that separates religion and State provides relative peace that benefits people of all Faiths and those who don't.  It protects you too.   I assume you dont' want a different Christian sect or religion telling your children what to believe in school.

Metrojeans
Metrojeans

What is it about keeping science and religion separate fanatical?  How about other Creation beliefs like Hindu?  Should they not be allowed equal time?  How about Christians who believe the Creation story as allegory and not literal?  Do different Jewish or Muslim sects have different interpretation of Creation?  How is keeping religion based on faith separate from science based on the scientific method not rational?  How is avoiding a needless religious bickering about what should and should not be taught in schools not rational.  There's a rational reason why our Founding Fathers built this wall between religion and public life.  You people can't stop fighting.

909Jeff
909Jeff

the only place we dont agree is that the backyard skeptics are engaging in the same tactics except they are denying it...

Edit; Do you see how you rant against Christians in a fanatical manner yet claim to be a rational atheist? See how it my be hard to take you seriously?

909Jeff
909Jeff

With regards to the backyard skeptics... Yes. 

Metrojeans
Metrojeans

Its not about me defending his honor or about out-living someone in terms of years.  For him it was about living to the full and having no regrets in whatever short time we have.  Read about how he faced his death and how he looked back on his life.  

Most importantly his words and ideas won't lose any of their sting.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Youre still arguing from a perspective of defending the honor of apparently your hero...

Unfortunately he was collateral damage.. 

Metrojeans
Metrojeans

"Would you be allowed to work drunk? "Hitchens' employers be they his publishers or those who hired him for lectures or debates didn't have an issue with his drinking.  It did not interfere with his work period.  He was very much in demand when he was alive and his work ethic showed up to the point of his death.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Yes it is my assumption for the purpose of this argument that he is a poor source...

Would you be allowed to work drunk?  

Evasions?  

See, the problem here is that you are stuck on arguing against me for suggesting that the Atheist used a different Hitchens quote... A quote which basically says I'm right because I say so... (Also another fallacy but I dont want to go down that road). 

The debate is about the Backyard Skeptics being hypocrits... 

I would think that you would attack my suggestion of using another Hitchens quote while at the same time discrediting him as a lush...

Metrojeans
Metrojeans

So its predicated on your ASSUMPTION  that whatever is written by someone who loved to drink should be considered a poor source or citation?

You haven't actually come up with a counter argument just evasions.  Do you want to discuss people or ideas and thoughts?  Like Hitchens argued its not important Socrates was real or not or what kind of person he was.  Its ideas and thought that matters.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Okay... Parliamentary Debate 101

Backyard Skeptics: ("what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." Chris Hitchens) 

EXAMPLE 1 Me: The backyard Skeptics are assholes <--- Ad hominem 

EXAMPLE 2 Me: Chris Hitchens is a drunkard <--- attack on the validity of their source OR attacking the argument... As in, you just cited a drunkard who in all likeliness penned most of his work (By his own admission) while wasted.  Or, in other words They choose a poor citation. 

So absolutely not.. I was 100% trying to, and did, dismiss Hitchens as a drunkard because 1) its true and 2) it discredits the Backyard skeptics argument.  

Isn't this fun?

Metrojeans
Metrojeans

 I thought he was replying to me as well.  Regardless, no one's opinions and thoughts should be dismissed.  They can stand and fall on their own.

UponTruth
UponTruth

Sorry, thought you were commenting on metrojeans, not Jeff. Apologies

909Jeff
909Jeff

Whatever makes you feel better... 

Bjames0928
Bjames0928

Yes, you have, as a dog chases its tail.

909Jeff
909Jeff

And I think we have come full circle... 

Metrojeans
Metrojeans

Yes, of course.  It doesn't matter if you're a Christian or Atheist.  

I took a number so please feel free to pick a number yourself.  

That was the point Christopher Hitchens was making.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Why wouldnt it be? 

I'm right because I say I am... And if you disagree, kiss my ass. 

Honestly it works for both the atheists and the Christians... 

Metrojeans
Metrojeans

You said the other Hitchens quote is "more fitting their fanatical attitude".   Given the explanation and context in which Hitchens said these words do those words still seem fitting for what you call a bunch of "fanatics"?

Is this still an unreasonable interpretation of your words?

CHL
CHL

Fair Enough.  But you must understand that they are not "both just theories".  A scientific theory that has been reached through thousands of experiments and tests and peer reviews is not the same as saying something is so because "its in the bible".  

I really dont think that the majority of the population believes genesis to literally be true.  Most Christians I know, dont believe that is the case.  Even if they do, that does not qualify any of them to have any say in what is taught in a biology class.  

909Jeff
909Jeff

Because... The Majority of the population believes in that fairy tale... and don't get it twisted I'm not suggestion that public schools teach the bible or quote scripture... Just give time to intelligent design as well as evolution since both are in fact just theories.  

I don't really care to argue these things because its inconsequential to me. I went to school when public schools still taught it. And I have no kids so there really isn't any skin in the game for me... I only waded in because I think the backyard skeptics are claiming to be one thing when they are acting just like the fairy tale believers they are attacking.

There is also a story in naval gazing about Chuck smith and an alleged Christian gave her two cents in typical fire and brimstone christian fashion and I called her out on it.. It goes both ways.

 I don't think less about people who are christian or Jewish or Muslim (with some qualifiers on the Muslim thing) nor the people who except the scientific explanation and who dont believe.. Frankly I'm one of those people who was raised in a christian home but always questioned the lack of tangible evidence of divinity... I give due respects to both schools of thought.

CHL
CHL

909Jeff,  I am really curious how an intelligent person like yourself (assumption) could think that evolutionary theory, probably they most tested and scrutinized theory in human history, should be taught next to the fairy tale of genesis.  

909Jeff
909Jeff

Synonyms; hypothesis, 

I thought they were different? YOU SAID... they were different? According to Webster they are the same. 

When you stop treating a Theory as Law we'll talk...

CHL
CHL

Try this: A scientific theory is a set of principles that explain and predict phenomena.[1] Scientists create scientific theories with the scientific method, when they are originally proposed ashypotheses and tested for accuracy through observations and experiments.[2] 

909Jeff
909Jeff

theory-a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact. 

 Synonyms: idea, notion hypothesis, postulate. Antonyms: practice, verification, corroboration, substantiation.

CHL
CHL

Because one is a Theory and one is a Hypothesis.  Learn the difference and the question answers itselft.  

909Jeff
909Jeff

And evolutionists want to teach the "THEORY" of evolution... Why not present both? 

Rb336
Rb336

The difference being that the religious extremists want to force schools to teach nonsense like intelligent design in schools

Bill Lyons
Bill Lyons

 actually, no. I can't make them out on this photo. isn't that the reason why it's called "faith" though? because you still believe even though there is no evidence? in that case, then the quote seems more like a statement of fact, although obviously people who believe in things without evidence would not agree with the sentiment.

either way, I think you're right. these atheist organizations are just as bad as the extremist christian groups.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Do you not see the religious symbols in red?  Or the prior Billboards? 

Bill Lyons
Bill Lyons

 who is being publicly insulted on this billboard?

909Jeff
909Jeff

I have no issue with Chris Hitchens I simply thought that quote would be more befitting the billboard... 

Metrojeans
Metrojeans

I think you're taking Christopher Hitchens words out of context again.  His words are enough for him as others people's words are enough for themselves (doesn't matter who is in the majority).  That is all he is claiming.  Nothing more nothing less.  What is your objection to this?

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