God Is Not Great.

Review and Commentary on God is Not Great, How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens.

I was blown away by the latest book I read. This book, much like Sam Harris' really made me think. Overall, this book gets a thumbs up.

This book, with its seemingly simplistic title opens up with a very head-on approach. The first chapter, Putting It Midly, caught my interest because of the poignant questions; I was enticed to continue page after page. Here are some of the thoughts Hitchens presents us with.

If Jesus could heal a blind person he happened to meet, then why not heal blindness? What was so wonderful about his casting out devils, so that the devils would enter a herd of pigs instead? That seemed sinister. . .

This rings so true to me, why wouldn't he do something to cure blidness for once and for all? Then you wonder, if it was all a perfect plan, why would there be such a thing as blindness to begin with? Almost any devout religious person would explain that it is part of our punishment, for the original sin. Christopher poignantly addresses as many of the arguments that religion gives us to keep itself in control.

When speaking of religion:

Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did. Still less can they hope to tell us the "meaning" of later discoveries and developments which were, when they began, either obstructed by their religions or denounced by them. And yet --the believers still claim to know! Not just to know, but to know everything.

Although reading some of the history in there made me cringe, the author points out how terrible some of the faith-based laws and regulations actually are killing us. Religion Kills is the title for another chapter and it is named appropriately. He talks about Yusra al Azami. . .

"[She] was shot dead in April 2005, for the crime of sitting unchapperoned in a car with her fiancé. The young man [the fiance] escaped with only a vicious beating.

Allabu Akbar means God is Great, and this is where the title of the book comes from God is not great, How Religion Poisons Everything. Lately books are working hard on keeping your attention with catchy subtitles, but this is not just a gimmick, it really sums up the body of the book. After Hitchens lays down the groundwork, and poses some faith shattering questions, he dives head first into the major areas of our lives and humanity. Then makes some very compelling arguments to explain How Religion Poisons Everything.

He also points out how our youth are abused, the kids that undergo unsanitary, terrifying "medical" procedures in the name of faith. I also learned what a Mohel is, or rather who is a Mohel. It is so disgusting I won't even talk about it here. Young girls also are often subjected to horrifying ordeals, also in the name of god. In a very matter-of-fact point of view Hitchens points out the very questionable argument for a Grand God Designer.

. . .it is hard to imagine anything more grotesque than the mutilation of infant genitalia. Nor is it easy to imagine anything more incompatible with he argument from design. We must assume that a designer god would pay especial attention to the reproductive organs of his creatures, which are so essential for the continuation of the species. But religious ritual since the dawn of time has insisted on snatching children from the cradle and taking sharp stones or knives to their pudenda.

A few of titles of other chapters in the book should give you a great idea of what to expect if you read the book. A Note on Health, touches on both physical and mental health and some things I didn't know had a name like schadenfreude. In the chapter: Arguments from Design, creationism is addressed. Some of the book would be better understood if you have at least an understanding of some of the events depicted in the "good book." The Nightmare of the Old Testament and The Evil of the New Testament show goes over contrasting differences between the "old law" and the "good news." Before I read this book I knew little of the origins of the Qu'ran or Koran; to explain some of the history of this book, Christopher added a section that covers this often overlooked historical fact: The Koran is Borrowed from Judaism and Christianity.

There are nineteen chapters to cover all that would fit in one relatively short book. The book that I read is a hardcover edition with 283 pages in addition to the Acknowledgment, and the references table and a very nice index.

This book is excellent, I would highly recommend it to people in all walks of life. Its not light reading. It is based on reason, free-thinking, our nature and drive to explore the unknown and to make logical decisions based on facts instead of blind religious faith. Whether you are a staunch atheist, or a devout Muslim, Christian or even a practicing Buddhist, you should read this.

You can buy this directly from Amazon: God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

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