The Corner

Vulgarities

Christopher Hitchens is awfully concerned about the guest list of a club whose existence he does not recognize. Rick Warren is supposedly a “bigot” for believing that non-Christians cannot get to Heaven. Also bigoted is anyone who believes that it is misleading to describe the Mormon church as Christian. Moreover, if you think that non-Christians are not going to Heaven then you believe that non-Christians “are of little worth and less value,” in some political sense, than Christians. Now I do not, as it happens, share Warren’s views about salvation, but I should think that to state Hitchens’s assumptions plainly is to refute them. I know everyone is supposed to admire what a fine writer Hitchens is (or was), and there are plenty of enjoyable putdowns in the piece: “dismal nutbag,” “tree-shaking huckster,” “weirdos and creeps.” But more and more he seems to be using name-calling to make up for an inability to supply any reason and logic.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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