Q: What do you get when you combine the fundamentalist and ascerbic right with the extreme liberal and ascerbic left?
The University of Notre Dame is hosting a debate between two men who make their living being absurd and contentious. Nothing good will come from this shouting match. The only appropriate host for this meeting would be Jerry Springer.
Notre Dame will host a public debate on April 7 between famed atheist Christopher Hitchens and Catholic apologetic Dinesh D’Souza.
More than 10 departments on campus, including the College of Arts and Letters and the Student Union Board, will sponsor the event, “Is Religion the Problem?” It will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
Students should expect a heated debate, as D’Souza has described atheism as “the opiate of the morally corrupt” and Hitchens has cited Christianity as “a wicked cult.”
According to a press release, the conversation will focus on the arguments for and against organized religion and its impact on past and future generations.
Sophomore Malcolm Phelan, one of the event organizers along with fellow sophomore Daniel O’Duffy, Dean of the College of Arts and Letters Joseph Stanfiel and Professor Micheal Rea from the Center for the Philosophy of Religion, said one of the main reasons for putting the event together was to challenge current students beliefs.
“We are trying to get students to think about things that they take for granted for most of their lives,” he said. “These questions lead to thought and conversation within a community, challenging positions and enriching beliefs.”
“The opiate of the morally corrupt???” Really, Dinesh? Is that the most outrageous thing you could think of?
For a healthy understanding of atheism v. religion, I recommend an excellent source: Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don’t Like Religion (or Atheism) by Frank Schaeffer.
My advice to Domers? Stay home from the circus and buy Schaeffer’s book.