I hate watching Q&A – normally. It is more or less nothing but an act of confirmation bias for the most loathsome people in Australia. The panel is usually comprised of three leftists, one moderate/weak politician and perhaps one person genuinely on the right side of the political spectrum; or at the very least eccentric enough to stand from the pack. Oh and although he would lie and deny it, the host is a leftist too. Despite the laughable polling of audience members that takes place, the vast majority of the live audience are leftists, as are the producers and people who choose the questions and so on. I’m sure you can now understand why I don’t like it.
Despite this, sometimes it has a guest that is worth watching and I’m compelled to put it on. More recently I’ve started skipping through the written transcripts rather than watching it but I did watch the episode above. And I’ve watched it more than once.
One of the reasons I watched and re-watched this episode is because I’ve rarely seen such a stark contrast between the forces of good and evil embodied in Peter Hitchens on one side and the appropriately named Dan Savage on the other. Savage was vulgar, arrogant and seems to revel in moral filth. This makes his moralising all the more despicable because of the misery that will result from those who follow it. His answers sound simple, nice – even obvious but they are nothing but lies. Yet, few seem to see this.
This was held on the 4th of November, 2013 during the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney. This festival as Gerard Henderson has noted is more like a Festival of Typical Leftist Ideas and perhaps one or two relatively non-threatening other ones. Hitchens came to discuss drug legalisation and it his talk is well worth watching.
For many this may not be much of an argument but in many way I feel the truth of Christianity can be reasoned from the results of failing to follow it. Few may come to see this but Hitchens certainly has after the many years he spent as an atheist and activist on the Trotskyist left. It was refreshing to see a confident and articulate voice speaking up for Christian civilisation and very enjoyable to see what must have been complete contempt for the values of the other guests and many audience members.
His best line of the night came right at the end in response to the question: “Which so-called dangerous idea do you each think would have the greatest potential to change the world for the better if where implemented?”
The most dangerous idea in human history and philosophy remains the belief that Jesus Christ was the son of God and rose from the dead and that is the most dangerous idea you will ever encounter.
Because it alters the whole of human behaviour and all our responsibilities. It turns the universe from a meaningless chaos into a designed place in which there is justice and there is hope and, therefore, we all have a duty to discover the nature of that justice and work towards that hope. It alters us all. If we reject It, it alters us all was well. It is incredibly dangerous. It’s why so many people turn against it.
I recently read his book ‘The Rage Against God’ which is both a spiritual autobiography and response to the secular crusade of his atheist late brother Christopher (who I also quite like). As of writing I’m reading his book ‘The Abolition of Britain’ which shares much of the same themes.
The only thing I would specifically criticise is his notion that the battle has been lost. This isn’t because I think he’s wrong and I’m sure he means in the near future and not ultimately. As someone who has admitted to being part of that destruction in his early years though, I feel he should be trying to give the younger generation that shares his beliefs a bit more to hope for.