David Wolpe on Hitchens

July 5, 2010 • 3:44 pm

Rabbi David Wolpe has engaged in a series of debates on faith with Christopher Hitchens. In yesterday’s Washington Post he gives his reaction to these debates and offers a touching tribute to Teh Hitch.  He ends the piece with some grudging admiration:

Later we sign copies of our books for the audience. Five or 10 kindly souls stand in my line. His stretches out as long as the eye can see. He looks up at me and winks.

The smart money, he seems to be saying, is in heresy.

I’d say “atheism” instead of “heresy.”

20 thoughts on “David Wolpe on Hitchens

  1. It takes a real con man to suspect at least as much connery in everyone else. That’s the very first thought that comes to mind for all pycho babblers when their sizin’ up their competition.
    Rev. El Mundo

    1. I don’t think, for a minute, that David Wolpe is deliberately engaged in fraud.

      We’re all just apes doin’ improv, man. Lighten the fuck up.

      1. I never said anything about “fraud.”

        Now, what makes you think you have any more insight than anyone else, enough in fact, to go around advisin’ anyone to “lighten up?”

        Bugger off, man.
        ~Rev. El

    1. Considering what Wolpe reads into his holy book, reading what he expects from a wink should not even have him breaking into a sweat.

      “Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
      “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

  2. All those poor, marginalized heret. . I mean atheists, If these debates weren’t such a side show, Rabbi Wolpe’s would be an even sadder commentary.

  3. Simple enough: Hitchens is a celebrity and Wolpe wants to be a celebrity. Hitchens knows it and the two lines show how far Wolpe has to go to catch up. In this video of Wolpe outperforming an introverted Jungian analyst at UCLA he demonstrates his schtick: http://tinyurl.com/2em39jn

    1. Don’t you mean “Wyh?”

      Children answer that one “because”, adolescents “its style, like”, and adults “… and what do you think of the current weather?”

  4. The real money is in Religion. How many professional priests and imams are there in the world? How many buildings do religious institutions own? How many books of religious nature are sold every year?

    Hitchens happens to be one of the most succesfull professional atheists, and thus he makes more money than David Wolpe. But on a whole;

    The real money is in religion, not atheism.

    1. “The smart money, he seems to be saying, is in heresy.”

      Yeah, religious leaders seem to make a very good living simply through their familarity with and (mis)application of a particular piece of bronze-age mythology to modern life.

      1. I am a CPA for many in the Clergy and not one of them are rich. One or two of them has inherited some money to provide a comfortable financial life, but they are not rich.

        The Rick Warrens of the world receive 90% of the press but are a needle in the haystack.

  5. Wolpe seems like a smart and nice fellow, but this:


    is awful.

    The very essence of atheism is that you can reject religion. To claim that it holds a religious opinion, and not an opinion on religion, is a fail on so many levels:

    – morally; to impute a strawman
    – factually; atheism is an empirical claim (“can reject”)
    – logically; to impute a fallacy of affirming the consequent (as per above)
    – socially; the largest concentration of atheists is in universities, people doesn’t attend university to become atheists or support atheism; you won’t understand atheism as social phenomena.

    Likely his cognitive dissonance got the better of him, he believes he could as well be debating with islamics or buddhists on who has “the right” gods.

    Being that sloppy and revealing in the very end, another reason to add to Rev. El Mundos’ on his motivation.

    1. Oops, that last edit came out “sloppy and revealing in the very end”; I meant to say “another point to add”. Reveals my current lack of coffee. 😀

  6. I really enjoyed that article. Though I imagine some here will disagree with me, I actually detected genuine warmth and affection in Wolpe’s words.
    Also, I think his use of the term “heresy” was, at least partly, tongue in cheek.

  7. It always amazes me that religious people resort to twisting their words and logic to blame the “atheist” of some crime to humanity. So Hitchens committed “heresy”, and so everyone in that long line is a collaborator. The alter reality is that Wolpe is not popular, and he hates it emotionally, and so finds a religious form of “justice” to appease his emotion. Very poor thinker.

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