Monday, September 10, 2007

In defense of Mother Teresa




Last week's Newsweek included "The Dogmatic Doubter," an article by influential atheist Christopher Hutchins. His other books include God Is Not Great and The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice. Hutchins is capitalizing on the terrorism of extreme Muslims to make the case that religion, as a whole is bad. In this article, he uses statements from Mother Teresa regarding her doubts and her quest for the "presence" of Christ in her life to negate her entire religious faith, undermine her life's work, and prove that religious faith, as a whole, is fake.

Here's my letter to the editor of Newsweek:


I am appalled and distressed by Christopher Hitchens’ article “The Dogmatic Doubter.” I see no justification for detailing--especially in disrespectful and
incendiary language--the pains and doubts of a woman who succeeded in providing
nearly unrivaled service to those in need. As an educated, thinking, reasoned
non-Catholic Christian, I maintain that faith is not a “facile cure-all,” that
religious service and devotion are not necessarily “hysterical” efforts.

Hitchens’ criticizes the Catholic church for “exploiting” Mother Teresa
to “recruit the crudulous to a blind faith.” The religious are often criticized
for following blindly. In a seeming Catch-22, Hitchens slanders Mother Teresa
for recognizing her faith’s limits and seeking fuller manifestations of the
divine in her life, evidence that her faith was not blind. In his calculated
campaign to undermine religious faith, Hitchens is the one exploiting Mother
Teresa for an agenda.



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