By Senior Religion Correspondent: Eli Bronstein
After claiming victory in the war of science vs. religion, “New Atheists,” Richard Dawkins, (The God Delusion), Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great) and Sam Harris (The End Of Faith), now turn their embattled sights to an even more sinister enemy: poetry. With their cool, calm and dispassionate reasoning, these level headed rationalists have managed to shake the albatross of superstition and childish faith from the neck of humanity – but is their job really done?
When asked about this new crusade Harris said, “Sure we’ve managed to get rid of a lot Bibles, but metaphors are everywhere! Metaphors are like air. …shit!”
Dawkins takes an even stronger stand: “Poems are useless. Just look at Shakespeare, ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?’ Why would you compare a person to a measurement of time? Or to a demarcation of the earth’s orbit in relation to the sun? A person is not a day, summer or any other season. It’s amazing how much smarter I am than everyone else in the world.” He added, “If you want some inspirational reading, try the periodic table of the elements. I’ve never been able to finish it without crying.”
When asked if he might concede that there are those who don’t take poetic writing literally, and do not want to replace Albert Einstein with Walt Whitman, Hitchens insisted it is tantamount to enabling those who might: “First you’re saying ‘her heart is like a rose.’ Then, ‘her smile is like sunlight.’ Pretty soon you’re not sure what anything really is and you’re eating your own shoes and smearing toothpaste in your hair.”
Though some might say that these very successful pop writers are merely pointing out the painfully obvious and throwing out the baby with the proverbial bathwater, all three take issue with this position, saying a baby would never fit through a drain pipe.