Part 1: Bill Donohue Debates Christopher Hitchens


Part 1 of the inaugural debate from ChristiFideles taped in front of a capacity crowd at the Union League Club in New York City on March 23, 2000. Donohue and Hitchens discuss the hostility of the American cultural elite to religion in general, and Catholicism in particular.

Part 2
Part 3 

Written By: TheCatholicLeague – YouTube
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  1. I’m sorry, but who edited the first 50 seconds of the video? 

    -Truth: picture of Jesus statue, no scientific counterpart follows. 
    -Theory: images symbolising evolution and creationism (?!)
    – Good: Religious image
    -Evil: Stalin (atheist)
    -Love: Mother Theresa (and I’d argue that), no secular counterpart.
    -Freedom: Exclusively religious footage

    Choosing to make a sermon out of the introduction is the host’s prerogative I suppose, but let’s not get carried away with the home field advantage shall we? Is it because I haven’t had coffee today and (thus) am very grumpy, or is it a legitimate concern?

  2. I’m still trying to figure out how Hitchens managed to navigate through Donahue’s irascible constitution and his bloviating little tirade. I think I lost a sizeable portion of neurons somewhere around Father Perricone’s pompous claim on the truth and his associate’s infantile grasp on evolution.

  3. Hitch could easily out-debate this wimpy whiner of a Catholic Church spokesman from the grave, if such a rematch could be arranged. After almost a year, I still feel such sorrow at his passing. December 16th of ANY coming year for
    me, will always be tinged with a bit more grayness than it otherwise would have been had I not known of him.

    A sorrow worth enduring even at many times the price in moments of my life spent listening to his artistry.

    Hitch—still sorely, sorely, missed.


  4. Deeply missed. 

     I’ve lost track of how many situations that have transpired since we lost him, where I have felt  the absence of his keen mind and brilliant voice. 

    Whether we ultimately agree or disagree with his evaluations, he demonstrated so many of our highest human “virtues” . 

    Think clearly.   Expose your own thinking to the best evidence available.  Subject your own thinking to good contrary thinking.  Write (and/or speak) your guts out to meet and exceed your highest standards.  Repeat. 

    When debating people like Bill Donohue, ignore him and make your case, as Donohue does none of those things. 

    The world is listening.  Repeat. 

    I miss him too.

  5. I should add that he did more than “write his guts out”.  He was a brilliantly talented writer.  Most of us aren’t. 

    He didn’t waste that talent.  He strengthened it constantly. 

    We should admire him for that, as much as anything.  For fulfilling his potential as the writer that he was born and bred to be.

  6. Thank you for this reminder of not only Christopher Hitchens’s keen intellect and oratory skill but also his courage, the courage to go into the belly of the “beast” and debate the phlegm-spluttering Bill Donoghue. I am currently reading Hitchens’s book Hitch 22. Just about every page bring tears to my eyes as I ponder on how much we have lost because of his passing. I can only console myself by repeating over and over, “What a life well-lived!”   

  7. Don’t waste your spit, man :) The whole show is purposefully slanted. 

    That introduction dude likes the sound of his own voice a bit too much. But he had me in stitches. Irony delivered with such dead pan assurance. Bravo.

  8. Watched the whole ‘debate’ now – what a joy to hear Hitch again!  What a master!  Not only eloquent and clear -thinking giant of discourse but what composure -nerves of steel- at the utter ignorance and obvious aggression produced by this (it’s so difficult not to be insulting here), let’s just say, ignoramus representative of his backward organisation!  

  9. wow!  who is this guy?  he’s so obnoxious!  and his delivery, now that is strident and aggressive.  he’s like a verbal bully, and one of those speakers whose every sentence needs to be taken apart but for the speed of his delivery.  my hat is of to christopher hitchens for not only keeping up with but for being so articulate in his rebuttals and attacks –  and his command of the facts!  if only HE were still alive …

  10. Oh how a decade can make a difference eh Donahue?

    And for that diatribe opening from the priestly moderator, ffs wise up.

    There was an excelent example of just how much shite the RCC is in in Ireland on BBC Northern Ireland last night…”The Turbulent Priest”….Father Brian D’Arcy, I almost felt sorry for the poor fecker.

  11. If anybody accuses an atheist of being shrill, strident, insulting, disrespectful, of ranting, using ad hominem or straw manning – just say . . . Bill Donohue.  What an ignoramus, playing at home to his adoring flock, with a heavily biased referee!!!

  12. Now as far as I know Father Brian D’Arcy is no relation of mine, although I do have some Irish predecessors. It sounds like this Brian D’Arcy should have walked away from the RCC when he was 17, as indeed  my father did, when the priest told him he couldn’t read The Three Muskateers. “No bloody priest is going to tell me what I can read” was his response!

  13. Archie Bunker, er, I mean Bill Donohue has got to be the worst thing that ever happened to the Catholic church.  What an embarrassment that guy is.  And the dickhead who moderated – yoikes, what’s with that guy?!  What a singularly unlikeable individual.  I bet he had plenty of schoolyard beatings for being such a snot-nose little sycophant.

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