I can’t say it is very often (if at all in the past) that I would find myself saying “Amen” to something that Christopher Hitchens, the author of God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, would say. In an interview between atheist Hitchens and Unitarian minister Marilyn Sewell he says something I can wholeheartedly agree with:
Maryiln Sewell: The religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories from the scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement (that Jesus died for our sins, for example). Do you make and [sic] distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?
Christopher Hitchens: I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.
Yes there is a distinction, and no people who reject what Hitchens brings up really can’t call themselves a Christian.
Amen and amen.