Daily Mail | Peter Hitchens | June 2, 2007 |
Am I my brother’s reviewer? A word of explanation is needed here. Some of you may know that I have a brother, Christopher, who disagrees with me about almost everything.
Some of those who read his books and articles also know that I exist, though they often dislike me if so. But in general we inhabit separate worlds – in more ways than one.
He is of the Left, lives in the United States and recently became an American citizen. I am of the Right and, after some years in Russia and America, live in the heart of England. Occasionally we clash in public.
We disagreed about the Iraq War – he was for it, I was against it. Despite the occasional temptation, I have never reviewed any of his books until today.
But now, in God Is Not Great, he has written about religion itself, attacking it as a stupid delusion.
This case, I feel, needs an answer. Most of the British elite will applaud, since they see religion as an embarrassing and (worse) unfashionable form of mania.
And I am no less qualified to defend God than Christopher is to attack him, neither of us being experts on the subject.
People sometimes ask how two brothers, born less than three years apart, should have come to such different conclusions.
To which I’d answer that I’m not sure they’re as different as they look, and that it’s not over yet.
Christopher has quite often written and spoken about our upbringing and background, whereas I haven’t, but I think I’m now entitled to give a small account of what we have in common.
Because my father was in the Navy, we were brought up in a very old-fashioned Britain. Looking back, it often seems to have been a sombre landscape of grey warships and the stench of fuel-oil – but also of cathedral towers, bells and choral evensong.
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