“Enlightened” Rage Against God

The fury and almost physical disgust of the Bloomsbury novelist Virginia Woolf at T.S. Eliot’s conversion to Christianity…perfectly epitomize[s] the enlightened English person’s scorn for faith and those who hold it:

I had a most shameful and distressing interview with poor dear Tom Eliot, who may be called dead to us all from this day forward. He has become an Anglo-Catholic, believes in God and immortality, and goes to church. I was really shocked. A corpse would seem to me more credible than he is. I mean, there’s something obscene in a living person sitting by the fire and believing in God. (The Rage Against God, pp 23-24)

Peter Hitchens describes his attitude as a young “enlightened” atheist by comparing it to the attitude of Virginia Woolf in his book The Rage Against God.  As he traveled, matured, and encountered the world around him this certainty of godlessness began to wane.  Though he kept the facade of arrogance in the midst of his crumbling atheism he began to see the intelligence associated with enlightened faith.

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