A couple or so days ago I came across Christopher Hitchens’ The Portable Atheist. It’s amazing how someone can be so well-read, where Christopher is both the subject and the object of that verb (which is functioning as an adjective). The book opens with a couple of quotes from Primo Levi, an Italian who survived Auschwitz. Hitchens dedicates the book to him. Here’s one of the quotes:
Silence slowly prevails and then, from my bunk on the top row, I see and hear old Kuhn praying aloud, with his beret on his head, swaying backwards and forwards violently. Kuhn is thanking God because he has not been chosen.
Kuhn is out of his senses. Does he not see Beppo the Greek in the bunk next to him, Beppo who is twenty years old and is going to the gas-chamber the day after tomorrow and knows it and lies there looking fixedly at the light without saying anything and without even thinking anymore? Can Kuhn fail to realize that next time it will be his turn? Does Kuhn not understand that what has happened today is an abomination, which no propitiatory prayer, no pardon, no expiation by the guilty, which nothing at all in the power of man can ever clean again? If I was God, I would spit at Kuhn’s prayer.
And that’s it. On this haphazard visit I foolishly ended up buying a collection of Heidegger’s rightings. I am gradually beginning to experience the gap between owning books and reading them. My soul too is society to an ever-increasing gap between the rich and the poor. Just to let you know, my over-engagement with reading material and good friends has crippled my usual enthusiastic blogging machinations. Something decent will arise out of this. In a few weeks or so. Unless I read Heidegger and realise out of pure deduction from his plethora of perspective that everything to say has already been said and in some sort of cliché despair turn to writing dark children’s books. And with that I leave you with a quote from my second favourite Arminian, Roger E. Olson (although he did not write it but “Someone” did):
“Someone has said that no theology is worth believing that cannot be preached standing in front of the gates of Auschwitz” (Against Calvinism, 2011, p.25).