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Free Exercise Of Religion? No Thanks By Christopher Hitchens

662 words - 3 pages

Christopher Hitchens was a leading controversial writer of his time (20th-21st century) who wrote several articles on subjects such as religion, literature, art, politics and war. (Hitchens, Christopher) In the article “Free Exercise Of religion? No Thanks”, the writer proposes a question and then proceeds to answer it, thus stating his opinion. The topic itself highlights the writer’s stance on the issue as it shows that he is against the idea of “free exercise”(Hitchens, 1) of religion. Hitchens has used the view of the majority, sarcasm, vivid imagery, pathos and sarcasm to back his claim and appeal to his audience to see his point of view. However, despite its strengths, Hitchens condescending attitude combined with some illogical claims made in the article means it is offensive to some of his audience and his contradictory tone makes the readers question his judgment.
Hitchens mentions how the “free exercise”(1) of religion is ...view middle of the document...

In the article, Hitchens mentions how the “Gov. Mitt Romey had to assure voters that he did not regard the prophet, or head of the Mormon Church, as having ultimate moral and spiritual authority on all matters. Nothing, he swore could override the US constitution” (Hitchens, 1). To mention Romney’s audience’s reaction and the fact that they needed convincing in the first place is Hitchens clever strategy of convincing his readers’ audience that he is not the only one who is against the idea of free religion and thus makes it easier for the audience to accept his point of view. The author mentions the Vatican City to further illustrate his point. Hitchens describes how “appalled”(2) the “lay Catholics”(2) were when the Vatican City protected those people who were “sought for questioning in one of the gravest of all crimes: the organized rape of children” (2). This implies that the author is trying to convince the readers about his point of view by appealing to their moral senses and also showing them the view of the majority.
Hitches’ use of sarcasm also serves his purpose as it highlights his stance on the idea of the exercise of free religion. For instance, Hitchens states in his article that “the extent” (1) to which they “view the latter-day saints as acceptable, and agree to overlook their other quaint and weird beliefs, it is to the extent that we have decidedly limited them in the free exercise of their religion” (1). This highlights the writer’s sarcasm. He is implying to his audience the irony of the situation. According to Hitchens, the US government is only claiming to “limit” the idea of the exercise of free religion when it “overlooks” (1) their “quaint and weird belief”(Hitchens 1). To him, overlooking is the same thing as giving them complete freedom to practice their religion because according to him, it is their “weird belief” (Hitchens, 1) that really lets things spiral out of hand and to over look those would not limit the idea of the practice of free religion. The author, by using sarcasm, conveys his disapproval over the fact that people have been given too much freedom to practice their own religion and believes it should be restricted so as to avoid complete chaos.

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