I simply insist that you take the time out to watch this video*. It is of a debate that took place on BBC television, the motion being “Is the Catholic church a force for good in the world?”. It was between Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry on one side (against) and Anne Widdecombe and Archbishop John Onaiyekan on the other (for). Dogma vs Reason, when it comes down to it. Now, it is one thing for the side that is in favour of the motion to be a bit lame compared to the duo they are up against, but it is really unfortunate that Anne Widdecombe was put up as the defender of the church as she has been so utterly arrogant and unpleasant in every appearance I have ever heard or seen her in, over more than a decade, and was true to form here. So she probably did more damage to the case through her manner than through the substance (or lack of it) in what she said. On the other hand, I must confess a little twinge of enjoyment in watching that arrogance get so squashed and crushed, and it is certainly a pleasure to see it put up against the rather soaring elegance of Stephen Fry’s simply but firmly and elegantly put points. I also felt a bit sorry for the Archbishop at times. Not a close contest, but perhaps it never could have been?
Look at it for yourself here.
*Spotted at Skepchick.