Who does not love a good old-fashioned clash between an atheist and a religious convert? The possibilities for awkward silences, blasphemy and dump tables are endless, and one of them used to be prime minister of England.
On one side was a novelist and author Christopher Hitchens, a loud, proud self-declared cancer-stricken writer whose brush with death has done nothing to deny his deep-rooted conviction that God is not great, as he titled his book recent.
On the other was former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a recent convert to Roman Catholicism who became the straw man to go against the scholar Hitchens in a debate about the existence of a divine being. The pair clashed on Friday at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto for a philosophical debate about the moral of religion.
Surprises? Hitchens, who lives in Washington, DC has had a Christmas tree, as long as he has been a father and observe the Passover. He discovered his Jewish roots late in the family life, his wife, Carol Blue, is also Jewish.
And Blair’s father, Leo, a retired law professor, is a militant atheist. The long-term policy is also revealed in his recently published memoir, a journey: my political life has always been more interested in religion from politics.
For Mr Blair, who converted to Catholicism after leaving office in 2007, religion plays the most important functions, both personally and in their world view.