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The Deacon's Bench

This should be interesting, to say the least:

Thumbnail image for hitchens-blair-m_937541cl-3.jpgOne is a prominent atheist, the other a devout Roman Catholic. Both share mutual admiration for each other, but for a few hours next month, they will be adversaries, facing off over the contentious topic of religion.

Renowned author and journalist Christopher Hitchens and former British prime minister Tony Blair will share a stage for the sixth semi-annual Munk Debates this November.

“This debate is not about the existence of God,” says Rudyard Griffiths, co-director and moderator of the Munk Debates.

“We have asked Mr. Blair and Mr. Hitchens to wrestle with the more immediate question facing developed and developing nations: Is religion a force for peace or conflict in the modern world?” he explained.

The official resolution, “Be it resolved, religion is a force of good for the world,” is close to the hearts of both debaters.

Arguing for the resolution, Mr. Blair said: “Understanding religion and people of faith is an essential part of understanding our increasingly globalized world.”

“The good that people of faith all over the world do every day, motivated by their religion, cannot be underestimated and should never be ignored. But there are a lot of misconceptions out there about religion.

“Challenging the myths that are born out of the actions and words of a controversial few is incredibly important,” added Mr. Blair, who has served as the Quartet’s special envoy to the Middle East, and recently released his bestselling memoir, “A Journey: My Political Life.”

Read on.

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