Wednesday, May 06, 2009
No wonder "Ditchkins" — Eagleton's contemptuous amalgam of Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, perhaps with a sidelong glance at Luke 6:39, "Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?" — seems incapable of responding to "the kind of commitment made manifest by a human being at the end of his tether, foundering in darkness, pain, and bewilderment, who nevertheless remains faithful to the promise of a transformative love."Hitchens is Christopher Hitchens, author of God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (New York: Twelve Books, 2007). Richard Dawkins wrote The God Delusion (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006).
The name Ditchkins reminds me of another name famous in the annals of religious controversy Chesterbelloc, which was George Bernard Shaw's nickname for G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc. Shaw coined the name in "The Chesterbelloc: A Lampoon," New Age (February 15, 1908).
An apt name, or at least middle name George Bird Grinnell, an ornithologist who founded the first Audubon Society in 1886 and wrote such books as American Duck Shooting (New York: Forest and Stream, 1901) and American Game-Bird Shooting (New York: Forest and Stream, 1910).