Christopher Hitchens is the author of the bestselling book God is Not Great: Why Religion Poisons Everything. The following is an exerpt from a debate, in Portland Oregon, with Unitarian minister Marilyn Sewell. The entire transcript of the interview is available: online post. The following exchange took place near the start of the interview:
Sewell: The religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I'm a liberal Christian, and I don't take the stories from the scripture literally. I don't believe in the doctrine of atonement (that Jesus died for our sins, for example). Do you make and distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?
Hitchens: I would say that if you don't believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you're really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.