Christopher Hitchens, the war and religion

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Everything that can be said about Christopher Hitchens has already been said. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet (and the fact that we all knew he was going to die soon), every friend, foe, analyst and critic in the world weighed in on the guy who was both an Oxford-educated British snob, a hard-partying literary figure, a one-time Trotskyite and, over the past decade, a disgraceful fan of the Iraq War.

He'd barely been dead an hour when the plaudits and attacks started to roll in -- and I'm nowhere near qualified to join that party. (Although I will say: I have to give a certain amount of credit to anyone who can get away with calling Mother Teresa a "thieving, fanatical Albanian dwarf.")

But I will say this: "God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" is a wonderful read, and there was nothing more entertaining in the world than listening to Hitchens debate learned and respected religious figures on the Bible, hell and Jesus. While he's (righly) lambasted for popularizing the term "Islamofascist," he wasn't much kinder to the Pope; he despised all religious leaders, rejected calls for a deathbed conversion and died a confirmed atheist.

I heard him once ask a noted Baptist minister whether he was really going to suffer unspeakable torture for eternity just because he didn't believe in the Baptist God; the guy couldn't answer him. He could discuss the great religious texts like the scholar he was and make jokes along the way.

I'm not much for the upper classes in general, and the British upper classes seem to have a particular sense of entitlement that grates on me, particularly when they weave back and forth between socialism and fine champagne. But you have to admit: The guy had style.

 

 

Comments

1. While walking down Valencia I walked by Modern Times(obviously before the last Iraq war) where he was speaking. I stopped to check things out, Hitchens was cornered and being talked at by some conspiracy theorist, he had a pained look on his face as he tried to get a word in and excuse himself from the string of ravings. I suppose he probably had a lot of these uni-bomber types harass him.

2. Walking up Kearny, right under the Lusty Lady Hustler club sign I see Hitchens walking down the hill. He notices that I recognize him, he looks at the strip club signs and looks at me, and then looks at the ground, I guess he was somewhat of a prude in these things. I say "hey Chris" and keep walking up the hill, he says "mumble murmur hello sir" and speeds off with his friend.

That last paragraph in the blog, gave me an ironic chuckle.

Posted by anon on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 4:31 pm
Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

Proof positive that Trotsky and Whisky are a risky mix.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2011 @ 8:37 pm