Day for Christopher Hitchens
Stricken with cancer and fragile
from chemotherapy, outspoken atheist Christopher Hitchens
sits in an armchair before an audience and waits for the only question
that can come first at such a time.
"How's your health?" asks Larry Taunton, a friend who defends
"Well, I'm dying, since you asked, but so are you. I'm only doing it
more rapidly," replies Hitchens, his grin faint.
Hitchens has esophageal cancer, the same disease that killed his
father. He is fighting it,
but the 62-year-old Hitchens is realistic: At the very best, he says,
his life will be shortened.
For some of his critics, it might be satisfying to see a man who has
made a career of skewering
organized religion switch sides near the end of his life and pray
silently for help fighting a ravaging disease.
He has an opportunity: Monday has been informally proclaimed "Everybody
Pray for Hitchens Day."
Christopher Hitchens won't be bowing his head, even on a day set aside
just for him.
"I shall not be participating," he said in an interview with The Whore
As for his work, Hitchens says he would be happy to be recalled simply
as one of those
"who are attempting to uphold reason and science against superstition."
"I'd be proud to have my contribution at that," Hitchens said. "This is
a very long, long, long story.
It's humanity's oldest argument. If I played a small part in keeping it
going that would be enough for me."
At the end of his career, I liked
I liked the way he'd go on a talk show with a glass of
whisky - nobody else did that.
And I'm always going to like a guy who puts science and logic before
But in the Nineties - I guess he wanted to make some big money -
Hitchens screamed "Rapist"
at Clinton at the top of his lungs for years, which got him invited on all the talk shows.
I wish Chris had been less of a hater in
those years. Or maybe had some proof
to accuse a popular president of such a horrible crime.
But now that he's in trouble, the REAL haters, the
religio-crazies, are trying to convince
God to save him. For them, it's a win-win. They get to
pretend there's a God, and that
He can hear their pitiful and stupid thoughts asking for favors for
But he seems to be "accepting" their prayers the way he'd
accept a "Hang in there, Man."
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