The news that Christopher Hitchens has died today was sad, though not completely unexpected. Many of the kinder religious people have expressed a hope that Hitchens goes to Heaven. Hitchens would almost certainly not have appreciated such an idea, but he would have been pleased, I’m sure, by the compassion that spurs people to say such incongruous things.
I enjoyed “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins, but in my opinion Hitchens’ “god is not Great” is the better book. In it he lambasts religion, but he makes time to give full credit to good people who are religious, starting with almost the whole of the first chapter given over to Mrs. Jean Watts, who taught the young Hitch two subjects, nature and scripture. It was her attempt to combine the two topics that turned young Christopher into an atheist, quite abruptly. Nevertheless, his affection for the kindly Mrs Watts shines through. If Hitch’s critics, who claim he hates anyone religious, were to actually read that chapter, they might change their tune, though given their record most would continue to lie.
“god is not Great” wasn’t his only book, though it is probably now his most famous, even notorious one. His exposé of the “Mother Theresa” worldwide scam, “The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice” was almost a pamphlet, it was so thin, but the words within were so well chosen, it didn’t need to b any bigger.
I’ve also read “Thomas Jefferson: Author of America” and “Hitch 22“, his memoir, and in both his humanity is very obvious, and is a far cry from the reputation foisted on him by the more dishonest of his religious opponents.
I have many more Hitchens books for me to find and catch up on, but his writing was so good, I can happily read the ones I already have again.
The Hitch is dead, long live the Hitch’s works. That, and progeny, are the only kinds of immortality that we know are attainable, and Christopher Hitchens deserves every moment of his.