I made my previous comments and put the link to the articles in so that the man could be discussed for who he actually was, warts and all, and what he actually said during his life. Much of what he wrote was deliberately provocative and offensive to many people, but he was consistent in his opinions.
One thing that he did not believe in was sanctifying people after they had died and ignoring their faults; some of his most critical pieces were written about
people upon their deaths, for example, his piece on Jerry Falwell. He himself certainly wouldn't expect any different treatment for himself. His writing on dying with cancer is about
how an atheist can face it with courage and honesty. That's a different point of view than most discussions about
dying, and is worth reading about
I remember going with my parents when I was 12 years old, when they were shopping for a burial plot. My father said something to the effect that, when he was dead, we could just dump his body in a ditch, that it wouldn't matter to him, he'd be dead, but he was spending the money on the plot for our sake. I was raised as a Catholic and went to Catholic schools, but some of the things that my father said about
the church were far more offensive that anything that Hitchens ever wrote.
I certainly don't object to deleting the one link I had posted. Hitchens' writings are easily found on the internet, and I have no doubt the majority of the members of this board would be offended by many of his opinions. Ironically, if Christopher Hitchens himself had posted about
his esophageal cancer on the HW boards, there could be no doubt that every one of his posts would be deleted and he would be promptly banned from the board.
When Hitchens wrote about
religion, he was challenging taboos. In America, most religions are at least somewhat accepted, but lack of religion is not. For example it would be unimaginable that an
open unbeliever could run for president. Also, religious figures are often regarded as above all criticism, and Hitchens challenged that, repeatedly. Criticizing people of faith was more than a hobby of his, this was a core manifestation of who he was. In the link about
the (unstated) religious person in the deleted link--about
a Nobel prize winner on the path to sainthood--he brought up the point that in an overpopulated country full of starving children, the best way to fight poverty is to elevate the rights of women and encourage population control, something worth thinking about
. BTW, he wrote an entire book on this person, but he also wrote an equally critical book about
Post Edited (Postop) : 12/18/2011 2:36:20 AM (GMT-7)