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July 01, 2010

Comments

Frau Beten

My thoughts are with Hitchens. I hope prayers help him fight this disease. My f-i-l died with it.

MayBee

He is as gifted a writer as there is. I know he's an avowed atheist, but I do pray for him. He can think of it as me just having good thoughts about him.

Porchlight

This is really sad news. He can be maddening but he never hides behind a keyboard - gets right out there and debates his opponents. We don't have many like that.

I'll pray for him even if it ticks him off.

Danube of Thought

Fabulous, fascinating character. I'm not sure, but I don't think the survival statistics for this cancer are very good.

Thomas Collins

Okay, here goes: Oh Lord, comfort this raving atheist in his time of need if you're out there; if you're not, note to whoever is out there to take care of Hitch!

I have always been of the view that the crucial divide in human intellectual and emotional thought is between those who think the question of whether God exists is important, and those who don't think it's important. Hitch is in the former category, and I have the greatest respect for him, although my view of matters of faith is, to put it mildly, different from Hitch's. I hope and pray and wish for the best for Hitch in his struggle.

Danube of Thought

Minus 19 at Raz today.

Jack is Back!

One of the first men of the left (there weren't many and still aren't many) who saw the threat of radical Islam and called them on it. I think being an atheist he saw the corruption of the mind and spirit radical Islam could provide to a whole generation of jihadis. I am still praying for him plus he was right in his criticism of Martin Amis, a pathetic, arrogant, twit of a character if there every was one.

Captain Hate

Hitch is a classic lib which is called a "conservative" by the clueless lefties today. He has a strange obsession with ridiculing Christianity but, to his credit, he's never contorted himself into a logical Mobius strip to excuse the Islamic nutjobs; so I guess there's a sort of equivalence present.

I certainly wish him well in his current struggle, which won't be easy.

jimmyk

What I find particularly frustrating and hard to reconcile with his clarity on Islam is his stubborn anti-Israel views. How can someone as smart as he fall for the Palestinian mythology. Well, come to think of it, he also fell for the BHO mythology.

But, as I said in the previous thread, I wish him well. This is bad even as cancers go. I'll bet he's glad he's in the US and not the UK now. It gives him a fighting chance.

peter

Prayers to a brilliant, if imperfect intellectual. Esophageal cancer is very preventable-- just take a daily stomach acid remover when you reach middle age. Perhaps his smoking aggravated it too.

PDinDetroit

OT - There is a Cell Phones for Soldiers Program that will take your old cell phones and turn them into Minutes Cards to help soldiers be able to call home. They could use our help!


See LUN for details.

Gmax

He should say his prayers that the Democrats had to delay Obamacare in order to "pay" for it. He will get timely and adequate treatment now. A few short years from now? Back to writing obits, and even your own...

Charlie (Colorado)

Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to ensure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen.

Special PJM no-prize for the first person who identifies this.

Captain Hate

ChaCo, that looks like what Rowan Williams wants to replace everything in The Book of Common Prayer with.

PDinDetroit

Roger Zelazny

Clarice

Madrak
Creatures of Light and Darkness
Roger Zelazny

Google is my friend


I think even drunk out of his mind, Christopher writes like an angel and though I sometimes disagree with him, I want the pleasure of reading him for many more years.

Rocco

He wasn't fooled by Joe Wilson's lies and I cited his article "Wowie Zahawie" often.

In February 1999, Zahawie left his Vatican office for a few days and paid an official visit to Niger, a country known for absolutely nothing except its vast deposits of uranium ore. It was from Niger that Iraq had originally acquired uranium in 1981, as confirmed in the Duelfer Report. In order to take the Joseph Wilson view of this Baathist ambassadorial initiative, you have to be able to believe that Saddam Hussein's long-term main man on nuclear issues was in Niger to talk about something other than the obvious. Italian intelligence (which first noticed the Zahawie trip from Rome) found it difficult to take this view and alerted French intelligence (which has better contacts in West Africa and a stronger interest in nuclear questions). In due time, the French tipped off the British, who in their cousinly way conveyed the suggestive information to Washington. As everyone now knows, the disclosure appeared in watered-down and secondhand form in the president's State of the Union address in January 2003.

Thinking good thoughts about him.

NK

I will pray to almighty G_d for Hitch's sake. Hitch --like all of us-- is a sinner and a flawed man. Thus, his snarky anti-religiosity is for me a cause to pity the void in his life where G_d ought to be. I hope Hitch has the strength and humility to turn to G_d now. G_d doesn't laugh at deathbed conversions, he cherishes them even more than the pious lifelong believer. Hey don't look at me, G_d makes the rules.

Janet

In the world of no God...what difference does it make if Christopher Hitchens has cancer? I mean, the circle of life just continues. Pelicans are dieing in the gulf...is Hitchens more important? In his own belief system the correct response would be 'So what?'...'next!'.
Now I don't believe this, but he and fellow anti-Christian atheists do.

Ignatz

The fate of his immortal soul is no longer an abstract debate set at some indeterminate point in the future, but is looking him in the face.
I hope his hubris or fear or whatever it is dies before he does and he learns what many do while sitting in the chemo room with their fellow classmates of the all-flesh-is-as-the-grass school of reality and hard knocks; death will not be denied and God will not be mocked, but He is always and at all times ready to welcome the prodigal home.

daveinboca

In the early '80s just after he hit these shores, Christopher and I met through our respective wives and then went on a punctuated pub crawl for half a decade before he lit out for the West Coast and greener pastures. He mined my embassy political officer experiences in the Middle East and elsewhere and since I was employed and he on a fasting budget writing for The Nation, I bought the drinks. What a mind, but also prone to elaborate paranoid conspiracies from time to time. His nemesis, Tony Hodges, who stole his girl at Oxford where Tony was head of the Oxford Union, was also around and stayed at our home here in Boca recently.

Christopher was always a gentleman, except during Christmas dinners, when he would become morose and even impolite from time to time. He did love our Abyssinian cat as "the most beautiful creature I've ever seen."

Dave in OC

Peter,

I would like to think that you are correct re: stomach acid. Unfortunately I developed Barrett's disease at in my late 30s / early 40s and am now at high risk for esophageal cancer. My gastroenterologist assures me that only some folks with Barrett's get the big C. I hope he is right... (Barrett's involves acid reflux and stomach cells plating their way up the esophagus.) In Hitch's case the heavy smoking is certainly suspect.

Parking  Lot

I look forward to the day, long into the future, when human faith is so alive to God that they can demonstrate spiritual healing as did the early prophets. Only that will convince the doubters of God's power, reality, efficacy and love.

narciso

Rest assured, you can always have this quality
of commentary, when the FTC reforms kick in,

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/30/old-media-v-new-media/

Comanche Voter

We will all meet our deaths in one way or another. It's sad to see someone who has both amused and provoked many of us going into that mortal combat. Let's hope that he succeeds in that combat and remains to amuse and provoke us for many more years.

manbearpig

very few people have turned a word as well as Hitchens. Every time he writes, it's an event and despite his curmudgeon's cloak, he really has the heart of a lion. Experience changes us. Let's see how it plays out with Mr. Hitchens.

In the meantime I will keep him in my prayers to the God he is struggling with.

Jack is Back!

DaveinBoca,

I am a Hitchens fan (only when he takes on radical Islam) and I am a Catholic - silly religionist. But I thought Chris was gay or at least his time at Balliol was gay to a point. And they didn't let girls in until 1979, so whoever his girl friend was must have been in another college. Glad to see you got him back on the right track - at least its my right track. But to all who have praised him here, remember he was as far to the left you can get except he understood the threat of radical Islam even to the point of sticking up for Cheney.

drjohn

Does an atheist with a potentially lethal cancer want prayers said for him?

Regardless, he'll get one from me. I lost my MIL to that awful affliction.

Jane

Does an atheist with a potentially lethal cancer want prayers said for him?

I'd say "yes".

BumperStickerist

It's at times like this that I wonder what Abe Vigoda eats and drinks.

Best wishes for a recovery/remission, Hitch.

Captain Hate

I'd say "yes".

I would too; although Hitch seems to be somewhat of a zealot about liking to stir the shit on the religion topic, I wouldn't regard him as a nutbag like that horrific ambulatory septic-tank Madelyn Murray O'Flopsweat, now residing in Hell. I'd like to think that he'd regard it as people wanting to do something nice or helpful for him, although I could be wrong about that.

Jane

I'm not particularly religious and if it were me, people's prayers would me a lot. A very lot.

daveinboca

I'm as Catholic as Paddy's Pig and proud of it, but Christopher never showed disrespect for religion, organized or other, in the four-plus years we were occasional pub/conversationalist wassail makers. Plus dinner party guests at our capacious Wesley Heights rent-a-manse, where we threw a fund-raiser for Bill Richardson that Hitch attended. On smaller occasions, it would be Greek night and just three couples would dine in our backyard, Christopher among them. Wasted was our goal, which we often reached 'round midnight. I never outdrank him, but did see Hitch legless on a couple of occasions.

I thought Chris was gay or at least his time at Balliol was gay to a point. And they didn't let girls in until 1979, so whoever his girl friend was must have been in another college.

Prez of the Oxford Union Tony Hodges told me the story of the purloined gal-pal and never mentioned anything about Hitch's being gay, though Christopher may have dabbled in a bi- fashion at Oxford. Christopher ran as Sec'y to the Oxford Union, but was outlefted by a paraplegic running on a Ban the Bomb unilateral disarmament ticket! My gaydar is as finely-tuned as any and I never once caught a hint of Hitch having any penchant to being an invert, as he would put it.

Christopher famously married a Cypriot women on whom he fathered Alexander, his oldest son. Martin Amis was Hitch's best man at the wedding on Cyprus. I met the first wife and she was marginally deranged, but gave Christopher his undying passion to get the Elgin marbles back to the Parthenon, where he believes they belong.

The comment of having the cloak of a curmudgeon, but the heart of a lion was right on. And he wouldn't mind the prayers at all, because the only thing he dislikes more than duplicity is malice, and prayer can never be malicious.

Jane

Dave,

Have you spoken to him since the diagnosis? How is he handling it?

Parking  Lot

a few years ago I was posting on a forum where the most belligerent hater of all things religious was an Aussie.

Then those terrible fires broke out in Australia and ...

he posted begging for our prayers ...

but now he is back to ranting his hate, especially of Christians

Danube of Thought

It's my understanding that in his current bio (Hitch 22) he recounts gay experiences during his Oxford days.

Never forget that among many other gifts he gave us No One Left to Lie To, an eloquent excoriation of Slick Willie. I gave it to my sister for Christmas the year it came out.

peter

No One Left to Lie To was excellent, as was Thomas Jefferson, Author of America.

matt

I think Hitchens has his own demons to deal with, as many alienated from religion do.They mistake the messengers for the message.

Just as many devout religious have direct personal relationships with God, many agnostics/atheists have had their own direct experiences with pain, loneliness, evil or other manifestations that cause one to question or turn from belief.Alienation at an early age is uncommon.

Much of the atheist argument is "you can't prove it, so there" and yet on the one hand we have the incredible complexity and symbiosis of the physical world and on the other a direct and primeval common knowledge of what is evil.

I have a book on the shelf at home titled "Is God a mathemetician?" which I'm looking forward to., but I think I already know the answer.

Therefore even if one thinks in abstract mathematical terms, the odds, as Hitchens might say, are very much in favor of the existence of God. This is what we call faith. I have faith that Mr. Hitchens will eventually figure this out as well.

daddy

"to get the Elgin marbles back to the Parthenon, where he believes they belong."

Tell it to ">http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1290289/Greece-lightning-Ancient-Parthenon-lit-storm-breaks-Athens.html?ito=feeds-newsxml"> Zeus!

daddy

Matt,

Read it a few months back. The author never got within a hundred miles of actually trying to answer the question posed in the title.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

I was sad to hear about Hitch's cancer. I wish him the best. My very bestest friend from way back to the elementary years through today lost her husband ten years ago to esophageal cancer and it was not an easy death. I hope his outcome is much more positive and I will add him to my prayers.

daveinboca

Jane, it's been a while since we talked, but I'll get back to y'all if I get through. He's a trooper and will soldier through whatever arrows of outrageous fortune life slings at him. His brother Peter, by the way, is his 180-degree political opposite, but they share an amicable family relationship. Peter writes for the London Sunday Times quite cogently [I just got back from London Thursday and still write like that] on conservative issues in the U.K. Peter shares Christopher's diligence and intelligence, but doesn't share the gift of the brilliant turns of phrase that Christopher could still concoct even after a dozen wee drams of Dewar's on the rocks!

Porchlight

daveinboca, thanks for your insights. I've always found Hitchens to be fascinating and I wish I'd had the opportunity to see him speak in person. My mom met him years ago at a function and they chatted about Brideshead Revisited, among other things. She said he was quite charming.

I actually sort of owe part of my conservative awakening to Hitchens. Years ago I was reading his notorious review of Martin Amis' Koba the Dread in The Atlantic, which led me to read more about Stalin, which led me (through my dad's recommendation) to Conquest's The Great Terror, after which I couldn't believe I had never been taught about the crimes of the Left in high school and college. From there you can guess the rest. So I thank him for that, although I'm not sure he would have liked that outcome.

Porchlight

In Hitch's case the heavy smoking is certainly suspect.

Also I believe his father died of the same cancer - I think I read that yesterday, anyway.

Dave in OC, best of luck and I pray you don't encounter the same trouble...

Danube of Thought

What a treat, Daveinboca. I think Hitchens is one of the most erudite people I have come across in my lifetime. Thanks for your recollections.

laura

from the Anchoress I’m not sad for Hitch, nor am I worried about folks “losing faith,” because of his latest book – entitled, God is Not Great – or his arguments. Chances are someone with shaky faith would have already capitulated and thrown in the white garment several months into the world-wide hype of The DaVinci Code, and they’re spiritual wimps if they can’t handle the scorn and debate of a gentleman who – although possessing a gift of supreme eloquence and a pleasant voice redolent of gin and honey – is simply a fellow with a big brain and arms perpetually crooked in a boxer’s stance. And he’s got issues, as have we all.

laura

i cant think of a better description of Hitchens

Janet

Speaking of the Anchoress, a comment from her site a long while ago - "Be kind - for everyone you meet is engaged in a mighty struggle."
That said, there is a big difference between an atheist & an atheist that attacks Christianity and the Bible.
David Horowitz also was diagnosed with cancer - prostate cancer. He is an agnostic & he wrote a book "The End of Time" about his thoughts. He doesn't feel the need to mock and degrade Christianity or the Bible, although he himself does not believe. Hitchens does. Hitchens has lived with all the benefits of a Judeo-Christian society. The freedom, the tolerance, the valuing of human life, the liberty in law...yet he mocks it...
He mocks it with eloquence, but he does mock it, and works to deconstruct it.
If there is no God, and we are too witty and knowledgeable to be bothered with Him...then we are left with our hope in mankind & whatever is defined as good, right, or just at the moment. No thanks.

Clarice

The Anchoress is one of my favorite people though I am decidedly not a religious person.

At Maine Web Report.

The Anchoress noted and highlighted my ranting about Libby one day.
==========

centralcal

daveinboca: thanks for sharing your Hitch stories with JOM. I add my prayers to those of others. I certainly did admire his debating skills, like no other.

centralcal

shame on me - did should be do. nothing past tense at this time.

daddy

Well perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems to me that no matter how hard they try, guys trying to use science to disprove a Creator can at present push the Creator only back to the ">http://astrophysics.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_planck_time_and_the_big_bang"> Planck time, 10 to the -43 instant after The Big Bang, and no further.

I read a ton of those "Before The Big Bang" books but there's nothing I've come across of significant Scientific quality explaining stuff prior to the Planck instant, so with that said, pronouncing Atheism as fact becomes reduced to what they criticize believers for, a statement of faith.

Everlastingly so.

Yep, to believe there is no God requires as much faith as to believe there is one. Agnosticism is the most supportable position, but it's not very comforting. Who believes nothing, is nothing.
=================

OldTimer

May I recommend the recently published book by Dinesh D'Souza, titled Life After Death: The Evidence.

In this book, Hitchens is mentioned several times. I found D'Sousa's book very thought provoking and full of interesting facts. He included well researched material throughout.

Molon Labe

His plight has prompted me to quit tobacco.

We'll see how it goes because it's fucking impossible.

Quitting smoking is the easiest thing I've ever done.  I've done it hundreds of times.

After the first three days it's a little easier. Been there, done that.
============

BR

Oh my god, is this telepathy or what?! I've just finished reading the "Crack Nicotine" (terrorist angle) article at ToThePointNews and began googling to make sure Nat Sherman still exists. And I'm much relieved to find the Japanese bought Gallagher, makers of Sobranies, they'll be sure to keep it pure.

Anyway, Hitch, don't give up. Air, food and water is addictive too. People go to great lengths to keep having it. Marie Antoinette lost hear head for suggesting a change of brand from bread to cake.

Janet

Second Thoughts
Part 1: On the complexities and contradictions of Christopher Hitchens
by David Horowitz
LUN

verner

Janet, I saw that. A very interesting read, and coming from someone who really likes CH even though they have had an up and down relationship for the past 30 years.

I've just celebrated one year free of the filthy all American weed sticks. God I love them. There's just something about nicotine and my brain, they were meant to be together. That's why I can't be like some people and smoke just a couple with a martini--I must have 40 a day or none at all.

I adore C. Hitchens. I've loved him ever since he defended Juanita Broadderick and the other female victims of the Clintons. And I've had the good fortune to meet him. He is a very generous and charming man. It is the great desire of my heart that he will be able to beat this horrible illness into a pulp, and have a comfortable and speedy recovery.

And Daveinboca, thanks for your Hitch stories. Have you read the bio yet? He doesn't really mention his first wife at all, and doesn't say much about the second one either. I'm actually very glad. Just because you pay $20 for a book doesn't mean you get to know everything about the writer's private life. You might also want to read Martin Amis' new novel "The Pregnant Widow". Christopher makes an appearance there as Nicholas Nearing--the elder, serious, political brother of "little" Keith.

When you knew CH as a poor starving writer, did you have any idea that he would become so celebrated?

Verner

Hey Janet, There is an excellent review of Hitch-22 by one of CH's former students that is a great companion to the Horowitz essay. LUN

Janet

Second Thoughts, Part 2
Horowitz on Hitchens and the Left. LUN

Thanks Verner.

Janet

From part 2 of the Horowitz article. This rings so true to me in summing up the left.

“The community of the left is a community of meaning and is bound by ties that are fundamentally religious. For the non-religious, politics is the art of managing the possible. For the left it is the path to social redemption. . . . It is about us being on the side of the angels, and them as the party of the damned.”

The leftist elite will define what utopia is, and then force us to comply. They then feel good about themselves..."I made Janet lose weight, get rid of her SUV, quit smoking, and recycle....what should I have her do next?". The left is the religious fanatic implementing forced conversions.

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