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Quoted: Christopher Hitchens on prayers for his health


Christopher Hitchens, 2010. (Marvin Joseph /TWP)



"When September 20 comes, please do not trouble deaf heaven with your bootless cries. Unless, of course, it makes you feel better."

-- Avowed athiest Christopher Hitchens on the irony of believers organizing an "Everybody Pray for Hitchens Day," in his latest Vanity Fair story chronicling his struggle with advanced cancer.

By The Reliable Source  |  September 2, 2010; 12:04 PM ET
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Comments

Ok, I won't. You were a sexist jerk anyway. Still, I wish you the best of luck in the remaining days you have....

Nah, I can't say this. Nevermind. Godspeed Mr. Hitchens.

Posted by: sandnsmith | September 2, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps he should practice the lost virtue of reverence - not religiously based, but humanity based (see book by Paul Woodruff). The first requirement is not to consider yourself "all-knowing" (despite being an atheist, he considers himself "God-like" in this regard). Whatever his beliefs, he will not know "for certain" whether he is correct until his death - none of us do. In the meantime, why be disrespectful of those who are trying to be helpful. They are causing absolutely no harm to anyone.

Posted by: wegs1975 | September 2, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

How is his saying he doesn't want people to pray for him any more disrespectful than people saying they're going to do it regardless of his wishes?

These people aren't trying to be helpful, they're trying to score points. They're not doing it for him, they level of smug is easily seen by anybody not so infected by religion.

Posted by: eezmamata | September 2, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

God have mercy on his soul ...

Posted by: gitouttahere | September 2, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"How is his saying he doesn't want people to pray for him any more disrespectful than people saying they're going to do it regardless of his wishes?

These people aren't trying to be helpful, they're trying to score points. They're not doing it for him, they level of smug is easily seen by anybody not so infected by religion.

Posted by: eezmamata | September 2, 2010 3:52 PM"

*******************************************

So now YOU'RE the judge and the jury??

Posted by: gitouttahere | September 2, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm asking a question. And you know for damn sure these people are doing just what I said.

And why shouldn't I? You're certainly ok with them doing it.

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2010/10/hitchens-201010

Read the article, read what some of you fine christians have said to Hitchens.

What wonderful, kind, loving people you are.

Posted by: eezmamata | September 2, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse


Most of the atheists start out as agnostics.

It is the fervent believers, the persistent missionaries, the religious zealots, the holier than though ignoramuses, the my way or highway intolerant idiots who make them atheists.

Can you really blame them?.. I mean the atheists.

Posted by: kblgca | September 2, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Most of the atheists I know started out as Christians. In fact many of them describe themselves as recovering [insert variety here]. Most of the agnostics I know arrived where they are from being christians as well.

Posted by: eezmamata | September 2, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

How many people in a given church/temple/etc are, internally, agnostic or atheist? Quite a lot, I think. But they dare not admit it.

Posted by: ClarkKent1 | September 2, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Here's the type of Christian "thought" that opens the door to realism, er I mean, atheism for many people:

'Who else feels Christopher Hitchens getting terminal throat cancer [sic] was God’s revenge for him using his voice to blaspheme him? Atheists like to ignore FACTS. They like to act like everything is a “coincidence”. Really? It’s just a “coincidence” [that] out of any part of his body, Christopher Hitchens got cancer in the one part of his body he used for blasphemy? Yea, keep believing that Atheists. He’s going to writhe in agony and pain and wither away to nothing and then die a horrible agonizing death, and THEN comes the real fun, when he’s sent to HELLFIRE forever to be tortured and set afire.'

Posted by: divi3 | September 2, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"Umm. God? Please let his cancer go into remission. You know, the cancer that you gave him in the first place? Yeah, make that go away."

http://locallanes.blogspot.com/2009/08/hold-your-prayers.html

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 2, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Hitchins, I am 81 years old woman who has been a fan of yours since I first either heard or read you. It's been so long ago I can't remember which. You are a true genius, a brilliant, witty articulate man who made me laugh out loud in a way and with a frequency unequaled my anyone, even Wodehouse and/or Saki. Your turn to the right was a surprise but I found you irresistible, even in your pro-war mode. Like a good son who has stumbled, all was forgiven. I'm sure you don't care if I forgave you or not but there it is. I just finished reading Hitch-22 and, of course, it was riveting and one of those rare books that is just about impossible to put down. What I am telling you is the truth. I started reading it in bed one night and read until my eyes began to go out of focus. In my desperation I tried reading with one eye closed and it worked for about 30 minutes when I had to stop. But I did read it until I finished it the following day. I kept checking the thickness of what was yet unread, dreading the moment when it would end. I cannot tell you how sorry I am for this spot yo are in. I am sure you are under the best medical care but am compelled to tell you this, don't allow them to let you have any pain. Even the best doctors sometimes lose sight of the pain factor although pain-management has come a long way in recent years. I hope it gives you a great deal of satisfaction knowing you have given so much pleasure , leavened with a pinch of annoyance, to so many people. As an agnostic, I will not be praying for you but I am thinking of you often and hoping for the best of outcomes. From a constant reader whose life you have made richer and who blesses you for the way you have conducted yourself and added to the lives of those who had the good sense to see that you are an extraordinary soul who enriched so many lives. Fondly, Mary Alice Richert

Posted by: m_richert | September 2, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

wegs1975 asked:
why be disrespectful of those who are trying to be helpful.

Uh, because what they're really trying to do is stick their middle finger in Hitchens' eye. That's not helpful at all, it's just trying to make a point by being... you guessed it, disrespectful.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 2, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I do not know the condition of his problem. If is throat cancer, it is treatable with a high degree of possible success.

Posted by: boardman31 | September 2, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

boardman31, excellent point. Medical intervention sure beats faith healing.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 2, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to reading Christopher Hitchens article detailing his recovery from cancer. I am quite sure he will thank only those who truely exist, like the doctors who guided him through the treatments and the researchers who developed those treatments.
It's very disturbing to read some of the comments you self rightous christians are posting, you are some sick, hypocritical fools.

Posted by: cashew69 | September 3, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Re the "Christians" saying God gave Hitchens cancer. Sorry guys and gals, but Hitchens has cancer of the esophagus, which is caused by overuse of alcohol and cigarettes, which Hitch has consumed in mass quantities for many years. If God caused it, he also caused the cancer that killed Humphrey Bogart, another prodigious smoker and drinker.

Honestly, my hope for these hellfire folks is that, in their last flickering moment of consciousness before death, they are made to realize that beyond the grave there is nothing. The torture they would feel in the millisecond would be exquisite, I think.

Posted by: jhpurdy | September 3, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Hang in there Hitch - we need you.

Posted by: dexterpeabody | September 3, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Brilliant writer -- we all should wish him well, but utterly lacks anything resembling graciousness. He's basically morphing into Gore Vidal. A real pity...

Posted by: dbunkr | September 3, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I wrote a piece on Christopher Hitchens' public life since his cancer diagnosis.

http://rockrobinoff.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/hitch-2011/

Posted by: rockrobinoff | September 3, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

We need him around...he is an amazing writer and brings the level of religious discourse to another level.

At the end of the day we need to respect the right to choose a belief system - or not - without dragging people though the mud. He does not deny someone the right to pray for him. He disagrees with the purpose.

Posted by: mcmantis1 | September 3, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I love how many "christians" seem to think that CH's cancer is "revenge for blasphemy." I personally blame the celestial teapot for CH's health. If there is a god, one would think he/she/it might be interested in helping the starving children of Somalia before exacting revenge on Hitchens. Of course, these people likely also think the earth is ~6,000 years old, so their logic is slightly superior to mine.

Posted by: Agnostic4now | September 4, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Christopher Hitchens the hard drinking, chain smoking, self-proclaimed devout atheist and author of the book “God is not great” has been diagnosed with throat cancer.

Atheism is a disbelief in, or the denial of the existence of God. Devout atheism is so much more than someone simply proclaiming they do not within themselves believe there is evidence to support the existence of God. Devout atheism is a devotion to the position to deny God at all cost just as Christopher has done.
Christopher Hitchens in a public statement said “ Any profession of faith in God or of the existence of God from me at this point could only come out of my delusion” Christopher is truly delusional in his current state of mind if he holds fast to the belief there is no God.

I suspect deep down Christopher Hitchens along with many other atheists do believe in a creator God. Yet because they lack understanding and faith they are trying to convince themselves otherwise in spite of the overwhelming evidence.
Throughout the ages devote atheists have tried to facilitate the eradication of God, all Christian beliefs and the holy bible. Might I add they have not been very successful, and never will be for that matter. 1st Peter 1:25 says ” the word of the Lord will stand forever”

We can ask ourselves why? Why in spite of the overwhelming evidence for God do people choose to deny God so vigorously? How ironic is it that the very thing that draws some close to Christ causes others to try and deny the very existence of a loving God that longs to forgive sin. Yes that’s it, sin. Sin is the common link between atheists and theists. We are both fully aware of our sinful nature, although most atheist won’t admit it and while those of us who believe in God and Christ run to him for forgiveness of sin, atheist desperately and vigorously try to deny the existence of God so as to alleviate the guilt they feel from the sin in there lives.

Perhaps some do it subconsciously never the less they do it, and do it with little if any sustain for anyone who does believe in a creator God. In fact often times in a hateful, hurtful and hostile way. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that most of the people that champion the cause for atheism are the very ones who are living a perverse lifestyle of consistent sin and self-gratification just as Christopher has done.

Christopher in a debate with Frank Turek was asked “ If there is no God then what gives purpose to life?” Christopher replied, “Gloating over the misfortune of others and sex was the things that gave him purpose” I wonder if he now feels the same considering is plight.
I wonder if he thinks it ok for others to gloat over his misfortune? I’m thinking not! But it all makes perfect sense from that deluded prospective.

If you can convince yourself there is no God then there is no moral standard. If there is no moral standard then there isn’t really any sin, and if there is no sin then there is no reason to feel guilt. Some feel God has stricken Christopher with throat cancer because he blasphemes and mocks God with his words. I personally don’t presume on what Gods wills out side of my knowledge of his word and what the holy sprit has given me clarity of.

There are examples of these things within Gods word and there are also similar things throughout modern times. However, I just don’t know. What I do know is, as Christians we should be praying for Christopher! Christopher’s devout atheism and his public statements lead me do believe that if God did heal him from his cancer he would still choose to deny.
Never the less I will pray for God to intervene and heal him of this dreadful disease.

I will be praying even more fervently that God allows Christopher’s spiritual blindfold to be loosened and fall to the ground with graceful precision. I envision Christopher standing tall and firm, hands raised to heaven and that blindfold safely at his feet. And with his heels he drives it deep in to the mud of which it came never to hinder him again. With Gods light and glory shine about him and tear filed eyes Christopher falls to his knees and thanks God for his mercy and goodness.

That is Gods nature, God is a god of love and his word says in 1st Timothy 2:3-7 "...God our Saviour, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

The truth is not allusive. God has but it within us when he created us and we simply need to surrender and let God do his perfect work. Then we can know the truth and the truth will set us free. Christopher don’t let your pride bring you to a place of eternal damnation. God loves you and wants you for his own. Trust is faith and faith is not predicated on a comprehensive understanding of all things only the understanding of Gods love and his nature.
We can pray that Christopher’s cancer goes into remission and perhaps it will but what then? Maybe he has another twenty or thirty years on this earth, so what. Mathew 16:26 says “ what good is it if a man gains the whole world yet forfeits his soul.”

Posted by: gsxrdave1 | September 7, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing the lack of love and care for other human being(s) that most of the religious people have for the non-believers. The continuous fight (more like war) against the atheists and agnostics, against anything logic and rational thinking; or when a non-believer mentions faith or dogma. Always - always a non-discussible issue! And they say "god" is love! Truly amazing!

Posted by: sabemius | September 9, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing the lack of love and care for other human being(s) that most of the religious people have for the non-believers. The continuous fight (more like war) against the atheists and agnostics, against anything logic and rational thinking; or when a non-believer mentions faith or dogma. Always - always a non-discussible issue! And they say "god" is love! Truly amazing!

Posted by: sabemius | September 9, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

A friend of mine asked me once:
"if you have no faith in god, what do you think happens when you die?"
I look at her and asked:
"where do you think you were before you were born"?

Thank you Christopher Hitchens for 'being' during my life-time. Thank you!

Posted by: sabemius | September 9, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

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