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Hitchens' Challenge – UPDATED

I’ve been feeling called to pray for him over the past few months, on and off

Now, my prayers for him will be daily, on.

Hitchens has recently had to cancel speaking engagements discussing his recently released memoir, Hitch-22: A Memoir

A look back at a post on
this maddening, fascinating and brilliant writer, whose prose I so admire:

HITCHENS’ WHACK-A-CHRISTIAN DEBATE TOUR

Because people know I greatly admire his writing (and often, his reasoning) my email is overflowing with missives about Christopher Hitchen’s 800 word hiss over the body of Jerry Falwell. Hitchens would be surprised, I think, to hear that most of the notes are good-humored, with only a few worrying that he might cause some to “lose faith,” and the balance being sad for him, in his atheism.

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.

And his book-debating tour has been done before, several times, actually. In America William Jennings Bryan took on I-don’t-remember-who, and in England there was a most memorable series of debates between the great GK Chesterton and George Bernard Shaw, so this round of Hitchens “taking on all comers” like a good pub-buddy is nothing new. My Irish Aunties would love him.

Patrick O’ Hannigan at Paragraph Farmer is a fan of apologetics – I am not – and he is looking closely at the debates, none of which seem to be taking place with a Catholic, and he names his “Catholic A Team” of desired Hitch opponents, (“Richard John Neuhaus, Benedict Groeschel, Peter Kreeft, Stanley L. Jaki, George Rutler, George Wiegel, or John Corapi”) and his “B” team – (“Karl Keating, Christopher Buckley, Thomas Howard, Edward T. Oakes, Amy Welborn, J.A. Gray, and Benjamin Wiker.”) – as well.

I am not familiar with one or two of those names, but most are good suggestions, Neuhaus being, in my opinion, the contender. My personal feeling is that the Hitch opponents best equipped with the vocabulary, humor, depth and deft-touch necessary to pierce Hitchens’ intellect and actually reach into his humanity are – unfortunately – as dead as Falwell, they being Chesterton, CS Lewis and perhaps Ronald Knox.

But O’ Hannigan’s piece – a three-parter in which he looks at each Christian apologist facing Hitchens and tallies their scores (O’ Hannigan is an Irishman; you could expect nothing else) – is a fun, provocative and tantalizing read. If you are interested in, mad at, praying for or afraid of Christopher Hitchens, then you’ll want to read O’Hannigan’s Hitchens Gives Atheism a Bad Name, and parts two and three.

“I’m trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.”
– CS Lewis

Since writing that in 2007, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus has, of course, gone on to hear In Paradisium from the best vantage point. I have no doubt that he too, will pray for Hitchens.

UPDATE I:
UK Telegraph writer Cristina Odone and others wonder if they should pray. I am surprised to read it; I shouldn’t think any person of faith would hesitate.

Deacon Greg feels similarly to me.

Michael Weiss at The New Criterion, on The Hitch; A Modest Attempt at Understanding

Media Decoder: with a great quote:

Reviewing the book in The Times, Dwight Garner wrote of Mr. Hitchens, “He has a mind like a Swiss Army knife, ready to carve up or unbolt an opponent’s arguments with a flick of the wrist.”

More:
Pat Archbold
Reliable Source
L.A. Times Blog
Rod Dreher
UK Mail Online
Category: Hitchens

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    “I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for He makes His sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

    So, are you going to say “no” to Him, Yan?

  • Arnold Conrad

    Just a couple of small corrections to comments above: Dinesh DSouza was baptized Catholic but became more of an indifferent, cultural Catholic until he met his wife, who is Evangelical. They attend an Evangelical church in California. He mentions this in his new book about Life after Death. I too had assumed he is Catholic. he appeared a while back on Raymond Arroyo’s Worldover Live and the tone of the discussion seemed to be that he is Catholic. Evidently not any more.Peter
    Hitchens is a revert to Anglicanism, not a convert to Catholicism. I wish both men were Catholics.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Here’s a good prayer, for everyone—the Orthodox Trisagion prayer:

    Holy God, holy mighty, holy immortal,
    have mercy upon us.
    Holy God, holy mighty, holy immortal,
    have mercy upon us.
    Holy God, holy mighty, holy immortal,
    have mercy upon us.

  • Jason

    The bouquets being hurled in Mr. Hitchen’s direction are a bit nauseating. I will first pray for the many souls whom he has misled with his guile and his God given abilities, lauded numerous times in this article’s comments.

    I will, in all humility, thank God almighty for the gift of faith and ask that the Holy Ghost bestow that gift on a life long enemy of the Truth before it’s too late.

    May his pain be slight, and may his conversion be soon, swift, and most of all, public, so that all of his disciples will have ample opportunity to see and repent.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    Do you think you might be just a little bit more humble, Jason, and try offering your prayer in a spirit of charity, rather than resentment and anger?

  • Jason

    Well Bender too many modernist Catholics confuse charity with tolerance of evil. The same who confuse zeal with ‘resentment’ and ‘anger’. Christ was no pantywaist.

    I’m a warrior for my Lord and His Church. You?

    At some point, St. Michael had to decide it was time to draw the sword.

    I pray for my wonderful Pope. And I pray for the misguided soul who insisted that he be arrested. May the cross he now bears bring him to repentance. The rest is in the hands of the Holy Ghost.

  • suzyq

    I’m with Jason. Christians falling all over their kneelers to pray for a man who proclaims my God is not great nauseates me. I pray for Bishop Richard Williamson, a Catholic verbally spat upon for his opinion that, well, maybe it was something less than six million jews killed by Hitler. Something wrong with this picture.

  • Brendal

    As for his atheism: Hitchens’ mother committed suicide in a suicide pact with her lover, a former clergyman I wonder if that is not at the bottom of his anger at God.

    Well, something has made him angry, you might be right on this one. Esophageal cancer, eh? sorry, I will say a prayer to our Blessed Mother for his quick conversion cuz I don’t think he will get out of that alive.

  • Anil Wang

    Many of you are misunderstanding where Jan is coming from.

    To a typical antitheist, prayer is just wishful thinking and a way for self-righteous people to convince themselves that they are doing something useful when all they’re doing is stoking their egos and wasting their time.

    It just goes to show that the mind is its own place and can turn hell into heaven and heaven into hell.

    Anything done for good can be twisted and made to appear evil in our own minds.

  • Last Sphere

    You people do realize that you can pray for friend and foe alike, don’t you? You do realize that Christ demands that we do just that, don’t you?

    Let’s go over this again, shall we:

    “But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit (is) that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as (also) your Father is merciful.” – Luke 6:27-36

    Now what part of Christ’s words seem to be confusing you Christians? Are we slaves greater than the Master?

  • Last Sphere

    Take note people: Today’s Daily Reading & Meditation

    Friday (July 2): “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice”

    Scripture: Matthew 9:9-13

    9 As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. 10 And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, `I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

    Note well not only the message- but the “coincidental” timing of today’s message.

    Let the Spirit move you to hear.

  • http://jmbalconi.stblogs.com JBalconi

    Rhinestone Suderman, I had no idea that it was an Orthodox prayer. My grandparents used to pray those words as part of a litany.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    Suzy — The healthy do not need a physician, the sick do.

    Both Hitchens and Williamson are in need of prayer, the former for the reasons set forth above, the latter because of the grievous and very serious harm that he has done to the Church, both in her unity, due to his schismatic activity leading to his excommunication, and in her standing in the world, due to the grave scandal he caused by being an anti-Semitic Holocaust denier.

    Moreover, those who would follow Williamson and hold him up as someone worthy of admiration, and to also grossly mischaracterize his statements and thereby minimize the Holocaust herself, is seriously in need of prayers as well.

  • Leo M

    As to the debater of Mr. Bryan: that, too, was Chesterton. The world could use another one of him, it could. I doubt, however, that Hitchens would be much inclined to debate someone who could possibly outwit him.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Yes, it is an Orthodox prayer—the Catholic Litany uses it too.

  • Jeff

    So sad. He could have been a 21st century Malcom Muggeridge.

  • Yan Petrovsky

    I see that the silliness and self-righteousness have not abated from some after a night’s sleep.

    Thank you Jason, suzyq and anil wang for attempting to inject some reality into the conversation.

    Bender and Last Sphere, of course we pray for our enemies, which, by extension, apparently in my case, includes the wonderful, noble-hearted Hitchens-loving people on this blog. If you can’t see what I am saying at this point, I can see little use in trying to explain myself again. He who has ears…

    Admin, I hope your children are more honest than you seem to be. You have alternatively unkindly mischaracterized and misunderstood what I have written. If you were to take yourself less seriously, you might be able to see more clearly both my intentions and my meaning.

    You people are silly. You love to admire the acerbic wit of Chesterton and the intelligence of Hitchens. These people attack pompousity and every pretension of people just like yourselves! You are engaging in the very thing that the people you claim to admire, despise.

    Of course, I pray for my enemies, like yourselves, who are blind, and know not what what you do.

    If someone tells you the truth, he is your enemy; but if someone praises you, oh, he is a prophet and a brother! Please; I know you want to be good religious people. Take a second look at yourselves.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    Yan, you have been questioned and disputed elsewhere for your lack of clarity and rationality in your arguments. And you have been rightly admonished elsewhere for your vociferous arguments against the unconditional love of God and arguing instead in favor of the idea of hatred by God.

    Now, you of course may believe and spout whatever you wish. But such does not lend itself to a very fruitful dialogue with you.

  • Yan Petrovsky

    If I have wrongly insulted anyone, I pray your forgiveness. I believed my intentions to have been good.

  • Yan Petrovsky

    Bender, just because I have been misunderstood, does not mean that I was wrong. Nor does being questioned mean that one is wrong. They questioned Jesus Christ.

    So I think the lack of logic has rather been evidenced on your part.

    Neither is it either helpful to a discussion, nor charitable, to allude to a phantom conversation as if the outcome in one case had any bearing on a present case. In logic, that is called a red herring.

  • Yan Petrovsky

    Bender, since you seem to be unclear on this point, I accept that the Scripture and Catholic faith teach that God desires the conversion of everyone.

    I think in the case of Hitchens, Jason above has already rightly expressed what the correct order of sympathy for individuals ought to be. That is precisely what is missing here; and my point all along has been to try to get the Hitchens-lovers to ask themselves why they have erred in their order of love.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    So . . . you’re taking your apology back?

  • Tom Piatak

    There is a difference between Christian charity and masochism. Yes, we should pray for Hitchens’ recovery and conversion, just as we should pray for anyone afflicted with serious illness. But the prospect of Catholics falling all over themselves to praise a man filled with hatred for Christ and His Church, who has done all he could to turn people away from God, who has praised Lenin’s murderous suppression of Russian Orthodoxy and who regards Lenin as a “great man” precisely because of what he did to Christians in Russia, who recently wrote several columns calling for the arrest of Pope Benedict XVI, and who said of Mother Teresa, “I wish there was a hell for the bitch to go to,” is nauseating.

  • Yan Petrovsky

    Thank you Tom!

  • Yan Petrovsky

    Bender, no; I am not taking an apology back.

    Please understand that the concept of ‘disagreement’ is not synonymous with the concept of ‘insult’.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Seriously, I think the Anchoress has the right idea; do not encourage Yan, he appears to be more interested in spoiling for a fight than he does in actual debate. No one this angry should be lecturing anyone about love.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Tom, the uncomfortable truth is that Christ did tell us to forgive those who injure us, and love our enemies. Of all His hard sayings, I think this is one that many Christians find the hardest to accept. Or, as C.S. Lewis once said, forgiveness, not chastity or temperance, actually seems to be the most unpopular Christian virtue. I have a hard time with it myself, as do many other Christians.

    There is, however, a difference between Christian love, and masochism; I think it’s alright to pray for Hitchen’s recovery (cancer is a horrible thing), and (if he’s not to recover) for his easy death, and conversion before he dies—and, at the same time, point out what a creep, and monster he’s been, what with his condemnation of Mother Theresa, his support of Lenin, and the persecution of Russian Christians and his asnine dog-and-pony clown show, with calling for the arrest of the Pope.

    (I don’t, by the way, agree with many other commentators that he’s “brilliant”, or that he has a fine mind; even if he does, that doesn’t excuse his bad positions. That’s neither here nor there. We can pray for him as we do for any other enemy, and still oppose what he’s said, and done.)

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    If someone feels conflicted about this, it might be a good idea to start praying for one’s own, personal enemies: the bossy mother-in-law, the abusive step-parent, the friend who betrayed you; Hitchens, what with his open championing of atheism, and the actual harm he’s done, might be too big to take on, for a beginner. It might be best to start praying for your closer to home enemies.

    And I think it’s always a good idea to pray for the nation itself, and our nation’s leaders. Whoever they are, they have great responsibilities, and face horrific challenges. There are even special prayers for the president, and government, in the Orthodox liturgical service.

  • Bees See

    Please understand that the concept of ‘disagreement’ is not synonymous with the concept of ‘insult’.

    *I see that the silliness and self-righteousness have not abated from some after a night’s sleep.

    *Admin, I hope your children are more honest than you seem to be.

    *If you were to take yourself less seriously…

    *You people are silly

    *…like yourselves, who are blind, and know not what what you do.

    *I guess I have to go slowly here…

    *Silly, silly, silly…

    *Pray instead for yourselves, you self-loving self-important silly people! You may need it more than him!

    *Fie on all you boring Hitchens-sycophants!

    I guess you can just lump me in with the stoopid ones – these sure seem like insults to me.

    Sorry to feed, A. Couldn’t stop myself!

  • Last Sphere

    (Yan said – “Bender and Last Sphere, of course we pray for our enemies, which, by extension, apparently in my case, includes the wonderful, noble-hearted Hitchens-loving people on this blog.”)

    Once again Yan:

    “I say to you, LOVE your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father,”

    “But to you who hear I say, LOVE your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

    Now then Yan, Christ is clearly telling us to LOVE Hitchens- is he not?

    Christ is telling us to be “Hitchens-loving people”- is he not?

    We are not loving Hitchens’ sins- we are loving Hitchens the sinner.

    Is this really that hard for you to understand Yan, or are you trying to be obstinate?

  • Random

    I’ve been surprised by some of the atheist response to the religious response to Hitchens’ cancer. I find the prayers charming (which I hope isn’t patronizing) in expressing an underlying sentiment which is certainly common to believers and unbelievers. I often wish I could do something for someone suffering and the atheist-equivalent of “I’m thinking of you” isn’t quite the same (donating to charity or doing something that takes an active commitment feels closer). Anyway, it seems to me that a lot of atheists are aggressively annoyed by prayer (maybe 75%), and I have to wonder if that isn’t skewed a bit (internet commenters being what they are. . .). I’d say only a quarter or so of prayers have been clearly obnoxious (a little too gleeful).

    On an unrelated matter (and apologies for the digression), suzyq’s comment above is. . . something.

    Person A: The protocols of the Elders of Zion are true. Jews are involved in a conspiracy to take over the world. Jews are enemies of Christ. There were no gas chambers and the Holocaust has been mostly disproven (even if maybe 1/20th as many Jews as others claim did die in work camps).

    Person B: I condemn person A.

    Person C: Why should you condemn person A for saying that something fewer than 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust? That’s wrong.

    Person D (not hearing Person A, him/herself): Gee, it seems reasonable to me to wonder if exactly 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust. It easily could have been rounded up, or a slightly different number or something. And I can imagine someone’s being condemned for not just accepting orthodoxy on this point, even if the facts don’t support it. Sounds like Person A isn’t such a bad guy!

    Again, sorry for intruding (or something). It’s odd what upsets one.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    “which, by extension, apparently in my case, includes the wonderful, noble-hearted Hitchens-loving people on this blog”

    And why, in any case, would you think them (us?) to be your enemy? We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, are we not? The same Christ who gave up His life for the likes of Hitchens. If Jesus did that in His inexhaustible divine mercy and undying love, and we are one with Him in love, must we not also join ourselves to His mercy and love?

  • Yan Petrovsky

    Last Sphere, apparently you still have no idea what I have been talking about; and I see no reason to believe that if I repeat or explain myself to you again, that you will understand this time.

    Nevertheless, fool that I am, I will attempt the seemingly impossible. For starters, I will answer your very simple question of whether or not God calls us to love CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS.

    Yes; God calls us to love everyone, even Hitler.

    I have not now, nor ever once in any of my comments on this blog, attempted to convey any other concept of God’s love. I was not even addressing the topic of God’s love until Bender brought it up. Apparently he labored to understand me under the same illusion that you have: that this subject was ever addressed by me, or that it was relevant to what I was saying.

    Now that we have that out of the way, maybe if you review what I said before, you can come to understand what I was saying, if you are interested–which, you probably are not.

    I said that we are called to love Hitler. Does that mean I have to praise Hitler’s virtues? Does that mean I should announce to everyone that the poor misunderstood nazi dictator, who is a genius but a tad misguided, and, well, oh yeah he killed some Jews, is the recipient of my prayers? If I did, probably just a few Germans would appreciate what I was doing.

    So ask yourself: why are the people praying for Hitchens so self-congratulatory about the fact that they are praying for this enemy of Christ and the Church? Why have they created for themselves a little echo-chamber in which the report of their good deed resounds in their ears?

    I’m not saying not to pray for him. Pray for him all you like. But ask yourself, is it a particular virtue to pray for Christopher Hitchens as opposed to praying for Bill Maher, or Larry King? (These are just examples of similarly situated celebrities, people. Don’t get carried away like with the Obama example that I am accusing people of not praying for them.)

    The latter has had quite a few divorces and remarriages; probably has committed quite a few mortal sins in the course of those events. How about starting a blog about him too? No? Why not?

    If it is your Christian duty to pray for people, what is the point of flaunting the fact that you are doing it, and, why are you flaunting it in regard to this particular individual?

    As Tom said–it’s nauseating. For more than one reason.

  • Martha

    Ah, crikey.

    The man drives me spare, particularly with all the bile he spewed about Mother Teresa, but then again – I was spitting feathers about P.Z. Myers and his desecration of the Host (and I’m still hoping it wasn’t really a consecrated Host), but I decided to channel that into praying for him instead of getting into online rows.

    Don’t know if it did him any good, but I think it helped me. So yeah – next Angelus, Chris, is for you.

  • Jan

    …until Bender brought it up. Apparently he labored to understand me under the same illusion that you have

    At least he’s laboring to understand you. You just insult then add injury by claiming the best, albeit, misunderstood, motives.

  • Yan Petrovsky

    Bender, if you cannot see why I consider that such as you have made yourself my enemy, perhaps you need glasses, or have a bad memory? Since my self-appointed mission of pointing out faults is evidently an abject failure, I will not bother to pursue another mission of the same type by citing various examples in order to prove my assertion. He who has eyes, let him read.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Last Sphere, I think Yan is just being obstinate—if not deliberately trying to provoke fights.

    I think we should follow the Anchoress’ advice about him.

  • Last Sphere

    (Yan said – “I said that we are called to love Hitler. Does that mean I have to praise Hitler’s virtues?”)

    No you don’t have to. But it’s not wrong if you recognize that he had virtues as long as you do not use that as a justification for his sins.

    I didn’t realize that Mr. Hitchens’ words and actions had reached the same level of inhumanity as the Holocaust. Is someone here citing the virtues of Hitler and Hitchens to justify their respective sins?

    (Yan – “So ask yourself: why are the people praying for Hitchens so self-congratulatory about the fact that they are praying for this enemy of Christ and the Church?”)

    Who congratulated themselves?

    (Yan – “Why have they created for themselves a little echo-chamber in which the report of their good deed resounds in their ears?”)

    Is it not possible that people sincerely want to express their heartfelt desire to assist Christopher in his hour of need and suffering? Is it not possible that their motivation is purely one of mercy and forgiveness?

    (Yan – “I’m not saying not to pray for him. Pray for him all you like. But ask yourself, is it a particular virtue to pray for Christopher Hitchens as opposed to praying for Bill Maher, or Larry King?”)

    “As opposed”? Why does it have to be either or? In fact I pray for Bill Maher all the time. Who in here is claiming “a particular virtue to pray”?

    (Yan – “If it is your Christian duty to pray for people, what is the point of flaunting the fact that you are doing it, and, why are you flaunting it in regard to this particular individual?”)

    “Flaunting”? What defines flaunting of prayer?
    Are we to never openly express the fact that we pray for someone, lest we flaunt? We openly pray for those in need at mass. Does that mean that the openly expressed prayer intentions at mass are flaunting? Mr Hitchens is now physically ill as well as spiritually ill does that not merit a call to prayer for his aid? How do we call attention to this need without “flaunting”?

  • Last Sphere

    You may be right about Yan’s motives Rhinestone- I simply can’t tell.

    However, as tiresome as this might appear, I’m actually learning a great deal about my own reluctance to forgive people and the anger that I have harbored in my past.

    Alas, Gods ways are not our ways. Sometimes the Spirit chooses the tongue of the least likely mouth. Let us hear what He has to say.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    you have made yourself my enemy, perhaps you need glasses, or have a bad memory

    Well, I already wear glasses, and it is true that my memory is not always what it once was.

    But I have not “made” you do or be anything. I do not have that power. Only you have that power and, apparently, the will, to make me your enemy. If you choose to consider me your enemy, as you have asserted that I am, there is nothing that I can do about that.

    However, I do not have to return the feeling.

  • Yan Petrovsky

    Bender, I am glad you do not return the feeling, or rather the judgment, that I am your enemy, since I do not intend to be your enemy. At the same time, I am also entitled to my judgment that you and others have made yourself my enemy, based on the evidence.

    It is absurd to assert that I ‘only’ have the power to make you my enemy, as if that depended on my mental abilities (which are admittedly limited.)

    So, if you don’t want to be an enemy, then, don’t speak and act like one; and, I won’t consider you one. Isn’t that reasonable?

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    as if that depended on my mental abilities . . . So, if you don’t want to be an enemy, then, don’t speak and act like one; and, I won’t consider you one. Isn’t that reasonable?

    No. It is wholly contrary to reason.

    You have free will. You are not a puppet, and I am not a puppet master. It does not depend upon your mental abilities. It depends upon your will.

    You can, by free choice of the will, either make me your enemy, or you can not do so. It is entirely your choice. What I do or do not do is irrelevant. My actions and words do not and cannot control your will. Your will is your own. I do not control it; not even God controls it. It is yours wholly and completely to do with what you want.

    Don’t blame others for your own choices.

  • Ray Smith

    A great line by Oscar Hammerstein in South Pacific: You have to be taught to hate. Hitchens is just another phony such as Paris Hilton. Do something radical and the ego satisfying publicity will come rolling in. Some praise his prose. Sophomore, Writing Class 201. Throw in some esoteric words and they will think you are brilliant. You have to be taught to hate. I ‘d like to know who his guru’s were.


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