Christopher Hitchens 1949-2011

Christopher Hitchens 1949-2011 December 16, 2011

Christopher Hitchens, sometimes referred to as one of the “four horsemen” of the “new atheist” movement, has passed away. He was 62.

As a liberal Christian, I appreciate individuals such as Hitchens, since the same problems he highlighted with respect to the Bible and historic Christianity are the reasons I find conservative Christianity unpersuasive.

The immediate cause of death was pneumonia, but that was not unrelated to the cancer from which he had been suffering.

One of my favorite memories related to Hitchens was when the news circulated that Francis Collins, the Evangelical Christian who is the director of the National Institute of Health and who had publicly debated with Hitchens, was to be involved in Hitchens’ cancer treatment.

The biggest divide in our time is not between atheists and theists but between those who put their beliefs or lack thereof above all else, and those who put their humanity and compassion first.

And so I am grateful to Hitchens both for his sharp-witted criticism, and for his part in reminding us that there are things more important than mere belief or unbelief.

Richard Dawkins is creating an online collection of obituaries on his web site.

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