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September 19, 2006

Why I Like Christopher Hitchens

As to conclusions about religion, politics and life, Christopher Hitchens and I have very little in common. Although he defies easy categorization, he is probably best described as an intelligent Harry Truman-esque liberal and an atheist. If I paint too broadly or out of the lines on Mr. Hitchens, it is only to contrast him with me--namely a politically conservative evangelical Christian.

Why do I like Mr. Hitchens although we disagree on ends? First, he's just a brilliant writer. Read almost anything he writes, and you will at least be the better off for having read a well-written piece.

Second, he calls 'em like he sees them--even with respect to those with whom he might otherwise disagree. Take his recent defense of previous Presidential Press Spokesman Ari Fleischer. One doubts that Mr. Fleischer has much in common with Mr. Hitchens, particularly with respect to politics. However, for the sake of honesty, Mr. Hitchens provides a defense of Mr. Fleischer. A defense that is likely at odds with the desires of the readers and publishers of the journal in which it appears, namely Slate. A defense that will likely not be a hit with the effete intelligentsia with whom Mr. Hitchens probably otherwise hobnobs at cocktail parties.

In other words, Mr. Hitchens is intellectually honest. Perhaps the defining demonstration of this is his essay resigning his column in The Nation. No doubt this resignation, and his intellectual parting with the irrational left, has caused him much subsequent personal grief. Somewhat of a modern, if less dramatic, man for all seasons is our Mr. Hitchens.

So, although Mr. Hitchens and I disagree on much, I must commend him for his zest to out the truth, and for his good writing. Those who regularly read Stones Cry Out would do well, regardless of their religious or political stance, to read Mr. Hitchens from time to time as well.

Posted by Mark at September 19, 2006 12:12 AM

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I'm a big fan of Hitchens as well. Although I admit that it's on a rather shallow level - I mostly enjoy watching him speak and occassionally rant. I recently attended an event entitled, "Was George Orwell A Journalist?" at the Indiana Memorial Union and came away impressed and a little shaken. If any one is interested, I wrote a little review of it here...

Posted by: David at September 29, 2006 03:08 PM

480194532784.html is the rest of that...damn. Nobody is going to check it out now.

Posted by: David at September 29, 2006 03:11 PM

Posted by: Doug Payton at September 29, 2006 03:23 PM