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Christopher Hitchens

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I am saddened at the death of Christopher Hitchens. I enjoyed his writing, even though I struggled to find the words and arguments to counter the blistering clarity and oh-so-reasonable logic of his wit.

We differed on much, but we also shared a few things.

  • A birth year. 1949 is a good vintage, and I think one generally feels some sort of affinity for those who begin their travels on planet Earth around the same time.
  • He was a dissident and stepped outside boundaries to argue his position on many issues contentious and otherwise.  He stridently destroyed the shibboleths he perceived.
    My dissidence has tended to happen within boundaries, but increasingly I have come to ride the perimeters, using the devil’s advocacy technique. In fact someone once asked if I saw myself as a boundary rider. I said my aim was to be a gate-opener.
  • He wrote a book – God is Not Great.  My life’s vocation has been arguing the opposite. Same topic, different perspective.
So yep, we differed in many ways, yet I have this felt affinity. And it seems funny attempting to align my pigmy reasonings with his gigantic intellect.  Maybe it’s simply our shared humanity – “Ask not for whom the bell tolls…”
I resonate with this reflection from John Shore:
Generally speaking, atheists have championed what we Christians too readily surrender: the sacredness of thought that’s uncompromisingly rational and unapologetically independent.
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