Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011

posted at 12:12 am on December 16, 2011 by Allahpundit

He announced he had esophageal cancer in June of last year and hung on for not quite 18 months, which was long enough for several essays in Vanity Fair on the agony of illness. His latest, and now last, was published in the January issue. An excerpt:

I do remember lying there and looking down at my naked torso, which was covered almost from throat to navel by a vivid red radiation rash. This was the product of a month-long bombardment with protons which had burned away all of the cancer in my clavicular and paratracheal nodes, as well as the original tumor in the esophagus. This put me in a rare class of patients who could claim to have received the highly advanced expertise uniquely available at the stellar Zip Code of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. To say that the rash hurt would be pointless. The struggle is to convey the way that it hurt on the inside. I lay for days on end, trying in vain to postpone the moment when I would have to swallow. Every time I did swallow, a hellish tide of pain would flow up my throat, culminating in what felt like a mule kick in the small of my back. I wondered if things looked as red and inflamed within as they did without. And then I had an unprompted rogue thought: If I had been told about all this in advance, would I have opted for the treatment? There were several moments as I bucked and writhed and gasped and cursed when I seriously doubted it.

It’s probably a merciful thing that pain is impossible to describe from memory. It’s also impossible to warn against. If my proton doctors had tried to tell me up front, they might perhaps have spoken of “grave discomfort” or perhaps of a burning sensation. I only know that nothing at all could have readied or steadied me for this thing that seemed to scorn painkillers and to attack me in my core. I now seem to have run out of radiation options in those spots (35 straight days being considered as much as anyone can take), and while this isn’t in any way good news, it spares me from having to wonder if I would willingly endure the same course of treatment again.

But mercifully, too, I now can’t summon the memory of how I felt during those lacerating days and nights. And I’ve since had some intervals of relative robustness. So as a rational actor, taking the radiation together with the reaction and the recovery, I have to agree that if I had declined the first stage, thus avoiding the second and the third, I would already be dead. And this has no appeal…

I am typing this having just had an injection to try to reduce the pain in my arms, hands, and fingers. The chief side effect of this pain is numbness in the extremities, filling me with the not irrational fear that I shall lose the ability to write. Without that ability, I feel sure in advance, my “will to live” would be hugely attenuated. I often grandly say that writing is not just my living and my livelihood but my very life, and it’s true. Almost like the threatened loss of my voice, which is currently being alleviated by some temporary injections into my vocal folds, I feel my personality and identity dissolving as I contemplate dead hands and the loss of the transmission belts that connect me to writing and thinking.

You’ll find the links to his other essays on cancer embedded in VF’s memorial post as well as a photo gallery here. Hitchens being Hitchens, I wonder which he anticipated more eagerly — the end of the pain or finally knowing if he was right about you know what. I suspect he was right. I hope we’re both wrong.

Here he is in September 2010 reacting to “Everybody Pray for Hitchens Day.” Farewell, Hitch.

Update: The boss emeritus reminisces about an atheist Christmas.

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Comments

…don’t you think that it is ironic that the Son-of-Sam is rumored to now enjoy God’s grace?

CyberCipher on December 16, 2011 at 6:04 PM

Seriously, did you just offer up an institutionalized, criminally insane slaughterer of innocents as an example of “God’s grace”?

Irony will occur when you’re occupying the bunk next to David at the facility, you parabolically-pated prophet of the pointless.

M240H on December 16, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Which is why I ask – which god are you talking about?

Good Lt on December 16, 2011 at 6:39 PM

And I ask – why do you continue to think that you can convince me that you weren’t being facetious or disingenuous.

Look, you’re doing what I’ve done hundreds of times before – moving the context of the discussion into one I’m more comfortable with.

Good for you for trying.

But stop feigning ignorance about the context in which most posters here at HA would place there comments about Hitchens.

Actually, never mind that last sentence. I really don’t care what you do.

As I said earlier, it’s a tune I’m declining to dance to.

Religious_Zealot on December 16, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Seriously, did you just offer up an institutionalized, criminally insane slaughterer of innocents as an example of “God’s grace”?

Seriously, can you think of a better example?

If he mentioned Mother Theresa wouldn’t the response be “well, it’s not as if she really NEEDED God’s grace.”

The power of something is only shown in the degree in which it can overcome the most difficult of things/situations.

Religious_Zealot on December 16, 2011 at 6:59 PM

Especially those who saw his debate against William Lane Craig. Criag ate him alive – it was ugly. Hitchens gave up and declined to give a concluding statement. That debate is why Dawkins refuses to debate Craig – Mr. Dawkins saw what happend to Hitch and wants no part of it.

tommyboy on December 16, 2011 at 6:20 PM

Now THATS laughable Inaneboy. You obviously think that the Kalam Cosmological Argument is the end all be all of arguments for the existence of god.

The Kalam cosmological argument is a variation of the cosmological argument that argues for the existence of a First Cause for the universe. Its origins can be traced to medieval Jewish, Christian and Muslim thinkers, but most directly to Islamic theologians of the Kalam tradition.

Why is the joke of a philosopher WLC rehashing an old argument brought to fame by Islamic philosophers that’s already been debunked so many times it’s not even funny?

Craig lost the overall debate to Hitchens by a mile. Of course, I’m biased in Hitchens favor just like you are to WLC but puhlease…

WLC is a freaking joke of a philosopher and your characterization of Dawkins’ not wanting to debate him is obviously false on its face.

Here’s why Dawkins, in his own words, will not debate him…

Why Dawkins won’t debate Craig…

SauerKraut537 on December 16, 2011 at 7:00 PM

If your assertion was correct, I would expect to find many other gnostic writings of that time period. And we don’t (haven’t) found many other than Thomas.

Also, if your assertion was correct, I wouldn’t expect to find a coherent and consistent Christology or soteriology in the Christian canon (and we DO find this).

When we lay down all of the known and accepted Christian writings of the first century we find a striking difference of Christology and soteriology in Thomas.

In fact, it is a Christology and soteriology more consistent with (much) later gnostic writings.

So all we really need to do is look at all these early writings and ask (sing?) “Which one is not like the others?”

Religious_Zealot on December 16, 2011 at 5:37 PM

maybe there was indeed a true gnostic teachings by jesus and the gospel of thomas was the gospel that inspired later gnostics sects.

moving on… the more i delve into this early Christianity cannon stuff, the more blurred it all seems.
endless discussions about dating and veracity of documents. the scholars cant agree on much and it seems that most are arguing on suppositions because real hard facts are very hard to come by.

what i can be sure is:
– that are a plethora of documents and texts from early Christians, some of them very divergent.
– there where bizarre followers of Christ in the 2nd centuries such as marcionites and valentinians.
– on top of this there was a very violent 4th\5th century church that persecuted all other types of christianity and nearly eliminated other Christianities\heretics from history.we only know them today because the church copied the work of apologists which contained references to the gnostics\heretics and because of spurious document findings such as nag hamadi.

with so much history destroyed by the 4th\5th century church which was quite power hungry, i just dont know how is it possible to be sure of anything regarding the true history of the gospels, and early christianity.

nathor on December 16, 2011 at 7:03 PM

@Tommyboy

In fact, even IF the Kalam argument did the trick ot proving that a god or gods exists, it assuredly doesn’t prove the Christian or Muslim or insert religion here god…

As Hitchens so eloquently stated in that debate with Craig… You still got all your work ahead of you.

SauerKraut537 on December 16, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Not at all. The only god you have a problem with him criticizing is yours. But your god is not the only god.

So it needs clarification.

Good Lt on December 16, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Gawd, I’m loving this thread! Thanks for the link to the Mother Theresa documentary, btw. I had no idea that she was such a political animal. Fascinating stuff.

Flotsam Jetsome on December 16, 2011 at 7:08 PM

There IS NOT consensus.

Religious_Zealot on December 16, 2011 at 6:31 PM

its true, there is no consensus.

nathor on December 16, 2011 at 7:09 PM

maybe there was indeed a true gnostic teachings by jesus and the gospel of thomas was the gospel that inspired later gnostics sects.

Then, again, we would have seen gnostic teachings in Paul’s letters and the canonical gospels, which we don’t.

with so much history destroyed by the 4th\5th century church which was quite power hungry, i just dont know how is it possible to be sure of anything regarding the true history of the gospels, and early christianity.

nathor on December 16, 2011 at 7:03 PM

I would suggest that you read books by such scholars as Larry Hurtado (particularly his books about how the early church viewed and worshiped Christ), Raymond Brown (his “Introduction to the New Testament” is a classic and indispensable guide to the New Testament that includes a lot of information about the prevailing textual scholarship) and even Mark D. Roberts (especially his “Can We Trust the Gospels?”).

I would also recommend any of the scholarly books written in response to the DaVinci Code (I think N.T. Wright wrote one, but my library is currently in boxes).

The truth about the scriptures is actually less confusing than many people make it out to be. And most are surprised (like Hitchens was) when they discover that there is vast, great wealth of scholarship on the subject.

Religious_Zealot on December 16, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Religious_Zealot on December 16, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Debating Hitchens.

Hitchens acted a lot like a whetstone a person would use to sharpen their knives -(arguments)

Dr Evil on December 16, 2011 at 7:21 PM

nathor,
The DaVinci Code book I was thinking of was: “The Gospel Code: Novel Claims About Jesus, Mary Magdalene and Da Vinci” by Dr. Ben Witherington III

BWIII is another great scholar to read up on – he’s pretty much the residing ‘guru’ when it comes to textual criticism and dating. He completely eviscerated the hullabaloo surrounding the “Jesus tombs” a couple of years ago.

Religious_Zealot on December 16, 2011 at 7:29 PM

If you are not privy to the nature of the afterlife, it is because you choose not to be.

Oy Vey. Please then, mystic, look into your crystal ball, and tell me what you see. What is the afterlife like, which god or gods rule, and what are the conditions? Do tell.

keep the change on December 16, 2011 at 7:32 PM

If you are not privy to the nature of the afterlife, it is because you choose not to be.

What color is the sky in the afterlife?

Do tell.

Good Lt on December 16, 2011 at 7:38 PM

In fact, even IF the Kalam argument did the trick ot proving that a god or gods exists, it assuredly doesn’t prove the Christian or Muslim or insert religion here god…

That was not the stated topic of the debate, the existance of God was. Craig debated the argument presented.

As Hitchens so eloquently stated in that debate with Craig… You still got all your work ahead of you.

Which Craig would have been happy to do had that been the topic he was asked to debate. Hitch got creamed and gave up – bailed out on his conclusion. He knew that he’d been beat and laid that fiddle at Johnny’s feet.

SauerKraut537 on December 16, 2011 at 7:07 PM

tommyboy on December 16, 2011 at 7:40 PM

The why did Hitchens decline to give his alloted conclusion and ask to go straight to question and answer?

Because there was nothing left to say. Hitchens laid waste to WLC’s expertly marshaled inanities, and didn’t feel he needed to “summarize” these points.

Good Lt on December 16, 2011 at 7:45 PM

That was not the stated topic of the debate, the existance of God was. Craig debated the argument presented.

And didn’t prove it.

Hitch got creamed and gave up

I’m not sure what debate you were watching. Since WLC failed to prove that God existed, he failed in his charge in the debate.

I think you’re counting on people not actualy watching the debate (which I linked in its entirety above), but once they do, they’ll very easily grasp not only that WLC failed to prove the existence of a god, but also that Hitch utterly destroyed the foundational assumptions WLC was making in order to try to “explain” why God existed.

The task wasn’t to “explain” why God existed. It was to prove it.

Good Lt on December 16, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Hitchens acted a lot like a whetstone a person would use to sharpen their knives -(arguments)

Dr Evil on December 16, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Are you saying he rubbed people the wrong way? (ducks)

Flotsam Jetsome on December 16, 2011 at 7:48 PM

You obviously think that the Kalam Cosmological Argument is the end all be all of arguments for the existence of god.
SauerKraut537 on December 16, 2011 at 7:00 PM

No, I think it’s one of the four classical proofs. Although I think the classical proofs are reliable and persuasive I’m probably a presuppositionalist at heart if we’re getting down to “end all and be all” stuff. Of the classical proofs I probably like the ontological argument best becausee once atheists figure it out it drives them crazy. Heck, it drives me crazy and I WANT to believe it. ;-)

tommyboy on December 16, 2011 at 7:49 PM

@tommyboy

To add to what Good Lt said, Hitchens also likes to talk WITH his audience, not at them like Craig is so fond of doing. That’s the real reason he wanted to forfeit his closing statements, so he could get to the question and answer section of the event.

JUST as he did right here in his debate with Frank Turek

Craig is nothing but a glorified preacher pretending to unbiased opinion.

Hitchens WAS debating the existence of god, going through the litany of arguments that have been made for it and by whom. Showing the uselessness of the argument in the face of the existence we find ourselves in.

Craig is a lousy philosopher rehashing old arguments from people who knew much less than we do today about the universe and our place in it.

SauerKraut537 on December 16, 2011 at 7:55 PM

No, I think it’s one of the four classical proofs. Although I think the classical proofs are reliable and persuasive I’m probably a presuppositionalist at heart if we’re getting down to “end all and be all” stuff. Of the classical proofs I probably like the ontological argument best becausee once atheists figure it out it drives them crazy. Heck, it drives me crazy and I WANT to believe it. ;-)

tommyboy on December 16, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Except that the ontological argument has been eviscerated over the centuries by men more brilliant that you and WLC so that there’s really nothing of value left of it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontological_argument#Criticisms_and_objections

Good Lt on December 16, 2011 at 7:58 PM

To add to what Good Lt said, Hitchens also likes to talk WITH his audience, not at them like Craig is so fond of doing. That’s the real reason he wanted to forfeit his closing statements, so he could get to the question and answer section of the event.

He knew he couldn’t respond to Craig and wanted to get to the cute banter and snarky insults the audience would provide. Hitch has NEVER been short on words – he punted his conclusion because he knew he was destroyed. Defeated on the field of battle, quick to retreat to the breathless questions of the excited ladies back home.

tommyboy on December 16, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Sorry to see him go. I didn’t always agree with him, but he was spot on regarding religion and it pernicious effect on humankind.

Hitchens didn’t believe because he couldn’t believe. I expect to leave this life the same way.

OT: Although I don’t believe in “Some Fantastic Place” it’s a great song by Squeeze.

chumpThreads on December 16, 2011 at 8:05 PM

Except that the ontological argument has been eviscerated over the centuries by men more brilliant that you and WLC so that there’s really nothing of value left of it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontological_argument#Criticisms_and_objections
Good Lt on December 16, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Well, you are only about 40 years out of date. Obviously you, nor wiki (why is that the only source for anything the atheists here give – because they never heard of the subject before and had to google it up real quick) ever heard of Alvin Plantinga who brought the ontological argument back in force back in the early 70’s and wowed everybody by demonstating that the argument is not tautalogical but logically sound. He’s right, logic does some wild things when you approach infinite absolutes. But the arguement has been heated and incredibly interesting over the last 40 years.

tommyboy on December 16, 2011 at 8:08 PM

Are you saying he rubbed people the wrong way? (ducks)

Flotsam Jetsome on December 16, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Yes

Dr Evil on December 16, 2011 at 8:14 PM

nathor,
The DaVinci Code book I was thinking of was: “The Gospel Code: Novel Claims About Jesus, Mary Magdalene and Da Vinci” by Dr. Ben Witherington III

BWIII is another great scholar to read up on – he’s pretty much the residing ‘guru’ when it comes to textual criticism and dating. He completely eviscerated the hullabaloo surrounding the “Jesus tombs” a couple of years ago.

Religious_Zealot on December 16, 2011 at 7:29 PM

you assume i read the da vinci code…

the source of my cepticism is the jesus myth theories(which by the way, has another list of scholars claiming its baseless, which, considering the implications of the thesis, i am not surprised). whenever i delve into the subject to check it out myself and debating it in forums, i end up having these boring debates trying to obtain scholar commentary to defend a position.tommyboy was very quick putting the scholar into play and claiming that his experts were the best and saying the others were liberal. the debate is poisoned from the start. i can tell you i will throw up if i have another debate regarding the testemonium flavianus.

easier subject like comparative mythology puts me me back in the jesus myth camp. its very hard to explain that earlier religions like mythraism where not copied from by Christians. and the devil did it excuse wont wash.

nathor on December 16, 2011 at 8:17 PM

you assume i read the da vinci code…

That’s not the point.

The point is that the book and movie make very strong claims about textual reliability and a hidden (and, yes, gnostic) “truth” that the Catholic church destroyed.

BWIII’s book clearly disproves all of the major “points” made in the book.

Thus, if you’re looking for something quick and easy that engages in a discussion on the dating of scripture and the reliability of the canon, BWIII’s book is a really good place to start.

Also, the point of bringing up scholarship is to show that your questions and doubts are nothing new to the Christian faith and can easily be proven false.

IF, that is, you are willing to engage these books and scholars.

Religious_Zealot on December 16, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Also, the point of bringing up scholarship is to show that your questions and doubts are nothing new to the Christian faith and can easily be proven false.

IF, that is, you are willing to engage these books and scholars.

Religious_Zealot on December 16, 2011 at 8:36 PM

lets say i read one pro reliable cannon scholar and a opposing scholar. since in the end i have a limited capacity question the veracity of their arguments by myself, i wont be convinced either way. for now i will pass the proposition.

nathor on December 16, 2011 at 8:49 PM

In the ground.

Good Lt on December 16, 2011 at 5:08 PM

You’re gonna die in your sins if you don’t repent and trust the Savior.

Where do you think you’re going?

I am going to heaven when I die. I am born again Christian. See John 3:3.

Wow. You have a lot to learn.

I love truth. I love to learn. Let’s have a chat.

apocalypse on December 16, 2011 at 8:51 PM

I think you’re counting on people not actualy watching the debate (which I linked in its entirety above),
Good LT

I have scrolled through several pages looking for that link. I have wanted to watch that debate for a while, but have not been able to find it. Could you please link back to the post where you linked to that debate? I’d appreciate it.

underemployed on December 16, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Nevermind. I found it. The last time I looked for it was pretty soon after it happened. Watching it tonight.

underemployed on December 16, 2011 at 9:07 PM

You’re gonna die in your sins if you don’t repent and trust the Savior.

Which savior?

The Jews don’t believe Jesus was the Messiah. And they’re older than Christianity is. But they’re obviously wrong, even though they believe they’re right as fervently as you do.

I am going to heaven when I die.

The Muslims don’t think so, and their heaven isn’t your heaven. Who are you to say they’re wrong? They have the same fervent faith you do.

I love truth. I love to learn. Let’s have a chat.

I don’t doubt your sincerity, but if you sincerely love the truth, you wouldn’t be linking people to Kent Hovind as a source of reliable information.

Good Lt on December 16, 2011 at 9:21 PM

I have scrolled through several pages looking for that link. I have wanted to watch that debate for a while, but have not been able to find it. Could you please link back to the post where you linked to that debate? I’d appreciate it.

underemployed on December 16, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Hmmm. That post of mine didn’t seem to go through for some reason – sorry.

Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KBx4vvlbZ8

Good Lt on December 16, 2011 at 9:25 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_Hovind#Legal_problems

Oh, you were seriously linking people to Kent Hovind’s nonsense?

Good Lt on December 16, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Get that garbage outta my face. I think I’ve used Wickedpedia once in the last 4 or 5 years and it was the other day (and I regret it). If you are just scrounging around for ideas, Wikipedia is fine, but Wikipedia is NOT a valid source at all: Wikipedia co-founder seeks to start all over again — this time with contributors’ real names.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAC3481305829426D&feature=plcp

As far as this link, “Why do people laugh at creationists?” If you really think evolution took place and you are a primate. First, that is an insult to primates. Second, Kent Hovind is probably the most effective creation/evolution apologist in America, and, yes, I recommend him all the time. Not that you will be swayed by facts, but if you search the case out you’ll see that Kent did NOT break the law. He had a ministry and refused to sign it over to the state by filing as 501c3. He became a target of the IRS. But, I won’t waste my time explaining what happened because no matter what I say you will accuse him of being a criminal. You are the type of person who would call the Apostle Paul, who wrote several books in a Roman prison a criminal. You would call John the Apostle who wrote the Book of Revelation condemned to the island of Patmos a criminal. You would call Jeremiah who was a prisoner in a dungeon in Israel a criminal. You would call Ezekiel who was a prisoner in Babylon a criminal. Moses wandered the all over the desert. There are lots of situations where men of God were unjustly arrested and thrown in prison – spending years in prison. But to you they would be criminals. So I won’t waste your time.

apocalypse on December 16, 2011 at 9:31 PM

Well, you are only about 40 years out of date. Obviously you, nor wiki (why is that the only source for anything the atheists here give – because they never heard of the subject before and had to google it up real quick) ever heard of Alvin Plantinga who brought the ontological argument back in force back in the early 70′s and wowed everybody by demonstating that the argument is not tautalogical but logically sound.

Yes, the great Alvin Plantinga has refuted the ignoramuses David Hume, Thomas Aquinas, Immanuel Kant and Bertrand Russel.

Move over, giants of philosophy! Some guy nobody outside of a slice of the evangelical Christian community has heard of has both proved God exists without a doubt and that the refutations of the a priori assertion for his existence as proof of his existence has been, um, also refuted!

LOL

Good Lt on December 16, 2011 at 9:34 PM

I don’t doubt your sincerity, but if you sincerely love the truth, you wouldn’t be linking people to Kent Hovind as a source of reliable information.

Good Lt on December 16, 2011 at 9:21 PM

I posted a response to this in great detail, but it hasn’t gone through or it’s being held up. Kent Hovind is innocent. In the meantime let me ask you something, what is your worldview? I am a young earth creationist.

apocalypse on December 16, 2011 at 9:40 PM

To all you bozo’s who think your daddy is a monkey, I have not been able to respond the way I want today because I have been away from the computer, so don’t think you’ve won anything.

apocalypse on December 16, 2011 at 10:02 PM

He knew he couldn’t respond to Craig and wanted to get to the cute banter and snarky insults the audience would provide. Hitch has NEVER been short on words – he punted his conclusion because he knew he was destroyed. Defeated on the field of battle, quick to retreat to the breathless questions of the excited ladies back home.

tommyboy on December 16, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Wishful thinking Tommyboy. Wishful thinking on your part.

I JUST about finished rewatching the debate and decided to answer your claims of him winning (Craig. You’re exhibiting wishful thinking Tommyboy. I don’t need to watch any more but I’ll watch the closing questions in a few moments when I finish responding here.

You characterize his not responding with a final word as him “being scared” or feeling demoralized in defeat, but that is just plain ole wishful thinking on your part.

Here’s your hero William Lane Craig deconstructed. He’s a parrot and plastic personality who can’t say much more than what he does. He “sounds” smart, but he reminds me of the preppy know it all from the movie Animal House.

Why do people laugh at creationists? (part 37) William Lane Craig

SauerKraut537 on December 16, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Here’s Carl Sagan vs William Lane Craig for good entertainment.

SauerKraut537 on December 16, 2011 at 10:25 PM

I am a young earth creationist.

apocalypse on December 16, 2011 at 9:40 PM

So you believe god poofed everything into existence in pretty much the state we see it today?

Why did he need to create galaxies that are millions to billions of light years away?

Why go through all the creation that he did with the cosmos only to end our existence in a great conflagration called Armageddon and send 2 to the left and 1 to the right?

What? Do we live in a “play” for gods amusement?

Why even put us through all that just to end it and collect the souls he wants to save and throw out the rest?

Dude, wake up bro!

It’s just a bad dream and your parents, or whomever filled your head with all that nonsense, need to be put in jail for damaging your understanding of reality so.

SauerKraut537 on December 16, 2011 at 10:32 PM

I don’t doubt your sincerity, but if you sincerely love the truth, you wouldn’t be linking people to Kent Hovind as a source of reliable information.

Good Lt on December 16, 2011 at 9:21 PM

You idiots want to comment on things you know NOTHING about. Kent Hovind is probably the most effective creation/evolution teacher in America. Not that you will be swayed by facts, but if you search the case out you’ll see that Kent did NOT break the law. He had a ministry and refused to sign it over to the state by filing as 501c3. Pushing ministries to file as a 501c3 is a way to silence the church from participating in the political process and endorsing candidates. He became a target of the IRS. They put him in jail for 10 years! No prior offenses. Check the website hushmoney.org when you have time for more on how Govt. keeps the church in America silent. There are greater implications here. This is a God and His Church under Caesar battle. But none of that will matter to you and I’m sure you’ll keep calling him a criminal so I won’t bother explaining any more. It doesn’t matter that a good portion of the Bible was written in prison. You’re the type who would have called the Apostle Paul, who wrote several books in a Roman prison a criminal. John the Apostle, who wrote the Book of Revelation condemned to the island of Patmos a criminal. Jeremiah, who was a prisoner in a dungeon in Israel a criminal. Ezekiel, who was a prisoner in Babylon a criminal. Moses, who wandered all over the desert. You fail to understand that there are lots of situations where men of God were unjustly arrested and thrown in prison – spending years in prison. To someone like you, they are all just criminals.

apocalypse on December 16, 2011 at 11:16 PM

My apologies, one of my posts was being held up, so I basically posted it twice.

apocalypse on December 16, 2011 at 11:24 PM

Why did he need to create galaxies that are millions to billions of light years away?

SauerKraut537 on December 16, 2011 at 10:32 PM

This shows you’re not thinking. If God can make a full-grown man, in a full-grown garden, He can make a full-grown universe with stars and planets that are millions of light years away. He doesn’t need millions to billions of years to do it. He can make a full grown universe and a book that the average person can understand! The Lord said, “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.” Isaiah 45:12

apocalypse on December 16, 2011 at 11:41 PM

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labour to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men & citizens.

– President George Washington

NCITTRP on December 16, 2011 at 11:47 PM

Hmmm. That post of mine didn’t seem to go through for some reason – sorry.

Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KBx4vvlbZ8

Good Lt on December 16, 2011 at 9:25 PM

10/4.

I don’t see how you come to the conclusion that Hitch won that debate at all. I’ve watched in amazement as Hitch destroyed opponents with a mixture of calm assurance, implacability, and scorn. In this debate, he was flustered, unorganized, stuttering, and backtracking. In other debates, he wielded his wit as a weapon; in this one, he seemed to be trying to use his wit as a refuge, and it didn’t work. He was not able to dismantle any of WLC’s five arguments of evidence, or either of his two premises for the reason of believing in theism over atheism. You can and you will believe what you want about who won the debate, but I saw WLC present a seemingly solid case with little to no rebuttal from Hitch.

underemployed on December 16, 2011 at 11:49 PM

Hey Hitch, if you make it through the Pearly Gates, for once in you life, STFU & just enjoy it!

NightmareOnKStreet on December 17, 2011 at 12:39 AM

This shows you’re not thinking. If God can make a full-grown man, in a full-grown garden, He can make a full-grown universe with stars and planets that are millions of light years away. He doesn’t need millions to billions of years to do it. He can make a full grown universe and a book that the average person can understand! The Lord said, “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.” Isaiah 45:12

apocalypse on December 16, 2011 at 11:41 PM

OK, so you believe we’re gods cosmic characters in some play where he created all of us as we are, supposedly loves us all equally, yet chooses one tribe out of many to be “his”.

He lets us live out our lives here and watches from afar to see who’s been bad or good…

Duh.

Yeah, your parent’s/guardians need to be incarcerated for inculcating you as deeply as they have.

SauerKraut537 on December 17, 2011 at 12:56 AM

Allahpundit wrote:
> Hitchens being Hitchens, I wonder which he anticipated more eagerly — the
> end of the pain or finally knowing if he was right about you know what.
> I suspect he was right. I hope we’re both wrong.

Your Hot Air articles have shown us that you are pretty good at Logical thinking — so please think Logically in this case. If Hitchens was right that there is no Afterlife, he no longer exists, and therefore cannot know he was right. If he was wrong, he still exists and now knows he was wrong.

Also thinking Logically, I believe it is wiser to bet that there is an Afterlife and to be properly prepared for it, than to bet that there is no Afterlife and discover you’re wrong.

I think the basic pyschological root of Atheism is that human beings (understandably) deeply fear and and dislike being judged. So, to escape a Supernatural judgement, Atheists prefer to believe there is no such thing as the Supernatural or Afterlife or God.

All of the major religions say that upon your death God (or Karma) makes a good-or-evil Judgement about your soul …except Christianity. I should mention that even many Christians are surprised to discover John 5:22 (“The Father judges no one”) and John 5:24 (“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment”).

Observer2012 on December 17, 2011 at 3:16 AM

your parent’s/guardians need to be incarcerated

There it is.

No more needs to be said.

tom daschle concerned on December 17, 2011 at 3:19 AM

RIP Christopher Hitchens. He had a fulfilling life and as a fellow atheist, I intend to emulate that by excelling at my talents and pursuing my dreams as he did. Always being good to my family and friends. Living the best life I can during the short time I have on Earth, being a mortal being.

Life is a beautiful thing.

Dagny__Taggart on December 17, 2011 at 5:09 AM

Woot woot.

Sauerkraut537 and GoodLt showed up on a thread and showed they didn’t like Christians again. If you turn it into a drinking game, they’re really not so bad.

You have to drink if …

GoodLt asserts you lose the debate because you can’t product God.
Good Lt uses an invective insulting your intelligence if he can’t counter your point.
SauerKraut537 says “meatsuit”.
SauerKraut537 attributes a comment to you and you didn’t, you know … actually … say it.
And you have to chug the entire cantainer if SauerKraut does a 180 and says he actually does believe in God. (this really happens)

hawkdriver on December 17, 2011 at 7:39 AM

You idiots want to comment on things you know NOTHING about. Kent Hovind is probably the most effective creation/evolution teacher in America….

apocalypse on December 16, 2011 at 11:16 PM

wow, his theories are like a monthy python movie, they are hilarious! you should really be ashamed for believing that sillyness.

nathor on December 17, 2011 at 9:48 AM

If anything, he strengthened their faith.

Just saying…

Religious_Zealot on December 16, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Which means that I am now “doubting” my faith?

Really??!!

Heh.

Religious_Zealot on December 16, 2011 at 6:33 PM

My original post,

For those without doubt in there positions Hitch created doubt.
For those with doubt Hitch helped confirm the position you had taken.

Your statement. “If anything, he strengthened their faith.” This suggests that there was room for their faith to be strengthened. i.e. doubt, at the very least lack of complete certainty. As to your second statement,”Which means that I am now “doubting” my faith?” Perhaps its a matter of semantics or my perception as opposed to your perception. You are here reaffirming yours, my perception of that is you feel a heighten need to sure up your position. Sorry if this was slow to be posted, it was late when I returned and I had typed my reply in only to have it vanish last night. One other thing to consider.
Blind Faith, belief without true understanding, perception, or discrimination.

Bmore on December 17, 2011 at 10:20 AM

hawkdriver on December 17, 2011 at 7:39 AM

Without rereading through every comment and counting insults, it seemed to me that Good Lt and SauerKraut537 gave far less than they got in the way of invective, ad hominems and argumentative misdirection.

That you can have read this thread and not realized that seems odd. Perhaps you are behaving like a Muslim, thinking anything that sharply questions your dogma is an insult? Or perhaps you think that when they are told they deserve to burn in Hell for eternity, it is not an insult?

BTW, I am aware of God, but I follow no existing dogma of which I am aware, and it seems to me the Christians of this thread worship a powerful, anthropomorphic monster rather than God, much as most humans do. (Have I just ‘insulted’ you by honestly saying what I see (or what you think I only think I see)?).

Do you really think it is not God’s power that you worship? What if God did not create the universe, but only our ability to perceive a degree of order within the ongoing chaos? What if God is not infinitely powerful within a limited time frame within this chaos, and is perhaps even pitifully weak in a limited time frame? Would you still worship ‘Him’ (I do not anthropomorphize God)?

I only ask because Christians puzzle me. How can you see God (and it often seems as though you can) yet cling to so much that is so plainly anti-God?

fadetogray on December 17, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Yeah, your parent’s/guardians need to be incarcerated for inculcating you as deeply as they have.

SauerKraut537 on December 17, 2011 at 12:56 AM

Escuse me, but if his parents are called into question, yours needs to be called in for not admonishing you for rudeness.

A person has the right to believe in whatever they wish. To say that a person deserves to be put in prison not for the practice of anti-social behavior, but for what they think, smacks of Communism in its worst.

itsspideyman on December 17, 2011 at 2:33 PM

What if God is not infinitely powerful within a limited time frame within this chaos, and is perhaps even pitifully weak in a limited time frame? Would you still worship ‘Him’ (I do not anthropomorphize God)?

Let me help. By the tenets of my faith, I believe that God is all powerful but that He chose to walk this earth, suffer as a man, and die. Furthermore, God looks not as us just as subjects, but as friends, a critical point of the New Testament.

John 15:15 says,”I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” Friendship is something that is between equals, and God states that all are his friends. The phrase “walk with me” is meant as “together”, not “behind me”.

My faith tells me my God is not just my Redeemer, he is my friend. And I walk with him as I walk through my life.

I won’t attempt to prove this. This is faith.

itsspideyman on December 17, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Let me help. By the tenets of my faith …

Thank you for trying, but, no, that does not help.

The question is how would you regard God if God could not give you rewards or punishments in this life. Would you still regard God as God if God was looking to you to carry forward the ongoing struggle against Evil in this world? Would you still stand in Awe of God if God sees humans as the ones to push back Chaos, and God’s only role here is to give us the strength and courage to struggle when struggling seems hopeless?

I think it is self-evident that what little power God does have in this World is only through us. That explains the ubiquity of Evil here.

However, it seems humans are not designed to follow the real God, the one that actually loves them and treasures each one more than anything. They have to be told God will strike them with lightning if they do not blindly obey dictates from their religious leaders. That they will worship and obey.

fadetogray on December 17, 2011 at 4:39 PM

I do not mean to insult by saying what I want to say now, but merely to critically observe the world around me. Feel free to provide explanations – challenge to my claims make me stronger in my convictions – or, if I’m wrong, they will allow me to humbly turn another leaf. The former is what happened when I read the Bible, and the latter is what happened when I started questioning liberalism.

Now, one argument that has always bothered me that theists put our is that communism = extremist atheism. That dictatorships were done in the “name of” atheism, and thus make atheism another type of religion. I wish to kill this claim among the religious community. The very aspect of religious belief I am opposed to is its dependence on blind allegiance, its worship of divine figures, its depletion of critical thinking in exchange for conformity dictated by authority figures. Communism does similarly, replacing deities with mortals, religious mandates with governmental mandates. Most atheists do not want to replace one form of allegiance with another, it’s about eliminating that altogether (and if they don’t, it is not their lack of religion that causes them to do this, it’s their lust for power, it’s whatever other negative characteristics they possess). How one could agree with one form of indoctrination, of diminishment of the human potential and argue that communism does this in the same breath (many conservatives) always baffled me. I respect many, many religious conservatives, I just clash and can’t get anywhere productive in discussion when it comes to this particular topic.

Dagny__Taggart on December 17, 2011 at 5:31 PM

fadetogray on December 17, 2011 at 4:39 PM

I will only answer this; God loves me, and I love God.

Your answers are based on your beliefs. Mine are based on mine.

itsspideyman on December 17, 2011 at 6:04 PM

fadetogray on December 17, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Let me answer back your question with a question; would your friends still be your friends if they could not bring you benefits and punishments?

God is my friend. I don’t look to him for rewards and punishments, I look to him to help me in my times of crisis. The rewards he gives me is the strength to move on when times are unmovable, and all seems lost.

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the I walk through the valley of death,
I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

itsspideyman on December 17, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Dagny__Taggart on December 17, 2011 at 5:31 PM

The difficulty with that Dagny is you replace one form of blind obedience with another.

I didn’t come by faith overnight, it didn’t spring from the mind of Zeus, armed and ready for battle. The struggle for faith is a struggle to juggle the best within you, against the backdrop that reality demands. When giving unto Caesar that with is Caesar, my soul tells me to give to God that which is God’s.

I would ask; what are you obedient to? There is something all of us are obedient to, otherwise there is chaos. Wherever that is, you will find your soul.

itsspideyman on December 17, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Let me answer back your question with a question; would your friends still be your friends if they could not bring you benefits and punishments?

God is my friend. I don’t look to him for rewards and punishments, I look to him to help me in my times of crisis. The rewards he gives me is the strength to move on when times are unmovable, and all seems lost.

It sounds as if there is little difference between our views of God on this. As I have said, I think God’s power in this world is exercised through us as in, as you said, “the rewards he gives me is the strength to move on when times are unmovable, and all seems lost.”

fadetogray on December 17, 2011 at 6:39 PM

You idiots want to comment on things you know NOTHING about. Kent Hovind is probably the most effective creation/evolution teacher in America….

apocalypse

How does serving time in Federal Prison, make him an effective creation teacher? Because you do know, I hope, that he is current in Prison.

Thats quite an example of a creationist you bring up, one thats behind bars.

firepilot on December 17, 2011 at 6:43 PM

fadetogray on December 17, 2011 at 6:39 PM

Then let us leave it there, and may I say the best to you and your family on this Christmas Season. Be safe and well.

itsspideyman on December 17, 2011 at 7:10 PM

As a believer, I can only say, man, what I could do if I had some of the qualities Hitchens had.

Cleombrotus on December 17, 2011 at 8:04 PM

itsspideyman on December 17, 2011 at 7:10 PM

And a wish from me for a merry Christmas for you and yours, spidey.

fadetogray on December 17, 2011 at 8:30 PM

As a believer, I can only say, man, what I could do if I had some of the qualities Hitchens had.

Cleombrotus on December 17, 2011 at 8:04 PM

Perhaps it was those qualities that made him as he was. Brilliance with words may tend to preclude wisdom.

fadetogray on December 17, 2011 at 8:36 PM

fadetogray on December 17, 2011 at 8:36 PM

You’re right. My mistake.

“…But when they measure themselves by one another, and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding”

2 Cor. 10:12

It’s simply that I regard forthrightness without regard to the opinions of others as a manly and Christlike quality.

Even in an avowed atheist.

But His grace should be sufficient for me.

Cleombrotus on December 17, 2011 at 10:48 PM

fadetogray on December 17, 2011 at 11:03 AM

I have no idea what you’re talking about.

hawkdriver on December 18, 2011 at 12:16 AM

itsspideyman on December 17, 2011 at 6:16 PM

But I don’t have blind obedience. I don’t pray and I don’t thank anyone for giving me anything except the direct person who caused that thing to happen (i.e. thanking my dad for being good to me, rather than thanking a god for giving me such a good dad). I’ve never had obedience to an entity or thing outside of humans on Earth. I was obedient to my parents as a child, and that’s how I learned to be a good person(neither are religious btw). Now, I am submissive to nothing. I listen to myself because of what experiences of mine have taught me. I know that working hard will get where I want to be because it has in the past. I know that loving people around me making both my life and their lives better, so I do it.

Dagny__Taggart on December 18, 2011 at 3:10 AM

Dagny__Taggart on December 18, 2011 at 3:10 AM

It gives me great pleasure to know that Atheist’s lives are so perfect. (BTW, a person of faith loses nothing by thanking God for similar blessings).

hawkdriver on December 18, 2011 at 8:21 AM

OK, so you believe we’re gods cosmic characters in some play where he created all of us as we are, supposedly loves us all equally, yet chooses one tribe out of many to be “his”. He lets us live out our lives here and watches from afar to see who’s been bad or good… Duh.

SauerKraut537 on December 17, 2011 at 12:56 AM

This is not the God of the Bible. We’ve been talking about idolatry in another thread. You’ve created a god in your own mind and then pushed that god away.

Yeah, your parent’s/guardians need to be incarcerated for inculcating you as deeply as they have.

Hitler talk.

apocalypse on December 18, 2011 at 10:15 AM

wow, his theories are like a monthy python movie, they are hilarious! you should really be ashamed for believing that sillyness.

nathor on December 17, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Why don’t you name a subject he teaches on and I will debate you bigshot. Let’s see how silly you can make me look. Put your money where your foolish mouth is.

apocalypse on December 18, 2011 at 10:20 AM

hawkdriver on December 18, 2011 at 8:21 AM

I never said it was perfect, just that I’m not dependent on a deity. When I mess up I fix it I move on or apologize to the people affected, but I don’t ask for forgiveness from god. And maybe you gain a sense of comfort from doing that and that’s all well and good, but I don’t. I had much more difficult times as a teenager – raging hormones, stupid decisions, parents getting divorced – spent lots of nights emotional about those things. I just view these things very differently from religious people I s’pose.

Dagny__Taggart on December 18, 2011 at 2:32 PM