Despite the insults (see today's News Desk post) and his obnoxious God Is Not Great bestseller, Christopher Hitchens has a lot of praying friends, and I include myself among them. In a 2006 interview that stretched late into the night, Hitchens told me he counts religion-along with terrorism, dictatorship, and tyranny-as barbarism:
"I quite simply identify it with barbarism and backwardness and human stupidity. The methods of theocracy in action are a cult of death."
Battling cancer and facing death hasn't changed that, but a changed Hitchens-looking sallow and drained like the sick man undergoing chemotherapy that he is-appears in today's post on Vanity Fair, where he is a contributor. He also penned another essay on his disease and the phenom of today's "Everybody Pray for [Christopher] Hitchens Day," concluding:
"I don't mean to be churlish about any kind intentions, but when September 20 comes, please do not trouble deaf heaven with your bootless cries. Unless, of course, it makes you feel better."
So pray on, friends, pray on.