Hitch and Me

A reader sees similarities:

Do you see any analogies between Christopher Hitchens and yourself? Both of you have been turned on by your erstwhile "friends" for failing to sign up to their rigidly orthodox positions. He was turned on by the left, and you by the right. Basically, you are both immensely irritating to those who are incapable of thinking for themselves, and who expect loyalty to a dogma, rather than skeptical inquiry in pursuit of the truth. Both of you are too independent-minded to be co-opted by any sect. If anything, I would say that your ability to admit when you were wrong displays even more courage than Hitchens does. Also, your justifiable hatred of fanatical Islam lead you both to make the mistake of supporting the Iraq war. (Oh yes, and you are also both very good at promoting yourselves by courting controversy.)

I loved your passage about a Christians taking into account the Bible, the Church and the Pope, but not accepting these things uncritically. I found it very, very moving. I can’t help comparing the humanity of this paragraph with the thuggish certainty of many "conservatives". The passage refuses to quell doubt but also resists the temptations of relativism or nihilism. This is the delicate balance that all decent men must strive for.