A simple sentence I missed on my break about the Beck rally on the Mall:

The numbers were impressive enough on their own, but the overall effect was large, vague, moist, and undirected: the Waterworld of white self-pity.

And a reminder of his democratic spirit in penning a private 1,000 word response to a writer he could easily have ignored in the intellectual wars of the past decade. The person who received that rather brutal letter now writes:

Hitchens’ advice [in that letter] is also the most important critical thinking skill I try to teach my students:  You have to take a stand.  This doesn’t mean the world is made up of either/or fallacies, but the process of critical thinking involves marshalling the facts, sorting out the ideas, evaluating the options, and coming to your own conclusions.  So, Hitch, if this somehow makes it to you, know that when you’re gone, in the very least your example will continue to guide about one hundred high school Catholic school students every day.  I’m not quite sure what you’d think of that, but I’ll bet you think it’s worth more than prayers.

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