Mark Vernon salutes and compares the recently passed Reverend Colin Slee and Christopher Hitchens:

What both men have, or had, is a kind of personal, as opposed to political, freedom - an inner freedom that allows them to speak of what they see to be true. It's a great gift and stands out, I guess, not just because of the courage it requires, but because of another rare quality both have displayed: clear convictions about what is good and true. (This is not the same as having clear convictions about what is bad and false, an easier set of opinions to hold. You also have to be prepared to take the risks of being proven wrong.)

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.