Therefore I offered my own conflicting thoughts about Hitchens and his support for the Iraq War. Undoubtedly some people are going to be shocked and appalled that I do not oppose every war for any reason at all - I think that's unrealistic, and naive.
Let's have some fun.
I came across this site while trying to find His Creepiness, Father George Rutler, that elusive priest with the robes and the officious accent, who used to be on EWTN. I never forgot him; and I could not remember his name; all I remember was his pinched voice and haughty demeanor, and that costume! You don't see that on EWTN anymore. (Now, due to the Catholic church's desperate drive to stave off the forces of the evangelical movement that's bleeding it of members, EWTN is all happy, good-looking young priests who pose laughing in front of the Dome of the Rock.)
Father George Rutler versus Christopher Hitchens! And check out this blog; check out the comments (around the internet, not so much on this site). I didn't grow up Catholic, so I was completely unprepared for the near-orgasmic response of these bloggers (kids?) who gush, "Oh, Father, you're so awesome...you really gave it to Hitchens...you're incredible...blah, blah." Yuck! Do Catholics worship priests? What are they, rock stars?
FATHER RUTLER: I have met saints. You cannot explain the existence of saints without God. I was nine years chaplain with Mother Teresa [inaudible]. You have called her a whore, a demagogue. She’s in heaven that you don’t believe in, but she’s praying for you. [Didn't we just find out about Mother Theresa's doubts about God?] If you do not believe in heaven, that’s why you drink. [emphasis mine]
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Excuse me?
FATHER RUTLER: That’s why you drink. God has offered us happiness, all of us. And you will either die a Catholic or a madman, and I’ll tell you the difference. [emphasis mine]
And secondly, I’m an officer with this club. And this conversation has been beneath the dignity of this club. . . .
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Well, it is now. . . . It is now.
FATHER RUTLER: And I’d just say that…
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Fine host you turned out to be.
FATHER RUTLER: …this club, we’ve had very open discussion. But we’ve never heard such vulgarity and bigotry.
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Till now.
FATHER RUTLER: And I am, I don’t want to see this in this club again. And I think I represent the officers of this noble…
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Your claim to know what a [saint] is or what heaven is is as absurd as your [inaudible] arrogance, your unkindness and your lack of hospitality. . . . You should be ashamed. . . . And you are supposed to represent a church of charity and kindness?
Ooh! Torch 'em, Hitchie! This is the man who flipped off the audience on Bill Maher. And now he's being mean to the man who heard the confessions of firefighters dying on September 11!
(Heard the confessions. Holy crap, I need to repeat that. Heard the confessions! Confessions? From firefighters on 9/11? Holy fuck, firefighters have "sins" to "confess" after saving people's lives on 9/11? Like what? That one stole a piece of cheese from another's lunch box? That they may have had some mean thoughts about the totally fucked bastards who rammed planes into the World Trade Center towers? And believers wonder why religion sets off atheists! "Heard the confessions," good grief.)
My goodness, Hitchens is not out to convinced society that atheists are all nice, family-oriented (though he has a wife and kid), suburban, mainstream Americans. Hitchens is not the man to make that argument, and I am not the woman to make it, either.
I have disagreed with Hitchens' stance on the war but I love a good scrapper, I must admit. Certainly, I prefer him to a man who has no need of physical intimacy with any woman (or man/boy, although one never knows these days). Hitchens is the Earnest Hemingway of atheism. And yes, I met him - very charming he is, with a self-depreciating sense of humor (you know - humor?), even after having tied a few on. Yeah, I'd love to see Father Rutler after a few drinks.
Hitchie can handle it! ;-)