Hitchens Welcomes Your Prayers
Though he won’t be joining you
Upon hearing that people were praying for Christopher Hitchens, the Tablet Magazine contributor currently undergoing chemotherapy for esophageal cancer (the same illness that killed his father, which has apparently spread to his lymph nodes), I found it kind of offensive, given the tremendous time and intellectual energy Hitchens has devoted to his atheism.
I still wonder whether Page Six wasn’t trying to be snarky about the proud unbeliever Hitchens’s battle with mortality. However, Hitchens himself has clarified—in numerous venues—that though he himself has not prayed for himself, and that reports of any deathbed conversion should be chalked up to the working of an enfeebled and unrepresentative state of his mind, he actually welcomes those who are praying for him to get well—though not those who are praying that his soul be saved by the God he does not believe exists.
Below: Tablet Magazine contributing editor Jeff Goldberg talks to Hitchens (as well as his “dearest friend,” the novelist Martin Amis).