Thanks Christopher Hitchens,
thanks for opening my mind to the mind numbing and dangerous nature of religion in particular. I was never religious at any point in my life, and I was sort of ambivalent towards it, I thought “well, they’re free to believe any bullshit they like, doesn’t affect me!”, but thanks to you, I learned that it DOES affect me, not just me but everybody, those without faith and those of different faiths worldwide.
Religion is a poison, in that it affects people to their core. Stem cell research (one of the potentially greatest breakthroughs ever) gets blocked by Christian politicians who don’t ‘agree’ with stem cell theory. Women and girls in the Middle East have battery acid thrown in their faces if they’re caught unveiled. A good quote is this; “By and large, good people will do good things and bad people will do bad things. But if you want good people to do bad things, you’ll need religion.”
“Take the challenge of thinking for yourself, much more truth and beauty, more than any religion could ever give you, will come your way.”
Hitch! Your heavy drinking and smoking made me want to try those things for the first time, I still smoke to this day, it’s all your fault you brilliant man!
Your vehement defense of the war in Iraq also changed my mind. Although I didn’t have any real opinion for or against the war, you made it clear through your epic speeches and debates that we really did have a right and a duty to go there and topple over the reign of a truly horrific crime family called ‘Hussein’.
You were unique, because you seemed to have a perfect memory of anything you’d ever read. You could recite entire paragraphs at will…….I’ve not known anyone else able to do this. Particularly enjoyable was when during a debate on literature, you recited the whole of the poem ‘Jabberwocky’.
You’ve possibly been the most important person in my life when it comes to free thought and vicious inquiry. And I’m glad you existed.