Christopher Hitchens Quote

When the telephoned me at home on Valentine's Day 1989 to ask my opinion about the Ayatollah Khomeini's , I felt at once that here was something that completely committed me. It was, if I can phrase it like this, a matter of everything I hated versus everything I loved. In the hate column: dictatorship, religion, stupidity, demagogy, censorship, bullying, and intimidation. In the love column: literature, irony, humor, the individual, and the defense of free expression. Plus, of course, friendship—though I like to think that my reaction would have been the same if I hadn't known Salman at all. To re-state the premise of the argument again: the theocratic head of a foreign despotism offers money in his own name in order to suborn the murder of a civilian citizen of another country, for the offense of writing a work of fiction. No more root-and-branch challenge to the values of the Enlightenment (on the bicentennial of the fall of the Bastille) or to the First Amendment to the Constitution, could be imagined. President George H.W. Bush, when asked to comment, could only say grudgingly that, as far as he could see, no American interests were involved…

Christopher Hitchens

When the telephoned me at home on Valentine's Day 1989 to ask my opinion about the Ayatollah Khomeini's , I felt at once that here was something that completely committed me. It was, if I can phrase it like this, a matter of everything I hated versus everything I loved. In the hate column: dictatorship, religion, stupidity, demagogy, censorship, bullying, and intimidation. In the love column: literature, irony, humor, the individual, and the defense of free expression. Plus, of course, friendship—though I like to think that my reaction would have been the same if I hadn't known Salman at all. To re-state the premise of the argument again: the theocratic head of a foreign despotism offers money in his own name in order to suborn the murder of a civilian citizen of another country, for the offense of writing a work of fiction. No more root-and-branch challenge to the values of the Enlightenment (on the bicentennial of the fall of the Bastille) or to the First Amendment to the Constitution, could be imagined. President George H.W. Bush, when asked to comment, could only say grudgingly that, as far as he could see, no American interests were involved…

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About Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Eric Hitchens (13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011) was a British-American author and journalist who wrote or edited over 30 books (including five essay collections) on culture, politics, and literature. Born and educated in England, Hitchens worked as a journalist with the New Statesman magazine in London in the 1970s after leaving Oxford. In the early 1980s he emigrated to the United States and wrote for The Nation and Vanity Fair.
Hitchens's political views evolved greatly throughout his life. Originally describing himself as a democratic socialist, he was a member of various socialist organisations in his early life, including the International Socialists. Hitchens eventually no longer regarded himself as socialist, but continued to admire aspects of Marxism. He was critical of aspects of American foreign policy, including its involvement in Vietnam, Chile, and East Timor. However, he also supported the United States in the Kosovo War. After Hitchens's disenchantment with Marxism, he emphasized the centrality of the American Revolution and Constitution to his political philosophy. Hitchens held complex views on abortion; being ethically opposed to it in most instances, and believing that a fetus was entitled to personhood, while holding ambiguous, changing views on its legality. He supported gun rights and LGBT rights while opposing the War on Drugs. Beginning in the 1990s, and particularly after 9/11, his politics were widely viewed as drifting to the right. During the 2000s, he argued for the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, endorsed the re-election campaign of George W. Bush in 2004, and viewed Islamism as the principal threat to the Western World.Hitchens described himself as an anti-theist and saw all religions as false, harmful and authoritarian. He argued for free expression, scientific discovery, and the separation of church and state, arguing that they were superior to religion as an ethical code of conduct for human civilisation. The dictum "What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence" has become known as Hitchens's razor. Hitchens notably wrote critical biographies of Catholic nun Mother Teresa in The Missionary Position, President Bill Clinton in No One Left To Lie To, and American diplomat Henry Kissinger in The Trial of Henry Kissinger.
Hitchens died from complications related to esophageal cancer in December 2011, at the age of 62.