“Who Framed Christopher Hitchens?”: A Report on Fake News

A couple of days ago my latest column was published in First Things.  It is titled “Ye of Brittle Faith.”  It is a response to the atheist mafia’s orchestrated attacks on me and my book, The Faith of Christopher Hitchens, from such quarters as The Guardian (UK), BBC, and The New Yorker.  First Things is a very influential journal for Christian thinkers around the world.  You can read the article here.  (Unfortunately, they have placed the piece behind a paywall, so you can get a flavor for it, but then you have to pay $1.99.  Pay it.  It’s worth it.)

I have waited until now to respond to my critics for a variety of reasons:

  • I have simply not felt up to it.  I am, as many of you will know, still recovering from the massive trauma of an accident I suffered some fifteen months ago.  That is an ongoing, perhaps lifelong, process.  Regardless, it is an understatement to say that this has consumed more than a little of my physical and emotional energy.
  • Finally, the shrill, irrational nature of the attacks made it clear that not only had few of these critics read the book, but even those who did set out with an agenda to mischaracterize it: an evangelical claims that Hitchens converted on his deathbed!  This was “fake news” from the outset as my First Things article demonstrates.  Furthermore, no honest reader of the book could doubt my genuine affection for Christopher Hitchens.  This was not an assault on him, but it wasn’t a hagiography either.  For these critics, however, nothing less than a hagiography of the late atheist would do.
 If you don’t want to pay the $1.99 for the First Things article, you can read Samuel James’s blog about it: “Who Framed Christopher Hitchens?”  Mr. James reviewed the book when it was first published and read the FT piece, too.  He is an excellent writer and I am grateful for his honest assessment of this controversy.  You can buy the book here.

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