Is it just me, or has Christopher Hitchens turned into a caricature of himself? Once upon a time, he was one of those Shakespearean fools whose license to speak truth to power was exercised in often brilliant puncturings of sacred cows and other pious beasts. Since his ascent to the office of national Atheist-in-Chief, he seems mostly to run around the public square in cap and bells, farting in the general direction of any religious personage who crosses his path. Some may be entertained at the blast he let loose the other day at Jeremiah Wright, his presidency-seeking parishioner, and a few others who happened to be standing in their vicinity. Others will find it merely noisome. Discriminating, it is not.
Take, for a small example, the following sentence:
If you think Jeremiah Wright is gruesome, wait until you get a load of the next Chicago “Reverend,” one James Meeks, another South Side horror show with a special sideline in the baiting of homosexuals.
It’s indisputable that Wright has stood up courageously and continuously for gay people in a community rife with homophobia–but naturally Hitch would never permit such an acknowledgment to escape his pen. “How true it is,” he writes, “that religion poisons everything.” Such is the Great Evangel he has been called to pronounce.