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Jun 30 2010

We’re Not Praying For You, Hitch

Yesterday, we heard that Christopher Hitchens had suspended his book tour for “personal reasons.” Today, we found out what that means. Hitch has esophageal cancer and will undergo chemotherapy for it. Chemo for esophageal cancer usually involves cisplatin, which is often described as one of the most “emetogenic” chemo drugs. In other words, it makes you puke your guts up, a condition that obviously precludes a book tour.

Of course, it didn’t take long for the hate-filled theists and assorted loons to come out of the woodwork. Yahoo News seems to be a haven for them these days. One of the most amusing comments posted there came from “K”, who suggested that,

“Maybe CH will do a complete 360 ° with regards to his belief in the Divine.”

Excellent! I can now draw two conclusions about “K” based on this statement. He’s probably bad at math, and I suspect he likes circular arguments.

And then there’s this bit from “DisplayName001,”

“Since he isnt into God and stuff folks will have to pray for him a little extra, Cancer is bad, I hope he has some family and people around him to help, so many people are touched by it hopefully he comes over here for treatment since the NHS has been known to treat smokers not so good.

“God be with you Mr. Hitchens dont let the doctors destroy your immune system too much with their poison medication and try to regulate your body’s pH”

DisplayName001 seems to be unaware of a lot of things, like the fact that Christopher Hitchens has lived in Washington, D.C. for quite some time now. Or that chemo is way better at treating cancer than prayer. Or that your body regulates its pH pretty well no matter how you try to screw it up.

Comments like these should be accompanied by the warning, “This is your brain on God!” They illustrate why Hitchens is such a passionate, vocal anti-theist. These beliefs aren’t benign – choosing prayer over chemo is deadly.

Esophageal cancer is serious, and I’m glad Hitchens is receiving serious treatment. I hope the chemo works, but I won’t be praying for that outcome. I think Hitchens would approve of that sentiment.

17 comments

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  1. 1
    James Francesco

    As much as there stupid comments fill me with utter rage, I know that Christopher Hitchens will have more grace then I could ever hope for when he eventually and inevitably responds.

  2. 2
    Martin

    Esophageal cancer is what killed Bogart. I know we've come a long way in half a century. And hopefully Hitch comes out of this with a few life changes on his agenda. All that smokin and boozin don't really do a body good, you know.

  3. 3
    Jonathan91919

    Get well soon Hitch. :(And yeah, this really shows the true nature of the so-called "class" of these Christians with their insinuations that Hitch deserves what he's getting for being a heathen going against the IMMORTAL word of God. As much of an utter tool though Jerry Falwell was, I never encountered any atheists who claimed that Jerry deserved to be struck down by cardiac arrhythmia because of his beliefs. Getting humiliated by the sheer level of debunking of his work and beliefs… sure, but never painful death.Oh well, hopefully he's in a hospital that will treat him rightly and not use any stupid homeopathy or prayer crap on him.-Jon

  4. 4
    Michel

    Having your stomach turn with the comments and "reasoning" that theists & apologetics use can't be good for your health too, MartinSpeaking for me personal: At least the boozing gives you a nice buzz ;)

  5. 5
    MethodSkeptic

    Yeah, doctors are probably going to tell him to give up some of those nasty habits.

  6. 6
    Warren Grubb

    Yeah, he doesn't need to find god or prayer, he needs to cut down on the bad physiological habits, lol. Hopefully they caught it early enough that he will make a good recovery. It is amazing how far we have come- my dad was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago and I wasn't even too concerned when I heard the basics of the diagnosis, but I would have been terrified 20 years earlier. Yay, science!!

  7. 7
    AdamTM

    @MartinHitchens without the booze and the smoking?That wouldn't be HitchensIt would be like McGyver without duct tape.

  8. 8
    rrpostal

    Unfortunately I think we all need to file this under the "not very surprising" category. Just yesterday I was looking for a "Hitch" T-shirt I saw someone wearing and I was thinking how much of a journalistic rock star he is. I just can't picture a reformed old Hitch without a glass of scotch and a smoke. But I never thought my dad would give it up either.

  9. 9
    DrJ

    Ahhhhh Cancer. Must be intelligently designed.

  10. 10
    ls

    Yikes! This is like a threat to a US national monument or something…. Agreed – the last thing Hitch needs right now is the Love, Hope and Prayer of The Lord's Chosen People.Hopefully it was caught early enough…… Egads, he's in my thoughts for sure…LS

  11. 11
    Sparrowhawk

    Wow, I don't even know if there are any kids in my Summer School K-2 class who would suggest something so childish.

  12. 12
    liminalD

    I'm not praying for Hitchens.I'm praying TO Hitchens!:)

  13. 13
    Guillaume

    Fuck, that sucks. I can't believe how stupid fundies are if they are happy with this. Cancer is a nasty disease, but one can pull through, sometimes, at least for a while. Hope he lives a few more years.It makes me think of something. Recently I got a letter from the hospital that diagnosed the cancer I had eight-ish years ago (got treated both in England and Canada). It reminded of painful memories, but reading about my case in a doctor's letter it also reminded me how grateful I have to be towards modern science and doctors. I had one of those epiphany moments at that time: when the nurse, filling a questionaire, asked me what was my eligion, I said "none". One of the first times I was conscious to be an atheist.

  14. 14
    Ing

    "Or that your body regulates its pH pretty well no matter how you try to screw it up."Unless you're a diabetic

  15. 15
    Andrew Yang

    man, after reading this, my opinion on god, vaccines, miracles, ufos, and conspiracy theories have turned 360 degrees.And now that I'm dizzy, I'll go lie down in the corner.

  16. 16
    ernobius

    Get well Hitchens!

  17. 17
    Kat

    This is not nice. My uncle died of esophageal cancer back in 2006. He was only 59. He died just three months after being diagnosed. I remember everyone in my (Catholic) family was praying to Blessed Kateri for a healing miracle. They held private masses at my aunt's house, did a million novenas, etc. No cure. It's too bad. He was a great lawyer and had two young (currently 16 and 18 year old) daughters.

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