I’m not particularly moved by Hitchens’ death, to be honest — I only ever knew him as the neoconservative he became, not the whatever it was he was before that — but the residual Christian in me does remind me to try to give up grudges that no longer have an object. So I won’t say any new bad things about the man. I was moved, though, to look up what I had written about him over the years. And I found that this scathing — some have said “shrill” — response to a column he wrote in support of the French ban on veils was the main piece of anti-Hitchens vitriol I had produced:
Which I followed up with this:
And, finally, this:
For what it’s worth, that third post is one of the better things I’ve ever written, a piece I need to go back to and work up and think through more thoroughly. I’m proud to have written it, and I wouldn’t have written if I hadn’t first felt the need to vent my spleen at Hitchens in the first one, and perhaps it’s good because I didn’t really direct it at Hitchens at all. So, since his column was the grain of sand that allowed me to produce my very modest pearl, for that small gift, I thank him, and let him rest in peace.