Cain and Abel?
May 20, 2010 8:44 PM   Subscribe

Families, everyone's got to have one (or two, or three) Christopher and Peter Hitchens. Brothers.
posted by emhutchinson (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Whoo, can you imagine Thanksgiving dinners with those two?
posted by darkstar at 9:09 PM on May 20, 2010

[Peter] became a devout member of the Church of England.

As someone raised in the Anglican Communion, that's all I need to know. "devout" plus "Church of England" always equals "crazy" provided that it's not someone describing their grandmother.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:16 PM on May 20, 2010

Shortly after the death of the evangelical Reverend Jerry Falwell, [Christopher] said: ‘If you gave Falwell an enema he could be buried in a matchbox.’

posted by brundlefly at 9:34 PM on May 20, 2010

I find it slightly suspect that the article focuses mainly on C. Hitchens' politics and not on his religious views (most notably his lack thereof.) This may be because the article dates from 2007, but I seem to remember, even then, Christopher Hitchens being a prominent member of the "New Atheists" movement-like thing. I know many people who find his politics abhorrent and his religious views wonderful. I imagine there are plenty of others who feel the opposite.

I note this focus on politics in part because of the source of the article. I feel that being the reporting arm of a workers collective has left the author, if not the website, with a limited perspective.

I want to see the Hitchens debate religion over a family meal. It might be worth selling tickets to that.
posted by Hactar at 9:39 PM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Hitchens vs. Hitchens
posted by homunculus at 10:10 PM on May 20, 2010

Evidently, it is the Islamic face rather than the fascist substance that Hitchens finds so repulsive. His latest best-selling diatribe is called God Is Not Great.
I'm not as repelled by Hitchens as most people, but his geopolitical ideas seem to be inspired mostly by his hatred of religion.

I wonder where his extreme hatred comes from. As an atheist sibling to a born-again, I can vaguely empathize with anger that comes of witnessing the stupifying effect that zealotry has on a loved one, but rage is a pretty shabby foundation for a worldview.
posted by klanawa at 10:24 PM on May 20, 2010 [3 favorites]

Most readers of this are probably more familiar with Christopher than with his brother, so here is a link to Peter's Mail on Sunday blog. You'll get what he's about pretty quickly just skimming through.

The thing with Peter is that although I disagree with pretty much every single thing he thinks, I have a kind of grudging respect for the man. Unlike most Daily Mail journalists/columnists, I get the impression that he really truly believes what he writes, and thinks hard and seriously about it. He sticks to his (deeply conservative) principles even when this puts him at odds with the official line of his newspaper and its readers, even going so far as to call for the break-up of the Conservative party because it is too left-wing for him. So yeah, he gets a certain (and limited) kind of respect from me.

In other Peter Hitchens news, I saw him cycling around Oxford the other day. He was smiling, which surprised me somewhat.
posted by chorltonmeateater at 10:34 PM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

The thing with Peter is that although I disagree with pretty much every single thing he thinks, I have a kind of grudging respect for the man.

Heh. The thing with Christopher is that although I agree with much of what he thinks, I have nothing but loathing for the man.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:47 PM on May 20, 2010 [5 favorites]

Not sure a New Internationalist article from October 2007 is exactly best of the web .. but to keep the thread alive, here's a piece from yesterday's Independent about the Miliband brothers, the Dimbleby brothers, the Gallagher brothers, and, yes, the Hitchens brothers: Things can turn nasty when brothers pick the same career. The article claims there's been a 'reconciliation of sorts' between the Hitchens brothers, but goes on to point out that at their last public encounter they 'refused to shake hands and barely looked at each other':

Audience member: I've seen you sneaking furtive glances at each other throughout the whole event but you've never I think made eye contact. And I just wondered whether, for this final moment, whether there was a chance you could just look at each other?

CH: I don't mind giving the odd squint, but you don't know what we've just been through. We were asked by James Naughtie to do an on-radio handshake, he was so keen to promote brotherhood and human kindness, and I thought this was a handshake made for radio. So because we both recoil from this slightly sickly element of it, I think we may have to retain the quiet dignity of a stuffed moose, as Bertie says of Jeeves.

Audience member: So will you do it?

[CH and PH look briefly at each other]

PH: They want everything to be all right.

CH: They want a happy ending - that's their problem.

posted by verstegan at 12:37 AM on May 21, 2010

Whoo, can you imagine Thanksgiving dinners with those two?

Yes, but it takes a little extra imagination because they don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Britain.

posted by magnificent frigatebird at 1:22 AM on May 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yes, but it takes a little extra imagination because they don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Britain.

I imagine that Christopher Hitchens celebrates it now that he's an American citizen.
posted by atrazine at 3:30 AM on May 21, 2010

This is the second time I've been made aware of a well-known figure's less well known brother via Metafilter.

*reads article*

Sibling rivalry just never ends, does it?
posted by AdamCSnider at 3:32 AM on May 21, 2010

The magazine ad for Peter's book says, "You're too smart to believe in God. That's what the Atheists want you to believe."

Umm, yeah, I'll get right on that.
posted by sneebler at 5:01 AM on May 21, 2010

CH on Thanksgiving
posted by sineater at 8:28 AM on May 21, 2010

This Falwell quote is genius
posted by Mina Naguib at 12:12 PM on May 21, 2010

In the current First Things Theodore Dalrymple reviews the latest books by the Hitchens brothers in "The Brothers Grim".

Peter Hitchens: "How I found God and peace with my atheist brother"
posted by Jahaza at 10:31 AM on May 22, 2010

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