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Dying Christopher Hitchens considered Christianity, new book claims

Christopher Hitchens, journalist and author of his new memoir "Hitch 22," poses for a portrait outside his hotel in New York, June 7, 2010. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-HITCHENS-BOOK, originally transmitted on April 20, 2016.
“The Faith of Christopher Hitchens,” by Larry Alex Taunton. Photo courtesy of Fixed Point Foundation

“The Faith of Christopher Hitchens,” by Larry Alex Taunton. Photo courtesy of Fixed Point Foundation

(RNS) Before his death at 62, Christopher Hitchens, the uber-atheist and best-selling author of “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything,” considered becoming a Christian.

That is the provocative claim of “The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist,” a controversial new book winning both applause and scorn while underscoring, again, the divide between believers and atheists that Hitchens’ own life and work often displayed.

The author is Larry Alex Taunton, an evangelical Christian who knew Hitchens for three years and, he says, had private, unrecorded conversations with him about Christianity.

Those 2010 conversations, shortly after Hitchens was diagnosed with the esophageal cancer that would kill him 18 months later, took a serious turn.

Once, he asked Taunton if his friend understood why he, Hitchens, did not believe in God.

“His tone was marked by a sincerity that wasn’t typical of the man,” Taunton writes. “Not on this subject anyway. A lifetime of rebellion against God had brought him to a moment where he was staring into the depths of eternity, teetering on the edge of belief.”

Larry Alex Taunton, an evangelical Christian who authored "The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World's Most Notorious Atheist.” Photo courtesy of Fixed Point Foundation

Larry Alex Taunton, an evangelical Christian who authored “The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist.” Photo courtesy of Fixed Point Foundation

Taunton, 48, founder of Fixed Point Foundation, an organization that defends Christianity, acknowledges in the book there are “no reports of a deathbed conversion” for Hitchens.

But Taunton writes that during the same time period, “Christopher had doubts … and those doubts led him to seek out Christians and contemplate, among other things, religious conversion.”

“At the end of his life, Christopher’s searches had brought him willingly, if secretly, to the altar,” Taunton writes at the end of the book. “Precisely what he did there, no one knows.”

The book, published by Christian publishing house Thomas Nelson, is proving popular among evangelicals, winning praise from Douglas Wilson, another of Hitchens’ Christian friends and debate partners, and from Chris Matthews, a Catholic, who said during an interview with Taunton on his MSNBC show, “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” that the book is “beautifully written.”

But among members of Hitchens’ inner circle, the book’s claims that Hitchens was too famous an atheist to admit his late-in-life change of heart, that he was privately “entering forbidden territory, crossing enemy lines, exploring what he had ignored or misrepresented for so long,” are getting a decidedly different reception.

Steve Wasserman, who was Hitchens’ friend for 30 years, co-executor of his estate and with Hitchens’ family at his death, called the book’s claims “petty” and “appalling” when they were read to him.

“I am not in the position to dispute what Taunton says were private conversations,” he said by phone from New Haven, Conn., where he is executive editor-at-large for Yale University Press. “But I really think it is a shabby business. It reveals a lack of respect. This is not a way to debate Christopher Hitchens’ beliefs — to report unverifiable conversations, which amazingly contradict everything Christopher Hitchens ever said or stood for.”

Benjamin Schwarz, Hitchens’ editor at The Atlantic, where he published some of his best work, said, “That Christopher had friends who were evangelicals is testimony to his intellectual tolerance and largeness of heart, not to any covert religiosity.”

And Michael Shermer, an atheist and founder of Skeptic magazine, who read the book’s manuscript and liked its description of the friendship between the two men — enough to give it a favorable jacket blurb — said Taunton’s claims of Hitchens’ flirtation with conversion were “exaggerated.”

Reached by phone at his home in Birmingham, Ala., Taunton stood firm in the face of such criticism. Asked about the fairness of publishing such claims about Hitchens after his death, he said: “The things that I relate, I think by and large I substantiate. What I am saying is this: If Christopher Hitchens is a lock, the tumblers don’t line up with the atheist key and that upsets a lot of atheists. They want Christopher Hitchens to be defined by his atheism, and he wasn’t.”

Taunton first met Hitchens in 2008 in Edinburgh, Scotland, where both were involved in a debate about religion. Hitchens famously said he would debate anyone, and Taunton often arranged and moderated debates between Hitchens and noteworthy Christians.

The two men became friends and spoke warmly of each other in public — Hitchens once said in an interview, “If everyone in the United States had the same qualities of loyalty and care and concern for others that Larry Taunton has, we’d be living in a much better society than we do.”

Taunton writes of his deep concern for Hitchens — for both his soul and his physical well-being. The two took two cross-country road trips after Hitchens became ill, and Taunton’s recollections of those trips and the conversations they had — untaped and unwitnessed by anyone else — form the heart of the book.

“I would say to any would-be critics, read the book,” Taunton said. “You will see that this a gentle treatment of Christopher Hitchens, far more gentle than his (book-length) assaults on the Clintons or Mother Teresa. I’ve given him the benefit of the doubt.” 

Hitchens tried to ensure that anyone claiming he turned to religion at the end of his life would be discredited. In 2010, he made a video with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg in which he said, “In the event of anyone ever hearing or reading a rumor of such a thing, it would not have been made by me. … No one recognizable as myself would ever make such a ridiculous remark.”

About the author

Kimberly Winston

Kimberly Winston is a freelance religion reporter based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

254 Comments

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  • Hitch fully expected this sort of claim to happen post mortem, and wrote before he died not to believe any deathbed conversion tales.

  • Hitchens was prescient. He knew that theists would crop up after his passing to announce he’d undergone a “deathbed conversion.” He also warned that any such pronouncement would be a lie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgCq2T-v-Mo

    I continue to be amazed at the number of supposedly devout Christians who have no shame and who will freely and willfully lie in order to promote their religionism. Because Jesus. I guess.

  • This is EXACTLY what Hitchens warned about, that Christians would try to claim he had made a death-bed conversion when such a thing was furthest from his mind

  • They always have the excuse they are not lying. It is called deeply held belief and personal revelation. It will disappear in thin air once it is shared or exposed.

  • Hitchens prophesied religious deceivers would make these types of dishonest claims after he was no longer alive to refute them.

    Without lies and deception religion would collapse.

  • So it seems it takes a book to prove something where there is no direct evidence to prove it. Contrary to the book CH has a lifetime that says otherwise in print, action and video to offer as evidence against the book. Maybe the author should spend time trying to prove the Bible, because that makes unsubstantiated claims, but in its case the burden of proof isn’t required. CH has demanded that the proof be shown before anyone should accept the claim. So far – crickets!

  • You cannot listen to what Hitchens himself says and then give any credence whatsoever to what some book-selling Thumper wrote. Taunton should excise the word “ethical” from his personal vocabulary.

  • I have absolutely NO reason to believe in god, and I haven’t written about it or spent as much time thinking about it as Hitchens. I doubt very highly that any of the things heard by Taunton actually meant that Hitch was considering “turning to religion” in any way. I suspect that it is pure projection on Taunton’s part. If I were to find out tomorrow that I had terminal cancer, the LAST thing I would possibly contemplate is that some bronze age myths would provide any hope or solace in my death.

    Since I was raised Jewish I never bought into the whole “original sin” nonsense and jebus as some aspect of a god. If fact, as a Jew, I was taught that it is not for us to know what happens when we die. I am OK with that. Even being raised Jewish, I never bought into any of the god myths we were being taught about. None of those stories just made any sense. It is only those who have simple minds and who were brainwashed at an early age who have such strong beliefs that it is inconceivable that someone wouldn’t even consider turning to their god as they were dying.

    I don’t know what will happen when I die. I do think that there is a possibility, however slim, that there is some part of us that continues on after the body dies. However, I don’t believe that what one believes when they die determines anything. It is an idiotic belief that was clearly created by humans to control other people. I would venture to say that Hitchens probably felt very much the same way. In fact you can see that he did in his speeches and his writings. This story is just total revisionist nonsense, written by someone who is incapable of independent thought on this matter.

  • No big surprise that Christians are lapping this up. Of COURSE they would believe the unsubstantiated, unverifiable claims of a coreligionist over actual video footage of Hitchens specifically denying such a thing is possible. To quote the man himself: It’s called faith because it’s not knowledge.

  • Obvious to anyone with common sense that this is fluff to promote a book and push an agenda – all in the name of Taunton’s real god that he worships: money.

    Look around you and it’s one “holy” roller after another asking for your money. If it’s not your church, it’s the Pat Robertsons or Joel Osteens.

    “Send me money, send me green and heaven you will meet. Make a contribution and you’ll get a better seat. Bow to Leper Messiah/Larry Taunton.”

  • There it is again….that damnable smugness of a Christian who thinks atheist will all convert when life is drifting away. They arrogantly believe all non believers will at last find what religious zealots have known all along. If the implication is that Hitchens would convert out of a burning hell…that is just laughable.

  • This is such a disgusting claim to make post mortem.
    As I am sure Hitchens would agree: this only adds to mountain of evidence that there is no boundary to human superstition and self delusion.

  • Utter BS! Says it all about Christians like these – liars and totally deserving of contempt.

  • I’d be more convinced if we could see quotes from the book that are not summary judgments or interpretations by the author, but are quotes of what Hitchens is claimed to have said. Without specifics, there’s too much wiggle room.

  • We’re supposed to believe this book articulates Christopher Hitchens’ mind than he could himself? Hitchens was the most articulate and clear writer I’ve ever come across. This is without mentioning the fact Hitchens took the time in his last days to warn readers that vacuous claims like this would certainly surface after his death and not to believe them. This book is garbage if this article is accurate and even devout Christians should avoid giving the book’s author a dime if they have any self respect or sense of ethics imo.

  • Another masterfully even handed article, Kimberly! Thanks!

    It’s not really worth wasting breath about this guy’s unsubstantiatable claims. He said, she said.

    But what’s interesting is that deathbed conversions do happen often. This is one of the litany of evidence why I believe religion is a man-made construct.

  • His clear eyes and head saw this drivel-barrage coming, as did many of us. Religious fantasies are eternal and innumerable like the ineffable they attempt to describe.

  • i guess we will have to take the authors claims on faith. what a surprise, an evangelical with an agenda is asking us to take his word with an enormous amount of real evidence to the contrary.

  • I like the fantastically dishonest claim that atheists are only not believing his claims because they want Hitchens to be “defined by his atheism”.

    In the real world, there’s a list of reasons why we wouldn’t believe this claim.

    1.) It’s unlikely. Hitchens never expressed anything similar to this view, and it would be entirely out of character.

    2.) This claim is made of every famous atheist when they die, by Christians, when the opportunity is presented. The only exception I can think of is Madalyn Murray O’Hair, as she was murdered under mysterious circumstances, and if you made this claim you’d have some explaining to do to the police.

    3.) In this case, as in every other case of claims of contemplations of faith and deathbed conversions of atheists, absolutely no evidence is put forth to support the claim. All we have is the absolutely unverifiable claim of a conversation. No one else heard it, no one recorded it, and we are expected to take this exceptionally unlikely claim as true at face value, when coming from a Christian apologist, in a book put out by a Christian publisher. We’re meant to do this even when Hitchens himself said people would lie about him in this manner after his death.

    I have no reason to believe this man, and many reasons not to. The most likely scenario is that he’s lying for profit.

  • What a treacherous act from someone who was supposedly a friend, to write a book undermining everything that Hitchens stood for…

    Beggars belief, on the one hand, on the other so predictable. In the long term such opportunistic behaviour will, of course, undermine any trust one might have in religious “friends”.

  • Everyone who knew Hitchens, including his family and friends and lawyers and accountants and book publisher, have stated the claim is false. Of course Hitchens can no longer defend himself by such defamation (being dead), so cultists feel free to libel and defame him.

  • Does Jesus and God teach people like Taunton to lie, or do they do it on their own because they know Jesus and God would approve because they’re such good Christians?

    The moral corruption (not to mention logical/rational corruption) of such people is remarkable and speaks volumes both for them, personally, and for all religions, generally.

  • Anyone who took the time and effort to research religion, knows that it’s mostly superstition and delusion. All religions were man-made to control people, and it’s a power grab, as Hitchens noted.
    Everything I know about Hitch, says this book is a fake.

  • Funny he didn’t mention it in his book about dying while he was very close to death, “Mortality.”

  • Richard Dawkins will also be declared a Christian convert “after” he’s dead of course, by another book peddling evangelical.

    I’m waiting for the book by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi stating Hitchens telephoned him on his last day on Earth, embracing Mohammed.

  • I’m eager to see the evidence that Hitchen’s was considering becoming a Christian. What an extraordinary claim.

  • No one, Hitch included, is (or should be) defined by a single issue or intellectual position. Moreover, as Aristotle observed, an educated mind – which certainly describes Hitch – is able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Thus, to claim Hitch “considered Christianity” seems a trivial assertion at best.

    As an atheist, I’ve had more than a few conversations with Christians during which I admitted wishing I could be reunited with loved ones in heaven/eternity, or to watch the world unfold after I’m gone. Other times, I took the claims of Christianity seriously, at least for the sake of argument, in order to discuss specific aspects of philosophy, faith, religion, and Christianity, provided those claims weren’t germane to the subject. None of this, however, meant I remained receptive to Christianity (as I once was).

    I suspect the author, assuming the alleged conversations actually took place, mistook (or disingenuously cast) Hitch’s intellectual honesty for receptivity. And it’s in fashion, of course, to try making mountains of bucks out of molehills of content. If it plays well with his target audience, he’ll laugh all the way to the bank.

  • I look forward to what Hitchens’ wife, Carol Blue, has to say about this disgraceful trash.

  • Absolutely disgusting to profit off of lying about someone you pretended to befriend. All to glorify the looord, no doubt.

  • I briefly corresponded with Mr. Taunton in 2010. I have no doubt that he liked Hitchens, but Taunton was dismissive of me and quite arrogant. Mr. Taunton confused ideas with objects, and facts with opinions.
    “Furthermore, we hope that every Christian left that place with their nostrils full of the stench of the hatred for God that Hitch expressed and his worshipful fans approved of. Christians need to be awakened and angered to act. God is blasphemed every day in our culture, though most refuse to see it. Perhaps those who were in attendance will now realize the battle in which we are engaged.”
    I am, therefore, quite disinclined to find his testimony unbiased.

  • Maybe Hitchens had a death bed conversion and realized his eternal salvation was threatened………Nah! I take that back. Not Hitch!

  • I’m waiting for the book by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi stating Hitchens telephoned him on his last day on Earth, embracing Salafi Islam.

  • “‘[Christopher Hitchens’] tone was marked by a sincerity that wasn’t typical of the man,’ Taunton writes. ‘Not on this subject anyway. A lifetime of rebellion against God had brought him to a moment where he was staring into the depths of eternity, teetering on the edge of belief.'”

    “[Taunton] says, [he] had private, unrecorded conversations with him about Christianity.” Oh, how convenient.

    “a sincerity that wasn’t typical of the man” – Ah, yes, a disingenuous anti-atheist evangelical pretending that it’s the atheist who wasn’t typically sincere. Of course, we know that Taunton is lying through his teeth precisely because of Hitchens’ own words, both written and spoken, published and recorded on audio and video. None of this matches what Taunton is pretending, and literally everything that Hitchens himself said in his last year of any relevance to what Taunton claims directly contradicts those claims. This is a perfect example of the corrupt, deceitful nature of the rhetoric of Christian apologists, where they take things out of context and engage in profuse misrepresentation, ignoring all the facts they don’t like and pretending they don’t exist, and building up false facades based on omission and misrepresentation, in trying to force reality to fit into the little box of their particular religious beliefs.

    Fundamentalist/evangelical Christians have been fabricating stories about atheists recanting on their deathbeds for a long time. Fabricating things is pretty integral to the mindset of their religious belief system, so with them it’s just the same old, same old.

    Christopher Hitchens: No Deathbed Conversion for Me, Thanks, But it was Good of You to Ask
    http://www.openculture.com/2011/11/christopher_hitchens_no_deathbed_conversion_for_me_thanks_but_it_was_good_of_you_to_ask_.html

  • “Like yourself?”

    You mean because only atheists are capable of telling the truth about what Christopher Hitchens himself actually stated openly, publicly, in writing and recorded on audio and video?

    Or do you mean something else?

    Don’t let your insinuation lie there implicit. Make it explicit. Let’s see if it can stand up in the light of clarity.

  • Yes, you nailed it. According to the mindset of fundamentalist/evangelical Christians – and many other religious believers – it isn’t lying as long as you are lying sincerely. But in my book, people who deliberately ignore the facts that contradict them and deliberately pretend they don’t exist and then keep right on promoting their falsehoods even after these contradictory facts have been pointed out and explained to them personally are just liars putting up a facade of “sincerity” as part of their acts of deception.

  • On my deathbed I will find belief in Aphrodite.

    The thing is – these fundamentalist/evangelical Christians totally agree that that sentiment I just stated isn’t just bogus, but utterly absurd – yet it’s exactly the same absurd stories they trot out, like Taunton’s fabrications discussed here.

  • You wrote, “even devout Christians should avoid giving the book’s author a dime if they have any self respect or sense of ethics…”

    You sure that’s not a self-contradictory statement?

  • Sure he considered Christianity. He considered it beneath contempt, despicable, immoral.

  • He also joked that the only reason to convert to Christianity near his death was so there would be one more dead Christian and one less dead atheist.

  • It is highly improbable that Christopher Hitchens converted to Christianity on his death bed. His wife and family who were with him up to the end most emphatically deny it. Hitchens himself predicted that Christians would say this.

    For some reason Christians love to claim “death bed conversions” and have said this about many other people – Voltaire, David Hume, Thomas Paine, Robert Ingersoll, and Charles Darwin when it was not true.

    I fail why to see why “death bed conversions” matter so much to Christians. It proves nothing for or against what he said or wrote.

    It makes no difference if he became a Hindu, Scientologist, Satanist, or Christian. His writings and speeches still stand on their own merit.

    However, claiming that he considered converting to Christianity will certainly help the author sell more books!

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/brotherrichard/2015/09/rumors-of-christopher-hitchens-deathbed-conversion/#sthash.2W8w3l4X.dpuf

  • I imagine that in Taunton’s mind this must be a ‘good’ lie … and therefore anything goes.

  • How convenient that these conversations were private and unrecorded.

    I call BS.

    Hitchens said that Christians would spread lies after his death. He called it.

  • This is an absolutely bastard act by the writer of this drivel. Hitchens would never have recanted his beliefs nor should his “friend” even vaguely suggest that he may even have had a passing thought about it.

  • Shadowy claims of death-bed conversions are immoral.
    Oscar Schindler was an Atheist also – but because he was buried in a catholic cemetary the Christians claim his heroism as their own.
    There is no bar too low or immoral in this chicanery. But what else can they do? There is no god and there is no good reason to believe in one.

  • It is so telling how christians behave the least christian. I guess Hitchens would have agreed: to get a really christian nation, as opposed to a nation of bigots, you first have to get rid of all the christians.

  • Churlish! This author Taunton, this subject of secret conversion, everything surrounding this absurd claim is despicable.. No shame, what a shame.(Churlish: A word I learned from the late, great author) Thanks, Christopher for your contribution to humanity. I miss you greatly.

  • The key to this sham article is onthe first paragraph “The author is Larry Alex Taunton, an evangelical Christian who knew Hitchens for three years and, he says, had private, unrecorded conversations with him about Christianity” in other words Larry can ‘make shut up’ [MSU], which Wasserman, a family friend of the Hitchens tells us. It’s getting tawdry & tiresome – can you stop this MSU BS, Hitchens was resolute in all of his public (& taped speeches, debates, discussions) that he did not believe there was s God.. Have you got that, or are you going to persist? You’re only doing damage to yourselves..your cred is out the window..

  • Go live life not wallow in BS & the religious, who are only MSU to make money – sorry Thunder people I agree with you.. It’s rubbish ..

  • “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” The fact that he went out his way to say that there wouldn’t be a deathbed conversion should have stopped the writer right there.

  • From an interview on CNN:
    Q: Even when you are alone and no-one is watching, there might be a moment when you want to hedge your bets?
    A: If that comes it will be when I am very ill, when I am half demented, either by drugs or by pain, and I won’t have control over what I’m saying. I mention this in case you ever hear a rumour later on, because these things happen and the faithful love to spread these rumours, on his deathbed he finally… I cant say that the entity, that by then wouldn’t be me, wouldn’t do such a pathetic thing, but I can tell you that not while I am lucid, no. I can be quite sure of that.
    Q: So if there is some story that, on your deathbed… don’t believe it?
    A: Don’t credit it. No.

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBgaEYV2BaY

  • “You must be speaking from your own experience..” What’s next, I know you are but what am I?

  • Prescient? No, he just understood the Xtian mindset. What surprises me is that he befriended the author (if its true). With friends like that who needs enemies.

  • Absolute nonsense,and a disgrace to his legacy that someone thinks they had the right to publish this. His wife was at his deathbed , she has also stated that that this claim is entirely untrue.

  • @ David Rice

    As Beethoven, Newton, Rembrandt and Shakespeare live on – so does Hitch. I am profoundly honored to have lived during his time….

  • No, only Hitchens could openly state his true feelings about religion, and he very often did. In fact he spent a lifetime doing just that, both in writing and in candid interviews, right up until his untimely death.

    The notion that he would have seriously considered converting is as ludicrous as any other superstitious claim, and deserves no more serious consideration than does the existence of an anthropomorphic talking mouse with red pants.

  • @ SecularHumanist199

    “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”
    Carl Sagan, Cosmos

    Upon our deaths, we shall also become starstuff, which will provide the nitrogen, calcium, iron and carbon that will compose our far distant human descendants.
    As such, all living things are immortal….

  • Christopher Hitchens said:
    “We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid.”

    And, his words are proven absolutely true by the content of this book.

  • Complete nonsense. Before his death, Hitchens predicted christians will say he did a deathbed conversion and even if it were true, he said it would be the drugs talking not him.

  • I am not a follower of Christopher Hitchens,but I believe what is said in private conversation would have nothing to do in what you say and how you act in public. All of us have questions about everything, but this does not mean we are going to act on our thoughts. It sounds like to me the person who wrote the book is more interested in evangelizing the world and making money, than remaining true to a “friend.”

  • Larry Taunton is a despicable excuse for a human being and should be in prison. I hope most people understood Hitch well enough to see how ridiculous his claims are.

  • Sad, another death bed conversion claim by even more dishonest and immoral liars and thieves. But its ok, bearing false witness is on the list of forgivable sins. Write a completely untrue book making false claims and then ask jeebus for forgiveness. No need to be honest if forgiveness is only a prayer away nevermind the family and friends of the deceased. Makes me literally sick to my stomach.

  • “As such, all living things are immortal….”

    …until the heat death of the cosmos, of course.

  • What a load of rubbish.

    “Lady Hope” got famous for saying the same thing about Darwin, something his whole family denied.

    Here is the story from Wikipedia: Lady Hope claimed that Darwin said: “How I wish I had not expressed my theory of evolution as I have done.” He went on to say that he would like her to gather a congregation since he “would like to speak to them of Christ Jesus and His salvation, being in a state where he was eagerly savoring the heavenly anticipation of bliss.” Lady Hope’s story was printed in the Boston Watchman Examiner. The story spread, and the claims were republished as late as October 1955 in the Reformation Review and in the Monthly Record of the Free Church of Scotland in February 1957.

    Lady Hope’s story is not supported by Darwin’s children. Darwin’s son Francis Darwin accused her of lying, saying that “Lady Hope’s account of my father’s views on religion is quite untrue. I have publicly accused her of falsehood, but have not seen any reply.” [14] Darwin’s daughter Henrietta Litchfield also called the story a fabrication, saying “I was present at his deathbed. Lady Hope was not present during his last illness, or any illness. I believe he never even saw her, but in any case she had no influence over him in any department of thought or belief. He never recanted any of his scientific views, either then or earlier. We think the story of his conversion was fabricated in the U.S.A. The whole story has no foundation whatever.

  • You still have to talk to them. That is what Hitchens did… he debated ‘believers.’ Some he had polite relationships with. He expected what happened and accepted that it would.

  • Hitch was very thoughtful and would have been unguarded and speaking softly while alone with a close friend. I have no doubt that he said things that could be interpreted as religious by someone who was listening from a religious point of view, someone who cared about him and his ‘soul’s’ fate. I’m often interpreted as expressing religious sentiment or agreeing with religious tenets when I engage in thoughtful conversations. I try to ask questions from the other person’s point of view. I repeat what they’ve said to make sure that I understand. And I posit questions from different perspectives, like ‘If x is true than what would that mean for y?’- and then go on about y. Religious people see this as agreement. They don’t entertain thoughts for their own sake and have to constantly work to maintain a unidirectional worldview which makes it hard for them to acknowledge the difference between understanding and accepting an idea.

  • Seems like there’s a book about every famous athiest with unsubstantiated claims that they repented on their death bed. Hitchens saw this coming, I remember him talking about it in a couple interviews I saw on youtube. Darwin was said to have converted, there were even rumors about Voltaire, I think.

    The fact is, Hitchen’s conversion is like the existence of a deity…you can’t TOTALLY rule it out. But there’s absolutely no reason to believe in it, either.

    I suspect this author of lying in order to prop up his book sales, and give Christians validation of their religion. If this is the case, then this is a horrible betrayal of a friendship, and of the loving, honest, respectful morality Christians claim to possess.

    (I know, claim is a hurtful word. And I will say that the vast majority of Christians that I know try to embrace this set of values. But they’re not Christian values, they’re virtually universal among humans, and not unique to Christians. Or even believers.)

  • If Christians didn’t lie, people wouldn’t know anything about a guy named Jesus whose dad, who was an obsessively authoritarian God, decided to kill him because it was the only rational method He could devise to provide forgiveness to us for the intolerable actions and thoughts of our ancestors.

  • Those fingers in my hair
    That sly come-hither stare
    That strips my conscience bare
    It’s Hitchcraft

  • Larry Alex Taunton. Are you not ashamed that you are making money of a dead man? But that IS religion after all.

  • Did Hitchens consider conversion, or Is Taunton just cashing in? We, of course, will never know. But our pre-occupation with the question, while revealing little about Hitchens, reveals a lot about us.

  • Other articles I’ve read about this say the majority of the book is conversations they’ve had. And the author seems to give an accurate description of Hitchens as far as I can tell. Hitchens was a knowledge seeker, he loved deep, philosophical conversations with friends and adversaries alike, he was a free speech absolutist and always open to new ideas (and a prodigious scotch consumer :-). I think to say he explored conversion is a stretch. I think it’s more likely he reviewed his “source material” one more time in the light of his terminal prognosis and decided he was right all along. And he wasn’t necessarily a hater of religion per se. He liked devotional poetry, architecture, etc and in the Four Horsemen video he actually states that he hoped religion wouldn’t go extinct (to the shock of Dawkins). He had no problem with someone being religious personally (I think he said that in the Al Sharpton debate), he severely disliked religious people pushing their religion outward to declare jihad, teach garbage science in schools, enact legislation based on a specific viewpoint that we all have to follow whether we follow that religion or not, indoctrination of children, etc. The stuff that Poisons Everything.

  • “Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody—not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms—had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance, and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion.”
    Christopher Hitchens

    This book, the author, and your publicity of it are beneath contempt.

  • Well, it is interesting, this after death thing. It reminds me of the Mormon practice of baptism for the dead. If they can’t get them during this life they go for you after you die. Sneaky, yes? Actually the publicity might arouse a bit of curiosity in the deluded, and they might check out what Mr. Hitchens argues and presents in the videos on YouTube. The religious are always interesting because you never know what they will come up with next!

  • Why not Christopher Hitchens, too? C.S. Lewis. Alasdair MacIntyre. Tony Flew. Just of few of many intellectual converts from atheism to theism or Christian theism. I’m not sure why the rush to deny such a plausibility (or at least, possibility) for Hitchens. Might there be some worldview commitments or vested interests at work here? Being more “agnostic” about it (at least) might serve to demonstrate benevolence and tolerance toward one’s fellow human being.

  • What an insult to Hitchen’s memory! The author is just another religion entrepreneur on the take for mammon. Can we assume this was published by Fox News Press?

  • Many things are possible: for instance, I could be the Queen of England.

    However, who was it who said “That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence?”

  • “report unverifiable conversations, which amazingly contradict everything Christopher Hitchens ever said or stood for.”

    I am not a Hitchens devotee, or even particularly atheist. But the tale told in that book must make Christianists everywhere very happy. It will probably make Taunton and his publishing house a lot of money.

    It may be that Taunton believes what he wrote. Perhaps he wanted very badly for his friend to believe what he believes. If Taunton is really terrified of hell, he may have been terrified that’s where Hitchens was going and desperately searching for any crumbs and scraps in Hitchens’ words, mannerisms or expression.

    I’m just trying to give the guy a break. If Taunton is deliberately lying and distorting this – I take it all back.

  • The shameless tactics and levels the religious will stoop to never ceases to be unsurprising and revolting

  • After spending a lifetime exposing the evils of religion, Hitchens, on his death-bed or not, would have mentioned the consideration of a deathbed conversion to at least one if not several of his legion of non-apologist friends and colleagues.

    Let Taunton produce him….

  • So either this guy is lying about Hitchens or he has betrayed his trust as a friend. I’m not sure which is more repulsive but I know which is more likely.

  • I wonder if Al Taunton would willing to take a lie detector test. But he’s probably such a habitual liar, that he would pass the test. Well, Hitchens saw claims such as this coming and made a video to ensure these lies were negated.

  • Most Christians are good people whose sense of ethics are distorted by religious beliefs. Many devout Christians give deceitful Christian authors all kinds of dimes precisely because of Christian ethics and because they consider themselves devout Christians.

    Just saying.

  • I agree. They’re good people contributing to evil because of superstition and confirmation bias. We fight them, we stand against them, but hatred and demonization solve nothing. At a time when secularists have more numbers and garner more attention than ever, we can’t afford to sully our message with hate and anger. I’m guilty of the same thing, and it’s to be avoided.

  • I suppose it was only a matter of time before Taunton or some other for-profit huckster made such an unfalsifiable claim, without a shred of evidence. (Kind of fits the paradigm of what these vermin are all about though, doesn’t it?)

  • I do hope that God granted him repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth before his death.Christopher was one of my favorite atheists.The man had a way with words like few others.

  • Like so much biblical reference; revisionist and unsubstantiated. Hitchens predicted as much. I am surprised someone like Taunton waited so long. No doubt cultivating saccharine sincerity required a discipline he needed time to perfect to hook the best publisher.

  • Why do people consider atheism a rebellion against god. I love all the god mythologies and I respect that others believe them. I don’t “hate” god. I believe man created god to excuse bad behavior (I’m only human”) God does not belong in politics or government. What people wish to believe in their hearts and homes is none of anyone’s business as long as they don’t impose it on others.

  • Sure, he considered it… as he did every day. If he “considers Christianity” during his life, it is because he is a professional atheist. If he considers it just before his death, suddenly he is secretly seeking the altar of God. What deception! What fraud!

  • The famous early fourth century Bishop of Caesarea, Eusebius, became known not only for his multitude of alterations to scriptural texts (including being the one who wrote into Josephus the passages about Jesus existing), but also for his line that “It is all right for a Christian to lie, as long as that lie is in the service of God.” In other words, he launched that distasteful and repugnant principle, the Eusebian Principle, of “the ends justify the means”. Many Christian apologists use it rigorously to this very day.

  • You are kidding right. Christianity is not almost coming to Jesus, like being close in horseshoes. Christians would be happy if he repented, accepted Jesus and received eternal life. You get nothing for being close. In fact the bible says even the theme of this book is wrong. We are not supposed to worry about where someone went after they die. When you die it is too late. Hitchens or Hitler could have been saved by believing in the one who created them.

  • Yeah, to be clear, I’m not trying to vilify anyone. Some of my best friends are religious. It’s a complex topic but most people are just doing what they believe is right imo.

  • I think it was Hitchens himself who said the best reason to convert on your deathbed was so that you could be sure that one more Christian snuffed it. Truly pathetic effort to sell books through implications of deathbed confessions which have been thoroughly repudiated by those who were with him.

  • “If I convert it’s because it’s better that a believer dies than that an atheist does.” -Hitch wrote in ‘Mortality’

    There you have it.

  • I’m not so sure that’s a genuine quote of Eusebius. But here’s a sourced quote of Martin Luther that’s documented: “What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church…a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.”

  • Ah, completely missed that. Although, shouldn’t you replace the word “atheist” with “theist” in your comment, if the point is to take a jab at theist arrogance I mean?

  • The problem with translations from other languages is that there is no such thing as “a genuine quote” other than in that language itself. Eusebius’ principle has been translated loosely or strictly in many forms, but they all say essentially this same thing. That is why it is called the Eusebian Principle.

  • “We are not supposed to worry about where someone went after they die.” How very convenient. Saves you the trouble of confronting the awkward question: why would a “loving” God would punish someone – for eternity – simply for not find the evidence credible? Well, presumably he provided the evidence, and the brain with which to evaluate it. Maybe he should have done a better job.

  • No the real question is, “Why would a perfectly sane person defy the God who created him, give up eternal life, and sentence himself to separation from all goodness and light, forever?” merely to rebel against that God, and prove a point.
    At best, if Christopher was right, he goes to oblivion in worm dirt, at worst he does not and lives in eternity without the presence of God. God does not punish people for refusing a gift, He just leaves.
    For example, on this earth you might imagine being escorted to a maximum security prison and left alone with the doors unlocked. That would not be punishment, it would be what you asked for.

  • Sane people require credible evidence upon which to base their views. You may view this as “rebellion”, the rest of us view it as rational. Have fun contemplating the tortures of the damned, with your imaginary maximum security prison scenario. Christians never seem to tire of these sadistic revenge fantasies. Indeed the gleeful relish with which they imagine them is downright creepy.

  • Revenge fantasy?? If I had a revenge fantasy, I would not say a word. Do you call anything Christopher Hitchens ever said to be credible evidence? Evidence? rational? OK, I leave you to your rational thoughts. You need credible evidence for a gift? Wow, you atheists with your death wishes.

  • I’m not the one suggesting a “maximum security prison” scenario. That’s you, and frankly, it’s creepy.

  • I guess I need to make it clearer for you. (no wonder its so hard for atheists).
    The scenario I spoke of, is merely an example of what happens when all goodness, light, and love leaves. God does not punish, He will leave those who do not want Him alone. He is the source for all love, goodness, and light so In that case it would resemble the scenario I described.

  • Yeah, he “loves everybody”, except for those who, lacking evidence, failed to love him, and despite knowing what evidence could convince them he refuses to provide it, and then he sticks them in an abandoned maximum security prison, forever. Got it. Sounds like a really swell guy!

  • With evidence you don’t need faith. God wants us to have faith in the things unseen. Even if Jesus showed up an presented at the academy awards you would still not believe in Him. You know how I know? …..History. He came here once and told us, I am He, I am God, and you know what? We killed Him.
    The next question for you is, If He is God, then who are you? (compared to Him) that He should provide you evidence?
    He describes us as less than a speck of dust to Him, and yet He has the capacity to love you enough to die for you.
    God does not stick you any where, He merely leaves you to your own choices.
    Here is a better example. We are on a cruise in the Bahamas (sound better?) I have told you to be careful there might be rouge waves. Sure enough one comes along and you fall overboard. I throw a life ring directly in your path, but you refuse it and say “no I will swim” again and again I throw the ring and you refuse. I get the captain to send the helicopter, you say na I can make it on my own. What do you deserve?

    Here is another thing. To be an atheist you have to believe something (mass) came from nothing , like nothing, like nada, like emptiness, like magic, like just appeared for no reason out of nothingness. where is the proof for that?

  • Your example is flawed. Because there is actual verifiable evidence for things like rogue waves, and for the effectiveness of life preserver rings, and rescue helicopters.

    “To be an atheist you have to believe something (mass) came from nothing , like nothing, like nada, like emptiness, like magic, like just appeared for no reason out of nothingness. where is the proof for that?”

    Nope. To be an atheist, all you have to do is a lack of belief in any deities. Nothing else is required. It is the position that religious claims have not met their burden of proof. Note that “a lack of belief” is not a “belief”, nor does it say anything about the origins of the universe, or anything else.

    You clearly have a lot of ideas about your chosen deity, and what he wants or doesn’t want. Lots pf people hold all kinds of beliefs about their preferred deity. Everyone is welcome to those beliefs, but I have no interest in them, other than to be amused by the great whopping contradictions they present, as I find the evidence for the initial premise (that a deity or deities exist) wholly lacking any credibility.

  • So you don’t believe in God, but you will believe in greedy, grant grubbing scientist who will say anything for a fund-me. Carry on then. You have no interest in the truth.

  • Again, no. I do not believe “a” particular scientist. However I do believe science and reason are the best investigation methods humans have to determine “truth” with any degree of certainty. And if we use your example of an unethical scientist who, for whatever reason, falsifies data and presents false conclusions, there is a built in process in the scientific method to discover it. It’s the peer-review process, in which a scientist submits his work to the scientific community. Other scientists will review his data and try to achieve the same results with their own work. If they cannot do that, then they know either his data or methods were flawed, either deliberately or by mistake. His conclusions are not accepted, and it’s back to the drawing board for that particular problem. And that’s why the scientific method has such a long and proven track record of success, and can be relied upon to ultimately produce credible results.

  • You mean like the track record for coffee? How many times in the last 50 years has coffee gone from evil, to healthy, to beneficial, to cancer causing, to holistic, to horrible. If they can’t get coffee right, why do you believe any of it?

  • The coffee thing is a perfect example of what happens when science-ignorant journalists pick up on a new study to sell papers. Lots of people drink coffee, and would naturally be interested to learn of any health benefits or risks associated with it. So if a study is released in an obscure scientific journal that says that “patients who have had at least one heart-attack show a 8% higher risk of having a second one if they drink more than four cups of coffee a day”, a journalist who does not know how to correctly analyze a study will go to print with the headline “Study shows coffee drinkers have more heart attacks”, when that in fact is not what the study says at all. They are entirely ignoring the precision of the study, which is not about “all coffee-drinkers” but only those who have already had one heart attack, and drink more than four cups a day. A much smaller population. And even then, it’s only an 8% higher risk, and further studies would be required to see if it’s actually the coffee that’s causing the 8% increase, or if it’s other factors. But it’s a great way to make all coffee drinkers concerned and get them to buy papers. So your issue here is not with scientists, who, in this particular case, are trying to precisely determine what may or may not cause second heart attacks, (a good question, worthy of study) but with journalists who report on scientific studies inaccurately. And I would agree that’s a problem.

  • Wow, you made my point exactly! Only if you exchange the word journalists, with atheist scientist, and professors like Richard Dawkins we have a winner!

  • Hitchens called it that this kind of thing would happen prior to his death in multiple interviews.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBgaEYV2BaY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_E1Im3Tu1Us

    “COOPER: In a moment of doubt… there might be a moment when you want to hedge your bets.

    HITCHENS:
    If that comes, it will be when I am very ill; when I am half demented,
    either by drugs or by pain. I won’t have control over what I say. I
    mention this in case you ever hear a rumor later on, because these
    things happen and the faithful love to spread these rumors. I can’t say
    that the entity, that by then wouldn’t be me, wouldn’t do such a
    pathetic thing. But I can tell you that… not when I’m lucid, no. I can
    be quite sure of that.

    COOPER: So if there is some story that on your deathbed–

    HITCHENS: –Don’t believe it.”

    What really happened was that Hitchens asked for a priest and he was promptly converted to atheism.

  • Yo mean Catholicism/Vaticanism, hijacking the “Jesus notion” under the guise of the Great Whore of Babylon. Hitchens was direct, straight and honest. Religions are satanic cults dispelling and discrediting Jesus, nothing more.

  • No, I mean Christianity itself – not to mention Islam and other religions in general. If you believe in Jesus, then what you have is religion. Jesus himself was religious, though not a Christian – he was and remained a Jew.

  • No he didn’t. He did say foolish theists would make this claim though. They make this same claim for every well known atheist. Dispicable really.

  • Larry Taunton taught my daughter, who has Asperger’s, in high school. He was a bully who threw tennis balls at her if she fell asleep, making the other students laugh. When I mentioned his claims regarding Christopher Hitchens, my daughter simply replied, “Hmm. Convenient”. I agree.

  • The despicable practice of seeking deathbed conversions was one of Hitchens’ charges against Mother Theresa. Where do we place inventing one on the moral spectrum?

  • Meh. Drama sells, and no better way to sell a book than to set off the raw emotions of theists and Atheists that either praised or scorned Hitch. Troll fodder.

  • How unfortunate that Hitchens’ consistent quest for enlightenment, which included the prospects of contemplating belief systems he did not hold, gets grotesquely twisted into the bogus implication that he died “at the alter” of faith. Hitchens spent a lifetime exposing the fraud, hypocrisy, and historical impossibility of various forms of religion and now that he’s unable to defend himself in death, he’s become the target of revisionists. Private bar conversations, unrecorded and unsubstantiated, does NOT constitute a serious nor credible academic work.

  • Why do evangelicals keep pushing this nonsense?
    Because it shakes THEIR smug faith that anyone could go into eternity without their help.

  • Only Jesus is Lord. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

  • Jesus wasn’t religious. Christianity is a relationship, not a religion. Christianity is a fulfilment of Judaism. Jesus was and is the Messiah. All the prophets prophesied about His coming. He cannot be denied.

  • Jesus was very religious. Christianity is a religion. All religions claim that they are a relationship with some god. All are false. Christianity is only superficially related to Judaism and there is no “fulfilment”. Nobody prophesied about Jesus and he did not fulfill any of the prophecies.

  • In an interview on BBC NewsNight with Lawrence Krauss, Krauss said Carol Blue (Hitchens’ widow) had pronounced Taunton and his book to be “disgusting”.

  • These people are disgusting. They’ll do anything for a buck. Hitchens warned us before his death that such anal seepage, like Taunton and others would perpetrate this kind of fraud. To bad there is no hell for Taunton to burn in when he croaks out his last.

  • It’s funny how the one and only commandment Hitch had any time for was “Thou shalt not bear false witness” is the one Christians like the creep who wrote this book totally ignore when they lie through their teeth about a man once he is long dead & buried and unable to deny the claims made against him. Hitchens widow says this book is a total pack of lies but hey I guess Christians can break a commandment or two if they are lying about an atheist who can no longer answer back eh?

  • He’s not even a good “Christian thinker” if he believes that atheists hate their god.

  • The bible says in order to be converted, which means to become a Christian, that our God, Lord, and Savior must first draw that person to Himself. This is the reason deathbed salvation is possible, but does not often happen with a person who has demonstrated lifetime full of rebellion to God.

  • “All religions claim that they are a relationship with some god.”

    They most certainly do not. You will find nothing of the sort in Islam or Hinduism. The is no concept of a “Personal Relationship” in those religions. No love of the individual, no “forgiveness of sins” nor “but I have called you friends” in Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism. You will find such things in Judeo Christianity.

  • “I am free, and telling you how to break your chains”

    Untethered balloons are ‘free’ also. Unfortunately they are also prisoner to whatever wind blows at the moment.

  • Of course you find the exact same thing in Islam and in Hinduism! Did you even bother trying to check?

  • “lterations to scriptural texts (including being the one who wrote into Josephus the passages about Jesus existing)”

    We have absolutely no idea who provided the Christian glosses to Josephus “Wars of the Jews”. Get honest for a moment.

    Please name one noted Christian apologist who defends the principle “lying in the service of God” is acceptable. Now I can provide one example of a noted atheist Larry Lader (father of th abortion movement) who cooked up the statistic that 10,000 women died each year from backstreet abortions. But why not? There is nothing in Lader’s ethical system (atheism) no become a barrier to such fabrications.

  • On lying.

    “here’s a sourced quote of Martin Luther that’s documented”

    A few thoughts:

    1) Luther was a man, not an ultimate authority, though I think he is correct here.

    2) The lying scripture prohibits is that which is done for illicit person gain at the expense of others.

    3) Were you to be asked “Do you have any Jews hidden in your house?” is categorically different than “Of course it has a lifetime guarantee!”

    Thoughtless literalism leads to difficulty no matter what what documents you read.

  • The original comment was “alterations to scriptural texts”, “not “iterations”. To answer the question, Ray Comfort, William Lane Craig and Ravi Zacharias are but three noted and public Christian apologists who having been caught out lying, will then, at some later forum, repeat the very same lie which had been exposed earlier. You corrupt your own argument by referring to “one example” (whippy-do) of a guy who is arguing the subject of abortion, not the subject of atheism. The distinction is that it is the Christian who stands themselves on a moral podium of “we speak on behalf of a god of truth”. Do you have evidence that atheists promote atheism with lies? Only a fortnight ago, I had two evangelists at my door telling me that “it is a known fact that the Anglican Church has openly admitted that 50% of all of their ministers in the Church are homosexuals”. Of the hundreds of Christian apologists with whom I have conversed and debated, I struggle to find a single one of them who did not at some point in the discussion, lie, while at the same time proclaiming to speak for a god of truth. Plus, Steve Greene, in this very thread below, quotes Martin Luther. Are you saying that he was not a Christian? I note that you do spend some time and effort trying to defend the Lutheran defence of lying, including claiming that he was “not an ultimate authority”, a courtesy that you do not offer Lader.

  • typical of you lefties……. the heavens are telling the glory of GOD and then some of you just get bird pooped

  • 2 shocking stats…70% of atheists have father issue’s. 20% of atheists are angry at God….A God they don’t believe in.

  • 1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

    5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him– 11 a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.

    12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

  • Apparently some of you missed the point in the article which states “I don’t know what decision Christopher made, that is between him and God, but I can say that he was brought in front of the alter.” Nowhere in the article is there a claim that he became a believer. All that was certain is that he had deeper discussions with the author about it. In the same manner I have discussions with others from different religions including atheists. However, where there final destination is upon death, is not for me to decide. That is entirely their own.

  • I heard Christopher Hitchens say more than once toward the end of a life cut too short , that if any such claims were publicized , they would not have been made by the entity he knew himself to be, but another mammal or creature of diminished capacities much removed from his true self by the effects or the sheer terror of the illness that was to be his demise. I took that to be a countermeasure he emplaced in case one of his last wishes, that of being remembered just as he had always represented himself to be, was not honored. It is regretful that a proclaimed friend and companion in his final days, should not only do him the disservice of ignoring dying wishes, but publish such a contradiction for noteriety.

  • Respectfully, your balloon analogy is a straw man argument. How is a non-religious person like an untethered balloon?

    One can also say that the non-religious are eagles, free to plot their own course, navigating their lives, restricted only by the innate sense of objective morality that is intrinsic to all (OK, “most”) of us, rather than voluntarily enduring the shackles of unproven theocracy, borne of Iron Age culture and notions of morality.

  • There’s is no possible way Hitchens considered becoming a christian. Why does religion keep exploiting death in order to proselytize? I find it deeply disgusting and if anything, it pushes me even further from religion.

  • The way I see it, religion IS lies and deception. Remove that and you don’t have a religion anymore.

  • No. He didn’t. Well, okay, he did. But that was his nature, often hyperbolic — never hysterical.
    In the hundreds of hours I watched of Hitchens, I never doubted the complexity of the man. He was well-read in philosophy and religion, as well as many other subjects.
    He’s the only departed person I’ve missed this much for this long. I liked it that I never quite knew exactly where he’d come down on an issue.
    Christopher had a much longer time to look into the abyss than most people do. (That and the tortures of the damned that his doctors put him through could whither any mortal, at least a bit.) The man was not a mythical creature, although bigger than life in some ways, yet I would be surprised if he DIDN’T blink. He was too much of a thinker not to. Stupid people have things much easier on this subject — easy on both sides of the fence, if you catch my drift.
    His interests in perpetual learning along with his profound love of life places him in a small group of people I call the Predestined. Two others are Keith Richards and Robert Plant. I see no signs of “Predestination” in myself, so I’ll never know how the story ends, for them. For me, I’m toast.

  • Of the whole group of “New Atheists,” Dawkins has the meanest spirit, the least tolerance, and the most rigid mind. Christopher had class, sometimes. 😉 But even when he wasn’t, he was never dull. Dawkins’ fanaticism leads me to believe that there’s no way his wrought iron soul would crack.

  • Hitchens and Madalyn Murray O’Hair were polar opposites. I wouldn’t say, as Hitchens did about Falwell, that he was only sorry there isn’t a hell for him to go to. But I would say, If she’s in hell right now, I’m not shedding any tears.

  • He did more than that. He said he still loved the Anglican Church. But that’s only natural for anyone, loving one’s heritage. Hitchens was too complex to pigeon hole, even though he tried doing that to himself.

  • What irks me is that the writer is trying to make a buck from it. If it were merely some observations he had that were worthy of thinking about, I wouldn’t have a problem. As things stand, it seems crass.

  • Human beings can indeed be complex creatures, but claiming that Hitchens had anything remotely resembling a deathbed conversion is a bit like saying the Universe was created 5000 years ago……..oops, that’s what Evangelicals also claim!

  • Jesus did a pretty good job…you have to admit. People are still talking about him 2000 yrs later. They won’t even be doing that about Donald Trump…or maybe they will….if he starts a nuclear war.

  • Well technically that was Paul. He’s the one who created a new religion with Jesus as its mascot.

  • What utter trash, and the originator of claims such as these will hold him/herself up to be a paragon of virtue and “christian values”. Shame!

  • This is a good example of how religious nuts think. They try to guess what someone else believes, they get it completely wrong, laugh at what they just made up and are left believing what they just made up is true. I guess this is how you people play with yourselves.

  • Expected some Christian to make this pompous claim. It’s self-serving which is exactly what Hitch warned against, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof” Christopher Hitchens. According those who were there at his deathbed said he was defiant to the end. Contrary to what the religious claim atheist conversion at time of death is extremely uncommon. We do not fear death and for us it has no sting, “Either perpetual rest or eternal life” Socrates. Christopher quoted him saying this, then said about Socrates at the time he was being killed for not believing in the Gods, I paraphrase, I may not know to an absolute certainty if the God-Gods exist but I’m as sure as I can be that you do not know the first thing about them. This is what I say to all Christians who try to use a book of lies and contradictions.

  • lying for jesus and not giving a damn for the mans memory or the friendship he offered in life, absolutely disgusting.
    One more thing these people need to understand is that atheists are not staring into eternity- it is they who believe they are condemned to an eternity, we have this one life and then we die. eternity is not an issue for an atheist.

  • “Christianity is a relationship, not a religion”
    By the textbook definition of religion, Christianity IS a religion.
    Snap out of it.
    No amount of wishful thinking on your part alters that FACT one iota

  • Look, I understand wanting to parrot your predecessors outstanding success with posthumous propaganda… but you’re doing it wrong.

  • Interesting body language at 3:16 (a bit of irony with that time stamp too). In other words, Hitchens is saying if I -DO- acknowledge God, it’s probably because the cancer has spread to my brain and I’m just crazy. Sounds like a positioning statement. EVERYBODY fears death – EVERYBODY is aware of their own mortality. Precisely why we are much more than glorified apes. We are the pinnacle of Gods creation. No other creature that walks, flies, swims, jumps or crawls is capable of contemplating God, mortality, what makes plants grow, why the sky is blue, etc. I honestly feel empathy for those who have no spirit and are seemingly ok with telling themselves we are nothing more than the product of some random cosmic event. I don’t care how much you deny it, Hitchens is quite scared here in this interview.

  • Now Mr.Hitchens will get to meet the one he spent his life lying about. Anyone that believes that the universe and all that is in it was by chance and then says that monkeys just stopped turning into men is going to have a ruff road to travel when all is done.

  • Yeah too proud to convert, sadly he is most likely in tormant now…By his own doing. It was always My will be done NOT Thy will be done.

  • This article is a complete, self-serving lie. Hitchens made his contempt for religion abundantly clear, and warned against people trying to do this to him. It’ll make good fodder for the already brainwashed, but you’re certainly never going to fool anyone with even the slightest familiarly with Mr. Hitchens. Shame on you.

  • No such thing as heaven, but I get it. Once you get used to the lying that is required to stay religious, the rest just flows.

  • I think Hitchens literally predicted a story like this being printed about him after his death. Just comical.

  • Some people have no shame.
    This book should be called “Lying for Jesus”. But then, most books on atheism or atheists written by Christians should have the same title.

  • What is it about the religious mentality that they have to lie about death bed confessions? From Voltaire to Darwin to now Hitchens. We know they died with their friends and family around them and did not change their minds. It has long been known that the Girl who claimed to hear Darwin recant his evolutionary ideas was 12 years old and not even in England when Darwin died, yet I still see Christians claiming her as evidence that he did. This also ignores the fact that science and the theory of evolution are accepted not because Darwin said so, but because of the evidence he presented for it and the additional evidence that has been found since. Evidence that was found in many cases by those wishing to discard the theory. The same goes for Hitchens when he died. They were there and attest that he did not convert or recant. I guess it is because Religious ideas are based on revelation and authorities, while scientific ideas are based on logical thinking and evidence.

  • Yet more evidence that so-called “christians” will lie at the drop of a hat, in order to further their own cause.
    For shame, you disgusting, dishonest people who constantly claim to have the higher moral ground.
    By your actions we shall all truly know you.

  • “1) Luther was a man, not an ultimate authority, though I think he is correct here.”

    You asked for one noted christian apologist who made the claim – this was supplied.
    Why do you then shift the goalposts?

  • That’s NOT the definition of fanaticism. I meant what I said. Dawkins is a fanatic in every negative sense of the word. He asks people to mock believer and all of that. Hitchens was the opposite.
    Hitchens would say, “If religion gives you some solace in your final hour, good. But don’t try to force it on me.”

  • I know, I was translating your use of it because you’re a lying sack of poo whiny little biatch

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