The rumpled-looking intellectual, who exhibits an extraordinary capacity for dissipation, says that if Heaven exists it must look a lot like North Korea.
Hitchens, who experiences no insufficiencies in regards to his own ego, asserts in the book that Judaism and Christianity induce people to feel like lowly sinners, which, in turn, breeds low self-esteem.
Last week Hitchens unexpectedly cut short a book tour for his new memoir, "Hitch-22." Doctors diagnosed him with esophageal cancer, and the tour was canceled to permit him to undergo chemotherapy.
Esophageal cancer is particularly aggressive. People don't normally consult a doctor until the ability to swallow has become impaired or the voice has changed, and by then the tumor may be in an advanced state.
What will happen to Mr. Hitchens, his many admirers wonder. It's been said that there are no atheists in foxholes. Christopher Hitchens suddenly finds himself on the floor of an uncomfortable foxhole, taking a heavy pounding. Will atheism sustain him?
Here the rubber meets the road. One who's publicly railed against God must now publicly face a challenge that's sure to test his mettle. The world is watching. Many are praying for him.
Like it or not, we're changed by adversity, and often for the better.
The arrogant and nasty Brock Lesnar, Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight champion, is perhaps the brute-power equivalent of Hitchens' brainpower warrior. Lesnar nearly died of an intestinal ailment this past year and took time off from competition. He experienced what some have called an epiphany and is a changed person. Some claim he's no longer the "ornery SOB" he once was.