Until recently, I took John Dolan’s attacks on Christopher Hitchens (and his patron unsaint, George Orwell) with a huge pitch of salt: Dolan is no doubt a good writer but exaggeration is part of his method. When it comes to excoriating various “Tories” and their crimes against the Irish and the Roman Catholics, Dolan works wonders, of a negative sort though, yet I’m still prefer Wordsworth to Byron, much as I appreciate GG’s humor.
But when Pope Benedict gave that lecture in Regensburg, and Hitchens jumped in to denounce Catholic perfidy, I looked back, put two and two together, and saw in Christopher H. not only an apologist for Trotsky but a hater of Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Mention the Pope, and the smart columnist will abandon wit and logic to start spewing up absurdities, not in the least concerned about lying. Since Hitchens is a far cry from an idiot, his refusal to understand the Pope’s speech has to be taken as dishonesty. Daniel Larison has taken time to explain when and how Hitchens got it so wrong.
For those of us not who don’t care much for superficial interpretations, the Pope’s speech concerns the interaction between the Hellenic and Hebrew elements in the Christian tradition. Among other things, it should be of interest to readers of Lev Shestov.