Today is “Everybody Pray for Hitchens Day,” a date when the world is asked to plead with God to heal Christopher Hitchens from esophageal cancer. There is, however, a slight rub in this otherwise lovely plan: Hitch, as you would know if you’ve tuned in to any of his recent videos and articles in which he glibly discusses the morose inevitability of his death, couldn’t care less that people are praying for him.
As for the people praying for his survival and begging against his death, Hitchens concedes just this much to the AP: “I think it’s a nice gesture.”
”I’m perfectly sure that there is nothing to be gained from it in point of my health, but perhaps I shouldn’t even say that. If it would do something for my morale possibly it would do something for my health. We all know that morale is an element in recovery,” he said. ”But incantations, I don’t think, have any effect on the material world.”
Hitch gets even icier in the first installment of his Vanity Fair series, Topic of Cancer, asking his readers to “Please do not trouble deaf heaven with your bootless cries.” This sentiment, however, is rejoined by something of a caveat: “Unless, of course, it makes you feel better.”
So go ahead and pray for Hitch! Especially if your lifestyle bears any resemblance to his “bohemian existence,” and you want to delude yourself into thinking that your excessive smoking and drinking won’t lead to, well, cancer. Just keep on praying.