DONOHUE-HITCHENS SETTLE DISPUTE

Catholic League president Bill Donohue says that he and Christopher Hitchens have settled their recent dispute:

On November 2, I criticized Christopher Hitchens for saying that Mother Teresa was “a fanatic and a fundamentalist and a fraud, and millions of people are much worse off because of her life, and it’s a shame there is no hell for your bitch to go to.”

At the end of the news release, we published his e-mail address, and he was roundly condemned, sometimes maliciously, by angry Catholics (he forwarded some of the e-mails to me). I subsequently e-mailed him, saying, “Seems like you’ve heard from the faithful.” I also took the opportunity to invite him for drinks the next time he is in New York. Why? Although we’ve had it out several times in the past—in person and on TV—and although I strongly disagree with him, the man is no phony, and that means a great deal to me. Unlike most of those whom I do battle with, Hitchens is intellectually honest.

Christopher wrote back to me today, saying, “The first thing to say is that I felt remorse for employing the word ‘bitch’ as soon as it was out of my mouth.” Forgiven. As I have always said, when someone apologizes, Christians have no choice but to accept it. Besides, anyone who fights for a cause, myself included, occasionally lets his emotions get the best of him. The difference is, Christopher admits it.

A few years back, Christopher wrote a piece in Vanity Fair on abortion that was so fair that it moved me to write a letter in praise of it; it was published. In other words, this is not the first time we have broken bread. But who needs the bread? Christopher and I have some serious drinking to do.


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Written by Bill