Christopher Hitchens on Mother Teresa revisited

By Frederick Sparks

This was the first Hitchens piece I read, and it blew me away. Who was this man with the intellectual courage to challenge the popular conception of Mother Teresa? It was seminal in inspiring me to develop and enhance my critical thinking skills. From there I discovered his previous contributions, which were intimidatingly impressive in their depth and breath and substance.


I didn’t always agree with him (the Iraq War for instance), but I always admired his honesty and intellect. I’m glad he was here.

Christopher Hitchens on Mother Teresa revisited

5 thoughts on “Christopher Hitchens on Mother Teresa revisited

  1. F

    I don’t recall the first Hitchens piece I read, but I don’t believe that I even figured him for an atheist at the time. Whatever it was, it was a damned good article, because it got me hooked.

  2. ACN

    My first “piece” of his was watching his debate with Frank Turek at VCU.

    I was still a christian at the time and I went in rooting for Ture. Hitch knocked my socks off.

  3. 3

    I’d been railing against ‘Mother’Teresa for years, before Hitchen’s book came out. An uphill battle to say the least. I was thrilled that he would take on the myth of that awful person!

  4. 4

    Yes, AWA @ 3. above.

    The book `The Missionary Position’ (and what a meaningful title)was astounding to many (including me) who just believed the general story about a woman who, apparently, spent her life helping the sick and the dying in India. CH definitely showed an entirely different face, and to me an entirely different aspect of `christian charity’.

    The most interesting thing to me was being introduced by CH, whether meaning to or not, to the concept that a person can, ostensibly, do `good’ and be lauded for it, but doing it because they feel they should do it to please an authority figure, instead of because it’s their idea of the right thing to do. That seemed so awful, somehow – worse than hypocritical, and even a bit frightening…

  5. 5

    Thanks for Slate link. I’d heard atheists’ (throughout the years) talk about a very revealing article Christopher Hitchens R.I.P. wrote concerning Mother Teresa. At that time in question, I’d have been scared stiff to talk ill of somebody of Mother Teresa’s stature, as she’s doubtless revered in the Roman Catholic Church. Ireland is a small country and those who speak out against the RRC have to suffer severe/social consequences. Think Ostracism! What a perfectly eloquent writer CH was indeed.

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