Like many (or at least some), I reacted to news about Pope John Paul II's beatification of Mother Theresa by thinking, "I wonder what kind of brutal screed Christopher Hitchens will write this time?" Well, the column in question is headlined "Mommie Dearest," and contains such lines as "It's the sheer tawdriness that strikes the eye first of all." More to Hitchens' point:
[W]e witnessed the elevation and consecration of extreme dogmatism, blinkered faith, and the cult of a mediocre human personality. Many more people are poor and sick because of the life of MT: Even more will be poor and sick if her example is followed. She was a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud, and a church that officially protects those who violate the innocent has given us another clear sign of where it truly stands on moral and ethical questions.