Christopher Hitchens was due to address the American Atheist Convention, but had to cancel because of illness. So he wrote them a letter instead. Hitchens writes like an angel wielding a flaming sword, and the letter is an excellent example of his way with words. Example:
Our weapons are the ironic mind against the literal: the open mind against the credulous; the courageous pursuit of truth against the fearful and abject forces who would set limits to investigation (and who stupidly claim that we already have all the truth we need). Perhaps above all, we affirm life over the cults of death and human sacrifice and are afraid, not of inevitable death, but rather of a human life that is cramped and distorted by the pathetic need to offer mindless adulation, or the dismal belief that the laws of nature respond to wailings and incantations.
Do go and read the rest. By coincidence, his friend, Martin Amis has a biographical sketch of him in today’s Observer. Also worth reading to catch a flavour of the man.