Vail Daily letter: Cal Thomas column missed mark |

Vail Daily letter: Cal Thomas column missed mark

Brad McLaughlin
Vail, CO, Colorado

In response to Mr. Cal Thomas’ commentary in the Vail Daily on Dec. 26: I must note that much of what Mr. Thomas wrote was, in my opinion, another misrepresentation of Christopher Hitchens’ anti-theism. Those who have only skimmed through the legions of mediocre expositions written by some of Hitchens’ disgruntled opposition should be cautiously read.

Most would agree with Mr. Thomas that Hitchens was indeed “smart,” as well as a “gifted” and an “original writer,” though I must object to the charge of Hitchens being unoriginal in his unbelief, stated as if everyone else isn’t unoriginal in their contrary belief(s), insofar as being first cause. Beyond that, the implicated prod is suspect.

Hitchens never claimed to be the original source regarding some of his defended philosophies-ideals, as he once wrote in “Letters to a Young Contrarian,” “The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but how it thinks.”

Mr. Thomas’ commentary was much less Christmas-oriented than titled, but rather a provocative conglomeration of extremely large ideas whittled down to the usual score of cliched precepts.

These dictums are often used, though not solely, as the prelude so that one can happily conclude, as if known with certainty that the said or implied dissenter is suffering for all of eternity.

And what does this remind you of? I can’t help but to associate Thomas’ discourse with the coercive, fear-mongering tactics that have oppressed the unfortunate commoners of theocracies for centuries — hardly a reminder of the teachings of Jesus.

For those who may be speculating, I’m a theist. Yet theists and atheists who research the history of Christmas will find it riddled with paganism and northern European myths.

This is so much the case that the Puritan Protestants, Commonwealth of England, and some pilgrim settlements in North America banned Christmas from being celebrated for the aforementioned reasons.

I’m most definitely not advocating the abolishment of Christmas, but rather a genuine acknowledgement of its origins if conversation is to take place.

I encourage everyone to ask questions and sincerely research these topics, therefore dismissing the dogmas surrounding them.

As Hitchens once said: “Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.”

Happy holidays.

Brad McLaughlin


Support Local Journalism