Monday, December 19, 2011

The American Spectator : On Vaclav Havel -- and Chris Hitchens

Paul Kengor speculating on Havel and Hitchens at the Gates to Heaven:The American Spectator : On Vaclav Havel -- and Chris Hitchens

Drinks and smokes for both I’d hope. 

Vaclav Havel was not just a man of politics and intellect, but a man of the arts, theater, literature -- and, yes, of God. He exhorted the West and the wider post-modern world to seek "transcendence." Hitchens might have figured God "the ultimate totalitarian," but Havel saw God as the solution to totalitarianism, as tyranny's antidote, as the fountainhead of freedom. This was something Havel deeply admired about America and its roots -- its fusion of faith and freedom and the recognition that the latter cannot genuinely exist without the former. "The Declaration of Independence states that the Creator gave man the right to liberty," Havel concluded in his July 4, 1994 lecture at Philadelphia's Independence Hall, home of that very sentiment. "It seems man can realize that liberty only if he does not forget the One who endowed him with it."

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