“I think that’s a contemptible statement and I think everyone who applauded it should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.”

Christopher Hitchens, on the show Question Time, reacting to a liberal British MP who thought it unwise to give Salmon Rushdie a knighthood for fear of offending Muslims.

This clip is a great example of why I enjoyed Christopher Hitchens’s speaking and writing so much. After this tortured reasoning from the MP, Hitchens slices through all the mushy nonsense and gets to the heart of the matter, namely that it’s completely antithetical to the values of a free and secular society to allow itself to be intimidated by religious bullies. That ability to cut through all the noise and focus on what’s important is rare.