People like me – though still allowed to speak – are allowed on to mainstream national broadcasting only under strict conditions: that we are ‘balanced’ by at least three other people who disagree with us so that our views, actually held by millions, are made to look like an eccentric minority opinion. — Peter Hitchens, May 29, 2011, The Mail on Sunday
Peter Hitchens, author and award-winning journalist, is the younger brother of Christopher Hitchens (deceased) a renown atheist.
Christopher, an American and a socialist, was a vocal opponent of Christianity till he died of cancer in 2011. For a time, Christopher was even a writer for the International Socialist.
During his career as an author and journalist, Christopher publicly criticized Christianity in particular, but other religions as well. He wrote a book called God is not Great where he stated that religion poisons everything.
Curiously, Peter — born on Malta in 1951, son of a career naval officer — started off similar to his brother. He was an atheist, extreme socialist and for a few years was even a member of the Trotskyist International Socialists and the British Labour party.
Both Peter and Christopher came from Christian roots as their grandfather was a devout Baptist. However, their mother — along with her lover, former clergyman Timothy Bryan — committed suicide together in 1973. It was suspected she was pressured into suicide over fear of exposure of her adultery. It was Christopher who went to Athens to claim her body.
In 1983, Peter left the Labour party after he went to work as a journalist with the Daily Express. He did not feel it proper to report on politics while being a member of a political party.
But at the same time, Peter was starting to have doubts about socialism. During his involvement in the Labour party he saw the strong Marxist influences in the party.
Peter now works as a journalist for the Daily Mail. He won the esteemed Orwell prize for political journalism in 2010. He has also written a number of books, including The Rage Against God: How Atheism led me to Faith in God where he writes of his journey from atheism to Christianity.
Peter stated of his brother, “We’re different people, we have different lives, we have entirely different pleasures, we live in different continents. If we weren’t brothers we wouldn’t even know each other.” At times the two brothers debated their views on God publicly.
Peter completed his transformation by returning to Christ and the Anglican Church. He has been publicly scorned for his Christian views. On the BBC’s Question Time, the live audience booed Peter for stating sex education in schools has resulted in more teen pregnancies not a reduction.
Commenting on the booing, Peter said in an article in The Mail:
“Is there any point in a public debate in a society where hardly anyone has been taught how to think, while millions have been taught what to think.” (June 16, 2011)
Peter is also a strong supporter of marriage and family values. He opposes the legalization of marijuana and believes in capital punishment and presents his arguments in forceful and logical manner.
Ed West of the Daily Telegraph described Peter this way:
“I’m a great admirer of Peter, a decent, kind and deeply compassionate man with the air of the prophet about him; and like all prophets, doomed to be scorned by so many. I think a lot of people affect to despise his archaic value system while suspecting there is something in it, and would say so if only more influential people would stick their head about the parapet.” (The Telegraph, September 5, 2012)