Mutual friends have told me that Dr. Collins actually spent a great number of hours with Hitchens during his final months. He also spent a lot of time going over medical records and the frequent lab tests looking for ways to tweak the treatments. I understand that he was basically considered a part of the medical team and was regularly involved in their consultations. So this was no casual care and involvement. He spoke of Hitchens as a friend.
(1) All of the “institutions of religion”? Does that include the hospitals, orphanages, medical schools, and universities?
(2) As to “the priesthoods”, as an evangelical (and this is true of many other Protestant Christians as well, obviously), I affirm “the priesthood of all believers”, the idea that all Christ-follows are called out to be anointed priests:
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. — 1Peter 2:9
So I am certainly a part of the priesthood of all believers.
(3) As to being against “the doctrines and dogmas”, does that include those concerning love for all persons and “blessed are the peacemakers”—and many other similar teachings of Jesus?
Considering how many fundamentalist and evangelical pastors I know who adamantly maintain “Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship with Jesus.”, they often speak of their wanting to be free from religion in their living out their faith. Of course, I don’t speak in such terms. I consider it playing games with language. And James 1:27 commends and defines “pure religion.”
27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.