Christopher Hitchens died yesterday. For those of you who only read things published by the Sword, Mr. Hitchens was a genius, a poet, a prolific essayist, and one of America’s most famous atheists.
Hitchens scared Christians (and Muslims, Buddists, and people of any religious leaning whatsoever) because he asked dangerous questions, questions that have consequences. He made obvious statements that terrify the faithful: “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” We’re predisposed to fear questioning the things of God-look how that worked out for Eve. but, Hitchens was looking for the truth, and he had to wade through a lot of muddy religious muck as he searched for it. We would do well, as human beings, believers or not, to heed Hitchens advice: “Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.”
Were Christians of a mind to, they could greatly help their case by not using this death in churches across the nation this weekend as occasion to cheer God’s justice and His power with remarks that would wound.
Instead, perhaps, as Christopher admonished the charming child at the end of the above video, maybe they could “remember the love bit”, and show a bit of love and respect for a formidable and thought-provoking enemy (? Was he really an enemy, or was he merely someone the religious feared?) by leaving him alone and letting him rest in peace. Isn’t “the love bit” how they will know we are Christians? Yes, I think I read that somewhere once.