Unfortunately, Christopher Hitchens is blessed with a slowly imminent death
You know, my servants, that I have a certain affinity for my bud Christopher Hitchens. I’ve written about him here, here, here, and here. Unlike most atheists I find my bud Hitch to be somewhat humble, thoughtful, extremely bright, insightful, and pleasant in overall demeanor. But I worry that I may lose him.
You see, I don’t like most atheists. By their very nature atheists are fools, and most, like Hitchens, are also asatanists, which really burns me up. But unlike the current crop of arrogant blowhards like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, both of whom even I don’t want around, I’m actually looking forward to greeting Christopher Hitchens, surprised look and all.
I wish Hitch had, like most atheists do, died a sudden, unthinking death. I find that long, lingering deaths give the person too much time to think seriously: there’s nothing like the noose and scaffold to focus the mind.
Everyone is dying slowly, and everyone is facing death, but few have the gift of knowing their death is slowly imminent. And I lose almost all of those. As they have nothing but a little time and a lot of reason to consider eternity looming just at hand, even atheists break at the last-minute and yield to reason just in time to call out to the one who made them. Fortunately, usually no one else knows.
And I think I’m losing Hitch. He would certainly have been mine but for his slow, lingering illness. I fear that a mind as bright as his, an intellect as piercing as his, a heart as open as his is to truth, might actually yield to the truth shouting for his attention; yes, I fear for his soul.
Consider Hitch’s latest piece at Vanity Fair ironically entitled Unspoken Truths. In it my bud Hitch poignantly details his slowly retreating voice, an instrument that he used mightily for my kingdom in the past. This is just another physical loss that gives Hitch more reason to question who he really was, and is.
What has me worried is his quoting a verse that carries with it a Truth that is best left unspoken. Speaking of CDs people send him in his illness, he notes one by Leonard Cohen:
So I have recently learned a song, entitled “If It Be Your Will.” It’s a tiny bit saccharine, but it’s beautifully rendered and it opens like this:
If it be your will,
That I speak no more:
And my voice be still,
As it was before …
I find it’s best not to listen to this late at night.
Why listen at all, my bud? Why listen at all? Do you, atheist of atheists, not realize the words of the King of Kings?
This verse mirrors the very prayer Jesus taught his disciples to pray: Your will on earth as it is in Heaven. And Jesus himself modeled it when he asked that the cup of his suffering be taken from him, but, he said, “Yet not my will but thine be done.”
Hitch, my bud, I feel personally addressed by most of your erudite words, both written and spoken. But in this latest piece, I feel personally affronted.
My servants, you can help. Please, it goes without saying, do NOT pray for Christopher Hitchens. Right now, for example, do not close your eyes and mouth a silent prayer for his eternal soul.
On top of that, send him a note to encourage him to stay strong in our faith, the faith that must be greater than a faith that believes in God. Our faith must believe absurdities, like something appearing spontaneously from nothing, and the dead something spontaneously becoming a live something, and the live something necessarily wrestling with thoughts on another, greater Live Thing. Absurdities take a great faith.
Hitchens, my bud. Keep our faith. After all, it is my will.