Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Praying for Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens is dying of esophageal cancer, which was the disease that took his father. Or as Hitchens says it, "Well, I'm dying... but so are you. I'm only doing it more rapidly." Hitchens, a devout "New Atheist," and author of God is Not Great and more recently, a memoir, Hitch 22, has now found himself as the subject of "Everyone Pray for Hitchens Day" which was held by several ministers last month. The event was sincere and promoted by several Christians who have come to develop quite an admiration for the man who so vehemently opposes faith-based religions. The admiration and relationships to Hitchens were nurtured by people who consistently debated him, and found themselves respecting the man.

About the people praying for his recovery Hitchens says, "I say it's fine by me, I think of it as a nice gesture. And it may well make them feel better, which is a good thing in itself ." However, he says knowing about the prayers does nothing for himself. 

I would add that when/if Hitchens goes, I will be at a loss. It is Hitchens whose voice I believe is the only one worth listening to amongst the New Atheists (Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett). The rest are so mired in their own presuppositions, that they defile the logic which they claim as their support. Dawkins won't even engage in public debate. It is Hitchens whose arguments make me tense, because they demand a confrontation of sorts if I am being honest. The way Hitchens talks about the various religious beliefs is fascinating, and although he talks about religion with a great amount of cynical humor, I never get the sense that he is making a straw man out of religious systems, but rather is taking the claims of the various religions quite seriously.It is Dawkins, whose understanding of religion seems to be that of one who has gotten no further in their theological understanding than that of a 13 year old in Sunday School. 

Read the article about the prayer day for Hitchens and his thoughts on his looming death here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"I'm dying, but so are you" sums it all up for Hitchens and his state of mind. He can't stand the thought of not being able to sit on his throne and belittle and trash all who think differently than he does in his smug, arrogant, insulated narrow minded little word. Now he is exposed and vulnerable and he wants to take others down with him. "I'm dying, but so are you". Yes Hitch, but you are dying faster, and there are more of us than you. The world will carry on without you Hitch. He knows it and there are no words he can toss out that is going to change that. The supreme being is not so supreme after all. There is something greater than him: death. Every Atheist's nemesis. And the nemesis always gets the last word.