Friday, December 16, 2011

Eulogizing Christopher Hitchens

I've critiqued atheist Christopher Hitchens in columns and sermons; but when I heard the news on National Public Radio today that Hitchens had died of esophageal cancer at age 62, I was saddened.

I prayed for the repose of his soul. I thought, "Now, Hitch knows the truth about God."

I imagine a "New Yorker" cartoon: Hitchens--standing before God, the Author of Life--is holding a copy of his book, "God is not Great," his attack upon God. The book dangles in his fingertips, ready to fall onto the cloud. Hitchens looks stunned. God looks amused and says, "Surprised to see me?"

Christopher Hitchens's life abounded in accomplishments: Oxford University graduate; columnist for "The Nation" and "Vanity Fair," and many other publications; George Orwell-enthusiast, author of shelves of books, and much more.

As a reporter and aspiring columnist, I used to read Hitchens's columns in "The Nation." Weekly, he skewered the Reagan Administration. Later, he directed his wrath at Democratic administrations.

I think it's unjust, in my view of justice, that someone as intelligent, insightful, and creative as Hitchens should die at such a young age. He had so much more to think about, to talk about, to write about, to debate--about politics, literature, culture, religion.

Putting aside the unanswerable question of justice, I give God thanks that Hitchens enjoyed 62 years of life and contributed mightily during that time to public discourse on things that truly matter.

It's not the quantity of time, but the quality of the time that one has in this world that truly matters.

Hitchens lived fully and fruitfully during his relatively short life. He certainly gave me and many others a lot to ponder.

God be with you, Christopher Hitchens. Now, you see God face to face, as the Psalmist writes.

And God, you're in for some lively conversation. 



    After a 30-minute discussion with Christopher Hitchens in my office, I'm now convinced that I don't exist.

    16 Dec 11

  2. One of your best columns my dear


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