I realize that the world is full of traps for atheists, as Lewis said of himself. But Christopher Hitchens is no more an atheist than I’d be a solipsist if I just refused to talk to you or acknowledge your existence.
Yet another exhibit to that effect:
“Since all efforts at commemoration are bound to fall short, one must be on guard against any attempt at overstatement. In particular, one must resist efforts to ventriloquize the dead. To me, Cindy Sheehan’s posthumous conscription of her son is as objectionable as Billy Graham’s claim, at the National Cathedral, that all the dead of Sept. 11, 2001 were now in paradise. In the first instance, we have no reason to believe that young Casey Sheehan would ever have supported MoveOn.org, and in the second instance we cannot be expected to believe that almost 3,000 New Yorkers all died in a state of grace. Nothing is more tasteless, when set against the reality of death, than the hollow note of demagogy and false sentiment.”
If the man was really an atheist, the state of dying folks’ immortal souls would hardly be something he’d worry about. No, he’s a man wrestling with God and his own soul as hard as he can, going for chokeholds and throws with all the strength and fury he has. He has good reason for that fury. But it is fury at a Person, not an abstract nonexistence.
But if he makes it, he’ll be a far greater saint than I’ll ever be.
The problem, of course, is that if Mr. Hitchens read this post, he would be so hacked off at me and the world that it would set him back a long way. But you can’t take him out to dinner if you live several thousand miles away from him (not that I’d be any more effective as an evangelist or a cheering presence than your average planarian). So prayer’s what I’ve got.
UPDATE: You see? You see?