Sunday, April 20, 2014

Remembrances from Christopher Hitchens’ Wife

I came across this homage to Christopher Hitchens by his wife, Carol Blue, and thought it a fascinating study in a man who despised the God who he was convinced didn’t exist, and belittled this God’s followers. He sounds like a terrific fellow, a larger than life figure who was a great husband, father and friend, not to mention dinner guest and host. It’s not nice to speak ill of the dead, but that was a courtesy Hitchens didn’t himself follow.

Men of brilliance, like Hitchens undoubtedly was, are often blind to their own, well, blind spots. He poured scorn and bile on the religious in a way that his personal charm belied. Human beings are often contradictory creatures. The Jewish and Christian religions which he so despised give plausible explanation as to why this is so: human beings are fallen, sinful creatures who are made in the image of God. As such they are capable of transcendent goodness and beauty and truth, as well as the most vile and despicable evil. How someone like Hitchens who believed that all of reality is solely material accounts for this is not plausible to very many of his fellow human beings. Yet he acted as if some transcendent reality were the most ridiculous, ludicrous and harmful of delusions.

We know, as Jesus says in Matthew 5 in his exhortation to love your enemies, that God sends his sun to rise on the evil as well as the good, and for the rain to fall on the righteous and unrighteous. Reading the tender remembrances of Mr. Hitchens’ wife I marveled yet again at how God graciously bestows inestimable blessings on his rebellious creatures, even those who mock and ridicule him and his followers.

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