I hope you can see that I was smiling through tears in the headline as I typed it.

One of my favorite atheists has, after 18 months of battling with esophageal cancer, slipped the surly bonds of earth and mortality and the world is a poorer place because of it.

Yes, I’m going to miss the guy, a lot. One of the things I remember about him was that whenever I heard he’d written something new, I always hovered over the link for a moment, wondering if I’d be cheering or cussing him out in a few minutes. I always clicked, though, because I knew that, no matter what, I’d be in for a literary treat.

Witty and a fantastic writer, it was a pleasure to imagine our common enemies withering in the fire of his prose when I agreed with him, but it was also a pleasure to be on the receiving end, perverse as it may sound. I have never found it more pleasurable to disagree with somebody else because, even when I knew, deep in my soul, that he was wrong, wrong, utterly wrong, his argument was always instructive and, as a plus, written in a way that one could learn from.

Perhaps I also felt something of a kinship with him. After all, I had once been as convinced an atheist as he, and all of his arguments against there being a G-d were quite familiar to me from those days, although I could never hope to express them as well as he.

I don’t know why he didn’t believe but, thinking back and from what I know from his writings, I remember myself at that stage. I didn’t believe, not because I didn’t want to believe, but because I hadn’t yet found out why I ought to believe. I hadn’t been convinced yet. Too many people think that atheism is animated by animosity towards G-d, and it’s simply not true. There is that, to be sure, but I don’t call those people “atheists”, I call them by their real name: “Anti-theists.” They’re a loud, obnoxious, rather tedious minority who would benefit vastly from the instruction of the lash, applied liberally. Or perhaps just a good old-fashioned beating. But I digress. I never saw Hitchens as an “anti-theist”, he was always an atheist.

And atheism wasn’t “The Hitch’s” only shtick, after all. His intellect covered a huge swath of subjects and he was, for instance, one of our staunchest defenders when it came to Western Civ vs. the medieval, barbaric monster that is the Religion of “Peace.” Sure, he despised all religions equally, some might say, but he wasn’t slow to point out that, no matter how much he didn’t believe in the Christian G-d either, at least His followers didn’t run around lobbing people’s heads off when they said something blasphemous.

I hope, of course, and have prayed along with millions of my fellow Christians, that he saw the light before he passed. I hope this because I care about him and his eternal soul, but I’d be lying if I didn’t add that I also hope so because I should love bumping into him in Heaven and say “well I’ll be… Didn’t fancy running into you here, Hitch!”

Because that is how I roll. On a more serious note, Heaven will be a great deal less interesting if he’s not there.

Thanks for all the memories, Chris and, wherever you are, may you be in peace and may we meet on the other side.

Thatisall.

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By Emperor Misha I

Ruler of all I survey -- and then some.

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FrJim, Imperial Chaplain
FrJim, Imperial Chaplain
Guest
December 16, 2011 06:25

Some are using his death as a foil to make the case for theism and ridicule atheism / anti-theism. Me? I’ll simply pray for the repose of his soul and take solace in the nature of the God of the Universe, whose grace knows no bounds and whose love for Mr. Hitchens is wide enough to envelope him in his… Read more »

LC Thresher
LC Thresher
Guest
December 16, 2011 06:31

Friar, given how the guy looked down on the Faithful all his career, can you hardly blame them? But damned if it doesn’t feel like I lost a friend today. Its my firm belief that, as the brain fades and gasps its last, some people are confronted with the Truth one last time and given a choice. I hope Chris… Read more »

LC Wicked Fenrir
LC Wicked Fenrir
Guest
December 16, 2011 06:44

Hitchens always struck me as more of a knee-jerk contrarian and gadfly; and he was a self-avowed Antitheist. He referred to the real axis of evil including Christianity and Judaism, equating them with Islam, called all religious belief infantile and sinister, and in his book “God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything” said: “Very importantly, the divorce between the… Read more »

Terrapod
Editor
December 16, 2011 07:25

Misha, you nailed it. Agree or disagree, laugh with or cuss at him, his prose was usually worth reading simply for the exquisite use of language and sharp edges. The world is poorer for his passing.

angrywebmaster
angrywebmaster
Member
December 16, 2011 07:40

Regarding his atheism, well, he’s found out now whether he was right or wrong.
:em03:

And in other news, having absolutely nothing to do with Hitchens, it seems that Santa was out test flying his sleigh and he’s had a little accident.
Pictures available here.

http://angry.net/blog2/?p=5904
:em06:

LC Sir Clambake, Imperial Black Ops Technician, K.o.E.
Guest
December 16, 2011 10:19

angrywebmaster says:

Regarding his atheism, well, he’s found out now whether he was right or wrong.

Stole my line. Pray that he was a positive enough person for God to consider a second awakening.

AyUaxe
Guest
December 16, 2011 10:57

What I read of Hitchens’ was acerbic and focused on exposing hypocrisy and human wrong–I don’t think God has any problem with that. It is a tenet of the intellectual side of any decent religion that “steel sharpens steel” and that people should engage in searching discourse. For this, I’m thankful for Hitchens and hope that he found the truth… Read more »

Jaybear, Colonel of Imperial Ancient Artillery
Guest
December 16, 2011 11:38

well, I am sorry to hear of his passing. I too enjoyed his writing and applauded him for being one of a small number of journalists who knew the enemy (islam) and wasn’t afraid enough or politically correct enough to shine the truth on the beast. LC Thresher says: as the brain fades and gasps its last, some people are… Read more »

Igor, Imperial Booby
Igor, Imperial Booby
Guest
December 16, 2011 11:52

Although God will judge him, I hope he won’t judge him too harshly…

LC Sir Clambake, Imperial Black Ops Technician, K.o.E.
Guest
December 16, 2011 12:52

May I beg the observance of a special occasion, and highly recommend the removal of all throwable objects from reach, on the occasion of MY 3,000th post. May I also beg the Imperial Court ESPECIALLY to observe and review that which I linked in said post? Sire, Regime as a whole, this is gonna piss you right off! Please make… Read more »

Tallulah
Tallulah
Guest
December 17, 2011 04:37

Thanks for this: “. . . no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him….Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.” His brother, Peter, told him… Read more »

Tallulah
Tallulah
Guest
December 17, 2011 04:42

Here’s part one of that debate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZnUIeKOIgc Hitchens versus the loathsome British Labour politician (and toady to Saddam Hussein) George Galloway. Galloway is all the way up the Muzzies’ stern tube, and had a lot of constituents in his London district who were followers of pisslam. And he is a particularly nasty piece of work; go and see. The moderator… Read more »

Lady H
Guest
December 17, 2011 22:10

He had a lot of people praying for him; I hope he is very happy where he is. 🙂

og
og
Guest
December 18, 2011 20:42

I just want to see the look of surprise on his face now.

he wasn’t stupid, but he invested so much in there not being a creator and an afterlife, I can’t imagine how startled he must currently be. But I am looking forward to seeing it in person, someday.