Christopher Hitchens Is Dead…

…and the world is poorer for it. Don’t get me wrong, I disagreed with him like all hell, but he managed to be the only New Atheist I could stand to listen to. His mastery of the English language was inspiring, his hard-drinking, chain-smoking personality a welcome relief from the cold, awkward, humanistic personalities of Richard Dawkins and — Heaven help us — Daniel Dennett.

"The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species."

With his bitter, fiery atheism — which never seemed to move beyond sheer dislike — Hitchens inspired me to first begin writing, to somehow challenge his presence. I suppose it’s odd that Hitchens is as much my mentor as Chesterton, but c’est la vie, right? His debate with Dinesh D’Souza is an all time favorite of mine:

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Anyways, I have some half-developed hope that Hitchens will find Heaven — after a good deal of purgation, of course. His blasphemies at least were bold, his defiance always definite. God meant what he said, that:

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I will vomit you out of my mouth.”

It can be safely said that god-is-not-great Hitchens was not lukewarm, though he was ridiculously illogical. He, at least, will recognize God at the end of all things. He might recognize Him as the Enemy, but he’ll be better off than the lukewarm, relativistic and heart-stoppingly boring mass of Christians who, when they die, will have no idea who the King of the Universe and Almighty Judge is, having belittled him into a benevolent spirit of fluff. Hitchens will recognize the Man he spent a lifetime railing against — how could he not? — and I pray that in his infinite mercy, Christ will give Hitch the chance to lay his weapons down.

And of course, we Catholics will pray for his salvation. We’re awesome that way.

Leader: You who would be pleased to deliver the souls of our relatives and friends from the pains of hell, You who would be pleased to grant them all the pardon and remission of all their sins, You who would be pleased to fulfill all their desires, You who would be pleased to receive them into the company of the blessed,
Leader: Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
All: Grant Unto them eternal rest.
Leader: Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
All: Grant unto them eternal rest.
Leader: Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
All: Grant unto them eternal rest.
Leader:  Merciful Father, hear our prayers and console us. As we renew our faith in your Son, whom you raised from the dead, strengthen our hope that our dear departed will share in Christ’s resurrection, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.
All: AMEN.
Leader:  Eternal rest grant unto Christopher Hitchens o Lord.
All:  And let your perpetual light shine upon him
Leader:  May he rest in peace.
All:  Amen.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN.

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