Point of Clarification

A reader, scandalized by my good words for Christopher Hitchens asks if I am aware of his awful little screed against Mother Teresa. Indeed I am and awful it is. Similarly, medieval Christians were aware of Saladin’s attacks on their holy places and Northerners were aware of Robert E. Lee’s devastation of their army. But they still found something in these men that they had to salute. In Hitchens, I see the last gasp of the Old Left, with a fierce devotion to as much of the Truth as his ideology enables him to see and an unblinking revulsion toward those who betray what they know to be true. I have to honor that. Doesn’t mean I’m blind to his faults though, his stupid attack on Mother Teresa being one of his principal ones, and rooted in his classic Old Left atheism.

Jesus says to the Laodiceans “I wish you were either hot or cold, but because you are lukewarm I will vomit you up.” Hitchens, to his credit, is stone cold to God. That is, he holds a definite creed and tries to live by it as honestly as he can. As Chesterton said of Shaw, he can tell no lie unless he thinks it is the truth. I much prefer this to the New Clintonized Left which constantly lies and knows it’s lying and carries a huge Bible to Church as it does it. I pray, of course, the Hitchens comes to faith in Christ one day and can’t help thinking Christ is rather more fond of him than Hitchens realizes (something like Trumpkin the Dwarf in Narnia).


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