Christopher Hitchens, RIP

Christopher Hitchens, RIP December 16, 2011

It’s hard to improve on what Douglas Wilson has to say. It is a gracious farewell to a man who I couldn’t help but like, despite his sometimes glaring faults and errors (as who does not have?).

I will add this (since Wilson’s Calvinism forbid him from praying for the dead):

Father, grant Hitchens the grace of eternal life through Christ our Lord. Forgive him all his sins and find some way, through his love of honesty and scorn for BS, to sneak through some crack in his armor and let him see your face in the Christ who is truth. I don’t know how you might do that, but I do ask that he not be lost, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Remember our brother Christopher, who bears forever the mark of baptism, the next time you go to Mass. He needs all the prayers he can get.

Mother Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death and, especially, for those most in need of God’s mercy through Christ our Lord.

Update:  Christopher’s brother, Peter, writes a moving farewell.  He captures what I agree was his best  quality: courage.  Like all virtues unhinged from the life of the spirit, it was a thing that could be used for good (and often was in his public career as when he defended Salman Rushdie at the risk of his life) but also a thing that could be turned into a weapon against God and common decency.  It took “courage” after all, to spit on Mother Teresa when the world mourned her, but it was an evil thing to do. Fortitude, apart from the other virtues can steel us to do monstrous things.

Rather than dwell on that and similar faults, let us thank God for the times when Hitchens used his courage to defend the weak and oppressed.

(Yes.  I’m aware of his faults.  One of them was an eagerness to speak ill of the dead when it was wrong to do so.  Do not imitate him in the comboxes, please.)

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