One chap called me a “ pathetic bibleist.” Hadn’t heard that epithet before, but it has a nice ring to it. I think I should have a custom-made bumper sticker or brass plaque with “ pathetic bibleist” on it.
Before dealing with the particulars, I’m afraid that I need to state the obvious. Hitchens is a public figure. Moreover, he’s a public figure by choice. Some folks are thrust into the public limelight against their will. Not Hitchens. He courts publicity.
What is more, he’s been very public about his contempt for the Christian faith.
Finally, he has chosen to die in the public eye. He writes about his terminal cancer. He gives interviews about his terminal cancer.
He also uses the occasion to discuss his life and death from an atheistic perspective, and draw invidious comparisons with Christianity in the process.
If he chose to go quietly, to die a private death, in the company of close friends and family, I’d be happy to respect his wishes. I’d be happy to leave him in peace.
But that is not how he’s chosen to exit this world. He wants everyone to know that he’s dying. And he wants to use the occasion to publish his last will and testament for atheism.
He wants us to share his outlook. But that, in turn, invites my evaluation. If some frothing infidels are too blinded by their perpetual rage against all things Christian to perceive the evident parity between Hitchens’ parting words and my parting words, then that’s just another symptom of their immaturity.
As a matter of fact, your worldview is no better than how it looks from the viewpoint of the cemetery. That’s the final test of a worldview.
I’ll respond to some of the commenters, although it’s not always clear if they’re responding to my post, or to other commenters:
Wow. Is this the true facade of Christianity? Mocking and insulting of those who believe differently.
Compare the tone of my post with the tone of god is not Great and ask yourself which one of us resorted to “mocking and insulting those who believe differently.”
No. Hitchens has too much dignity and confidence to do something that low…No, what Hitchens should do is go boldly and proudly into death's embrace…
Notice the cruelty of atheism. The emotional coercion. “Christopher, you must do us proud by the way you die. This is the true test of your loyalty to the team. Don’t flinch! Don’t let us down! Don’t make us look bad! Put on a good show.”
It’s a mark of their irrepressible insecurity that infidels pressure fellow infidels to keep up appearances to the bitter end. That doesn’t show any real concern for the dying.
Rather, that carries the implicit threat that we will revile you and disown you if you embarrass the cause by going soft at the end. It’s your duty to us to die an inspirational death for the greater good of godlessness. To set a fine example for posterity.
That’s the mob psychology of a suicide cult. “If you really love us, you will die with us. Prove your true allegiance!”
He is a champion for free thought, morality, and decency the world over.
He has no foundation for decency or morality.
What I don't respect is your devotion to forcing this opinion and unprovable belief upon those who, frankly, couldn't care any less about your religion or "personal savior."
That old trope is getting pretty frayed around the edges. We’re not living in Medieval Europe, where dissent is punishable by death.
Christians no more force their views on unbelievers than Hitchens and Dawkins force their views on Christians by writing books which extol atheism and assail Christianity. It’s a two-way street.
THE DREAMING LOTUS SAID:
I am fairly certain this post will get deleted, but lets see...You "christians" are self-righteous, and crude in your hate of a man who is dealing with a life-threatening illness.
It’s revealing how often infidels play the “hate” card. There’s a psychological term for that: transference.
For a people who claim it to be a sin to "pass judgment", you are a "judging" lot.
A nice example of self-reinforcing ignorance. It’s not a sin to “pass judgment.” It’s only a sin go judge hypocritically.
It is a shame that you ridicule a man simply because he has a different point of view, and especially one fighting for his life.
i) I said nothing in my post to “ridicule” Hitchens. By contrast, Hitchens says a lot to ridicule the “different viewpoint” of Christians.
ii) For that matter, I’ve seen infidels who ridicule Christians because they seek medical attention for a life-threatening condition.
iii) It's not as if I'm exempt from death and dying.
I am sure that you would be "praying" for him if he were a "christian".
Another prejudicial statement. Christians routinely pray for the lost.
At the same time, I don’t think celebrities have a special claim on our prayers.
And to want to film and air his death....remember the Romans, their arenas, and their crucifixions?
Hitchens, not I, is the one “filming and airing” his demise. And, no, we haven’t thrown him to the lions, either.
You belittle yourselves, and make me honored to be an Atheist.
Back to the coercive rhetoric. Atheism has an honor-code. An atheist has a duty to die an honorable death. Must honor his fellow infidels by the way he dies.
Religion was created by man to put a "face" on what he, at the time, could not explain or understand. We now have science to remove that face, and regardless of how hard that is for the superstitious to face, it is going to happen.
The stale clichés.
And once it has, we can move on to what is truly important... accepting life as it truly is.
But what if your worldview renders life supremely unimportant? Then what?
And it is easy to be a "cocky" (the term you actually meant is "right") Atheist no matter what the occasion. Fear and hate are the hard things to cope with, and most of your comments here are full of it.
Compare my post, compare the remarks of the Christian commenters, to the comments of the indignant infidels, and ask yourself from where the “fear and hate” are emanating.
What we’re getting is a defensive reaction. The reaction of those who are very scared of death, and conceal their fear with furious, hortatory rhetoric.
We expected this when we heard of Hitchens' illness, and, indeed, you of "faith" came through in flying colors.
We didn’t merely “hear of it.” Hitchens wants us to know about his terminal cancer. He wants us to reflect on his terminal cancer.
You should all be above this nonsense. May Mr. Hitchens receive the proper medical care to treat his cancer.
Have Christians denied him medical care?