Another vulture licks his filthy chops and suggests that Hitchens may be about to convert to Christianity.
Perhaps Hitchens’s admission that Nietzsche might have been wrong, even about something small, will lead him to a healthy curiosity about Christianity. Up until now, Hitchens has had nothing but bile for Christianity and all religion — including the religion of Marxism, which Hitchens, a former leftist, eventually admitted could not survive “the onslaught of reality.” But Hitchens’s attacks on religion were always propelled by the kind of fury that one usually finds in zealots and former believers; it’s always the ex-Catholics (Maureen Dowd, etc.) who are the hardest on the Church.
Not a bit of it. There are plenty of us never-Catholics who loathe and detest the church and say so loudly and often. Remember the no pope rally last year? Lashings of never-Catholics there.
I wouldn’t tell Christopher Hitchens that now is the time to get right with the Lord, or to pray or read the Bible. I wouldn’t try and convince him of the resurrection. I would only ask him to entertain the notion that love — the love he has for his life, his wife and his children, the love his readers have for him and the love that the doctors and nurses are showing him — is a real thing whose origins are worth exploring without glibness (sorry, saying “love for your fellow mammals” doesn’t require religion, as Hitchens did once, doesn’t cut it). It also can be done without Christophobia.
But it can also be done without any reference to god or Jesus at all – and in fact saying that love doesn’t require religion does cut it, not least because it’s true, and obviously true.
Ironically, there is a kind of symmetry between Hitchens and his declared enemy, Mother Teresa, whom Hitchens wrote a nasty book about and called a fanatic and a fraud (yawn).
That “yawn” is simply disgusting – disgusting in the typically callous and frivolous way of religious believers. M Teresa refused to give pain medication to the people in her hospices. “Yawn” is not the right response to that.
In her 2009 book “Come Be My Light,” published posthumously (Mother Teresa died in 1997), Mother Teresa writes of long periods, indeed years, of “darkness” and suffering, during which she felt that God wasn’t there. After the book was published, Hitchens went on TV to gloat. Even Mother Teresa didn’t believe it! In fact, Mother Teresa was going through what many saints do, a dark night of the soul. Such things can make us doubt God, and that is anything but an unholy thing. As Chesterton noted, Christianity is the only religion that allows God to be an atheist (“Why have you forsaken me?”). Perhaps Hitchens is going through something similar. And as Mother Teresa’s pain made her doubt her God, in second-guessing Nietzsche, Hitchens may be doubting his.
What smug, all-too-typical, everything-works-for-us nonsense. M Teresa had doubts, therefore god. Some other M had admirable devoted faith, therefore god. Doubt is a point for god, immovable certainty is a point for god, atheism is a point for god, cancer is a point for god, love is a point for god – all your base are belong to us! Christianity allows god to be an atheist – talk about “yawn”…And then, in the end, maybe pain is after all making Hitchens knuckle under; gloat gloat.
Disgusting, I tell you.