A reminder of the sort of thinking he so eloquently battled. When Hitch was first diagnosed, a writer who doesn’t deserve mention by name in this post (you can click to find out who, but it really doesn’t matter) said that God was being kind, offering a lingering and painful death to give him time and reason to reconsider his atheism.
How fucking sweet. This was my response at the time (I think Hitchens’ response was an eloquent silence).
So I heard, today—you’re dying; God has blessed you with a cancer
In the past, a certain-death-by-torture sentence.
So I send congratulations! “Why?” you ask; well, here’s my answer:
Now there’s time and motivation for repentance!
Since the hand of God has touched you, with His doom-inflicting fingers
Your esophageal cancer is sublime!
And I wish for you the type of death that lingers, lingers, lingers,
With the merciful benevolence of time!
You have time to turn to Jesus, and to thank your carcinoma
If you’ll listen to Our Lord Almighty’s voice
Just repent to God, your savior, just before you lapse to coma,
Cos Jehovah gave you time to make your choice
If you choose to shun the chance to make a godly new beginning
And you tell yourself it’s really just as well
Then you’re reaping what you’ve sown, and since you spent your life a-sinning
Then I hope you like eternity in Hell!
Sorry, writer-who-will-not-be-named, looks like Hitch died without giving you the satisfaction. He’s left quite a legacy, but there’s a great many around willing to keep his flame going.