Christopher Hitchens Learns That God Is Great
As the news went around the world this morning, the eulogies about Christopher Hitchens began to flood the blogosphere. We were treated to a long series of articles telling us how intelligent, brilliant, abrasive the chap was. Particularly, it appears, when his ready – and brilliant – wit was fuelled by alcohol, which seems to have happened on such a scale as to let old Winnie appear a teetotaler.
As I perused the vast amount of more or less boring, banal bla-bla (a bla-bla whose banality Hitchens would, methinks, have been the first to recognise, and largely reduced to hints of “I got drunk with him”, “I spent entire nights quarrelling with him” and “how oh brilliant I must be if Hitchens considered me worthy of his time”) I couldn’t avoid noticing that no one of the authors I read asked the real question: what has become of Christopher Hitchens?
My answer, dear reader, is the one you imagine: bar a last-minute repentance for which there isn’t really any reasonable hope, and whose possibility we only consider because of the “ways of the Lord”, Christopher Hitchens has now discovered that God is actually infinitely Great, and he is actually infinitely screwed.
If we lived in a Country with half-decent bishops, we would now hear sobering words from our shepherds, warning us of the day of reckoning that will come for all of us as it has come for the freshly deceased; but with the important caveat that whilst the man had months to consider repentance and snatch salvation from the jaws of hell, we might not be given the luxury of such a long notice and might, actually, not be given any notice at all.
I have said many times that if it is true that salvation is infinite, then whatever achievement one may obtain in this life is infinitely small and, if he is not saved, utterly insignificant.
Therefore, today – in the middle of the choir of the champagne-sipping intellectuals dying to letting you know what brilliant minds they are – I allow myself to say that the humble, illiterate peasant in the most isolated, miserable village in Peru, who has lived a life of simple faith and obtained salvation, is infinitely smarter than all those – like, very probably, Christopher Hitchens – who bask in their intelligence and do not get that in the end they are, literally, infinitely stupid.
Whenever you read the next praise of Christopher Hitchens, please remember this: that on the day Hitchens has experienced today many who were thought intelligent will be exposed as stupid, and many who were thought stupid will be revealed as intelligent. On which side Hitchens has very probably landed is, alas, not very difficult to imagine and no amount of feel-good, let-us-be-nice-to-everyone wishful thinking will change the fact that irrespective of how many people go to Hell, if Christianity makes sense at all this was a prime candidate.
Say an eternal rest for him, if you can, nevertheless.
The ways of the Lord, and all that…