Christopher Hitchens Learns That God Is Great

Cold not a problem anymore: Christopher Hitchens.

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…


Posted on December 16, 2011, in Catholicism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Rarely have a I experienced a day in which I felt so utterly out of sink with Christians. The fawning platitudes that have burst forth from the Christian Interweb has me baffled.

    I’ve experienced plenty of flak for my post – If I may be so bold as to link:

    Christopher Hitchens is dead. So I’m going to say what some other Christians are thinking, but won’t say.

    This is a man that hated sentimental eulogies, had no respect for the recently deceased and all of the outpouring of grief, goodwill and tears would have turned his stomach.

    He advocated writing truthfully, forcefully and honestly and yet do the same today in regard to this same man and be prepared for a backlash; not least from ‘nice’ Christians.

    • I get your drift, and agree with the general thinking. I also agree that Hitchens would have been the first to be sick of these tsunami of molasses.

      Serves him right, I suppose… 😉

      On the other hand, we Catholics believe that salvation is always possible until there’s life, and might have happened for him too in the end. Improbable, I know, but not impossible.

      This is the reason why in my post you read expressions like “very probably” etc.

      As to the “nice” Christians who do not even contemplate the horrible destiny the man has – very probably – chosen for himself, in my eyes they do not believe in Christianity anymore, but in Niceness, the new false goddess of the XXI century.


  2. I’m not a “nice” christian, far from it, but so far as I’ve read the Bible, it seems to me that belief in Jesus is the only rock solid guarantee of eternal life, but it also says “For whoever is not against us is for us”, and “Judge not…”.
    Personally, I don’t think we really know who does and doesn’t go to hell, it’s not up to us, and speculating about it serves no useful purpose. Hitchens himself said about the existence of God that he had seen no evidence or argumment that would change his mind, but he liked surprises. If this is so, then:
    a) it speaks volumes about those who represent Christ
    b) he was still willing to be open minded about this
    c) it’s as if he lived in a foreign place with no knowledge of christianity, so would judgement apply to him in the way that you suggest? Rather than in the way it would apply to those who had never heard of Christ, or died too young to understand or, etc. etc.

    • Matt,
      actually it seems to me you are.
      “Judge not” doesn’t mean “don’t say how things are”. Things are so, that if you deny Christ you go to hell, period.
      As to him, I am not “speculating”: I am saying that if he died thinking what he said during an entire lifetime, he is in hell. This is not speculation, it’s Catholic truth, and its purpose is to avoid other going to hell because they are so stupidly in love with himself as he was.

      As to the surprise, you are very mistaken if you think that to say “I like surprises” was enough to avoid hell. Jesus never promised heaven to those who like surprises.

      Again, he has lived lived in possibly the most Christian country on earth for the last 30 years of his life, and to think that he would be considered like one never heard of Christ is extremely naive. Particularly considering that people who “never heard of Christ etc.etc.” don’t go around writing books called “God is not great”.

      Really, let us stop with this crap and let us reflect that if hell exists it is just the place for the likes of Hitchens – bar an always welcome repentance, of course; re-pen-tan-ce, not bollocks -. hell exists, therefore…


  3. I hope he did not die impenitent. I cannot help hoping for him, in view of the many who prayed for him precisely because of his militant atheism and his deadly illness. Indeed, I can’t help hoping for him precisely on account of his rage: why was there a need for rage if he were positive there is no God, much less a God Who personally loved him? There may be more hope for a Christopher Hitchens than for a much nicer, more amiable sort of person who never thinks about God at all. As I have said before, it is the lukewarm whom Christ vomits out of His mouth.

    But God save us from presuming on His mercy. It is a dreadful thing for a man to pit himself against God, and to encourage others to do the same, especially when he knows he is dying.

    • You wouldn’t believe it, the internet is ablaze with Christians (and Catholics) trying to construct the strangest theories why he could have died unrepented, and still be saved.
      Hey, he once wrote he liked surprises!
      Hey, the lukewarm (most of us) are damned, but the turbo-blasphemers are saved!
      Good Lord!


    • I think the most dangerous thing now is if Catholics start to say around that one can be a Hitchens, die unrepented, and be saved! Monstrous!

      Too many people are confusing their personal preferences – the man was likeable in his own way, and I liked his stance on Iraq and Arab terrorism a lot – with the objective matter of his being in utter conflict with Christianity. It is human, I know, but for Heaven’s sake, let us not lose sight of the basics…


    • Anita,

      you will agree that “the lukewarm” is a category which comprises the vast majority of Christians.

      I hope you don’t mean to say that the vast majority of Christians are damned in the end.

      Whilst we don’t know how many people are damned, we know God is merciful.


  4. I have rarely had as much disdain for an individual as I have had for Hitchens. I am not sure if you know Fr. Rutler who is one of the heros of 911. He was courageously along side the late Fr Judge who perished while administering to the dying at the base of the towers while everyone was running away.

    HItchens and Fr Rutler were at the Manhattan’s Union League Club, for some book club reading and Hitchens flew into one of his famous tirades screaming in Fr Rutlers face like a mad man. Red face, spittle flying and all. The usual anti catholic junk, but when he paused his spiel, Fr spoke.

    FATHER RUTLER: I have met saints. You cannot explain the existence of saints without God. I was nine years chaplain with Mother Teresa [inaudible]. You have called her a whore, a demagogue. She’s in heaven that you don’t believe in, but she’s praying for you. If you do not believe in heaven, that’s why you drink.


    FATHER RUTLER: That’s why you drink. God has offered us happiness, all of us. And you will either die a Catholic or a madman, and I’ll tell you the difference.

    And secondly, I’m an officer with this club. And this conversation has been beneath the dignity of this club.

    “At the end of the event as he staggered, sweating and red faced, out of the room, he [Hitchens] advanced on Father Rutler in a threatening and physical manner, screaming that this beloved pastor and brilliant scholar whom he had never met was ‘a child molester and a lazy layabout who never did a day’s work in his life’. His behavior was so frightening that a bodyguard put himself between Hitchens and Father Rutler to protect him. Several of the event organizers then escorted Hitchens to the men’s room and when he emerged he continued his psychotic rant, repeating the same calumnious and baseless screed as before. It was then that Father Rutler, in the most charitable manner, told Hitchens [for the second time] that he will ‘either die a madman or a Roman Catholic.’ … ‘Unless he faces his alcoholism soon, I am betting on the “madman” ending for him.’”

    • Very impressive priest, Irenaeus; and not very impressive drunkard. Another one would have been kicked out of the club, I suppose.
      If you have some link to allow us to read more, please do not hesitate..


  5. 1. Do you want this guy to be in hell? Do you think his damnation is necessary to vindicate Catholic doctrine?

    2. Where did I say Hitchens — or anybody else, come to that — could go to heaven after dying unrepentant? Did I not say I hope he did NOT die unrepentant? Did I not say it is a dreadful thing to pit oneself against God, and to presume on His mercy?

    I think you saw what you wanted to see in my comments, and not what I actually did say. Read them again.

    • 1. I am frankly astonished that you pose the question, but I don’t do passive-aggressive so I’ll leave it at that.
      No, of course not. I wished him to be saved, and wish him to be saved. Have written it several times already. I prayed for him when he was alive, and even (once) when he was dead. I desire every one to go back safely to the Father. At the same time, I do not want other do be lost because of him, or believing they can be him, not repent, and save themselves. This is not the case.

      2. I was not referring specifically to you, at least not in my last answer. I have read such things around (google a bit, tons of them) and don’t keep notes of where I read what. I think your blunder is in thinking a mainstream believer (lukewarm, as most people are) is more endangered than a Hitchens. Truly, this flies in the face of Christianity and common sense. You have said in your last message here you know without repentance there has been no salvation, and I am perfectly satisfied with this statement. I think it should be made always, though, because without it the wrong impression immediately comes out and the entire meaning changes completely.


      Some people tend to awake our admiration, because they are fearless and impetuous and so different from the usual brew. I know this because in my own little world I see this happening with me, and notice that many who claim to hate me admire my guts in some secret way, and would like to possess the chutzpah and conviction I am blessed with. But you see, whilst chutzpah is a good currency in a debate, it counts zippo when we are in front of the Lord. When that time comes, the illiterate, simple peasant in Peru will be considered much more, and will have been much smarter, than all those “intellectuals” wasting their intellect, and their soul, away. The insistence of his admirers to want to believe Hitchens saved is dangerous: all signs say he wasn’t, and when we start assuming salvation for him then there’s really no reason why we should transmit Christianity to anyone at all. Then you can be an evil blasphemous monster all you like, and you won’t possibly even – not referring to you, again – need to repent, because your own spirit and passion will keep you on the right side.

      Then we complain our churches are empty. Congratulations.

      Once upon a time (when Christians were still around) a suicide would, most often, not be allowed to be buried on consecrated ground. That he might have asked for forgiveness whilst swinging from the noose, or whilst the bullet was traveling down the gun’s barrel, counted exactly zero. The fact was, when all signs point out to damnation you assume damnation and act consequently. Whilst you leave open a small door for the Holy Ghost’s last effort, you act as reason tells you, because otherwise you endanger souls.

      This all Hitchens drama is becoming a “you can’t be damned” festival instead of being an occasion of serious reflection about the real possibility of hell for all of us; if you ask me, this attitude is frankly giving scandal.


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