Christopher Hitchens, a man we can all both disagree and agree with on many issues including the war in Iraq, religion and so on yet also love the man for his wit and blunt attitude, has recently passed away. Atheists and others have lost a great figure, theists have lost a great debate opponent and the world, despite the death of an already sorely missed intellectual who had questionable stances at both right and wrong times, continues to forge on ahead.
Among the hundreds of news articles and thousands of sorrowful and gleeful posts in various forums across the net regarding the death of Hitchens, the National Post’s “Father” Raymond J.de Souza wrote a sort of an obituary that has begun to stand out partly because, well, partly because it’s in the ‘main stream’.
We were curious as to how our dear Father Souza would handle the topic of Hitchen’s death or entire life in an article that has a title saying ” Christopher Hitchens lived in a service of plain hatred” which we took it as “Souza’s article that goes in-depth of Hitchen’s life showing the decades of research into the man proving that the guy lived in a service of hatred.”
Surely he expressed condolences for Hitchen’s death and demonstrated that Christians are unlike the allegedly evil Horseman of the New Apocalypse by not arrogantly saying that he would be praying for the soul of Hitchens in the afterlife?
Haha, no. What would a certain Christian who never really confronted a drunk or sober Hitchens do after the latter is gone for good?
Souza starts off well enough, except for that unpleasant imagery in the second sentence and the condescending “I will pray for you” attitude that Hitchens himself said he was bewildered by when news of his esophagus cancer leaked:
Christopher Hitchens is dead. By his own lights, he is utterly defunct, decomposing more rapidly than yesterday’s newspaper. I take a different view, and do sincerely pray for a merciful judgment. In the mean time, I trust that his soul, even now, is chagrined with the extravagant evasions that marked his death. My colleagues were enthusiastic contributors. Our editorial board praised his “courage” as a journalist and deemed him the “greatest columnist and essayist in the English-speaking world.” The estimable David Frum wrote that, “If moral clarity means hating cruelty and oppression, then Christopher Hitchens was above all things a man of moral clarity.”
Souza then veers off the track of praise from the last sentence to list the controversial timings and the outspoken views of Hitchens somehow demonstrating that Hitchens was a hate machine just by these alone (surprisingly Souza did not attribute the actions of Hitchens to the ‘devil’):
He was himself both hateful and cruel. Upon Bob Hope’s death, Hitchens wrote that he was a “fool, and nearly a clown.” When Ronald Reagan died, Hitchens called him a “stupid lizard,” “dumb as a stump” and “an obvious phony and loon.” On Mother Teresa: “The woman was a fanatic and a fundamentalist and a fraud, and millions of people are much worse off because of her life, and it’s a shame there is no hell for your bitch to go to.
Then our dear Father says,
The sadness is that there is a hell for Hitch to go to.
This is strange, but..is Souza doing exactly what he accuses Hitchens of doing and even more? Belittling a recently deceased individual and telling the world and the surviving family members that their loved kin is going to suffer forever in a lake of fire for all eternity just because he didn’t happen to believe in a specific, sadistic, misogynistic and homophobic god?
But, that’s not all folks!
He was granted a long farewell, with the opportunity for reconsiderations and reconciliations with those he hated and those he hurt. He declined to take advantage of it. Mother Teresa is fine, and no doubt prays for her enemies, including that Hitchens would be delivered both from hell and the nihilistic oblivion, which he thought awaited him.
Souza, just shove it up your arse.
(Cover Photo: Lydia Goldblatt/The Guardian)