I liked “The Hitch”, I really did. He was articulate, intelligent and honest with a charming swagger that drew you in. He was courageous as well in his bold fight against totalitarianism that even led him to turn against some of his socialist friends who he saw as far too accepting of dictators, and far too compromising on issues for political gain. Personally I like people who are thinkers, they don’t run with the crowd because they hear something that sounds good. Critical thinking is something that is sorely lacking today in all areas of life. We want to label people quickly and assume we know everything about them by that label. Hitchens was someone that would not be labeled, telling you what he thought no matter the consequence or the label he might defy by his words.
Unfortunately he was influenced early on by a “Trotsky lite-Marxist” worldview that led him down a path of socialism and leftist leanings. In true Hitch style though he was able to break from the left when they did not live up to their teachings. He bonded with the left on their attack against Stalin and against the moral outrages of Hitler. He ended up with a hatred for the “totalitarian” that transcended politics and when the left did not adhere to this he broke with them, even to the extent of supporting George W. Bush and the war on terror.
He was not shy in taking his hatred of totalitarianism to it’s ultimate conclusion of hating what he saw as the ultimate totalitarian in God himself, referring to Heaven as a “Celestial North Korea”. There was so much suffering in the world that a God who was in control of such a world was diabolical to Hitchens, and even worse then Hitler as I heard him say on more then one occasion in debates against Christians.
Hitchens had read his Bible as he had read so many books. By his own admission he read many things quickly instead of only a few selections in depth. This allowed him to speak intelligently on a wide array of subjects but he was an expert in no one area with possible exception being literary critique. He knew enough to make him dangerous and this was definitely the case in regard to the “Abraham Religions” as he called Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. When he combined his cursory reading of the Bible with his Trotsky type worldview he went down a terrible path of hatred for all people or beings that might attempt to take away what Hitchens idea of individual freedom was.
Many people fake a belief in God to make themselves feel better. Others take an agnostic position of convenience to say that there just isn’t any proof or maybe they would believe. Hitchens would have none of this proclaiming that he would never worship a “vicious tyrant” such as the God of the Bible who was no better then Kim Jong Il.
I admire Hitchens for this. I am sad that he has passed without truly seeing God for who he is, but he was honest about his feelings as I believe all people who do not believe in God should be. They should hate God too instead of pretending to love him like so many do, or making up their own God that makes them feel warm and fuzzy inside. Hitchens cursory reading of the Bible was probably more then many Christians have done, so he knew what God had said and didn’t try to form God into something he liked. He hated God for who he thought God was and was not shy about proclaiming this.
Self proclaimed Christians want to talk about God on Sunday’s because they are told he had a wonderful plan for their lives and that He loves them. Then they want to forget about this God and have their freedom to do whatever they want to do the rest of the week. Hitchens would have had no part of this either. To him God was an omniscient and sovereign being that claimed to know his thoughts and his final outcome and therefore limit his freedom to act apart from that. He knew what that meant and he hated it as he should as a non-believer.
You see guys like Hitchens borrow from Christianity while they are proclaiming their hatred for it. Hitchens used his God given gifts to formulate a concept of morality that only a humanist could. A set of moral laws with no moral law giver. Purposeful lives in a purposeless world. He thought that having pure freedom to make our own morality and purpose was much better then having that defined by a transcendent being. However this is foolish as the Bible says it is when a man says to himself “There is no God” It is foolish because man is finite and can’t see past the present. If we make up our own morality then what is good today might be bad tomorrow. It would take a sovereign God to be able to see all of time for what it is to turn bad things for good. Hitchens could not see past himself to realize that without God there is no transcendent “good” and therefore holding Kim Jong Il to a standard of morality is impossible.
Christopher Hitchens brought much good to us, something the reader might be shocked to hear. He told us to think about what we believe in a time where many Christians and people in general don’t. He challenged the worldviews of others instead of letting them rest. He demanded that one have intelligent answers to questions of God and morality.
However he hated God.
His hatred of God was the bad part of Hitchens that flowed out of him like water breaking from a compromised dam. His thinking was backward in regard to God because his humanism sought to achieve precedence over everything. God was the supreme dictator that attempted to rule over man in what could only be evil as a slave owner is to the slave. However Hitchens missed who God is and because of this he missed who he was. His hatred for God blinded him from the true nature of God which is good and his humanism told him that man was really better then he was. Therefore God was the evil tyrant holding back man from what was possible.
Mr. Hitchens showed us how a brilliant mind blinded from the things of God operates. That our intellectual capacity to understand who God is does not rely on our own understanding but on God’s revealing to us.