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Christopher Hitchens, RIP

Christopher Hitchens, RIP

Hello, everyone.

The following was on Crooks & Liars this morning (12/16):

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December 16, 201109:00 AM

Ghoulish Professional Christians Waste No Time Capitalizing on Hitchens’ Death

By David

Crossposted from Video Cafe

Only hours after noted author Christopher Hitchens died of cancer, several of his famous Christian friends were declaring that the atheist would finally know that God is real.

“He was left, I was right, but we had great debates, great drinking bouts,” conservative radio host Bill Bennett said on CBS Thursday. “And I hope as the big atheist that he was, he’s in for a big surprise.”

[COMMENT:  WOW!!  What a loving way to reflect on the passing of a fellow human being!  NOT!!]

Pastor Rick Warren called Hitchens a “friend” in a post on Twitter.

“I loved & prayed for him constantly & grieve his loss,”Warrenwrote. “He knows the Truth now.”

[COMMENT:  Does he?  Isn’t it even remotely possible that he knew the REAL truth while alive?

And given the way that Warren backstabbed Barak Obama by having his interview responses piped in to John McCain before Warren’s interview of McCain, I would far rather have a black widow spider as a friend than Ricky Warren.]

But not all of Hitchens friends used the occasion of his death to trumpet the existence of God.

“Christopher Hitchens, finest orator of our time, fellow horseman, valiant fighter against all tyrants including God,” fellow atheist and author Richard Dawkins tweeted.

[COMMENT:  What a beautiful, eloquent eulogy!]

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What really dumbfounds me is how Bennett and Warren can react so cavalierly to the death of a brother human being.  But then again:

We have the record of Jesus telling a man who just lost his father to “let the dead bury their dead.”

We have the record of Jesus calling a non-Jew a “dog” and refusing to heal – as if he truly had the power to heal – the woman’s daughter until she bested him in a debate.

And of course we have the notorious record in Matthew 10 and Luke 14 of Jesus’ insistence that we love him first and foremost above our friends and loved ones.

I have pondered what Billy and Ricky have said, and I am left with one daunting question:  HOW IN THE HELL DO THEY KNOW THAT THEY’RE RIGHT??  How exactly do they know that Christopher Hitchens is going to face the Big Surprise?  Do they get this crap from the Bible?  But everyone who has studied the Bible with an open mind and with no presuppositions knows that it is a horribly flawed “book”.  For starters, we have Jesus’ “promise her anything” promises in Matthew 7 and Luke 11.  Anyone with a functioning and open mind does not need to go through the experiences that I have gone through to know that Jesus was simply blowing smoke and hot air.    In view of that, how exactly do we know that ANYTHING he said can be trusted as being true and not just more smoke and hot air?

Or take the concept of life after death.  In Luke 23, Jesus is quoted as telling the penitent thief that he would be with Jesus in Paradise that very day.  But how exactly do we know this to be true?  What is meant by “Paradise?”  There are people who have claimed to have “died” and they go all over creation talking about their experiences.  Some even write books about them.  I have heard several of these people, and one thing that has struck me is how their descriptions of “heaven” parallel the descriptions of “heaven” as found in the Apocalypse.  Did these people actually visit “Heaven”?  Or did they only THINK they did?  Who knows?  All I know is that the Apocalypse is an allegory, much like “Pilgrim’s Progress,”  And NO ONE with an education and understanding of literary types believes that an allegory is to be taken literally.  If these “visitors to heaven” had described a heaven that is much like the earth that we know – grass, trees, flowers, birds, little critters like rabbits and squirrels, large animals like horses and deer – Then I would think that their “heavenly visits” might actually have happened.

Or, again, take life after death.  On the one hand, we have this from Paul, written in I Thessalonians 4:16-18; “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore, encourage each other with these words.”

But on the other hand, we have these words written by Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:18-21:  “I also thought, ‘As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals.  Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both.  As one dies, so does the other.  All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal.  Everything is meaningless.  All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.  Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?’”

OK, Evangelicals:  Which of these passages is true, and how do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it IS true?  If you insist on believing that the Bible is divinely inspired and that every word in the Bible is literally true, you have a king-size problem here.  A given in the field of logic is this:  Two contradictory statements cannot both be true.  That goes without saying.  That is why legal cases are decided by a preponderance of the evidence.  If Statement A and Statement B are made under oath in a court case, then the “preponderance” rule is put in effect.  If the majority of the evidence supports Statement A, then that statement is held to be true.  Same for Statement B.

So in view of the Rule of Preponderance, what is the evidence that supports Billy Bennett’s and Ricky Warren’s contentions that Christopher Hitchens is in for a big “surprise” now that he has passed beyond the pale?  And I ask again:  Isn’t it equally possible that THEY are in for the big surprise when their times come?

In my essay on “The Weakest Link,” I wrote the following paragraph:

“We are in the “Christmas” season now.  That is a very hard period for a lot of people.  It can be a time of great loneliness, as I and a bunch of other people well know.  It is a hard time for those who wish to give to their loved ones, but lack the money to do so.  It is a hard time for people who want to put a lofty concept for the season in their minds, but instead find the whole time period corrupted and contaminated by Claus.  It is a difficult time for those who follow other belief systems, because instead of being encouraged to follow THEIR holiday celebrations, they are bullied by Christians to embrace and celebrate “Christmas” and “Jesus.”  It is a hard time for lonely people to check their mailboxes and find nothing but ads and bills, but no “Christmas” greetings.  Or if one DOES get a “Christmas” greeting, it is in the form of a blow-by-blow account of the person’s year.  Much of this is true also with people who do e-mail.  One goes to his inbox hoping to find something beside the usual crap and bilge, but there is nothing there.  Or, like snail mail, if there IS something there, again it is a blow-by-blow of the writer’s year.”

I also posed the following question to Evangelicals:

“Where’s your “Jesus” when you really need him?”

As I have said many times over the years, I lost my Carol on December 16, 2007.  I experienced a second loss on December 16 of last year.  On December 21, 1981, my Ginny and I got the diagnosis that she had non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  My first serious girlfriend and I broke up December 13, 1963.  So I know what it is to experience loss and deep sorrow during “the most wonderful time of the year.”

The Hitchens family is now working its way through its loss.  And for understandable reasons, they will not be euphoric about the birth of the “Little Lord Jesus” this year.  In “Link” I also posed the question of why the noun “compassion” cannot be found in the Evangelical dictionary.  Anyone who has a heart and soul knows that when people experience any kind of loss or go through any kind of trauma, these dear people can use any kind of support and encouragement that they may receive.  Saying something like “X is gone.  Get over it!!” just doesn’t cut it in my book.  And yet that is all that the worshipers of “Jesus” have to offer.  Or else responses like those of Billy and Ricky are all that they are willing to give to those who don’t embrace their “Jesus.”

In conclusion I would say this to the Hitchens family:  I have a good idea of what you may be feeling right now, because I also experienced several losses over the years during the holiday season.  Let me assure you that not all people have tiny, sullen little souls like what William Bennett and Rick Warren put on display to the whole world.  There are people with giant souls who knew and loved Christopher, and who will miss him, and who are standing at your side at this time.  And I am mighty damned proud to say that I am one of them!!

Happy Winter Solstice!

Bill

P. S.:  At last!  At last, At Last, AT LAST!!  After all of this time, I have FINALLY found out that the “Trump of God”  is a trumpet fanfare – Not spades, hearts, diamonds, or clubs – OR DONALD!!

 

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December 18, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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