Christopher Hitchens was likeable, fascinating, intelligent and extremely eloquent. He was also audacious, in that it seemed that he didn’t care what people thought of him. Most of us care about how we comb our hair or what we wear, but it was as though Hitchens didn’t care.
He may have been like a friend I once had many years ago, however, who made sure he looked as though he didn’t care about his appearance, yet he spent a great deal of time looking into a mirror, making sure that his hair was a mess and his clothes unkempt. His image was one of humility, but he was actually very conceited.
Most human beings have enough sense to know that if they work in a city that has a serious smog problem, it’s wise to either stay indoors or at least wear a mask that will filter out the poison. But cigarette smokers have their own little concentrated toxic smog pack that they don’t avoid. They pay money to breathe in the poison in a concentrated form, and in the end they certainly pay for such recklessness.
Each of us should think of the future. Every puff on a cigarette is another tick closer to a time bomb of terrible consequences. Christopher Hitchens didn’t care about the consequences of smoking cigarettes. Tragically, he died of throat cancer in December 2011.
He once said, “One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody – not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms – had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion, and one would like to think – though the connection is not a fully demonstrable one –that this is why they seem so uninterested in sending fellow humans to hell.”
In two short sentences Hitchens concluded that no one in Bible times “had the smallest idea what was going on.”
Yet God gave ignorant Moses the Ten Commandments that could be summed up in two commandments, that if kept would mean that the millions of laws on the books of educated contemporary society could be deleted.
Was Hitchens willfully ignorant of those two commandments that solve almost every one of humanity’s problems? Did he ever condescend to study the Wisdom of Solomon?
He boasted that the least educated of his children knew more about the “natural order,” presumable a reference to the unobservable, unscientific, unproven natural order of atheistic evolution. Such talk makes me wonder if he even explained to his children the meaning of the terms B.C. and A.D., or did he conclude that the life of Jesus of Nazareth was inconsequential? Was Jesus just another ignorant human being who didn’t have the smallest idea what was going on?
I wonder if his offspring are living as hard and fast as their father. I hope not. I hope that they saw his life as a testimony of what happens when a person gives no thought to the future; that they take care of their health and that they live a long and happy life. Most of all, I hope that they have an open mind and plan, not only for their future, but for eternity.