Go Get ‘Em, Hitch!

What if Christopher Hitchens was wrong? Suppose that immediately after exhaling his last bit of air at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston on the night of December 15th, rather than seeing a beautiful yet simplistic cut-to-black, not unlike The Sopranos series finale, Hitchens found his immortal soul not only intact, but also standing in defiance outside opulent pearly gates. A bearded man (of some sort) approaches him and pronounces, “I am St. Peter, and this, Christopher, is heaven.”

What is the next move for one of the world’s preeminent and iconic freethinking non-believers? A man who, if you were to assemble your ultimate Dream Team of renowned atheist scholars and spokesmen, would be your power forward?

Perhaps it’s fitting that Hitchens died in Texas, even though he came into this world an Englishman. He officially became an American citizen in April four years earlier and took pride in retaining dual citizenship, but there was something about living among those who principally needed his message that caught his fancy.

To simply call Hitchens an atheist is incorrect; he was an antitheist. For him and many followers of his work, the concept of requiring a supreme being to be the progenitor of the entire universe didn’t just sound ludicrous, it was demonstrably unappealing. And considering this is a country where more than half its populace believes an elderly man braved a 40-day global flood with the San Diego Zoo inside his little wooden boat, I guess Hitch felt the US was where his work desperately belonged the most.

Again, it’s almost poetic he should spend his final days amongst the Baptists and bat-shits here in globally-warmed Houston, TX. Like Mother Theresa in Calcutta (and yes, I realize he’d hate this comparison), the wise sage passed away with much success in life’s endeavors, and with significant progress remaining to be accomplished. With a career spanning four decades, Hitchens did the youthful socialist journalism thing, got hooked on the gateway drug of contributing writer (Vanity Fair, The Nation, Slate, etc.), authored dozens of publications, and never shied away from pwning a conservative on national television.

For myself, and many “neo-atheists” of today, Hitchens’ 2007 masterpiece God Is Not Great raised the bar for the analysis and subsequent characterization of religion’s harmful effects on humanity. In no uncertain terms, he put into eloquent, gut-punching words the truth about religion, how it literally poisons the mind, corrupts the conscience, and justifies madness over rationality.

The loss of this great and prolific author will be staggering to the secular community. Atheists, freethinkers, agnostics, and other non-fundamentalists have been robbed of a powerful voice. But I choose to take comfort in knowing that if we were misled, if Hitch was wrong, then that means he is up there in the afterlife this very moment, standing at the gates of heaven.

I like to imagine him defiantly micturating upon them, one hand placed against the bars for support, the other holding that most precious and delectable liquor from the great Scottish isles; neat, and in the finest crystal tumbler. Jesus shows up and is none too delighted. He commands Hitchens to sheath his phallus, to which Hitchens replies, “Why don’t you suck it first, you plagiarized derivative of a primitive, pre-societal allegory!”

Whatever the case may be, those of us who call ourselves inspired fans of his life and work can take infinite comfort in knowing that if he — and indeed all of his fans — are wrong about the afterlife, we still get to go back up there, to our creator, and personally tell god to emphatically fuck himself using the largest and prickliest of pineapples available. To date, Christopher Hitchens might just be the finest orator and caretaker of our philosophy to pass on, and therein the perfect warrior to face the almighty. “Satan ain’t got shit, on me!” he’ll declare (maybe). Go get ’em, Hitch; tell that smarmy cocksucker what for.

Post by . This entry was posted on Monday, January 9th, 2012. Filed under Posts.

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