Sunday, October 07, 2012

Christopher Hitchens and Nietzsche, Mencken, and Chesterton

Sunflower, in my neighbor's backyard

I felt sad when atheist Christopher Hitchens died. But why, since I am a Christian theist? Because every Christian theist should feel the sadness God feels when anyone dies, to include anyone who did not come to believe in God. Nobody's death is a happy occasion when seen from the perspective of heaven.

I admired Hitchens for some things, to include his debates with professional philosophers like William Lane Craig. Craig intellectually bludgeoned Hitchens. I can't help but believe Hitchens knew this would happen, yet he bravely debated anyway.

I just read Hitchens's wife Carol Blue's "Christopher Hitchens: an impossible act to follow." Neat the end of his life, when he was intubated and could not talk, she gave him pieces of paper to write on. One of his requests intrigued me, and makes me want to extrapolate the data and write a speculative novel on him. Blue writes:

"Slightly down the page he wrote what he wanted me to bring him from our guesthouse in Houston:

'Nietzsche, Mencken and Chesterton books.'"

I find this so interesting. Were I to pick one atheistic writer to read it would be, and by the way it has been, Nietzsche. Had I only one choice of a Christian theist to read, Chesterton would suffice. Many years ago I was mesmerized by the literary fireworks, brilliance, cleverness and wit of Chesterton's The Everlasting Man and Orthodoxy. Chesterton wrote a lot. Were these books the ones Hitchens requested? I am certain he respected Chesterton as one of England's greatest writers. I bet he saw Chesterton as a literary sparring partner who was more than his equal.

In between lies atheist H.L. Mencken. I have read nothing he has written.

Two atheists and a theist at the bedside of of Christopher Hitchens as he lay dying.