I’d like to share a couple of quotes about Christopher Hitchens and hell:
1. Bruce Gerenscer on his blog discusses the smug comments of Al Mohler and others implying that Christopher Hitchens now knows the truth about Christianity and is in hell. Infidel 753 comments under Bruce’s post:
“It’s very odd that a change of heart at any point right up to the moment of death ‘counts’, but after death, when (according to the doctrine) you would have better information on which to base a decision, you can’t change your mind. It seems more like the rules of a game show than ‘divine’ justice.”
2. I was talking with a Catholic friend of mine, and his observation was that a lot of Christian conservatives are actually not gloating about Christopher Hitchens being in hell, and he wonders if that could be due to Hitchens’ strong and vocal support for George W. Bush’s foreign policy, particularly the Iraq War. That’s an intriguing question. But I especially liked what my Catholic friend said about how many Catholics address death, heaven, and hell:
” Most Catholic bloggers, etc., have been very kind—-even affectionate—-and not only the right-wingers. Probably its because the CC teaches that no one on earth can ever know the state of another’s soul for certain. It’s not just the idea that there are tares among the wheat, mind you, but that most of what really happens between a soul and its God happens very deeply inside and may not even be truly annuciated by a very vocal person like Mr. Hitchens. There’s also a very old Catholic tradition that God may save a great many souls—-even all souls—-at the very instant of death (but not after). The idea is that death itself is such a cleansing ordeal that each person may be granted an immediate vision of the truth at the last moment—-and could possibly cry out for mercy and be saved, no matter what their past opinions. Not dogma, of course…but a germ of hope. Which is what I would allow on the subject of Mr. Hitchen’s current state.”
That gives me comfort. I myself rant quite a bit against religion, and there are plenty of times when I don’t know what I believe. But I do feel a need for God’s love and mercy.
My friend sent me some links. I have not read all of them yet, but they’re here for me and for you. The first one actually says that Hitchens challenged the Bush Administration on the Iraq War, so I’m not sure how to characterize him. “Contrarian” is probably the best I can do! (UPDATE: See John Hobbins' post here about the reasons for some of Hitchens' beliefs about Iraq.)