My Friend Christopher

I did my mourning for Christopher when he was given his death sentence last July and appeared in public as a punished shell of his former self. For those of us who knew him, it was hard to watch and painful to think about. Christopher was a great entertainer and everyone will miss him for that. He was also an outspoken if inconsistent moralist, and a fearless champion of the right to think and speak one’s mind, and he will be remembered gratefully for that.

Christopher had a dark, mean side, which was not so likeable, and whose bile was directed at religious people and select conservatives like Ronald Reagan, and for some reason celebrities like Lady Di. But his wit and verbal bravura were irresistible and helped many to forgive him his transgressions. When he was struck with cancer, thousands of his targets directed prayers for him to heaven in the face of his ridicule.

He was a man of the Left to the end, and that is where he went to die. In his last decade he had held his comrades to account for their malicious support for the tyrant in Iraq and their equally disgraceful attacks on their country for its support for freedom. It was his remarkable achievement to retain his standing in a movement committed to those ends. He was able to do so in part because of his final campaign against God, which occupied the main part of his dying days. I understand why Christopher did this, even though its ordeals took precious time and attention from his family and friends and from himself. He was when all was said and done a romantic, who sacrificed his life in this world to the fantasy of a future he imagined – first without capitalism and then without faith.

I have missed Christopher since the day he was given his death sentence. I have reflected more than once on the times I saw him early in the day with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other and the look of a man who had been freshly mugged, and thought my friend is killing himself, knowing that there was nothing I could say or do to stop him. After his diagnosis, Christopher defended his reckless self-destruction saying it helped to make his life give off “a more lovely light.” I think it did for him, and am glad for that, though those of us who enjoyed its pleasures will wish he had found some other way to shine.

  • JEM

    There are two basic points that an atheist will never get around no matter how hard they try. 1). they did not create themselves and they cannot control there ultimate destiny. It is irrational to think that an intelligent, reasoning human being arose out of non-thinking, non intelligent nothingness or chaos. Its simple logic that an intelligent creature should realize there is a higher uncreated Intelligence. The attempts to get around this have fatal weaknesses. This brings up the second point. 2) Being created in the image of God the atheist cannot escape the moral implications of his existence. His own moral judgments about Justice, Love, etc., if applied to himself directly would expose his own just condemnation. To paraphrase a well known quote (not from the Bible) there is more in heaven and on earth than is dreamed of in their philosophy. It is not man’s mind that is the problem but his will, and his desire not to be accountable to a higher power.

    • Al Blue

      Existence exists as Ayn Rand noted long ago and only existence exists. The sole purpose of consciousness is to PERCEIVE existence, so how could existence derive from consciousness ? If you posit a 'God' that only removes the question back to who created 'God' ? JEM, there has never been a rational argument to demonstrate the existence of a supernatural being.

      • Maxie

        Positing a god or supernatural being demands a description of that entity or force. So, when anyone denies the existence of such I ask them to describe what it is that that they claim doesn't exist. In the context of the incomprehensible universe we humans are either iirrelevent trivialities or the center of it all. Take it from there.

  • Warwick

    How strange are the comments here. It seems that if you reject the dystopias created by Marxism and other forms of socialism you have to accept a Personal God, The Flood, Noah's Ark, The Virgin Birth, and the inability of this All Powerful God to redeem the world without subjecting his son to torture on the cross. What a low-level readership

  • Morty62

    David … I thank you for this warm and gracious tribute to your friend Christopher. Like him, you spoke your mind without regard for the consequences. Many of the posts following your tribute reveal the humorless, moralistic side of the right. I imagine that to know Christopher Hitchens was to love him. There are some things that transcend ideology and I commend you for understanding this and for rendering this touching tribute. It must be remembered that one William F. Buckley's best friends was John Kenneth Galbraith, a man with whom he shared little political affinity but with whom he enjoyed an irreplaceable conviviality. Hitchens strikes me as the kind of man who when he entered your life made it at once more complicated, but also infinitely more interesting and just plain fun. You were lucky to have known him. My condolences on your loss.

  • john

    His soul is burning. He is in complete hell forever. He chose it and now he got it! The mind never dies. The soul lives on in other places not of four Dimensions but in the Quantum world of 11 Dimensions, read up on it. Lots of scientist is jumping on the band wagon. Even the Atheist ones are admitting that something could possibly happen after death of our body; trust me it does. So ……Run Run Run Atheist Commie ahhhh but you can't. You will have to answer to your evil ways on your death bed like this poor lost man did. I hope you all change as I did. I was once a STUPID MORN Atheist Left winger like YOU ALL; the ones that voted for Obama then pretend to be smart LOL, but my eyes were opened and now I see that there is life after death and yes there is no free lunch and NO ANYTHING DOES NOT GO!! This would make us the same as a animal, which we are not. Anyway Nit-wits! Hope you all get it one day before it’s too late.

  • Rudy

    He was a vicious self hating jew and Israel basher. I hope he rots in hell.

  • Terence57

    Christopher Hitchens was a man. To be a man means, right or wrong, being authentic.
    A committed atheist is a contradiction in terms, so I think he was not so much a true atheist, for whom God is not at issue, as he was a man sorting it out. I'm glad that David and Christopher shared a friendship (of sorts, I guess). Either would be on a short list of very interesting persons of significance. For some time I thought of Hitchens as a dinosaur, an honest person of the left. His passing leaves them (and me) in a less ambiguous state.

  • scum

    David continues to be unhinged: "The Left's malicious support for the tyrant in Iraq."
    Exactly what is he referring to? The same Saddam Hussein who was known (by conservatives like Rumsfeld) as "our man in Baghdad" when they knew about his use of chemical weapons (some of which were sold to him by… American conservatives). Furthermore, David HIMSELF came out several months ago in his article "WHY I AM NOT A NEO-CONSERVATIVE" in OPPOSITION to the war. That in itself was funny because he called the broad-based opposition to the war 'nearly treasonous' years earlier even though it was a conflict largely pursued through propaganda, innuendo, and lies.

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