Is anyone else finding the “deathbed” watch of Christopher Hitchens’ atheism a bit discomforting? Seemingly more important to many is not the death or life of Hitchens himself but the preservation or demise of his atheism.
For some atheists (not all) Hitchen’s death without a conversion would be hailed as an achievement, raising a public victory flag over what I view as a potential personal tragedy.
Some Christians (not all) seem to be interested in the positive effects that a deathbed conversion might have on others.
Even Hitchens himself in interviews seems precoccupied with the issue by warning people that if some positive mention of God escapes his lips it’ll be the fault of the drugs or pain or something.
In a video interview, he urged people to discount any conversion he might have:
“The entity making such a remark might be a raving, terrified person whose cancer has spread to the brain…I can’t guarantee that such an entity wouldn’t make such a ridiculous remark, but no one recognizable as myself would ever make such a remark.”
This all seems terribly beside the point to me even though a public conversion by Hitchens would likely make at least some atheists reconsider their stance due to the considerable respect many rightly have for Hitchens’ intellect.
Some atheists fear a Christian end zone dance should Hitchens find God in this late stage.
But to me it seems all terribly besides the point. Hitchens’ sickness should not be the start of a campaign between the forces of Christianity and atheism. The real battle going on here is more important than that; the battle for the fate of an eternal soul has reached a crisis point. Our interest shouldn’t be focused on this story because Hitchens’ is a public person but because his is an eternal soul. Nothing more imortant is occuring in the world right now than the fate of souls.
There is no campaign between atheists and Christians more important than that. No us vs. them trumps that. In fact there is no us or them. It’s just all us sinners and Him.