How Christopher Hitchens Deepened My Faith

Renown Atheist author and thinker Christopher Hitchens died yesterday. A lot of people put in their two cents. Secularists and non-Christians are, expectantly, quite reverent and morose. Some of my seminary friends have said some very poignant comments as they paid their respects. And then we go to Twitter where some supposed Christians are just jerks. If you go to Twitter and search his name, a lot of things will come back very respectful. And then it seems whenever someone is disrespectful, you can click on their profile where they adamantly quote the Bible and claim to be a “Christ-follower”.

There was this one by a guy named James MacDonald.

Famous atheist Christopher Hitchens who mocked when Jerry Falwell died had an eye opening experience yesterday- he died #notlaughingnow

He later defended his tweet calling Hitchens’ death “righteous vindication by God”.

These kinds of asinine comments are made when someone has never dared to go outside of their comfort zone and have their views challenged. It’s likely that people who think like this have never read a single thing that Hitchens ever wrote. And I don’t mean to pick on this guy in particular. But there were countless tweets like this, this was just the first one I found.

Hitchens put God under the microscope. The religion of certainty, extremism and arrogance that has seeped into mainstream society was called out. Hitchens defiantly refused to believe in such a God.

Hitchens helped me gain defiance against that view of God too. I first read God is Not Great during my sophomore year at Concordia when I was trying to figure out what the heck it meant to believe or not to believe. I knew the faith of the Falwells and Pat Robertsons of the world was hollow and empty to me.

Reading Hitchens presented to me a road toward faith that’s paved in doubt. Even though we did not come to the same conclusions, I’m thankful for Christopher Hitchens because in the sea of purpose-driven-whatever, he critiqued common assumptions about God and religion and really propelled me to wrestle with a lot of things I hold central to what I believe.


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