It brings me great pain to report that yesterday Christopher Hitchens, beloved atheist speaker and author, husband and father, died at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, at age 62. As we know, he's been battling esophageal cancer, the same cancer that took his father. I've written several articles keeping up with Christopher's cancer battle since June of 2010, when he let us in on it. November last year I got to attend his debate with Dr. William Dembski on the topic, "Does a Good God Exist," in Plano, and I'm very happy to have had that experience.
I received the news via a text last night, while visiting an old friend playing a show in Dallas. I was immediately saddened, but my friend quickly made me laugh saying, "Well at least you know he's not in heaven or hell," which brings me an odd, satisfying comfort. It doesn't feel real yet and of course I wish it weren't. He had a great mind and has long been an inspiration to me.
Anyone who is familiar with Christopher's debates should also know of his brother, Peter, a deeply religious man and debate opponent of Christopher's. He has written an excellent article in memory of Christopher that can be found here: In Memoriam, my courageous brother Christopher, 1949 - 2011
Alas, within reason, I can say Christopher died and went to no where. While his body may go somewhere physically, there's no soul to send to an imaginary place of great delight or torment; There's no need to pray. We have the memory of his time with us and his contributions will surely continue to inspire after death. He was brilliant, entertaining and talented in many ways that I will always appreciate him for having shared with us.
Click here for Christopher's latest Vanity Fair contribution, just eight days before his death.
Click here for Christopher's well-known article "Topic of Cancer" from June 2010.