The Dichotomy Of The Faithful, Ctd.

Remember my post about Christopher Hitchens' revelation that he is dying of cancer (it's right up there in the featured area)? Apparently, there are other such instances abound:
“I definitely won’t be praying for you.”

This comment appeared in a blog post written by PZ Myers in which he announced a heart problem that, if not treated properly, would lead to his untimely death. The post currently contains over 800 comments, and a sizable portion of them include various iterations of the above quote. In most instances, such a proclamation made while a blogger is writing about a life-threatening condition would be insulting, to say the least, but in this case it was a form of endearment. Take, for instance, the entire comment that included the above sentence: “I definitely won’t be praying for you and based on your writings I doubt you believe in good luck, but I do for purely selfish reasons hope that you get better.”


Myers has always received emails and comments from fire and brimstone Christians who extract a certain joy from the knowledge that the atheist blogger is surely going to Hell, and the announcement of his health problems has done nothing to quell this type of rhetoric. The only difference, he explained, was that recently the emails adopted the tone of bated breath, with the anticipation that the punishment would come sooner rather than later. Despite such hopeful prognostications, the blogger said that he hopes to live several more decades now that he and his doctors took preemptive steps to fix the problem.

Myers stressed that his situation is completely different from Hitchens’s, given that the blogger’s prospects aren’t nearly as grave. “I think it’s been marvelous,” he said of his fellow atheist’s Vanity Fair piece. “He and I deeply disagree on a lot of political matters, but I think he’s a paragon of courage, that what he’s been doing is showing, counter to what most believers think, atheists don’t go to death fearing what they’re going to face. We don’t want to die of course, but we value courage over delusions. And Hitchens is exemplifying that very nicely.”
Again, pointing out the hypocrisy of many Christians people of faith. If you purport to be a religious person, and your religion of choice calls for compassion, why on earth would you take pleasure in the (impending) death of another person? Is that compassion?

Read my earlier entry for more...