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Christopher Hitchens has recently been diagnosed with throat cancer - or he's 'battling' throat cancer, as the papers say. This might be a result of his long and close relationship with tobacco and scotch, or it might not. Not surprisingly, some of the Christers that Hitchens so frequently excoriates can barely contain their Schadenfreude, and they know exactly what – sorry, who – is responsible for Hitch’s state of health. I found this nauseating piece of smugness on biblearchaeology.org a while ago:

The militant God-hater, Christopher Hitchens, has been diagnosed with throat cancer, Fox News is reporting.

Subtext: ‘Hooray! 'Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord.' God is great after all!’

Hitchens is well known for his hatred of God and the Christian faith.

A couple of words too many there. Hitchens does not hate God. It would not be intelligent to waste hatred on non-existent entities when there are flesh and blood dictators, arrogant censors and mirthless, death-infatuated clerics out there to focus it on. It is true that he hates the Christian faith, though; well spotted.

Despite his irrational anti-theism, we admonish all followers of Christ who read this post to pray that the sovereign Spirit of God convict him that his worldview is entirely false, he has sinned against a just and holy God, and that he repent and receive Jesus Christ as God and Savior.

Hitchens is irrational? Surely, sir, from your perspective, it is an excess of rationality that he should be taxed withal? After all, look at some of the claims he is rejecting. God fashions the world and human beings, but fails to foresee their disobedience. (Advice to Gods and men; don’t have kids if you are not prepared for them to outgrow and outshine you.) So, miffed, He decides to flood the Earth and drown his creatures, instead of just zapping them, Dalek-like, into nothingness. That would surely have been easier, as well as a good deal more hygienic. In the event, the flood proves to be a bad move and a waste of time, as the human race remains stubborn, and God realizes that unless they shape up, they will all have to go to the nasty place He originally created for Satan and all his angels. That He might devise some humane and intelligent system of post-mortem rehabilitation does not occur to Him. No; the best plan He can come up with to avoid this outcome is to incarnate in an obscure and illiterate Roman province, sacrifice Himself to Himself, and expect subsequent generations to believe that this solves the problem so long as they are prepared to believe it actually happened. Admit it, this whacky scenario and the manifold arguments cooked up to justify it do require ‘willing suspension of disbelief’, to put it at its mildest. So I wouldn’t hold your breath for Hitch’s conversion. Is the Pope about to join the Moonies? Well, then.

It is not our place as Christians to say the specific reasons why Mr. Hitchens has contracted this disease.

Oh, come off it. Why are you writing this piece, unless to imply that as Christians, you know exactly why Hitchens has fallen ill, and jolly well serve him right, too? Excuse me while I bring up my lunch. Smug hypocrisy affects me that way.

We only know that God often uses illness as a means to bring people to repentance and faith. We can only hope Mr. Hitchens responds.

Yeah, well. It is not hard to imagine what his response to that would be, is it?

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