Sunday, 9 December 2012

Going to Hell

Toad in dog Heaven. An "old" pic, as Bella (white) is now bigger than Harry (brown)

People must be wondering why Toad, (me) on CP&S, (Catholicism, Pure & Simple - it's neither, of course) keeps harping on about Eternal Damnation.

But maybe not – it's a concept of some significance if it happens to be true, and a shockingly revolting one if it isn't.

In fact, it's a shockingly revolting concept either way, when you think about it. Enough to give any child the heebie-jeebies! Did the Toadpole, at least! 

Lewis Carroll, a great genius and saintly man, whom Toad hugely admires, and who was an Anglican minister of sorts, said he could accept the whole of Christianity, apart from that one hideous aspect.
He probably had a few reservations about wicked old popes as well, but that's another topic altogether.

One of the CP&S team says that very likely only people who “Hate God” go to Hell.
Toad has great difficulty in understanding how anyone could hate God, but let's put that on one side, for now.
(Except what they might be hating is the idea of God. Which is clearly not the same thing. And anyway, their idea of God might be wrong. Probably is. What then?)

The real point of this laborious rumination, however, is that apparently attitudes are now considerably, relatively, different in the Catholic Church then they were some 55 years ago - when Toad was still in his teens.
Back then it wasn't necessary to “hate” God in order to be eternally damned – all that was required was to be in a state of mortal sin.

Which could be achieved, briskly and easily, by playing truant from Mass on Sundays, for no “good” reason.

How masturbation, and looking at a bikini-clad Brigitte Bardot in "Tit Bits Magazine," rated on the Mortal sin-scale chart is now vague to Toad.

It would be nice to be told if the Mass-missing bit is still relevant.

Oh, and this nightmarish scenario of devils endlessly poking you with toasting forks in an inferno could happen to anyone over seven, "The age of reason," an age, it would seem, that's still beyond Toad. To fill a small child's head with such pernicious nonsense , as the good nuns did to little Toadito was, in retrospect, a sin.
But it would be erroneous to imagine they saw it that way..

In Toad's youth, practically everything interesting was a sin.
Girls (in his case, not boys) were paramount. Just sexually lucky, apparently. As was dancing too close to girls. As was reading "The Three Musketeers," both activities which nowadays Toad does not have the slightest inclination to do. Tempi cambi.

More importantly, he was taught as a matter of absolute fact – not whimsical speculation – that no Non-Catholics were going to Heaven, and very likely not a great many Catholics either, particularly if they persisted in doing paper rounds on Sunday mornings.
Damned by association with the Press way back then!
Irony and prophecy seamlessly combined!

Someone else on CP&S suggested the idea of going to Hell for all eternity was “scary.”
Yes, the idea certainly is. The reality, if such it is is somewhat beyond scary. Way beyond. Insane, I think.

And the idea that a being of total goodness and all perfections could even consider not stopping someone, anyone, of manifestly inferior moral material to themselves, being sent there - is even scarier.
Because, if the sinner involved insists on going there - then he, or she, simply don't know what's good for them.
And should be pitied. And quickly put straight. Not infinitely casigated.
If my dogs insist on trying to run into the traffic, I prevent them. I want them to enjoythemselves and not feel constrained by the leads, but Free Will can go too far for their own good. And the idea that I treat them better than God treats humans is inescapable.

For what would God have to gain (or lose) from damning people?
Nothing. He does it for nothing, then?

So the hell with Hell.

But we shall see. Maybe. Quite soon. Possibly.


Jim King said...

For many years as a young adult I thought that the prospect of heaven was, well, boring. I thought the other the lesser of the two 'evils', so to speak. Haven't thought about such for ages.

Gertrude said...

I don't think I saw that comment about those who hate God, but - I smiled at the thought of a scale of Mortal sin, though I doubt that many Catholics today even know the difference between Mortal and Venial!

You see dear Toad - they don't make them like us any more. );-