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Meditation 203
Unfairly Burning in Hell

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I note that Mel Gibson has stated that he expects his long-time wife Robyn, the mother of his seven children, will go to hell because she belongs to the Church of England, rather than the traditionalist Catholic sect he is a member of. On this, he is reported to have said:[1]

"It's not fair, but that's a pronouncement from the chair. I go with it."

It is reasonable to assume that he feels the same about all the fundamentalists and evangelicals who have flocked to his movie. Regardless of how moved they were by the film, regardless of how much it reinforced their faith, Mel is expecting them all to burn in hell. It may not be fair, but after all, they are Protestants, not fundamentalist Catholics.

But never mind. At least as far as some Protestants are concerned, Mel is going to burn in hell as well. As one of Jack T. Chick's[2] comics, Last Rites,[3] makes clear, all Catholics are going to hell.

It's not fair, but after all, they are Catholics.

I invite anyone who belongs to a religion and denomination which believes that only those who follow that particular set of teaching to a little test:

Think of a few individuals no longer living you truly admire; someone of the stature of Ghandi, Churchill, Martin Luther King, Roosevelt, or Mother Teresa for example. Did each of those you chose belong to your denomination? Are those not of your denomination now burning in hell? Is that fair? Do you really believe your God works that way?

I just don't understand it.

All these fundamentalists, whether Protestant and Catholic, claim their God is a wise and loving god. And simultaneously they accept that he makes unfair, unjust decisions, particularly about what happens in an eternal afterlife.

It defies common sense. Perhaps their understanding of their god is wrong.

Or... perhaps there is no god.

Footnotes:

  1. Calgary Herald, 21 March 2004
  2. To all librarians who feel compelled to block web sites that are dangerous to children - you are strongly encouraged to block www.chick.com. It has a clear and consistent message of hate and prejudice, and its comic strip format is targeted at children..
  3. I critically examine another of Chick's comic strips in Meditation 206. Notice, how the anti-Catholic referred to here strip mirrors the anti-evolution strip in that Meditation. Just like the teacher of evolution, the Catholic is demonized by appearance and behaviour in the opening few frames. Chick is incapable of fairly presenting the people and beliefs he opposes.