Update (November 20, 2010)
More of a revision, actually. Brigid pointed out that the 2nd paragraph was - confusing. So, I changed the personal pronoun in the 1st paragraph from 2nd person to 3rd person, and revised the 3rd paragraph. Great. Now I'm confused. ;)
In some circles, 'everybody knows' what Hell is. It's that place with lots of fire where people they don't like, or who do things they don't enjoy, are sent by God. Who, oddly enough, has exactly the same taste in music, fashion, and politics that they do.
In other circles, 'everybody knows' that Hell is the place where those 'God agrees with me' folks think the same set of people are sent.
Either way, God doesn't come off as someone a person would like to be around.
It's the sort of belief that I think is reflected in the old "Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company" crack. I've mentioned that before. (September 11, 2010)
That's part of the explanation that Father Barron gives, for how a loving God can let Hell exist. It has to do with free will and human nature: and I've put a link to the video and embedded a reduced-size version of it in this post, a little farther on.
There's nothing new there: At least, nothing new in what the Catholic Church teaches.
Father Barron quotes (paraphrases, actually) a George Carlin video to illustrate a disconnect that quite a few folks - here in America, at least - see between the idea of a loving God, and the existence of Hell.
How, Carlin points out, could a 'loving' God throw someone into Hell?
Which gets me back to the party parallel. We're all invited to the party. But it's like I heard a fellow say: God isn't going to drag someone, kicking and screaming, into Heaven.
We can decide to snub the party.
I don't think it's a smart idea - but that's just my opinion.
Here's that video:
"Fr Barron Explains Hell"
StPaulsTube (November 20, 2010)
- "Original Sin, Free Will, ADD, and There Goes the Air Conditioner"
(October 15, 2010)
- "26th Sunday in Ordinary Time"
(September 26, 2010)
- "Mind's Made Up About Catholicism? Don't Read This"
(November 8, 2010)
- "Gargling at the Stream of Wisdom"
(October 11, 2010)
- " 'Vengeance is Mine, I will Repay, Says the Lord' - Works for Me"
(September 11, 2010)
A tio of the hat to CatholicPriest, on Twitter, for the heads-up on this video.