Hooray, no hell!
WITH MODESTO P. SA-ONOY
It is timely that the idea or belief about hell should come up during the Lenten season when Christians ponder on their lives after death. It is the fear of hell for some but love of God for others that they take the season of Lent seriously.
Sen. Miriam Santiago, after having lashed at the helpless lawyer who expressed his distaste for her harangues by covering his ears, received a reminder from a Fr. Arevalo that what she was doing would send her to hell. Santiago, in her usual arrogance of intellect and display of erudition, declared there is no hell.
An American reader sent me an email saying that Santiago will not be going to the International Criminal Court of Justice but to hell, but I think that such a prediction would not bother her if she really believes that there is no hell. She probably believes she will go to heaven straight on although I doubt that because if there is no hell what is the relevance of heaven or even its existence?
If indeed there is no hell or a heaven, whither shall she go? They are antithesis to the other but one must exist to contrast the other. Maybe she believes that everybody goes to heaven regardless of their atrocious behavior, so what’s the point of having a hell?
This heretical belief (from the point of view of Catholic doctrine), makes her a heroine to all those who do things as if there is no hell which means, there is no such thing as infernal punishment, nothing to be afraid about in the life hereafter.
Without our saying so or her declaration of her theology, Santiago has actually millions of followers all over the world, though not including Satan because Satan believes in hell where he stays. Satan, however, works incessantly to convince people that he does not exist and there is no hell. Indeed if Satan does not exist and so does hell, then we can do whatever pleases us (sounds like the doctrine of the advocates of the RH bill).
Is Santiago playing this role?
How many people live scandalous lives? Many men parade their mistresses, some wives of others while wives parade their paramours who are their friends’ husbands and nobody bothers. We have these spectacles recently and media cavorted on this scandal (sorry for lack of an adequate word) as if this is an admirable behavior. I do not refer only to the scene in Hinigaran and Manila but here in Bacolod as well.
There is no more shame because shame presupposes guilt and guilt is based on fear of punishment here or hereafter which is hell. If there is no hell what the hell should one bother to hide going around with somebody else’s wife or husband? What’s the fuss about some women grabbing somebody’s husband to satisfy their uncontrolled libido? This husband or wife grabbing make the news, media makes money of it. Why not? Many people love a scandal; they make good conversation piece until somebody picks on one’s own husband or wife - you know getting at the end of the butt.
Do whatever one pleases and that’s that! What the hell, just do it, nothing to be ashamed or afraid about! There’s no hell, mind you again! The sarcasm of Fr. Sean Coyle was appropriate and bites deeply because his observations are true. Many in government and public life no longer respect their marriage vows. They violate the commandments about adultery and covetousness of somebody’s wife and yet they present themselves as good citizens. The sad part is that nobody makes a hoot but a few who still believe in something noble, dignified and moral. Many in society have indeed sunk so low.
Our leaders have become models of a corrupted nature and parade their despicable behavior because they get noticed and knowing nobody cares. Voters continue to elect or idolize them and keep a blind eye to their immoral lives provided they have the money. Morality no longer is an election issue. There’s no hell, remember?
The “no-hell” idea can muster millions of followers – rapists and slayers, crooked and greedy businessmen, cheating wives and husbands, exploiters of the weak, unjust judges, corrupt and deceitful politicians, grafters in government payrolls, murderers and plunderers, hedonists and promoters of the culture of death, killers of the unborn, abortionists, arrogant pretenders of unbounded knowledge – the list is long. Hitler, Stalin, Sadam and Idi Amin – would have loved to be among the leading personalities.
Even if hell is ignored, the fact is that it exists and awaits those who live as if there is no hell. Heaven likewise exists for to deny it is to deny God.
I recommend reading Christopher Marlowe’s “Tragedy of Dr. Faustus” who realized at his last 30 minutes the hell he denied in life.*
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