November 15, 2019

Letters to the Editor

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Editorial was a refreshing piece of reinforcement about truths of our faith

This is to say “Amen” to John F. Fink’s editorial in the Nov. 8 issue of The Criterion on death, judgment, heaven and hell.

When I was very small, I remember adults talking about heaven and hell. Everyone accepted both as literal fact. Heaven was a place of reward, bliss, rest. It was thought to be “up there somewhere.” Hell was a hot, burning place of punishment thought to be “down there somewhere.”

Later on in my 20’s and 30’s, I noticed most people still believed in a literal heaven, but were no longer believing in hell as an actual place. The line I heard over and over was “God wouldn’t ever really send anyone to hell.”

Although everyone expected credit and reward for good deeds done, when it came to the bad they’d done, no one wanted to accept responsibility or expected consequences. A common line of the day was: “The devil made me do it.”

Now the scene seems to have changed again. Along with continued disbelief in hell, a disbelief or at least doubt about heaven has become mainstream, and not only among those who identify themselves as “nones” (those who profess no religious affiliation), but even among so-called “Church folk.”

This type of ideology ultimately winds up in two bipolar world views: “Seize the day! Live it up now!” or “The good you do comes back to you, but only in the here and now.”

Both equally believe they will die with a smile on their face, and then simply cease to exist in any kind of way, shape or form whatsoever. In other words, “Gone, just gone.”

Fink’s editorial was a refreshing piece of reinforcement that the truths of my youth are still in effect, even if today’s pop culture believes they can avoid, ignore or veer around them.

- Sonny Shanks | Corydon

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