Friday, October 06, 2006

Righteous Pagans Get Thumbs-Up from St. Peter

Limbo is shutting its doors forever

As heard today on Public Radio International, the Vatican has decided to rescind the concept of Limbo, thereby redirecting un-baptized babies and “righteous pagans”* to some other type of eternity that is not spent hovering betwixt and between one of grace and one of debauched hellfire and brimstone. A little bit of additional research revealed that the Vatican’s plans to shut down Limbo actually were made just under a year ago, when a Vatican-appointed group of theologians recommended that the Catholic Church abolish limbo. There is no further information on what sort of chaos this created in the celestial train station while souls en route to limbo waited, well, in limbo, to see if they could really get their tickets upgraded to a one-way to the pearly gates.

And what of the souls already in limbo – which according to one roll call includes Plato, Lincoln, Moses and Abraham (even the Old Testament VEEPs were not immune) and lots and lots of babies – how are they handled? Is there some vast immigrant processing center – a heavenly Ellis Island – where their souls are examined for blots and blotches and their paperwork stamped with a golden seal? Or are they sort of raptured up and out?

Now, granted, I am no theologian, but how the hell, er, heck, does an earthly construction like the Church simply decide that for the past 800 years or so, its just been dead wrong about Limbo? Isn’t that the sort of re-organization that should be left to the CEO and the board? Which in this instance would be God and his several angels - with maybe the apostles as an advisory committee, as ones who have been there, done that in terms of earthly matters. I cant imagine the Greeks one day deciding that Mt. Olympus was simply not prime enough real estate for Zeus et al – or Thor and Frya and all the other Teutonic Gods and Goddess up and decamping from Valhalla because they were offered a better deal on a condo in the French Alps from their puppet humans.

Doesn’t Pope Benedict worry that going Limbo-less is just the thin edge of the wedge? I mean – isn’t the establishment of afterlife clubs really up to the deities in charge? It surely seems to this pagan (righteous!) that if a earthly body of men (certain-sure, there were no sistahs in that Subcommittee on the Status of Limbo) can suddenly wipe out Limbo – it calls into serious question the existence of other afterlife states - and thus futher weakens that tremulous house of cards called "organized religion".

* defined variously, but generally by those in the know as “people who for whatever reason never had a chance to know Christ's teachings but otherwise were good people who would have lived according to those teachings if given the opportunity."

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