Monday, April 25, 2011

One Level of Hell

Reading Ross Douthat discuss whether or not there is a Hell reminds me of the earnest discussions we used to have in high school about whether or not Gandalf died and was resurrected in the biblical sense after his battle with the Balrog, or did he just escape and get a new set of threads so he could show up in Fangorn Forest as Gandalf the White?

Heaven and Hell are metaphors and control mechanisms invented by organized religion to keep the faithful in line. Talking about them as literal places misses the point entirely, and you know you’re in desperate shape with a column when you end up quoting the Eagles’ “Hotel California” and comparing The Sopranos to Dante’s Inferno. That’s another level of editorial hell.