With his deliberately outrageous hate-drenched “satire”: The Jesus-Eating Cult of Rick Santorum, and his utterly impenitent pseudo-apology, Larry Doyle of the Huffington Post enters a very short list of mine at the top, #1 with a bullet (was that a pun? Am I hoping that someone shoots him? Is he threatening or at least hoping that someone will assassinate Rick Santorum if he becomes the next POTUS? Read the last line of the vomit I linked to if you can stand it, and judge for yourself). It is a list I began making very recently, and before I read Larry Doyle’s despicable malicious bilge there was only one person on it. There still is only one other person on it, but Doyle has made me more comfortable with the thought of having this list and warmed me up to the doctrinal support it has, so I am going to add to this list every so often and publish it as a series here as it gets updated.
The list is entitled: People Whose Damnation I Look Forward To Watching With Delight.
Today, instead of offering the other person on the list, I will present the doctrinal support for the admittedly questionable propriety of keeping such a list at all. No doubt some of you will be scandalized by the very idea. Until very recently I would have found this idea to be worse than scandalous – I would have called the act of making such a list intrinsically evil, thoroughly rotten, utterly loveless, Godless, mean, nasty, and impolite to boot! I was already aware of the doctrinal support for it, but I was not comfortable with it, so I ignored it. Larry Doyle has warmed me up to it. He has warmed me up to watching him get warmed up.
I have considered myself a Thomist since my return to the Catholic faith fourteen years ago after nine years of aggressive, hostile agnosticism. So, as an aside, I know where Larry Doyle is coming from. And I know where he is going if he doesn’t repent. I am not at the point where I hope (like Jonah at Nineveh) that he does not repent, but I am well past the point where I will not be sorry. But I digress. I am a Thomist. That means I like St. Thomas Aquinas, and when there is a question that he has confronted with his razor-sharp logic and holy piety, I tend to give his arguments the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes there is no doubt to be had: he was wrong (and Duns Scotus was right) about the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Mother. Sometimes there is an intuition that refuses to give assent. That was my situation until very recently with regard to this particular highly controversial position of the Angelic Doctor:
That is from the Summa Theologica, Supplementum Tertiæ Partis (Supplement to the Third Part, for those of you from Rio Linda), Question 94, Article 1.
Cutting to the sed contra chase, Aquinas said that:
Nothing should be denied the blessed that belongs to the perfection of their beatitude. Now everything is known the more for being compared with its contrary, because when contraries are placed beside one another they become more conspicuous. Wherefore in order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful to them and that they may render more copious thanks to God for it, they are allowed to see perfectly the sufferings of the damned.
For those of you who are still as troubled as I used to be with this, it gets “worse”, so to speak. St. Thomas goes on, in articles 2 and 3, to argue scripturally that the blessed in heaven will not pity the damned, but rejoice in their suffering!
Ha! Damned straight! Now, if Aquinas is right (and until very recently I could not believe that he was), Larry Doyle’s damnation can be expected, if it happens, to draw unusually large crowds of beatified observers (holy voyeurs I would have called them not long ago). The way I feel now, after reading his vicious attack of explosive diarreah of the ink, my desire for my own salvation fills me with a blessed hope to be there among them with a huge bag of popcorn.
Popcorn anyone? HEY YOU DOWN THERE! WANT SOME ICE WATER? PSYCH!
UPDATE: Sunday, March 4, 5:36 pm Eastern Time – the follow-up to this post, “I Suppose I Asked For This But…” and all the comments and Like marks below it have been deleted at the request of my esteemed brother in Christ catholicboyrichard. I was glad to honor his request and do my part to help us both put some unpleasantness behind us. Because this post above practically invites reasonable people to misunderstand me and where I am coming from I want to make a few things crystal clear:
1. I was outraged and livid with anger when I conceived of the idea of this post and inclined to see certain things differently than I do normally. I was never fully convinced and committed to St. Thomas’ position on the matter of whether the saints in heaven watch and enjoy the punishments of the damned, and I am less sympathetic to the idea now than I was when I wrote
2. My original idea, indeed, my first thought when I conceived of this post was to outdue Larry Doyle in the Outrageous Satire department, to top him in offensiveness, to as Rush Limbaugh puts it, “illustrate absurdity by being absurd” and purge my fury at the same time. So, to clarify, this piece is not entirely serious. It is satirical in intent.
3. I do not want anyone to go to hell and do not have any specific hope that any soul is suffering there — not Adolf Hitler, not Saddam Hussein, not Osama bin Laden, not Timothy McVeigh — not even Larry Doyle do I hope ends up in hell. Speaking of the latter, I would rather he repented and turned to our Lord for forgiveness. I would rejoice and gladly join the ranks of those welcoming him back home to the arms of Holy Mother Church if he reverted, and I ask all who were offended ny Doyle’s piece to join me in a sincere prayer for the salvation of his soul and my own.
O MY JESUS, FORGIVE US OUR SINS, SAVE US FROM THE FIRES OF HELL. LEAD ALL SOULS TO HEAVEN, ESPECIALLY THOSE SUCH AS LARRY DOYLE AND MYSELF WHO ARE MOST IN NEED OF YOUR DIVINE MERCY. LORD JESUS CHRIST SON OF GOD, HAVE MERCY ON ME A SINNER. AMEN.