Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Compassion As Emotional Blackmail

One day last week, as I drove home from work, I tuned in to “Catholic Answers Live” on the local Catholic radio station (KATH, AM 91). It must have been Tuesday (July 1), because it was an “open forum” night; the guest, if I be not mistaken, was Tim Staples, a convert from an Evangelical background. (He has a CD set about his conversion which has a most intriguing title: Jimmy Swaggart Made Me Catholic! It almost sounds like a Watchtower headline.)

A mother handed her ten-year-old wannabe skeptic daughter’s question over to Staples to answer: “If two people love each other, and one goes to heaven and the other goes to hell, how can the person who goes to heaven be happy there?” Staples confessed that there was no set answer to the question. “Some people believe that being in the Presence of God is so wonderful that we just forget about the loved ones in hell.”