Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ideas Have Consequences Dept

[Hannah Arendt] also maintained, citing the American President John Adams, that hell was the doctrine with the most immediate political consequences. This latter comment means that, once we no longer have a doctrine about ultimate punishment, the burden on the state to punish wrongdoers becomes almost a divine power. It tries to be the place wherein all evils are righted. Thus, ironically, if we get rid of hell, the state almost by default becomes all-powerful; we deny doctrine at our peril.

"More Radical than the Radicals", James V. Schall, S.J., appearing in the May/June 2011 number of Gilbert Magazine