Letter Writers Heart Richard Dawkins

The beloved Oxford evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, reads out representative samples of the love he attracts from those who follow his work.

__________

The tone and content of the letters remind me of numerous pronouncements made by famous theologians and preachers throughout history. Here are a few:

Tertullian (160-225)

“At that greatest of all spectacles, that last and eternal judgment, how I shall admire, how laugh, how rejoice, how exult, when I behold so many proud monarchs groaning in the lowest abyss of darkness; so many magistrates liquefying in fiercer flames than they ever kindled against the Christians; so many sages and philosophers blushing in red-hot fires with their deluded pupils; so many tragedians more tuneful in the expression of their own sufferings; so many dancers tripping more nimbly from anguish then ever before from applause.” [De Spectaculis, Chapter XXX]

Augustine (354-430)

“They who shall enter into [the] joy [of the Lord] shall know what is going on outside in the outer darkness…The saints’… knowledge, which shall be great, shall keep them acquainted…with the eternal sufferings of the lost.” [The City of God, Book 20, Chapter 22, “What is Meant by the Good Going Out to See the Punishment of the Wicked” & Book 22, Chapter 30, “Of the Eternal Felicity of the City of God, and of the Perpetual Sabbath”]

Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

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….The saints in heaven know distinctly all that happens…to the damned. [Summa Theologica, Third Part, Supplement, Question XCIV, “Of the Relations of the Saints Towards the Damned,” First Article, “Whether the Blessed in Heaven Will See the Sufferings of the Damned. . .”]

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

The view of the misery of the damned will double the ardour of the love and gratitude of the saints of heaven….The sight of hell torments will exalt the happiness of the saints forever….Can the believing father in Heaven be happy with his unbelieving children in Hell…I tell you, yea! Such will be his sense of justice that it will increase rather than diminish his bliss. [“The Eternity of Hell Torments” (Sermon), April 1739 & Discourses on Various Important Subjects, 1738]

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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One Response to Letter Writers Heart Richard Dawkins

  1. Nice juxtaposition. Theists sure haven’t changed.

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