[quote="Erethorn, post:18, topic:180299"]
If I believed that, I would have given the Catholic Church the widest berth possible.
Here's a passage I always think about when the issue arises in my mind:
"Now she had got a start, and she went on and told me all about the good place. She said all a body would have to do there was to go around all day long with a harp and sing, forever and ever. So I didn't think much of it. But I never said so. I asked her if she reckoned Tom Sawyer would go there, and she said not by a considerable sight. I was glad about that, because I wanted him and me to be together."
It's from the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and it makes me wonder who is more likely to go to Heaven - the smug fellow who thinks he's the only one to go to the "good place" because he went to a particular church, or the fellow who would rather go to hell than to be parted with a true and dear friend ?
Unfortunately, evils often come in pairs, so that avoiding one evil does not automatically make you good. Mark Twain saw one kind of evil clearly- the smug complacency for which Jesus blamed the Pharisees. But in hating that evil Mark Twain did not fly to the good of loving all, even his enemies. He became very bitter and sarcastic against smug and complacent people. I think that many people do not realize what his intent was when he had one character say, of a riverboat accident, "No, nobody was hurt. A ****** was killed." I think he rather enjoyed being misunderstood by people he considered to be his inferiors. I think that his kind of pride was not actually much more virtuous than Aunt Polly's.
P.S. I just found out that this forum will not allow the word that Mark Twain used to be printed. It is an unkind word for dark skinned people.