A Special Place in Hell

He’s recanted and repented, but it seems a bit forced and not particularly heartfelt.

Memo to the US government: you might want to make sure your messaging is a little less emotionally charged. That might save you some worldwide embarrassment.

The recent trade spat between the US and Canada has me wondering about the theological implications of American policy. Certainly, there seem to be some questions about the spiritual direction of the country that bills itself as “one nation under God.”

A quick summary: the American president is upset about Canadian trade policy designed to protect the domestic dairy industry (among others). Canadian tariffs mean American producers can’t flood the market with cheap goods, and Canadian consumers pay higher prices. This, President Trump says, is very very unfair.

Of course, when it is the reverse, that is a different story. American tariffs on softwood lumber have been an issue for years as the US has ignored trade deals it signed. And the “Buy American” policy that stops Canadian firsts from being able to bid on US Government contracts isn’t unfair because it benefits Americans. There’s a certain willful blindness here.

What has drawn me to this story though is the theological implications. According to an American official “there is a special place in Hell” reserved for Canada’s Prime Minister because he disagrees with Donald Trump.

I am no fan of Prime Minister Selfie. His statements may have been irresponsible (even if true) given the behavior the world has seen from the current American president. Nor will I comment on his spiritual state or ultimate destination – by his fruits he will be known (and the same holds true for Donald Trump). I wonder though about that “special place in Hell.”

Most people don’t think much about Hell. Christians know it isn’t their final destination. Non-Christian prefer to pretend it doesn’t exist, which solves their problem, at least in this life.

There is a wide range of theological speculation about Hell, and not too much agreement. I won’t get into the history here. There is consensus though that Hell is a place where God is absent. Those who believe in a devil see Hell as his kingdom.

Which makes me wonder, how does the US government arrange this “special place in Hell” for the Canadian Prime Minister? Who did they make a deal with to ensure that? Who can set aside a special place in Hell for those disliked by Donald Trump? Logic suggests that there is only one entity to parcel out that real estate, and those who deal with the devil usually are the ones that get burned.

How did the USA make that friendship? Have they exchanged ambassadors? How big is that special place in Hell? Who else is the president consigning to it? What deal did he make to be granted such power?

Somehow, I don’t think US Government spokespeople really want to deal with those questions.

 

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One comment

  1. At least we were clear on what is meant by ‘the unpardonable sin.’
    It’s “engag[ing] in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump.”
    Centuries-long theological problem solved.

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