June 28, 2005

He Just Loves Everybody, Doggone It

I've always been a "I hope everyone gets to Heaven" person, although not to the point of wanting to socialize with everyone there. In my defense I don't expect to be elbowing out Blessed Margaret to get to talk to St. Thomas Aquinas. I know my place, though pride being what it is I don't doubt that I overestimate it. Besides, I assume we'll be so distracted (for once distraction as a positive good!) by the beatific vision that we won't be worried about distinctions. Or, as Fr. Neuhaus once famously wrote, "Hitler in heaven will be forever a little dog to whom we will benignly condescend. But he will be grateful for being there, and for not having received what he deserved," just as "we will all be grateful for being there and for not having received what we deserve."

This was all prompted by news of the recent Graham-Clinton lovefest. My reaction was that it waters down Graham's praise of Pope John Paul II, rendering it as meaningful as an "Up With People" song and as discerning as Bush's soul-seeing ability in light of Vlad Putin's oily behavior. At the very least it showed that the Reverend has terrible taste in friends. But then I realized that by that definition God has the lowest taste in friends of all since the goodness differential between Billy Graham and Bill Clinton is infinitely less than the distance between Billy Graham and God.

So I'm trying to come 'round Billy. Hope this doesn't mean you won't talk to me in Heaven.

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