Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Hell on Earth

No, it isn't Pyongyang, or Sudan, or Yemen. It isn't even what Republicans envision as a nation run by Democrats.

It's actually a valley on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

If you follow this link, it will take you to an online version of an article by Edwin Black originally published in the Washington Post back in 1999 - The Truth About Hell. It's an interesting look at the history and geography of a ravine called Gei Ben Hinnom, the Valley of the Sons of Hinnom, and its role in the evolution of our ideas of what we now call hell. You might recognize Gei Ben Hinnom as the basis of the term Gehenna. This was what it looked like in 1900 ...

The article is a very interesting look at the development of our concepts of hell, and I especially liked the last paragraph:

"This much is certain, no matter how we trace Hell’s spiritual lineage or try to pinpoint its geographic fix, the map mark and quality of the place of eternal damnation is inescapeably confined to one powerful locale: the mind of man."

On other fronts, the House of Representatives has voted to accept the compromise bill to raise the debt ceiling by ruthlessly slashing government spending. Oddly enough, there seems to be no consideration of its effect on Real People in terms of jobs lost, benefits reduced or eliminated, or of the loss of America's prestige.

Thanks, Congress. If I lose my job because of your stupidity and inability to set political dogma aside, I'll remember at the ballot box.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow, when I hope to be in a better mood.



Mike said...

I checked on Google Earth and could not find Gehenna. Therfore hell does not exist.

KKTSews said...

I think some friends who live in "Gahanna", a suburb on the eastern side of Columbus, OH, will be appalled to learn their town is named after the model for Hell!

Amanda said...

Very interesting! The 'valley of the shadow of death' is real after all....