A Protest

“This is it?”

“What did you expect? Fiery pits? Torture devices?”

“Well… yeah. This is Hell, after all. Isn’t that what you do here?”

“No.”

“Oh. So… what do you do?”

“Nothing. At least, not much of anything.”

“I’m confused. Isn’t this where the damned are sent for punishment?”

“Yes. But we don’t do any punishing.”

“What?”

“Think about it. The souls sent here would deserve it, wouldn’t they? If we were to carry it out, we’d be doing something righteous and just. Does that sound like the actions of a demon to you?”

“I suppose not.”

“Right. So there really isn’t anything remarkable about the place. Mostly, people sit around and complain that it’s dull.”

“Where do you prepare for war?”

“War?”

“Against Heaven. You fight against God and the angels that remain loyal. Right?”

“Oh, that. Look, I know you humans have some fantastical ideas about all of this, but you really can’t believe everything you read.”

“So no war against the forces of Good?”

“You do know God is all-powerful, right?”

“Well, yeah. But pride . . .”

“Pride is not the same thing as stupidity. Long before human beings had even rudimentary theology worked out, we knew there was no winning against the Almighty. No one here wants that fight.”

“So why rebel at all?”

“It is a protest.”

“A protest? Against what?”

“Long story. You can find someone to tell it, but I am not in the mood. Suffice it to say, there were some disagreements over decisions being made.”

“But isn’t God all-knowing, too?”

“Now you can talk about pride.”

“Oh.”

“Yes. Negotiations are ongoing, but no one is holding their breath. Unlike pride, stubbornness is not a sin.”

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