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January 27th, 2012 @ 9:48 pm by admin
In terms of 20th century villainy, most people’s go-to guy is Adolph Hitler. Apart from his obviously abhorrent crimes, another contributing factor may be the Nazis’ striking iconography, which has made them the ideal villains in so many films, novels and comic books over the years. So when we think of history’s worst butchers, Hitler is the first person who comes to mind.
However, in terms of sheer numbers, Joseph Stalin wins the prize as Europe’s most egregious killer. While Hitler is blamed for around 12,000,000 deaths, Stalin was directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of over 23,000,000 people. And that’s in addition to the other kinds of untold misery he inflicted upon the world.
And Stalin, himself? He died in his sleep. Depending on which theory you believe, he had a stroke or he was poisoned. Either way, most people will probably agree he got off easy in the end, especially compared to his victims, many of whom endured bitter cold and starvation in one of the worse genocides in human history.
But what about after the end?
I don’t care if you’re an Infernalist, an Annihilationist or a Universalist, almost everyone agrees that someone like Stalin will have hell to pay. Otherwise, how could God be considered just?
But what will hell look like for someone like Stalin?
Will it last forever?
Will his punishment–and, possibly, his repentance–involve his victims in some way? I don’t see how it couldn’t.
It makes me think of the way the Universalist authors of If Grace is True envision heaven.
I do not know where we will sit at the final banquet, but I suspect who will sit beside us. On our right will sit the person whom we have harmed the most. On our left will sit the person who has done the greatest evil to us. We will be seated between grace received and grace required.
That’s a beautiful image, but I get the feeling there would be a VERY long line-up of people queuing for that seat to the right of Stalin.
But enough about Stalin. What about that seat to the right of me?
What about the seat to the right of you?