Thursday, April 26, 2007


Limbo, for those not in the know is a halfway house between Heaven and Hell. It’s where babies who died before getting baptized go. They’re innocent, so they can’t go to Hell; but they also didn’t have a baptism for acceptance into the church, so they can’t really go to Heaven either. But there’s a solution: Limbo. Limbo is also where righteous people who lived before the time of Christ go: Adam, Eve, Moses, Socartes, Fred Flintsone--there all there—hanging out with millions of fetuses and premature babies.

Limbo solved some awkward dilemmas for the medieval church. Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven, but it looks really bad to say Moses and stillborn babies are roasting in Hell. It was supposed to be a pretty nice place, but not amazing like Heaven was. Probably only had basic cable, but souls confined to Limbo were said to be eternally content but wouldn’t know the over the top bliss of being one with God.

That worked well enough for 800 years or so, but last Friday the Vatican announced that Limbo was abolished. Gone. It’s like getting kicked out of a rent controlled apartment. Purgatory still exists as a Hell-Lite to work off your sins—but nobody wants to move there—souls suffer in torment and there’s no cable service at all.

Slate asks, what happens to all the babies who use to be in Limbo?

Raises some important questions: when celestial real estate gets bulldozed, where do the former tenants go? Are they flapping around homeless in the clouds? I’d imagine as eternal babies (or fetuses) they don’t have too many useful job skills and even less working experience on their resumes. Ex-Limbo dwellers are going to have a hard time getting back on their feet, assuming they had even developed feet.

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