How Low Can You Go? (Part II in Places to Visit Series)

“The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon his sons unto the 7th generation”—Wording may change, depending on which of the hundreds of biblical conversions available.

I was just a kid when I first saw limbo dancers bend back a scoot themselves under a thin pole nearly walking on their ankles. When I started Catholic school, I learned of a new type of Limbo that had nothing to do with dancing.

Because of the concept of "Original Sin," which makes all humans born guilty of the "sins of the father, in this case, Adam and Eve every child born into the world has a black mark on their soul for something they didn’t do. In the case of Catholics, newborns undergo baptism as soon as possible to erase the stain of original sin.

You with me so far? Now, it gets weird. Infants that died before a chance for baptism were SOL. But wait! Along comes Limbo for infants, which was a place on the suburbs of Hades. It wasn't Hell, but just on the outskirts.

Since I graduated Catholic School, I was there for Chubby Checker’s classic “Limbo RocK” that asks the burning question, “How low can you go?” After sitting through endless Baltimore Catechism classes, it became clear the Marianas Trench was a bit shallow for the depth of Catholic apologetics and just plain old “cover your ass” follow-ups.

What I finally grasped was Limbo acted as a staging area until liftoff with the Second Coming of Christ. By the way, Limbo is not part of Catholic Canon Law, nor is it mentioned in the Bible. In fact, Limbo is a Catholic "do over" for a fill-in the blanks theology that let one slip through the cracks.

There is far more to the history of Limbo. However, the entire subject is moot other than a Catholic curio as the Vatican decided the bar was too low to continue the Limbo and sent it off in an unceremonious fashion to the graveyard of stupid ideas.

Note: Seven generations is long past and curse of Yaweh has passed the Statute of Limitations.

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Comment by Donald R Barbera on May 28, 2014 at 7:50am
I apologize. I have been moving into my house and has taken awhile to get things done. I have no Internet, telephone or television. We got everything moved from our temporary apartment. By the way, we got it all done in three days, but before threats of divorce and murder tipped the conscience. I am at the car dealer service and they have free WI-
Comment by Donald R Barbera on May 28, 2014 at 7:43am
Love these comments. When I attended Catholic School it seemed something stupid occurred in every Catechism study. In my opinion, Catholicism has been a mass contributor to the atheist, agnostic and church drops outs.
Comment by Michael Penn on May 27, 2014 at 4:46pm

Yes, limbo. A place where you are but might not be, and might be but need to be someplace else. Along comes a preist and a little money and prayer, and you could be prayed out of there. The gullible take it really seriously.

A not so devote Catholic friend of mine had a grandma that died. The preist had decided that she was now in purgatory and that she could be prayed out. The family informed him that "grandma was a good jumper," and that she could jump out on her own.

That's a true story.

Comment by Loren Miller on May 22, 2014 at 7:10am

Catholics have been pulling shit out of their asses since the church was formed, whether you want to talk about limbo or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.  They're getting away with less of it in the age of the internet, but they still do it.  Witness the beatification of JPII and John XXIII not that long ago.  The question is: how much longer does the general population allow them to get away with it before there is a sufficient shift in their attitude to the point of saying, "Enough is enough - cut the crap!"

I'd like to believe that day is coming, but it ain't here yet.

Comment by Randall Smith on May 22, 2014 at 7:01am

Mormons do something similar, correct?  Enjoyed your humor.

Comment by Luara on May 21, 2014 at 10:03am

I thought at first you were going to tell us how far below ground level a tourist can travel ;)



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