“The Daily Telegraph reports that prominent English cosmologist Stephen Hawking has suggested that “heaven is a fairy story for people who are afraid of the dark.”
As Fr. Longenecker points out, “Fairy tales teach us that goodness, truth, and beauty must one day be rewarded, and evil, lies, and brutality must one day be punished.” Apparently Dr. Hawking didn’t fully participate in his English Literature classes as a young teenager. Fr. continues:
“As I am both a lover of fairy tales and a believer in heaven, I am not sure whether this is an insult or a compliment. Although I do not believe heaven is a fairy tale, it is my love of fairy tales that makes me believe in heaven. Like G. K. Chesterton, I believe that fairy tales are in their own way more true than the barren facts of yesterday’s newspaper; and it is because of the solid truths of the fairy tales that I believe in the solid truth of heaven.
Some favorite lines:
” . . . what makes fairy tales so concrete and real is that they are rooted in a world that is just
” . . . Fairy tales teach us that goodness, truth, and beauty must one day be rewarded, and evil, lies, and brutality must one day be punished.
” . . . Expecting justice in the end is part of our nature: Good leads to life. Evil leads to destruction. Expecting justice to be the final result is as logical and sensible and scientific as expecting water to run downhill.
“Hawking thinks that believing in heaven is wishful thinking. But he forgets that those who believe in heaven most often also believe in hell. They believe that each soul is answerable to God, that final, fearful Judge.“
Closing with a candid quote from Padre Pio, who was asked what he thought of those who didn’t believe in hell, one that Dr. Hawking should consider, Fr. Longenecker notes St. Pio’s response:
“They will believe in hell when they get there.”