Float Fishing in the Ring of Fire

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Float Fishing in the Ring of Fire

by Hal Crowther
Southern Cultures, Vol. 10, No. 1: Spring 2004

"I'm with the British writer Zadie Smith, who writes, 'The Book of Revelation is the last stop on the nutso express.'"

It’s not well known that I was once an actual salaried art critic, for a very large newspaper—for a very short run. But I’m here today, I’m sure, due to my reputation as a theologian. I have to confess that as a lapsed Unitarian I fall at the opposite end of the theological spectrum from the Reverend McKendree Long. In fact, I guess the only thing we had in common was our taste in women. I, and most of you, I imagine, would be among the lost souls he sent hurtling into the Lake of Fire in their bathing suits or less. Members of my family have even been guilty of the heresy known as Universalism, the bland and beautiful belief that everyone is saved whether they like it or not—”the final harmony of all souls with God”—and that even if you ended up in hell somehow it was only temporary, it just meant that you and God needed to get a few things straight between you. I myself once wrote, in an art review actually, “I’ve never been able to follow the notion of god’s plan much beyond the boundaries of the human ego.”