Volume > Issue > The Last Judgment of Betty Fryingpan

The Last Judgment of Betty Fryingpan


By Richard Anderson | September 2006
Richard Anderson is a professor of critical thinking and argumentation at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

The following is a satirical, speculative look at what might happen to a leading abortion proponent when, in the next life, she is asked to make an account of her sins from this life. As every Catholic school graduate over the age of 50 knows, the Church teaches (or did) that the Four Last Things are death, judgment, Heaven, and Hell. Catholic theology also informs us that no human in this life can ever make any assumptions about the judgment of others in the next life. However, we do know that every human soul will be asked to give an accounting of his “stewardship” while inhabiting this planet. The individual at the centerpiece of this fiction is a leader of the feminist movement; founder of a major pro-abortion group; and one who spent a lifetime spitting on Catholic religious principles, deeming the Church a “male dominated structure dedicated to the subjugation of women.” Our little drama begins with the recently deceased Betty Fryingpan being led into a courtroom setting by her advocate, Clarence Darrow. They approach the Celestial Bench on which is seated an angel named Victor.

“Well, well, Mr. Darrow. Haven’t seen you in quite a while,” Victor says, “to what do we owe the honor of your visit?” Clarence Darrow, with a look of disdain, responds, “How come we get just an angel? Where is the Boss?” Victor shakes his head and says, “Now, now, Mr. Darrow. You still don’t seem to understand that you’re not in charge. Anyway, as you know, for cases like this, where the decision has pretty much been made by the soul in question, there is not much need to disturb Himself.”

Moving forward, Betty Fryingpan confidently addresses Victor, “Stop talking about me as if I’m not here. You may call me Ms. Fryingpan, sir. And my time is valuable so let’s get on with it. I’ve been told that this is some sort of judgment.”

Victor waves Betty to a seat and speaks to her and Darrow, “This should not take long because I don’t know what possible defense could be offered to someone who knowingly created such harm to the one true Faith, established a philosophy that ripped families apart and participated in the murder of 40 million innocent children.” Victor shrugs his shoulders and looks at Betty. She jumps up and demands to be told how Victor will judge her. He patiently and almost reluctantly tells her he will not decide her fate. She did that during her 85 years of life. “You made decision after decision that was diametrically opposed to the dictates of your Lord and Savior.”

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