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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dear Charlie: Do you believe in Hell?



Pastor Kevin Hester of Coloma, Michigan, posed the question to a slew of public officials, including Gov. Charlie Crist: "I am doing a study on 'Hell' and I was wondering about some of your thoughts on this place," he wrote.

Crist's Office of Citizen Services responded with a letter explaining that the Governor is a longtime member of the First Methodist Church of St. Petersburg, and he knows personally the effectiveness of prayer. But Crist declined to comment on hell in particular. Hester said a few people answered by saying hell is holding public office.

And then there's Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP board of directors, who wrote: "As a child, it was an imagined, hot, smokey evil place, presided over by a long-tailed devil in a red suit. Today, it is a place people used to tell me about."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:23am]


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