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After-Life? Over My Dead Body.

Posted in humour,religion,satire by YTAH on November 18, 2008
Tags: , ,

Heaven gets a lot of good publicity that I don’t think is justified. Greeting-card companies, religious organizations, and the rest of the entertainment industry have been exploiting all things heaven-related for so long that the idea fills the populace with warm happy feelings, rather than scaring the bejeezus out of them. Somehow, while we weren’t being vigilant, the world devolved to this appalling state, where images of fat angelic cherubs wielding harps can warm the cockles of the most hardened TV or movie executive’s heart, instead of filling them with bile and revulsion. What gives? How has it come to this?

Were you bored? I know I was.

Were you bored? I know I was.

This rather dubious prejudice in favour of heaven is so deeply engrained in the way we think that it’s even found its way into our language. If something is really good, it’s “heavenly” or “heaven-sent”; if you’re really happy you’re in “hog heaven” or “cloud nine” or “seventh heaven” (which, fortunately for us, is now a shitty TV show, which goes to show that even the highest state of being can be turned into a tacky pop culture commodity). But if you were really in heaven, you’d be dead; and I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to get my jollies while I’m alive, thank you very much. Also, as far as I know the only things that come from heaven are rain, pigeon shit, and the occasional asteroid heralding the end of all life as you know it. The least malicious of these “divine blessings” is rain, which, if you think about it, is brought to you by the makers of floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes.

In the meantime, dictionaries will try to convince you that heaven means paradise, bliss, ecstacy, rapture. But the opposite of “heaven” isn’t “hell”, it’s earth, and its most appropriate synonym is “dreamland”. Because that’s what it amounts to: some sad fuck’s consolation for the tyranny of death. Sorry to break it to you, but semantics won’t save your ass when the Reaper comes a-knockin’. But I think it’s time we look more closely at what they’re selling us – because I’m not convinced that heaven is something we should be striving for.

Heaven’s overrated – let us show you why!

Not all it's cracked up to be.

Heaven: Not all it

Try to picture heaven the way the average person seems to conceive of it, and then give careful consideration to the vision your mind conjures up. Because most people imagine heaven as some aberrant combination between an enormous church fête and an over-saturated detergent commercial, full of shiny people holding hands and grinning like idiots – and that’s if you’re having a nice hallucination.

If you’re like me, though, you won’t exactly become all gooey-eyed and smiley at the idea of some angelic choir standing cow-like in some luscious green meadow against a background of blindingly white clouds. Not if the Sunday mornings of your childhood were spent getting ready for church, waiting for the endless sermonizing to end, and then wandering around in a daze for the rest of the day trying to recover from the ordeal, with only the promise of silly comedies on TV to console you. Think of all the countless opportunities to sleep late and goof off that you were forced to squander, then picture heaven again.

The business of selling heaven is based on a massive misunderstanding of what heaven actually means. Theologically speaking, which is the only way the term makes any kind of sense, it refers to “a spiritual state of everlasting communion with God”. Everlasting communion? With God? Even if he wasn’t merely a figment of some power-hungry morality fascist’s fucked-up imagination, I’m not sure I’d like to spend that much time in his company. After all, we’re talking about whatever kind of fucked-up entity came up with this universe and figured it was good enough. (Which is kind of like the fictional-deity equivalent of laughing at your own fart. Think about it.)

Superstupid.

Superstupid.

I mean, there are lots of absolutely ludicrous superheroes around, but even the most pathetic fifth-rate superjerkoff could come up with a snappier catchphrase than “And saw that it was good”. Also, even Superman, surely the wankiest superhero of all time, had more impressive abilities. Think about it: since creating the universe, what’s this God guy done, exactly? Nothing, apart from the odd tsunami, earthquake, or flood – and that’s only if you believe people like Pat Robertson. So apart from killing giant swathes of people for no damn reason while leaving cunts like Robertson and Co. walking around, free to live out their pampered lives unfettered by logic or good taste, what has he achieved? Even the American military can manage a targeted strike now and then; you’re telling me an all-powerful, omniscient deity can’t strike down a few of his dumber followers now and then? Seriously, if you can’t punish the Falwells and Robertsons of this world, how do you expect anyone to take you seriously?

Guess who’s coming to heaven?

Then you also have to give serious consideration to the rest of heaven’s guest list. We’re talking about some of the most gullible and narrow-minded bastards imaginable. They’ll happily listen to people who blame everything from the September 11 terrorist attacks to Hurricane Katrina to Ariel Sharon’s stroke on feminists, the ACLU, gays, and abortionists. Their leaders’ solution for poverty and low wages is to “study and read the Bible” because getting “right” with God will make people “better workers”. They believe feminism “encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians”. And to top it all, they’ll claim that someone who worships exactly the same god embodies “the spirit of the Antichrist” simply because their clubhouse has another name: Episcopalian. Methodist. Presbyterian. (We’re not even talking about the Catholics, a denomination regularly denounced as “the whore of Babylon” by self-proclaimed messiahs. Not that I necessarily disagree, you understand, but it does seem a bit un-Christian of them.)

Christ, make it end already.

Christ, make it end already.

Their religious views aren’t so much an “interpretation” of the bible as “a complete failure to read anything that they don’t want to find there”. Frankly I’m more impressed with Superman’s skill with a sewing needle than with God’s ability to keep his followers in line.

As if it wasn’t enough that we have to share this world with these cunts, they want us to share the afterlife with them, too. I am constantly amazed at the Christian fuckheads who threaten you with damnation and hellfire whenever you say something marginally critical about organized religion and the stupid things that people do in its name. Because these are exactly the same people who’ll try to convince you to join their cultish little cliques by promising you an eternity spent in their company.

Um, thanks, assholes. But if writing this has convinced me of anything, it’s that heaven is pretty much the worst thing that could happen to you when you die. Me, I’ll take my fun where I can get it. Hope the time spent singing hymns and hallucinating is worth it, fuckers. I’m sure that the opportunity to spend eternity worshiping some deadbeat deity will be more than ample reward for not having any fun while you were alive. In the meantime, God be with you – no-one else gives a shit.

Yours truly, asshole.

[Originally posted on Africans.co.za on Thursday, November 13, 2008.]

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