Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Where Will You Spend Eternity?

I had a very nice conversation with an evangelical Christian Saturday. I was under the spell of the sparkling sunshine and a great Reiki class at the time, making it possible for me to be oh-so generous.

Now, days later, I start to fume anytime I think about it. And you know I'm thinking about it, because I think about things. It sets my teeth on edge realizing she believes most of the people on Earth are doomed to suffer hideous pain and torture in Hell for eternity. She believes Einstein is in Hell. Ghandi, Siddhārtha Gautama (Buddha), as well as every Native American, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan and Jew who ever lived are also there. When they die, the Dalai Lama and the Hugging Saint of India will be in Hell, too, according to her. Carl Sagan. Aaron Copland. I could go on and on.

Come to think of it, Hell is sounding very attractive, based on her beliefs.

But seriously, could you worship a God like hers? Yikes! Yesterday I forced myself to do a lot of ohmmm-ing so as to clear my self-righteous anger as I reflected on the conversation. Guess I'll be ohmmm-ing again today.

From now on I must remember not to engage in interfaith dialog with fundamentalists of any religion. That kind of exchange really gets my panties in a bunch. Oh yeah!

This petrol street splooge looks just like a giraffe head, doesn't it?


Barbara said...

Be suspicious of anyone who hands you a book and just be glad we're going to the place where Einstein is. It will be a lot more fun than the alternative, even if it does get a little warm.

Picture this woman arriving in heaven to find out it's really a ghost town. Ha!

Personally I don't believe in hell and I don't think my God does either.

dennis said...

Dennis is going straight to hell,in a comfy hand basket.

rothko said...

I think God might have a special place in heaven for people like this. It's a big white building and inside the walls are all padded. And you can only get there by taking the "short bus."

As for me, I'm hoping to get a spot near all the great jazz musicians, though it might take some bargaining at the gates. If that's not possible, I'll settle for wherever there's good beer on draft.

d. chedwick bryant said...

I don't believe in Hell--it's just one of those things people use to try and control other people--think just like me or else. A loving God would not use threats of ghastly punishment and horrific pain to get people to do nice things. It wouldn't make any sense at all!

Steve said...

Did you ever see Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life," where all the folks who died at the dinner party show up in heaven? It turns out to be a really banal hotel lobby with elevator music, and an adjacent nightclub with a bad floor show.

Her version of heaven sounds pretty close to that.

Frankly, I'm glad this conversation riles you up in retrospect. It's great to find common ground with someone of another viewpoint, but it's also important to recognize when someone is flat-out wrong.

Ms. Wollstonecraft said...

I doubt if heaven and hell are places.
to me they represent our current attitudes,
be happy/kind/try to help people and you are in heaven, be upset/try to scare people/be mean/nasty
and you are in hell. Of course, not so simple as that

but I really don't think we'll be standing in line after death to get into a super crowded hell.

I agree with Steve, that person was flat out wrong to say that to you--I have relatives who say it to me, and I quietly tell them it's a very ugly mean thing to say.

Reya Mellicker said...

Ms Wollstonecraft, I agree with you. In fact another almost fundamentalist Christian said to me one time that a person is in hell anytime he/she becomes disconnected from the divine. Heaven, of course, can be found any moment a person remembers that we're as close to God as we want to be.

Steve - "riled up in retrospect," oh yeah! That would have been a great title for this post.

Dennis, we'll go together, in a lovely handbasket.

Lee's River/Zlatovyek said...

I'm with Steve on this. The place that lady calls heaven is not any hotel lobby I care to hang out in.
Must have been the sunshine that made you like her anyway.

deborah said...

the splooge looks like angels wings to me lifting off the asphalt--

fundamentalists are not my cup of tea and here is how i see it

they are terrified straight, or ethical or something--if they are 'bad' they go to brimstone and fire
if they are good, it's all white heaven

it's a kind of sorority or fraternity--'nah,nah,nah,nah,nah,nah we're going to heaven and you aren't'

except they don't REALLY know, so they have to be more obstreperous about it

I tend to ask Jesus questions like,
is Jesus all forgiving?
then wouldn't Jesus forgive the very good person regardless of his/her belief in him?

double bind questions

i'll spend eternity as mulch and then star stuff and parts of other living things. . .


Reya Mellicker said...

Double bind questions pose no problem to this person. She then quotes the Bible and says, "Scripture is very clear about this ... blah blah blah." She's got me there, because at least she has read the Bible.

Mulch and star stuff. Yep. We already are and we certainly will be later on, too! I love you Deborah.

Rebecca Clayton said...

Let's hope you planted something in that gal's head that's got her thinking uncomfortable thoughts! It's those burrs in our saddle blankets that goad us toward changes we need to make.

Reya Mellicker said...

I think she's the one who put a burr in my saddle!

Ms. Wollstonecraft said...

How clear can the Bible be when every church group interprets it their own way? And what about all the deletions and changes over the years? This is why I don't bother. If they can't tell me exactly what's missing from the bible, and all of the various interpretations, how can it be a fair study?

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes, that's how we see it, but ... we're NOT fundamentalists. They read it word for word. It's very simple and ...


Lynne said...

Frankly, the Catholics led me to believe that I would go to hell the minute I did anything wrong. Hello!—the 1st thing would be getting divorced from my 1st husband. No thanks. A vengeful God is not really any kind of God at all, now is he/she?

I finally got to meet Letty today Reya! You are going to have a great time with her when she arrives in DC for your visit. Our time was short, and I would have liked to had more time with her. But I am glad for the chance to have met her.

d. chedwick bryant said...

Hi, Lettuce just called & I'm meeting her tomorrow for breakfast!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

did you ever here the irish 'joke' about 'why worry' it's a long joke-story, but the bottom line is the part I love the most, basically it sums up the message of not worrying about anything, esp about going to hell, because if you get there you will be having so much fun seeing all your friends there's really no time nor no need to worry!

but speaking of worry, petrol street splooges even if they look like giraffe's do cause me a wee bit of worry....

Pod said...

pod is envious of all these blog meetings

we sahll be going to reypod reya, not hell. it seems so silly to believe in hell so firmly. how miserable. reypod is much more plausible

Reya Mellicker said...

reypod is real!

Pod we are all heartbroken that you can't be here with us. Of course we understand that you are about as far away from DC as you can get while still on this planet, but oh! We wish you were here!!

Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I plan to come back as a rabbit named Brenda. I like to talk to the evangelicals in my neighborhood since it's a good chance to practice my Spanish using superlatives.

Reya Mellicker said...

Ladron - lol!! A rabbit named Brenda? That's so sweet.