Wednesday, November 5, 2008

WIll I burn? A study in zealots.

I hope I don't offend anyone (I will) by saying that I am not a religious man. I don't go to church. I don't worship anything. I don't really acknowledge that there is a God unless someone asks me if I believe in him or her. What's up with that anyway? People shouldn't ask that because they can't handle the answer they get if it isn't exactly their belief.

I wasn't raised in a religious household. Really, it wasn't much of a household at all, but somehow I've managed to become a good man. Sure that's my opinion and there's a chance that someone may feel I am not, but the truth is that I do right by my family, by my job, by my friends, and by the general public. I don't lie, except little, white ones like when I tell someone that the food they made was good, but I can't finish it because I'm full from something I had eaten earlier. Other than that I come clean about it all. Crap...I don't even jaywalk. I donate money to a few different causes and I try not to curse too much. I think I'm a pretty good guy.

I never really bought into the whole religion thing. It always came across as silly to think that people would spend time fearing some unknown figure that created the universe, worried that he or she may 'smite" us for living in a way that clashes with his ways. Really? If there is a God and a heaven and a Devil and a hell, and we're supposedly going to end up in one of them after we die, then why do we even know about it? More importantly, how does the guy who wrote the bible know about it?

The reason I'm writing this is simply because there have been an incredible amount of people lately who feel it is their sworn duty to save my soul from eternal damnation. Now, all of them agree that I'm one of the nicest people they know, but still, they all tell me that I'm destined for an afterlife of pain and torture if I don't start going to church, stop being fond of horror movies, and all sorts of other stuff. Horror movies? Yeah, according to some folks in the pack, horror films and any imagery containing skulls and/or anything closely related, are an invitation of sorts that were sent to the Earth by the Devil as bait. Ouch!

Now, trust me when I say that I'm definitely not walking around town dressed in black with skeletons plastered all over my clothing, but I do happen to own a jacket with a patch from the film Evil Dead on it as well as a few other shirts from horror movies I like. Still, I am going to Hell.

I don't want to go to Hell, if there really is one, and I'd really like to go to heaven and lay on a cloud or something, but if what all these folks tell me is true then because I do not sit in a pew or only watch the Hallmark channel, I'd better get prepared to roast like a lamb.

There's this one case in particular when I was training one of the new hires at my job and in the middle of a lesson he stopped me and grabbed his heart. He then raised one hand to the sky and began having a one on one conversation with God. Apparently, the guy didn't want to have the conversation with me, but God was telling him that he'd better do it or else, so he reluctantly agreed. What followed was truly bizarre. To make it short, he told me I was nice and funny, but he added that God doesn't care about any of that. God will only accept me if I become a complete and total devotee to him. I asked if all of kindhearted and good deeds would be enough and he said they wouldn't because I did not wake up to the Lord each day and constantly beg him for salvation. I challenged him and said that if your God can't recognize when someone is good, then I'm not sure what I could do about it.

God, if you truly are real, then I ask...can you come to Earth for a pleasant meet and greet without all of that death and destruction lesson your book says you're gonna bestow upon us? Some of us could really use the meeting. And Satan, if you are truly out there, don't come knocking. Nobody's home.

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