GUEST POST:Heaven vs. Hell by songoman

I’ve got a problem with religion; on the whole, it seems to have done far more harm than good throughout recorded history. But on a more fundamental level, I’ve got a problem with the very NEED for it. It’s obvious that the concept of religion came about as a result of an urgent need by primitive, frightened, and let’s face it, just plain stupid people to justify and validate pretty much everything that they couldn’t explain at the time: The rising sun, the setting sun, thunder, lightning, painful rectal itch and morning wood.

But eventually, over time, along comes Galileo, Copernicus, Preparation H and hand lotion. Problems solved; conditions explained, Zeus retires to Florida. Similarly, as we struggled with and eventually answered our own questions on more perplexing issues like the Big Bang, evolution, quantum mechanics, and relativity, our need for multiple Gods diminished, and we boiled him down to one bearded, white, angry, vindictive, petty father figure who, based on His behavior, has a serious drinking problem.

Never mind Jeebus, Muhammad and the Buddha; we’ll leave them out of the discussion because they’re clearly a subset of the whole God issue and were created to help finance the military. Let’s stick with the head man, the Big Kahuna, the HNIC. We don’t need to bother with the vice presidents here.

These days, we’ve got the Hubble out there checking out eternity like Truman Burbank in his boat. We’re breaking down atoms into smaller and smaller particles; we’re down to such elemental pieces that they’re conceivable only in theory. Unless you live in Kansas or the deep south, you know where we came from, and how we got here. We have it mostly figured out.

Except death.

When it comes to death, we’re as confused as an armless teenager with a hard on. We’ve got nothing on the Big D. No one’s reported back yet, and anyone that says they are is lying like a whore in confession. Grandpa ain’t talking; neither is Lincoln, the Ayatollah Khomeini, David Carradine, or Jimi Hendrix. Not a word out of JFK, either. We have, literally, no clue.

So we invented Heaven and Hell. It’s a fairly common theme among all religions; in some form or another; you do good, you’re banging Angelina, you do bad, you’re sucking dicks in a Chelsea hotel. Or the other way around, depending on your viewpoint. We invented these things because a) we can’t live without an answer and b) we don’t trust ourselves to do good unless we’re threatened with eternal suffering. But I find it interesting that there’s such a divergent level of detail between Heaven and Hell.

We have NO problem describing hell: if you haven’t read Dante’s Inferno, please do so immediately. You’ll never find a more twisted, horrific example of human depravity than the mind that made that shit up. Every detail, right down to the color of the trails of pus, is described in vivid detail. Stinging insects, fire, blood, screaming, fecal matter; it’s all there. Sadistic demons with pitchforks, sporting wood while tossing another soul on the fire (how does one get THAT gig, anyway? They do seem to be enjoying themselves, which runs counter to the idea of being in hell in the first place. Apparently, there’s room for advancement down there). We have hell figured out pretty good.

But Heaven. That’s a tough one.

Face it; we’re talking about ETERNITY. Time without end. When you’re describing suffering, eternity is an easy concept. It sucks, and it doesn’t stop. Fine. Madoff deserves it. We can reconcile. But what the FUCK would you want to do for eternity if you could choose anything you wanted? Sex? Bullshit. Eventually, even that becomes tiresome. The 72 virgin concept doesn’t even fly; you get laid 72 times, then you’re out of virgins. Besides, you can get laid here on Earth; 72 times isn’t paradise, it’s a good month. Just sex won’t cut it.

Religious depictions of heaven involve wings (a pain in the ass for your tailor, and do you have to flap them to stay up there?), sitting around on clouds (BO-RING), and basking in God’s love. Fuck all that, right in the asshole. That sounds like a bad party at a Promise Keeper’s convention. My version of heaven would involve bongs, martinis, blowjobs, and golf courses that don’t allow Koreans. Evidently you still have to eat: you always see grapes in heaven; filet mignon seems to be in short order. Fuck grapes. Grapes suck.

There must also be things that AREN’T allowed in heaven: treadmills, taxes, that uncomfortable feeling when you’ve been sitting wrong and your dick falls asleep, mosquitoes, bad breath, vaginal discharge, Republicans, and of course, Jews. But will we still have to deal with stupid people? Those assholes that get to the top of the escalator and just fucking STAND there? As far as I’m concerned, they’re not allowed. Not in MY heaven.

And there’s the rub: Heaven can’t exist because your heaven is not MY heaven. The concept of heaven requires consensus and therefore concession. That’s contrary to the whole concept. It requires politics, government, rules and regs. Ergo, it’s not heaven.

I’m far more comfortable with the concept of nonexistence than I am with sharing my heaven with some waddling born-again tourist who wants to take away my weed and my blowjobs. I can find people like that right here, thanks.