Monday, April 1, 2013

Nurse the Hate: Further Ruminations On Religion

Wouldn’t you be disappointed to find out that Hell wasn’t a philosophical concept meant to keep you on the straight and narrow, but find out upon your death that it was an actual location?  If these commandments are legit, I have logged quite a few demerits with “taking the Lord’s name in vain” alone, so I may have a real problem on my hands.  I think I was coveting thy neighbor’s goods the other day too.  The guy down the street bought one of those Porsche Panameras.  Who can even afford that? Damn.  Am I coveting again?  Who can keep track of it all?  Even if I managed to log all my sins successfully in some kind of notebook, can I remember to recite them back for penance to a priest?  Maybe there’s an app for it now.  Apple seems to be on top of this kind of thing.

The thing that confuses me is Hell seems to be black or white.  You are in or out, sort of like a Frat.  It seems unfair.  Shouldn’t there be degrees of punishment, like the prison system?  It really would be disappointing to find out that you would be sent to the same place as Hitler.  I think we can all agree that Hitler is in Hell if there is a Hell, right?  So if I am to understand the church’s teachings, I would join him there, possibly as some sort of roommate, if I do not chant some prayers back to take care of the roughly 126, 365 times I have taken the Lord’s name in vain since my last confession in 1982.  This seems unfair, as Hitler was clearly a much worse human being than I have been.  However, I am not aware of any sort of “Hell By Degrees”.  This gives me some concern.

Let’s take a good hard look at this thing.  Shouldn’t Hitler be sent to fire and brimstone Hell?  I think we can all agree that he should be swimming in turbulent seas of diarrhea, having a red hot harpoon shoved up his ass, and having repeated dental surgeries without anesthesia.  Lots of flaming volcanoes in the background.  Laughing demons with pitchforks.  Wailing from the souls of the damned.  That seems fair.  But does that same scenario seem like a fair deal for “Lord’s name in vain” and stealing some beer when I was 16?  C’mon now!

I think I can make a pretty good case for being allowed into at least Purgatory, which I think of as the DMV of the afterlife.  But let’s say that maybe my paperwork gets mixed up, or maybe some quotas haven’t been filled and I get sent to Hell.  I would imagine I get sent to at least the Minimum Security Prison version of Hell, a neighborhood much more desirable than “fish hooks ripped through your penis hole” Hell.  I think of my level of Hell has things happening like a jukebox that always plays Salt N Pepa’s “Push It” and your songs never come up.  Or maybe you have a TV that just gets bad reception on Little House on the Prairie re-runs set up in a room that’s like a Super 8 with a somewhat dirty bathroom.  Your clothes never fit quite right.  You are always a little itchy and hot.  Your car is a Dodge Reliant K with a broken radio, and it takes forever to get anywhere because people are driving really slowly in the left lane.  You have to spend time waiting in lines for everything, and the demons working behind the counters are as efficient as professional sports stadium vendors. 

I think there are a lot of dropped calls in Hell.  Your bill always has some sort of issue on it, and when you call the toll free number they make you punch in lots of account numbers and codes.  When someone finally answers the phone, they then ask you all the same questions all over again.  When you ask them why they asked you to punch in all those numbers in the first place and then didn’t use them, they will answer “I don’t know, but people ask that all the time.”

You get movies in Hell, but they are things like “Transformers 2” and “GI Joe”.  One time they had an Oscar winning movie, but it was “The English Patient”, so that didn’t really count as a good thing.  You have your Ipod with all your really cool songs on it, but you also have a software glitch so you can’t play it.  For some reason Bob Dylan’s “Saved” will play, but you will assume that is some sort of ironic joke from Satan.  It’s not all bad in Hell though.  They get sports there, but it is usually “Padres v Rockies” baseball or NASCAR.  They get lots and lots of Stephen A Smith talking about LeBron James, who is revealed to be one of Lucifer’s minions.  It will be nice to have that finally confirmed.  

The difference between the first level of Hell and a normal Tuesday in Cleveland is minimal, so I think I will be ready if that’s my fate.  I should probably hedge and go to a priest in the Catholic Church and see how many Hail Marys I need to say to get out of the soup.  With luck, I can knock those out and avoid the whole mess.  I should probably do some math and see how many of these commandments I have violated, get a tally, and swing on by.  I need to find a priest with some flexibility.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  


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