~The Firmament~

     I grew up believing there was a Heaven, as this was a requirement in the Southern Baptist church I attended as a teen. To me, Heaven was more of a mystery and consternation than even the story and outline of Creation in the book of Genesis. Heaven is mentioned, described, indicated, suggested and referenced to, dozens of times in the Bible, but what stands out the most is that Heaven is the dwelling place of God. His base of operation you might say. As you will read, I have no confirmation to any Heavenly facts, as I have had no communication with any of the spiritually evacuated. I’m not writing this to debate the existence of Heaven or any other visionary belief that was written about twenty centuries ago, but simple to ask a few gnawing questions that still seem to elude most ‘back home’ preachers. The concept of Heaven runs as a philosophical thread through most all world religions and I, for one, would embrace the belief once a few of my questions have been answered;

~When you go to Heaven, how old will you be when you get off the ’Glory Bus?’ Will you and your grand parents all be teenagers again or will everybody be their last age at the time of their rigor mortis?
~Seems a great many righteous folk have departed this world during our brief layover, so, is Heaven crowded and how effective was the inquisition?
~What services will be available to help us tract down departed friends and family or will we even care?
~Is there any landscaping or is it just cloudy everywhere?
~What will we do all day and every day……f-o-r-e-v-e-r?
~Pets? Where do we put the poop?
~Will we be able to talk or is it all choir stuff?
~Walk, float or beam around?
~Jogging suits or togas?
~Will there be turf issues between Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses and Protestants?
~Will only Hell have rap music?
~Will there be any Democrats?
~Celestial cable?

       I’ve had a little fun with one of man’s unresolved questions concerning his ‘here after’ and as a declaimer, in case I’ve offended anyone, I will offer this proactive apology; I’m truly sorry if I have appeared to have shown any disrespect or scoffing concerning any heartfelt and bewildering beliefs you may have and that it was not my intention to do so, as I respect all devout beliefs and ideologies…..with maybe the exception of those involving professional wrestling and reality shows.
                                        “Faith is believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”

“Do You Have Reservations?”

     I wrote about Heaven, now I feel the necessity to flip the coin and relate my views about Hell….God’s outhouse. Naturally, I don’t want to commit my observations solely to just Heaven or Hell, as I have friends in both places, so I will simply offer my restrictive opinion to both, with Hell taking it‘s turn at bat. To start with, more people believe in a celestial Heaven, than they do in the noxious pits of Hades. The “Old Testament” mentions the word over 31 times, but the word or words were often translated from Hebrew words meaning pit, grave, abode of the dead and dark crevasse. In the “New Testament,” of the King James Version, Hell is translated from the Greek word “Hades” in 10 different places. The King James Version also uses the word “Hell” or “Hellfire” 12 times from the translated Greek word “Gehenna” which refers to a desolate pit where children were once sacrificed in the kingdom of eon. Seems no one could make up their minds about the logistics of the place, so the scribing monks pretty much tagged it as Hell and went to the next chapters.

     Well, so much for the lesson in linguistic anthropology. The fact is…..there is still a lot of head scratching about this all inclusive resort. We know it’s a bad place for your complexion and for evil people and educated atheist. There is, of course, a long list of qualified applicants, from unreformed dick-headed socialist to serial killing crack-hoes. Politicians and lawyers occupy most of the best real estate there, located by scenic lava flows and pus fountains. Dignitaries abound, such as Enron’s Kenneth Lay serving as grand marshal in the annual “Das Führer Day” parade. The long lines of ‘robed’ pedophiles awaiting their turn at the sacred alter of the Castratum Vegematicum, and currently a mosquito filled sauna is being prepared for the arrival of Craig Gilbert, the creator of the first TV reality show. Yes, there are many more purged souls in it’s confines and I imagine there’ll be crowd control issues once the last of the old hippies take that final toke as they trip into mellow oblivion.

     The Devil…..Many have a strange visualization of what the Godfather of Hell looks like. Some see him as a sweltering giant of crimson sludge with blazing coals for eyes and with massive horns spearing meters into the air. His fiery breath flambéing the flesh off your bones as he bellows at you. I think, in true reality, that the devil looks more like Richard Simmons on steroids. Jumping from one outcrop to another, rocking to the oldies like Splish Splash or Flying Purple People Eaters. His little short horns, flaming afro and bouncing man-breast. Scary.

     One last point….God does tend to his children, be they heathen or Saint. The best example is whenever cannibals are on the brink of starvation, Heaven, in it’s infinite mercy, will always send them a plump missionary. One misconception I hear too often is that marriage is really Hell and, of course, in some rare occasions even Heaven. Through my many years of observing married friends, reality shows and acquaintances, I have found that marriage is more often a purgatory for many with Hell being a welcomed recess.


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