William Thien

Gone to Heaven

Posted on: January 2, 2011

The other day while walking in to the public library a woman came running up to me with a frantic, raving, insinuating question, ‘did I know where I was going when I die?’ By her choice of tone I was to be afraid, very afraid.

Bible thumpers often hang out in front of our public library handing out literature trying to initiate a discussion about religion with patrons. I don’t mind it. I hand out my own literature in the same manner in the same place from time to time.

But I try not to insult anyone with such obvious questions as to where they are going when they die? I had heard that same question before and simply answered, you don’t have the right to ask me that question. This time I was more prepared and I responded with a couple of questions of my own. A church, a synagogue, and a temple are all on the same street within a block of each other, all with their own system of beliefs, which one is right? And should they all be tax-free?

She looked at me with disbelief and then turned to her bible thumping partner who commented beneath his breath something that was derogatory about where I was going after I died and not worth repeating here.

So, since someone I’ve never met who had no angelic qualities whatsoever and clearly was of no divine origin, in other words “a mortal,” can supposedly decide my eternal fate with such callousness without even knowing me, I am compelled to ask the question, should all of these religious systems and all of the other more esoteric and bizarre religions be tax-free? I ask should they still be tax-free for the simple reason that since they are all in absolute, or since they all believe their system is the best system or most accurate or truthful system, or that they are the “chosen people,” I ask the question because it would seem that since they are all in such close proximity to each other and all believe they are the rightful owners of heaven, that they seem to cancel each other out. How can so many religious systems be in such close proximity to each other yet be so different and still be valid? And tax-free? I ask this question at a time when our country is starved of revenue to pay its debts when here we have an entire industry based only on faith and nothing more, which takes on new, unevidenced shapes almost every day, many of which I am certain the country’s founding fathers would not approve of, almost as if religion were a racket gambling with the ignorant souls of the country, a gambling racket which often runs willy nilly with strange ritualistic suicides and sacrifices and all of it tax-free to boot.

The bible thumper had been thinking and turned back to me raising her hand, pointing her finger upwards. I winked at her, turned, and went into the library.

Really only one religion can be the true one, the true faith. Yet, we have no empirical evidence which proves one is more true, more accurate than the other. In fact, all of the empirical evidence we have indicates we are the result of evolution and not of some religious origin. So the religious fear that mankind is the result of evolution begets the question, does not the irrational superstition of so many religions mark man as the result of evolution in the first place, anyway? If you believe in something that is false, something for which no empirical evidence exists and in fact has been disproved by fact, then you are by definition, irrational, superstitious, and it is an indication that you may have not evolved quite as far as perhaps another who taking into consideration all of the evidence indicating otherwise, does not believe.

It is safer to simply say one believes in a god or gods yet one has no proof they exist. Though, in other words, it may be that to believe in a religion for which there is no empirical evidence actually makes you the ape and the unbeliever the true angel, the rational one, that which is more evolved, that which sees through the veil of superstition called religion.

Furthermore, we merely choose the religious system, the religion that we feel best serves our religious needs or perspectives. In reality and given that religion is based on a system of “pure faith,” only one religious system can then be the “true faith.”

A philosopher or a mathematician might conclude that because all of the thousands of religious systems are based on faith, pure faith as their primary motivation, that means religions seek purity in faith, which perhaps can be represented by a theoretical or a theological absolute. And what that means is that there is then a “most pure religion.” So then why are they all tax-free, you could ask, if only one is the most valid?

I was going to pose this more direct question to the bible thumpers when I exited the library. But they were gone, gone to heaven I’m sure they would have us all believe.

Copyright © William Thien 2010

Sign up to receive email updates and get the latest. Just go to the upper right hand corner of this page and enter your email address. It’s easy and safe.

Let Us Know What You Think. Post a Comment.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Find by month

Find by date

January 2011
« Dec   Mar »
Follow William Thien on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: