I remember, as a school boy, being taught the evils of free thought and veering off the path which god has graciously forced upon me. Acts of disobedience could land me in the fiery pits of Hell with an eternal seat in the devil’s naughty corner. For someone to be punished to an eternity of excruciating pain would surely require an act of unthinkable evil. Offences which come to mind include stealing from the poor and starving or clubbing a village of monks to death with baby-rhino horns.
Apparently the guy in the sky doesn’t quite agree with my perception of evil as just about anyone in his book can and should be stoned to death. If we followed these rules the earth would be under a constant meteor shower of rubble aimed at sinners. In a very short space of time we’d all be deservedly dead due to our trespasses. The last sinner standing (that sounds like the next reality TV show) would have to stone him/herself before joining the rest of us in the brimstone barbecue.
The bible was written by politicians in an attempt to deter the masses from doing anything revolutionary. If one wishes to believe that it was printed and distributed by the Heavenly Publishing Co. PTY LTD then it should be used as a broad guideline while taking new discoveries into consideration. Rules that were written with dinosaur feathers and goats blood can be revised without anyone being vapourised for almighty copyright infringements. The book should also be shortened by a few hundred pages in order to eliminate the contradictions which make it the worst editing job in the last two thousand years. Otherwise the pages make an excellent substitute for Rizzlas.
When considering the bible’s description of Hell and how I would have to live my life in order to avoid its unpleasant temperatures, I refer to my favourite Swedish expression, “Let’s shit in that idea.” I have no intention of attempting to murder people with a rock that I keep in my pocket, just in case my neighbour goes mental and has premarital sex or works on the Sabbath.
A one-way ticket to the dungeons of damnation, which baffles me out of my tree, is that of homosexuality. Science has put this debate to bed and ruled in favour of common sense. Gay men are born fabulous. Their superior fashion sense and ability to charm women was given to them by god. A twisted joke to frustrate straight men. To condemn homosexuals to death, for their genetic make-up, would be like ganging up against gingers in protest of their freckles and rosy complexion. “And god said, ‘Love thy neighbour, unless that bastard is a ginger! Then throw rocks at him!'”
Recently the Dutch Reformed Church voted in favour of ordaining gay ministers and blessing same-sex unions. Progress! Yet certain people feel offended by this momentous step in the right direction. On what do they base their disgust? Quotes from the holy book which speaks against homosexuals. One cannot support claims by referring to the source which provided those same claims. That is ignorance defined. Yet people continue to do so. They do so out of fear and hatred. Ignorance breeds fear. Fear leads to hate. Don’t pray for the gays to right their ways. They’re doing fine. Pray for the ignorant.
Buddhists believe that Hell is a temporary place which is created by the individual. There are living people who have created their own Hell on Earth through the ignorant and hateful thoughts in their minds. These people can navigate out of their self-made misery by adjusting their way of thinking through education and understanding.
No one is going to Hell for being tolerant of other peoples’ ways of life, nor will anyone burn for not obeying a poorly written book, desperately in need of a revision. However, those of us who hate, judge and attempt to ostracize “god’s creations” are already on the grill.