It’s the weekend and I’m over at the wife’s sister’s house, enjoying the pool I wish I had, and her eight-year old son totters up to the edge to fill up his water gun with more “ammo”.
He’s wearing a Chelsea football shirt for some reason, and so I suggest he supports another club. “Chelsea are a girl’s team”, I tell him, “and a bit rubbish as well”.
Rather cruel I know, but this is short-term pain for long-term gain: I could, after all, be saving him from a life of shame and total humiliation.
But the little blighter is more stubborn than I expect, and just fills up his gun regardless.
“J C”, I shout, “you really don’t know how terrible Chelsea are, do you?”
He then looks up at me, thinks for a moment, but while I’m expecting some spiel about how great Drogba or Frank Lampard are, he catches me slightly off guard and (in response to my JC utterance no doubt) asks me if I’m a Christian!!
“So what if I am,” I reply.
“But Christians go to Hell”
“Who told you that?”
“Yes. Christians go to Hell. Only Muslims go to Heaven”
Now I’ve had this conversation many times in the past before of course, and I’ve even been assured that I’ll be tossing and turning in my grave and pleading for mercy as the maggots slowly eat away at my fetid remains, but to be told by a young child that I’m destined for Hell is a first for me.
“Yeah but Lampard’s a Christian. And Drogba probably too. So what do you make of that?”
He thinks for a while.
“They’ll go to Hell as well.”
Good old religion. Brainwashing the minds of young kids. The absurdity not totally accepted though, and only engraved on one level of the human subconscious – Christians go to Hell – but rejected on another – Chelsea are still great despite their Christian players.
It sort of reminds me of someone I knew from London many years back who, while on the one hand, had some close black friends at Uni, would also come up with the most ridiculous racist rubbish imaginable when he was drunk and his black mates were not around. And it wasn’t simply that he hated blacks: he only hated them some of the time. Other times he actually liked them. Contradictory opinions in a single mind.
As for Hell, it’s always been a topic I’ve found amusing to be honest, and the strongest evidence you could have in my opinion of the sheer incredulity of organized theisist doctrines.
I mean what is this place Heaven anyway? And how many people are there? And more strangely enough who was the very first person to go there anyway? I mean can you imagine that: God opens up the Pearly Gates for the very first time and ushers the first dude in with the words “Well please make yourself at home – there’s plenty of room – but expect to have a few billion more neighbors over the next 20,000 years or so”.
Actually checking on Wikipedia, scientists reckon that the total number of humans that have ever existed to number 106,456,367,669 (plus or minus the odd billion). And it also says that there are over 6.7 billion people on planet Earth today, therefore meaning, of course, that total human deaths so far have just about reached the 100 billion mark. So with say, a Heaven entrance exam pass rate of a conservative 30 percent that would still put Heaven’s population at a cool 30 billion (the other 70 billion living it up in Hell).
And you don’t even want to go into matters like did people go to Heaven before we invented today’s organized religions, or whether indeed God has since caved into the demands of the green brigade and allowed in a few animals as well.
Yeah sheep go to Heaven and Chelsea go to Hell!!
* when, many years ago, I asked the teacher at my CoE middle school during a religious lesson who was the first dude to get into Heaven she immediately ordered me out of the classroom and told me to report to the headmaster for so-called “insolent” behavior.