The Times, They Are A’changing For Religion

It came to me the other day, I suddenly remembered a Pope cancelled Limbo, the waiting room betwix Heaven and Hell.Do you take the red elevator, or the blue one? They were faintly pearlescent, in keeping with the thematic lead of the big gates out front. They’re now boarded up, and clients don’t have to have their last meet up with hubby before he plunges to Hell, never to be seen again.

This was huge. One of the Steps to Heaven, cancelled. True, it was a giant jar full of babies not going anywhere, and kind of unpleasant to behold through the reinforced windows, but still. Nobody wants to see that on their desk every morning.

Took a little break last week to ponder the happening. Popes having the power to end Limbo. Poof. Jar of babies was VANISHED! Without Limbo, they process those babies as quickly as they can. When they were jarred, they could sit on the desk for weeks before someone finally took care and moved them on to the next level.

 

If they pass the intake ritual, where a lot of real nosy questions are asked, they get to walk through the gates. 

I’ve always thought that images of heaven look like something Disney whipped up. It’s not quite all that fluffy and cloudy, the streets are paved with fools’ gold, iron pyrite. Harder than gold, holds up better, keeps the mutts satisfied.

Now, if the ‘Down’ lever is pulled, it’s a long descent to Hell’s waiting room. There’s basically only two positions in Hell; reviled subject or psychopathic punisher. We try to place people where theyll do the most good while enjoying the work.

Now, things that happen after you die have been pretty much writ in stone until they cancelled limbo. It was thought to be immutable, yet a human yet infallible pope snapped his fingers and it was gone. We suspect they just moved it to the rectory closet, don’t care enough to check.

Which brings me to another curiousity; humans are currently being offered several versions of Armageddon on tv lately. The most popular apocalyptic tale seems to be Supernatural; two brothers that cruise around in an old car solving supernatural mysteries starring angels and demons.

 

Things are stirring in the movies, too. Left Behind, Noah, movies depicting traumatic points in the Christian mythos. Kicked off by Passion of the christ, they launched a whole raft of genre pieces that used religion as popular entertainment.

Take ‘Percy Jackson’ stories. Percy is a demigod, his father is Poseidon, greek god of the sea. Once upon a time, this pantheon was as believed in as Jesus is today.Then there’s the Marvel pantheon of Norse gods. Thor and Loki are quite popular these days within the Marvelverse.                                                                

 

                                                     

Many of my atheist acquaintences enjoy these entertainments, as do I. What we see is an actual religion taken and used for fictional entertainment. This was an important function, once upon a time. It was how they spread their beliefs around a fire, reinforcing some, dismissing others as unacceptable. I mean, Moloch…what about that giant bronze statue with the fiery belly, to whom you offered your crying toddler to be consumed by fire. Yeah, you don’t hear much from Moloch these days. He’s doing business as a weird thorny lizard in Australia these days.

 

Note that I didn’t include Harry Potter, a delightful supernatural romp, but containing no actual god characters from human history.Same genre, though. Special people get special powers. Or blessed, as the thumpers might say.

 

By playing with mythologies as modern entertainment, if people start worshiping them again, it won’t be because they’re real, it’s because they’re performing some kind of LARPing. By inserting Christian mythos into the mix, it may flip in people’s minds as they realize that there is little difference between Jesus and Percy Jackson. 

But seriously, Percy is cooler.He fights hydras while Jesus and that darn Dyonisus are over in the corner making and evaluating wine. Percy fights a minotaur, jesus starts raising up zombies.

Here’s the thing. When religion comes to be seen by the mainstream as fictional as Marvel Comics, it will be even harder for the God Squad to impose laws that appear to us to lack sense or logic on secular citizens.

High profile transgressions of the pious and holy don’t hurt. That could be molesting your little sisters like Josh Duggar, or begging for a $65 million jet like Creflo A. Dollar. Or covering up your granddaughter’s molestationlike Paul Crouch. Or living so luxuriously your dog has air conditioning, all paid for by the pittances of elderly folk who gave what they could. When people think about that, they generally don’t see that predatory money grubbing as a Good Thing.

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