There are many potential posts I write solely to vent my frustration and are not meant for publication. This is one of them. I decided to post it anyway because there is so much at stake that I don’t want the end to come knowing I did not do everything I possibly could to avoid it. This post was written to grab the reader’s attention with irreverent humor. I decided to change the one word in the post most likely to offend the sensibilities of the reader, women in particular. I substituted “p-word” in place of the word I originally used. Keep in mind, although the message is serious and one that we all should consider, my initial premise is meant to make you laugh and if anything, make fun of heterosexual men like myself. Here goes:
If someone asked you to describe Heaven, what would you say? I’ve thought about that and I decided that whatever it is, it must feel better than p-word. I say that because from a male perspective, that is pretty much the only thing that makes life worth living. It is the best that life has to offer and is the motivation for everything a man does. Whether good or bad the pursuit of p-word is at the root of every headline you read about men, on every socioeconomic level.
Every man on Earth, from every religion on Earth believes on some level that Heaven is a place where a man gets all the p-word he ever wants, whenever he wants. That may not be written in the scriptures of whatever religion a man follows but you can bet the word heaven is a trigger to send a man’s thoughts to prospect of p-word. Hell, the motivation for many Islamic suicide bombers is the promise of 16 virgins all their own after their martyring. (Why would anyone want to break in a virgin every night for all eternity?) They should probably rename the vagina as some variation of Latin word for heaven – call it “the diosa” instead of the vagina.
What prompted these uncharacteristically irreverent words from me is the feeling I’m getting that religion is the catalyst for the destruction of the human race. It was invented to enable human beings to cope with the knowledge of their own mortality. As much as I knock it, I pray every night because the language of religion was given to me as the only outlet for me to express all my fears and anxieties. But I don’t actually believe Heaven exists in the way I’m thinking about it while I’m praying. The context of my prayers is that all the people I knew and loved who have passed on continue to exist as some heavenly version of their former selves. If heaven does exist, it’s something way beyond anything we could possibly understand. I know this because, as I have said, I can’t even imagine anything that’s better than p-word. To associate the pleasures of the flesh, which is temporary and dies, with the pleasure of an eternal soul is just dumb to me.
So if we don’t stop pretending our religion has taught us all there is to know about the afterlife we’re all going to get there a lot sooner than we plan. Life on this plane of existence is unique and is the only thing we know exists for sure. To allow it to perish out of a belief that something better awaits us after death is by definition suicide. By staking out these red verses blue positions we are taking, each claiming the other is not worthy of life, we are committing mass suicide because when you hate your neighbor you actually hate yourself. You’re neighbor has the same fears, aspirations and insecurities as you, even though he or she expresses them differently than you. We were placed here on Earth together to exchange those seemingly conflicting points of views to show each other possibilities that we could not see by ourselves or by others who see things exactly as we do.
It is said that fear is the mind killer and the ultimate attracter of death. Collectively, we Americans have feared many things over the course of my life. We feared the Soviet Union and nuclear war, we feared Islamic terrorists and we feared the loss of the ozone layer. But it appears the fear that will certainly kill us all, is our fear of each other. Looking back on 911 it turns out Bin Laden accomplished his mission after all. By instilling enough fear and hatred of Arab and African people to provoke us to set aside our most valued principles of ethics, morality and fair play in pursuit of revenge for 911, he eventually killed America. Bin Laden taught us how to fear and hate. Like any powerful habit you acquire you tend to apply it to everything you do in life. It was just a matter of time before we turned that fear and hatred on each other.
The thing that separated us from everyone else in the world was our trust in each other, our willingness to honor the principles of justice and democracy we evolved to over the four hundred years of our history. Now, it appears all that’s gone. It was all for naught. God help us.