Wayne Holland: Nothing in Particular


Christians and Heaven

December 26, 2012 ...


Christians, in most cases, are of the conservative ilk, what with their open revulsion towards the gay crowd, and virtual meltdown over abortion. I suppose that there are some in their camp who are of a more liberal persuasion, but probably not very many.

I remarked in Christians and Republicans that I truly do not understand this predilection to align themselves with a party, or ideology, that doesn't seem to give a damn about the poor, when the Man who serves as the centerpiece of their faith most emphatically did. Furthermore, that Man said not a single word that I am aware of about either homosexuality or abortion.

I feel inclined to further advance my ongoing attack on them with a quick examination of the subject of "heaven". In the essay, Religious Matters, I recalled how I first began to have doubts about the faith that was served to me by my mother (primarily) on the day when I began to seriously ponder the heaven thing.

Surely (one would surmise) there are no economic disparities there. Everyone would be virtually the same with respect to their needs, if indeed there were such a thing as needs in heaven. (I can easily imagine a clear majority of Christian apologists responding to this by assuring us that there are no needs in that world of perfect bliss.)

The very thought this, however (of being devoid of needs), has a way of literally stopping me dead in my tracks. Think about it. No needs? Not so much as a single one? Do we not need to have needs? What form of interest would our lives contain if we had no needs?

Go ahead. Do the thought experiment yourself. Try to imagine not having any needs. What would motivate you? If you had no needs, why would you ever do anything?

I fully believe that if you needed nothing you would also desire nothing. We have all heard the aphorism that suggests that sometimes what you need is what you want.

I have tried to make the case that God has no needs (Apathy), being the perfect Being that IT is. As such, it is difficult (if not downright impossible) to imagine that IT would ever do anything, that IT would ever take any sort of action, such as the action of making a universe, or inspiring a holy book.

That being the case, would the Christian mindset be willing to accept the possibility that heaven is a place where they will all become God? I somehow feel that Christians would recoil at such a thought. It does after all seem to be at the very heart of Christian philosophy that God and Man are separated. They are different things, in spite of the fact that Man is supposedly made in God's image.

Whatever. I digress. I did not intend to go down this path, however compelling a diversion it might be. What I really had in mind was tackling the idea that heaven, when we take a good hard look at it, seems nothing less than a form of euphoric communism.

Of course I mean communism in the sense of community, not that dreadful masquerade of a political persuasion that the Soviet Union did such a horrible job with. I always used to argue (when the USSR was still around) that it gave communism a bad name. Today China is giving it the bad press (if we can honestly call what they are doing over there communism, which I am inclined to doubt).

If heaven is indeed a place where everyone will be on a sort of perfectly equal footing with respect to what they have (in terms of food, clothing and shelter), where there will be (according to Jesus himself) no rich, and therefore no poor, since the rich literally make the poor by virtue of their excessive wealth in the first place, it is difficult for me to dismiss the idea that it will indeed be a communistic society.

And I don't really have a problem with this utopian fantasy per se, if that was all there were to it. My problem lies in the fact that the Christians are basically (if not downright earnestly) conservative, which means (if nothing else) that they are staunchly opposed to communism. This is where I get stuck. It doesn't quite make sense.

They believe that they will someday go to a place where a form of communism will be practiced. In fact, they look forward (and most ardently) to such a day. But if that is so (and I truly believe it is), then why are they not proponents of communism now? Why would Christians be such staunch supporters of capitalism in this life, while so eagerly anticipating communism in the next one?

Jesus admonished his disciples to pray for God's kingdom to come, not for the privilege to someday go to it. Jesus was an advocate (a very passionate advocate) for the establishment of God's kingdom (of pristine communism) on the earth, not in heaven.

" ... Thy will be done in Earth as it is in heaven."

It makes sense, then, that Christians should do the same, pray for God's kingdom to be established on the Earth, as it is in heaven. In other words Christians should be actively campaigning for a more socialistic form of government, which means that they should stop being such sycophantic supporters of capitalism, and the government that supports it.

I believe this so strongly that I have come to think of Christians who are so clearly, and unabashedly, in full support of our government, and its highly insensitive pursuit of capitalism, as Christian whores (in much the same way that I think of someone who uses a can of cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving as a Thanksgiving whore).

This means that the entire Evangelical movement is little more than a camp of Christian tramps. They are a big part of the group about which Jesus once said,

I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
(Matthew 7:23)

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