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What Would You Tell St. Peter?


R. S. Martin
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The visit was a compromise on my part. I wanted to learn more family history from an aging uncle. I knew he and his wife--and my cousin with whom I was going--loved to talk religion. So they're fundamentalist Christians and that is what these fundamentalist Christians do. All except the aunt by marriage remember going to church by horse and buggy though none of us do it anymore.

 

I played a very low-key role in the god-talk parts of the visit. I wasn't there to stir the pot. I'd told them all at some time or another in the past that I didn't believe in God.

 

Suddenly, my aunt asserted that she didn't know where I stood, and launched into a speech about St. Peter admitting people into heaven, and what justification people give for why they should be admitted. Of course, it's all fiction, she said, but it made her think. She wanted to know what justification I would give.

 

The question felt really weird. I am an atheist. I have no reason to think there is an afterlife and demanding entrance where I'm not invited seems rather odd, especially at a place that does not exist. I think Peter should let qualified people in without their having to justify it. Yet I had resolved not to rock the boat. This woman had stated earlier that in her opinion atheists get themselves cremated when they die out of defiance [to God, I think was her meaning.] She very clearly has no understanding of what atheism is or implies. But she wanted an answer from me.

 

I replied that I think I should be admitted because I spent my life seeking to know and practice truth. I did not eleborate what I meant by "truth," and nobody asked. She told me, quoting an esteemed authority, that she does not feel worthy of being admitted except for what Christ has done for her. I guess that is the right answer. "Of course, it's all fiction," she said again. I think she meant about St. Peter. In my mind, fiction is something one does not believe is true.

 

Quoth I, "That's why it's so difficult--it's hard to answer a question about something I don't believe."

 

After her own repeated statement about fiction, there was nothing she could say in response to my open confession of unbelief. wicked.gif

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well,,, should i see Peter outside the gates, would say to him,,,, "i offered a stranger a glass of water...."

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I'd ask Pete why heaven has a gate and a bouncer.

 

mwc

 

Excellent.3.gif

 

But the question is: Why should St. Peter let you in?

 

He probably wouldn't if you asked critical questions, ya know, he being religious and all.

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The visit was a compromise on my part. I wanted to learn more family history from an aging uncle. I knew he and his wife--and my cousin with whom I was going--loved to talk religion. So they're fundamentalist Christians and that is what these fundamentalist Christians do. All except the aunt by marriage remember going to church by horse and buggy though none of us do it anymore. I played a very low-key role in the god-talk parts of the visit. I wasn't there to stir the pot. I'd told them all at some time or another in the past that I didn't believe in God. Suddenly, my aunt asserted that she didn't know where I stood, and launched into a speech about St. Peter admitting people into heaven, and what justification people give for why they should be admitted. Of course, it's all fiction, she said, but it made her think. She wanted to know what justification I would give. The question felt really weird. I am an atheist. I have no reason to think there is an afterlife and demanding entrance where I'm not invited seems rather odd, especially at a place that does not exist. I think Peter should let qualified people in without their having to justify it. Yet I had resolved not to rock the boat. This woman had stated earlier that in her opinion atheists get themselves cremated when they die out of defiance [to God, I think was her meaning.] She very clearly has no understanding of what atheism is or implies. But she wanted an answer from me. I replied that I think I should be admitted because I spent my life seeking to know and practice truth. I did not eleborate what I meant by "truth," and nobody asked. She told me, quoting an esteemed authority, that she does not feel worthy of being admitted except for what Christ has done for her. I guess that is the right answer. "Of course, it's all fiction," she said again. I think she meant about St. Peter. In my mind, fiction is something one does not believe is true. Quoth I, "That's why it's so difficult--it's hard to answer a question about something I don't believe." After her own repeated statement about fiction, there was nothing she could say in response to my open confession of unbelief. wicked.gif

 

 

I might tell St Peter the same thing I tell Santa Claus.

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I once saw a cartoon (printed, not animated) where a Klansman, pointy-hat and all, was standing before the pearly gates. And St. Peter was a black man. The Kluxer's thought bubble said "oh, shit."

 

Well, if I found myself standing before St. Peter, I'd ask him the following: "are the fundies right or are the liberals right?" If the latter, I would do a Snoopy-style happy dance. I imagine the liberal Christian heaven as being along the lines of a Scandinavian daycare center for dead people, or along the lines of some 1960s 'ashram' full of white bourgeoisie and minus the good drugs and easy poon-tang. Not my personal idea of heaven, but still a damn sight better than roasting in blue flames for all eternity while giant hookworms eat their way up my asshole.

 

If the former was the case, that the fundies were right all along, I'd be well and truly fucked. From all that I was ever taught about the Lord and His Awesome Majesty, I wouldn't even get the chance to mouth off before He pulled the lever. I'd be too busy shitting my pants while groveling before the throne in absolute terror. Face it, if that shit's for real, you're all going to find yourselves in that position, whether you're a clever, snarky atheist or a hippy dippy liberal Christian. You will hysterically offer to suck his dick and lick his balls for 100,000 years and you'll fucking mean it, and He'll just smite you the fuck down, you little worm. "Why ought I grant thee the privilege of servicing My Rod and Staff when I can simply createth 75 young Naomi Campbell clones for that very task with but a snap of Mine Fingers?" That's just how awesome and mighty and scary the fundie God is.

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I started to answer the question and (no offense) quickly realized that I can't think of a worse way to spend my time. I know Christianity is false and that Christians worship a false god, and would sooner expect Gandalf than St. Peter. Peace!

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I'd ask Pete why heaven has a gate and a bouncer.

 

mwc

 

Excellent.3.gif

 

But the question is: Why should St. Peter let you in?

 

He probably wouldn't if you asked critical questions, ya know, he being religious and all.

So no questions?

 

Because I'd love to ask 'Who died and put you in charge?'

 

Maybe the best course of action is to not say anything and just loiter for eternity? Seems if you get turned down you get the bums rush into the hot box but apparently you can just sort of mill about if you don't bother. Since I apparently won't need to eat, sleep or use the bathroom anymore and praising doesn't sound appealing I guess the "limbo" of "gate-life" seems alright. I'll just not bother giving St. Pete my ID and hang about with whoever else I can turn to my way of thinking.

 

mwc

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"Well, I'll be damned!"

 

Really, if I somehow found myself at the Pearly Gates looking up at St. Peter, that's the first thing that would come to mind.

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