Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Greatest Mystery of All

What happens when we die? Purgatory? Heaven? Hell? Or the big black nothingness that engulfed us before we were borne?

I do not intend to spark a religious debate. I merely ask the question, because as most Native American tribes believe, death is the biggest mystery of all. No one who has died is able to tell us. No one alive can look over that hill and see what's on the other side. Death has to be the biggest mystery of all, and there are no answers, only beliefs, and faith, and certain big mouth preachers who KNOW the truth because they read it in the Bible.

All of this comes by way of a funeral, the passing of a friend, and the way in which his death was ceremonialized, the way his afterlife was promised to all in attendance if only we would accept the preacher's faith. Certain that this man of God would soon bring out a tub of water, I left a little early to avoid being baptized. My deceased friend walked out with me, I'm sure of it. He didn't like being used as a recruiting tool.

Shame on you, Mr. Preacher. That funeral was supposed to be about my friend, not your weekly attendance figures.


Anonymous said...

So sorry, Jano. And folks wonder why formalized religion gets such a bad rap.

I'm sure your friend left with you. And appreciated the folks who were there to celebrate his life, and not the circus that ensued. He knew why you were there, and you knew why you were there, and that's what matters.

Lift a cold one in his honor - he's probably doing the same to you, somewhere.

Anonymous said...

The best tribute of all for Terry was walking out. He would have smiled at that.

Austin Carr said...

So when TFA's wife came home last night, she said, "Who's this Beth?" It was the first time she'd been to my blog. And that's a nice profile shot, young lady.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Austin. I'm flattered. Please give Mrs. TFA my best. And I hope his week gets better soon. Sometimes life just sucks.

jnantz said...

As a Christian, I'm always uncomfortable when a preacher turns someone's visitation or funeral into an alter call. Even if the intent really is to draw people to salvation, and not to up the weekly attendance, I'm still not crazy about the practice. I understand the honest rationale behind it, but that doesn't really put me more at ease with it.

Again, I'm sorry to hear about your friend, but I hope he's at peace (or partying) wherever he is, and that his loved ones eventually receive some peace as well.