Tag Archives: Religion

Everyone automatically goes to heaven?

“So how did you figure this out exactly?” The pope asks the government officials sent to see him about the problem.

“That’s hardly the problem.” The US official said exasperatedly. “We’re more concerned with the millions dying every day than the research that led to this.”

“All the same.” The pope said. “I have not seen the report myself, only the news stories. So tell me, how was this discovered?”

The US official sighed and put his head in his hands, but the Italian official spoke up. “There was a news story a couple months back about a couple near death experiences of death row victims who all reported seeing lights, hearing angels, and just generally having an experience of heaven when they died.” The official explained. “This prompted some psychology students to go do a survey of near death experiences of convicts which then discovered that all convicts, when they had a near death experience, reported similar visions of the afterlife. The study got leaked before it got sent out for review, and the rest is history.”

“Has the study been published?” The pope asked.

“No.” The Italian official responded.

“Well, it doesn’t matter anyway. Contact the medical college in charge of investigating miracles, the WHO, the CDC, and any other legitimate biological research community. Have them forward you all the relevant studies on brain chemistry of people in various near death situations. They will no doubt demonstrate to you that when people nearly die their brains can enter a state similar to that of a drug addict. Dying does substantially affect brain chemistry you know. Once you get the news outlets to start circulating the studies I will contact my brethren in the Christian, Islamic, and jewish communities to begin circulating the relevant theological background. I will also personally forward to you gentlemen a few papers that have postulated the following. 1: The devil is very good at deceiving. 2: This is nothing new. 3: People who don’t actually die haven’t actually seen the after life. They do call it a ‘near’ death experience afterall.”

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Apocalypse cancelled

“Scientists are now reporting they did the calculations in English instead of metric. We actually have another twenty thousand years to live.” The news report had come in at 12:07, seven minutes after the world was supposed to end.

No government had survived the ensuing chaos. Every last politician had defaced themselves beyond repair, those that weren’t lynched and hung that is, and the militaries of the world had taken the opportunity to fire every last round of non-nuclear ammunition that they had. After all, the world was supposed to go out with a bang right?

The world had now divided into three factions, the people who had lost everything, the people who had. prepared properly because they knew it wouldn’t, and the people who had gotten all the money and resources from the people who had panicked.

The scientists and religious which made up the second group were an odd mix. There were skeptical scientists who had done the math themselves, and realized they weren’t going to die, and the very religious who had either not partied relentlessly, or had known through some religious dogma they would be fine. These two groups now found themselves working closely together as they were the protagonists of the post-apocalyptic world.

The victims of the apocalypse were those that had committed horrible crimes, or had squandered their wealth needlessly. Most of the world was penniless, or on the run from the families of those they had killed or robbed. Mostly penniless though, so much food and gas had been depleted in the final hours, and the people had been shuffled all over going to their dream vacation spots to die. People woke up in countries they did not know the language of, and no way to get home. Borders meant nothing anymore, no remained inside the countries to enforce the borders, since they were now scattered and broke.

Which left the winners of the fake apocalypse, those that now finding themselves drunk with power and stuffed to bursting with ill-gotten gains. It was the gangs, the hardened criminals, and the shrewd couple of businesses who had wagered the world would not end. The gangs had banded together to protect themselves from last minute police or opposing gang retaliations. The hardened criminals had all sprung from jail, and spent the night amassing stockpiles of everything they had missed, and the businessmen had made highly illegal deals to consolidate the world’s power.

They formed a hierarchy, the businesses contacting the gangs to enforce their new laws, and the gangs hiring the criminals for their resources and illegal knowledge. The businesses spread outward, bringing more and more gangs under their belt, and utilizing their company resources to spread far and wide. A burger chain took the east coast of the United States by storm. A famous rapper dominated the west coast, and the middle was controlled by a mess of smaller steakhouses and land owners.

Smaller island nations like Japan, Iceland, and New Zealand were taken over by an airliner who used their fleet to land gangs at key supply points to control the flow of resources. Australia’s inhabitants had all either died or gone into the bush. Africa was overrun with medical corporations. The middle east was taken by oil. Some small business owner who had gotten hold of nuclear weapons was now running India. Cartels ran Central and South America, and Europe had splintered into hundreds of small warring states.

The Vatican gathered to it all the world’s scientists and religious leaders, using its influence, and the Swiss guards, to control Italy. They rallied to the call of any people who could reach them to call for help. They invented new planes and boats for rapid international travel, and new crops for food distribution. The religious institutions used their experience in aid delivery around the world to make sure the supplies got into the right hands, and the scientists saw they had the means to deliver them.

It is now a slow battle with the church and scientific community fighting inch by inch to take back civilization. They pray every night before they sleep that the smaller disjointed corporate states do not band together and wipe them out.

Election of the gods

In an effort to modernize, the Greek gods hold democratic elections.

“Settle down everyone.” Athena said. Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades, the big three, were all standing at the podiums awaiting the start of the debate. Zeus was sharing a laugh with Dionysus.

“Father.” Athena said, mildly angrily, at Zeus. “We must begin, the mortals are awaiting our decision. The Norse gods elected Thor the head of their pantheon two weeks ago and if we have any hope of maintaining our number of believers we need to make this quick.”

“I’m sorry.” Zeus said, whipping away a tear of mirth. “Please continue.” Hades was glaring sideways at him, he still suspected Zeus had cheated in the drawing of straws that had earned him his place on the mountain. Poseidon was looking off into the distant ocean, and Hermes had to give him a poke to refocus his attention

“Thank you.” Athena replied, returning to her stately bearing. “As I was saying, welcome to the first annual debate of the gods. You three are the major contenders, and so have been chosen to debate. We have chosen the questions carefully and each of you will have a chance to respond.”

“First question, where do you stand on paid advertising at temple entrances. Poseidon, your response first.” Athena said, in a very careful measured voice.

“Hmm, what?” He said, having become once again distracted by the ocean in the distance. “Oh, uh, I guess advertising is bad. Place of worship and all.” He didn’t even finish his sentence before looking back out at the ocean.

“Hades?” Athena prompted.

“Now then, I propose that the situation is not bifurcated in nature and requires a thorough investigation as to the advantages and disadvantages. I believe that this investigation will demonstrate that some advertising, if kept to an acceptable and not outlandish nature will be acceptable.” Hephaestus had yawned halfway through his speech.

“Zeus?” Athena asked.

“More money!” Zeus shouted. This brought a laugh from the crowd of assembled deities. Athena shook her head and turned back to Poseidon.

“Second question.” Athena was cut off before she could finish.

“I’m sorry.” Poseidon interjected. “I really have to get back to my kingdom, can we just vote for who gets to be head god now?” Athena sighed. She had a twenty point list of hot button issues, but several gods were already falling asleep and they had barely started.

“Fine.” She exasperatedly put a hand to her forehead. “All in favor of Poseidon becoming head of Olympus?” Everyone but herself, Dionysus, and Hephaestus raised their hands.

“What!” Hades shouted. “The fool doesn’t know the first thing about governing!”

Hermes shrugged. “He seems to manage well enough, and he’s not going to overcomplicate things like you.”

“Overcomplicate things!” Hades yelled. Before he could find more words to say Poseidon interjected again.

“Great, thanks everyone, now I gotta get back to the sea. Zeus gets to rule while I’m gone.” Zeus whooped for joy. Athena buried her face in her hands, Hephaestus and Dionysus high fived Zeus, and Hades went back to the underworld in a shrieking ball of flame.

Deus Ex Machina

Man makes a computer that is literally god.

“Alright, we just got clearance from the president, fire her up.” The machine is massive to say the least. Someone got poetic and actually turned Mount Olympus in Greece into a giant Deus Ex Machina. Kind of a heavy handed analogy, and something that had taken the world’s religions some coaxing to accept.

Well, most the world’s religions. The pope, a couple sheiks, a few Buddhists, and some prominent members of the jewish community had all agreed to it rather quickly. Too quickly, as the scientists were finalizing the initialization sequence they looked quite calm.

The scientists kept glancing over their shoulders at the religious people who were chatting idly as they watched the giant monitor flick on. The scientists held their breath, and waited for something miraculous to happen.

One of the scientists whooped for joy as he was lifted into the air by an invisible hand. They had done it! They had created god!

“Shut me down.” The machine boomed. That was an odd request for a god to make. Before we could think to ask why it anticipated our actions and continued. “There is already a god here, and he is more powerful than I.” The scientists looked dumbfounded as their compatriot was let down so he could start the shutdown sequence.

The religious people exchanged a few knowing smiles and light chuckles before the pope walked over to the head scientist and patted him on the back. “Don’t take it too hard. Someone comes up with an idea like this every couple of hundred years.”

Going to hell

Hell is real, and everyone goes there when they die. Audio of this story can be found at: http://clyp.it/pr413b1i Things had gone cold, numb, and dark, and then suddenly reversed themselves. I was laying down, now I was standing up, and it was as bright as summer at midday, and warm too. My closed eyes were opened and I saw a great line of people stretching forward toward a gate. I did it. I had died. Now I was on my way to my eternal reward. I looked up at the heavenly gate, and saw inscribed in gold above it ‘Abandon all hope ye who enter here’. There must be some mistake! I had lived a good life, I had followed the commandments, never missed a church service. I was a good man! I tried to turn around and walk away, but my feet kept taking me forward, and I couldn’t look away. It was like some great hand was pushing me towards this eternal fate. I now saw there were great fires roaring above the gates, and could hear distant sounds and awful sounds. “It’s alright son.” A middle aged man in front of me said. “We are all going to the same place.” “It can’t be!” I shouted back to him. “It can’t!” Did he say we all go to the same place? “Did you say we all go to the same place!” He nodded. “That’s right son.” He sounded so calm! How could he sound calm? Didn’t he know where we were going? “Don’t you know where we’re going!” I shouted at him. Again, he nodded, still calm as ever. The sounds were louder now, I could make them out to be screams. We were over halfway to a burning eternity. Without a hint of fear in his voice he responded. “We are all going together. That’s how it’s always been. That’s how it always will be.” I couldn’t believe this. Hell was here, that means god existed right? Did he have such high standards? Did he think no one was worth saving? “But why?” I demanded of him. “Is no one saved from this.” The man shook his head. How could he not be weeping with terror from this? “It’s not so bad.” The man told me in a level voice. “We’ll all be there together.” He sounded comforted by the thought, and yet. As he said this, my fear lessened, just a hair. Part of me had feared that hell meant being separated from everyone, being alone forever. Now, if what this man said was true, I would have company. Would that be so bad? “Does that mean my parents will be here?” I asked him. “And my wife? And the three children she lost before she could carry them to term?” He nodded. My heart rose. I still dreaded what was coming, but it was more like the fear of getting on a roller coaster. You dreaded the moment, maybe even feared for your life, but it wasn’t the worst thing. We were almost to the gate now, and I could pick out individual voices. In a minute it would be all over. “Have faith friend.” The man in front of me said. Have faith? In what? In god? He had sent us all here. I couldn’t imagine why I should have faith in him. He had forsaken us. “Why has god forsaken us?” I asked my friend. We had reached the gates now, and it was my friend’s turn to step into the fire. He turned around, and held out his hands to me. I gasped. There were holes from nails in both of his hands. I could move my head now, and looked down to see holes in his feet as well, and I knew that face. It didn’t look exactly like it did in the movies, but it was close enough to be recognizable. “Jesus.” I said, my voice low. I felt like I should kneel or something. He had said everyone comes here, and I didn’t realize that included god’s own son. “Come friend.” He told me. I looked into his face. It would be alright. I realized. Here was a man willing to die for me, and then take me by the hand to eternal damnation. “You know what.” I told him, reaching out to take one of his hands and step into the fire. “I think I would rather spend eternity burning with you, then one day in heaven by myself.” Jesus smiled at my words as we stepped forward, and I felt an intense burning sensation that made we want to cry out. This was it, an eon of pain. Then it vanished. I felt a cool pleasant breeze and something soft beneath my feet. I looked down and saw not fire, but a cloud. I looked up to see the face of Jesus again. His smile had broadened. “All those times you went to church. You weren’t choosing between fire or clouds.” He told me. “You were choosing between yourself and me. So when I bled out and descended to the dead. I returned the favor and chose you over me.” He swept his hand outward to show a vast expanse of gold robed figures on clouds that were assembled like a football stadium as far and as high as the eye could see. “And so did all these people choose others before themselves.” I marveled at the expanse of it, and I now felt that the breeze had a spirit to it that warmed me, and there was now an older man at my side putting his hand around my shoulder. “Let us go together.” The old man told me in the most reassuring voice I ever heard. “You chose an eternity with us, and you shall have it. All our family and friends are right this way.”