Going where in a Handbasket!


I’m sad. My sister’s partner, Richard, passed late last week. He had been ill, but somehow the actual event was hard to deal with. He loved life and he loved my sister with a vengeance. There was very little you could say about this guy except, wow! When he was there, you knew it.So, we had a lovely funeral up where he lives in PA.

Some of the things I now know about this guy are that he was the consummate fisherman. He knew his Delaware River, he knew surf fishing on Sandy Hook and he loved his sport. He was also a hunter, but I don’t want to really think about that.


I also learned to my dismay, that he has a brother-in-law who is a preacher. A reverend, a pastor. A complete maniac. Here is what happened -After the wake and all the people came in, and there were lots there, believe me, we all quieted down and this pastor guy came up to the podium, hefting a well-worn bible and started in to talking.

First, he generalized about the life of Richard, which was very nice. Then, he suddenly went off after reading a couple of passages from scripture and a prayer, which was okay because it is king of tolerated at a funeral of a Christian guy. But he suddenly like, snapped, and instead of talking about Richard any mor

e, he introduced his agenda with a phrase something like “let’s try to find what the life of Richard can tell us about Jesus Christ.”Huh? I thought he was going to talk about poor Richard and that was that but, noooooo…

It went something like this – he started saying that Richard was like the guy in Hades (???) who wanted to say something to people he left behind about all he knows now. So he said why not Richard up in heaven wanting to tell us about what he know. Huh? Then the preacher feller said that God felt I guess on a personal level, that we were all sinners

here on earth. Guess why? Well, Adam and Eve! That’s where I started rolling my eyes. This guy had to be kidding. How can he stand there and seriously recall that the earth was without sin until little old Eve went and Did IT!!! And there he went off with the rant that God still loved us, even though we were now conceived in damnation and would not amount to a hill of beans here on the planet. So he (God, I mean) sent down Jesus to fix that.Oh, my. What a tirade we were subjected to. Basically it’s the usual Right-wing Christian thing that well, there was this earth that God of

course created in like 7 days. Then God made up the first people, Good o’l Adam and his girl Eve. Eve did some bad stuff and ate an apple at the behest of a snake. Okay are you following this so far? Of course every culture has to have its creation myth and I guess we’re stuck with this one. Anyway, God then turns A & E out of this perfect sinless place and they beget the whole friggin human race but the whole thing is messed up. Because of this big sin thing, everyone is worried about going off to Hell when they die. So God sends Jesus along to save us from ourselves.Poor Jesus. I can’t figure out how a normal person can believe in this virgin birth stuff. As a pagan, of course I feel it’s a nice story, but just represents som

e aspect of nature which, by the way, is not evil and full of sin. But it sounds like even the cows and the elephants were subject to this Hell stuff. More on that at the end.Jesus gets killed. No. He “allowed” himself to be killed. Okay again. We got washed in his blood. (This is kind of Catholic; something a priest would say. Not too offensive but disgusting.) Now we are eligible in the eyes (???) of God to get to go into Heaven. Wow.


It was just that he was looking me in the eye and stating that I had no business thinking that my life on earth was worth shit if I didn’t drop everything and agree with his nonsense. In fact, if I imagined him in a straight-jacket, it put everything into perspective.

After he almost gave me a heart attack because of his nasty accusatory attitude, I wan
ted to go up and give a public pagan blessing to Richard. I had nothing prepared of course, and I let it go. But when we finally filed past the mourning family and my sister and I turned to say bye to Richard, I bid him blessed be and made my pentacle in the air going widdershins, as this is the end of my earthly plane relationship with him. It was relieving, except that I could feel this nasty preacher watching this. I just wanted to get away from those crazy people and we jumped in the car and left.I hope I never see this maniac any more. Actually I was left confused. I needed clarification. First, where is Hades mentioned in the Bible? Second, when he was talking about Richard getting through the pearly gates, the preacher guy of course thinks that Richard will be fishing there. Now here’s the question: Are these fish he is now killing to eat, are they special dead fish that are in their own fish hell, or fake fish that don’t die, or angel fish at all?

I gotta go jump in a pond now.

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