Monday, August 21, 2006

Are you going to Hell?

From The Weekly World News:
Chances are, you're going to Hell, says a Bible scholar.

"Ninety-nine out of 100 people are damned," says Jacob L. Pinewood, professor of divinity at Holy Moses College in Jarvis, Australia.

"My research indicates God hates us. That's why He made His rules so ridiculous that the average person will never get into heaven."

But you may be one of the lucky few, says Pinewood, author of the handy guide So, You're Going To Hell. According to Pinewood, if you answer: "I sayeth yes," to any of the following situations, you should pack for a warm climate when the Grim Reaper calls your name.

You're going to Hell if you:

* Can name 10 beers but not one of the Ten Commandments.

* Think WWJD stands "What Would J.Lo Do?"

* Are a whoremonger.

* Can't stand harp music.

* Wear white after Labor Day.

* Have built a shrine to Michael Jackson, even a small one.

* Have severed heads in your freezer.

* Have occasionally asked God to damn something for you.

* Have considered selling your soul for a Mercedes convertible.

* Sometimes use the Lord's name in vain, especially when you can't find the TV remote or stub your toe in the dark.

* Have watched a movie with graphic violence, brief nudity, sexual themes or adult language.

* Use the F word more than once a day.

* Felt powerful and satisfied after squashing an insect.

* Have engaged in sexual acts for reasons other than procreation.

* Have undressed people with your eyes at family reunions.

* Don't understand what's so bad about alcohol since it makes you feel so good.

* Ever fell down because you drank too much. "The Bible says, 'Thou mayest swayeth on thy feet,' " says Pinewood.

* Ever laughed at or imitated a mentally or physically handicapped person. "This is especially difficult as the rule includes midgets with big heads," says Pinewood.

* Ever had a bath or shower with someone of the opposite sex.

* Ever had a bath or shower with someone of the same sex.

* Are a homosexual, transsexual, heterosexual or metrosexual.

* Ever rolled your eyes at the mention of Mother Teresa.

* Make a practice of stepping on sidewalk cracks.

* Belong to any organized religion. "Every religion believes the members of every other religion are going to hell," explains Pinewood. "And since you can only belong to one religion at a time, it's a Catch 22 situation."

* Covet your neighbor's wife, husband, car, house, donkey or any of their household appliances.

Of course, they left off the big one - you know you're going to hell if you write articles for one of the tabloids!

Frankly, I suspect I would get every bit as accurate a presentation of Christianity from "Dr. Pinewood" at Holy Moses as I would from ETSS or most of the other mainline (and half the Catholic) seminaries in this country. And yes, that is a very sad commentary.

Regarding the Weekly World News, it is certainly the best of the tabloids, focusing far less on the pecadillos of Hollywood stars and far more on two-headed, mutant, man-eating badgers. Back in my lab days, when my boss was promoted to a named professorship, I bought him a subscription to the Weekly World News. Every week, it showed up in his campus mailbox., addressed to "Dr. Jon D. Nameless, Benjamin Nameless Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, etc." They were wonderful - little got done in the lab on the day the Weekly World News showed up!

Some years later, working for my current company, I got in a dinner discussion with one of the Big Bosses about our divergent opinions of the New York Times, with which Commie dishrag newspaper he was totally enamored. I decided to get him a subscription to a news source of equal journalistic value, so - you guessed it. Every week to his office address.

I always thought it must be a really fun job to write for the tabloids. I have read that it pays quite well, since - once someone has hired on at a shop like Weekly World News - their journalistic career is effectively over. Unfortunately, I can't help thinking that a practicing Christian might run into the occassional ethical dilemma. Pity...