CLASPED in this correspondent’s hand, a God botherer’s letter detailing all that surely awaits your columnist upon being damned and duly consigned to hell.
Beautifully, if rather shakily composed by what is obviously an ancient hand, the missive is (yea and certainly verily), a miracle of vituperation.
It includes much biblically inspired colourful allusion to ”heaping of coals on the head” if not reaping the non-specific vengeance of the Lord Almighty.
It’s all in Romans 12:19, apparently.
Again examining the letterwriter’s spidery handwriting, it seems hell hath no fury like the person examining sacred texts for interesting ways in which the believer’s holy hit man smites the alleged blasphemer.
Yet what has raised the mighty wrath of the sender may remain an eternal mystery.
Perhaps it was an essay published here in October last year remarking on the way the further south one travels in the US the more one discovers avowedly fundamentalist ”eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” Christian folks embracing the death penalty.
”Evangelicals believe the death penalty is a necessary weapon against Satan and their God demands it,” Australian writer Don Watson summed up Texas’s execution toll of an average 20 criminals a year.
We also pointed out that Creationists see being taxed to aid
charitable causes including the sick, the poor and jobless as paradoxically part of ”creeping socialism”.
The letter may have been a response to our bemused report that Americans, especially those 41 per cent describing themselves as evangelicals, have what University of California boffin Toby Miller described as a ”trance-like intimacy with their God”.
For Australians, according to Professor Miller, that’s akin to ”watching Shane Warne’s ball of the century or receiving one of his text messages”, even if we wondered how he knew about stuff like that.
And it came to pass that the letter’s arrival involved the miracle of the delivery itself, what with Australia Post having taken an extended Christmas-new year break.
A first thought was that the person sending it had got his own ass into gear after having had a surfeit of being nice to others, what with it being the season of goodwill.
All that church-going, praying, smiling, present-giving, wearing of funny tissue paper hats and blowing whizzers is bound to exhaust even the most benign party giver or goer.
Meanwhile, the mystery letter brought into focus the roiling battle over the actual existence, or otherwise, of Jehovah coincidentally being fought out in this newspaper.
Almost every day, such correspondence appears in this newspaper, some pointing out that but for Jehovah none of us would be enjoying the sort of life we have.
We are not sure whether there is a theologically driven wealth factor here, meaning that the more one is a true believer the more creature comforts one enjoys, possibly up to the level of a big jacuzzi, a new Beemer and even possibly a huge Tattslotto win for the truly serious genuflector.
Some believers have wielded the quill to claim that atheists, with their lack of a belief system, have nothing to contribute to the debate.
Trouble is, and let’s face it, believers do hold all the cards.
An atheist after shuffling off the mortal coil cannot say: ”There you are, told you, there’s no life after death, no heaven.”
The religious, no matter how smug or irritating they appear at times, are sure they are heading for serious time cloud-side strumming a harp, no matter if it’s all wishful thinking.
We leave the last word on this mystery of carking it to late American academic Sidney Morgenbesser, who towards the end of his long final illness, and as reported in last week’s edition of Australian Spectator groaned: ”Why is God making me suffer so much? Just because I don’t believe in Him?’
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.