- Religion and Philosophy»
- The Role of Religion in History & Society
Religious Freedom in America; No Shoes, No Shirt, No Christian Fundamentalism, No Service: A Speculative Editorial
Would You Boycott Heaven?
Author's Note: I will be referring to "God" as "He," as a matter of conventional convenience. I do this, always keeping in mind that, in addition to having no way of knowing if a "God" exists; and if so, we have no way of knowing what the "God" creature should be referred to as --- He?, She?, It?, They?
Let me ask you a question:
I understand that there is something of a small issue persisting in the United States of America today. It seems that there may, perhaps, be a tiny number of devoutly Christian business owners who desire to be good Soldiers of the Light, as they see it. Among other things, they seem to believe that what this requires of them is that they uphold "God's" Way in All Things, including proper sexual orientation.
They believe that homosexuality is a sin, that it is contrary to God's Way of Things, and that it is specifically prohibited in the Bible. It is not my purpose, today, to argue about what the Bible does or does not say about homosexuality.
Anyway, these devout business owners have their defenders. Some agree with them theologically and socially. Some of their defenders believe that they are within their rights, that they are legally expressing their "religious freedom." This, too, as far as I am concerned, is a debate for another time.
For the sake of argument, let us assume that the "God" creature has indeed, explicitly said that homosexuality is a sin; and that "He" clearly "wrote" it or caused it to be written very concretely and unequivocally, somewhere in the Bible. Furthermore, let us even assume, for the sake of argument, that the words and concepts of "gay," "lesbian," "transgender," "bisexuality," and "homosexuality," had been invented "back in Biblical Times."
Let us assume that its a wrap for humanity in physical form. Either a meteor has struck the planet; or man-made global warming has gotten the better of us; or we've been overcome by killer robots (either the ones we originally made to be our slaves, or alien killer robots); or maybe's we've finally finished ourselves off with global atomic war.
We, in spirit-form, are standing on line, waiting to get into Heaven. But then we start seeing Spirit-Forms being turned away from the Pearly Gates. It starts off as a few, then a trickle, then a bit more, and then more and more.
Now its hundreds. Now its thousands. Now its millions. Then somebody turns to one of the angels who is supposed to be the Guardian of the Entrance into Heaven --- either Archangel Peter or Gabriel, if one remembers correctly; and you say: "Hey, Pete! What's going on?"
"What do you mean, 'what's going on?'?"
And you gesture at the millions of Spirit-Forms being denied entrance into Heaven.
"What?" Pete says, "they are rejected as sinful."
"But so many?" you say in disbelief. "There are millions and millions passing by!"
Pete just shrugs.
"What did they do?" you say. You just have to know what all of those millions of souls could have done to deny them the fabled mercy of Jesus.
"They were homosexuals," Pete says casually. "That was a grievous sin, you know. It was clearly spelled out in the Bible. You read it, didn't you?"
"Yeah, but... you're really going to turn them away because of that?!"
"Not me," Pete says evasively. "Rules are rules. It is God's Law that turns them away."
What would you do upon hearing that?
I am not making any special claim to courage. But I, personally, hope that I would have the courage to walk away and boycott Heaven.
I am not necessarily saying that I would have the courage. It is just that, sitting where I am now, I would hope that I would have the courage to boycott Heaven, to walk away. I don't think a "Heaven" that would not admit the LGBT community is a place worth being for any "souls."
But how can you presume against the (hypothetically) clearly stated will of "God"? The clearly written Will of God?
Just because a thing is written down (even if it is "written in stone"), that doesn't make it right or just. In America, after all, slavery was written down. It was written down in the Constitution as "Our Peculiar Institution," and more explicitly in the constitutions of the original thirteen state colonies, with Massachusetts being the very first to formally legalize slavery in 1641, by the way.
And slavery was written down in the opinions of the courts which upheld it [i.e., the Dred Scott decision, and so on]. But it was wrong and unjust, as most of us know today.
Yeah, but you can't compare the actions of a sinful, ignorant, weak, corrupt, and trifling humanity to those of the Lord.
Why not? Why can't we say that, on the matter of refusing to admit gays into Heaven, that the "God" creature is being equally sinful, ignorant, weak, corrupt, trifling, and wrong as America was to feature slavery for 250 years on Earth?
You are playing a dangerous game with blasphemy!
Because The Lord is perfect and infallible.
Well... He says, of course. He has revealed His nature to his creatures through His Word.
And so on and so forth, of course.
Needless to say, finding independent, unbiased confirmation might prove difficult.
But I am asking this question very seriously: Would you boycott Heaven? I cannot know this, but I will tell you, again, very seriously: I think when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. heard about this --- about gays being denied entrance into Heaven --- he, and other of history's heroes would lead the walk out.
Martin Luther King, Jr., as you know, was the titular head of something called the Southern Christian Leadership Council, a component of the Civil Rights movement, on behalf of the social and political integration of the African American population into American life. By the way, something about his legacy that is not emphasized nearly enough was his dedication to economic justice on behalf of African Americans in particular, and the poor more generally.
But "Civil Rights," as far as social and political integration was concerned, was dedicated to the principle that identity-based exclusion and segregation is morally wrong. In my opinion, this movement cannot stop at the Pearly Gates for it to mean anything at all on Earth.
That's it. How about that: quick and painless for a change!
Thank you for reading!