For those that are easily disturbed by talk of demons and hell, fear not, this was simply a mental exercise.
My friend Bumble and I record a podcast called The Masquerade with Bumble and the Brit. It’s very silly and nerdy, and I love it. The subject of religion came up. As you may recall I love discussing religion, especially the expanded mythos. For example, the Christian religion has some interesting ideas about Angels and Demons that don’t originate from the modern Bible. In fact the image of hell has gained more inspiration from Dante’s Inferno, Paradise Lost, and underworld legends from older systems of belief.
Regardless of the origins of Hell, the majority of Christians believe that sinners and unbelievers will go there after they die. That may very well include me, if what a street evangelist in Lancaster, England told me is true. She was quite certain that, no matter what I had done, God would welcome me back with open arms. That is unless I had blasphemed against the Holy Spirit. That, she said, was an unforgivable sin.
I have done so, years before the woman in Lancaster gave me a look of heartbroken disappointment, and walked away. I had been a devout little Christian boy my whole life, I was in the Choir, and then an Altar boy after I was confirmed (Anglican Church, not Catholic). I had never really needed God for anything though. There were always parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and teachers there to help me out and make me feel protected and loved. Even the police were trusted adults that made me feel safe. It’s a shame that I assumed this was God’s love I was feeling, because those people who were there for me deserve far more respect and appreciation than I ever gave them. This article may upset a few of them since many of them are still believers, despite my disclaimers.
When I was about 15, and my Sister was 13, my parents went through a rough patch. They separated. It was an odd separation. Grandma Copeland, my Dad’s Mother, was already living next door so that we could keep an eye on her. My Dad moved into her guest bedroom, right next door. What happened afterwards was an adorable reconciliation, and my parents got back together. During this time though, my Sister and I were there for them. Being a somewhat typical fifteen year-old, my emotions were in flux, and felt very sorry for myself that I had no-one to turn to about them. Even the teachers seemed too busy to deal with me. I felt lonely, unloved. All very dramatic. I asked for a sign from God that I was not alone, and felt nothing, heard nothing. So I told the whole damned Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to go fuck themselves.
My Dad is a wonderful Man, but he made a rather dramatic change in his life also. He had been an Atheist. One of the cited reasons for the separation, was that Mum felt that Dad didn’t respect her Christian faith. He had begun going to an Alpha course at the Church I had once attended, to learn more about Jesus. It was during one of these meetings that my Dad saw an Angel. A brilliant living light, the rays stretched like wings. It seemed frustratingly unfair. After the rough patch had ended, every discussion I had with my Father about the old stories, the old beliefs, became an attempt to save my soul.
My Dad, of course, thinks the Lancaster lady was wrong. That I’m guaranteed a spot in heaven, whether I like it or not, because I’ve been confirmed. This, ironically, made me more determined not to follow a God that would resort to such trickery to secure souls! Condemned to Heaven, because I was naive. He can absolutely go Fuck Hisselves. Why would I want to go to Heaven if I have no choice? I’d rather go to Hell on general principle! So this brings us to what I was originally intending to discuss.
Again. Mental exercise. None of this is to be taken seriously. If we are going to Hell, it’s a choice we make in life. It seems to me that, if you’ve made that choice, that you don’t want to get there and find that you are to be tortured for eternity by demons. It’s accepted by most that the Demons are comprised not just of fallen Angels and entities spawned from the dark void, but also some of the cruelest souls from history. Monsters that were once man.
Wouldn’t you rather be a torturer than among the tortured? If you happen to like the idea of being tortured, your torture may, in fact, to be a torturer instead! Regardless, it’s better to be able to choose, than be a slave to the whims of others. It was suggested, during the podcast, that this could be the basis for a lucrative new religion! 🙂 Like minded sinners can hang out, compare stories of their misadventures, teach classes about certain sinful activities, basically does everything he can to prove ourselves the most worthy of daemonhood.
The churchgoers would be encouraged to help keep the church going, the recommended tithe being 10% of their income, on autopay. Attempts to gain power and influence, and summon daemonic patrons, through majical means or otherwise, will be actively encouraged. Church money would be readily available to anyone who needs it, on the understanding that the Church is entitled to maintain enough cash in the coffers to keep the place going, the founders well paid, and to be able to pay for other unexpected fees. Chances are that, as the Church gains notoriety certain religious and political groups would have to be paid off. Bribes and lawsuits aren’t going to be cheap! 3:)
Funnily enough, the conversation began because Bumble was suggesting I wear a white shirt with a black collar and call myself a Tsierp! That’s ‘ts’ as in ‘tsunami’. This is because my Dad is now a Priest, a Vicar technically, with a black shirt and white collar. I can’t imagine myself in white, but I could totally rock my Dad’s look! I’d give it my own twist of course, but it would be predominantly black. Perhaps it would become a popular practice among our church-goers to wear white dog-collars, chokers, or ties, against a black shirt to identify each other. If you want to add some color, you could go with a Cardinal’s red, or Bishop’s purple.
If people do begin doing this though, I shall assume of course that they are in on the joke and don’t actually take any of this seriously. I shall also only accept any money sent to me as a show of support for my writing career, and not a tithe toward the Church. After all, I’m just a fiction writer. All of this is just imaginative speculation. What power could I possibly have to ensure daemonhood or curse you to eternal slavery and torture?
Seriously though. This could be a great sub-premise for a story! Thanks Bumble!
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