Sunday, October 30, 2011
Baby, I was born this way...but what happens when I die?
Are there gay people in heaven? The answer is I don't know and I don't really think anyone else does either. Let's start with some of my basic assumptions. You may disagree, but for me it makes sense that there was something before this life and there will be something after this life. If there is nothing before and nothing after then I've really wasted my time. I should have raped, pillaged and stolen to get whatever I want whenever I want it. Why spend one minute concerned about anyone but yourself?
But humans seem to have an inherent need and ability for love and nurture, both to give and receive it. For me this speaks about a larger existence than the here and now. Without getting clinical in a definition of what the something before and the something after are, I believe they must exist.
So if the something before and the something after this life exist then what influence, if any, do they have on this phase of life? I don't believe we know. This is an easy area for religions to exploit, and they have done it with greed and gusto. Claiming to know more than the common people, religious leaders can and have used fear and the threat of punishment and/or the promise of glory to mold the actions of the followers. Give us money or you'll burn in hell is as old as the earth itself as are many other threats/promises of the afterlife.
Mormons are particularly good at explaining a person's stance in this life as either a blessing or a curse related to something a person did in the life before. Other religions, particularly in the far east do the same. However, no one has ever been able to provide any hard facts to support this notion. It is however, very satisfying to the "blessed" to claim that the "cursed" got what they deserved.
It always strikes me as interesting that the things the religious leaders like will certainly exist in the afterlife while the things the religious leaders don't like certainly will not. Hum...who's making up these rules, anyway?
As humans we are each very unique. We have our own personal set of strengths and weaknesses. The diversity of strengths and weaknesses is huge. A very small example: some of us have leadership, athletic, language, math, kindness, spirituality, and intuition ability beyond the norm. Did we bring some, or any, of these traits from a prior life and do we take any of them with us when we die or is it just random rolling of the DNA? I don't know.
I've heard at funerals for people with singing ability that they certainly will be singing with the choir in heaven. Does this hold true for folks like Freddie Mercury who also had obvious musical ability or just for the choir boys? I've also heard it said of leaders who die that they are helping to organize the afterlife. Does this apply to folks like Genghis Khan or just the christian religious leaders?
Or, do we all get reset at death with blank slates and the basket of gifts gets passed out again? Seems like a waste to start over with blank slates. I can imagine the gifted musician, or mathematician, or the person of physical beauty, being pissed off to have lost the gift he/she spent a life time with. Or maybe we all get everything. We all get to be beautiful and talented and smart, except that the people who already got that stuff on earth would be getting it twice, is that fair?
What does this have to do with being gay? Nothing much, except that I believe that churches need to be honest. If you believe that our individual characteristics and abilities are carried forward into the next life, it's pretty inconsistent to say that gay people don't exist in heaven.