by Bill van Druten
A recent news item reported that almost all Americans are sure they are going to heaven. I have talked to some of them and I discovered that they will be flying on separate planes. You get your ticket from whatever cult you have selected but each one has its own airline.
They were all shocked that I wasn’t scheduled and each one pressed me to join his/her sect. They told me that eternity is a good long time and the flight is not so short either. I should get good seats right away.
I went to the nearby pastor and said I wanted to book some reservations. He put his arm abound my shoulder and led me to his sanctuary. Bill, if you put in with us it is a sure bet you’ll be in first class seating for your trip to the big fluffy cloud at Foreverland. All you have to do is get faith and I can supply that for you if you join up.
I thanked him but wanted to shop around. There was a more impressive church across the street and I poked in there. I got a warm welcome, a firm handshake and a reassuring smile. But the conversation left me unsettled. The minister said that the pastor across the street was a fool and sure to roast in hell. No, Bill, faith without good work is useless and at our place you contribute some money and we hire folks to do the good work for you. I said I needed to think it over and he said that was fine but I should hurry as a fiery doom hung over me.
So I went to the church on the other corner and asked the pastor if I signed on with him would I go to heaven. He got right to the point. Look Bill the decision has already been made. We are each predestined for the heavenly choir or the hot place; there is nothing we can do about it. Your minister and your pastor are just whistling Dixie. Nice tune but won’t get you squat upstairs. But if you are a tenor I can get you predestined and you are on your way with Calvin AIR Express.
Air Islam office was on the same block so I checked in. The owner had just stepped out of the shower and had his head wrapped in a towel. Oh, yes, we have an immediate seating plan. And you fly with some really nice virgins too. We can get you reservations. You only need to blow up yourself and a load of infidels and a building, that’s thirty-six virgins. But two buildings, you get seventy two virgins.’ The virgin part was tempting but the blow up part was less inviting.
The last option on that block was a cathedral. The priest made me sit in a little ticket booth where he explained it all to me through a grill, Oh, those cults, ignore them! Just get to a priest for a confession before you croak and all is well. You roll the beads and do some Bloody Marys, a nice donation is good and you’re in. It even works for our guys that diddle the little boys and girls. They are all up there you know. First class tickets and no waiting for check in.
You can be sure that I was plenty confused. Five confirmed tickets to heaven but each had a different flight plan. And here is the hard part. Each cult was absolutely certain that the others were false superstitions. I thought and thought. I figured that some of them must be wrong, but which ones. I thought some more until I saw the light. They all were frauds! I decided I would just die and be done with it. I didn’t want to be anywhere with those liars.