Some of you may know that my stepdad has dementia, fell and broke his hip, can't walk or stand up, and can now barely talk. He's hard to understand but has said he is going downhill very fast. This is true and also why I have his papers and things now. This is what brought me to this discussion.
My mother has been dead now for over 6 years and in going through dad's stuff I found a book in remembrance of her. That's what the book said anyway. It had her name, birth and death date, and was a half inch thick. Inside is nothing but religious pictures and verses one right after the other. I know we were Pentecostal and they were very religious, but none of this helps me remember my mother. In fact, I don't recall mom saying any of the things in these verses unless it was tied to a sermon at church recently. It draws a big blank with me. What did my mother have to do with it?
Browsing info on relatives that dad had collected over the years I found a card from the funeral of my dead cousin Steve. The front side plainly has Jesus knocking at a door. Anybody who was ever religious has seen that picture. The back of the card has Steve's name, birth and death dates and then the 23rd Psalm. Am I to read this and believe everything is in god's hands and it's all OK? Back to the front side and Jesus stands at the door and knocks. How do I open that door if I'm dead? Oh, now I got it. You better get right with god before this happens to you.
Both cases here have too much about an invisible god and little or nothing about the person who has passed and has no life any longer. It's not about your loved one. Religion is advertising. They are playing upon your fears and advertising themselves. Instead this should all be a celebration of the life of the deceased. It isn't about that at all. It's about fear. Fear of god and fear of death.
That brings me to a point as I watched a scary movie. The frightened person prayed. "Now I lay me down to sleep." Most of us know the rest. It's a children's bedtime prayer from the 18th century. It's astounding how afraid we are. We think we have a soul rather than the fact that we are a soul. If we die in our sleep we want to have our invisible god take that soul. (Just imagine all of the horror that was taught if he didn't) We are taught to be very upset at the idea of that because of god's buddy the devil. How do any of the religious have any peace?
As for me, if I die in my sleep then I will never know it. Hey, not a bad way to go.
I still like Dr. Kellie's method of letting bible-thumpers self-select themselves away from bothering you:
Just now, I was in my kitchen ... when I looked out the large window above my sink. Two men were approaching with bibles in hand. Then, I realized they saw me. We made eye contact and I gave them a big smile. They stopped dead in their tracks and looked down, then slowly turned and walked away. I can only assume this is because I was not wearing a shirt, or a bra. Perhaps from this point on I will be answering the door shirtless. Should give the mormon boys something to talk about.
"what boobs are good for" -- lots of discussion there, by folks with and without the relevant anatomy.