Come on in, the water’s fine

Good ne-ews – any religion, every religion can get you into heaven, and even better than that, the absence of religion can get you there too. Stone the crows! So there are no entry requirements at all! We’re all saved, no matter how spotty or bad-tempered or unfunny.

According to the American public anyway. This isn’t actually a factual discovery, it’s just the outcome of an opinion survey. The news is actually just that ‘Americans think’ you can get into heaven if you’re a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Buddhist, or an atheist, among other possibilities. In other words ‘Americans think’ whatever they feel like thinking. Not really news at all then. Ah well.

That’s not my favourite part though; my favourite part is this:

Also, many Christians apparently view their didactic text as flexible. According to Pew’s August survey, only 39 percent of Christians believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, and 18 percent think that it’s just a book written by men and not the word of God at all.

I love that ‘only’ – only 39 % of Christians believe that God actually wrote the bible in the same sense in which I am writing this. The 18% who think the bible is written by humans is equally risible – only 18% of a large segment of the population actually accept the blindingly obvious: that the bible, like other books, was written by human beings. The roughly 40% in between those two presumably believe the usual intermediate offering: that god ‘inspired’ human beings to write the bible – so that actually 80% of a large segment of the population believe that that ragbag of stories and poetry and bloodcurdling threats was to some extent made by a supernatural being who doesn’t make house calls. ‘Only’ about 80% of Christians believe raving nonsense.

And I can go to heaven with them. Terrific. I’d really rather not.

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