FURTHERMORE GETS AN AMEN
Itís a warm Sunday in Phoenix and my Masonic raven brother Furthermore and I are practicing religious activities of our own choosing. Iíve just besought Devine eternal punishment on the referee of a sporting event on television and Furthermore is taking up an offering. Religion down here in the great caverns below my house is something of a freelance affair, obviously.
Actually, Furthermore and I seldom discuss religion. This has nothing to do with our Lodge manners. Itís just that it is right up there with politics and sex on the list of things we know very little about. What we do know about those subjects, we heard from someone else and weíre a bit shaky about their credibility.
We have noticed, however, that all major religions seem to have the same basic end. If you are good and abide by their precepts, when you die you will go someplace else, usually someplace nice, probably heaven.
My first experience with the concept of the Hereafter came when I was a high school student. I went to pick up my date for Friday evening. Her father met me at the door and said, ďLetís discuss the Hereafter.Ē I agreed. He said, ďGood, because I know what youíre here after.Ē Hence the reason we donít discuss sex much anymore, either.
But I digress.
As I said, the old bird and I have figured out that if we mind our manners we could go someplace great, someplace even better than Scottsdale, Arizona. The problem seems the definition of what sort of place it is, exactly. I mean, most mainline religions seem to have the heaven thing pretty well established.
Itís the minor or cult religions that really concern us. Let us cite, as you were afraid we would, some appropriate examples we have discovered in our extensive research (an evening with three martinis, each. Thatís graduate work for us.)
Consider, for example, the Frisbeeterians. They believe when you die, your soul sails into the sky and lands on the roof.
Or the Californiterians. They disagree with the Frisbeeterians, which appears to be a subcult of the Californiterians. They think when you die your soul becomes a traffic cone on an L.A. freeway.
Then thereís the Pigskinolics. They have a fundamental disagreement, as well. One branch thinks that your soul goes to an end zone in Green Bay. The dissidents think it is an end zone in Lincoln, Nebraska. And as far as the Arizona State University Sun Devils, well, itís pretty clear where theyíre goingóand it doesnít involve bowl games.
Or how about the Bingotholics? For them, heaven is a square labeled B17. Go figure.
Then thereís the Workoholics. This group is almost out of the cult status and into the mainstream.
Workoholics believe you probably wonít die at all. If you do, however, your soul goes back to your office and your 401-K dies at the same moment. Itís sad.
Of course, we canít forget the PMterians. These guys never die. They sit on the sidelines and give a good imitation that their mind is elsewhere!
There are also groups, all well-meaning and with the true answers, that believe your soul will spent eternity in a Starbucks in Seattle, a McDonalds in Fresno or an America West waiting area at Gate 17. Having experienced Gate 17, I believe thereís some truth to that, although I donít think itís heaven weíre talking about here.
Well, thatís enough. I can see my devotions are still needed in the sporting event on television and Furthermore has almost collected enough for pizza and beer, so weíll continue this discussion later. Providing lightening doesnít hit or something along those lines.
Can Furthermore and I get an Amen from the congregation?!