Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Just A Few Reasons Why I'm Going To Hell...

...& the fact that I've been back from vacation with the Luces & haven't blogged about it yet doesn't really count in my book. Patience, people, patience...I've certainly had to use it since I've been back, as it's been rather eventful. (But hey, we had a great time!)

Anyway, for those of you that don't know, today is Ash Wednesday - the 1st day of Lent, on which many Christians receive a mark of ashes on their forehead as a token of penitence & mortality. Now, before some of you start asking "Who are you & what have you done with Claire?", let me explain why I mentioned this. (The following story is in NO way intended to offend anyone - so just don't go there.)

I work in a hospital (in an office, not on the floor - & I definitely don't perform surgery, although I've been tempted..), & every year, various forms of clergy walk around on Ash Wednesday to rub ashes on people's foreheads. Well, several of the - hmmm, what do I call them - ashed-upon people came in my office a couple of Ash Wednesdays ago, & one of them was far more bold than anyone I'd ever encountered on this day. (I think that the story is worth re-telling, & may in fact turn out to be like "The Night Before Christmas" one day.)

Ash Head: "Why, Claire, haven't you been blessed today?"

Me: "Oh, I try to think that I'm blessed EVERY day.."

AH: "Now, you know that's not what I meant. You should go take part of the Ash Wednesday tradition. You will be absolved of your sins. If you don't, you'll go to Hell."

Me: "Wow. That's serious, then. However, I don't 'take part in the tradition', but thanks."

AH: "That's awful, Claire. Have you at least made a sacrifice for Lent?"

Me: "Oh yes, the same as I do every year. I'm giving up heroin." (I've never done it, but I ALWAYS say this every year because I think I'm funny... Hell, party of 1, please.)

AH: "That's not funny. I'm going to pray for your soul tonight, but I doubt it'll be enough to save you from Eternal Damnation. Harumph..."

Holy crap!!! I've only joked around with this woman on occasion, & had absolutely no reason to believe that she was so religious. Frankly, I was stunned, but of course, now I'm still laughing about it a couple of years later (& she barely acknowledges me on the rare occasion that she sees me) . Whoops, another reason I'm going to Hell. Well, while we're at it, let's take a look at some other reasons:

* I no longer attend church (although I do still believe in God, just not necessarily what I was taught all those years).

* If God listens to my parents' son, it's my fault that my parents got a divorce. (Ooops, I think that "parents' son" reference might have just made that 2 reasons.)

* I had premarital sex. A lot. And liked it.

* I lived with Doug before we got married. Oh, & let's not even talk about Doug...but chalk up 2 more, please.

* I laugh about my parents a lot, so I guess that means I don't honor them.

* I'm not fulfilling God's will because I am not having children. (Yes, I've actually been told that by another zealot.)

* I cuss. Quite a bit.

* I joke about going to Hell a lot. I think that's supposed to be a sin.

* I've been known to say snarky things about other people. I know, shocking...sad but true.

You know, this list could go on & on...& you know what? That's ok. But beware...if you laughed at any of this, you could be joining me.

(By the way, I redecorated the blog a bit, so pop out of your Reader. Oh no! Aren't attention-seeking & vanity sins, too?)


Margot Is Your Hero said...

I'm a Lutheran and we don't do the stupid ash thing, and I also don't give up anything for Lent, none of us do. We eat our chocolate and ENJOY IT.

What I'd tell you to do is what my younger cousin (also named Claire) did in her very relgious school in the backwoods of Montana - she started wearing a star of David and told people she realized who the "chosen" people really were and if they made fun of her they were antisemites.

She's 14. She's awesome.

So yeah. Get one of those.

Anonymous said...

LOL at giving up heroin. I have a pregnant friend that gave up drinking for lent. :)

And trust me, you will not be the only one rotting away in Hell. I'll be there too...but I've come to the conclusion that a lot of my friends are going to be there, and all of them like wine. And snarkiness. So...what's the down side?

LucyinStLou said...

If that's the criteria, you'll have lots of company. Lots and lots and lots of company.

WineLush said...

Blog looks good-nice re-do!

"Ash-head" - LOL.

Evidently, there will be a lot of fun people in hell, so I'd rather go there anyway!!!!

mxq said...

LOTS of company. see... i am catholic and i do do the stupid ashy thing but that's for me and i honestly could care less about who does or doesn't or what they believe. i don't feel like i'm better than anyone else and getting ashes isn't all it takes to be safe from the fiery depths of hell.

it's religious people like the people that you mentioned that give the rest of us a bad name. THEY (the judgmental ones) are the people that offend me. in college we called them bible beaters. BBs bug me.

and just for the record, my hand basket is ready to go. see you at the gates.

Explosive Bombchelle said...

If you beat me down there can you save me a seat at the bar?

I was raised Lutheran as well and never did the ashy/lent thing. We might have done church on Sunday, but none of that ash crap. Then I left my church in NY and the church I attended in college in VA did ash and a bunch of the churches out here in MN do ash. I feel like they are jealous of catholics and trying to be like the "cool" kids on the block. Bleh.

Of course I am a non-practicing Lutheran and was pretty much told by a pastor that my beliefs are much more paganistic in nature. Anyone want to dance naked with me on the equinox?

Sassy said...

I have lots of reasons why I'm going to hell. I just hope one day hell does freeze over so we can enjoy some Dirty Bananas while we're there together.

I hope there will be nachos...

Angie said...

That was hilarious! I would NEVER tell someone they were going to hell. Who are they to judge?

Joe Joe said...

OMG, I laughed my butt off. Isn't it always interesting how the commandment "the devout ones" always break is "thou shalt not judge"...

Anyway -- I've already put a downpayment on my condo in hell, so I'll see ya there.

If you get a chance, look up the song "Heaven for the Weather" by the Streets, it's very topical to your post hon!

Jenn said...

I'm with Kristal...all my friends will be in hell, so I may as well join the party, right??? I mean, that's where all the fun people will be anyway!

Danny said...

Thomas Jefferson gave those who are fortunate enough to call America their home the freedom to practice or not practice a religion of their choice. I choose to attend church and for me it does include receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday. Its a personal and introversional practice for me that embodies the generic spiritual and meditational practices common to all religious paths, Christian or not. I don't wear my spiritual convictions on my sleeve, and I don't evangelise to others uninvited. My freedoms are precious to me because they can be easily taken away.

Claire said...

I was raised Lutheran, too! What a coincidence.

Yeah, it looks like we're just going to have an eternal party, everyone!

And oh yes, there WILL be nachos...

Sydney said...

hehehe... well, I'll see you in HELL! LOL! I am just stunned that anyone would be that bold at work.

I think that ash thing is freaky. Several people had that at work and I just wanted to lick my thumb and rub it on their head and say "there's a smudge on your head. Let me get that...."

Thom said...

I am not Luthereran... David is. But there you have it. I am GAY!!! OMG... there is a special section of hell waiting for me and all of the royal sodomites (Queens, you know…).

You know, although I didn’t do it this year, I am the only one of this lot who usually does get ashes (Episcopalian... call it Catholic Lite). Can you spell irony? I have a lot of friends who are clergy (yes, mes enfants, gay people go to church and even have friends in the clergy… in fact, sit down for this one… lots of clergy ARE gay – imagine that…) and they have all said the same thing, “Religious people scare me.”

There you have it.

Great post, by the way. I think you should repost this as a tradition every year!

Em said...

Every year I forget about the ash thing and make the same mistake with the same person in my office...fortunately she understands I'm a heathen and not up on traditional ritual.

My very simple (but perhaps a bit evil) explanation to those who tell me I'm going to hell is that my mother and grandmother are both there, so I'm looking forward to spending eternity with them.

But since I see all the cool kids are doing it......there's another reason:)

Imogen Lamport said...

Very funny. When I was 12 years old I was going to a religious school and they asked us to write a prayer. I couldn't think of anything to write, so I wrote nothing. When the teacher asked me why I hadn't written anything I told him (truthfully) that I didn't believe in any god, so had nothing to pray for. He told me that I'd go to hell, I told him that I didn't believe in hell - that shut him up.

Unbelieveably I went from being an A student to a D student for religious studies - can you understand that?

Thanks for coming by my blog and commenting!

I'm going to get a glass of wine - you're blog is turning me to drink (a nice Semillion Sauvingnon Blanc tonight I think).