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So, I was muddling around on wordpress the other day (I suspect this was before the switch to “topics in reader” which has made it nearly impossible to really muddle around the other blogs) and came upon a Christian who was talking about how much better their religion was because while some religions demand you earn your place in the afterlife (and what you get is based upon what you do) Christians are just given their paradise! No work, no effort, just a few little words and you get to have a nice big shiny castle up in the sky with streets of gold and…well, I’m not sure what you get to do. I’m not sure there’s food. I can’t remember anyone mentioning fine dining in Heaven. Or drinking. Or partying. Or really….much of anything, except singing God’s praises.

Huh. Sounds…kinda boring, when you think about it. I mean, yay, you get a mansion and the streets are gold and everywhere their precious jewels and metals and all. But, considering that there’s nothing to buy in Heaven (last I heard, the jury was still out on if Fluffy makes it into Heaven. I’m pretty sure walmart doesn’t). So really, since there’s no capitalism in Heaven (does that mean they have socialism?) what good does all the gold and jewels do except look pretty? And if all you do is sing praises day in and day out, well, that has to get old pretty quick. At least, assuming you have free will left (which I’m not entirely sure of) and that’s not to mention how terrible some people are at singing.

Then again, I guess if you’re getting it for free, you aren’t supposed to complain.

But is that really better than having to work towards what you get in your afterlife? My people, the Norse, had three realms of death. The first is Helheim, ruled by the Lady Hel. This is where the honored and dishonored dead go, living until Ragnarok with their kin. Those who die in battle and are honorable go to Valhalla (the Hall of the Slain) ruled by Odin, or Folkvangr (Field of the Host) ruled by Freya. Those who are truly monstrous, are tossed to Nidhoggr, a great serpent which devours them. And you get there by what you do in life.

Personally, I like that way better. You don’t even really have to do that much to get to a good place (hel, three out of four are pretty good). All you have to do is live a good life, keep your word, and if you want to get to Valhalla or Folkvangr, die well in battle. But, if you don’t die in battle, you still get to go to Helheim and spend til Ragnarok with your family and ancestors, feasting, telling stories, and being together under the guard and rule of Hel (who is a nice lady). It’s only if you’re a really terrible person that you get devoured by a terrible beast.

That certainly sounds a lot more fair than the Christians way of doing things. After all, with theirs, all you gotta do is say the magic/holy words and you’re golden to the eternal kingdom. Fail to say them, and you get to go to the bad place. (And if you molest children or talk in the theater, you get to go to the special hell). Which means that pedo priest, teacher, aunt, uncle, or what have you? Hitler was a Christian. Guess what, if they’re “Saved” and given the Gift, they get to pearly gates and golden streets and lovely castles. That nice young man down the street who helps old ladies with their bags, shakes babies and kisses hands (or is that kisses babies and shakes hands?) who doesn’t wanna sell his soul? Eternity of Punishments!

Of course, you try that pedo stuff under my Gods and Goddesses, and you’re gonna find out why you don’t Fuck with the Goddess of Death. Nidhoggr feeds on your ass, and then your gone. πŸ™‚

Now, I can understand why some people would want to go with the Gift way of doing things. They want the happy ending, regardless of what ills they commit in life. They don’t wanna see the Gods and Goddesses weigh their deeds. They don’t wanna face the maw of the beast that devours souls. They wanna know that they can be completely horrible fuck ups and still get the gold medal at then end.

Fuck that. I’m earning my way in to the afterlife. And when I get there, I’ll know that it was done by my own hand. And That’s an eternity I can be proud of. Because when you work for something, it means a Hel of a lot more than if someone just gave it to in exchange of your immortal soul. And if my choices are living with my ancestors, or fighting with them and learning cool new moves every day and feasting every night, or telling some deity how great he is everyday because I sold him my soul for a cheap ride in a blinged up suburb? I know what I’m picking.

What about you?