Monday, June 20, 2016

"'WHEN YOU DIE YOU WILL MEET GOD,' A Billboard on I-15 IN Provo, Utah." by the Rev. Peter J. Van Hook, Priest-in-Charge

Depending on my mood I grimace or grin whenever I see a billboard like the above.
The grimace arises because the notice is stated as a threat, not a promise. “Watch out! Get ready! You’re gonna’ die and God’s gonna’ be waiting for you and he ain’t happy!” [quiver, shake, quiver]
Statements like this billboard, and other public pronouncements by Fundamentalist preachers, perpetuate a Medieval conception of God as despot (just like the kings of the day), as wrathful punisher, as stern disciplinarian.
I want nothing to do with that God.
If I smile when I read a statement like the above it is because I recognize that in fact the statement is true: “Yep, when I die I’m gonna’ see God just like the Bible promises, and frankly I’m looking forward to it!” This is the God of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, the helpful Samaritan, the Teacher, the Healer, and, yes, the party-goer, too.
There is a billboard statement that I very much like, that was sent to me by my daughter:
Live in such a way that Westboro Baptist Church pickets your funeral! (click to see the sign)
Now, THAT ONE makes me laugh out loud!