A Righteous Solution 

Can't you just get along?

What follows is a comment left on the Boise Weekly Web site (the old Web site; it's been redesigned now) in response to one of my past columns. I took pains to copy it exactly as it appeared, making no changes to the spelling, punctuation or anything else. BE WARNED: The passage contains some rough language and objectionable images, so I recommend you keep it away from your children, your delicate mother or anyone else who should not be exposed to rough language and objectionable images.

"Your a classic liberel you don't hate George bush or Jerry Falwell you hate God because he stands for truth and moral law, you want to spend your life here leing cheating on your wife and murdering and sticking your dick in your brothers ass, and take my freaking income and give it to your poor lame brother who does'nt want to work ,then spend eternity in a Righteous hevenly place? If it wasn't for the laws of God on his people we would be happily executing every one of you God Haters and sending you to Judgement, because it only takes one righteous man to put a thousand of you in the grave, if you can't tell that God created the earth and male and female and children as a gift, you need to turn to Romans the first two chapters and read why you love evil? I can understand why you might wonder what he's doing when he does not intervene in murders and abortion or even the henus crimes against children, Because he would have to judge every one of us on the same day because he is justic, even you for leing to your children and telling them they come from freaking apes and then wondering why they act like them. I find it hard to believe by your speach that your not jumping for joy that there is a hell thats were there are no laws and you can have all the free choice you want forever ,I'll tell you one thing if the only argument you have on judgement day is this opinion you've already made your choice and God has fulfilled his word to me Only the righteous shall inherit the earth ,thats why Christ came to shine a light on your evil heart, that evil wont be in heaven"

(OK, the rough language and objectionable material is over. You can open your eyes now.)

No kidding. That's what he wrote. (I assume it's a "he"; the statement has a dude sort of vibe, wouldn't you say?) In another time-back when God's favorite song was "Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore"-I might have considered inviting this Christian warrior onward to the Flying M for a biscotti and a lively discussion on the nature of free will. But given the current atmosphere, I wouldn't dream of trying to argue theology with him. He's obviously more in sync than I with the steroidal, kick-butt God in vogue among modern Rapture enthusiasts, and I'm afraid we would be coming from such diametrically opposed positions that the prudent thing for both of us would be to avoid one another's company entirely.

Yet in the fellow's communication I see an opportunity for, if not compromise, at least a deal. That's right ... a deal. It has to do with a phrase you can find in his last sentence (if you're patient enough to figure out where his sentences begin and end) about how "the righteous shall inherit the earth." What I offer would benefit both the utterly righteous like himself, and whatever it is the rest of us are. Only, seeing as how he forgot to attach his name to his statement, I have no choice but to present my proposal to him in a column-this one-and gosh, I can only hope he hasn't so thoroughly condemned me to an eternity of hellfire that he's stopped reading my stuff.

So buddy, who ever you are, here's the deal. Do you really need both the Earth and Heaven? I mean, it's my understanding that the End Times are, like, any day now. That's not something I made up; it's something you guys made up. I've even visited the "Rapture Index" Web site which makes it clear (to true believers, if no one else) that current events indicate it's all coming to a screeching halt, maybe even by the time I finish this column. I'll write quicker.

Therefore, according to your own estimates, you righteous folks will soon be sitting at the right hand of God, watching us Left Behinders try to get by without you. Which suits me fine if it suits you.

I realize there's more involved-some icky Tribulation junk and Armageddon and such-but what it boils down to is that before long, you obedient lambs will no longer need anything this vale of tears and sorrow has to offer. For instance, clean air, clean water, wildlife and a future.

In fact, many of the most vociferous preachy types have made it sound damn near sinful to be troubled by any such paltry matters that might involve long-term implications. As the fine Bill Moyers writes in a recent New York Review essay on this subject, "The faithful are relieved of concern for the environment, violence, and everything else except their personal salvation."

Personally, I think you're behaving like those nightmare renters we hear about who move into a place, trash it beyond all redemption, then skip out on the rent like there's no tomorrow. Because, well ... as far as you're concerned, there is no tomorrow.

But that's for your sort, not us. We still have to try to make what we have livable for our kids. We still have to breathe the air, drink the water and get along with the billions of other nonbelievers without butchering each other. And frankly, we don't think the world is about to end-though with people like you around, we sometimes have to wonder.

So, pal, my deal is simple: You and yours go on to Heaven and forget about inheriting the Earth since you don't give a damn about what happens to it anyway. We do, so let us have it. That's my deal: We Doubting Thomases inherit the Earth, and you folks go on to your Eternal Bliss and leave us be. I'll even throw all the Mountain Dew on Earth into the swap if we never hear from you again.

I realize you can't make a decision like this on your own, so talk it over with your preacher or Jesus or whoever, and get back to me. But hurry it up, would you? Time's running out. For all of us.

Oh, and by the way ... when you guys get to Heaven, I'd start cleaning up after yourselves a little better than you did down here. Maybe you've figured out some secret Biblical code that indicates there's a celestial maid service available, but my hunch is the Lord won't take kindly to having His many mansions treated like they're all one big NASCAR event.

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