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Heaven & entitlement

with 5 comments

I’m listenting to the latest Rush album, Snakes & Arrows, and am (for about the billionth time) struck by a line in the song Armour & Sword: “No one gets to their heaven without a fight”. I’m pretty sure the line comes from the struggles that Neil Peart (the band’s drummer and lyricist) has been through in the not-too-distant past. For those who aren’t aware, in less than a year he lost his daughter (car accident) and wife (cancer, although Neil has written that it was a profoundly broken heart after their daughter was killed).

Lately I’ve been thinking about how it would be nice if more people realized that a spot in Heaven isn’t something that one is automatically entitled to. I’m not just talking about the Christian idea of Heaven, but any sort of “ultimate happy place” that people may be striving for – even if that ultimate happy place is a big fat bank account or a comprehensive collection of “Dr. Who” memorabilia.

It doesn’t matter if you sit in the front pew every Sunday morning if you behave like an ass the rest of the week.

It doesn’t matter how much money you make.

It doesn’t matter what your family name is (even if it’s Kilpatrick).

It doesn’t matter how good and righteous you believe your motive is.

It doesn’t matter how strongly you feel you deserve a free ride.

I’m just sayin’

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Written by The Canuck

August 14, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Posted in randomness

5 Responses

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  1. Right on!!!

    Kasia

    August 14, 2008 at 3:04 pm

  2. The problem with your statement is you haven’t a clue what the requirements are for any sort of afterlife if in fact there is one. The same type of delusion and lack of reasoning is common in all religious thought. You are guessing that Neil wrote about his past experience and also fail to realize and understand that Neil is actually quite anti-religion. Only illogical morons and fools believe they know the requirements of something which has no know basis in known fact. That’s why it’s called faith. Fantasy for idiots.

    What you’re “just sayin’ is that you don’t mind looking like a dumbass.

    Bill

    August 14, 2008 at 4:44 pm

  3. Bill:

    a) You’re right – I don’t have any idea what the ‘requirements’ are for an afterlife. I’d like to think that what I’m doing (and hoping that others do) is in line with whatever the requirements are, or are close enough that I’ll have a good shot at having some sort of pleasant afterlife.

    b) Lack of reasoning? I won’t disagree with you that some faiths have a decidedly “anti-rational thought” stance and prefer to rely on faith and The Bible alone, but my faith (Catholicism) has plenty of room for (and even embraces and encourages) reason, rational thought, science, and so on and so forth. I invite you to have a look at the writings of (to cite but two examples) St. Thomas Aquinas and Peter Kreeft.

    c) Yes, I am ‘guessing’ that Neil was writing about his past experience. If you had read my post more carefully you would have seen that I wrote, “I’m pretty sure the line comes from the struggles that Neil Peart …” You see those two words “pretty sure” in the middle of that sentence? They indicate that I’m speculating that Neil is writing about what happened to him in the late 1990s. I’d like to think that, based upon all that I’ve read (his books and other writings and interviews) that my guess is a reasonably good one.

    d) I do, in fact, realize that Neil is, as you put it, “quite anti-religion”. What you fail to realize is that Neil has said (if you’d like I could cite references from his writings) that while organized religion isn’t his thing, he’s not in any way going to tell others what to believe.

    e) Feel free to continue commenting on my blog, however, I ask that you refrain from name-calling, insults, and other disparaging comments.

    The Canuck

    August 14, 2008 at 4:58 pm

  4. I suppose I’m “entitled” to a spot in Hell, for all the times I have ignored, turned my back on, or otherwise offended God.

    However, I am *hoping* for His mercy and to squeak by the Purgatory cut-off! (Please?)

    Eh, Church Militant, right? A war, a struggle. I can try to follow Him, but I am weak and sinful and I mess up. But you can lose the battle and win the war. I suppose the important part is that I am contrite about my mistakes, reconcile myself with God, reform my heart and my behaviors, and once again head off down that narrow path.

    Jaibee

    August 15, 2008 at 9:00 am

  5. Canuck,
    I don’t care what whats-his-name said above —
    You said it so well both times! I echo Kasia’s “Right On!”

    Jill

    August 17, 2008 at 12:42 pm


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