Barking Up the Wrong Cloud

There have been various polls through the years that show Americans have an overwhelming belief in heaven and angels but not so much in hell and demons. God tells me it’s that good old American optimism at work. We see the afterlife as half full.

To a certain extent, I think it just shows us to have the focus of dogs. There’s an old Far Side cartoon that shows a lady talking to her pet dog and it translates what the dog hears as something along the lines of “bla bla bla, Rover, bla bla bla,” showing that the only thing the dog really understands is its own name. I think most people go to church that way. The preacher is up there talking about all the demons in the fiery pits of hell, but that just seems like a quaint story, something distant and not really related to “us.” “Bla, bla, bla.” Then he gets to the part about heaven and the choirs of angels and suddenly we’re right there. We picture ourselves as part of that scene and so it has a more visceral feel to us.

So the next time someone asks if you’re going to heaven, you might want to just bark once for yes and twice for no.

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