10: Jonah (Afterlife rules, life drools.)
Sorry this post has taken so long to get up. I’ve been having, erm, issues. I read the news a lot. And I watch it on the internets, and follow a lot of political blogs. The election coverage has, as of late, been causing me severe anxiety. Heartburn, chronic headache, can’t-fucking-sleep-at-night kind of anxiety.
The more I read, the worse I freak out. Is it fucking November yet? My delicate system can’t handle this kind of pressure. I seriously considered asking my doctor to put me on Xanax or something, but I decided that a stiff drink before bedtime would do the trick. And that, my babies, is why I’ve been slow on the posting. Blame Sarah Palin.
That’s the most you’ll get out of me as far as the election goes. We’ve got more boring things to discuss here. Namely the Quran.
Chapter 10 is titled Jonas, after the Weezer song the Old Testament guy who was swallowed up by a whale. It’s technically not titled Jonas in Ahmed Ali’s translation — it’s titled Jonah. The Online Quran Project, which I use to pull my text from, and some other sites have it listed as Jonas with an s, so I thought I’d point that out. Jonah or Jonas, whoever the hell he was, only shows up in couple of verses. And so far there’s no mention of any whales.
The title of this post is God’s sentiment, by the way, not mine, but I’m pretty sure you all figured that out already. I took the liberty of paraphrasing. God has this thing with being incredibly long-winded and boring, and I like to cut to the chase. You’re welcome. This post covers a topic that comes up over and over (and over and over; repetitive book, remember?) throughout the Quran. Life is not special, and if you enjoy it, you’ll go to hell. Lets jump right in:
(7) As for those who do not hope to meet Us (after death), and are content with the life of this world, who are oblivious of Our signs,
(8) Will have Hell as their abode for what they have earned.
God starts out by saying that if you like your life, you’re just oblivious of his signs. What signs? Never you mind, Nosy McGee. God’s got just the place for people like you — people who dare to be content with this life. That’s right: you’re going to hell! Do not pass go, do not collect $200, go straight the fuck to hell. (I’ll see you there. High five!)
Either way, God doesn’t explain these signs which is basically like saying, “If you can’t see them, you just don’t get it.” I imagine if God really made man in his own image, the signs would be something like, “Look at that tree. You think that tree just popped up outta nowhere?”
Here’s something I’m realizing more and more with each chapter: God thinks people are assholes. And lately, thanks to religiots, I’m finding myself in agreement with the big guy. Gnashing of teeth, furrowing of brow, etc. We don’t agree often — God and I — and when we do, it burrrrrns! Check out this verse:
(12) When man is afflicted with adversity he calls to Us, whether lying on his side, or sitting or standing. But when We take away his troubles, he moves away, as though he had never called to Us in affliction. In the same way, attractive have been made their deeds to the prodigals.
OK, back to not agreeing. I call bullshit on that verse. Look in any church, any mosque and you’ll see a boatload of people doing exactly the opposite of what that verse says. God cures their cancers, gives them promotions at work, makes them win the lottery, and helps talk their wives into giving them blowjobs on their birthdays. Everywhere you look, people are giving way too much credit to God, thanking him for every fucking piddly little thing that happens to them. If anything people are too grateful to God while being assholes to the people around them. And “good” Muslims pray 5 times a day — that 5 times a day of divine asskissing. Plus, look at Job. People think that guy was the shit, boils and all. So what the hell is God talking about man moving away when God takes away his troubles?
(23) But when He rescues them, they commit excesses in the land unjustly again. Your rebellion, O people, shall recoil back on your own selves. The joys of the world (are only ephemeral): You have to come back to Us in the end. We shall then inform you what you were doing.
Oh the religious folks loooooove pulling this one out. God does so much for you, but you — you ungrateful little sinner — do not thank him and love him unconditional. You just keep on sinnin’ because you love sin so much. Life is short, eternity is forever. Burn, baby, burn. And it’s not just the Muslims that pull this shit. I’m looking at you, fundagelicals, hanging out in the park near my office with your stupid REPENT! signs, spewing hate and thrusting pamphlets at people walking to work.
(24) The life of the world is like the rain that waters the crops of the earth which are used as food by men and cattle. But when the earth is embellished and adorned with gold, and its tillers begin to feel that (the crops) are under control, Our command descends suddenly at night or in the day, and We mow them down as though there was nothing there yesterday. This is how We distinctly explain Our signs to those who think.
That God is one hell of a poet, huh? The life of the world is like the rain, and God will mow everyone down because….well, because. How very fucking mysterious! The only thing I get out of that verse is that God is kind of a bastard. But, again, I had that one figured out a while ago. Nothing to see here, moving right along.
(42) Some of them listen to you: But can you make the deaf hear who do not understand a thing?
(43) Some of them look toward you: But can you show the blind the way even when they cannot see?
Of course you can’t. They’re deaf and blind. And why are they deaf and blind? Why? Whhhhy?? Because God made them that way, that’s why! He says so himself (see, like, every other post I’ve ever written about how God puts a seal on peoples’ hearts). So imagine my surprise at this next line:
(44) Surely God does not wrong anyone; they wrong themselves.
The fuck?? So putting a seal on peoples’ hearts, making them deaf and blind to his revelations, and then banishing them to hell forever is not wrong? How?? How is it not wrong? A fucking 5 year old could tell you that’s totally unfair. But God, as usual, doesn’t bother explaining — he does what he wants when he wants. Worst case of only child syndrome ever.
(45) The day He will gather them together it will appear to them that they had lived (in the world) but an hour of a day to make each other’s acquaintance. Verily those who deny the meeting with God will be lost, and not find the way.
God says that when we die, life will seem but an hour long. Shit, I feel like that now. Life moves fast. One minute you’re running around in diapers and the next you’re 27, married and shopping at Whole Foods, even though you once swore you’d never be the kind of asshat who spends $12 on a hunk of artisanal cave-aged cheese from a French monastery. *Poof* you’re old. Life is short like that. All the more reason to embrace reality and enjoy every day as if it really and truly will be your last — no second chances, no do-overs, no afterlife, no nothing. All the more reason to not worry about stupid shit like pork and beer and mini skirts and how many pebbles one should use to wipe one’s ass. But, hey, that’s just my humble kafir opinion. Unlike God, I won’t banish you to an eternity of suffering if you disagree.
(4) To Him will you all return: God’s promise is true. It is He who originates creation, then will revert it, so that He may reward those who believe and do good things in all justice. But those who deny the truth will receive boiling water to drink and grievous punishment, for they disbelieved.
So not only will you burn from the outside in, you’ll burn from the inside out. How’s that for most-merciful, most-kind?
(9) But those who believe and act for a beneficial end will be guided by their Lord for their good faith. At their feet shall flow streams of running water in gardens of delight.
(10) Their invocation will be: “All glory to you, O God,” and “Peace” will be their salutation, and the end of their prayer (will be): “All praise be to God, the Lord of all the worlds.”
That’s heaven for all you believers out there: streams of water, gardens of delight. You could go to a state park and get the same effect for a whole lot less trouble. I bet this shit was a lot more impressive to the bunch of desert yokels that Mohammed conned back in the day, but nowadays? Ho-hum. The hadith, by the way, go into heaven in greater detail. This is about as much as you’ll get out of the Quran on the subject. So all those Quran-only Muslims who say that hadith are manmade while also believing in the descriptions of heaven they were indoctrinated with are totally going against their own beliefs. Nice!
(26) For those who do good there is goodness and more, and no blot or disgrace will cover their faces. They are people of Paradise, where they will abide for ever.
(27) But those who earn evil shall be punished to an equal degree as their evil, and they will be covered with shame, and will have none to protect them against God: Their faces shall be blackened as though with patches of the night. They are the people of Hell, where they will abide for ever,
Score! No zits for the people going to heaven! They’ll have no blots on their faces while the hellbound will be covered with patches of darkness. Some people think these verses are racist — people going to heaven will be turned white and the hellbound will be turned black. Check out a different translation to see where they might get it from:
(26) To those who do right is a goodly (reward)- Yea, more (than in measure)! No darkness nor shame shall cover their faces! they are companions of the garden; they will abide therein (for aye)!
(27) But those who have earned evil will have a reward of like evil: ignominy will cover their (faces): No defender will they have from (the wrath of) Allah: Their faces will be covered, as it were, with pieces from the depth of the darkness of night: they are companions of the Fire: they will abide therein (for aye)!
It does kind of make sense since the people in paradise will be hanging out in shaded gardens, getting pasty while the hellbound will be charred to blackness in hellfire. But — and this is a big but — I think the God is racist thing is utter crap. Arabs come in various shades of brown. Some Arabs I know look totally Caucasian and others could pass for African. Hell, I know a few who look more Korean than anything else.
I’m not saying that skin color is a totally trivial issue for Muslims — there are racists in every culture. And Pakistanis and Indians are big on “fair” skin as a thing of beauty. I am by far the darkest kid in my family, to my mother’s dismay, and she was constantly forcing bleaching cremes on me. Which I adamantly refused because, even as a child, I loved my ethnically sunkissed, dark brown skin. So, yes, there are stupid people all over. But I still don’t think that was Mohammed’s intention in this case. I highly doubt nobody who saw this verse just let it slide by without questioning it to the point of abrogation. By God, of course, because Mohammed doesn’t do these things on his own. *Wink wink*
Light and dark on your face, in my opinion, is just a metaphor. You can read up on it and decide for yourself. Granted, God should have known better. He could probably made it a bit more explicit so nobody could accuse him of being a racist, but he didn’t. So there are plenty of sites out there touting those verses as proof that God hates the dark-skinned folk. Good game, God, you useless summabitch.
(28) The day We shall gather them all together We shall say to the idolaters: “Take your stand with the compeers you worshipped as the equals of God.” We shall then create a rift between them, and the compeers will say: “You did not worship us;
(29) For God is sufficient as witness between us and you we were not aware of your worship.”
Double you. Tee. Eff. The idols will speak in the afterlife? And they’ll point and laugh at the idolaters for worshiping them? The fuck? I guess God can do that since he’s, you know, God and all. But if he can do shit like that — bring stone idols to life — why can’t he do something useful?
Like, I dunno, maybe stop suffering in this world? Make sure women are treated like human beings instead of cattle? Let nobody go hungry or homeless? Or, at the very least, make sure his rabid followers don’t do stupid shit in his name? Why doesn’t God lift a finger to do something that would actually make a fucking difference?
Why? I’ll tell you why: it’s pretty hard to lift a finger when you don’t even exist. Mohammed knew that. That’s why God didn’t send him any miracles to show his people proof of his all-mighty existence. That’s why he plays the faith card every chance he gets. And that’s why the Quran is full of contradictions, inanity and third-rate mythology — shit that didn’t even make sense the first two times around. God may be all-fucking-powerful in the afterlife, but in this life — the one that counts — he’s absolutely impotent.
Here are a couple of verses from chapter 3 that cover another theme that appears in the Quran: if you die for God’s cause, you win the jackpot.
(157) If you are killed in the cause of God or you die, the forgiveness and mercy of God are better than all that you amass.
(195) And those who were deprived of their homes or banished in My cause, and who fought and were killed, I shall blot out their sins and admit them indeed into gardens with rippling streams.”
So lets say you were a fundie nutjob and you decided to put on a bomb belt and take out an entire cafe full of people. Men, women and children. All for God, of course, but also conveniently to call attention to the atrocities going on in Whereveristan. You would go *kaboom* and land your ass straight in heaven; no waiting period or anything.
Me on the other hand — I am madly in love with my life. Despite the election-induced anxiety and constantly being surrounded by religiots, I do what I can to make the most out of every day. I try to do as much good as possible and cause as little harm as possible, and I try to live sans regret. For this, I’m going to hell. Why? Because I have the audacity to be content with the life of this world. Content! With life! The life that God supposedly gave me. The one I didn’t even ask for. I love this life, therefore I must burn.
Isn’t God great? Shit like this is why I dumped the guy 10 years ago. Even if he existed, I think I’d want nothing to do with a fucker who could sentence a person to neverending agony for the crime of loving life too much while simultaneously rewarding a mass murderer with eternal bliss. Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll take my temporary bliss here on earth. God can take heaven and shove it.
That’s all I have for this round. Coming up next: more of Mo & all those other prophets, who you only hear one or two stories about…over and over and over. Joy. Stay tuned!