By Here Now for CosmicTribune.com
Back in the ’50s, billboards down South advised to “Get right with God.”
The naked appeal of some forms of Christianity then was based on the same “fear and greed” mantra for successful marketing which has now replaced the Bible as the rulebook for being.
Some baby boomers took offense at the notion agents for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would resort to used car sales techniques to win them over. They had a point.
Similar techniques were used in the Garden of Eden to derail humanity headed for divinity.
The devil then as since then was more here-and-now, offering temporal pleasures, tempting boomers with the illusion that sex began in their generation. What was there not to like? As the Schlitz beer commercial went: “You only go around once in life, might as well grab for all the gusto you can get.”
For the truly virtuous, there was down to earth life insurance to prove undying love for the widow who could still live in comfort and drive your best car when you dropped dead.
There was no arguing however with the premise of post-Depression and post-WWII religion: Life is short and when you die, it’s too late then to get it right for the infinitely longer stretch of existence ahead. The cosmic life insurance offered from those pulpits still has a visceral appeal but has been mixed in with good music and positive thinking to be more palatable in 21st century mega churches.
Now even those are said to be fading in the “post-Christian era.
The notion of eternity no longer squares with Earthly norms except for Islamic extremists. Who has even a moment to meditate about inevitability and the greatest what-if when barraged by non-stop social media notifications?
Once you could ponder infinity while staring at the top edge of the ocean in the cool breezes of the dawning new day. Or gazing up at the luminous heavens unaffected by city glow or mercury vapor street lights.
Nowadays, beach strollers have their ear buds in snug to block the sounds of the surf and their eyes on their hand-held devices extended in front of them as the violence of crashing waves is relegated to the peripheral vision.
Where are the knowledge experts on the after life, said to be eternal? Are they not far more significant than intelligence analysts, financial wizards who made billions gambling on market fluctuations and pundits who can and do damn opponents to political hell?
A friend who nearly died in heart surgery told me he had a sit-down with God after crossing over and they discussed his life in detail: challenges he had successfully overcome and other tests where he may have fallen short. Then out of concern for his wife, he was granted a reprieve.
Is ignorance bliss? What little we know about life after death is laughable but not necessarily funny. Or maybe it is. We’ll either find out later or we won’t. One or the other.
From here-and-now to there-and-then.