What Do We Know About Heaven?


For Humanist Network News
July 14, 2010

A couple years ago, I started receiving Christian magazines in my mailbox. (I guess anonymous Christians felt if I read them, I'd get converted or something. Who knows how they found my address…)

My favorite in the bunch was Charisma because I *facepalmed* through every issue. It was free entertainment. It would have been more fun if I didn't know that actual subscribers actually agreed with what was in it. That was (and still is) frightening.

For example, their most recent issue is all about heaven and hell… They're dedicating an issue to a subject no one can possibly know anything about because you would only know about it after you die and you wouldn't be in a position to tell anyone ab–oh, forget it. You all know what I'm saying.

But that's not going to stop them. They have "experts" weighing in on what goes on in heaven.

(Spoiler: You'll have a job after you die!)

I have a lot of problems with Christianity.

One of them is that Christians act like they "know" things when, really, they have no clue about them.

Does anything happen when we die?

Accurate answer: If you're buried, your body will soon rot.

Christian answer: If you were faithful and accepted Jesus into your heart, you will go to heaven. If you rejected Jesus, you'll burn in hell for all eternity.

How did the universe begin?

Accurate answer: Evidence suggests there was a "Big Bang"… What happened before that? We may never know.

Christian answer: God created it.

Does God exist?

Accurate answer: Is it possible that a god exists? Perhaps–even many atheists will refrain from saying "God absolutely does not exist." But there's never been any verifiable evidence that a god exists.

Christian answer: I know God exists and I know what he wants for my life and he listens to my prayers and we have conversations.

I prefer the truth, even if that means I don't have all the answers to the "big questions." That's why I'm an atheist.

What Charisma is doing? That's pure dishonesty. And you'll never see their readers calling them out on it.


Hemant Mehta is the Chair of the Secular Student Alliance (SSA) Board of Directors. He has worked with the Center for Inquiry and also is an SSA representative to the Secular Coalition for America. Hemant received national attention, including being featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, for his work as the "eBay Atheist." Hemant's blog can be read at FriendlyAtheist.com, and his book, I Sold My Soul on eBay, (WaterBrook Press) is now available on Amazon.com. He currently works as a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago.