Wednesday, February 11, 2009

You are going to die! – part VII

Funerals are carried out in different ways depending on your religion or what country you live in, but the basics are about the same. Some priest (or whatever) holds some speech, people are crying and there is some kind of ceremony to keep up appearances so whatever plan the particular “church” have to get people’s money, isn’t disturbed.Often this includes immortality or at least some kind of afterlife. Just telling people that their loved ones are going to be eaten by worms and decompose into nothing isn’t really a good sales pitch.

But back to the ceremony. I can only talk about the Christian kind of funeral carried out in Sweden, so sorry if I’m a racist for not knowing how other religions do it. The ones I have been at have been about like this: People gather at church, a priest (or minister or whatever those people are called) speak a little about the person that has died, maybe one or two others also will hold some memorial speech. Then there is some singing. Someone reads a bit from the bible, more singing, and then people can watch or visit the coffin (open or closed). Afterwards people gather at the home of the deceased or a close relative to eat cookies and drink caffeine, talking about the person rotting away in the ground or something else to ease their minds and keep them from not thinking about their own demise.

The whole thing seems utterly fixed somehow, kind of like theaters were everyone plays a part with the church polling their strings. The singing is often very ridiculous, the priest’s speech sounds terrible and people crying might get you yourself wet in the eyes, but still, it doesn’t feel quite right. Something is off. When I was younger I did not really know why I always felt so uneasy at funerals. A psychiatrist or someone who are “in touch with their feelings” might argue I myself am grieving in my own way or feeling the lostness of the one dead. But that’s not it. When I got older I figured it out, it’s the whole thing that’s so damn stupid that gets me. Okay, someone is dead and I feel sad for that, but the church is capitalizing on that fact, marketing a death as a reason to go to church, and worse, selling the notion of death and life as a part of the “heavenly order”. People gather around the dead corps in a horde crying. Like it would make a difference if they all stayed home grieving by themselves? The person is dead; he/she cannot tell the difference. But instead we are standing or sitting in the sanctuary of death and hypocrisy that is religion. Hundreds of millions of people have died in the name of the lord. The atrocities that have been made by religion cannot be topped by anything, not even the Nazis or the communists. And there we are, promoting this idiocy.

As if this isn’t enough, the government has decided that one should pay funeral tax. No matter if you are a Muslim, Jew or belong to some other stupidity, you are bound by law to pay this tax. And of course you cannot be buried wherever you would like, only appointed places are right for you. And if you get yourself incinerated, the ashes cannot be spread wherever, it must be in a certain place. Like if would matter if my ashes are in forest A instead of forest B? People need to realize that they are going to die and will soon be a tiny piece of forgotten history. There is no heaven, no hell, no afterlife and certainly no virgins waiting for you on the other side. Funerals’, and belonging to a church, is human’s way of dealing with the notion of being turned into dust, nothing else, and nothing more.

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