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God: Mans Greatest Creation

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"There is nothing about man that is not strange to an immortal." This is the viewpoint of Satan in Mark Twain's “Letters from the Earth”. Throughout this piece, Satan writes to Saint Michael and Saint Gabriel about his observations of mankind. Satan watches us contradict ourselves in our ideas of religion. I believe that man created the idea of God as a way to help us understand the world. We created a set of rules that we are required to follow in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven. When we break one of these rules, we expect forgiveness for our sins, and hope to be accepted into the ultimate place of peace.

In the Bible, it lists a set of commandments that we are expected to obey. We believe that if we follow these ten basic rules, we will be accepted into heaven. If we break these rules, then we will automatically be sent to hell, wherein, lies the first contradiction. If forgiveness is given so easily, then hell serves no purpose. We believe that if we do a good deed once in a while, and follow the guidelines set forth in the Bible, that we will be accepted into heaven. If this is true, then how is it decided who goes to hell, and who goes to heaven? Is it simply a question of morals, or is it as easy as buying indulgences?

I believe that we bend the rules of the Bible to our advantage. The irony is that we are the ones who created these rules in the first place. We bend these rules so we don't feel guilty when we do break them. We contradict ourselves again. If we do feel guilty about breaking a rule, then we go to confession, get told how many "Hail Mary’s to say, and go on with the rest of our day. It's as easy as going to a coffee shop to get a lattÐ"©. "Yes, I'd like a tall decaf and all my sins to be forgiven."

Many people believe that the Bible is dictated directly by God, and take it literally. A lot of them forget that there are many different versions of "His word," and that it has been translated and revised over the centuries. For example, the King James version of the Bible states, "Though shalt not allow a witch to live" (Exodus 22:18). However, in the original text of the Bible, it read as "poisoner," instead of "witch." This is why witchcraft is viewed as something horrible. How can it be the word of God if we have the option to choose what He says?

We go to church, we say our prayers, and we go to confession. However, we do it because we think it is expected of us, not because it actually stands for something. We don't do it because it's something we enjoy; we do it because it supposedly helps us get into heaven. Believing in religion, to most Catholics, is like having a second job. If we pray enough, and spend enough time in church every week, then we will be rewarded with a guarantee that we will end up in heaven after we pass away.

Twain writes about how bored people are of religion-how the common man dreads going to service. Satan states, "Of all the men in a church on a Sunday, two-thirds are tired when the service is half over, and the rest before it is finished." He observes the way that man attends church just because he feels like he's doing his good deed to God. Satan also says that, "The gladdest moment for all of them is when the preacher uplifts his hands for the benediction. You can hear the soft rustle of relief that sweeps the house, and you recognize that it is eloquent with gratitude." He observes that people are thankful that the service is over, and not that they're thankful to God. This proves that religion is nothing more than a chore to us. There are parts of religion (among other things) that we don’t enjoy, but we think we will enjoy them in heaven.

Heaven, the resting place of our souls, is viewed as the ultimate place of peace, yet everything that it contains is contradictory to everything we enjoy while we are mortal. The things we enjoy as mortals are not the same things we include in our image of heaven. The things we do believe exist in heaven are not the same things we enjoy on earth. We think we will enjoy these things in heaven, even if we don't like them on earth.

One example is sex. Sex is the one pleasure that we hold above all other pleasures, but it is something that we think is sinful in the eyes of God. Therefore, we left out sex in our idea of heaven. In Mark Twain's piece, Satan says, "To wit, that the human being, like the immortals, naturally places sexual intercourse far and away above all other joys -- yet he has left it out of his heaven!" Why would we leave out one of our greatest enjoyments from being in heaven?

Why do we think that God would want us to stop having sex, if it is in our nature? Satan says that it is okay for immortals to enjoy sex. Why then, do we say that it is not ok to have in heaven? According to the Bible, if you're not married, you're not supposed to have sex, yet so many people do. Sex is in our nature, just as eating or breathing. Not only do we use it for pleasure, but it is important for our survival. According to Twain, "No creature can be honorably required to go counter to the law of his nature -- the Law of God." One can't go against his nature, so why is sex a sin? According to what Mark Twain said, not having



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