Fair point, Beverly. Although I should note that I did sort of deliberately avoid specifying a particular faith because I didn’t *only* have Christianity in mind when I wrote this (though the heaven/hell part maybe implied that I did). I was thinking more about how human beings attempt to deal with the very real possibility that we’re all going to permanently lose everything and everyone we’ve ever loved, and that existence itself might ultimately prove to be totally meaningless. Since Christianity obviously rejects that interpretation of reality, it can provide a great deal of relief to anyone who can’t stand the thought of living in a nihilistic universe. But certainly there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different religions, philosophies and belief systems that can do the same thing.
On a personal note, though, I do appreciate your perspective on the whole heaven/hell thing. I’m lucky to have a pretty good family, but I’ve known quite a few people who aren’t as fortunate. More specifically, I have one very close friend whose family was very dogmatic, very judgmental, and very unforgiving. I saw what they put her through, and I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone. And when it comes to the concepts of heaven and hell, I suspect she feels a lot like you do.
Thanks for reading and commenting, by the way. I sincerely appreciate it.