Monolatry is the future

Hmm. Pastors of all kinds will be a tad controversial, these days, if they go on too loudly about “Buddha is Satan’s friend” or anything such: it’s not polite to go on about dem infidels burning in the eternal fires of Hell, at least if you go on with a list of the religions such infidels consist of.

It is not polite to teach religions, either, along the guiding star of “this is another different religion, and this is why they are wrong!”

Finally, neither is it polite for a Christian to go around screaming that Allah doesn’t exist, or Buddha is a scam; it is not good ecumenicism to be too atheistic about other gods and whatever Buddha is.

Couldn’t our modern politeness lead, eventually, to the old pagan model of monolatry: each tribe’s god is their own god, and there is no pretense that any god is a supreme god, or the only existing god? (“Monolatry” meaning “the worship of one (god)” as opposed to “monotheism”, “(the existence of) one god”.)

* * *

“I am a Christian; what this means is I will be uplifted into Heaven, a place of great white cloud and harp music, when I die.”

“What about me?”

“Who do you worship, you uncouth foreigner?”

“Er, the Frog Idol of Ib, formerly, but I’m kind of undecided at the moment. The House of Athe, you might call me.”

“Out of my god’s jurisdiction, then. Better ask the Ibbites about relapsers and walk-outs, if they have an opinion. Or if you want, we could find a place for you, too, if our Heaven sounds nicer than the Calm Marsh.”

“Well, on the other hand according to Ib, croak, every Ibbite gets to the Calm Marsh. Don’t you have this other place, too, for everyone that isn’t a very good Christian?”

“Aw rats, no. That’s outmoded, crude, bad, evil theology; the Pope Joan III upturned it in 2412. There has been a lot of popular misunderstanding about it, but what our, um, ‘Hell’ was actually, was a short-short for ‘whatever fate befalls other people, which is not something we know anything about’. Not the domain of our God, to be meddling with those who do not believe in him; other gods will take care of their own. Now admittedly bad Christians have a spot of trouble post-mortem, but that’s only the temporary admonishment of the Purgatory and it’s not really that bad.”

“Oh.”

“What do the Ibbites say about relapsers, by the way?”

“That the Great Stork, whose faces all other gods are, deceives them and swallows their souls whole.”

“What, all those who do not worship the Green Idol? Like, me too?”

“Uh, yes. Sorry about that.”

“Dreadfully intolerant. Why can’t he just let other people believe as they want to?”

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