Secret memo revealed: God’s own instructions for deciding who gets into heaven

| December 22, 2006 | 11 Replies

I can’t reveal how I obtained a copy of the dramatic memo re-printed below.  It is important reading for anyone who might someday die.  It is a rare candid glimpse into the mind of the Creator of the Universe.

To: Heaven Admission Screeners
From: God
Date: December 23, 2006
Re: Criteria for Admittance to Heaven

As you all learned in your basic training, our screening program is simple.   After a person dies, he or she is brought to one of the numerous screening stations at the Pearly Gates (it’s a lot like airport customs down on Earth).  Each applicant is asked to succinctly describe what he or she has accomplished on earth that would justify admission into heaven.   We’ve heard lots of flimsy excuses over the eons, many of them falling into predicable categories.  I wrote this “refresher memo” to point out many of these commonly heard (deficient) accomplishments and to give you a few other pointers to assist you in your screening duties. 

First of all, keep the focus on the bottom line: exclude from heaven all of those people who haven’t shown any significant accomplishments while they lived on earth. Remember, our task is to give fair, expedient and professional resolutions of whether the applicant deserves admission to heaven.  Your job is not to chit-chat with the applicants, much less counsel those who you’ve just turned down.  Tell them that the rules are the rules, then loudly and resolutely state, “Next!”

Many applicants base their application primarily on their claims that they “love” Me (or Jesus or whoever), that they have “faith” in Me, or that they are willing to endlessly worship Me. These are not accomplishments.  This sycophantic behavior is time-consuming and pointless.  It isn’t worth a d–, you know I almost made a pun! It doesn’t justify admittance to heaven. We’re looking for real accomplishments.

We’re looking for people who engaged in thoughtful good-hearted activity aimed at caring for the people of the Earth, in communities both near and far from the applicant.  We’re looking for locally and globally minded people who have truly assisted a wide variety of other people to flourish.  There are many ways to do this.  One way is, while on Earth, to strive to provide decent food, shelter, medical care and education to all of the world’s people.  We’re also looking for people who sought to provoke others with intelligent thoughts or inspire others through art.  We give extra points to those who worked to preserve the planet’s resources for later generations.  Taking care of the people of the future is an important part of earning heaven.

We’re not looking for short-term bandaids, like those people who occasionally gave money to a beggar.   We’re not looking for people who worked long hours so that they could buy lots of things for themselves and their immediate families.  Really, ostentatious materialism is a big no-no.  We’re not looking for those who spent lots of passive time watching television, movies and sports events.  We’re not looking for solipsists of any stripe—those who closed themselves off from their community to collect stamps, become experts at computer games or gaze at their navels.  By the way, Adam did not have a navel (this topic was addressed on a rather clever blog)

Whenever you are screening an applicant who babbles on and on that they spent hours and hours “worshipping” Me or having faith in Me (or converting others to do the same), gently settle them down and give them one more chance to tell you how they helped all of the Earth’s communities to flourish.  If they repeat to you that their main accomplishment was worshiping Me or having faith in Me, pull lever and send them on down to hell.  Remember, most applicants have had an entire lifetime on earth to do something significant to justify admission to heaven.  They really can do better than praying or worshiping.  We have standards up here.

Over the past month, we have accumulated a list of the sorts of inadequate “reasons” we are commonly hearing from applicants these days.  Keep in mind that none of these “accomplishments” were sufficient to earn the applicant entry to heaven.  None of these were even close.  Yet we continue to hear these sorts of excuses on a regular basis.   I mean, what are these people thinking?  Don’t answer that. I already know the answer, given that I’m omniscient.   I’m asking it rhetorically.  What are they thinking, having a chance to live a long life on Earth, then coming up here and spouting all of this petty stuff as their raison d’être? 

We are distributing this memo to remind all of our screeners: Don’t let any of these people into heaven.  Be kind to them, but promptly tell them that you’ve made your decision then pull the lever to the trap door.  There is no need to engage in a lengthy dialogue.  Keep the lines moving.   Without further ado, here’s the list:

  • I spent a lot of money to restore my 1972 Camaro to mint condition.
  • I mostly got my gambling addiction under control.
  • I worked hard to gather one of the most extensive baseball card collections ever.
  • Many people told me that I was always cheerful.
  • I worked hard and played hard all of my life.
  • I memorized the plots to almost every episode of Everyone Loves Raymond.
  • I once won a contest by eating 27 hot dogs.
  • I have 18 grandchildren.  I always phoned them on their birthdays.
  • I always helped my friends to shopping for cool clothes and cosmetics.
  • Except for a few times, I never cheated on my spouse.
  • I worked hard to send my kids to a prestigious college.
  • People said that I always bought them the most memorable birthday gifts.
  • My well-groomed front yard was always the envy of my neighbors.
  • I cooked very nice meals for my family, without complaining.
  • I was a champion tri-athlete.  I trained for thousands of hours and, one time, came in 37th place in a competition.
  • I won a local beauty contest when I was in high school.
  • I prayed every day and every night.  And I went to church 3 times each week.
  • I was promoted to upper level manager at my job when I was only 28 years old.
  • Once each year I volunteered to work at the local soup kitchen on Thanksgiving.
  • I sent Hallmark cards to all of my friends and family on all major occasions.
  • My high school football team won the state championship two years in a row.
  • I was an extremely frugal shopper, making constant use of coupons.
  • Many people have told me that I could tell very funny jokes.
  • I always said please and thank you, even to strangers.
  • After I got to be 62 years old, I settled down, stopped getting into trouble with the police and had a family.
  • I was superb at solving crossword puzzles.
  • No one supported the Boston Redsox better than I did.
  • I took very good care of my body, eating right and keeping my weight down.
  • I visited all 50 states of the United States at least once.
  • I rarely missed a day from work as a result of sickness.

Remember.  These are some of the most commonly-heard deficient “accomplishments.”  None of these are sufficient to gain admission into heaven.

Since I’m writing this memo anyway, I’ll mention a few other things.

Each week, my suggestion box is filled with millions of requests asking that I simply dismantle hell.  Your main complaint is that it is almost impossible to enjoy heaven knowing that some your friends and family are being tortured in hell.  I see your point, but, frankly, this is the way we’ve always done things, so I don’t have plans to invoke major changes.  Heavenly stare decisis, you might say.  Hell is important because it is a crutch that keeps morally flawed and weak-willed people on the straight and narrow.  I invented hell to keep my perfect creatures in line (Michael the Archangel and I sometimes joke that they are perfectly imperfect).  Others have followed-up My refusal to outright abolish hell, asking why I don’t just threaten hell to keep people in line, but not really have a hell?  I couldn’t do that . . . that would be lying. Not that I’ve read the Bible recently, but I do believe that somewhere in there the existence of a real hell is mandated. 

Another important point to remember for you screeners is that we don’t send children to grown-up heaven or hell.   Remember, if the applicant is younger than 12, we utilize kiddie-eschatology.   We send the good kids to a kiddie-heaven, where they lounge around and eat yummy popsicles.  We send the bad kids to kiddie-hell, where their popsicles are made of worms.  Nothing too intense, mind you.

In closing, I want to wish all the screeners a Merry Christmas.  I know that some of you are missing your families and friends who are still alive down on Earth.   Be patient.  One of these days, your loved ones will die, opening up the possibility that you might see them up here in heaven, or at least at the screening area.  Keep in mind, though, that screeners should not be reviewing the cases of their own friends and family.  That would be a conflict of interest pursuant to our Rules of Ethics.  If you find yourself face-to-face with someone you know, remember to recuse yourself and turn that person over to another screener.

OK, now.  Back to work!

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Category: Humor, Psychology Cognition, Religion, Whimsy

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich and his wife, Anne Jay, live in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where they are raising their two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (11)

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  1. hogiemo says:

    Erich, you immoral nihilist, you are going to hell! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Give my love to your family, Hogie.

  2. Dan says:

    That God's a right bastard, he is.

  3. grumpypilgrim says:

    Speaking of getting into heaven, there is something I've always wondered about. When preachers preach to their congrations, they stress how difficult it is to get into heaven. They will, accordingly, admonish their parishioners to earnestly pray and diligently avoid sin. To hear some preach, you'd think heaven is a very exclusive place.

    However, when this same preacher performs a funeral service, he or she will unfailingly declare that the deceased person has gone to heaven. It doesn't matter if the person rarely attended church, never prayed on a regular basis, never did much good in the community, or even if they expressed disbelief in an afterlife. Preachers, when speaking of the deceased, seem to believe that everyone goes to heaven.

    Of course, what is probably happening is selection bias: preachers probably don't agree to perform a funeral service unless they are comfortable reciting their canned eulogy; so it only looks like they believe everyone goes to heaven. Still, preachers express far more certainty that deceased people have gone to heaven than they do that living people will go there.

    Such behavior strongly suggests that heaven is nothing more than a tool of social control: something to be withheld or extended depending upon what best suits the preacher's self-interest. Admonishing the living about not getting into heaven puts fear into them, inclining them to be more receptive to the preacher's message; assuring the living that the dead have gone to heaven comforts them at a time of great pain, likewise inclining them to be more receptive to the preacher's message.

  4. Edgar Montrose says:

    I think it's a formalization of an old superstition; "Don't speak ill of the dead."

    Speaking for myself, there are a couple of people in this world at whose funerals I'd like to give the following eulogy: "(Name withheld) was an evil (expletive deleted), and the world's a better place without him."

  5. friend of Erich&#039 says:

    dear god,

    if you are so all-knowing, how come you have to have screeners?

    and now that i know how the admission process works i am working on my resume (bringing it with me) on the assumption there are no background checks or verification of my stated accomplishments.

    Oh, I got 1600 on my college boards.

    thanks.

  6. hogiemo says:

    Hey, it's all a scam! You die, you go to heaven. Atheists and Republicans clean bedpans for eternity. Take that, you immoral nihilists!

  7. grumpypilgrim says:

    Further to hogiemo's comment, Believers who are "saved" don't have it much better in heaven; see:
    http://dangerousintersection.org/?p=362/.

  8. Scholar says:

    Merry Holidays All.

    Hogie, we aren't being immoral.

    *Not* believing in God is the most noble solution of all.

    That way you avoid the pitfalls of the Bible. And Islam. Etc.

    And can enjoy peace, knowledge, and kindness.

    Without having to lie to yourself and others including your kids.

    Kwanza is king! (unless of course, you aren't Kwanese).

    Shalom

  9. Erich Vieth says:

    In this article, Richard Dawkins answered questions posed by readers. One reader asked this: "If you died and arrived at the gates of Heaven, what would you say to God to justify your lifelong atheism?"

    Dawkins' answer:

    I'd quote Bertrand Russell: "Not enough evidence, God, not enough evidence." But why is God assumed to care so much about whether you believe in him? Maybe he wants you to be generous, kind, loving, and honest – and never mind what you believe.

  10. steve rapp says:

    remember when jesus was between the two thieves on the

    cross the one thief railed against jesus while the other

    thief acknowledge tha they deserved their punishment and then the thief said to jesus remember me Lord and jesus said from hence forth i'll remember you in paradise.

  11. Steve…only thing about that is…the Romans didn't crucify thieves. Crucifixion was for capitol offenses and treason.

    In other words, it's a story.

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