THEOLOGY (almost)      

and some history of Sandra Dodd's religious life and thought

An anthropological and linguistic question: WHY IS HEAVEN UP AND HELL DOWN?

What is UP with Heaven?

and why we should not get down with Hell.

An anonymous questioner asked in public:
Anyone ever see the similarities in the cosmos and in the Heaven idea? Angels vs. ufos...that kind of stuff...I have a feeling that they are all closer linked than than most would like to believe.
Carl Jung would agree with you. There are pictures, ideas, stories, etc. that just resonate inside people as truth. Whether that means people are all connected to a large pool of truth somewhere, or whether people's brains are just similar enough that some things click and work so well they think God just spoke to them, we might never know.

It's not just a Christian idea that heaven is "up," so either heaven IS up, or humans in general have an idea that below the ground isn't the place to want to be, and that all that light and air and pretty cloud-stuff should be our goal. Is NASA like saints ascending? In any fewer than a dozen ways?

Why wouldn't people think there is fire and brimstone under the ground? THERE IS!!!! Anyone who has been around a sulphur spring or hot springs or volcanic activity knows that under the ground there's evil, painful, stinky hot stuff not conducive to human comfort. It's not rocket-theology to figure that one out. But the sky... OOOOh, it's pretty. It smells good lots of times. Those little breezes on your face are like a mother's touch (good touch). Rainbows. Sunrise and sunset light shows.

Worms and bugs and rotting dead birds.

Singing birds. Oxygen. Clouds shaped like food.

Lifted in the form of a review, from a site I like and read lots:

From Sinfest, a cartoon about God, the godly, teens, a cat, a dog, the not-so-godly, and the devil. Not all at the same time.

Other humorous truths...

(Sandra responding to public questions):

-=-What sort of Christian music did you like and now miss (if you feel like sharing)? -=-

I miss the late 19th century, early 20th century hymnal stuff. Four-part harmony. I know every song in this story (which I received just this morning) and a hundred more like them, by memory, often the soprano, alto and tenor parts:

Subject: Minister's Game

A minister decided to do something a little different one Sunday morning. He said, "Today, in church, I am going to say a single word and you are going to help me preach. Whatever single word I say, I want you to sing whatever hymn that comes to your mind."

The pastor shouted out, "Cross."

Immediately the congregation started singing in unison, "The Old Rugged Cross."

The pastor hollered out "Grace."

The congregation began to sing "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound."

The pastor said, "Power."

The congregation sang, "There is Power in the Blood."

The Pastor said, "Sex."

The congregation fell into total silence.Everyone was in shock. They all nervously began to look around at each other, afraid to say anything.

Then all of a sudden way from in the back of the church a little old 87-year-old grandmother stood up and began to sing "Precious Memories."

I have hymnals and a little pump organ. I have electronic keyboards. Sometimes I'll just play hymns for an hour. Sometimes when I'm singing Holly to sleep I'll sing a hymn.

Sometimes I meet with others to sing Sacred Harp music, the precursors of the hymnal stuff. Some tunes are the same, and many texts, but the harmonies are different. The shape-note hymns (Sacred Harp is just one of several "schools"/books) are kind of a missing link between madrigals and the current hymn/carol styles.

So with all that, am I "not Christian"? I was born again. I was baptized at my own request, and by people who say you cannot fall from grace. They believed me to be saved, and they were experts in born-againedness. (They also say it's between each person and God and they can't know for sure.) So if I assert that I no longer consider Jesus to be "my personal savior" they will have to say "then you were never truly saved."

Yeah, okay. That's the kind of logic that makes some wonder if those people were never truly smart.

-=-OMG...who is the person responsible for creating this disaster? -=-

Uh... Ren? You seem to have used God's emoticon in vain. You might want to watch that sort of commandment violation. (Or does it have to be the full legal name of God? And what IS the full name? Does it have to be spoken or can it be written? Abbreviated? If I think the name of God in vain have I sinned in my heart?)

As you have got me started and I cannot pass up the opportunity to mud wrestle with philosophical or theological questions...

theological musings which can't hurt you

-=-why does god want you to be fruitful and multiply, he only begot one son?-=-
Spotless virgins are single-use only.
-=-people who pray to god and jesus - are they praying to one entity or two?-=-
Three-in-one, DUH! You forgot the Holy Spirit. (This concept is so famous they even named an oil after it, and men anoint with it all the time.) When God walked on earth, that's called Jesus. When God is in heaven and built earth, that's called God, and when God is in and around you invisibly, that is holy ghost. They're just kind of like water, ice and steam. Easy.
God is the water, because it can be all kinds of places and change form.
Jesus is the ice, being the solid form. (In case that order was unclear.)
-=-if god decided to have more children would people have to pray to them also?-=-
Some people say yes, he did, and some people pray to them, but why pray to all of them? One should do. [Official answer of fundamentalists: Pray to the Father. Jesus did.]
-=-is christianity monotheistic or polytheistic?-=-
Monotheistic with vestigial polytheistic overtones. Not all those guys in department stores in December are the real Santa. Santa has many helpers. God has many helpers. Most protestants like to ignore the helpers and only write to the REAL Santa instead of sitting in the laps of idols.
-=-why must you come to the father through the son?-=-
Because one of the greatest hymns, with a great bass line and glorious harmonies goes "To God be the glory, great things He hath done; so loved He the world that He gave us His son [reference John 3:16], who yielded His life [grammar note: change of antecedent and "His" now refers to Jesus] an atonement for sin, and opened the lifegate that all may come in."
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, let the people rejoice
Oh come to the Father, through Jesus the Son
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.
You want another verse?
Great things he hath taught us, great things he hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus his son...
[ooops... out of words and unwilling to look it up because I am working from memory only. I'll sing it abruptly later when the words come to me and disturb whomsoever's conversation I've interrupted with it]
-=-is it so strange that a person would die for his/her beliefs?-=-
Consciously knowing that because of their innocent death others' lives will be better? It happens. What's your point? GOD decided this one. It was a setup from the beginning. Preordained is preordained, and human sacrifice and subsequent ceremonial cannibalism aren't discussed much.
-=-what if jesus said "screw you - i'm not dying on no stupid cross", would we be any worse for wear?-=-
We'd be debating something different, I guess.
-=-would god damn us all to hell, even the good people? -=-
Where are the people who died before Jesus came to earth? Will God damn good people to hell now? Depends who you ask. Would God invent such a place as hell? I vote no. My vote is as good as the Pope's. Neither of us can create, maintain, prevent, prove or disprove hell.

[This originally appeared as part of a larger discussion in on July 31, 2001. Some parts seemed worth saving a while.]

CLAIMER: (This page is the opinion of Sandra Dodd, who is solely responsible on the judgment day for any error, misspelling, heresy or Bang-On Truth.)

Eat Him


At birthdays and weddings, cakes are slain with ceremonial knives. Click to read more.

This is not typical of the rest of the website, which can be accessed here