“In Heaven, everybody’s young”: a new movie proving Heaven

Pay attention, David Bentley Hart!! Heaven is for real, and it’s beautiful and Jesus is there and we see all our friends and relatives as young people!

About two years ago I wrote about a publishing phenomenon, the book Heaven is for Real, recounting the story of Colton Burpo, who, at the age of four, had a “near-death experience” after his appendix burst. Colton later began coming out with some strange stuff—stuff that supposedly gave evidence for God because it could not have been known to Colton. I quoted the New York Times story on the piece:

He had died and gone to heaven, where he met his great-grandfather; the biblical figure Samson; John the Baptist; and Jesus, who had eyes that “were just sort of a sea-blue and they seemed to sparkle,” Colton, now 11 years old, recalled. . .

. . . At first, [Colton's father Todd] and his wife, Sonja, were not sure if they could believe their son’s story, which came out slowly, months and years after his sudden illness and operation in 2003. The details persuaded them, Mr. Burpo said. Colton told his parents that he had met his younger sister in heaven, describing her as a dark-haired girl who resembled his older sister, Cassie. When the Burpos questioned him, he asked his mother, “You had a baby die in your tummy, didn’t you?” While his wife had suffered a miscarriage years before, Mr. Burpo said, they had not told Colton about it. “There’s just no way he could have known,” Mr. Burpo said.

And the Burpos said that Colton painstakingly described images that he said he saw in heaven — like the bloody wounds on Jesus’ palms — that he had not been shown before.

Inevitably, the story was made into a book, co-written with Colton’s mother, father, and writer Lynn Vincent, and the book shot up to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Now, coming April 16, is the movie the American public has been waiting for: a movie that proves the existence of God and Heaven. And everybody’s young there—just what we want to hear. Here’s the official trailer:

The official movie site is here.

The American public has an insatiable appetite for “proofs” of Heaven and God, so eager are they to believe that death is not the end. Ergo Eben Alexander’s questionable bestseller, Proof of Heaven, which has been severely questioned as a possible piece of fraud.

One thing we know for sure: the movie “Heaven is for Real” is gonna do a lot better at the box office than the movie “The Unbelievers,” an atheist flick starring Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss. More’s the pity. And don’t forget the upcoming “Noah”!

~

180 Comments

  1. moleatthecounter
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Typo in the headline… “a new moving proving Heaven” I assume it should be ‘movie’?

  2. Simon Hayward
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Good grief Charlie Brown

    • Kevin
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      My sentiments exactly.

  3. Barry Lyons
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Jerry, thank you for this wonderful news! But I’m confused. How do we decide what “young” means? I don’t want to be 17 in heaven. I’d rather be 27. Actually, 37 is preferable to 27! How will this problem be adjudicated? Gee, now you have me worried about all this! Nuts, and I’m supposed to be happy!

    • eric
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Colton told his parents that he had met his younger sister in heaven, describing her as a dark-haired girl who resembled his older sister, Cassie. When the Burpos questioned him, he asked his mother, “You had a baby die in your tummy, didn’t you?” While his wife had suffered a miscarriage years before, Mr. Burpo said, they had not told Colton about it.

      So, evidently, in heaven parents miss out on the first 10-15 years of some of their kid’s lives. How happy is that?

      • lkr
        Posted March 27, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        ..everyone’s 2 days short of their 21st birthday. Cuz, in heaven, there is no beer!

        • LucyLastic
          Posted March 27, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

          But those of us from countries where the legal drinking age is 18 will be even more devastated

    • challedon
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      As long as the 72 virgins are of consenting age then I’m not too concerned about my age…… oops, sorry, wrong religion.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        Unless it is 72 raisins instead which I’ve heard may be the actual translation.

      • abrotherhoodofman
        Posted March 26, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        I thought it was 53 virgins

        • HaggisForBrains
          Posted March 27, 2014 at 5:27 am | Permalink

          F**king Brilliant!

  4. Posted March 26, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    It’s the sea-blue eyes emanating from a Middle Eastern carpenter who formerly resided in the North District of Israel that worries me most.

    • Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      I have seen Arabs, Copts and Africans with sea-blue eyes, so that is not what worries me most. What worries me most is the exploitation and manipulation of a little kid.

      • Posted March 27, 2014 at 5:29 am | Permalink

        Invariably, these descriptions from “recollection” will resemble something out of a Madison Grant sketchbook.

        Sweet, baby, white Jebus.

    • Simon Hayward
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Clearly he had his father’s eyes. Although blue is still a recessive color, which would be odd in that time and place. However he must have received genes directly from g*d – otherwise I don’t see how you get a male product from mammalian parthenogenesis.

      • Snuffy
        Posted March 27, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, that would only make sense if Jesus was haploid, sporting Big Daddy’s genes.

  5. Derek Freyberg
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    “Inevitably, the story was made into a boo” Some typos are just felicitous.

    • Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      …jum?

      /@

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        I know. I spent a few minutes trying to figure out if it was slang I was unaware of until I realized Jerry just mistyped and it is book.

  6. SA Gould
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I really really want the religionists to just explain this. What if you had a major problems when you were young, but were infinitely better after you were 40? Who decides? Howz this work, exactly?

    • ladyatheist
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      I was a 2-1/2 pack a day smoker when I was “young.” Will there be Marlboro Lights in Heaven? If not, then I pass.

      • Hempenstein
        Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        I suspect the Bible only mentions Camels.

        • Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

          +🐪

        • Posted March 26, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          The selection is admittedly pretty thin… but I think you can also get “Bugler”. You have to go to hell to get “Gambler”, though the price is better.

        • Posted March 26, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

          You also forgot about Samson. And the best thing is, in heaven you can safely ignore the warning label.

          And on top of that, everybody knows that when you get past the gates, you get your Wings. And then it’s time to party.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted March 27, 2014 at 1:51 am | Permalink

            Samson is acceptable, but I’m a Drum man myself. But at those tax-ridden prices, I’d think about stopping smoking again.

            • Posted March 27, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink

              In the rare occasions I have tobacco around the house, I’m a Drum man also.

              I do remember a trip to Bonaire (Netherlands Antilles) about 14 years ago… in a tiny village in the center of the island called Rancon – the locals there spoke nearly exclusively Papamientu, kind of an amalgamation of Dutch, Spanish & Portuguese. My (then) girlfriend was heavily addicted & wanted some pouch tobacco, and we found a tiny shop where we tried Spanish and a lot of gesticulations, asking for pouch Tobacco, esp. our favorite: Drum. The lady behind the counter finally figured out what we needed, but kept saying “no drum, sa-soh…”. She kept dropping consonants, it seemed… but eventually she scrambled for the pouch of Samson to show us what she was saying. Luckily she understood “papeles” and had some papers, too.

              • Posted March 27, 2014 at 8:10 am | Permalink

                Make that Rincón

                …and we were at the above-linked exact spot before we found the shop.

              • Posted March 27, 2014 at 8:13 am | Permalink

                Bonaire is beautiful. The whole coastline is a wildlife sanctuary. My favourite of the ten or so islands I visited for the first time last year. (My wife’s was St. Lucia.)

                /@

              • Posted March 27, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

                Mine too. One of my favorite places on Earth… but I haven’t yet been to Palau. (or the Maldives, though I wouldn’t want to be caught there being an atheist)

              • Posted March 27, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

                Palau has just done the same thing with its coastline, but much further out, covering an area of ocean the size of France, iirc.

                /@

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        And what about acne. I don’t want to go back to those days. I hope there are dermatologists there.

      • Posted March 26, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        This is a good question.

        I don’t think the points about having a troubled youth or acne will pose a problem for magical thinkers. Everything will just be perfect. Did you have a troubled youth? Well, in heaven you’ll get to be young AND trouble/acne free. Problem solved!

        But what about pleasurable peccadilloes? Will there be smoking in heaven? What about sex?! There had better be sex, or I sure as hell don’t want to go. Yet something tells me theists would be reluctant to posit heavenly orgies. I think this is a better “gotcha” approach.

        • Posted March 26, 2014 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

          Maybe it will be like sex in _Demolition Man_ – all numinous ecstasy but without the exchange of bodily fluids …

          /@

          • darrelle
            Posted March 26, 2014 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

            How dull! If I by chance end up in heaven, there will be a revolution.

          • Posted March 26, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

            You mean, like this?

            b&

          • microraptor
            Posted March 26, 2014 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

            You mean that in Heaven we’ll wear helmets that make us think we’re having sex with Silvester Stallone?

            Now I really don’t want to go there.

        • eric
          Posted March 27, 2014 at 6:05 am | Permalink

          Or consider something like card playing. To a competitive person who loves to play cards…
          1. If the process of going to heaven alters your personality to such an extent that you no longer like/want to play cards, that’s not heaven.
          2. If you can’t play, its not heaven.
          3. If you can play but you never lose, its not heaven.
          4. If you can play and you lose, its not heaven.

          Thus, heaven is essentially an impossible concept.

    • darrelle
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Magic Man dunit! It works however each individual wants it to, all at the same time! See! Quantum proves Magic Man! Multiverse proves Magic Man!

      You MUST observe this truth, or Magic Man might not collapse you!

      • Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        “Magic Man might not collapse you!”

        So everyone will be their ideal weight, too?

        And what will Magic Man do about people who died young but who would’ve been better at 85?

      • SA Gould
        Posted March 26, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        Well, I certainly can’t argue with that!

  7. Frank Stabile
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    The beginning of that trailer gave me an Exorcist or Paranormal Activity vibe for some reason. I thought by the end of it he would be climbing the walls or speaking Latin. No such luck.

  8. Aldo Matteucci
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    hei!

    the best time is over 65

    lateral thinking emerges then
    not before
    Tiziano painted his best nude ladies
    at that age

    don’t stop the clock
    make it go fast
    faster

    GOD

  9. Richard Olson
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Grampa and Gramma on both sides are gonna be there, and Mom and Dad, and all my aunts and uncles, and my brothers and sisters and cousins, and all my kids and their kids, and my grandkids, and all of Grampa and Gramma’s (on both sides) family goin’ waaaaaaaay back that I’ll get to meet and love, too, and all my kid’s kids & neice’s n’ nephew’s kid’s kids, and all their kids to come. Oh, yeah, and all my bestest friends will be there, too.

    And we’re gonna all be the same age! Twenty-one, or thirty, or some vital and alive time like that. Forever! (even little Timmy who died of disease in the hospital two days after he was born) We’ll be perfectly healthy, of course. Not even a cold or a sore muscle. Yes our spirits will have physical form, you ninny.

    And maybe even Great Uncle Jack, who got drunk one night when he was 35 and his lit cigarette started a fire that burned him and his house into ashes, will be there with us. I wasn’t born yet, but everybody says he was a great guy and a whole lot of fun. I think I have some relatives killed in wars at young ages, an aunt from scarlet fever or rubella — whatever that is — or something. They’ll all be fine, up in Heaven.

    And every day is gonna be an unending fabulous time with all of us together, like Christmas and Thanksgiving and Memorial Day and Fourth of July and the biggest and best birthday party ever, all rolled into one. It never ever ends, and we all get along just great.

    Oh, and we’ll also get to serve and obey God and Lord Jesus every day forever, and get to bask in Their/His presence and glory, too. And people we never liked won’t be there.

    • ladyatheist
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      My dad was a deadbeat dad. I look forward to kicking him in the balls and demanding back child support.

      • Moarscienceplz
        Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Oh, yeah. First off, if my old man’s in heaven, somebody made a big clerical error. Second, no way I’m spending eternity with him.

    • sbridge
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      It will be more like Disney World forever … but we will be the mindless animatronic dolls singing Its a Small World or some happy hymn of praise (no sad hymns because heaven is a happy place) for trillions of trillions of trillions of trillions of trillions of years … while god and the angels ride in the boat.

      • Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        “Everything is awesome …”

        Oh, no. That’s singing the praises of LEGOd.

        /@

    • Sastra
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      Okay, Richard Olsen can write the sequel.

      But people we never liked WILL be there — and they will apologize to us. Profusely.

      But there aren’t any bugs.

      • darrelle
        Posted March 27, 2014 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        No bugs?! My daughter and son will hate heaven.

        • Sastra
          Posted March 27, 2014 at 10:31 am | Permalink

          Oh, then there will be bugs in THEIR Heaven.

          It’s rather surprising how subjective and flexible heaven turns out to be when you talk to the advocates. It will always be what you want and need. Sometimes this involves multiple heavens, possibly one per believer. Other times they imply that it’s all the same Heaven but we see and experience different things from our own perspective.

          Consistency? Consistency is for small minds. Stand back — we’re using Metaphysics!

          • Diane G.
            Posted March 27, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

            Yes, the multiven theory.

          • Posted March 27, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

            So heaven will just be everyone plugged into their own virtual reality simulators.

        • Posted March 27, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

          There will certainly be bugs and beetles, too. The god guy must love them inordinately, since he made so many of them.

  10. Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    tsk, does this mean that uberChristian C.S. Lewis was wrong and a liar? His heaven isn’t anything like that.

    just watched the Noah trailer to review it and looking to see if they show kids being drowned. I’m guessing that they’ll not show that. But if anyone sees this pile of poop, let me know if I’m wrong.

    • Moarscienceplz
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Everybody knows that when a movie is “inspired by actual events”, that means they threw the book in the dumpster and are making the whole thing up. So, Glen Beck and Ken Ham are probably correct when they say the movie doesn’t follow the biblical narrative.

      • Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        the movie appears to be the biblical narrative (sans the wives of Noah’s sons) and then adds to it to make it actually a movie. Considering that TrueBeleivers can’t agree on what they want to pretend happened, e.g. how the water got there, if it was just a regional flood or the ludicrous world-wide one, it seems that none of their stories follow the literal biblical narrative.

    • Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      “Noah isn’t a cutesy kids story — it’s an apocalyptic story,” said Ari Handel, who wrote the script with Aronofsky, his old suitemate from Harvard University. “It’s about the end of the world.”

      – I don’t know if they will be adding children to the mix but the interviews I’ve read make it clear they (the writer and director, both atheists) intend this to be a dark story, as the death of all life IS a dark story. Even so, you are probably correct. They won’t likely show children being in the mix.

      I keep hearing the movie being referenced as “religious” but it is only religious in the sense that the story comes from the Bible. It could just have easily come from another book. It’s clearly intended to be fictional and Aronofsky has done just about everything he can do make sure fundamentalist (and probably some liberals) are offended by it.

      • microraptor
        Posted March 26, 2014 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        All I can tell from the trailer is that it looks like everybody who’s in it is white and the armor appears to be medieval chainmail or breastplates.

      • Posted March 27, 2014 at 4:29 am | Permalink

        it seems that showing the story (with the only change of no wives for the sons from the bible, and some additions to make conflict) is offensive to people who believe in the story. The essential bits of the story are there and are not changed at all.

        • Posted March 27, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          From the interviews and descriptions I’ve read there is more to it. The mere fact that Noah and his family are vegetarians while everyone else isn’t is enough to send fundamentalist Christians into a tizzy.

          • Posted March 27, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

            I had forgotten that bit. the National Religious Broadcasters are also “shocked, shocked” that their nonsense of “kinds” isn’t being shown in the animal sequences.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted March 27, 2014 at 2:13 am | Permalink

      just watched the Noah trailer to review it and looking to see if they show kids being drowned. I’m guessing that they’ll not show that

      Why wouldn’t they? This is, of course, the smiting god of the Old Testament, who would happily inflict pain and suffering on a child and family for the sins of any one of the parent’s 64 great-great-great-grandparents.
      Just as a bit of sociological inquiry … how far do you think you’d have to go back before encountering one of your [(great-)^n]-grandparents who had committed a mortal sin that would condemn you to eternal torment? The numbers stack up pretty impressively, and if the oft-repeated allegation that everyone in Britain is a descendent of Richard the Turd (or John-I, or Dicky The Kitteh-heart ; the claims vary) is anywhere near true, then Heaven is going to be a pretty empty place. Unless there’s significant marriage between relatives, in which case, Heaven is going to be a pretty empty place.

      • Posted March 27, 2014 at 4:27 am | Permalink

        why wouldn’t they? hmmm, because they claim “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the worrrllllldddd”, I sang that little ditty in bible school. Kind of a bummer if it’s shown that this god doesn’t “love” everyone and it sure will show that the free will claims of many Christians are just more lies.

        • Posted March 28, 2014 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          I am currently in the middle of watching a live discussion with Ken Ham and some of his employees. One mentions children dying in the flood in a way that makes it sound like it is shown? At any rate, they go on about how disgusting it is the Noah believes he should kill his grandaugthers. They understand that we might point out that if that’s terrible, how much more terrible is it for their god to kill the entire planet? The answer of course is that god is just and can do whatever he liked. But also, those children had just as much right to get on the ark if they had been righteous. So, in other words, the planet’s infants only died because they all deserved it. Otherwise they would have crawled on their bellies to get in that big boat.

          Yes, seriously, that’s all they come up with. The kids deserved to drown by evidence that they weren’t on the boat.

          • Posted March 28, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

            ah, the “might equals right” argument of the TrueChristian. Of course, if anyone tried that on their tender little hides, they’d be the first to complain.

            • Richard Olson
              Posted March 28, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

              It’s also the old just rewards, just desserts, & the proof is in the pudding. Things come out just the way they should as a result of your own behavior. It may not look like that at the time to the earthly likes of you, but everything happens for a reason, and all of d*G’s reasons are the only right reasons.

              There are exceptions to this, of course, and those are when today’s Christian determines he got f*_ked by progressives somehow, like when prayer in school was found unconstitutional.

    • Posted March 27, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Well, he might be a lunatic or a lord instead.

  11. moleatthecounter
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    If everyone is ‘young’, and all are given (apparently) perfect bodies… How the hell are we supposed to actually recognise anyone that we know?!

    • ladyatheist
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Not to mention, do the people who got plastic surgery in life get the same improvements in heaven? It’s not really heaven if your cleft palette comes back or you have teensy boobs. And what about people who had sex change operations? Surely they can’t all be doomed to hell. Do they come back as the gender they are or the gender their DNA is?

      • darrelle
        Posted March 27, 2014 at 7:17 am | Permalink

        Sex change operations? Are you kidding? Straight to Hell, no need to even check with the Gabriel desk. Or even worse, you do go to heaven . . . for an eternity of counseling.

  12. moleatthecounter
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    What happens if someone is born without, for example, legs? Do they acquire legs in heaven?

    Do they even have wheelchairs there?

    I think we need to know.

    • ladyatheist
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      And if they can get legs in heaven, why not regrow them on earth when they could really use them?

      • moleatthecounter
        Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        Now that’s just silly….

        I get the feeling that you’re not taking this seriously.

      • Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        If people were not skeptics when they were alive, would they have their skepticism restored in heaven?

    • John Scanlon, FCD
      Posted March 27, 2014 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Legs will be provided!

  13. Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Considering that every sperm is sacred, methinks Colton has more than just the one undead sister “up” in Heaven….

    b&

    • Charles
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      :-D

    • Tulse
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Heck, just considering that 70% of fertilized eggs fail to make it to full term, that’s a lot of fetuses in heaven.

      • Jesper Both Pedersen
        Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        I wonder what is proper etiquette when conversating with a foetus?

        Do you shake hands? Talk about the weather? Break the ice with a joke?

        Heaven is going to be a busy, busy place.

        • gluonspring
          Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

          They are going to be the most boring people in Heaven, that’s for sure, and they’ll outnumber us. On the plus side, they haven’t heard ANY of the jokes, so you’ll get a laugh out of them using any lame joke you can recall.

        • Posted March 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

          Sure, that might work for the first several trillion years, but what about octillions of times longer than the last proton has decayed?

          b&

        • Richard Olson
          Posted March 26, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          I think maybe you only talk in general terms with a fetus you just met. You know, about obedience, reverence, worship of the Almighty, at least until you establish enough familiarity to move onto more personal subjects. Favorite dessert, baseball team you used to root for, what you wanted for your last birthday but didn’t get …

          … wait a minute! What does a fetus know about any of that? It won’t know shit. Maybe ask it about a personhood amendment to the US Constitution, if it’s an American fetus? Hell, I don’t know.

          • Larry Gay
            Posted March 27, 2014 at 2:29 am | Permalink

            You’ve just answered the question I’ve been fretting over. Now I know that a new fetus has nationality as well as personhood. Is there an “American” heaven?

      • Kevin
        Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        Not to mention as much as 10 – 15% of all “births” are miscarriages.

        • Timothy Hughbanks
          Posted March 26, 2014 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          …and another big chunk of them grow up to be Teapublicans.

      • Posted March 26, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        Right.

        Now compare the number of spermatozoa and ova produced to the number of fertilized eggs to get an idea of how bad the problem is. And factor in all the permutations thereupon — every sperm ever produced from any male paired up with every ovum simultaneously in existence from every female.

        You really want to go crazy? Every nucleated cell in your body has the exact same theoretical potential to develop into its own complete human being. Are there clones of each of us in Heaven, one for each cell?

        Hey, it’s no less batshit fucking insane than the story the parents have put into the boy’s mouth!

        b&

      • Sarah
        Posted April 3, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        The unbaptized go to limbo, not heaven.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted March 27, 2014 at 2:16 am | Permalink

      I have to go and scrub my eyebsalls with soap. I have taken your mental image, and crossed it with the title of the freebie episode in ‘Doom’, to get “Knee-deep in the …”
      Yeuchh.

  14. davidintoronto
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Well, “Unbelievers” is a documentary; and they’re usually not as popular as narratives. Also, big box office starts from a reasonably wide distribution. “Son of God” is doing excellent business – having been released in over 3000 theaters. The recent “God’s Not Dead” is a more modest success, playing in a few hundred theaters. But “Unbelievers” (as far as I know) has only been shown in a handful of venues. For a godless-to-godless comparison, “Religulous” had a proper distribution (500+ theaters) and did relatively well.

  15. Richard Thomas
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    What’s with the upsurge in mainstream religious movies? We have one on Jesus, one on Noah, now this one. Coincidence? A plot by nefarious Christians? An uptick in fear and uncertainty in society?

    • Moarscienceplz
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      After Disney got the copyright laws changed to their liking, Bible stories are about the only ones left in the public domain. ;-)

      • Scott_In_OH
        Posted March 26, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        In a thread full of funny one-liners, yours made me laugh hardest!

    • noncarborundum
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Not to mention “God’s Not Dead” and “Persecuted.”

      • gluonspring
        Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        I was still recovering from the apoplexy of sitting through a trailer for the vile “God’s Not Dead” when my mom started spamming Facebook with their inane ads. That one crosses over from telling a fairy tale to pure slander.

        • derekw
          Posted March 28, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink

          Curious to the slander you saw? I’ll be seeing it this weekend.

          • gluonspring
            Posted March 28, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

            Well, just start with the premise. It’s absurd and it is basically a slander against academics. It’s not impossible that someone has done something like this, it being a big world full of all sorts of crazy people, but it is clearly a fevered Christian persecution fantasy largely unhinged from reality, sort of a modern blood liable tale with atheists filling in for jews and faith-stealing filling in for murder (And, of course, the hypocrisy of the premise is staggering since it is Christian universities that routinely require people to sign oaths of belief while no one, to my knowledge, is ever required to sign an oath of unbelief).

            Beyond that it is obvious that all of the unbelieving characters are one dimensional, angry, selfish, and basically evil or, in the best of cases, ‘mad at god’. The subtext of the movie is obviously that if you don’t believe in Christianity it’s not because it’s unbelievable or lacking in evidence or incoherent, it’s because you are a bad person.

            But I haven’t seen it, so I could be wrong in my extrapolation from the bits I’ve seen. I feel like I’ve seen this movie a thousand times, though, having sat through half a life time of similar preacher stories. Perhaps you can report back and let us know how it really is.

    • eric
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Hollywood tends to do a lot of bandwagoning. If some production company starts a movie on some subject and other companies get wind of it, they’ll often try to push out a similar movie either just before or just after the original. Its part “if we get ours out first, theirs will be seen as derivative and flop, even if they started theirs earlier,” one part “if their research shows the public wants this, we should make one too,” and one part “I’m out of good ideas…what’s Bob’s company doing?”

      • Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        Yes. Just like we’re getting two Hercules movies this year.

        /@

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

          We’re getting Hercules movies this year? They should really do the New Comedy version where he is just this always hungry doofus.

        • Timothy Hughbanks
          Posted March 26, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          Cooool! Can a grudge match between Herc and Thor be far behind?!

    • Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Noah’s writer and director are both atheists. I don’t think it’s a part of the Christian agenda. As I said elsewhere, they have done just about everything they can do with it to ensure Christians are offended.

      • eric
        Posted March 27, 2014 at 6:14 am | Permalink

        Personally, I am expecting to be offended by a (supposedly) Mideast stone age civilization looking a lot like a European iron age one. Hopefully I’ll be wrong about that, but from the trailers it certainly looks like some of the bad guys are wearing iron armor and carrying swords.

        • Kevin
          Posted March 27, 2014 at 8:18 am | Permalink

          Bronze Age … but what’s a few thousand years among friends.

    • Posted March 27, 2014 at 2:13 am | Permalink

      Fantasy movies ar popular these days ;)

  16. darrelle
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    There is an easy answer to all of the questions in these comments.

    Magic Man!

    • Moarscienceplz
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      So Heart has all the answers?

      • darrelle
        Posted March 26, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        There was a period in my life, long ago alas, when I really did associate Heart with Heaven. But it didn’t really have anything to do with religion. Except maybe in a NIN way.

  17. Jesper Both Pedersen
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    There’s something deeply disturbing about grown-ups who blindly believe a kids imagination is a source of profound truth.

    Lord of the Flies with a twist.

    • Jesper Both Pedersen
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Embed fail, my bad.

    • Moarscienceplz
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Remember the McMartin preschool scandal, where dozens of kids testified to being taken to secret dungeons to be sexually abused? They tore the buildings apart and dug up the grounds and found not a shred of supporting evidence.

      • Jesper Both Pedersen
        Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        I had to google that one. Halle-fucking-luja!

    • Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      That is very disturbing indeed. This kid is already pretty f*cked up. :(

      • Kevin
        Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        With any luck, he’ll turn out to be another Marjoe Gortner.

        • Jesper Both Pedersen
          Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

          I hope not although I wouldn’t be surprised if he joins the dark side later on in life.

          But I don’t see any reason to suspect this kid’s parents of abusing him.

  18. Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    As a child, I had a near death experience, if not an actual death experience, when I was three years old. I still remember some of it.

    My father was assigned to an overseas post where we lived for less than four years. I was sitting on the dining room table with my sister who is older than I and my brother who is my junior. Our nanny asked how we would like our milk prepared and then left the room with my brother to fix the milk in the kitchen as per our preferences. I climbed down from the table to unplug an extension cord from the wall, because I had observed that my mother always unplugged that extension cord from the wall before leaving the house. That is all I remember until several days later when I vividly recall a doctor dressing my wounds: three burned fingers on my right hand and a burn on my chest which, for quite some time refused to heel. Decades later I have the scares to remind me about the perils of electric shock.

    I had passed out and fallen on top of my hand. The extension cord carried a 220 volt, 30 ampere potential and unfortunately, it was frayed so when I grasped it, I received a shock which contracted my muscles such that I couldn’t relax my grasp on the cord. Thus I passed out falling on top of my hand.

    My father’s secretary happened to be at the hospital when our nanny and the neighbors brought me in. The next day she described the disturbing experience to my father of having witnessed the arrival at the hospital of a poor child whose face was black and blue and who surely had died. My father informed her that she had witnessed the arrival of his son.

    I’m here to advise y’all that there is no heaven for if there was, surely I’d have a recollection of it. I recall no bright light, no bird’s eye view of my now lifeless self lying on the floor, no meeting of any entities (deities or otherwise), no feeling of bliss (It would be unreasonable to expect me to feel bliss with 220 volts coursing through me), no exquisite yearning, no sense of enlightenment. There was nothing.

    • Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      That is a most impressive experience. Near death experiences do seem to occur on some occasions, but one suspects that they are an effect of oxygen deprivation.

      • Posted March 27, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        I thought I read somewhere that the anoxia hypothesis was pretty much supported.

        My friend Raven had a null NDE: just the tunnel of light. She’s not a theist, and her religion, if it is one, is very ideosyncratic and personal, so …

    • Moarscienceplz
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Oh, but thousands of people not seeing heaven can be overruled by one person “seeing” something kinda sorta heavenlike, dontchaknow.

    • Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      So you didn’t have a NDE.

      • Chris
        Posted March 26, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        A near death non-experience. Apart from almost dying.

        Glad the OP is OK now!

      • gbjames
        Posted March 27, 2014 at 6:57 am | Permalink

        Sounds like it was a near-life experience.

  19. Greg Peterson
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    “Noah” is just not what you think it is:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/noah-is-the-least-biblical-biblical-film-ever-made-says-director-9214686.html

    • Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Hey, that cheers me. I was sort of feeling tempted to see it, with the frame of mind that I was just seeing a fantasy movie. Now I am even more interested. Thanks.

      • Daoud
        Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        I love old sand and sandals religious movies, Ben-Hur, Barabbas, The Ten Commandments and more recent ones like the Last Temptation of Christ. You don’t have to be religious or a believer to enjoy a good story.

        • Chris
          Posted March 26, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          I love the odd biblical epic. They used to do them properly in the old days!

          Well, and Charlton Heston wouldn’t have had work otherwise.

          • John Scanlon, FCD
            Posted March 27, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

            Anyone seen The Robe?

            There’s always been a B grade, even for parabiblical epics. Victor Mature was the Charlton Heston of schlock.

        • Posted March 28, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

          The Last Temtation of Christ. I saw that in mid-town Manhattan when it came out. I thought it was quite good. There were a bunch of pious folks picketing it. When I came out some little old lady dressed like a nun waved a book (I assume a bible) at me and screamed “you’re going to go to hell!” I replied “Probably, but I hope for something a lot more fun than a movie.”

  20. Alektorophile
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    “Burpos said that Colton painstakingly described images that he said he saw in heaven — like the bloody wounds on Jesus’ palms — that he had not been shown before.”

    Sure, the kid was never exposed to religion before, so how could he make that stuff up? Yeah, right. His dad a pastor and all that, methinks young Colton had already suffered quite a bit of religious brainwashing before age 4. If that were to happen to one of my kids, I am sure that his/her “heaven” would feature lots of talking trains, dinosaurs and smurfs, all rather more believable than blue-eyed Palestinian zombies… It’d make for a better book and movie, if nothing else.

    • Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      Yes, why on earth should we believe a 4 year old child of a pastor had never heard any mention of Jesus being hung by his hands?

  21. rusty
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    So how come we all get perfect young bodies in heaven, but poor Jesus has to have his crucifixion wounds for all eternity?
    Hardly seems fair.

  22. eric
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Oh sure, when your kid suddenly says a bad word you chalk it up to school or other kids. But when he talks stigmata, it must be from Jesus. Funny how it never works the other way…

    Little Colton: “S**T!”
    Parents: “Wow, Jesus must have taught him that word in heaven. More proof of God!”

  23. Daoud
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    It’s a very contradictory proposal, I’m sure your grandparents wouldn’t mind being in their 20’s, but how many of us who had loving grandparents, imagine them being 23? Or at least, you relating to them when they were 23? Gramma is supposed to be an old sweet doting lady! Though as long as my dogs are there, I’m ok with it.

    • Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      I have a photo sitting on a shelf of my grandmother when she was very young. I pass by it numerous times per day but yes, I guess it would be a bit difficult to imagine not how she looked at that age but what kind of person she was at that time.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted March 27, 2014 at 2:46 am | Permalink

      Gramma is supposed to be an old sweet doting lady!

      But … didn’t Grandfather hook up with her because she was a hot young piece of totty?
      Surely there is some discontinuity here which the godistas haven’t thought through.

  24. Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Not Greg Kinnear, dammit. Now I have to watch “Mystery Men” again, just to bask in his character’s comeuppance. (2nd link has a major spoiler, but is so gratifying at this moment)

  25. KP
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    There is also another piece of space junk floating in the ionosphere. It’s called “God’s Not Dead,” and several of my Christian Facebook friends have been posting about it.

    One possible silver lining: I wonder if this glut of movies is desperation to change the minds of the younger generations who, according to one of the polls you posted, have much lower levels of belief than older generations.

    Religion is withering away (very slowly) and this is the circling of the wagons.

    • ladyatheist
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Or circling the drain

  26. Joseph
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Religion is the opiate of the masses in this country that’s all i am going say. However adding to it based on a documentary i watched. This whole thing about monotheism is really nothing more but just an origination from polytheism. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VtEsQT5M2IQ

    Now don’t get me wrong as naturalist skeptic it was quite interesting.

  27. Posted March 26, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    My favorite description of heaven comes from one of Mike Royko’s columns (unfortunately I can’t find it online, at least not quickly). He said that he figured heaven would be “like Chicago”.

    • ladyatheist
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      based on pizza or kielbasa?

  28. Kevin
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Should be called: Hell is for Real.

    I still contend that more than six sigma (99.99966%) of all religious people want a transcendent ending to their lives and that is the reason they are religious, not because of God. Without the afterlife, they would hang up all the other nonsense.

    • Posted March 26, 2014 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      I think you’ve hit something pretty solid there. Comports well with Buddhism too, which many adherents would say doesn’t suffer from supernaturalism. (which flies in the face of all that karma, nirvana, dualistic jazz most Buddhists seem to subscribe to)

    • Posted March 26, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      I have never heard it put quite that way. I agree. and as for this movie, my only thought is, “gag.”

  29. Posted March 26, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Yipes. Just think of all the ex-spouses running around. That should encourage a number of people I know to get busy sinin’ so they wind up in hell!

    • ladyatheist
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      Do men who cheat on their girlfriends go to Hell for cheating or to Heaven for sparing them the misery of a horrible marriage?

      • Posted March 28, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        Interesting question. But since all the interesting people will be in hell (if the religionists are to be believed), I certainly hope that’s where I go, regardless of saving someone from a horrible marriage!

  30. Posted March 26, 2014 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Dear atheusts,

    Me thinks that heaven is a good place because my mommy and daddy told me that and they never lie or are wrong about anything. everyone will be young and awesome even grandpa who smells and has something called demencha but daddy says he will not stink in heaven and he will not try to shave with a cucumber anymore.

    Mommy and daddy also say that bad people will tell me there is no heaven and will ask me for something called Evudance. They told me that I don’t need Evudance and that people who do want it are stoopid. Daddy says asking for it is bad and that God will send you to a bad place if you ask him for Evudance a lot. Daddy says that means Jesus loves us.

    Sincerely,

    billy efty
    Age 8

    • Shwell Thanksh
      Posted March 26, 2014 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      My imaginary friend is TOO real and he could beat up your imaginary friend any time he wants, so stop saying that or I’ll tell my Mom!

  31. Vaal
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Look, Kid, just tell me that there are no mosquitoes there. Or black flies.

    If God decided to give the mosquitoes and black flies thing a rest in heaven, I’m in!

    Vaal

  32. Steve Gerrard
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    With people here on earth dying at the rate of more than one per second, I figure that each person gets one quick handshake with the Man, and that only after waiting in line for ages first. Assuming that all he does is welcome each person to heaven. And that everyone goes there. And that waiting in line for that is worth it, since you have plenty of time on your hands, and not much else to do for the rest of eternity, once you have said hi to everyone a few million times and had dinner with everyone who ever lived. If you eat in heaven, which I’m not sure about.

  33. Shwell Thanksh
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure the sequel, “Hell is for Reals!”, will prove much more popular with the True Christians.

    And for exactly the same reason that Mel Gibson’s gruesome slow-mo showcase of their martyr being whipped and flagellated did way better box office than the most recent dozen films recounting the Not-Quite-As-Old Testament.

  34. Diane G.
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    sub

  35. Dominic
    Posted March 27, 2014 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    In heaven nobody can hear you scream!

    • moleatthecounter
      Posted March 27, 2014 at 3:43 am | Permalink

      I do hope there is ice scream though…

  36. HaggisForBrains
    Posted March 27, 2014 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Every time I see the name Burpo I see a clown!

  37. lulu_footloose
    Posted March 27, 2014 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Don’t Christians wonder why the Burpo kid’s description of heaven is completely different from the one Eben Alexander saw? Or do they just accept both in the hope that one of them is right?

  38. Posted March 27, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Yeah! We’ll go to heaven and meet our loved ones who will all be young!

    But wait… I never knew my great-grandmother when she was young. My grandmother I knew when she was already passed middle-age, and my mom was always, you know, my mom… not a 20-something hottie. Won’t it be awkward to meet these people with whom ‘normal” relations (“normal” as in “what we’re used to”) won’t be possible? Can I interact with my grandma as I would just any other youngster?

    What about my kids? Yes, I love the adults they’re turning into. But what about the adorable children they were? I will never meet them again? So sad… I *want* to see my little babies again.

    What about my made-up kid brother who died when he was 2? Will he be there, forever stuck in that phase or will he get the body of the 20-something he might have become? How will I be able to relate to this perfect stranger? How about my other made-up brother, the one who has Down syndrome? Will he have 46 chromosomes in heaven? Will his IQ be normal? But then he won’t be himself anymore, he’ll be a sham!

    For that matter what about myself? I’d much rather be 40 again, minus the back problems, than 20. I had a stupid moustache and thin arms at 20. Do we get to pick and chose our age? But if that’s the case, what if my mom prefers me to be five again? Will she be told by God “Well, tough! This is Heaven, you don’t get to decide things”?

    Or maybe we get to see people as babies if we want to, as adults if we want to, as elderly if we want to! Man, is there *anything* that we won’t be promised to believe in this heaven thing? It’s getting as bad as an electoral campaign!

    This whole concept stinks of having one’s cake and eating it too, in all honesty.

    • gbjames
      Posted March 27, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      I’ve often thought one of the great tragedies of reality is that it isn’t possible to have a conversation with your parents at a similar stage in life. I would have loved to had a chat with my dad in his late-career years while I was/am in my late-ish career years.

      Damn that arrow of time!

    • Sarah
      Posted April 3, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      The convention is that everyone will be 33 years old because that is the age Jesus was when he died. I don’t know where this originated but it was current in the late Middle Ages.

  39. cherrybombsim
    Posted March 27, 2014 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    One of my very first memories as a young child was having hallucinations from a severe fever. I distinctly remember talking to all sorts of people who were not actually there, but after I came out of it, even at 6 years old, I had no problem at all understanding that they were hallucinations.

    Sheesh! How gullible can people be?

    • Posted March 29, 2014 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      When I was hospitalised for a bout of pneumonia I woke up one morning convinced I had been Borged and the saline drip was a data cable linking me to the ship’s computer, complete with flashing lights indicating the direction of flow. Took me a few minutes to realise it wasn’t true, after which everything looked normal.

      • gbjames
        Posted March 29, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        That data cable stuff happens all the time in heaven.

        • microraptor
          Posted March 29, 2014 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          Guess they haven’t Bluetooth.

  40. Posted March 28, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I read “Heaven Is For Real” and countless other books on near death experiences… my latest favorite, “Held By The Hand Of God: Why Am I Alive” by Joe Laws http://heldbythehandofgod.com/. I don’t even remember reading about the what ages people will be in heaven. I guess I was just thrilled with the fact that in heaven, we will get to be with our loved ones who have passed on before us. I don’t care what age my dad is when I get to see him again, I just want to see him again!

  41. Posted March 29, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I once stayed over at a friend’s house who had another guest who was a YEC. After he had gone to bed, we had a vigorous but friendly debate (until about 3 am), during which we carelessly (accidentally) consumed much of a bottle of our host’s homemade rum.

    After I hit the sack, I woke up abruptly sometime during the night to find myself floating out of my body. A portal opened up in the timespace continuum and I floated through it feet first into heaven. Convinced I was dead, my first thought was “Oh, sh*t – I drank too much of Dave’s moonshine!” Then, when I realised I was going to heaven I thought “meh – not a problem!”.

    So, I meet a few people, including someone who was still alive. This made sense, because heaven was “outside of time” and, just like the Nexus from Star Trek, “once you arrive, you have always been there.”

    My friend said that I needed to hear some advice, so she got a child version of herself to lead me to a wise old woman version of herself, who told me all kinds of things which seemed incredibly profound at the time, but cannot be remembered at all after the event.

    Then I woke up for real.

    Lessons learnt: 1) Don’t let other people top up your glass if you are not a drinker yourself. 2) Dreams and hallucinations seem incredibly real at the time and they seem to make perfect sense while they are happening even when they don’t. The feeling that they were real can persist for some time afterward, despite knowing for sure that they are not. 3) Heaven looks like Westfield shopping mall in Belconnen, Canberra, during rush hour. It has a lot of clothes shops and cafés.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 29,358 other followers

%d bloggers like this: