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The Very Religious Man
by Michael S. Collins

I saw a very religious man the other day. He wore a hat and billboard. The hat was nondescript.

The billboard read “Sex before Marriage Equals Hell after Death”.

This seemed a good opportunity for soul searching, so I walked up to him.

“Good afternoon, good man.” I said. “Do you mind if I ask you a deeply theological question?”

"Certainly” he said. He looked like the stunned Witness asked to come in for a cup of coffee and a chat about Jesus.

“Well, this Hell after Death stuff.” I said. “I mean, it all sounds well and good, but how does it work in practice. After all, I’m a good Christian boy, everyone knows that. But my friends...they indulge. So by your billboard, they’d be going to Hell. But if God likes me, and I’m going to Heaven, and then does that mean that God will forgive all my friends and send them up to Heaven with me? After all, he knows I get lonely easily, and would want me to be with my loved ones. Or, failing that, would he send me down to Hell, so I can spend time with all my loved ones anyhow?”

The very religious man looked at me, burrowed his eyes into his face like a mole looking for worms, and took off down the street, as fast as a man wearing a billboard can.

He never did answer my question. Now that’s just rude.