Heavenly Fodder

By Bill Maher 

There’s a whole industry based on books where people “die” and then come back to life with firsthand accounts about what it’s like in heaven and what a really nice guy Jesus is. To American Christians, this is like deep-fried foods – they just eat it up, no questions asked. Because it verifies what they already believe, but can’t prove.

You might remember little Colton Burpo had that book and then the movie, “Heaven Is for Real.” And that neurosurgeon, Dr. Eben Alexander, had the book, “Proof of Heaven.” And in 2010, Alex Malarkey and his father Kevin Malarkey – that’s a lot of Malarkey – put out a New York Times bestseller called, “The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven,” about Alex’s car accident and subsequent coma where he went to heaven and met Jesus and the Devil and hung out with angels and heard the sound of church bells. Or was that a cash register going, “ka-ching”?

Other highlights include:

“I was in the presence of God. He had a body that was like a human body, but it was a lot bigger. I could only see up to His neck because, like the Bible says, nobody is allowed to see God’s face or that person will die.” (So God’s like Daft Punk. But you’re already in heaven, how can you die?)

“The devil's mouth is funny looking, with only a few moldy teeth. And I've never noticed any ears. His body has a human form, with two bony arms and two bony legs. He has no flesh on his body, only some moldy stuff.” (And he hates it when you call him Christopher Walken.)

“When I arrived in Heaven, I was inside the gate. The gate was really tall, and it was white. It was very shiny, and it looked like it had scales like a fish. I was in the inner heaven and everything was brighter and more intense on the inside of the gate.” (So heaven has a VIP room, Inner heaven. Where you get lap dances.)

So, Alex is six when this accident happens and he and his dad write the book, but now he’s a teenager and he wants the world to know something: He made it all up. It was completely pulled out of his ass, like a fairytale or Paul Ryan’s budget plan.

Alex wrote to a Christian website, “I did not die. I did not go to Heaven.  I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. 

The publisher has pulled the book and Christian bookstores – in the creepy semi-abandoned end of the mall with the place that grinds keys – pulled it from their shelves.

What I want to know is how so many people can put stock in faith, which is the deliberate suspension of discernible reality, while simultaneously dismissing verifiable scientific evidence – like in the case of climate change denial. Shouldn’t something I can scientifically prove carry more weight than something you just conceptually believe? Aren’t your “I visited heaven” guys the real hoaxers? 

And isn’t that a very dangerous place for an arrogant species in a fragile ecosystem to be – where the good people are the ones who believe the unverifiable bullshit and the bad people are the ones who keep harping on the facts?

Will Christians keep falling for this? I dunno. Ask me after they elect a third President Bush.