It ain't easy being Indian (April 2013)

By Ricey Wild
News From Indian Country
 
Quite by accident I was awake very early this past Palm Sunday. I flipped through my few TV channels and ended up watching a Christian Evangelist show hosted by Jack Van Impe. So this Van Impe guy was quoting – if one could call it that from a teleprompter many chapters and verse from the Bible and he somehow kept a smirky, satisfied smile on his pale face, not even blinking when he described imminent Armageddon, hellfire, an angry God, blah blah blah, etc....
  
I was like, geez! Why was this man so pleased spouting end of times scripture, prophecies and doom for our world as we know it? Then it hit me, he assumes that by way of being saved by Jesus he would be one of the few people to survive the coming holocaust. Van Impe smiled through his ivory dentures while talking about the two Popes that had been prophesized, Francis being the 266th Pope, who will be the last one with that title.
  
The word gleeful comes first when I try to describe Jack's expression in my mind. I think he believes so much that he will be unaffected by the Rapture or whatever so as to live forever and reap his ill-gotten gains made off gullible people whom have sinned in the eyes of Mr. Impe’s god and whom hope that donating cash will compensate for their evil doings in the end. I was fascinated.
  
Then I thought if money had the power to keep me out of 'Hell' then Hai! Move over all you poor, poverty stricken people, you disabled, you whom think that you have the same rights to be married as everyone else does, you ethical and spiritually aware heathens, you compassionate human beings that have a mind and soul of your own.
  
Sheez.
  
That sounds like good company to me, being with those of my ilk whom have refused to bow down to conformist pressure. All I have is right now and the thought of wasting my afterlife near a bunch of racist, judgmental haters seems like real hell to me. Where's the party where alleged sinners can share stories, tell jokes, dance and sing, beat drums, pray as we want and don't have to bother with what the others think or say?
  
Sign me up.
  
But I remembered just now that I've got my afterlife covered just in case. I once went to a Christian revival with two older neighbor girls. I was nine or ten and at first I was very bored and unimpressed by the evangelical family on stage who sang hymns invoking the Lord to forgive all of us who were born in original sin (What is that??? I didn't know about that concept until they told us. It was severely traumatizing for me). Here all this time I thought I was born good, that I was loved and cared for by an understanding God who sent presents in his name to kids via Santa every Christmas. What was there to fear?
  
I was terrified at being told by self-appointed messengers of God that I was an awful kid and no one thought to inform me till right then. Anyway I did end up going on stage, violently sobbing and inhaling my own snot and by shaking my gooey paws with the family I was apparently “saved” and promised eternal life. Until then I didn't know I was supposed to want eternal life. At the time mine was okay except for school and chores.
  
If I only knew then what I know now! Grrrr! I could have been so mean, bad, cheated and connived, freely hated, had B2 bombers full of cold cash, shoes and Ferrari’s to crash and still in the end hang out in Heaven with my get out of Hell free pass. Because I was saved!
  
Ay! I have had more than my share of chances to act up; talk about being tested! It is my Gramma’s face that has kept me out of the worst of it, just the thought of her looking at me with disappointment makes me cringe and stay strong. I also believe that I am born of our Creator; the spirit who is loving, compassionate and truly divine.
  
I’ve been thinking about the afterlife a lot lately. Just recently several of my friends have passed and are on their journey to a place where I know they will be there to meet me when I too am done with this one. That comforts me and I do not fear for they will be there to welcome me, show me around and help me get settled in. See yooz later Magnificent Mary Sue, Lovely Lenore, Out-RAY-geous Cousin Ray and my ‘Shug’ Scott! Perhaps it is easier being Indian there, I will only know for sure when I get there.
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