Knockin’ on heaven’s door

As I get closer to my eternal reward, I’m starting to wonder just how much of a reward it will be.

Only recently, the Church proclaimed there will be no sex in heaven. On Earth, we refer to that condition as marriage. I have to wonder, though, haven’t we already disposed of the idea that celibacy is a viable lifestyle without carrying it into the afterlife?

Like the comedic genius Larry David, I willingly agreed to be faithful until "death do us part," but I didn’t expect that it would bind me through all of eternity. I am guessing that eternity can be a long time. As a modern male whose attention span has been vastly limited by the TV remote control, my current concept of eternity is limited to the length of time between commercials.

Of course, if the no-sex rule applies to all of my single friends, too, I do feel that as a married man, I am better prepared for what lies ahead.

At the same time, I can understand why the Church would be relieved that there will be no need for sex in heaven. No more grand juries, no more legal fees, no more front-page stories in the Daily News. This might be the very definition of heaven to the Church hierarchy.

The Church also told us recently that it believes feminists are behind this gay marriage thing. I guess the logic is that some feminists are gay and some gay people would like to get married, therefore feminists are responsible for gay marriage. Using this reasoning, you also may conclude that k.d. lang is responsible. You get the feeling that somebody in the Vatican might have failed a course in deductive reasoning?

We do know that feminists support legalized abortion. So here’s what my sense of logic tells me: If feminists are behind gay marriage and abortion, then there will be no feminists in heaven. Heaven is getting less interesting all the time, except to Andrew Dice Clay.

In recently burying my mother, this columnist discovered some things he didn’t know about a couple of our local church policies. The parish to which my mother belonged doesn’t allow visitation with the family before the funeral Mass. The funeral director told me it is the only Catholic church in the city that doesn’t allow a viewing before the Mass. That is, unless you’ve been a big contributor for a long time, he quickly added.

If this is true (and I have no way of knowing since my mother’s contributions out of her meager pension check would not have qualified her anyway), it helps to be wealthy when you’re "knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door."

We switched churches rather than forgo the viewing before the Mass. But again, we ran into a parish with a quirk of its own. The pastor does not allow eulogies by the family at the funeral Mass. Something inappropriate being said at one time or another in the past apparently prompted the change in policy.

Now I don’t know about you, but I have never heard a family member deliver a controversial eulogy at any funeral Mass. Eulogies pretty much eulogize: "Louie the Crumb was a great husband and father … the salt of the earth, etc., etc., etc." You think maybe George Carlin delivered the eulogy one time and scared the pastor? Fear of family eulogies is itself a frightening thing.

From all of this, I conclude that there probably won’t be any eulogies in heaven either, which is a good thing because everybody is dead and there would be no time for anything but eulogies.

Previously, we found out that no Catholic politician who supports abortion should be allowed to receive communion, which probably means that few Democrats, including the Democratic candidate for president, are getting into heaven.

The Pope is also against the war in Iraq and capital punishment, so I’m guessing that no matter how many religious platitudes George W. Bush utters between now and the election, he’s not getting into heaven either, along with most of the Republican Party.

Let’s recap: No sexy singles and no feminists in heaven. No eulogies. No Democrats or Republicans.

I finally figured it out. The only one getting into heaven is Ralph Nader.