But other times he can be… well… something else entirely.
Paul Jones has died. I didn’t know him, or even know about him, until his obituary was sent to me, but it’s an utterly tragic life story. He was an ordained Baptist minister — there’s a waste of a life right there — and his death was ironic and futile.
He died of a heart attack, just as he was about to pray with a member of his Upper Room Fellowship. His last word was “Jesus”.
Someday I’m going to die, too, and I hope it is while doing something productive, and that I don’t go out with the name of an imaginary being on my lips. And in particular, it would be nice if my obituary would say something about the good things in my life, rather than babbling on about dedication to a superstition.
It’s a shame. Jones might have been a wonderful fellow, but all we strangers know about him is that he was “committed to expanding God’s kingdom” — that he had dedicated his life to a lie.
Yes, the man died. And yes, he died dedicating his life to something I strongly believe is a lie.
That said, becoming a minister doesn’t mean you’re wasting your life. It depends what you do with that title.
Are you using it so you have a soapbox to rail against gay marriage, women’s rights, etc?
Or are you using it to help your community or inspire other people to do better, bigger things in life?
There’s a difference. Based on the obituary, Jones was the latter.
Believing in God is not as bad as using God’s name to advance your own political agenda. That doesn’t mean belief in God is correct. But it doesn’t imply a complete waste of time. We could all name plenty of religious people (current and historical) who have done wonderful things in the name of their God. It’s petty to dismiss those good works because they were done in the name of a God we don’t believe in.
The guy’s last word was “Jesus.”
I hope PZ lives a long, productive life. But I wouldn’t be surprised if “Jesus” was his last word, either.
Or, better yet, “Ben Stein.”
Most peoples’ last words are about what they know, what they’re passionate about, what they were connected with in their lifetime.
I don’t know this Jones guy. But his obituary does say he “opened his home to anyone needing prayer” and provided to “charities as well as individuals in need,”
Which is more than I can say for some others I know, atheist or religious.