Do Dogs Go to Heaven?

Do Dogs (or cats) go to heaven

Dog = God

This is not a silly question to children

As part of my review of new books about Old Hawaii I also seem to reread Jung and from there I head to mythology. One of the books I’m reading – I think I am reading five books — trying to make the reading of “A Shark going inland is my Chief” by Patrick Kirch last as long as possible. It is helpful to re read some of the old classics, and the newer research by Native Hawaiian scholars.

Back when I was a kid — about nine years old I asked my Fundamentalist Christian mother if dogs (and cats) go to heaven. No! she said — there will be no dogs in heaven. That “no” awakened the skeptical part of my personality. What sort of a God hates dogs and cats and other animals? So I guess I was wide open to learn about other forms of religions — which was dismissively called “mythology” by the Christian Missionaries who descended on the Hawaiian Islands like bad mannered locus. (Yes I got my attitude about the missionaries from my kanaka maoli friends.

Back to the present and I’m reading a collection of essays by Barbara Walker — “Man Made God: A Collection of essays”. In the very first essay she tells how her religious skepticism was first awakened — she was distraught over the death of a beloved pet. Her mom asks the minister to come over and Barbara asks the age old question — will my dog go to heaven. Mr. Minister said “No”. Dogs have no soul — therefore dogs don’t go to heaven. Right now I am questioning if that minister had a soul — and what the hell the concept of soul has to do with the concept of heaven. Little things like that add up to very big questions. My other question to my mother and other non Native Hawaiian adults was why did God hate girls. According to Christian mythology HE created the Eve and the rest of the hate for women in his Bible. This Bible directed ongoing hatred for the female half of the human family is blamed on this mythological being. Barbara G. Walker’s thesis is that this God is a man made creation. Men have made their God into a ignorant and stupid, blood thirsty monster.

Barbara Walker writes:

“I tried to negotiate [for her dog]. I said I would willingly trade a couple of aunts and uncles for my dog. But God, according to the minister, was not to be bargained with. Shocked beyond all decorum, I finally stamped my foot and shouted that I wanted nothing to do with mean old God, and he could just keep his nasty petless heaven because I didn’t care to go there anyway; and I ran away crying.

Walker’s mother insisted that she apologize to the minister. Adults rule — kid was outnumbered so Barbara apologized. Minister “forgave” her. But Barbara G. Walker never forgave him.

No pets in heaven was also a make or break my belief in the very male GOD. I always felt that the Christian Old Testament mythology was missing a big chunk — things called empathy and compassion. The Jesus of the New Testament was supposed to make up for what the old GOD was missing. But then the there are the writings of Paul — and he was a misogynist in the tradition of the Old Testament — or worse.

I’m wondering how many kids are dealing with their parent’s religion today. And these kids are hit with the realization that perhaps God has no room in his heaven for pets? This is a serious issue for kids.

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