Have Netﬂix? Love to laugh? Like to think about serious topics with a comedic twist? Do yourself a favor and watch Michael Che’s stand up comedy special, “Matters.”
“Matters” is one of the better comedy specials I’ve seen in a while and what really made it stand out was the way in which Che joked about serious contemporary and historical issues in this country. This is coming from me, an SNL viewer and Michael Che non-lover (not exactly a hater, but I don’t necessarily like him on the show.) He’s just not funny. If you watch current seasons of SNL, you know exactly what I mean. His part in the Weekend Update segment gets less than a chuckle out of me on average.
Enough hating on Che, because he’s actually a great guy and a funny stand up comedian. So here’s the thing, one of the great points he makes is about questioning the idea of hell. Now I don’t consider myself religious, but I was brought up as a Christian, and even the most devout Christians may realize there are some plot holes in the story.
Let’s examine the concept of hell. So there’s one heaven and one hell right? And sinners go to hell? Ok, if the rules are that black and white, and keep an open mind, who decided it was ok to murder in the name of defense? What if you consider adultery to be simply ﬂirting with someone other than your spouse, but your spouse sees this as totally harmless? What if you have an affair with a married person without knowing that person is married? What if you have to steal so your family doesn’t starve? What if you consider your “bad” actions to be totally justified? Does this warrant a one way ticket to the underworld?
What I’m saying is this, what’s bad isn’t bad unless you think it’s bad. If you think, “oh shit I’m going to hell for this” then your guilt may catch up to you and you have a negative outcome. If you think otherwise of your actions, your outcome will be advantageous.
Who makes the rules? If there is a hell, there are some bad dudes that deserve to go there. But what about the not as bad dudes. Look at the prison system, the worst offenders get the worst punishment. Minor offenses get a lesser punishment. Isn’t this a better system, Satan? C’mon you know it is. But you’re evil anyway so what do you care.
Better yet, let’s all be good people so we don’t have to worry about eternal punishment for our wrongdoings. But Che raised a great point, and if you’re religiously curious, he has given you something to think about. What’s “acceptable” changes with each generation. So, someone in hell for shooting an innocent civilian shouldn’t be in the same hell as someone who, centuries ago, “ate a burger on Saturday,” as Che puts it. Not all sins are equally offensive, right? I’m using our legal system as a reference point.
Tell me what you think, because I know you have some favorable or not so favorable responses to my view.