Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The No Hell Noel

So we had our department holiday party today, and one of the things we do at the party is sing "fractured" holiday songs. Over the years department members past and present have composed original lyrics to accompany familiar holiday melodies. Some are dated. Some remain funny ( such as the "Publish or Perish" song sung to "The 12 Days of Christmas" melody, which begins, "The first time I sent it off the critics said to me, you've just proven P and not-P").

One of the songs was written by me and John Shook (who's now at the Center for Inquiry) some eight years ago, and seems fitting to include on this blog--with some minor modifications. Specifically, a key line of the song originally named a colleague in the department, which is funny only if you know the person involved. So I've replaced that name with a more familiar one. Also, in the original song the one who "sees" the absurdity of the doctrine of hell is identified as "Reitan"--but since I am hardly the only person to find the doctrine untenable, I've replaced my name with a blank and invite you to plug in your own name in the appropriate spaces (or the name of your favorite universalist, in case you are benighted enough to disagree with me when it comes to the doctrine of hell).

So, here it is: the "No Hell Noel" (sung to the tune of "The First Noel")

The doctrine of hell, to Aquinas did mean
that some of God's creatures would not be redeemed.
And the Lutherans agreed, in spite of the creed
that held God's grace alone was what all people need.

No hell, no hell, no hell, no hell
If all are saved only God can tell.

The Calvinists believed that each of the damned
was predestined to hellfire by God's steady hand.
And the Baptists, they confess, if you're not born again
or if you're gay endless torment's your end

No hell, no, hell, no hell, no hell
When all are saved only God can tell.

Then _______ did see that these ideologies
were unworthy of God's love and majesty,
Whose benevolence extends to the good and the bad
bringing bliss even to PZ Myers and clan.

No hell, no hell, no hell, no hell
That all are saved even _______ can tell.