JulietEcho recently attended the funeral of an acquaintance. The woman had died at a young age, and while the family wasn’t religious, they had a minister speak at the funeral.
It’s bad enough that the minister knew nothing about the deceased woman… but he decided to take the opportunity to preach to everyone grieving in the audience:
Then he started to preach fire and brimstone. He said that the dead woman had attended church when she was a kid and accepted Jesus at VBS, so she was in heaven where there were “mansions” and “the streets are paved with gold.” Then, he said that everyone could have the “hope” of joining her in heaven. And preached about each letter of the word HOPE, having them stand for Heaven (the carrot), Options (heaven or hell), Peace (I think, I was kind of reeling at the inappropriateness at this point), and Eternity (what you risk if you don’t become a Christian).
He described Hell in detail — making sure we all understood that we would not get to be with our non-Christian friends and that we’d be separated forever from God and everyone else.
JulietEcho finds the sermon unethical. I do, too.
This family didn’t specifically request this speech, but it sounds like the minister may have delivered this before. Are there any Christian families who would want that?
Should the purpose of a funeral be to remember the deceased or proselytize to the living?
What would you hope happens at your funeral?
(via Friendly Atheist Forums)