Forged, Ehrman, Fundies, and Bible Liars
Rob Bell Live, or the Shortest Love Wins Assessment You're Likely to Read

Heaven is for Real...if you're 3 and your dad is a pastor and you're in surgery

I'm a little late getting to this one. Forgive me. The Burpo family appeared on Fox & Friends (old angry white people for the most part) late last year to introduce the world to their little sprout, Colton. Colton's appendix burst when he was almost four years old, and during surgery, he went to heaven. Or Heaven. I guess it depends on the level of your fascination with virgins or gold. And yes, I did deliver the news about Colton's trip without judgment, thank you very much (but seriously, be patient). He went to heaven. This is news on FoxNews. This is also news because Thomas Nelson, in order to demonstrate that they are bigger money whores than Tyndale (the evil cabal that published Left Behind), published the story of the wee sprout's trip to the heavenly city sans body in Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back. (And aren't we relieved about that "and Back" part, else we'd be hearing stories about how God needed someone to dig up fossils with him or learn to play quarterback or play catch...)

Colton's father, Todd Burpo, pastors Crossroads Wesleyan Church in Imperial, Neb. Um, yeah, he's bored. The facebook page has 57 members. I'm betting that changes as the book's popularity spikes, unless Imperial is a hundred miles from water or whores or agents. Wait...never mind. Too easy. Todd decided the world needed to hear the story of Colton's trip to heaven, a story Colton has told in bits and pieces since shortly after the surgery, a surgery which, in the words of Gretchen Carlson, led to a miraculous recovery. Yes, Gretchen, nothing demonstrates the miraculous healing power of god more than a routine surgery that's performed thousands of times each year. Seriously, maybe your god does card tricks too? Maybe even that cool one where the deck ends up being all aces...

While in heaven, Colton, who is now 10ish, met John the Baptist, his great grandfather (whom he'd never met in real life...unlike JtB?), and Jesus, who, by the way, had amazing blue eyes. Yes, anglo-cracker Jesus is waiting for us in heaven. Poor Jewish Jesus has been relegated to Tartarus or Limbo, or possibly Purgatory? Maybe he's looking for a good deli in Imperial, Neb. It should be easy to get extra mustard for the corned beef, because Colton said he has "a smile that lights up the heavens." Good dental care in paradise? Check. That's not the best part though. The Burpos have evidence that Colton really did see some unexplainable shit. His father told Gretchen that while in surgery, Colton saw his father in a small room talking to God and his mother on the phone. OMFG! Only a miraculous revelation could have revealed to a pastor's son an image of his father fuckin' praying and his mother on the phone with parishioners. Are these people daft? Is that what passes for evidence in churches in Nebraska? No wonder ID is making inroads in churches...

That's not all. Colton was able to discuss his mother's miscarriage, which he knew nothing about, and to relay stories about his great-grandfather's relationship with Todd, a relationship that Todd Burpo described as "close." No way in hell a father tells his son about his relationship with "Pop." Nope. That had to be info only available on the streets of gold. And mom's miscarriage? I'm sure Colton never heard that information in church. Nope. No prayer circles or gossip in Wesleyan churches in small towns in the American heartland when the Cornhuskers are still in the midst of sucking. Nope. Pure miracle.

Sorry, this gets better. Colton tells Gretchen that God, who is a "very, very big person," can "actually fit the entire world into his hands." In the immortal words of Hank Moody: "Fuck me in the face." Seriously? This is what happens when your kid sings one too many verses of He's Got the Whole World in His Hands or watches Con Air too many times on TNT. It's also possible that, in that great evangelical tradition, he's been taught to flatten metaphors. Watch the video on YouTube to see Todd and Gretchen try to figure out what facial expression to wear while little Colton is laying on the shit so mechanically it's obvious he's rehearsed it a gozillion times. Great tv. Thank you, Fox & Friends, and thank you, Thomas Nelson. Do I need to throw in that this book is a bestseller on Amazon? Sigh.