heaven and hell

Re: Your Request to Exchange Your Son’s Eternal Damnation for Your Own

Dear Ms. Smith,

We received your inquiry regarding exchanging the eternal damnation of your unbaptized son for your own. We appreciate your willingness to burn in the everlasting fires of Hell for your child; however, after careful consideration and review of your case file, we will unfortunately not be able to honor your request.

Saint Peter sends his warmest regards and thanks you for addressing your letter to him. Not many people know this, but Saint Peter doesn’t actually hold any sort of power here in the afterlife. Think of him more as a Walmart greeter or a nightclub bouncer: he’s here to offer directions to the blessed fruit and make sure nobody tries to walk out the pearly gates with Jesus’ thorny crown and hock it on Everlasting eBay again. It’s a common misconception about Pete, so no need to feel embarrassed.

Saint Peter was kind enough to forward your request to the real powers that be, and after an emergency cabinet meeting (Lucifer had to Zoom in as you wouldn’t imagine the number of fires in need of starting lately), we’ve come to the conclusion that the reasons provided in your letter for not baptizing your son do not qualify you to exchange souls for damnation.

We understand that you were exhausted and felt improper walking into a house of worship to get your son baptized in infancy wearing a nursing cami with days-old spit-up on it and a hole where your crusty nipple poked through, but this does not constitute a reasonable extenuating circumstance. God managed to create the immensity of life as we know it in six days. You think He wasn’t a bit groggy and disheveled afterward? You made one child. We don’t think it’s too much to ask that you find a second to shower and throw a cardigan on to save your son’s everlasting soul.

As for your assertion that getting your son baptized during the toddler years was impossible due to your full-time working schedule and immense household responsibilities, welcome to the club. Do you think it’s easy running this day-spa of ecstasy in the sky? We’re aware that you have three kids and a mortgage, but we have three gazillion souls up here, and you would not believe the cost of eternal real estate these days. Despite being understaffed, we still manage to run the Sabbath Mixer every weekend. You could have popped into church on a Sunday morning to get your kid sprinkled with some holy water. In and out, an hour tops (seven if you visit one of our Catholic franchises).

And your claim that it was difficult to convince your son of the need for baptism once he reached an age of critical thought? Ma’am, this is why we baptize them early, beforeĀ they have a chance to question the world around them. Once they gain autonomy, there’s no reversing their psychonomy. Ya done missed the boat there, and frankly, Noah’s pretty pissed.

We recognize your tenacity in attempting to right your years of wrongs and commend you for the effort. In the end, though, rules are rules. It’s all written right there in our disclaimer, which — at the risk of sounding too harsh — is available in every hotel nightstand from the Big Apple to, yes, even Sin City.

As a show of appreciation for your return to the light after years of wayward transgression, however, upper management was able to work something out that we think may be a reasonable compromise. Being the stand-up guy that he is, Lucifer has offered to reserve a beautiful, two-soul studio in the Netherworld so you and your son can suffer in eternal hellfire together. He doesn’t do this for just anyone. You should be grateful.

In closing, thank you for reaching out. We consider the matter final and have noted such in your file.

Best regards,

Braxton, Archangel in Training
Holy Offices of Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael