Afterlife is faith based. Those who want to believe in a life after death are not discouraged by the God Complex but are freed up to practice their beliefs and add an accountability factor never before available to the faithful. However, because faith is not quantifiable, the God Complex can only quantify those feelings and actions associated with faith and calculate the individual’s personal value on that basis.
Shelia was meeting with her ecclesiastical leader on her regularly scheduled night. Her ring glowed orange while his was not as green as it could be, but it was still a green. (No one’s perfect when it comes to religion.) “How did your week go?” asked her confidant.
“I am still troubled by my willingness to consider a relationship with my boyfriend that is not what my parents’ think it should be,” said Shelia. “I just don’t see or understand why my feelings for him cause my ring to be orange.”
“I will try to help you understand that,” was his opening statement. “Shelia, this Avartary, which your parents and you are a part of, has subscribed to an algorithm Worthiness Factor which, as part of its religious evaluation function, evaluates personal behavior with the opposite sex based on your wholesomeness and virtuous thoughts and actions.” He let that sink in for a few seconds.
“That means your relationship outside of group dating, curfew hours, planned activities with others, and a willingness to refrain from intimate contact such as kissing,” he watched her begin to fidget, “and especially the case of petting or allowing your boyfriend to touch you inappropriately.” He watched her closely to see if her eyes went away from his.
“We,” he continued, “know what that leads to, and your parents and I are concerned that if he touches you, or especially, if you allow him to touch you in such a manner that actually changes your physiological state of being, it affects your behavior, it affects your thinking, and it affects your self worth. And that is why your ring color is orange.” He tried to give her a little more time to think before he continued. He watched her head bow and her shoulders slump.
“We want you to understand that when you get sexually excited,” he paused for a second and repeated himself, “when anyone gets sexually excited, outside of marriage that it is, we believe it is unrighteous behavior and harmful to a person’s personal worthiness with their God.”
He continued, “As you understand and as with your parents’ faith in God–their belief in an afterlife, which includes having their family members with them, or not–guides them in their worldly decisions and their hopes for their children.” He again waited for second. “They and I want you to understand that as part of our belief system, righteous personal behavior is the key to meeting the standards of God and being prepared to be worthy of God’s mercy at the end of your mortal life.” He paused to watch her to determine when she was ready to hear more.
“It is that fact, that your parents’ desire is for you to be spotless before your God.” He paused again. “To be spotless before your God is not easy, but we believe and we hope that you believe it is a desirable goal to be worthy to be in the presence of your God.” He watched as Shelia nodded her head slowly up and down, without actually looking up. “If they and I can help you see the importance of this and if we can help you make good choices, then,” he slowed down and tried to add emphasis to his tone, “the future is yours… and your opportunities… are limited only by your choices… and not the choices of your boyfriend… your friends… or even… your parents. ”
“Shelia,” her counselor began again, “you have to understand that taking the ring off or not living in this Avatary does not alter the fact or absolve you or your boyfriend, Jeremy, of the consequences of your choices and actions–that trying to justify your actions because your parent’s don’t understand you or your needs or by disregarding the rules because you don’t agree with them only harms you and your worthiness to meet God’s expectations. Remember, Jeremy as well as your parents all agreed to be a part of this Avatary. They knew that they were agreeing to live by it values, and even though you two were young when you agreed to abide by the same values and wear the ring, it is their roles as parents to make decisions for their minor children. Sometimes those decisions are not fun, but they are always necessary.”
“I understand that your frustrations with your parents for subjecting you to these standards is causing you to be emotionally angry, but what you need to understand is that it is unhealthy and unproductive for you. You also need to know that you are learning to become parents yourselves; you are learning to be responsible contributing members of society; and you are learning to be selfless instead of selfish.” Shelia picked her head up and smiled.