I'd like you to sit down, put your feet up and just fantasise with me for a moment. Just take a few seconds to leave reality at the front door and imagine that the hell we were all told about as kids actually existed.
Have you got it? The lakes of fire and the devil? Essentially torture forever. Those who fail 'the big test' will endure an eternity of unimaginable suffering.
Now just take that a step further and assume the reasons people go to hell, as outlined in The Bible, are also 100% accurate.
That means the following are definitely heading south once they pop their clogs:
• All non believers
• All homosexuals
• All cowards
• All murderers
• All those who work on the Sabbath
• The sexually immoral
Obviously some of it's a big vague but a lie is a lie. There's no wriggle room there and hetrosexual men in long-term relationships are definitely screwed. 'Does my bum look big in this?' 'Do you like this skirt?' 'Do you think my friend is attractive?' We didn't have a chance did we?
By now you might be smiling while reclining but this is serious stuff, especially if you are Dan Walker, the BBC journalist who has recently been announced as the replacement for Bill Turnbull on the corporation's flagship Breakfast show. Our Dan is definitely not going to hell because he has been living by the biblical code since the age of 12. Or so he says.
Walker knows a lot about hell. When discussing his fundamentalist Christian faith he recently recalled what a preacher told him about 'the reality of hell for the unbeliever' as a child. "I remember sitting there feeling a deep conviction of sin and terror at the prospect of hell," Walker reportedly said. "I knew that I was offending God with the way I was acting and the life I was living, and the prospect of going to hell terrified me."
Scared into believing...just like every other evangelical Christian; the sort that also believe God created the world in six days. It was The Almighty 'resting' on the seventh that led Walker and the others into believing it is a sin to 'work' on The Sabbath. He has never worked on a Sunday, even when he was paid a fairly decent sum of your money to present at The Open golf championship, the climax of which happens...on a Sunday. I wonder how many Fleet Street football hacks would still have a job if they told their bosses they weren't allowed to work the final quarter of the match they were covering? Not a problem for the BBC though. Walker could put his feet up with his family and watch the drama unfold on the fourth and final day of the UK's most prestigious golf event.
Six years ago Walker said: "I was convinced that it was the right thing to honour God and follow his commandments. Observing the Lord's Day is a great privilege and brings with it loads of blessings."
But hold on!
Work on a Sunday and you go to hell? That means dear old Peter Alliss is heading that way along with lovely champion golfer Tom Watson. Everyone loves Tom Watson. Jack Nicklaus will also be joining them along with Tiger Woods and every professional golfer who has ever played the game.
In fact, when you really start to think about it, Walker must believe every person he has ever met, worked with and even close family members are going to hell.
Being Dan Walker must be so bizarre. I wonder if he feels sorry for the rest of us or is just a bit smug that he and a select few others will be going to heaven? I wonder if he wants to save us or just realises there is no point because we are all beyond redemption? If he has any sense of empathy it must be torture knowing people he likes are damned. I even wonder if he thinks it's not fair. All liars are going to hell? Even those who tell lies so they don't hurt people's feelings? That's got to be a bit harsh. I know a couple of genuinely lovely people who wouldn't hurt a fly that have lied. Yet they are bracketed with child murderers according to the bible. There's no 'Hell Light'.
Yet whenever we see Dan he is so smiley and gives off that happy-go-lucky vibe. He definitely has a boy-next-door charm about him and you can see why the BBC have selected him for those cosy morning sofa chats. On radio, where he will continue to work on Five Live's Afternoon edition until the end of the month, he gets found out when the topics get heavy and we wonder why such a lightweight journalist is doing this job. That cheeky smile doesn't matter much on radio.
But behind the smiles there must be so much sorrow. I choose to believe it is all a front and Dan is crying inside for the rest of us.
Still at least he has heaven to look forward too. Eternal happiness is obviously a price worth paying for 80-odd years of suffering.
Or obviously not. Because there are no divine miracles. The only miracle is people of your obvious intelligence could believe such utter nonsense and may God strike me down if I am wrong.
Nope didn't think so.