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Diatribe: Trying To (Literally) Buy A Place In Heaven.


eBayHeavenIn 2005, when the fate of Terry Schiavo, the Florida woman at the center of a legal struggle involving prolonged life support, eventually made its way to the United States Supreme Court, I insisted that my loved ones prepare Living Wills and other “end of life decision” documents in the event of an untimely accident.  I didn’t want anyone that I cared for to have to go through what Schiavo’s husband and her parents had to endure.  We had conversations about our wishes should we reach an untimely demise and insisted that they be followed to avoid potential conflict within the family.  With everyone in agreement, we all sleep a little sounder.

There are right ways and wrong ways to prepare for the end.  eBay, Inc. has determined that buying a spot in Heaven via their famous online auction website is not acceptable.  Ari Mandel, a thirty-one-year-old man who describes himself as theologically atheist was told by eBay that his attempt to sell his “portion in olam habaah [i.e. heaven]” to the highest bidder was in violation of the website’s Terms of Use.  Bidding by 181 individuals eventually reached almost $100,000 before eBay put an end to the auction.

Apparently, the company simply doesn’t allow listings that aren’t offering anything for sale or those that have intangible items.  This is not the first time that eBay has ended auctions for items that can’t be sold.  Strange things that people have tried to sell in the past include, among others …

  • A jar of farts
  • An 18-year-old British Girl’s Virginity
  • The country of New Zealand
  • Hosni Mubarek
  • A Grandmother
  • A weekend of beer, snacks and laughs with some Australian dudes
  • A ghost in a jar
  • An awkward date with a weird guy

It appears that Mandel never really expected to receive cash in exchange for his little (“used”) piece of Heaven.

“To those of you who took this seriously … chill out.  It was just a joke.  Whether or not you’re a believer in this sort of thing … chill out.” – Ari Mandel

I find it oddly frightening that bidding on the auction quickly rose to $100,000.00 before eBay got wind of what was for sale.  To me, the fact that at least one person is willing to pay that much money for afterlife peace of mind is completely bizarre.  Then again, I hope it was more than the final bid for a jar of farts.

Do you think it’s crazy to pay $100,000.00 for a spot in Heaven?


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From → Diatribes

  1. Hey…if you’ve got it, give it to me.


  2. If heaven is an apartment overlooking Central Park, then, No.
    Although 100K would be just a down payment.


  3. To weird not to be true. It reminds me of the old joke about three guys paying up money owed to the deceased. One threw in $1,000 on the coffin before it was covered. The next one threw in $2,000. The third one wrote him a check for $5,000, for the $2,000 he owed and pocketed the $3,000 in cash. :>)


  4. thedogs'mother permalink

    Abby would sell her Official Seal of Approval for 100k.


  5. Travis permalink

    This does nothing but provide me with more ideas to torment my Mother. I think I’m gonna tell her I’m putting my rightful part of her (as her youngest child) up for bid on ebay. I’m not sure if she’ll be happy to get rid of me, or tell me I can’t get rid of her that easily.
    As for selling my place in heaven, clearly according to my Mother I’m not going there any how.


  6. This is ridiculous – God doesn’t use Paypal or accept bribes.


  7. Amy Smith permalink

    I find it quite sad, because he doesn’t realize what his denial will cost him for eternity.


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