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Hell Bound

At this point we are all probably sick of hearing Atheists complain that members of a religion are telling them that they are going to Hell. I know I am, and unless there’s a cool twist on the story or a nice burn toward the accuser there is little new to be added to that conversation. So today’s post isn’t about me, it’s about my oldest daughter. No one told my oldest daughter that she is going to Hell, but they did give her the “information” that people like me are.

As I understand the story, a friend of my daughter explained that people who don’t believe in god are damned to Hell. Oh, here is where I note that she is seven. With that information in hand, a student at her school told her that he didn’t believe in god and she then decided to tell everyone else about his lack of belief because she likes to stir up trouble. Upon coming home she told my wife probably thinking that it was going to be a good laugh. Why was it supposed to be funny? No idea, but then again this is a seven year old and logic isn’t exactly their strong suit. Also, it’s worth pointing out that none of them probably remembered the next day, and it’s probably also worth pointing out that none of us really have a context for how any of this began. That being said, it doesn’t excuse what my kid did. She shouldn’t be going around blabbing about other people’s beliefs. That wasn’t right.

The first child in the story, explained to her that Hell is the place where god’s love doesn’t reach. This tells me that she is parroting what her parents have told her because there is no way a seven year old is going to come up with that kind of definition. Back to my wife: she heard the story and didn’t laugh, instead she asked, “You do know that your daddy is an Atheist right?”

“Wait, so he’s going to hell?”

This is why I write things like this. Yes Jesus did say that he would turn families against each other (Luke 12:53, Matthew 10:35-36) and that is the one thing that he and his teachings have done. This must have been exactly what the people who made it up meant. The average seven year old believes that a magical faerie turns teeth into money and that’s who is judging people like me? I’m afraid not kid. I’m not ragging on my daughter, nor her friend. My problem is with the type of parents who would instill that kind of thinking in someone so young. Children’s Bibles don’t include this kind of thing, she couldn’t have found it on her own. Occam’s razor attaches, the simplest explanation is the parents are teaching their kid to hate people who think differently than her.

I explained to my kid that if there was a god and it was just, I’m not going to Hell. Hell isn’t about justice it’s about vengeance. If the god isn’t just, well then I’m not calling him god but I’m screwed all the same. I further explained that actions speak louder than belief. Is it just to take a decent person and throw them in Hell because he refuses to believe the words in a book that contradicts itself, gets basic facts wrong, and uses horrifying imagery to make its point? No. I explained that I’m an Atheist because I’ve seen no evidence of divine existence and really, neither has anyone else. If her friend learned that from her parents, they were wrong too.

Was I harsh? Sure, but deservedly so. Random theists who have stumbled here might be thinking that I have no right to criticize another person’s beliefs in telling my kid that another was being incorrect. Yet that’s a bad claim because I have every right to defend myself against an accusation that I’m somehow deficient because I don’t believe the same thing that they do…especially when it comes to my own daughter. I’m sure I can pick up their book and find ten things that will earn them divine wrath, we learned last week that you don’t even have to do anything. This type of thinking is disturbing because in their mind I’m an unfit parent and an unfit person. I’m on the path to the Inferno so they couldn’t think otherwise. This is the exact type of thinking that begins wars, causes murders, and induces strife. Just, apparently, like Jesus wanted.

If there is a Hell someone needs to explain to me what it’s purpose is supposed to be. Robert Ingersoll commented that it’s torture for the sake of torture as there is no possibility of parole or release. No lesson can be learned there, no comfort given (Luke 16:20-25), so the point is merely to entertain a tyrant that doesn’t like it when people don’t acknowledge.

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  1. September 29, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    I think it was Thomas Aquinas who said that if God was everything, everything that exists must be of God. If there is a hell (and I truly believe that heaven and he’ll aren’t places but states, and man-made ones at that)

  2. September 29, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    …then it is impossible for God to not reach it. Either God is or isn’t omnipotent and omnipresent. I do think you’re absolutely right in being treated as deficient because you have a different opinion. It’s everywhere, regarding everything. I’m guilty of it as well, especially where politics are concerned. My mind boggles. This was a good reminder that I need to check myself 🙂

  3. October 4, 2015 at 5:12 am

    hmmm what is the point of hell? I ask what is the point of heaven? What is the point of an afterlife? It’s not like we’re caterpillars and cocoon when we die. A creator deity who is perfect and omni-everything could have fixed it so there is one life that lasts forever.

    Yes, I have a point. If this life is to test us through free-will then the god can’t be omniscient. We don’t need this life to learn to love the god – hell could be applied at any time. We don’t need this life to grow mature – children die all the time and go either to hell or heaven. Basically hell is there to explain why you want to go to heaven. There isn’t any other reason to want to go to heaven.

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