"I'm afraid you might go to hell" Yes, I'm talking religion!

Karla - posted on 05/28/2012 ( 105 moms have responded )

1,555

48

76

I am using a quote from Jodi from another thread, I hope she doesn't mind...



" I'm sure all those religious people don't go around telling everyone they are going to hell in real life either."



My family is NOT very religious, and that's an understatement, so one day my oldest daughter asked the others if they had been told by anyone that they are going to hell.



All 4 of my children have either been told, in person, that they are going to hell, or have had concern expressed that they would go to hell.



My kids are older now, but this has happened to them, anywhere from the age of 5 on up, by friends who go to a churches that tell them that those who believe differently than them will go to hell.



My kids laugh about it now, but I remember counseling my crying 5 year old daughter about why she was told this, what it means, and how the offender knows no such thing.



So, the debate here is: Do you tell people they are going to hell, or have you been told you are going to hell? How do you justify such talk, especially in children? If you want to, feel free to share your response to such accusations. And finally, what country are you in? I'm in the US of A (shocker, I know!)

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

105 Comments

View replies by

Jenni - posted on 06/09/2012

5,928

34

373

Not even just different religions but different denominations as well. I'm sure even *within* those denominations individuals will claim moral authority over others in their congregation and tell them they're going to hell for a certain behaviour. Course, I'm not saying it's common practice for followers of a particular religion to do this. I'm sure it's more prominent in individuals who are very insecure in themselves (and possibly their own faith) that feel the need to point out other person's faults in order to deflect.

Stacy - posted on 06/09/2012

19

0

1

Well, because not everyone is the same religion, I guess everyone is going to hell. I mean, someone could say that if you're not his/her "type" of Christian, you're going to hell. And some else can say the same thing about that person if he/she doesn't share the same beliefs. And so on and so forth. So that leaves me with the question, how can ANYONE tell ANYONE else who is going to hell? What religion is the absolute authority on this? The answer? NO religion tops any other, so no one can say who is going to hell. I hope my point is coming across.

[deleted account]

I don't recall if there is a Hell in Islam.
---
There is. They rather borrowed from Christianity on that one. Turn or Burn.

[deleted account]

Now growing up in a fairly liberal Episcopal Church, I never really thought about Hell. I just knew it was a place where really bad people ended up and that was it. My mother (who is a devout Episcopalian still) talked about this just the other day. The teachings I remember most in church was the need to sincerely repent for your sins, take Communion once a week, pray for the weak and sick, help feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the suffering. That's what I remember most.

When I was a Rainbow Girl (a Masonic order for teenage girls and very Christian), I learned that the best way to show God your character was to engage in community service and show the world the best person you could be. It had a great impact on my character growing up.

I was always taught by my mother that it was OK to ask questions about God and the Church and the Bible. I read the Bible every night before bed. I always had questions about the slaughters in the OT.

We were never taught that Adam & Eve were real people, that Noah's Ark actually happened, etc. In fact, I honestly didn't know that people did think that. Most of my area is RC and none of my Catholic friends thought that either. It was when I worked at a shoe store that I met my first Evangelical who told me with a straight face that the Tower of Babel is why we have different languages. I (not as grown up as I am now) laughed in her face and said she must be joking. She was not.

However my journey towards atheism actually started on America Online's Christian Online Message Boards (COMB). It was there that I was told I was going to Hell to suffer eternally because I was not the right kind of Christian. I also talked to the first atheists I ever met (knowingly). I also talked with Pagans. I learned a lot. But it was the Bible literalists that really got me thinking about why I believed what I believed. Why did they believe so differently. I asked my mother and my Priest a lot of questions. I know they answered to the best of their ability but it wasn't enough.

I knew then in my heart that I just no longer believed in Jesus. I searched other religoins. I made a very committed attempt to covert to Islam. I read the Qu'ran and cried at the beauty of it. Literally cried, I thought I felt a connection but something was always there nagging at the back of my brain.

I then considered myself spiritual for about a year. Then I finally said, "this is silly. You don't believe there is a god. Just say it out loud.' And I did. That was it.

I never read any atheist books till several years later and was stunned to find that I really wasnt' the only atheist in the world.

So that's my story.

[deleted account]

its not about religion its about a relationship with our heavenly father.... religion will not save you only Jesus can..... God does not send any one to Hell, they choose to go there, by not accepting the sacrifice that Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment we deserve
----
My permission was not asked for the sacrifice on my behalf, not would I have given it because the sacrifice itself is highly immoral. If I punch and rob my little old lady neighbor but a stranger offers to go to jail in my place , that is not justice nor does it expiate my guilt. In addition, lets' say that this supposed sacrifice did expiate my supposed sins. It was highly immoral of an all mercifical god to allow a blood/human sacrifice. Human Sacrifice to a god is immoral under any religion. Only Christianity seems to get a free pass in that regard while we regard the Aztecs with disgust.

Going further, Jesus made NO sacrifice ma'am. He was tortured yes, for a day (depending on the gospel you're following because they all state something slightly different timewise). He died in a few short hours and was dead between 1-2 days (again dependent on which gospel). Then he was brought back to life and now gets to be emperor of the universe. That is not a sacrifice. Now if he had stayed dead, then yes you would have a sacrifice. So what was sacrificed? A human body?

Per the Bible, your god can make a human body willy-nilly out of dust and breath. So what is the death of one human body to a god that can bring it back to life? Doesn't that make Lazerus and the little girl that much less of a miracle since apparently it can be done anytime he wants to?

So even if I believed the entire story is true (which I do not) I would reject it as being incredibly immoral and frankly, quite evil. Because my permission was not requested nor required. Because a human was brutally murdered.

Now let me ask you this? Do you believe your god is omnipotent, capable of anything? Then why was a blood sacrifice needed to expiate sins? Why such a brutal method to do so? Why not just say, "I forgive all because not only am I omnipotent and can change my mind and rules (as he often does in the Bible when taken as a whole) and as such I declare that the death of one does not expiate the sins of anyone. Everyone must repent on their own and I will then decide. No blood is needed."

He doesn't do that. Instead he acted as most tribal gods of the period and demanded blood sacrifice as he had done for ages in the Hebrew religion.

As for 'choosing' to go to hell. Nonsense. If a mafia boss came to me and said, "you have to give me 50 large or I''ll have Lenny break your legs." If I say no, am I choosing to have Lenny break my legs? No, I'm saying that the mafia boss (aka God) does not have the right to offer me that kind of blackmail. And it is.

Why was Hell created? It was created to house Satan and the other rebellious angels, correct? Why? That was neither merciful nor just. Merciful and just would have been to wipe them from existence. Why do humans suddenly go there on the onset of Christianity (when it was NEVER part of Hewbrew culture)? Because the religion teaches believe or be tortured. And not just the few hours that Jesus tortured, oh no. You'll be tortured for ETERNITY simply for having a different opinion.

And that's all it breaks down to, a difference of opinion. Please think about my next question a bit before answering. Do you sincerely believe that is just to punish someone infinitely for a finite crime? Is that moral? Just to clarify, I am not suggesting by any means that bad acts should not be punished (acts other than thought crime). I'm asking if eternal punishing is just for a finite crime.

Also there's no guarantee that a bad person will go to hell. If Adolph Hitler, Josef Stalin and Pol Pot all made a true, sincere (and I do mean utterly sincere) repentence and accepted Jesus into their heart as their lord and saviour (and again I'm saying that is utterly genuine), then they have gone to eternal reward whereas Christopher Hitchens a well known atheist is now suffering forever because he could not believe.

Is that just?

I could go on and on about the immorality of the religion but I'll stop here for post length. Let me know if you'd like me to continue.

Nikki - posted on 06/09/2012

5,263

41

554

I have been told I am going to hell and I have been told my daughter will be in limbo or whatever they call it because she is not baptised. It doesn't bother me, I think it's kind of sad that these people feel the need to impose their mythical views onto non believers. But if someone said that to my child and scared her I would be annoyed.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 06/08/2012

6,434

12

67

My husband had something to laugh at. I read posts to him from time to time since he's onthe other computer on the other side of the room. He loved being told he's going to a place he doesn't believe exists.



I have a feeling my ex tried to tell our daughter that she was going to hell and that I was going to hell because I don't follow the Bible like he does (now) She told me that this morning on the walk to school (picture it, grey skies, snow capped mountains, the sun trying to peek through- and my daughter telling me that her former Satanist and Pagan father who commited adultry which BTW is a big No no from the big Guy Himself told her that she needs to follow the Bible exactly if she is going to go to heaven) needless to say I'm glad he doesn't maintain contact with her anymore or someone would be going to Hell in a handbasket and it wouldn't be me.



I've taught my 7 year old about different religions including Islam which teaches that children are sinless until they reach the age of reason (or puberty and it did differ between boys and girls) and that your good deeds and bad deeds are pre-determined before you're born. Heck Islam teaches that if you do something bad when you were supposed to do something good it will only count as one bad thing but if you do something good when you were supposed to do something bad it counts as thirteen good things. They also believe that you can work your way out of purgatory. I don't recall if there is a Hell in Islam.



As I've said before my parents don't talk about hell, my brother and I weren't taught about Hell even though we attended a Catholic school and Catholics used to be big on Hell. Honestly I believe only serial killers, rapists and child molesters go to hell. The other bad guys go to purgatory to work their way out of there like in Islam.



Anyways: Sheep go to Heaven, Goats go to Hell. I heard it in a song.

Karla - posted on 06/08/2012

1,555

48

76

Cindy, "its not about religion its about a relationship with our heavenly father.... religion will not save you only Jesus can..... God does not send any one to Hell, they choose to go there, by not accepting the sacrifice that Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment we deserve....."

Even by your definition it is not your job, or any Christian's job or any follower of any religion's job to tell me or my child they ARE GOING TO HELL. Am I right? (rhetorical question because I know I'm right.)

That is what I find offensive. People who do not understand that they have no right, privilege, knowledge or understanding about who will occupy heaven and hell and no proof or evidence or demonstration that there is a heaven or hell. And yet they are willing to take that authority, that even by their own definition belongs to their GOD, to proclaim who will be in heaven and hell. That's got to be a little sacrilege, doesn't it?

Thanks for responding though, you gave me something to rant about. ;-)

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 06/08/2012

6,434

12

67

Cindy, no offense, but who would want to be a part of that religion? In saying that you could argue that a violent sex offender who is now a born again Christian won't go to hell, but one of his victims who didn't believe in Hell would. (And yeah for those of you who live near me I pulled that off the evening news)

I choose not to go to Hell myself, not because I have accepted Jesus or anything, but because I'm a good person. I also have been taught differently than you have about religion.

Cindy - posted on 06/08/2012

9

0

0

its not about religion its about a relationship with our heavenly father.... religion will not save you only Jesus can..... God does not send any one to Hell, they choose to go there, by not accepting the sacrifice that Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment we deserve.....

America3437 - posted on 06/06/2012

1,052

12

82

My mom told me this not to long ago because I haven't been baptised! She was raised southern baptist and this is her belief but not mine! I don't attend church due to all the hyprocrites and fakes! I believe in God and have Jesus in my heart,love with an open heart and mind and treat others as I would like to be treated and don't need to be dipped in water to know God loves and accepts me as I am! He made me so he knows what's in my heart and that's good enough for me! I can't help it that the Baptist have brainwashed my mom into this belief but I won't let them brainwash me! My son is currently attending a Free will Baptist church and if the time comes that he is told with out baptisim he is doomed to hell then I will have this same conversation with his preacher!

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 06/06/2012

6,434

12

67

I wasn't even raised to believe in Hell because my mom always told me God wasn't like that. My dad's mom was all about Hell and the end of the world, but my mom would always tell her not to talk like that around her kids.

Sherri - posted on 06/06/2012

9,593

15

387

In our religion we don't believe our unbaptized children will go to hell. We do believe however, that they can not get into heaven and will live in pergatory. A place in between heaven & hell.

Krista - posted on 06/06/2012

12,562

16

842

My mom has actually said to me that she's sad that her grandchildren "will go to hell", because my husband and I aren't raising them in the church.

Yeah. I can't even understand this mindset. I would THINK that a sensible person would stop and think, "Hm...what does it say about my faith, that it would consign innocent children to an eternity of suffering, simply because, through no fault of their own, they weren't raised with that faith?"

I would think that a sensible person would stop and say, "That's really kind of sick, when you think about it. Why am I believing in this?"

But no, it's all your fault for not giving in to her faith's threats and blackmail.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 06/06/2012

6,434

12

67

Exactly Stifler. Although Freedom of religion doesn't mean freedom from religion (old discussion I had with my ex BIL once) it doesn't mean that you should be bombarded by people trying to get you to believe as they do.

Honestly do the people who do continuously warn you about Hell really believe that Jesus went around shouting at people to believe in Him?

Stifler's - posted on 06/05/2012

15,141

154

597

I think it's unacceptable especially in this day and age. You want religious freedom it works both ways people have the right to not have a religion and not have religion shoved in their face in their own home.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 06/05/2012

6,434

12

67

You go to hell, you go to hell and you die!

South Park FTW

Johnny - posted on 06/05/2012

8,686

26

318

I have to admit that nowadays, I kind of like it when someone tells me that if I don't change my beliefs/ways that I'm going to hell. It's a sign I'm doing something right because it usually happens when they are losing the debate.

Beth - posted on 06/05/2012

178

0

8

I was raised Christian (in the US) but have since moved far, far away from the church. I just have a hard time wrapping my brain around church exclusivity (i.e. banishing gays, not allowing female clergy, etc.) and ignoring scientific facts. It's a personal choice, if you want to be Christian, then ok, fine by me. But I get upset when people say I'll go to hell (and they TOTALLY DO). My mom has actually said to me that she's sad that her grandchildren "will go to hell", because my husband and I aren't raising them in the church. I mean, my mom and I don't have the best relationship so maybe this is an extreme example, but people DO say this, and it's completely inappropriate. I'm 110% positive they wouldn't put up with anyone from another religion telling them they're doomed in some way because of their faith. So, why is it ok for them to do the same?

Glorianna - posted on 06/05/2012

9

2

0

I dont have any problem being told I'm going to Hell, if thats what you believe. I have respect for someone who want to warn me about something they percieve as a real danger. As Penn Jillette (sp) said "How much do you have to hate me, not to warn me" . . . and he's an athiest. (FYI, I'm Mormon, and being told I'm going to Hell is no stranger to me) But to tell a small child!!! Someone, who by most Christian beliefs, isn't even in danger of "Hell", simply because they are not old enough to be accountable for thier "sins" yet. Its appauling. And granted, most small children are told by thier peers, but why is it even a concern to thier peers, who themselves are to young to be held accountable. My daughter is almost 5, and if I were to tell her "Choose the Right, or your going to "Hell" she'd ask me what Hell was. Because the concept isn't even there yet. We're focussing more on helping her make right choices, and focusing on the REWARDS of living a Godly life, The fire and brimstone can wait . . . or maybe that just the Mormon in me.

Sherri - posted on 06/03/2012

9,593

15

387

I would never tell anyone outside of people who live under my roof they were going to hell and about sin. I have been told I am going to hell. I don't justify any such talk I just explain things matter of factly as we are very religious and believe in heaven and hell. I am in the US.

Mabel - posted on 05/31/2012

785

60

26

I was told I was going to Hell when I admitted to family that I was Atheist.Then was told that because of my choice the person would pray for me and my family because we didn't have enough faith to keep us in gods embrace.I happily told that family member not to waste mine or their time on such worthless pursuits because MY Family was doing just fine thank you!
I am in the bible belt Tennessee in USA.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 05/31/2012

6,434

12

67

Laura, exactly! And my mom always says that God helps those who help themselves. You can't just sit around all day praying and waiting for God to help you.

I took care of this one Jehovah's Witness who told me that my parents were going to Hell because their church had a Casino night. He also kept telling me stories about people from his religion and the one that really stuck was this woman who was having trouble paying her bills- her mom had suggested that she ask her boss for more hours and the woman had told her mom that having more hours would take away from her praying to Jehovah. I said well, she can't just sit around and not be able to pay her bills, God can't make money come to her He can only do so much. The guy looked at me like I had grown a second head and a week later he decided he wanted a new aide. I told my coordinator that it was probably because he couldn't convert me and she laughed. Now I live next door to a Kingdom Hall, but we don't get anyone over here trying to convert us because JWs aren't allowed to convert their neighbours.

Karla - posted on 05/30/2012

1,555

48

76

Shawnn, that was a great story, thanks for sharing.

For what it's worth, the first time someone told me daughter she was going to hell it was a 7 y.o little girl, while my daughter was 5. My daughter was in tears. I wasn't about to confront a 7 y.o child, as I see it she was a victim of the Church's message. I wouldn't even confront the family because at the time they were new-found Christians and I imagined them defending the message. I just did't need to go there.

I talked to my daughter about what some people believe, I talked to her about not judging others. I talked to her about the concept that only God knows for sure. At the time I was into New Age beliefs, so I didn't really turn to the Bible for a lot for support, though I find many of Jesus' teachings to be very loving and supportive. I did want my daughter to feel loved, and cherished, and to know any loving god would not send a child to hell, and that people have differing beliefs, etc, etc.

A few years later this same daughter was told by a school friend that she was going to hell, I think that time she just told the girl that she didn't know what she was talking about and she wouldn't know anyway.

There is a lot of irony in this story though. My daughter is 23 now - and married. She graduated from a Catholic College, though she is agnostic. The nuns that taught Religious Studies loved my daughter; they loved her fresh look on what they were teaching.

And about the girls who told my daughter she was going to hell: the 1st one had a baby at 15 y.o. - her fiance was accused of statutory rape because he was 21. She later married another man and had 3 kids by the time she was 22. The second one had abuse in the family and was diagnoses bi-polar. I'm not trying to condemn them, it's just that these girls had underlying and huge problems in the home. They were probably trying to do whatever was "right" so god or somebody would love them.

Sorry to go on that tangent, but I gotta say it is a real one. So many people are craving love, and are desperate for it, even from god.

Kelina - posted on 05/30/2012

2,018

9

233

Lol one more thing for me to worry about. No I've never been told I'm going to hell, but I wouldn't be too surprised if it happens to my kids at some point and now that scares the heck out of me. I've had to deal in the past with a little boy who was terrified he was going to go to hell because the priest or whatever the hell they're called in the catholic church told him he would. He was 9. And no I'd never tell someone they're going to hell. How exactly would I know? I know what I believe but you know what, I could be more wrong than the guy who thought putting his real name on an application before robbing the pizza place was a great idea. It's also not my place to condemn. I saw an excellent photo on facebook recently that said God loves a kind atheist more than a hateful christian. That really speaks true to me.

Merry - posted on 05/30/2012

9,274

169

248

Megan that reminds me.i really hate it when some Christians act like if they ray enough or the right way that they will get what they're asking for. I mean when my mom fought cancer for 3 years she had a whole huge church praying for her every Sunday, every day of the week by the prayer pastors and people regularly praying personally. Not to mention all us kids and my dad and her herself.
No shortage of prayers!
And yet she died. Well you know what? Prayer is speaking to God and if God is like our father then gosh darn it all don't you suppose once and a while he's going to say no? I mean I say no to my kids all the time. Sometimes they just can't have what they want no matter how much they ask.
So that's my biggest issue these days. People who think prayer means you get what you want. Sheesh it's not like God is a vending machine!

Isobel - posted on 05/30/2012

9,849

0

282

I haven't read anything but I have definitely been told that I am going to hell.

Dove - posted on 05/30/2012

5,742

0

1336

I can't recall ever being told I'm going to hell, but I have had a 'well meaning' lady express quite a bit of concern for my kids over the fact that we go to church on Sunday instead of Saturday. @@

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 05/30/2012

6,434

12

67

Rebecca, I was told by a woman I was taking care of that I couldn't be a real Catholic because I was pregnant with my 2nd child before I was married! My grandma Donnelly was like your grandma, she would tell my mom that if she prayed hard enough maybe God would give her children of her own. My mom told her that she did have children of her own (my brother and I are adopted) Besides what did my grandma think my mom was going to do, pray away the sterility?

Mrs. - posted on 05/30/2012

1,767

6

30

Yes, I've been told in Canada and in the States. I've lived in both and been told that by a wide variety of North Americans. I grew up with an openly (since he was 15) gay brother, so I used to get into it with strangers who would call him names. They would all say I was going to hell. I'd say that was great because all of the best people I know will be there and heaven is going to be one boring ass place if only people like them are going there.

My grandmother has "found" religion and thinks the 700 Club is "the news". She still thinks my brother is going through phase, even though he is in his thirties and married to a man...but a grandmother can dream, I guess. She's never straight out said she thinks he's going to hell, but she's never been pressed about it. I'm sure if she was, she would probably say it. My child was born out of marriage and she was not interested in knowing anything about my future husband until he was a present husband (not that she's at all interested in any of us all that much). So, I'm sure she thought we would go to hell until we got married.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 05/30/2012

6,434

12

67

Irish Diplomacy: The art of telling a man to go to Hell in such a way that he looks forward to making the trip.



That is my favourite Irish saying, but that said I've never actually told anyone to go to Hell. I am married to an Atheist- in order to tell someone they're going somewhere they have to believe it, right?



I was raised Catholic, but aside from my paternal grandma I never heard much talk about going to Hell. In fact my mama (maternal grandma) knows a nun who doesn't believe in Hell. My parents were more about God's love and acceptance than His judgement and vengeance.



I was warned about Hell once though in Texas. I had just purchased cat food at the Killeen WalMart and this guy comes towards me from the other side of the till and offers me this pamphlet about God and why I should let Jesus into my heart la la la. I told him thanks, but I wasn't interested. The poor man gets really urgent and tells me 'But it's about Hell!' I looked at him and said, 'Sir, I've lived in Texas for 6 months, I could write a book on Hell.' So you see Jodi, there is a Hell, it's called Texas :) No offense to anyone I know and love who is from there or lives there.



BTW, I'm from Upstate New York and I currently live in Central BC.

Shawnn - posted on 05/30/2012

8,532

21

1997

Oh my...I wish I had time to read this one!

My experience was with a tech at the shop we (both hubby and I) worked in. By God (LOL...sorry) we were both going to hell, no matter what!

Forget that we're both Christians...we didn't go to his church, so we were ALL damned! The whole bloody shop was going to hell in a handbasket. Of course, so were all of our customers...and he wasn't afraid to tell them that!

Needless to say, we told him "That's ok, Billy, if you think we're destined for hell...We were planning on haunting our kids anyway" and walked away. Finally, one day, I took my bible to work (had to dig...LOL) and pointed out the passage "Judge not, lest ye be judged", and where Jesus said "it is not yours to judge". Asked him if he religiously followed his biblical teachings, and of course he enthusiastically said YES!!! So, I copied (and enlarged) those verses, and handed them to him...and said "My Saviour will judge me, see, here's the "proof" "

He turned red, walked away, and quit the shop the next day.

I'm not bible thumping Christian. I have my faith, and I'm strong in it. If you don't believe the same way I do, guess what?...LOL...

YOU'RE NOT GOING TO HELL!!!

Short answer? Yep, had it happen to me, found it really amusing. Would have personally wrung the neck of the person that said that to my kid, tho, Karla! So, you are the better woman for that...LOL...I'd have been "Ok, tell Momma who she needs to talk to".

I cannot believe that people would say that to a child! How rude, inconsiderate, and (I'm sorry, but) stupid can they get? All children are innocent! Its the adults that lead them down the twisted thorny patch into corruption. Your poor little one...I hope that she feels better about things now.

Jodi - posted on 05/30/2012

25,983

36

3891

Besides, if there IS a hell, I am pretty sure I'm going there whether I believe in it or not...........

Rosie - posted on 05/30/2012

8,657

30

315

well...i can't say in real life i have..over the internet i have plenty. i also have been told numerous times that i will go to hell if i dont' do A,B, OR C...but that was at church, or some asshat at my door. but never in response to something i've said to someone..or as a result of something i'd done.

Merry - posted on 05/30/2012

9,274

169

248

I was raised conservative Christian and I never ever told anyone they were going to go to hell. As a kid my parents said this was very rude to say and quite hurtful. I was told to share what I believe if the child wanted to know but not to be annoying to them because this was not nice.

I will teach the same to our kids because I think there's nothing worse then kids making other kids hurt or sad for any reason!

(haven't read comments yet, going to do so now :)

Stacy - posted on 05/30/2012

19

0

1

I think the problem with Fundamental Christianity is the negativity. I have family members who are born again Christians and they are always telling others that they are going to hell simply because the others don't follow the same religion as the born agains. These born agains spend so much time proselytizing and trying to convert others that they have forgotten the true meaning of being a Christian. It's become more of a cult than anything else. I'm an agnostic atheist, which means that while I doubt there is a deity, I can't absolutely say there is or isn't.
Tracey Howard, I love your daughter's response!
There's nothing wrong with believing in an afterlife if it brings one comfort, but telling others they are going to hell is just mean spirited and wrong.
"I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints. The sinners are much more fun."--Billy Joel, Only the Good Die Young.

Jodi - posted on 05/30/2012

25,983

36

3891

Is this the point at which I complain that you used something I said in another thread to start a new thread :P

Seriously though, I have NEVER had anyone tell me I was going to go to hell, but then, I tend to avoid discussing religion (even though my kids are in Catholic school, LOL). I just think a person's religion (or lack of) is a personal thing. It really is no-one's business if they think I am going to hell or not. At the risk of offending OTHERS, they are making it their business when it has absolutely no effect on them at all.

Charlie - posted on 05/29/2012

11,203

111

401

The only time Ive heard it in real life was when someone was using it as a phrase not actually telling someone they were going to hell.
Im in Australia and an atheist raised by an atheist and a non committed seventh day adventist although more leaning toward agnostic mother and the first real religious discussion ( which was quite tame) I've had for real was only a couple of months ago.

Religion just isn't as rabid here as I get the impression it is in other parts of the world.

Sylvia - posted on 05/29/2012

1,315

8

31

Karla, TBH I don't exactly remember how my mom handled it, except maybe to say that that's what they believe but we don't...

Stifler's - posted on 05/29/2012

15,141

154

597

I'm in Australia... the only time I've been told " Ill go to hell if I do this" is by my parents when I was a kid. I think people need to get a life/shock therapy if they go around telling people this. Crazy talk.

Karla - posted on 05/29/2012

1,555

48

76

Sapphire, when an individual is deep in the bowels...(yes I said bowels) of the Church handing out religious material at Halloween makes perfect sense - it's even logical in their POV and I'm sure they would be willing to tell you why. oh my.

Anyway

Sylvia, my Aunt is a Jehovah's Witness and she likes to comment on my posts about life and global warming, etc. Basically if I believed like she did I would not waste time on these things. She's elderly and actually very nice, and I don't want to insult her, but I did have to explain to her why I care about global warming. Basically: I have kids and I want them to have hope and a future, etc.

Can I asked how your parents handled that with you Sylvia? Did they say, "Oh you know the Brown's, they're just like that." or did they explain in more detail. Did you ever feel hurt by the neighbor's judgments?

I think it's harder when it just comes out of nowhere, all the sudden someone tells you you're going to hell, especially for a kid.

Johnny - posted on 05/29/2012

8,686

26

318

I was born into a non-religious family, dad and his whole side are atheists, my mom's family are a mix of non-practicing Christians, theists, atheists, etc.

My first "religious" experience was when I was 6. My next door neighbor was Jewish and a year younger than me. After her first day at kindergarten at the local Jewish private school, she came home and told me she could not play with me any more because I was a gentile. In the next 12 years living side by side, she never acknowledged me again. It perplexed me because my good school friend was also Jewish and she never had a problem playing with me and didn't go to a special school. So that's how I learned about zealotry most often equalling bigotry.

I decided to join the local church group when I was 11 because the boy I had a crush on went. So I was baptized and confirmed as an Anglican (like an Episcopalian for the Americans or Church of England for you Brits). I never really believed, but thought if I just tried harder, I would. I tried for years, with the Anglicans, the Baptists, the Mormons, the Catholics.... never got it. Although I will say that none of those groups ever really went with the whole "you are going to hell" thing.

The first time I ever heard it was from a close friend in high school who became "born again" in the Brethren church. This was in grade 11. By my second year in college she ended the friendship because my uncleanliness was a stain on her soul. By then, I just found it sad for her and kind of funny. I was comfortable with my beliefs and honestly found her brainwashing pretty depressing. She'd gone from being a tolerant, caring, intelligent girl to someone who believed that blacks were dirty, sinners deserved stoning, and that dinosaur bones had been buried by scientists to prove evolution.

I haven't heard it much in real life since. I don't know a lot of the fire and brimstone types. The only time I've been told so lately is on the internet. My daughter doesn't even know who God is. Or Jesus or Allah.... She's 3 1/2 and it just hasn't come up. I haven't purposely kept her from it, it just is not something that effects our lives at all. When she's older, I will discuss religion with her, but I will be mad if someone tells her she's going to burn in hell when she dies. That will really frighten her. And trust me, they will regret it big time. Seems unlikely though, while we have religious friends and acquaintances, none of them would ever do something so terrible or even think of it.

[deleted account]

Werid neighbors Sylvia! I also had neighbors that handed out these religious "baseball cards" with candy attached to it. I mean, who the hell passes out Bible thumping literature for Halloween?!

Sylvia - posted on 05/29/2012

1,315

8

31

We had neighbours when I was a kid who were Seventh-Day Adventists. Very kind, sweet, lovely, friendly people. Their only flaw, really, was that they were sure practically the whole neighbourhood was going to Hell. At Halloween they handed out toothbrushes printed with Bible verses (they were friends with a dentist at church). Their house was full of kids' books with titles like "The Story That Isn't True" (the untrue story being, of course, evolution :P). There was a lot of talk about Satan making people do things. I don't remember whether I was ever specifically told that I was going to hell, but I guess if I was it didn't traumatize me that much ;)

Karla - posted on 05/29/2012

1,555

48

76

I can't even recall if I've personally been told I'm going to Hell - IRL as an adult - other than insinuations from pastors in their sermons. (one such at a wedding... I found it tacky)

Anyway, I do have comebacks, but I don't know whether I would actually use them. My favorite is, "By your definition of 'going to hell,' I'm fine with that because I'll be in good company. For instance, Gandhi was Hindu, so by your definition he will be in hell."

Jenni, I appreciate your story. Mine is similar but it took me much longer to evolve.

I guess I can share that I was born into a non-practicing Christian family, became "born-again" Christian from 15 to about 30, became more New Age agnostic from 30 to 50, and just realized I'm Atheist and am still incorporating my spiritual growth into that belief (or non-belief?) system. I find it all to be so interesting. Oh and I taught my children how to meditate, that has always seemed better for the spirit (or inner self) than anything else I have done.

I can truly see how religion can really help individuals become better people, but when these fear tactics are used I get perturbed. It was distressing to have to deal with it from my kids friends, it was especially troubling to my daughter. While growing up I don't remember kids talking like that, but they probably did. That message is definitely more prevalent in fundamental evangelical belief systems.

I wanted to find a way to help my daughter deal with the message without insulting her friend's beliefs. Having said that, I'm also saddened that we live in a society where kids are indoctrinated like this. Even when I went to church I found the "love of God" message to be much more helpful then the "fear of God/Hell" message.

Minnie - posted on 05/29/2012

7,076

9

786

Yes, I was told I would go to hell unless I was saved (as a seven year old)- it terrified me into saying the salvation prayer. And following, I told my fellow second grader class mates that they were as well. I'm in the US.

I can't describe the hurt that 19 years steeped in this belief has caused me.

Jenni - posted on 05/29/2012

5,928

34

373

I don't recall being told I'm going to hell in RL as an adult (since I've been an atheist). I was a Christian from age 6-13, a Wiccan from 13-18, an agnostic theist from 18-23, a practicing Christian when I revisited church and young adult Bible study for about a year at 24 than I became an affirmed atheist (now for 5 years).



I do remember to this day quite vividly, my very first experience with church at age 6. My mom was never devout but she asked me if I'd like to start attending church. It sounded appealing so I said yes and we started going together as a family to a brand new non-denomination church in my town. Beautiful church, huge! The first day I was sitting in the children's sermon (before Sunday school class begun) and listening to the adult (sunday school teacher?) speaking at the front of the room, eager to learn all about this church and this god and Jesus character. He tells a Bible story (don't recall which one) and at the end of the story he starts talking about new faces in the crowd and how we need to be saved by Jesus. He explains that the only way to get into heaven is to "ask Jesus into your heart" and that those who do not will burn in hell for an eternity. Yeah, serious stuff for a 6 year old. And you're damn skippy I stayed after the sermon to do just that for fear of a car accident on the way home from church.



So really, I'd say as a 6 year old, whose mom and other adult family members also reaffirmed that this is all true, I had little choice in the matter on what to believe about it. To me at the time it was the "truth" or reality, no ifs ands or buts because all the adults I knew in my life confirmed it for me. If you do not believe Jesus existed, believe he is the son of god and ask him to take the driving wheel in your life, you will suffer unimaginable pain for an eternity. Sort of dissolves your option of choice. The same happened to my sister but she took a bit longer to break free of the childhood indoctrinate than myself. She was very involved in youth groups, Christian music only and began attending an Evangelical church as a teenager where they spoke in tongues. It wasn't until university when she took a course on justifying your beliefs and why you believe the things you do that she began to analyze why she believed. This also led her to the conclusion of atheism.



Sorry, rambling on.... thought I'd share my story with my experience on "you're going to hell". Honestly, I do not recall anyone in RL telling me (since I've been an atheist) but I've been told plenty of times on the inet. It most certainly doesn't have the same affect on me now as an adult as it does on a child. Especially considering what I know about the Christian hell being an intentional mistranslation from the original texts. I believe it was added in to persuade further conversion to the Christian religion. The Judaic promise of heaven wasn't enough incentive for the Christians so they added the very negative and successful re-enforcement of eternal fire and brimstone to dissuade non-believers.

Krista - posted on 05/29/2012

12,562

16

842

If anybody ever tells my child that he is going to Hell, I will RAISE Hell, I promise you that right now. I don't blame the kids for it -- I blame the parents and the pastors who choose to focus on such things.

I've had arguments with passive-aggressive twits who concern-troll me about the state of my soul, but I usually just ignore it. I DO like Joanna's response, though, and plan on using it, if she doesn't mind.

But yes, with regards to my son, it is something that my husband and I are keeping a very close eye on. Some of my husband's family are fire-and-brimstone fundamentalists. We're talking 3-hour prayer meetings, kids wailing in terror because of all of the threats of Hell and damnation, the whole nine yards. So we're being very vigilant, and will not be leaving our son alone in the presence of ANY of these relatives, be they adult or child, until we know he is old enough to handle such discussions.

[deleted account]

I have never been told I am going to hell. Ever. I was raised in the Jewish faith and only practice faith when invited to my parent's home for holidays.

We do not practice any religion in our home. But a few months ago my son asked some questions about God. So I answered him in the most honest way I could so that a 7 year old can understand. I told him hat if he believes there is a God that can see him and if he wants to talk to God he most certainly is allowed to. If he wants to pray to God for a special reason, like if a friend or cousoin, or Granmda is sick, he can pray too. (He prayed for a new scooter-defeats the point). Then I took hubby's bible that he keeps under the bed- the King James version. I let Matthew look through the bible and asked him if he wanted to read anything out of it. He was happy to find the book of Matthew! And, lo and behold, he found the word HELL-and with a startling," OMIGOD Mommy there's a bad word in this!"

Oh, I'm in the most bigoted, hateful state in the USA- Arizona. (But, a Jersey Giril at heart!)

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/29/2012

3,377

8

66

I most definitely have been told I am going to hell, IRL. My response is simply, "I have been to hell and back, more than once. It wasn't great but I got through it, if I have to go again, I am prepared".



Since I believe hell is on earth and it is all what you learn and do with it. ;)



Oh and I am Canadian.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms