Inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, Mrs. Chili (thanks again for the inspiration!), I want to talk a bit about the threat of Hell, and why anyone who pulls that out is a terrible human being.
This morning, Mrs. Chili shared an experience she had concerning the fate of people who don't believe in Jesus the "right" way. Go click that, and read her entry. No, I'll wait.
Yes, there WILL be punch and pie, now go read her blog!
Ok, welcome back. Mrs. Chili is a gentle soul, the type who believes that everyone is entitled to their viewpoint, and that we should try to always respect those viewpoints. The world needs folks like that for... well, for something. Raising children maybe, or giving out random hugs. Maybe there's a bald eagle chick that needs to be nursed back to health after its mom is killed in a freak fruitcart accident. Mrs. Chili is the sort of person you call for those sorts of things.
Clearly, I'm not one of those people. Not by a long shot.
"Hell" in this case is "the eternal torment for the entertainment of those in Heaven, delivered by a 'loving God' of the Christian variety, for the 'crime' of not kissing his son's ass in the proper way." That son is also the deity in question, who was sent by Himself as a sacrifice to Himself, to allow people to avoid the damnation created by Himself as punishment for things that He made happen by His own design. Confused? Yeah, me too...
THAT'S WHY I'M AN ATHEIST!!!
Ahem. Moving on. The point is this: we're talking about eternal torture as the accepted Christian response to not being a Christian, or not being the right kind of Christian. This somehow fits in with the idea of their imaginary sky daddy being all-loving. It somehow also fits into their concept of an all-knowing, all-powerful being who made everyone and everything according to a big plan. The problem is that it just doesn't hold together logically. If "God" made everyone and everything, has a big plan, and knows what's going to happen, then he intentionally made some people who were predestined to burn forever. That's hardly a loving "God," is it? Don't feed me that "free will" nonsense either, because that doesn't fit with an omniscient, omnipotent creator either. That, by the way, is all you need to reject the Christian deity: it is self-contradictory.
Anyhoo, I don't believe any of that, and that's not the point. What matters is what the Christians believe, whether or not any of it is real. Christianity says that not sucking up to Jesus earns you eternal torment. You can rape and murder little kids for 50 years, and if you're really sorry and kiss the ass of the Allmighty on your deathbed you got into heaven. If the kids you raped and murdered were of the "wrong" faith, they burn in Hell forever and you get to watch and laugh from heaven. That's just the Bible, I didn't write it. If you twist the Bible to avoid what the Bible says, then why follow ANY of it? If you don't avoid it, then you're an asshole.
You're an asshole because you're walking around smug and superior, claiming that everyone else is going to suffer forever for not being a grovelling sycophant to an imaginary being. That's not a good reason to withhold a slice of pie from someone, let alone hurt them for an infinite number of years. You're embracing an amoral system of "crime and punishment" that any child can tell you is completely bogus. Every human system of justice is more ethical than what is described in the Bible, because they all contain the idea that the punishment should fit the crime. How is infinite pain a fitting punishment for not being a kiss-ass bitch?
The only "crime" that gets you Hell is not dropping to your knees to worship a being that either doesn't exist, or has used its infinite power to create the illusion that it doesn't exist. We have minds that can use logic to understand the world. We have the ability to build machines that allow us to explore the farthest reaches of space and the subatomic world. Children today know more about the universe before puberty than the combined knowledge of the entire world back when the stories of an angry, jealous desert god were first being created to explain why the crops went bad. And yet, to hear Christians tell it, if you don't throw out all of that in favor of blind faith in NOTHING, you deserve to suffer for all time. That's what they see when they look at me, for daring to think and reason instead of accepting and grovelling.
Anyone who tells you that is a bad person. What you should do is try to get two of them together. Mormons come in pairs, which makes them useful for the next bit. What you do is distract them, get them to turn around, maybe yell "Look! Burning bush!!" and point over their shoulders. When they turn around...
... and here's the tricky part...
YOU SHOVE A FOOT UP EACH OF THEIR ASSES!!
Then you wear them around as slippers for the rest of the day. Hey, at least it isn't eternal damnation?
Thanks for reading, now here's your punch and pie: