August 10, 2021 at 1:02 am #38532
My mother only has one religious friend who has been fairly tame with her religiousness in general (as she lives in a very secular society). She brings up God in passing (like “I will pray for this person”) but that is it and there was no attempt to convert anyone. The other day she calls up my mother and is in tears and inconsolable. She was terrified that my mother will spend eternity in hell for not believing in God. My mother tried to point out that hell is fictional and doesn’t even exist so there is no chance she will go to hell. That, of course, didn’t work. She also tried to convince her that it doesn’t even make sense that a perfectly moral and all powerful God would torture his creations for eternity for simply not believing in him and suggested that if she had to let go of one of these conflicting ideas that hell would be one of them. Didn’t work. Anyways, so her friend is basically in total emotional turmoil and distress over this (to the point that it is very much disrupting her life). The poison of religion is not only terribly harming her but it is putting an emotional toll on my mother who is being emotionally blackmailed into “believing” in this nonsense. The moment those who crafted the Christian idea of Heaven and their sinister and deranged idea of hell as a ploy to advance their stupid religion, they doomed the world to centuries of emotional suffering. It always sickens me how kind and caring people suffer and bring suffering on others because of this emotionally corrupted religion.August 10, 2021 at 7:37 am #38535
It sounds like the lady might be mentally ill in some way, maybe clinically depressed.August 10, 2021 at 12:37 pm #38537
She isn’t mentally ill. Depressed, perhaps. I wouldn’t blame someone who honestly believes in hell for being terrified of a friend burning for eternity. Any caring person who honestly believed in this shit would be terribly upset about it. Hell is the most grotesque religious concept ever devised. It is what makes Christianity and Islam two of the most toxic brain viruses that exist.August 10, 2021 at 2:21 pm #38538
She isn’t mentally ill. Depressed, perhaps. I wouldn’t blame someone who honestly believes in hell for being terrified of a friend burning for eternity. Any caring person who honestly believed in this shit would be terribly upset about it. Hell is the most grotesque religious concept ever devised. It is what makes Christianity and Islam two of the most toxic brain viruses that exist.
Yes. And it seems to me that once you believe in hell and angels and miracles it is no big stretch to believe people saddled-up and rode dinosaurs… or a vaccine has microchips… or causes you to be a brain-eating zombie. You are in “belief” mode and your ability to distinguish reality from fantasy has been poisoned.August 10, 2021 at 2:39 pm #38539
Your Mother sounds pretty convinced and firm in her non-belief. I doubt she could be “blackmailed” into belief, but her friend is a mess.
Did she know your Mom was a non-believer, then just out of nowhere get concerned that your Mom was going to Hell? That would make no sense if she was firmly convinced in her beliefs.August 10, 2021 at 3:52 pm #38541
Forgive me for assuming the possibilities, but two things come to mind when I hear that kind of story. One is that old age often brings with it various forms of mental deterioration where one loses a sense of recent memories and relies more on past memories in daily conversation. The other is a fear and obsession of one’s own impending death.
In any case yeah, this kind of reaction is due to religious toxicity. I recently watched a Netflix series made in Turkey, Resurrection Ertugrul, a dramatized version of a period of history predating the Ottoman Empire when Muslims and Crusaders were at war. From a human nature standpoint, I enjoyed the passions as acted out but hated the premise of religious war, and unfortunately, the obviously nationalistic tone of the production was not unexpected. A major, overriding theme was “this life versus the next life”, adding glory to fighting to the death for Allah and God, presuming that the afterlife matters more than the present life.
If my mom were in your mom’s situation, I would have conversations along the lines of how human nature has this serious flaw. I’d be pointing out the unfairness of a God that would punish so many good people, but most importantly the fact that humans have done this to themselves by creating the myth. It’s the biggest “fake news” ever perpetrated on each other; I personally, constantly feel overwhelmed by deeply religious people never even questioning the source and authenticity of scriptures.
What is wrong with us?! The mere fact that scriptures were invented and written by mortal human beings should be enough to make people question why they believe that scriptures are the word of God. Even if God exists, it’s the ultimate human arrogance to presume to speak for him/her. The pressure to believe in and conform to this shit is the most pernicious disease of human cultures.August 11, 2021 at 12:09 am #38550
My parents are both virtually life long atheists. I believe they were baptised for social convenience but never attended weekly church or had any familiar religious activities. I was also baptised because their friends being my “god parents” meant so much to them. Apart from me visiting the church a couple times out of curiosity…that was also the extent of my interest in that poisonous institution.
In any case, yes, she knows that we are a completely unbelieving family, and in fact, knows that she is in quite the minority with her belief and the extreme minority with her strong belief. She brought up her religion in passing comments (I’ve heard it myself). She also has religious friends and some nutty ones who are anti-vax and anti-western-medicine and even shit like not having “radiation” in their room like digital alarm clocks which release “red radiation” (yikes). I suppose that the idea of her loved ones going to hell has always bothered her but recently with COVID and her increasing age I imagine she has her thoughts on heaven and some free time to dwell on the afterlife. Perhaps she watched some American style youtube videos of evangelists. It doesn’t shock me that she was crying about my mother going to hell. And yeah Enco…there isn’t the slightest chance “in hell” my mother would believe in that shit. But it upsets my mother that her friend is that upset, it upsets my mother that she is being emotionally manipulated by her friend (even if her friend is doing it for “the right reasons”) and it infuriates my mother how this religion is harming her friend.
Pope, I agree that the very invention of ideas such as hell as a mechanism to spread an ideology (for a variety of personal self-serving reasons) are a terrible reflection on humanity. And of course the religious or semi-religious ideas of chattel slavery, white-supremacy, divine right, serfdom, grotesque torture machines for heresy, execution for apostacy are two more examples. It takes the most incredible circumstances for humans, once civilisation emerges, for us to overcome our dark nature and treat one another with a modicum of caring and effective assistance. Secularism is an absolutely undeniably essential element of this for it to succeed. No non-secular society has remotely seen the level of humanity some of us currently enjoy (as entirely unequal and insufficient as it is).August 11, 2021 at 8:30 am #38551
If this person has suddenly “gone wrong”, it might not just be Covid related. There might be some other underlying reason for it. Clinical depression is full of visions of hell.August 11, 2021 at 11:43 am #38552
It’s possible Simon. It could be something she had been worrying about and came to the surface or it could be a recent struggle with mental health or both. In any case it is quite sad.August 11, 2021 at 12:14 pm #38553
It is sad to imagine someone so tormented like that. She’s probably a caring person, if she is so concerned for the welfare of your mother.August 11, 2021 at 1:15 pm #38554
It is sad to imagine someone so tormented like that. She’s probably a caring person, if she is so concerned for the welfare of your mother.
Around here churches and preachers push this fear of hell constantly and tell their flock to go save their friends, family, everyone from the punishment of their god. It’s an age-old recruitment tactic. And there is always that maniac on the corner with a megaphone telling all the sinners to repent or burn.August 11, 2021 at 5:11 pm #38555
Your mother should just tell this lady “If we’re to be friends, consider this topic closed. What I believe is none of y9ur business as what you believe is none of mine. Bringing this up further threatens to destroy our friendship. I value it enough not to do that. Do you?”August 11, 2021 at 8:12 pm #38558
If it were I…then I would do that (I have super strict limits with people in general and religion is definitely one of them). My mother is French Canadian, they are INSANELY polite (as you may know). They have a pretty hard time confronting people with personal beliefs and emotionally difficult confrontation. But I would imagine at some point, if this continues, my mother will say that.
Is it just I…or is hell one of the most poisonous, cruel, mentally torturous, pernicious, sinister “abstract” concept conceived?August 11, 2021 at 8:31 pm #38561
I think it might be cruel for your mother to reject her friend.
I believe that clinical depression is the source of the idea of hell for the human race. It’s just a dark and horrifying corner of the human mind.August 11, 2021 at 9:10 pm #38563
One thing your Mother might not want to tell her friend is: “Oh, don’t worry! Me and Ol’ Nick are just like this! *Crosses Fingers*” 🤞😁
I sometimes tell that to customers whose total comes up to $6.66 or something added to that. The reactions can be funny. 😁
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