When your Child is Hell-Bound

Child_cast_into_hellMy post is inspired by this Christian mother’s blog post  where she answers my question in one of her her previous posts if she could really imagine my daughter burning in hell while hers is safe. Her answer, in so many words, “Yes!”  To my dear Christian friends who don’t believe like her, you can see why we must keep fighting these sort of ideas.

Nothing can shake up a Christian parent’s world more, than when their child gives up the Christianity that the parent diligently and prayerfully inculcated in their dear child over many years.  This is especially true if the parent has a flavor of Christianity which says non-believers burn for eternity (or are annihilated or any such thing).  Prior to their child saying “I no longer believe”, the Christian parent may try to bullshit themselves and others that they care about the damnation of non-believers. But they lie.  And nothing reveals their lie more than if their precious child stops pretending that they are talking to a god and that an all-loving, all-powerful god intervenes in our lives.  For stopping such beliefs would certainly entail that child leaving most forms of Christianity.

In this case, a damnation-believing Christian parent must admit that their own, dear child is bound for the flames of torment.  Then, and only then, with the believer see what it is to care about the damnation of others. They will weep with a pain that they could never feel for billions their dogma envisions tortured for eternity.

I have seen this horrible painful situation rip apart families and torment Christian parents until the day they die.  The sad Christian parent then usually does one of the following:

  • Shakes their head in heartless condemnation claiming that they can not ignore the hard facts of the Bible doctrines but must instead swallowed the truth.  [From what I have seen, this option results in either deep pain, destroyed relationships, depression and/or a hardness of heart.]
  • Have faith that the Lord will bring their child back. [This works best if the parent and child don’t see each other often.  Or heck, they may be right.  Calvinist fall here sometimes.]
  • Change their Christianity into a flavor with universalistic or pluralistic salvation ideas [often a successful option]
  • Leave Christianity with their children [occasionally another successful option]

It is extremely easy to see the parallels of the above scenario with that of a gay-bigoted parent learning that their child is gay.  The media has shown us many of these stories.  Sometimes it takes our children to wake us up from our stupidity.

The idea that wrong belief earns eternal damnation is a horrible, evil idea.  No two ways about it.  My suggestion to believers, wake up now before pain forces you to see your stupidity.  And be sure, I understand that you think the same applies to me.  So it goes.


Filed under Philosophy & Religion

13 responses to “When your Child is Hell-Bound

  1. There’s another path I’ve seen people take when their (adult) children deconvert: convincing themselves that their children will eventually come back to Christianity.

    I have a relative who insists this is the future of those of us who have deconverted. While I understand that they’re trying to “save” us, the result of them pushing our boundaries so hard on this topic is that they only see a few times a year despite living in the same city.

    It really does seriously damage relationships.

  2. Good point, Lydia, I will add that to the list — sort of a Calvinist idea.

  3. My mother seems to be undecided on my decision to leave the church. I’m still a theist of sorts (honestly, lately I’ve been finding very significant parallels between my idea of god and Taoism), but I’m by no means anything near a Christian anymore. My mother made it about her when I stopped going to church, claiming it hurt her that I had left. I know her words were sincere, but it only led to my interpretation that she was trying to guilt-trip me into coming back for her sake. I finally had to (literally) spell it out for her in an email that it wasn’t about her, it was about what I believed and didn’t believe. It wasn’t fair to the other people in church who did believe that I was taking up a seat in the pew, faking the motions out of habit, and really getting less than nothing out of a ceremony which most of them felt very passionate about. It was disrespectful to them for me to be there, and so I stopped going. I would not be surprised if she is either praying for me to come back or has given me up for hell. It is possible, I suppose, that she thinks I’ll be saved regardless (considering she married a man with no religious affiliation, I can at least hope she thinks that both he and I will be saved without being church-goers or believers), but the fact she made it a point to make it about her and how she failed as a Catholic mother, I can’t really tell which way she has swung.

    I completely agree with your article here. I have this kind of argument with believers on the homosexual child scenario all the time. Christ preached (according to the bible at least) loving all people like yourself and not judging unless you plan on being judged. These were the most prominent aspects of Christian teaching that I held close as a child, and even today, and yet so many Christians overlook those peaceful lessons for teachings which give them justification in their hatred. It’s depressing to see people so brainwashed by their own want to hate in the name of god.

  4. tempestletrope

    The sort of holier than thou Christians (or whatever religion) who claim that only by believing just as they do can lead to salvation are truly insufferable people. They don’t care if those who would suffer in accordance with their terrible beliefs are helpless children. They so badly want themselves to be special snowflakes that they are willing to become vile, hateful, intolerant people to achieve that goal.
    If deities there be, then they are much more evolved than humans. They would not have egos which require worship from said humans. Fundamentalist Christians believe in a cosmic abusive parent: the Demiurge.
    I had nightmares about hellfire and damnation from a vengeful God until I was nearly thirty years old. It took many years to get rid of the fears that were put into my psyche during my childhood.

  5. Gosh Sabio. I don’t mean to sound like a scolding mother. But Wariorwss simply wrote a post about how she was proud of her daughter for learning to swim competitively. Then in the last two sentences, she said God was proud of her daughter as well.

    Somehow you changed the subject and insisted she must be condemning your son and all other Atheist children to Hell. I know you don’t like when someone changes the topic on your blog, so I don’t know why you would do so on here.

    Also calling her “War” seems deliberately disrespectful. Why can’t you just call her “W” if Warrioress is too long?

  6. @ amelie,
    Ahhhh, you’d have to have heard all the other communications The Warrioress and I have had before — I am confronting her War-like Christianity. In her last post — I don’t know if you read it — she clearly states that my children are going to hell. She has told me in no uncertain terms “Look, I am not saying it, the Bible says it. Deal with it!”
    Without that background, you may not understand my comment on her blog.

    You see, she was very personal about her love for her kid and swimming and all that. The same stuff I do with my kid. But with all that commonality — she believes me and my kids will and should burn in hell. She has said it several times. I am trying to reach that weird perverted side of her thoughts. I think there is hope since otherwise she is so loving and apparently thoughtful — but I only have her blog to judge.

    See my last comment to her on her last post if you are interested.

    “War” or “Warrioress” — she made the image. I am calling it for what it is.
    You might have to read her a bit to get it.
    But I do appreciate the chastising — it makes me feel loved. 🙂

  7. @ Rana
    Thanks for visiting. How did you find me, if I may ask?
    Fantastic story — thanks much for sharing.
    I did a post here which shows that people’s gods with many components. Like this picture:

    Your mother’s god sounds like it has huge security, identity, tribal, and family elements. So for your Mom, when you left her god, she felt like you were leaving all those good things. Arguing theology and beliefs may not work. Addressing those issues and reassuring her of your loyalty to her, of celebrating holidays with her and loving her and remembering her forever may be more helpful than theology or philosophy. I am guessing that her god is not the god of Christian theologians.

    Again, great sharing — thank you kindly!

  8. Yoo Tempestletrope,

    Indeed — I agree, “Beliefism” is insufferable.
    Great word!
    Fundies don’t even understand that they worship the Demiurge!
    Another great point.
    Fortunately I was raise only a cultural Christian
    so the only nightmares I had was about the damn Russians! 🙂
    It was only later that I became Christian.
    Thank you for sharing.

  9. Oh, I do apologize if I misjudged. If you have time shoot me a link so I can see the part where she says those things.

    And yes, I do care about you kids. Tsk. 🙂

  10. Feh. I think she’s speaking in generalities (humans should find The Lord)! and with her in-group (hey guys, don’t you think life is meaningless without God? I sure do)! but I don’t see her mocking the faithless.

    Hell, I mock people all the time in my blog. Mostly greenwashers. But you can tell, because it’s direct. Warrioress speaks up for abused animals, low income workers, people who are victimized. I think she’s pretty decent in her teachings.

    If she wanted to mock someone, she would have stated it directly. She may be pretty deep in the trenches of religion, but I think she sounds pretty good at minding her own business. That’s just my one opinion.

  11. TWF

    Great parallel with the coming-out thing. Making it personal definitely changes people’s perspectives; normally for the better. 🙂

  12. My family keep holding onto faith that we’ll come back. My husband’s family are quick to condemn us.
    I love your picture of all the god bubbles.

  13. My son is now 18 months old. When my partner was pregnant, religion came up many many times. I was working at a small Catholic institute at the time and while priests were all happy for us, some of the lay people working there reacted negatively. We were, after-all, unmarried Atheists living in sin and having a child. It took a few months for them to drop their cold attitude. My family is largely non-religious so this was not a problem but it was different for my partner. She is from a small village in the South of Spain – a VERY Catholic village. She was inundated with questions about us getting married before the child was born and about potential baptism. My partner lost some friends over our decision not to have out son baptised. We were told we were condemning our child to hell before he was born because we weren’t having a baptism. These people don’t feature in our lives any more.

    I also have some very conservative Christian friends who, to their credit, have not passed comment on our son. However, I know in their family there was a situation when one of our friend’s brother came out as a gay Atheist. Now, they were certainly from the gay-bigoted, talking in tongues, exorcism type of Christianity so it caused quite a stir. IT took this person many years to have a somewhat good relationship with his family again and this they coped with it by just not talking about it. As for my friends, they certainly shifted themselves and became very supportive of him subsequently. However, I know from talking to this man that regular intercessory prayers are made for him (and myself apparently – being an Atheist and all) and they, in general, hope he will turn away from these bad “choices” and turn back to God.

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