If so, what were you doing for them to say such a thing?

My mother was told she would be going to hell if she didn't donate to the church. That's why she stopped going and I was fortunate enough not to have to go through that weekly torture.

Now I was told I'm going to hell because I wanted to make my grandmother happy. But to be fair, I did ask...


Anyway, I want to know if they've been that aggressive towards you guys.

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I'm sure that even that priest lies, most of us do on a daily basis.  Sometimes it's simpler than explaining the truth, and sometimes it's to spare peoples feelings but at the end of the day it's a lie and everyone of us tells them so to be fair this guy is just a hypocrite. 

Who knows if it's even real, I didn't even think priests preached the hell/damnation line. 

95% of my family is religious, so I'm sure some of them tought I'm going to hello for being an atheist. Only my mother ones told me the devil was going to get me. I listened to metal (I was 12), and my mom said that it was very wrong and that there were hidden messages in it brainwashing me to a satanic. So one day she said the devil was going to drag me out of the bed in the night. I remember being afraid that night, but all what happened was...                NOTHING. 

If telling someone a lie to make them feel better about their life is grounds for banishment to hell, then Jesus should be the first in line (if he existed.) How many times have we heard that if you pray for anything, it will be done? Obviously, that is a complete lie; otherwise, there would be no disease, poverty, war, famine, crime, etc.

In answer to the actual question, yes, I've been told I'm going to hell by a close friend. She actually got upset over the idea of me going to hell, too. I just smiled and said that, if there were a hell and I was destined to go there, it was all a part of her god's plan and that she should be happy that I lived according to that plan.

I don't think she particularly liked that answer...

 I just smiled and said that, if there were a hell and I was destined to go there, it was all a part of her god's plan and that she should be happy that I lived according to that plan.

I don't think she particularly liked that answer...

NICE!!! If that doesn't make her stop and think about the "benevolence" of her loving Savior, I don't know what will. It's easy for a stranger to gloat about the "sinners" who are going to Hell, but their tone changes when it's someone they care about. If they know you and realize you don't deserve an eternity in the fiery pit, they've gotta question whether or not that's truly justice.

Exactly. Unfortunately, though, I'm not expecting much of a change in her thoughts on the subject. She lives in the bible belt where that kind of crap is so engrained into everyone's way of life that anything remotely different from "Jesus loves you" and "God is good" is as unthinkable as there being no air.

Don't lose faith (heh heh), I was in the Bible Belt when I started questioning everything. I was super ingrained at that point, and super "on fire" (to use a fundi term). I lived in Nashville TN, which is where all-things Christian come out of (books, music, mainstream pastors, the Southern Baptist Convention, etc etc); my friends were super Christian, I hung out with Christian musicians/artists, lived in the rental of a fairly well-known apologist... I was up to my eyeballs in Jebus.

And yet...

I started asking questions. I wasn't even questioning Christianity at that point, just my own understanding of it. I was actually trying to get "closer to God" and thought he'd appreciate my inquiries. I was certain HE would be the answer... but, then He wasn't. HA!

So, it's not impossible. Maybe something you say will cause her to question some things.

My childhood friend (of 40 yrs) said I too, was "going to hell if change isn't forthcoming." My reply terminated our relationship. Said I'd rather spend eternity with thinking non-believers, than sheep, who would commit brutality because they're 'leaders' told them it'll secure 70 virgins, streets paved with gold, eternal happiness without death & disease, or any other Bullshit he cared to ty to use to convince me a bronze age mythological hoax to herd sheep had a thread of truth, with any degree of reality attached to either end. 

Now, I'll be honest. If someone will simply show me just a scant little piece of evidence that those virgins are waiting for ME, really dude, I'm there. I'll convert tomorrow. But alas... <sigh>. 

...but virgins dunno what they're doing. Maybe 70 cougars? ;)


What's that poster out there, where you see 72 nuns with shotguns....

Yes, you did ask and in a way that implies that you are a believer--at least in part.  I don't think I would reply at all.  You asked for feedback on the internet.  You should expect to get all kinds of replies.  Consider it information; don't take it personally.  I have had believers do far worse to me than this.  Remember, in their fucked up world, you are going to hell for trying to make your grandmother feel good, but Jeffrey Dahmer is going to heaven because he repented and became a Christian.  Need I say more?  The opinion of a person who thinks this way is worth very little.

With regard to your grandmother, try to put yourself in her place.  I know how I would feel.  Whether you loved me or not I would consider it extremely important for you to know I loved you.  Any relationship at all would be welcome.  Maybe you don't love her, but caring about her feelings enough to say it is a huge first step in the right direction.  Relationships are always complicated and rarely simple enough to comprise unmitigated love.

I don't think me asking if they thought I was going to hell makes me any sort of believer. I have absolutely no belief in god, devil, heaven, hell, any of it. There's no need to have faith in such stories. We're getting answers about the world and religion hasn't been any of the answers.

I simply wanted to see how warped they could be, in the name of religion. I wasn't disappointed.

I have always had my doubts, even as a teenager.  When I joined the army WAY back when, I put "Not religious preference" on my dog tags since I thought they were all questionable and just in case I ever needed last rights, thinking it would cover by ass just in case (good 'ole Pascal's Wager).  Several of my fellow recruits saw I had  "no preference" and they stated in no uncertain terms I was going to hell!  Really?  I had to DEFINITIVELY pick an EXACT denomination to be saved?!? Wow, talk about my odds of getting into heaven dropping drastically!  In their defense, we were all young.  I hope whoever that was, has gained a lot of wisdom since...


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