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The teaching that Protestants go to hell?
Posted: 22 September 2007 05:23 PM   [ Ignore ]
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One short but very strong section of Richard Dawkins’ book The God Delusion summarizes a story from a woman who was told as a child that her best friend (who was Protestant, not Roman Catholic) would go to hell, and how this was worse than other mistreatment she had suffered. 

When I was in elementary school, my sister and I were also told by neighborhood kids who went to a parochial school that we would go to hell.  I had forgetten about this incident until listening to the CD of the Dawkins book.  This had made an impact on me at the time - and at that time, my response was not to say “hey there is something fishy about this” but I think to actually redouble my efforts to be a strict Anglican and prove I was as religious as any Catholic. I wonder if this happens all the time.

This summer I visited my mother as she was having surgery, and she recalled the incident when we mentioned the family’s name, so even after 40 or 50 years it was still fresh.

My brother told me in August that after Vatican II they changed the rules and now Protestants can go to heaven.  This issue of “changing the rules”—- I don’t remember this coming up in the Dawkins or Hitchins books—do you?

I looked on the WWW and found some links, am still searching.

Have any of you had similar experiences?

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Posted: 22 September 2007 10:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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One of the formative experiences of my adulthood grew out of this issue. Raised as a Roman Catholic, I was taught that the Catholic church was the only true church, that failing to attend mass or partake of the sacraments woulld doom one to hell forever, that we were forbidden to set foot in any but a Catholic church. My family now denies that they ever said that non-Catholics are hell-bound, but I could swear they did, and whether they did or not, the implications of the theology are clear, or at least they were to me.

I matriculated to the University of Michigan straight off my father’s dairy farm at the age of eighteen. My two roommates were Jewish, and each others’ cousin. They were very well matched to me, and to this day I wish I had appreciated them. One became an ophthalmological surgeon, the other became a dentist and I became an attorney. Other students on our dorm hall included a few atheists, a few other Jews besides my roommates, some protestants, a few fellow Catholics and my best friend on the hall, a Sikh (complete with beard and turban at least through the first semester).

Living with them forced me to confront the question: Why is my religion better than theirs. When I realized that I had no good answer, it was the beginning of the end for my theism.

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Posted: 23 September 2007 04:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The really interesting is that the word hell isn’t in the Bible.

http://www.bibletopics.com/BibleStudy/149.htm

http://what-the-hell-is-hell.com/HellStudy/HellCharts.htm

Sheol
  In ancient Jewish beliefs, the dwelling place of the dead: “the land of gloom and deep darkness” (Job 10:21). It was generally believed that the good and the wicked alike dwell in Sheol. The apocryphal First Book of Enoch, however, describes Sheol as being divide into different regions, where the dead are rewarded or punished according to the lives they led.
  (“If This Goes On—”, Starship Troopers)

http://heinleinsociety.org/concordance/real/s_real.htm

I attended a Catholic grammar school and high school and yet I didn’t learn the meaning of sheol until I was over 40 and only by accident then.  I have kept a look out for the word since then and it is almost as though you have to look for it to find it unless you use one of those Bibles that actually have the word sheol instead of hell.  It seems most Christians don’t.  Most Christians never heard of it.

I guess that means all Catholics and most Protestants are going to a hell of their own making.  LOL

I decided I was an agnostic at 12 and didn’t tell the nuns.

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Posted: 23 September 2007 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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psikeyhackr - 23 September 2007 04:50 AM

The really interesting is that the word hell isn’t in the Bible.

Actually, this should read that the word hell isn’t in the Old Testament. It does exist in the New Testament, however, apparently the concept of hell was something of an invention by the “prince of peace” himself.

For a quick list of hellish NT phrases, look HERE.

Also check out the Wiki page on gehenna.

[ Edited: 23 September 2007 10:17 AM by dougsmith ]
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Posted: 23 September 2007 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Gehenna (or gehenom or gehinom (גהינום)) is the Jewish hell or purgatory. It has sometimes been described as a final punishment for the wicked and sometimes as a spiritual forge in which souls are purified after death. In English, Jews commonly use the term “hell” in place of “gehenna.” The name derived from the burning garbage dump near Jerusalem (the Hinnom gulch), metaphorically identified with the entrance to the underworld of punishment in the afterlife.

Gehenna also appears in the New Testament and in early Christian writing to represent the place where evil will be destroyed. It lends its name to Islam’s hell, Jahannam.

In both Jewish and Christian writing, Gehenna as a destination of the wicked, is different from Tartarus (deepest sheol) and from hades (sheol) the abode of all the dead. In some accounts, the fiery punishment of Gehenna takes place in one level or section of hades.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gehenna

If gehenna is a subdivision of hades then it is not the separate place from heaven that Euro-Christianity teaches.

Some Jews believe in reincarnation.  So do the supposedly Muslim Druze.

http://www.kabbalaonline.org/Introductions/firststeps/Judaism_and_Reincarnation.asp

So what if it is just a temporary “hell” between lifetimes and life is just a test for practicing the lessons.  Eternal suffering for a measly 70 years of stupid mistakes is kind of ridiculous.

Theological Axiom #1:  God cannot be STUPID!

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Posted: 23 September 2007 03:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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dougsmith - 23 September 2007 10:13 AM
psikeyhackr - 23 September 2007 04:50 AM

The really interesting is that the word hell isn’t in the Bible.

Actually, this should read that the word hell isn’t in the Old Testament. It does exist in the New Testament, ...

 

In this thread, I was interested not so much in focusing on the idea of ‘hell’ but on the fact that the Catholic Church had one idea of ‘hell’ {including non-Catholics go to ‘hell’} and then CHANGED it, presumably because of some divine revelation that there had been a misunderstanding.

Similarly the Mormon Church minimized the participants of blacks:
NRP story on ‘Black & Mormon’

Wikipedia article on Mormons and Blacks

Again there was a “new and improved” revelation.

These issues might seem really trivial to folks who were atheists or skeptics from the start. They are helpful to credulous folks trying to dig their way out a delusion; the contradictions serve as anchors in reality while clambering out of this hole of confusion.

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Posted: 23 September 2007 03:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Yes, it is strange how God tends to change his mind from time to time about who deserves to be in hell. IIRC George Carlin had a routine about that; about all the Catholics in hell for eating meat on friday, when all of a sudden God changed his mind and decided it was OK ...

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Posted: 23 September 2007 03:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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For Mr. Deity fans you;ll know that it makes Lucifer really angry when typos and other goofs send Jews, gays, and “seed spillers” to hell, because every time she has to pay reparations and go thorugh a lot of paperwork!

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Posted: 23 September 2007 03:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Jackson - 23 September 2007 03:01 PM

These issues might seem really trivial to folks who were atheists or skeptics from the start. They are helpful to credulous folks trying to dig their way out a delusion; the contradictions serve as anchors in reality while clambering out of this hole of confusion.

I think you have to come to terms with the fact that the people who taught you this stuff as a child never came to terms with it themselves.  They just accepted it and try to make children grow into the same rut.

Even though I went to a Catholic schools I started thinking the nuns were wacko around 3rd grade but they weren’t getting any help from my parents so I was out of the brainsoiling system when I left school.

I figure people who say they believe in God but apparently tell God how to run the metaphysical universe must be either liars or insane liars.  LOL

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Posted: 23 September 2007 06:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Doug, you are right, god is not very stable in his emotions. A couple of years ago, likely noone deserved to go the hell. In this golden time,  the hell could have been empty, because god, in his infinite merciful love, forgives everyone in the last instance, according to Urs von Balthazar (hypothesis once told by John Paul), and hell was not a place, but was the lack of god. Now god seems to be more conservative and strict, so he changed his mind again. Benedict aknowledged this fact, and told us the hell exists, is a real place and is the destination for those who rejected god.

I hope god would be in good mood when I die. grin

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Posted: 23 September 2007 07:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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mckenzievmd - 23 September 2007 03:24 PM

For Mr. Deity fans you;ll know that it makes Lucifer really angry when typos and other goofs send Jews, gays, and “seed spillers” to hell, because every time she has to pay reparations and go thorugh a lot of paperwork!

Brennen, as you know, a priori laws are those for which one cannot be punished if one performed the illegal act before the law was passed.  Since we can assume Lucifer has a plethora of legal advice available, I’m sure s/he would have demanded a posterieri religious laws such that one could not be exonerated if the law was repealed. 

Occam

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Posted: 24 September 2007 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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By the same token there are Protestants (not all) who believe that Catholics go to Hell, etc.

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Posted: 24 September 2007 10:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Occam - 23 September 2007 07:47 PM
mckenzievmd - 23 September 2007 03:24 PM

For Mr. Deity fans you;ll know that it makes Lucifer really angry when typos and other goofs send Jews, gays, and “seed spillers” to hell, because every time she has to pay reparations and go thorugh a lot of paperwork!

Brennen, as you know, a priori laws are those for which one cannot be punished if one performed the illegal act before the law was passed.  Since we can assume Lucifer has a plethora of legal advice available, I’m sure s/he would have demanded a posterieri religious laws such that one could not be exonerated if the law was repealed. 

Occam

Is Moses in hell?

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Posted: 24 September 2007 02:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Occam,
No doubt Lucifer has access to some of the best legal minds in history. grin Still, I wonder if the prohibition on ex post facto crimes applies. It’s in the US Constitution, but I don’t remember it from the 10 Commandmants. Or maybe that was on the tablet Mel Broo…uh, I mean Moses, dropped?

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Posted: 24 September 2007 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Damn, I’m getting senile.  I was sure it wasn’t quite a priori but I just couldn’t remember ex post facto. confused

Occam

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Posted: 24 September 2007 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Hazred - 24 September 2007 09:02 AM

By the same token there are Protestants (not all) who believe that Catholics go to Hell, etc.

I see the “go to hell” topic has a lot of force….

So the examples I was looking for are 180 degree reversals of dogma— everyone believes “A” yesterday but now we teach “B”,  and everyone in the group reverses smoothly like a school of fish.  So it used to be a Catholic teaching that you had to be Catholic to go to heaven, and then it was switched {although the George Carlin meat on Friday thing mentioned above points out the absurdity with humour/ridicule rather than indignation}.

It’s not surprising that there are “Protestants (not all) who believe that Catholics go to hell, etc.”—but it is curious if some sect gets a divine revelation of a change in the rules.

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