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Yeah, Yeah, I’m Going To Hell

I recently received a comment on a blog I posted a while back about religion that told me I need to “open my mind” and questioned my beliefs because something must have existed before the big bang and “after the future,” whatever that means.  If you’re not familiar with my religious background, I was raised Catholic but abandoned my belief in God for a number of reasons.  I’m not shy about that fact, but I’m also pretty respectful about it; I don’t go around telling religious folk that they’re wrong/stupid/ill-informed unless they are in fact a moron who uses religion in a harmful way.  If you’re an ass who tells homosexuals they will burn in hell while hiding behind a bible, I’m going to blast you.  If you’re a God-fearing person who goes to church every Sunday and enjoys prayer, I respect your lifestyle and have nothing negative to say about you.

The idiot that commented on my previous blog, telling me to open my mind, represents the kind of religious person I dislike.  If someone asks, I’ll openly say that I don’t believe in God, but I don’t go around broadcasting that news to everyone while questioning those who disagree with me.  It confuses me that certain religious people lack the same respect for others; while waiting tables I was often left God pamphlets, I get told that people will pray for me because I’m not religious, I get questioned and almost harassed by certain people because I lack a belief in God, and I’m told I’ll “come around” or end up in hell.

In my opinion, I’m not the one who needs to open my mind.  My mind is completely open.  I am educated about Catholicism, my former religion, Christianity, as well as numerous other religions that are presently practiced and those that were practiced in the past.  I believe that everyone is entitled to believe whatever they wish and everyone is entitled to believe that others are incorrect if they believe something different.  I also believe that the ability to speak doesn’t give you the right to open your mouth wide and attempt to convert others to your religion because you think you’ve got it right.  You don’t get to tell people like me to open our minds just because we don’t choose to buy into the things you believe in.

I’m not a perfect person by any means, but I’ve never condemned someone for believing in God, for believing prayers can be answered, or believing in any sort of higher power or organized religion.  I may think Scientology is moronic, but I don’t seek out Scientologists and bash them for what they hold to be true.  I don’t think Jesus was anything beyond a great man, but I’m not going to tell people they’re wrong for believing he is the product of a virgin birth and the son of God.  I get to say whatever I damn well please on this blog because it belongs to me.  When I start visiting Christian websites and leaving rude comments on their page, then there is reason for religious people to attack me.  And I’ll tell you right now, it won’t happen.  I have better things to do.

Everyone has the right to publicly bitch though, so I suspect the religious crowd will continue to show up now and then and try to save me from eternal damnation.  What I would like is for them to open THEIR minds a tad and have some damn respect.  There is one person who I went back and forth with in comments for a while who made it clear that it would be great if I changed my mind and embraced the Lord, but who also was incredibly sweet about the whole thing.  They acknowledged that there are religious nutcases out there and they can be intolerable, but they also showed me the brighter side of the devout; the respectful side who wishes to save those they believe need it but who also don’t take it upon themselves to bully people into embracing God.  It was a breath of fresh air but it also made me a bit sad that more people can’t be that way.

If I’m a close-minded moron and if I face eternity in the fiery pits of hell for denying God’s existence, that is my problem and mine alone.  I’m not damning my son by telling him God doesn’t exist (he was baptized and he attends church every so often with my mother-in-law and other family) and I’m not standing on street corners with a megaphone trying to get others to give up religion in favor of Atheism.  I’m simply believing what I think is right and I’m doing so without being a criminal or horrible person.  I’m not being a hypocrite by going to church just because I think I’ll be struck by lightning or judged by my peers if I don’t, nor am I hurting a single solitary soul by believing God is a fictional character.  I’m not the one with the closed mind.

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About Jamie C. Baker

“Long time no see. I only pray the caliber of your questions has improved.” - Kevin Smith

Posted on June 29, 2012, in Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I was baptized, grew up in a 99% white, mostly Catholic town. My dad was Catholic, my mom was Protestant, in the eyes of religion they were not allowed to get married, but they did (legally) and had me anyway, so according to the devout, I am an unholy birth anyway since my parents were never technically “married” in the eyes of God…only by law. My parents have been married for over 40 years. I think that is better than a lot of “God” approved marriages. They raised two good kids that both work hard and support their families. But I guess my parents and I and my brother will go to Hell anyway.

    My playmates on my street went to Sunday school when we were kids. I hated it because right around the time I would come out on the street to play, they were being suited up and trucked off to church. I had to wait to play stick ball. They didn’t like going. They never talked about anything they learned. It was just something they were forced to do. One brother is fine, the other has a divorce and now a kid out of marriage. Guess it didn’t stick.

    My best friend was Jewish. He lived in a beautiful house on the lake near my house where we spent so many incredible summers out on the lake boating and island hopping and camping and taking girls out to party with when we became teenagers…but he told me when his Dad went to buy in that neighborhood there was a sign at the entrance that said, “NO JEWS.” So he bought the first house that was outside that neighborhood, barely on the lake…just enough to put up a dock. Obviously those people were still there when I was a kid, even though the sign was gone. His dad was a great businessman, a great dad, a great husband, and left behind a thriving business that his son and his wife now operate. I guess I will see him in Hell too, and my best friend.

    When I did go to church, which was not often, and usually because a friend wanted me to come, all I saw were very expensive cars, lots of jewelry and really nice clothes. It did not take me long to look back on that and realize that they were all competing against each other, jonesing. It was the Facebook of the previous generation.

    Then I read in school about how people could pay the church to have their sins forgiven. And I found that very disturbing. What about poor people that can not pay? Who decides how much each sin is worth? How do we know God is okay with each price per sin? What if they get it wrong and someone pays too little and God sends them to Hell?

    Then I learned about all the religious crusades, all the death and murder and violence. All in the name of religion. I learned of the diseases the missionaries brought with them to native peoples around the world that wiped them out.

    I was teaching a few people at work where to buy emergency supplies for their house. One of the items was a steel job-box that you can store all kinds of emergency gear in and bug-out with it really quick if you need to. He went to Home Depot to buy it and the employee asked him what he was using it for. So he told him it was for earthquakes, economic collapse, power outage, whatever might happen. The employee said, “Oh, wow…I won’t need that. I just believe that God will provide if anything like that happens.” Long pause. My co-worker just stared at him. He had no idea how to respond to that. I mean, if you are going to put your entire life in the hands of magic…what can you say to that?

    I considered all of the religions that have existed in the past, all as vehemently revered and practiced and believed as any “modern” religion today. Are all those people in Hell? What if 1,000 years from now there is a new religion that looks back on Christianity like Christians look back on Greek Mythology? Does that mean all these people today are really going to hell?

    And then of course there is Deuteronomy 13:

    “If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend, which is as your own soul, entice you secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which you have not known, you, nor your fathers…You shall not consent to him, nor hearken to him; neither shall your eye pity him, neither shall you spare, neither shall you conceal him…But you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people…And you shall stone him with stones, that he die; because he has sought to thrust you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.”

    We’re not allowed to bring Deuteronomy up though because we will be brushed aside as they educate us in the fact that this is the “old” testament, not the “new” testament and like Hondas, God likes to update what he says and provide new model years. These of course are the “cafeteria” Christians that will pick and choose which “words” of God are acceptable. I always like to think what God thinks of his people deciding which things he said are worth listening too and which were clearly just crap.

    So as a “Cafeteria Catholic” I have chosen to pick nothing and choose nothing…I have left the cafeteria, the building and the town the building was in. I’m not even in the same state or on the same planet.

    And I agree with you. Oddly, those of us who do not believe simply do not force it upon others. We quietly believe what we believe, and we only wish everyone else would do the same.

  2. Hi, Im not sure how I got to your site to be honest, I literally just joined this here website. First I want to say I am a Christian. I’m not sure why people get so defensive about their religions. We are free to believe whatever we choose to. As a Christian, Jesus said countless times to love everyone, and to judge no one. So Christians should know better than to attack anyone who does not believe in Him. More than anything Christians should love people and show them grace….The same grace Jesus showed us, and pray to for them.

    I just want to apologize for any Christian that may have disrespected you, but they are human and we all make mistakes. Ive always said I was a Christian, but I didnt live like i was supposed. Until this past year I didnt really know what being a Christian was. The day I completely gave my life to Jesus, life has never made more sense and I want everyone to have what I have been given through Him.

    I was on a path leading no where good. I looked for love in all the wrong places. From many many guys and alcohol. My dad died from being an alcoholic 2 months after my wedding which he was unable to attend. Many other bad things happened along with that, very long story. Anyway I was so unhappy even though I had just married a perfect man who treated my perfectly among so many other people who loved me so much. It was not until I realized the love that I needed was from Jesus not from my husband, not my dad or any other human. God loves us so much He gave His only son for us. Something was missing in my heart that I tried filling with sinful things it just made life worse, Jesus filled that void in my heart. And he forgave me that very same day for every sinful thing I had done. I have never felt so free and truely happy in my life. I no longer have to try to control everything in my life because I know He has everything under control. All I have to do is Love, be patient, kind, joyful, forgiving, and share Him.

    Well i’m not always the best at writting whats on my mind sometimes so I’m sorry if this makes no sense to you. Feel free to contact me back if you have any questions or comments. If you are into music listen to Rhett Walker Band – When Mercy Found Me….

    Hope you have a great day! 🙂

    • The one thing that stuck with me when I was doing a lot of activities in my church was that community was of the utmost importance. Love thy neighbor and love them for better or for worse; don’t blindly hate simple because they are different from you. If you believe they are wrong, try and help by intervening or with prayer, but don’t force yourself on them if they don’t want your help. I loved that church and the community and I am pretty sure that had I not moved away from the state where that church was located, I would probably still be a practicing Catholic today.
      I absolutely love your comment. Regardless of my beliefs, I think that faith (in whatever it may be) is a strong and powerful thing that can make a person into someone better than they ever knew they could be. In your case, it obviously did wonders! You are the type of Christian that I wish more people would strive to be. I think that sharing a personal story about how Jesus and God made a positive difference in your life is MUCH more effective in helping a non-believer than any attacks, vile comments, etc. It’s wonderful and I truly appreciate you sharing your story.
      I will definitely check out that song 🙂

  3. P.S. Please don’t think I’m pushing anything on you because I’m not at all. I just wanted to share a bit of Jesus….

  4. I do love it when Christians tell atheists to open their minds, its such a nonsense phrase. Generally non-believers have come at theism from a perspective where they think God could or could not exist (that is, with an open mind about whether God might exist), whereas Christians come at everything with the unquestioning belief that God exists (or, with a closed mind about God’s existence). Always gives me a chuckle!

  5. let’s burn like rockstars 😀 \m/ o \m/

  6. but sorry to see you’ve become full on heathen…short on time so I kind of jumped around but i will read it all eventually and probably add another comment too :D…..people are entitled to believe whatever the fuck they want and at least until I start a cult I’ve got no religious agenda to spread to anyone 🙂

  7. now having read it all … “after the future,” means the after life of course…..

    in a not entirely related note…don’t you believe in ghosts?…wouldn’t that suggest there’s some type of existence after death?…if you believe there is that would kind of not really make you an atheist …unless you believe in ghosts from a purely scientific type way..which according to science you can’t…

    anywho….next time someone tells you about how you’re going to hell…ask them how many apple products are in their home. If they own more than one “I” product they too are going to hell and can’t be considered a good christian because they believe in the false God that apple products provide….tell them about the evil I-pire and how they are supporting the ant-I-christ. They can’t get upset with you…judge me and I’ll serve you a dish of your own….crazy as I surely sound..I’m serious…next time someone judges me from a religious standpoint..I’m going to throw back in their face that they support a false God in apple if they own I-products. Simply owning one wouldn’t make one a bad christian BUT owning more than one would….it’s basic theological logic….I’m sure it would shut most people up…unless they own no apple products..in any case it’s my new stance…you’re NOT a good christian if you own more than one apple product….you ARE a sinner and you WILL go to hell…with NO chance to repent….because you’re worshiping of the false God doesn’t allow for repentance 😀 (((sorry…I have now gone out of my way to push MY agenda..but…I’m really right about this…the real antichrist is technology…and technology in the form of I-products….hahaha….hell in your pocket….)))

    (((also this of course wouldn’t be directed towards you…you being a heathen it doesn’t matter how many false gods in the form of apple products you own or make use of….just the people who think they are better than everyone else……of course I’m better than everyone else because I don’t own any apple products too….yep…rejoice in the freedom of an I-free life :)))))))))))))))) ))))))

  8. How can something happen “after the future”? Wouldn’t that still be….the future.

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