Mel gives the ”Okay” to teach kids about a literal Hell.

I’ll let this dialogue stand for itself.

For all the readers who were subjected to the doctrine of Hell I apologise up front. But people like these need to be exposed for what they truly are.

If you want to tell Pastor Mel Wild anything … feel free.

 

Ark:But just to confirm, you do not preach this stuff to children who are obviously too young to be seekers, yes?

maurwild says:

I absolutely do because children are the greatest seekers of all, hungry for truth. I know that I was when I was a child. And if I don’t tell them what I believe, and all they hear is everything else, how can they possibly make a truly informed decision. They don’t live in a vacuum. They live in a world where they have to choose what to believe and what not to believe, just as I and everyone else in the world did.

Wally Fry says:

Good for you. I do the same and not ashamed about it

Arkenaten says:

Good for you. I do the same and not ashamed about it

Well, you should be ashamed. Thoroughly ashamed by your own guilt-ridden willful ignorance. And let’s be clear, you are not satisfied with this, you also want to corrupt and warp the minds of children who have little or no defense against the utter garbage of Young Earth Creationism,
A 6000 year old earth and dinosaurs existing with humans? Seriously?
And worse, you want to terrorize them with the notion of eternal torture and damnation in Hell, a wholly invented church construct.
Do you have any idea the psychological trauma that this vile doctrine alone does to many vulnerable children?
Have you seen The Cage video, Wally?

And you cannot see the harm in what you are doing?

I sincerely hope that Mel has the integrity to call you out over this issue.
Him and I disagree on a whole heap of things but I’ll bet dollars to donuts he wouldn’t want his young kids left in your care if for one second he thought you were going to lay this nonsense on them.
You want what’s best for children? I call foul on this Mr Fry.
Be ashamed, Wally, because one day some grown-up kid who you taught is going to point a finger at you for what you are doing now.

And just when I thought Mel would not stoop so low and had at least some integrity …

How naive was I! 

Mel Wild says:

Ark, one does not have to make a choice between young earth or old earth creationism in order to be a Christian. Most Christians are aware of both interpretations, and the Bible arguably supports both. But if I had to make a choice between giving my kids to Wally to raise in his Christian beliefs, or give them to you to teach your atheism, telling them that the universe has no creative agency, no God, I would choose Wally hands down. To me, making children go against what is self-evident to them, that there is a designer, would cause serious damage and confusion. That is one form of child abuse I would not tolerate. Besides, I’m sure Wally’s a good parent. 🙂

 

Just to make things perfectly clear, Wally is a Young Earth Creationist who believes in a literal Hell: a place of eternal damnation and torture.

And this doctrine is taught to children. I know some of you were taught this as kids.

And Mel is quite happy about this.

 

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154 thoughts on “Mel gives the ”Okay” to teach kids about a literal Hell.

            1. “You can just say ‘dickhead’ in that context.”
              Congratulations, SC. First straightforward statement I’ve read of yours. 🙂
              (Gotta give credit where credit is due, eh?)

              Like

  1. maurwild : “I absolutely do [teach hell] because children are the greatest seekers of all, hungry for truth. ”

    oh.my.fucking.god.

    Ark, you’re going to have to take this one on for me because I might rip out my eyes if I read more of this…this…what should we call it? Abusive asshattery? Ignorant dipshittery? Cultish fuckery?

    Yet religion is priviledged and protected so they get away with it.

    Take away their keys and throw them in jail! How can we as a society tolerate this sociopathic behavior? They are grooming minds to accept toxic beliefs, same as pedophiles groom their next sexual victims. IT’S SICK. I will never tolerate the bastards who prey on kids like this. Atheists must stand up and with loud voices bring to light the sickness of these practices. As usual though, most people will say, “oh, they can teach whatever they want within their own homes and at summer camps.” NO. We must stop this abuse now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For me it always comes down to the issue ‘is Hell real’. If there really is a Hell that some demented sadistic deity consigns people to who fail to grovel and worship then the teaching of Hell actually makes sense and could be argued to be moral.

      But…and it is a big but. If there is doubt about the reality of Hell then the situation is not so clear,

      Perhaps Mel would argue that it is better to teach about Hell as it just may exist and better to be safe than sorry so to speak.

      However given the teaching from Hell comes from the Bible then the starting point should be to determine if the Bible to ask is reliable in what it teaches. There are some definitive things that the Bible says that science is able to objectively adjudicate, I am thinking here of the Garden of Eden/Adam and Eve story and the Flood story. On these the science is clear, there is virtually no possibility that the Bible version is correct. So on this basis why should we believe that the Bible has anything reliable to say on Hell. Indeed even the Bible itself fails to have an internally consistent narrative on the matter.

      I would go further given our bodies die and rot, then are the proponents of Hell suggesting that after death we will be given new or reconstituted bodies. Further will these bodies be able to feel pain? There might be good reason for pain in the physical world but to create spiritual bodies that can feel pain for the purpose of torturing folk for all eternity for finite human crimes would seem to make God evil?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Excellent! And if my understanding is correct Paul does not use the word Hell, neither in the epistles or in Acts.
        And as the Epistles were written before the gospels it may suggest more interpolation – putting even more words into the mouth of Jesus, perhaps?

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      2. Thaks for the input Peter. As a former catholic who was taught nothing but fire and brimstone, hell is indeed the creation of an evil god. I’m not as familiar with denominations that teach separation from god, though surely from a kid’s point of view, separation is just as bad (children have spearation anxiety from birth). It IS a bit harder to debate more liberal christians who can’t be pinned down on their beliefs about hell (or about anything else).

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Please explain this to me, Peter, because I don’t understand. Here in America, particularily in the South and Midwest, Christians pretty much believe in creationism. However, I’ve known people from Britain (personally from my several times there) and Australia (on line) who say they are Christian and believe in evolution. How is that even possible? Theologically, it’s not sound for Jesus is the second Adam. If one doesn’t believe in the creation story, how can he believe that we need Jesus to save us if the original Adam didn’t exist, therefore original sin didn’t happen?

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        1. ‘How is it possible’?

          A good question Charity. I spent a good part of my life being a Christian and pretty much accepted science of evolution and an old earth. I would read books by sensible scientists who were Christians, like John Lennox and Francis Collins that supported science and Christianity.

          In particular I followed the work of Hugh Ross which seeked to reconcile science and the Bible
          http://www.reasons.org/about/our-creation-model-approach

          This summary from that site might help:

          Reasons to Believe uses the term model in reference to our effort to summarize physical (observational) and biblical data relevant to creation into a coherent explanatory framework. The following foundational beliefs help shape how we interpret the data.

          1. The Bible (including Genesis 1–11) is the error-free word of God.
          2. The creation account of Genesis 1 follows a basic chronology.
          3. The record of nature is also a reliable revelation from God.
          4. The message of nature will agree with what the Bible says.
          5. The Bible contains a selective summary description of God’s creation activity (e.g., no mention of dinosaurs, bipedal primates, quantum mechanics, or the existence of other solar system planets).
          6. God gives humans the privilege to fill in the details, carefully, through patient, ongoing exploration and increased understanding of the natural realm.

          We build our model by collating all that the Bible says about God’s creative work and integrating the individual accounts into a coherent picture. We then present this interpretation in the form of a scientific model, one that anticipates, or “predicts,” future findings. We can then evaluate its accuracy in light of scientific advances.

          We believe God’s two revelations (Scripture and nature) will agree when properly interpreted. When apparent contradictions arise, we reexamine the data—both biblical and scientific—recognizing that our understanding is incomplete. Sometimes the scientific data seems an unclear or awkward fit with the biblical data. But we see such instances as an opportunity to study both of God’s revelations more deeply.

          So Charity in summary I went down the path of seeking to interpret the Bible in light of science.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Where Mel (and others) are totally misguided is their belief that atheists “teach” their kids atheism. I think it’s more that they let them decide for themselves. They may offer suggestions if they see Christianity sneaking in, but how do you “teach” a kid atheism?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I agree that all these religious fanatics will always turn the tables back against the atheist. They know and always have known that atheism does not operate like religious indoctrination, they lie, and they ignore the truth purposely. It is a crock because atheists are not commanded by a story book god to preach their beliefs to save souls with promises of eternal life. Most atheists could not care less what their kids hear about religion and are not stupid enough to counter this knowledge by brain washing their own kids.

      Mel: “And if I don’t tell them what I believe, and all they hear is everything else, how can they possibly make a truly informed decision.”

      Kids simply do not make truly informed decisions on such life changing events like adults do, they make decisions based on their trust of the adults and that is why we should be protecting them and not abusing their rights by manipulating their minds.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Nan,
      I part-time teach at the local High School. (Grades 9 – 12) One of the teachers there – he teaches Law, Math, Political Science, and French (and a couple of those subjects in French) has a fish sign with legs up on the wall. I noticed it a couple of years ago and remarked on it in class. One of the students said, “Mr. ___ is an atheist!” I was surprised that the students knew this, because the topic of religion rarely comes up in any classroom at school, unless it’s in an English class to point out Biblical allusion. So I guess that might qualify for teaching students about atheism, eh? 😉 I remember thinking, “Good for him!”

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I just asked mel what exactly he teaches kids about hell so we’ll see…though I don’t know how one can “gently” explain the lake of fire. Maybe he’s one of those who believes in spending eternity rotting alone (separation from god)…that wouldn’t be much better for a kid. My son is 6 and can’t be alone for 5 minutes without becoming fearful we’ve left him behind.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Vi—

        you should teach your six-year-old about angels, then.

        That all the time he is actually protected from evil (24/7) by invisible people that he cannot see, smell, touch, hear, taste, or anything else but who will boot the butt of Satan if He comes into the house—but only boot said butt if they are invited, mind. And believed in, it’s got to be genuine real ‘Hellzapoppin’ belief, mind, or it won’t work and ol’ Satan will pounce—just the teensiest slightest vaguest hint of a doubt and pfffft~! that’s it; no angels, no protection, and Satan’s gotcha for His lake of fire for all eternity, for ever and ever amen etc.

        Yep. Them angels is sure handy …

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for making me vomit a little, Argus. 😉

          My parents have already taught my son about angels and satan and all that jazz (against my wishes). See me weep over that whole ordeal.

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          1. I have just read your dialogue with Mel
            Well done! Top notch there and I hope I didn’t pull too many triggers for you?
            I reckon you should have pushed him harder on the Hell/Wally thing. Much harder.
            I swear to the gods he is a sycophantic, disingenuous wheedling piece of shit.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Thanks Ark. It’s a tricky thing debating when the topic is harm to kids…no one wants to confront the idea that they might be harming kids. I thought Mel was about to pull the plug on our conversation so I had to back off a little, and I didn’t want him to dismiss me as crazy and then dismiss my entire message.

              As it is I’m not sure I made any headway…it takes someone able to detach themselves from their most imortant beliefs to recognize the harm (most can’t do it). It appears he doesn’t teach on hell and that’s great…I hope he’ll think more about what what guys like Wally are doing. My stance is, however, that hell isn’t the only harmful teaching in christianity.

              I do think Mel made a good point in that kids these days have exposure to so much more information than my generation had (I’m 44). There was no internet then and it WAS possible for our parents and communities to isolate us completely, making indoctrination far easier…kids these days, not so much.

              As for triggers….well, it was a bit triggering but I find it sometimes helps to debate and work things through. Though if I had to debate someone like Wally, that would be bad. If I had to debate him *in person* I’d probably slap him if the topic of hell came up!

              Liked by 1 person

          2. I don’t think that six is too young to be shown the basics of the Law of Contradiction.
            Just put it into words that he will understand—de-programming can only begin with independent thought and the freedom to use it.

            The best answer to the problems of religion is to get the young to think. Properly, for themselves—and spotting contradictions is a great starting point.

            Sadly we’ll have to write off many of the oldies who were indoctrinated (brain-washed) when young.
            The Jesuits are famous for their saying “Give us a boy till age seven and he’ll be useless for anything else after that!” (words to that effect)(yes, it is sick—but it is also reality).

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I try with my kid, I tell you I try, but it is damn near impossible to get him to think for himself….he just can’t at age 6. He watched the movie BFG (about a giant) and now thinks giants roam the woods. He watched a snippet of starwars and now thinks we turn into ghosts after we die, like the jedi. Then I have my parents filling him with all sorts of garbage about satan and demons and angels, while my narrative is that there’s only the natural world…I’m afraid this kid’s head is going to explode. All I can do is hope these conflicting narratives will help him figure out there is no one true religion as he ages.

              Christains who say children naturally gravitate to god are bald-faced liars. Kids take on whatever they get from their culture and what trusted adults tell them, period.

              Liked by 5 people

              1. The BFG is Spouse’s and my very most favouritest movie.

                And when I was six my Dad took a shortcut through some pines, I remember being terrified of the Wolf that was going to try to get me, but I was safe with my Dad who laughed at my fears and explained.

                Soon after I played alone in those woods and developed a lifelong affinity with pines (I must post a snap of my favourite in the park in town, it has a face …)

                Given Freedom Of Though your son will do fine. Give him the tools, and laugh at Jesus’s jackasses.

                Liked by 1 person

        1. JZ:

          Sadly you’d need isolate them from birth till ‘of age’.

          But get ’em thinking for themselves from the earliest—I don’t see how it could be possible in many countries, but it could be tried.
          If circumstances won’t allow them to think, just spotting contradictions will challenge the indoctrinators. It worked for me …

          Liked by 2 people

      2. I used to worry so much about being ‘left behind’, I have since found that many earnest Christians have lingering fears about this along with ‘the unpardonable sin’.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. When I was a kid I couldn’t even tolerate the idea that my beloved teddy would be “left behind”…he wasn’t allowed into heaven with me because he didn’t have a soul! That made me neurotic for most of my childhood and a few years of my adulthood as well. I couldn’t figure out why god would hate teddy bears so much (pets not getting into heaven also gave me the shakes).

          Liked by 2 people

      3. Violet, just in case you weren’t aware, Mel is a pastor of the Foursquare Church denomination. He may say he’s a bit agnostic about his view of hell but his denomination is not. In fact, his denomination is on par with Wally’s beliefs about hell. This is from their doctrinal beliefs:

        “HELL
        We believe that hell is the place of eternal torment for all who reject Christ as the Savior (Revelation 20:10,15).

        http://foursquare-org.s3.amazonaws.com/resources/Print_Brochure_What_Foursquare_Believes_English.pdf

        Yes, they even put scripture in about the lake of fire. Unconditional love my arse. This is child abuse. Period.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Over on Mel’s blog Tildeb threatened him with you when he started to trot out that crap about Justin Barrett and predisposition towards god belief in kids.
          I hosed myself laughing.

          ”Don’t let me call Victoria!”
          It’s almost as badass as : ”Are you feeling lucky, punk? Well, are you?”

          Liked by 6 people

          1. As SB would say, sugarcoated poison. Mel is sugarcoating the doctrine, just like so many “nice” clergy do. Oh, and his comment about becoming as little children (as noted in scripture) — when you peel the layers away, what it really means is that children are trusting, gullible, have underdeveloped frontal lobes (lacking critical thinking), are not allowed to question authority, and are required to be obedient.

            Liked by 4 people

        2. I should have known, Victoria…Mel is from the American midwest and so am I. He’s from Wisconsin (a short jump from Minnesota), and people from around here aren’t known for having progressive beliefs. I can’t believe I didn’t smell that skunk.

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          1. Violet, I remember when we first met. What stood out the most from your traumatic deconversion was something I experienced, myself. Betrayal. I can forgive my parents, but not clergy. In an age of information, most are standing behind a pulpit with their fingers crossed behind their backs. “I’m in too deep, now”, as Daniel Dennett discovered during his research of clergy.

            Liked by 4 people

            1. Betrayal was indeed the biggest part of the trauma for me. If only we could be pissed off at god and hold HIM accountable! Being he doesn’t exist though, that’s kind of a dead end. Bastard.

              I think I have to confront Mel on what you’ve told me about his denomination.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Violet, I just read your question and Mel’s reply. Either the bible is true or it isn’t. So which is it? Anyway, he states he doesn’t teach children about Revelation 20, but what about the flood? Children are taught about Noah’s Ark at a very early age. I remember having night terrors as a child about god drowning all those people, including children and animals. But, the story is always sugarcoated — so much so that the number one nursery theme in the U.S. is, you guessed it, Noah’s Ark. Parents put a theme of genocide in their baby’s room, seemingly never giving thought to how insidious this message is.

                Liked by 3 people

                1. Oh christ, I almost put Noah’s ark in my son’s room. Now that you mention it I can totally see how it IS a story of genocide. Well dang. Of course I was still a believer when he was a baby…can I claim I was guilty by reason of insanity?

                  It is pretty hard to pin down liberal christians on their views of the bible…they can believe what they want and then disbelieve what they want (as does everyone, really). Even catholics are guilty of that crime and they’re conservative. 😦

                  Liked by 2 people

            2. Neuro—

              let us not forget which side the bread is buttered on.

              Quite simple, really—if professional clergy they won’t kick the wheels off their bread van.
              If enthusiastic amateurs, they have to be loopy. QED

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        3. Will Jack Hayford (Foursquare) IS a Pentecostal preacher and I assure you, Pentecostals believe in an all out hell. You know, fire and brimstone, endless torture and screaming. Amy Semple McPherson, the denomination’s founder, was incredibly off. She married multiple times and had a highly publicized kidnapping that was believed to be a publicity stunt. She was a prerequisite to Billy Graham with one foot in the Hollywood scene and the other working for the LAWD. Ralph Moore was my pastor in Hawaii at the church hubs and I got kicked out of. He is the founder of Hope Chapel which is basically a denomination within the Foursquare denomination. He was as much of a control freak as Jack Hayford. Hope Chapel’s (KANEOHE) motto was “we love you…as is.” Yeah, as long as you don’t ask questions! Hubs and I asked them questions directly and that’s when Ralph’s passive aggressiveness turned into all out aggression. That church tried to appeal to the masses as a seeker friendly church. However, it was just as toxic, if not, more as an evangelical one. Moore had a big ego. He actually spent one to one and a half years on the book of Ephesians. That’s right, 18 months to study six chapters!

          Liked by 4 people

            1. Victoria, the crazy thing is, not only have many of us done our research on these faiths and denominations, we have actually lived the lives of the people in those belief systems. One day we woke up and decided to no longer drown out our own questions, but to search for answers instead. Obviously, it took me a couple of decades of questioning to even leave Christianity. I think it was because I came from an overtly religious background, was an abused child and maintained an active church life even when I rarely felt accepted among fellow congregants and spiritual leaders. I finally worked through the gas lighting and Stockholm syndrome to find me.

              Heaven, hell, isn’t it all basically the same? I’m either forever separated from YHWH or I have to mechanically worship him for an eternity because my constant adoration for him for decades on earth wasn’t enough.

              Liked by 4 people

                1. Victoria, I’m still dealing with a fear of hell. However, it is lessening as I work through my panic in therapy. There’s still a little sting when I see something about it on TV. I don’t mind it as much, it sure beats the all out panic attacks I had about it the first couple of years after my deconversion.

                  Liked by 3 people

                2. I am moved by your powerful testimony, Charity, and left wondering what Wally or Mel (and a host of others online) would think about this kind of ‘witnessing’ – would they be moved, as well? Would they reconsider their toxic beliefs? Would they think – even for an instant – about the effect their beliefs have on impressionable children? 😦

                  Liked by 2 people

                3. Carmen, they all say the same….you know, I never knew real Christians, the real god, or the real Jesus and holy spirit. Regardless, what any Christian, progressive or evangelical, says god belief is destructive for the root of it is WE’RE ALL GARBAGE! We all NEED Jesus and Jesus is good. I wonder if they have ever read Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7. It would do them good to thoroughly look at that in a red letter edition of the New Testament. Jesus, using his supposed own words, makes Moses look like the Romper Room lady in those texts.

                  Liked by 3 people

                4. Charity, due to the seriousness of your comment, my apologies for the delay in replying. I’m trying to get ready for my trip tomorrow to visit Swarn and his beautiful family, so I’m AFK a good bit right now.

                  I’m so sorry you are having to deal with the fallout of this primitive, barbaric and inhumane teaching. Damn, it pisses me off. I remember how it effed with my head in childhood and well into adulthood, all the while they were/are preaching unconditional love.

                  Liked by 2 people

                5. Girl, you are never late in replying to my comments and emails, you are always on time! 🤗

                  It’s all good! I’m lucky to have deconverted at 39 years old. I have the advantage of seeing the need for both love (empathy) and understanding (logic). Something that tipped me off to this was the comment section to a recent Friendly Athiest article. It was about a predator church bus driver in the northern part of my rural county. I could not believe the comments that followed! People were so snarky about the church and sick bus driver that they didn’t mention the poor kids’ horrific abuse! If we can only offer snark at a time of need for children, how are we any better than Christians?

                  I’m five years out and it’s gotten better, it’ll continue to get better. I just know It! 👿

                  Enjoy your trip, sweet sister. Know that I love you!

                  Liked by 1 person

                6. Carmen, unlike us, I highly doubt Mel or any of others would be moved by Charity’s deconversion story. They’ll likely just see her as weak or as someone following “bad doctrine.” If they give any credence to her pain they would then have to examin their own beliefs…which they cannot do.

                  Charity, stay away from debating fundys until you’re think you’re healed enough to handle the shit they’ll throw at you. I jumped into it wayyyyyy too soon and paid the price. Even after three years out, I still can’t always handle it. Mel was respectful to me but not all of them are, and it can feel like getting traumatized by religion all over again.

                  Liked by 2 people

                7. Oh, Mel does not want to come across as the Bad Guy. Yet Tildeb took him down, John took him down and Keith took him down.
                  He’s slicker than an oil spill.
                  You barely tickled him
                  Push him as to why he converted …
                  😉

                  Liked by 1 person

                8. I did barely tickle him, yes. Sometimes though, a tickle can have more impact than a blow with a hammer. SOMETIMES. I think both techniques are valid in various situations.

                  Liked by 2 people

                9. Carmen July 17, 2017 at 20:01
                  I am moved by your powerful testimony, Charity, and left wondering what Wally or Mel (and a host of others online) would think about this kind of ‘witnessing’ – would they be moved, as well? Would they reconsider their toxic beliefs? Would they think – even for an instant – about the effect their beliefs have on impressionable children? 😦

                  I tend to think Carmen that they are not moved. From my own experience, we (anyone who is not them) is simply Satan disguised as an angel of light.

                  Liked by 1 person

                10. I really hope they don’t think like that, Zoe. To me, that’s projecting your inner-most black hearted feelings onto someone and I just can’t think that about people who appear to be just like the rest of us. However, I have read so much from so many that I lean towards your statement being a fair and honest reflection. If that is Christianity, I’m glad I’m not part of it. 😦

                  Liked by 2 people

                11. […] To me, that’s projecting your inner-most black hearted feelings onto someone and I just can’t think that about people who appear to be just like the rest of us.[…]

                  – Carmen

                  If I may continue, only because I’ve been there, (and for the benefit of others who may read here) those who believe likewise would say they are not projecting their inner most feelings. It’s not them, it’s God. Because God – they are absolved.

                  Liked by 1 person

    2. @John

      I think Mel has a gentler idea of Hell than Wally,

      Oh, he does and has stated openly he is not fundamentalist, but when I wrote that I was convinced Mel would not stand for YEC and a literal Hell doctrine I was gobsmacked that he came storming through and said he would put Wally before me any day of the week.
      As much as I disagree with his worldview I believed there was enough commonsense left that he wouldn’t need too much to help him see how bad his christian beliefs are at the core, and he would never openly defend such garbage as YEC and a literal Hell.
      His mini-rant was definitely a WTF moment!
      I don’t think I will afford him, or any like him, the benefit of the doubt in the future.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Like John said, non-Americans really underestimate the zeal people in the US have for religion. You don’t have to be a fundy here to be crazy with god belief. I knew Mel would choose the christian god over an atheist even with a literal hell thrown in, because everything in the world and eternity hangs on this one decision for him. Also, american christians tend to think atheists are of the devil…so better to leave your kid with a semi-crazy christian than a demon!

        Liked by 3 people

          1. I’ll not defend my fellow americans when it comes to their religious beliefs…bat-shit crazy is par for the course around here.

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            1. Sorry, Violet, I couldn’t find a place to reply to your comment above. I rarely debate Christians. No offense to our non believing friends who often do, I see it as a waste of time for me personally. I think it’s just because I was in it for so long, I don’t care to engage much. If nothing else, our dear debating friends at least encourage believers to think about their own doctrines. (Whether Christians will admit it on their blogs or not.) I just don’t care to communicate with the same type of people who made my life miserable for so long. I’m not a Christian apologist and I’m not an atheist apologist. I guess my approach is different. For poops and giggles, I’ll say that YHWH does exist, but who the hell is anyone to demand that I worship him? I owe him nothing. I didn’t ask to be born. I didn’t ask to suffer decades of mental, physical, emotional and medical trauma. If you ask me, Jesus is the devil, not Lucifer. I thrive every day to work towards logic and empathy. Such attributes are the very opposite of what church, the bible and my parents taught me. See, empathy gives us a healthy sense of guilt. However, all of those people didn’t think that was enough for me. They beat me down into submission so much that I developed an over the top toxic guilt. As a result, (and this is neurologically proven to happen in humans) I came to believe that I was fundamentally flawed. This shame is toxic and often, people do not escape it. I assure you, it’s a struggle to work through. However, this is what has happened to Christians. They see themselves as deeply defective. That’s why they “need” Jesus. Maybe instead of consistently yelling at Christians we need to see them for what they are…abuse victims. I know that’s shocking coming from me. However, I’m constantly changing the longer I’ve been an atheist, the longer I’ve been in therapy and the longer I’m a parent. They’re hurt humans who have been tormented to the point where they are no longer themselves anymore. I honestly feel troubled for the ones who have experienced this and there’s a good number of them.

              Liked by 3 people

              1. I understand where you’re coming from about not wanting to associate with the kind of people who harmed you in the past. Often times I have stay away from heavy believers myself…it’s just too damn triggering sometimes.

                I go back and forth between having sympathy for christians (seeing them as victims of their own parents and churches), to seeing them as abusers who perpatrate harm. In reality they’re a mix of both (as was I when I was a believer).

                I do think they should be called out on their bullshit, otherwise social change will never happen. People who have been severely indoctrinated or religiously abused cannot always hold up under confrontations with christians, for many valid reasons (and that’s ok).

                Thank goodness though, there are a few fearless atheists who won’t be cowed by any of their excuses:

                To ark, tildeb, JZ, victoria, and all those who carry the torch for us more broken deconverts, I give you much respect.

                Liked by 3 people

                1. Hi Violet, I have empathy for many Christians but not all. If I were to be honest, it’s hard for me to have empathy for baby boomer Christians. However, baby boomers aren’t the only ones who manipulate others. I’ve had a good number of my fellow gen xers hurt and humiliate me while I was still a Christian. Personally, I don’t think the cocky ones will ever change their minds. The truth of the matter is most people are cultural Christians. Everyone’s just going around repeating what their religious parents and preachers have told them. They have no clue about church history or what is actually in the bible. Spiritual leaders make it a point to keep their sheep like that. Like Ralph Moore mentioned above taking a year and a half to go over a small book in the Bible. Preachers, priests and televangelists aim to keep the masses dumb. In doing so, the pews stay full and their offering plates over flow. I have no empathy for Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggert. And yes, they’re still on TV with their “love gifts”. I know because my parents still watch them. I have no care or concern for TBN, Joyce Meyer or John Bevere. Those preachers keep the public dumb. People, out of desperation, depend on them for answers, even clues about god and this life. Every last one of them takes advantage of congregants and viewers. I guess I’m so busy in getting healthy, being a better woman, wife and parent that I’d rather not deal with those type of Christians. They benefit from vulnerable Christians’ ignorance and they’ll more than likely never change. They’ve disconnected from humanity, as Jesus teaches them to with his whole “leave everybody for me” doctrine. I’m lucky I got out. Jesus didn’t save me, I saved me. Still, I, too, grieve at any indication of indoctrination. Ark knows I’ve always appreciated his boldness in calling that crap out on Christian blogs. I think once adults have graduated from college and/or are 22 to 25 years old THEN they can be presented with religion. However, that’s not going to happen for the premise among Christians is “get em while they’re young!” I saw this back in the early 90s when I received my theological degree in Dallas. From what I see, they still believe that today. They have to do so. If not, Christianity would fade away if kids weren’t indoctrinated.

                  Liked by 1 person

                2. Well said. I’ve noticed that many protestant preachers (like Mel) tend to water down the christian message until it’s all about the LOVE of god…but that’s not what the bible teaches. Even some catholic churches are guilty of doing the same (but not my home church, which spewed hell doctrine at daily mass). Misleading people about god’s message of love and not explaining the judgement of god is, IMHO, extremely dishonest. Just crack open a bible and everyone will see how much love god has.

                  Liked by 2 people

                3. So true, Violet and I STILL can’t get over all the defenders of the Catholic church since “The Keepers” has premiered. I’m reading some comments about it and I continue to be amazed at the similarities between Catholics and Pentecostals. One good thing about it though, I better understand how your experiences are quite similar to mine. It amazes me at all the different types of child indoctrination there is within Christianity!

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                4. When I was a devout catholic facing the sex scandals of the church, I simply said, “Men are fallable, god is not.” Boom! No explination of what the fuck the church did was needed. I now take a very, very different tact with those bastards who abused kids and were sheltered by the church. Bastards.

                  Christianity is a poison of the worst sort. Evilness coated in sugar, if there ever was such a thing.

                  Liked by 1 person

                5. I agree, I get that humans do horrible things. However, I find it difficult that the Church actually moves them around, even to the point of safe housing said clergy at the Vatican. That’s my beef. BTW, I’m not just picking on the Catholic Church. Independent Fundamental Baptists, Mormons and the COGIC have these issues. I’ve never been Catholic or sexually abused, but my sisters and I have suffered as children the physical and verbal abuse of our Christian parents and at the hands of adults in non denominational churches. Emotional and mental abuse continued into our adulthood from some of the same sources.

                  Liked by 2 people

                6. I hear all the denominations are dealing with sexual abuse, but because catholism was my own religion that I trusted deeply, I am utterly ill at what they have done to children. The sickness over having supported those child abusing fucks will never leave me. There are 7 cases of childhood sexual abuse still being litigated in my own church! Un-fucking-forgivable.

                  Liked by 1 person

                7. I am so sorry, Violet. When I first deconverted, I had to work on my shame for staying in that mess for years. It’s taking some time, but I am getting out from under it. I understand, it was quite burdensome for me for a while.

                  Liked by 2 people

                8. Huh, I’ve always described my feelings about the church’s pedophilia as intense anger…but you’re correct, the proper name for that feeling is shame. Interesting. This is what happens when you have to un-spin decades of severe indoctrination…you end up not even being able to lable your feelings properly!

                  Liked by 2 people

                9. That’s what happens when you’ve never had your own voice. I can relate. I’m still unraveling an awful lot being that I was in it for close to four decades with both of my parents, church and Christian schools. The thing is, Violet, you got out of all of it. You are amazing!

                  Liked by 2 people

                10. Yes, in the midst of all the trauma, the most important point is that we’re OUT. No small feat for people like us who were religiously abused. I was in for 41 years and it sounds like you were real close to that too…there are other deconverts who were in for even longer. I can only thank the stars that I got out before I could perpetrate that shit on my kid…not all deconverts are so lucky.

                  Liked by 2 people

                11. I guess because my life was so traumatic, I held unto Jesus to save me, even if it meant that I wouldn’t see his salvation until the after life. I recently told my therapist that Jesus didn’t save me. She asked “who saved you, Charity?” I just shrugged my shoulders like a kid and she firmly said “You saved you!” It blew my mind, but she’s right.

                  My kids were seven and four years old when hubs and I deconverted. They honestly had A LOT to do with it too! When you find yourself skipping church, ommiting entire books of the Bible and refusing to watch trendy Jesus movies because of how the content might negatively affect your kids, it’s time to get out of all of it!

                  Liked by 2 people

                1. Hey Argus, I guess my point is I don’t get into existence and evidence arguments. For me, it’s not about whether god exists or not, it’s about truly thinking for myself. I’ve had people, even agnostics, ask if I’d worship YHWH if I was shown proof of his existence. My answer is no. I don’t care to follow someone who allowed me to go through such cruelty for so long. If other atheists wish to engage in such discussions with Christian apologists, well, that’s great. (I may even cheer them on when they speak out against child indoctrination.) It’s just not my cup of tea.

                  Liked by 2 people

                2. Dammit … I think I’m in love …

                  As for myself my stomach ties in knots and I just can’t resist the masochistic pleasure of debating with closed minds—the living illustration of irresistible force meeting immovable objects. Brrr.

                  Liked by 2 people

                3. Hubs is like that. He’ll debate anything with anyone. We’ll have a nice discussion with another couple and before I know it, he’s arguing with the other husband about something religious or political. That makes me ill. He’s a high strung retired sailor. As a result, I have had to learn how to be the love and peace hippie. My resolve is usually some sort of compromise. However, sometimes I need to be the warrior and I tell him to STFU!

                  Liked by 1 person

                4. I too am a (laid-back) high strung retired sailor (oops, hey, I heard that! C’mon, ‘fess up, who said “Not strung high enough?”) so it must be in the breed.

                  Spouse knows the signs and when to grab my by the snout and drag me away …

                  Liked by 2 people

      2. So the gentler Hell is an eternity of naval gazing rather than say an eternity of painful torture? Well that is a relief.

        The physicist Sean Carroll said he had no worry about life after death as in his opinion consciousness is clearly a factor of the brain and body so post body there cannot be a continuation of consciousness.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Childhood is fraught with enough issues and yet these people want to kill off what joy remains simply to satisfy their own warped, guilt-ridden minds.
      I truly cannot fathom such a bizarre and thoroughly vile mentality in this day and age.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It is domestic tyranny; the constant threat of punishment infantilising and so disempowering. And you are so right, Ark, about all the other pressures for kids growing up now. It is totally NOT TRUE that the only way for young people to learn to behave as ethical, humane and responsible citizens is to terrorize them through their formative years.

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    1. Exactly! My kids, like me , are Liverpool supporters and have been since they were young. Are we truly supposed to believe they sat down in front of the TV with their dad and said:
      ”Your team is crap, dad,we’re supporting Manchester United because we love David Beckham.”
      Firstly, they would have been kicked out the house if they had even made such a declaration…. democracy? Hah! They wish!
      Secondly. There was always a lot of good-natured ribbing and rivalry between myself and all my friends, most of whom were United supporters so naturally they would be on ”Dad’s side”.

      Informed decision! Right!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I always have a self-chuckle when someone who claims a religious identity thinks he or she is not like those other religious whackos, those other crazy fundamentalists. Nope. Nothing but calm, reasonable religious beliefs over here, donchaknow.

    Ha!

    But with enough scratching away at the nebulous notions of the liberal and reasonable believer, one who has carefully wrapped their irrational beliefs in layers of gossamer rationalizations, with enough slow unwrapping of the meaninglessness of the ground-of-all-being shtick, with enough sifting through the linguistic rubble of the look-how-reasonable-I-am-to-hold-unreasonable-beliefs, with enough effort to expose the Po-Mo absurdity of no-evidence-for-my-god-is-evidence-for-my-God reasoning, sure enough: there’s the fundamentalism hard at work, busy working away at the bellows of fear-based terrors in the dark basement of the brain where the shadow reptiles still live, and these are the actual motivating ideas that are being kept intentionally hidden – often from the believer him- or herself – because the believer knows such irrationality, such lunacy, cannot survive the light of day, cannot be reasonably defended, and will make the holder look like a sniveling coward for not standing up to it sooner, treating it with the antibiotic of honesty and integrity and self-care, and failing to have the courage, the intellectual fortitude for treating this toxic sewage and evicting it once and for all from influencing one’s life.

    Mel doesn’t care about harming children if that’s the price he has to pay to mitigate his religious rationalizations for his own self-loathing cowardice… to the extent that he would prefer children to be emotionally scarred by the intentional planting these horrific seeds of terror than to face up to his own psychological pathology. Oh, and let’s call it ‘love’ – the Jesus-of-soft-hands shall we… because that sounds so much more compassionate doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is no defense and eventually he is forced to lie … as Dan Dennett pointed out in the video I posted.
      And what makes my fillings hurt is an ignorant Arse-Wipe like Wally brags about preaching this garbage to kids!
      And if memory serves he is a divorcee and remarried, so he is already an adulterer!
      Not to mention he believes his older kids from his first marriage are going to Hell!

      It is just way too crazy.

      Like

  4. This is a keeper!

    But with enough scratching away at the nebulous notions of the liberal and reasonable believer, one who has carefully wrapped their irrational beliefs in layers of gossamer rationalizations, with enough slow unwrapping of the meaninglessness of the ground-of-all-being shtick, with enough sifting through the linguistic rubble of the look-how-reasonable-I-am-to-hold-unreasonable-beliefs, with enough effort to expose the Po-Mo absurdity of no-evidence-for-my-god-is-evidence-for-my-God reasoning, sure enough: there’s the fundamentalism hard at work, busy working away at the bellows of fear-based terrors in the dark basement of the brain where the shadow reptiles still live, and these are the actual motivating ideas that are being kept intentionally hidden – often from the believer him- or herself – because the believer knows such irrationality, such lunacy, cannot survive the light of day, cannot be reasonably defended, and will make the holder look like a sniveling coward for not standing up to it sooner, treating it with the antibiotic of honesty and integrity and self-care, and failing to have the courage, the intellectual fortitude for treating this toxic sewage and evicting it once and for all from influencing one’s life.

    – tildeb

    Liked by 2 people

  5. All this discussion about hell! Oh my!

    Seriously, I think it’s time I share my some of the research I did for my book on this topic. Once we get moved and settled, I’ll write a comprehensive post. From the comments I’ve been reading, I think some of you may be surprised at what I discovered. Hang tight. Maybe around the middle of August.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Whether fundamentalists or not, there is no excuse for propagating the myths regarding this despicable god, or somehow thinking that they provide any sort of rationale for existence. Actually, they replace rational thinking with fear. Ironical that the average religionist is disparaging about superstitions, when the ones to which he/she adheres are clearly even more absurd than idol-worshipping, black cat avoidance, crack-stepping, or raven sightings.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When you read some of the comments from those who were put through the torture of the Hell doctrine I just cannot understand how any parent could in all good conscience sit a kid down and teach this nonsense and not expect the kid to quickly be plagued by serious nightmares and psychological trauma.

      It just will not compute.

      And when you read comments by Wally (and others) who metaphorically beats his chest and brags about his fervent belief in eternal damnation and torture and how he is not ashamed to announce he teaches kids, it makes my skin crawl.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I suppose he and his ilk are worthy of pity.. Surely the only way one can acceitp such garbage is if it had been inculcated before one was old enough to know better.

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        1. Not in Wally’s case. He claims he was atheist for a long time and raised his kids from his first marriage as non-believers.
          After his divorce he apparently got religion in a big way and now is a full on YEC.
          The kids from his 2nd marriage I can only presume are christian.
          He teaches Sunday school and goes on Bible camp too. That must be a treat for the little ones. From a few months to 17yrs, so he wrote.

          I just had this image of your two grandkids sitting in his Sunday school class listening to how god destroyed the whole world except Noah and upon return …

          ”Grandad, we have a few questions for you about what we learned at Sunday School from Wally about a man called Noah and dinosaurs and how everyone was evil and sinners.”

          Yes, I can just imagine that would go down so well….

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          1. Holy crap…wally raised his first two kids as nonbelievers and now thinks they’re going to hell? He’s on his second family, and is a YEC this time? Wow. It might take a minute for me to absorb that kind of life transition…perhaps he should have a lifetime movie made of himself. I remember a comment on another post about him drinking some extra stout koolaid, but I guess I skimmed over the details too much.

            Is GMF still around, or is he trolling greener pastures these days?

            Liked by 1 person

            1. @Violet
              I’m not sure how many kids there were from his first marriage. But when we first crossed (s)words he claimed he was an atheist, but then sort of suggested he merely turned his back on ‘God'(sic).
              It’s on his blog somewhere, I think….
              I can’t remember the exact details but I’m sure he’ll tell you … now that he has been saved an’ all…. ye haw.
              Was around the time he wrote that Armour for Christ post ,I think and got so worked up he wrote that my father was Devil.
              Amused my old man no end when I told him!
              Bruce is around … he tries to fit my blog in between on-line trading and porn channels, I think.

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            1. Funny, though, how most us let go of such belief in fairies as we grow older and regard them (mostly) with quite pleasant childhood memories.
              Even in a fictional sense as portrayed in the media, art, film etc Hell, the Devil and his minions never manage to quite pull off the ”cute” angle, do they?
              😉

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Some of us would sooner believe in fairies than in the Devil and his pathetically unlikely Hell. Mind you, I recently edited a novel which does quite a good job of reflecting the Devil as a necessary evil, sadly misrepresented.

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                1. Yes, Satan had a rotten childhood and a dreadful upbringing. Lousy parent/s I reckon.
                  Oooh, that would be God, right?
                  Might have known.

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                2. Indeed! Not to mention totally made up, and so reflects the minds of those who actually invented him!

                  But the edicts of Christianity demonstrate just how Christianity took hold – by brutal enforcement and eventually people fully and willingly embraced it. Self Indoctrination triumphed! Somewhat in a similar vein as the Stockholm Syndrome.

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                3. Amazing that having made the great intellectual leap forward of wondering about the hows and whys of the universe, their brains suffered a seizure when it came to working out possible answers.

                  Like

  7. I have a deeply religious feel for The Laws Of Thought.

    I still think that thinking will win out in the end, despite what a US Civil War general said about “Battles are won by whoever gets there firstest with the mostest”.
    Certainly firstness gives an edge …

    Boring of me, I know, but if we are ever to break away from the witch-doctor (in his myriad forms) we MUST teach our children how to think, rationally, for themselves.

    I’ll post again on this topic soon myself—it is most important.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I’ve read bits of the comments.
    It seems that rational people are trying for a rational discussion with nutcases. It can’t be done. So look to the roots of the matter, the ‘root causes’.

    It will boil down quite quickly to fear—fear of the dark, fear of Death, fear of the unknown; and a truly desperate need for escape and solace. AND—

    —there are people out there desirous of the Quick Buck. Folks who will cheerily supply the ‘life after death’ and all the eternal bliss anyone can ever desire. For free, almost (in my experience although the collection sock is passed around, the amount required is rarely stipulated). (And of course, when you do shuffle off if you happen to have left a substantial sum to God’s representative(s) on Earth, it can only enhance your case with the Judgement Angels?)

    Wealth and power. That’s what religion is and nothing more.

    Every religion is a W&P scheme, nothing more. Every sub-religion is a franchise, nothing more.

    Simple clues:

    (a) why so many of them (franchises) in monopoly zones?

    (b) why local differences within zones?

    (c) why do some ‘star ups’ succeed brilliantly, others fall at the gate?

    (d) why geographical differences?

    (e) why always always always seeking desperately to enforce own monopolies?

    Why the threat—very real in different times/places—of excommunication, torture, death, for apostasy or ‘sin’? And who defines ‘sin’?

    Wealth and power. Nothing else, just the selling of a product that cannot be demonstrated. Cute …

    Again: any takers?*

    * If you don’t know the term, it’s an invitation to prove me wrong (actually, it’s a challenge).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mel talks out of both sides of his mouth. He isn’t sure about the hell thing and so avoids taking responsibility for believing it (but he claims identity with a sect that is quite sure), and even when a dick like (well golly gosh, darn, aw shucks) Wally is perfectly clear that he does accept it and in fact teaches it to children, Mel says on one side of his lying mouth that he knows it’s age-inappropriate to scare the little buggers shitless with tales of perpetual torture and separation from loved ones but that – well you see we can infer lovey love love and blahdy blah blah but, when push comes to shove and the tongue miraculously finds itself on the other side of the lying mouth, he would still prefer to abuse kids with that malignant teaching for ‘brother’ Wally than dare have them babysat by someone who thinks this is an ark load of toxic bullshit. That demonstrates how Mel has no intellectual integrity. None. He’s a liar. What’s worse, he has certainly no lovely love love concern for the emotional and psychological welfare of his precious little charges. Nope. Go, donchaknow. So Mel’s a duplicitous sack of lying shit and proudly so, and yet just another typical dirtbag in a long line of liars for Jesus busy spewing apologetic excrement at atheists while only pretending to be reasonable and concerned and caring about have a moderated ‘dialogue’ with the Enemy and thinking well of himself for doing so. What a piece of work he is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And now we have a whole garbage truck load of excrement in the form of Mr. Hugh Ross. Who is a scientist … cor, wow!
      I’ll believe Ross’s version of science with God (sic) the day de Grasse Tyson blows him.

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      1. Yet another specialist in one field commenting on another but whose accreditation in the first is used by apologetic miscreants like Mel to suggest expertise in the second. Ross will be as widely accepted for his ‘progressive’ creationism in Christian apologetics as Collins was with his BioLogos attempt, namely, not.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. So I wonder if Mel will publish the fact that Hugh Ross advocates that Intelligent Design is NOT a scientific hypothesis and should NOT be taught in schools? That would require Mel to be honest, fair, and transparent but we know that’s not never going happen or he would lose his raison d’etre.

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        1. “Not never?” Did that really get published above? Good grief. My editing skills really do suck. Should simply be “never.’ Have no clue where that ‘not-ty bit came from.

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            1. No, I won’t be wasting my time and effort writing anything on that duplicitous piece of shit’s blog. He doesn’t wish to understand, doesn’t care about what’s true, and wants to use the efforts of many to appear to demonstrate confusion versus his ‘clarity’ (a term he thinks is synonymous with lying). The followers of his blog seem to share this dedication to deceit because none came forward to defend what is knowable, what is reasonable, what is informed, what is expertise, what is disciplined thinking… but instead rallied to the flag of supporting bullshit apologetics at any cost and waved away all this effort.

              And, besides, I doubt he would allow any from me after I called him out on being such a two-faced Liar for Jesus. and a real piece of work.

              Like

      1. In the picture at his post, he is the one covering his ears after claiming atheists are confused and then refusing to engage in the very claims he says he wants to talk about. He doesn’t want to discuss them. He wants to pretend the’s reasonable. He’s not. He wants to pretend he has justification and then refuses to justify why his position is shown to be irrational and dishonest. That’s why he’s dishonest.

        And then he does another post as if the prior one was successfully ‘defended’. That’s why he’s deceitful.

        He’s lying and then refuses to own up to it but claims our futile efforts demonstrate OUR confusion! I’m confused only to the extent that I thought he was trying to be honest and reasonable but I’ve since been corrected: he’s a lying sack of shit with an agenda that will brook no criticism no matter how patiently explained that legitimate criticism may be. He is going to lie and that’s that.

        Liked by 1 person

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