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"You're going to hell, kid."

Again, I'm only posting the concluding paragraph of a wonderful piece written by a mom who's raising her son without religion.

The rest of the piece deals with the struggles that people face when confronted with the threat of hell, and how, in particular, it affects children.

Please read the article "You're going to hell, kid. Adventures in secular parenting" and comment.

Here's the conclusion:

It could be argued that we are indoctrinating our son, too. And I could see how it would look that way to someone on the other side of the argument, but we have science, facts, data, and morality supporting us. So, I take some pride in knowing that my son might make mistakes, but he will be one less man oppressing women simply because religion dictates that they are lesser creatures. And he will be one more human that understands the value of treating others with kindness without the ulterior motive of a plush afterlife. I realize that my son belongs to a small percentage of people that were not indoctrinated by their parents, and I hope to see that percentage increase as our children learn the value of humanism and put all notions of bigotry behind them. Humanity changes one generation at a time, and I believe that my son is definitely one generation better.

Answer Question

Asked by jsbenkert at 8:39 PM on Mar. 25, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 37 (89,331 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • The article is disturbing. My daughter is five years old, and I have never mentioned hell to her. Not once, ever. Why would I purposely put fear in her like that? Childhood nightmares are real enough without that. Nor have I ever taught her in any way that women should be oppressed on religious grounds. I think the author is painting all Christians with an awfully barbaric brush!

    Answer by Ballad at 8:53 PM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • I don't see where the author was painting anyone with a barbaric brush.  In fact, I think she was quite kind to Christians, having been one herself.  She even says that she understands their points of view and the good intentions that often come with the concern over another's destination after life.

    That said, both of my girls, including the one with autism, have been told by different kids in our community that they are going to hell.  The neighbor kids on both sides of us, ranging in ages from 4-9 have told my girls that they are going to hell.  My middle-schooler has been told this by classmates practically every year that she's been in school.  It does happen.  With the best intentions, of course.


    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 8:57 PM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • Really this article doesn't reflect my faith, or how I'm raising my children. I'm glad he's raising a good kid, that's what we're all trying to do. Engaged parenting is important. I engage with my kids over many things, including my beliefs.

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 9:00 PM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • I've lost count the number of times my ds has been told he's going to help by his peers. Obviously these kids are learning to use the threat of hell as a bullying tactic somewhere.
    I think some parents would be surprised how that message of hell gets through to kids and that they learn how to manipulate others with it.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 9:11 PM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • Going to hell not help! Lol stupid auto correct

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 9:12 PM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • When I hear this I wonder why or what goes through the mind of the person who says it??? LOL

    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 9:40 PM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • I did not read the article. Non Catholic students when I was in Catholic school in the 70's was told this daily

    Answer by RobinChristine at 9:47 PM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • Pinkdragon, I don't know if the kids have any real concept of what they're saying, or the impact it might have.  I think they feel a bit empowered, though, being able to say it, especially when it draws a reaction.  My older daughter is still told, almost daily, that she's going to hell, by some kids on her bus.  At least one of them says it because she's genuinely concerned that my daughter might actually be destined to the fiery pits if she doesn't believe in the Christian god, but the rest are bullies who say it hoping to get a reaction.  Thankfully, my daughter has made at least one other friend who doesn't believe in the religious dogma that's so prevalent around here, and they're able to support one another when they're being harassed.


    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 11:24 PM on Mar. 25, 2013

  • Robinchristian that was not my experience and we had a goodly number of non catholics in our schools. Perhaps it was just coming into its own as I started colege in '71, maybe it was location. But I rather doubt either of those things are true. Some atmospheres breed that kind of attitude and it seeps right into all the schools along with the parents who bring their kids.
    I have been involved in Catholic schools and in public schools. I do not think I ever heard that phrase in the 7 states I have lived and worked in said to a non catholic. I have rarely heard a catholic child tell a catholic child they were going to hell for something, usually a piece of candy they were supposed to be giving up for lent.

    JSB I am not doubting that your kids have heard this said to them. I am not even doubting that SOME catholic kids as well as SOME other christian kids say these kinds of things.

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:35 AM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • Children learn these things, just like they do other similar things; in the home.
    I admit I did ot read the artical, just the part you posted. If she can raise this ne childwith these values in a non religion influence home, that is wonderful. It can not be assumed that others do. Some do and some don;t, just like in chrstian homes and buddhist homes and muslim homes and in..................

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:39 AM on Mar. 26, 2013

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