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To Hell With Hell

Hell is just so uncool.

So a Rabbi, an Atheist, and a liberal theologian walk in to a discussion on hell...

No, this is not the beginning of a really bad joke. Umm. Actually. It is the beginning of a really bad joke. Only that joke is the panel discussion put together by WaPo/Newsweek 'On Faith' site.

Ken Shepherd at Newsbusters reports on some of the really silly and anti-christian responses elicited by the this damn panel. You should check out his whole post, but I want to quote a response or two.

First comes this response from liberal theologian Susan Brooks Thistlewaite. Dude, I am not kidding. This is her name, I am not making it up. If your name is Susan Brooks Thistlewaite you have limited career options. You can either be a liberal theologian or the stuffy girlfriend in the remake of Arthur. I am not sure she made the right career choice. Leaving that aside, Susie fears that belief in hell will prevent battered women from going all Farrah and burning their rotten husbands in bed.

"Damning people to hell for their religious beliefs, their sexuality, their reproductive choices and even their political views has enormously negative consequences for human life right now," liberal theologian Susan Brooks Thistlewaite insisted.

"When I have done Bible studies with battered women, as I have done for years, many of the most religiously conservative are very nervous about asking for help with abuse because they fear they will go to hell for not being “subject” to their husbands. Often they have put up with the physical and psychological abuse for years, fearing not only the judgment of their husbands, but of God," the Chicago Theological Seminary professor added.
Dunno 'bout you, but I wouldn't want to date Susie. Susie has baggage.

But Susie has nothing on the resident militant atheist on the faith panel, Herb Silverman. I never really understood why they insist on asking somebody who's entire raison d'etre is not believing what he believes about this or that. Its like asking a flat-earther about circumnavigation, what's the point?

Anywho. Herb takes the cake. Not only does Herb dismiss hell, he manages to bash Catholics and work Hilter into it. All in one measly little sentence.
It is difficult, though, to believe a claim that a loving and all-powerful god would condemn Mahatma Gandhi to an eternity of torture while the Catholic Adolph Hitler has an eternity of bliss as he looks down at Jews suffering in hell.
That's some talented atheatrics. Hell, he should thank God for all that talent.

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9 comments:

Lynn said...

I am one of those women whose fear of divine judgment kept me in an abusive marriage. it wouldn't have helped me to learn that God was a non-judgmental weenie! I needed to know the Truth, that God hates abuse and judges those who perpetrate it. I needed a God strong enough to protect me.

Tanya said...

Susie is right, there is a problem. But it isn't fixed by denying hell. It's fixed by forcing men to read the rest of the Ephesians passage. The part that says "husbands live your wives as CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH".

Anonymous said...

God is a judge. A judge looks at the facts and makes a decision. That said, I believe it is naive to think that God won't take the time, of which he has an infinite amount, to judge each person individually, based on how they lived their lives and how it lined up with his divine plan.

Ken Shepherd said...

Thanks for the link!

Peter and Nancy said...

I was glad to see that Lynn and Tanya weighed in with the same type of comment I'm going to make. This perception is real -- that you're being an un-Christian wife if you get out of an abusive marriage (or just as insidious, if you were a better wife, your husband wouldn't hurt you). Too often, clergy or other Christians help perpetuate the belief that you should stay and put up with abuse. I grew up in a family with abuse that went unnoticed by others and by our church (and unreported by us because of shame) . . . It may be hard to fathom for those who did not grow up witnessing abuse, but the kind of thinking Susan talks about is all too real.

All that said, we shouldn't throw out the correct doctrine of hell because of human distortions and misunderstandings.
Nancy

Anonymous said...

ANY lady theologian with two last names is trouble. Just like any lady theologian with two first names, the first of which is Mary, is trouble, but if the second one is Mary, she's probably all right.

Kim said...

"atheatrics" = awesome.
Another CMR slam dunk. :)

Mary De Voe said...

Susie is aiding and abetting spousal abuse with her "atheology" and then blaming God (capital God as God is a Person)and I cannot say susie. There is civil law, if "do unto others as you would be done unto" does not work. There simply cannot be a sacrament or covenant without human decency. Marriage requires full consent of the will. Human decency requires a belief in God the ultimate Being.
On the contrary, Herb believes in HELL. Herb sees all Jews in HELL. Herb believes in a God who would scourge Mahatma Ghandi and reward Hitler. Atheism is a cruel god named Herb, and susie.

Heather said...

About the athiest, I'd love any one of those people who are so sure Hitler was Catholic to tell me of which parish he was a member.

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