The Burning Hell, or: “nice soul, be a shame if something were to happen to it”

There’s a little bakery close to the Zvan’s, and we’ve walked there quite a few times on this vacation. I loves me some fresh baked goods. Also, coffee.

On the way, there’s one of those free job bank publication dealies where you pull open the top, and you can pick up a copy. The front of the door has a copy of the latest publication. That publication is switched out every week, by the look of it. Something’s slightly odd about this one, though. Every time I’ve walked by this stand — during this vacation and previous visits — there’s been a religious tract in front of the paper in the door. A few days ago, I swiped it, figuring it would make an interesting post.

The very next day, the same paper was still in place, but a new copy of the tract was there. I have to wonder at some people’s dedication to wasting Earth’s resources. I hope those tracts are at least printed on recycled paper.

Photos below the fold.

There’s nothing particularly unique or special about this particular tract, though it’s certainly good for a laugh.

This is the image you’d have seen in the front of the job bank publication as you were walking by. If the burning clipart hand didn’t catch your eye, I’m sure the happy-go-lucky font would have done it. The first time I saw it, I sort of expected it was an advertisement for one of those execrable Hell Houses. Which, in fairness, I’d probably visit sometime if one were anywhere near me. I do love subjecting myself to whargarbl.

But no, it’s just another one of those “convince you the Bible’s real by quoting parts of it at you” deals. If I wasn’t doing this for a post, I would have stopped reading at “if I go to hell I’ll never be bothered by another Christian with a tract” bit — woulda just exclaimed “SOLD!!” and walked away. But no, I suffer for my cause. And so do you.

I’d really love to know where these jokers get all the details they think they know about hell. A fire that sustains thousands of degrees (I assume Fahrenheit — God wouldn’t use that terrorist unit Celsius!), where you are burned in it eternally, yet you’re not immolated and destroyed. You must have a physical body there or you’d have no pain, so that physical body must be sustained magically somehow. And at those temperatures, if the drop of water even hit you before it evaporated, would probably make things WORSE, not BETTER. This eternal torture of one of God’s subjects for daring to use the free will He gave them… so very loving and kind, isn’t it? But at least he keeps it to a dry heat, in his mercy. Sorry, but I just can’t suspend disbelief THAT much.

And finally, the money shot. Say the Skeptics Prayer (or “something like it” — I can think of a lot of things that would qualify but wouldn’t be remotely reverent!), and send your details to a church, so they can send you more of this nonsense that you have to then spread around. Since there’s no zealot like a convert, of course you’d be so inclined to spread it around — what good is a meme if it doesn’t have a self-propagation component? Especially one with a club like “do it or be tortured for eternity”.

It’s a true shame that so many minds are vulnerable to this particular attack vector. It’s such obvious and blatant fiction.

The Burning Hell, or: “nice soul, be a shame if something were to happen to it”

7 thoughts on “The Burning Hell, or: “nice soul, be a shame if something were to happen to it”

  1. 3

    Here in London we’re having what appears to be our first ever attack of Chick tracts. Somebody posted a picture of a couple that were being given out on Oxford Street, Britain’s busiest shopping street at the busiest time of year, and someone else responded that up here in Waltham Forest, right on the edge of Essex, he has had one delivered to his home. By British standards of religiosity this is a very high degree of organization, which is intriguing and even a little touching. It sounds as if some American evangelical Christians have decided to convert us heathens.

  2. 7

    The threat of Hell only works for those with little imaginations. I mean, sure, Hell would suck for the first few millenia, but then you’d kinda get used to it I’m sure. “Oh gee, another acid bath. Oh and now my entrails are going to be torn out by wolverines instead of vultures. That’s at least a bit of a change.”

    Hell is a silly idea, as is all of eternity. I think (though I don’t agree with its worldly manifestation) that the karmic cycle of death and reincarnation is the best afterlife. Resulting in the eventual finality of utter oblivion. Who wouldn’t want a shot at life again? And for that life to be different would be a great thing too.

    (Of course then we get into the whole karmic cycle of “if you were bad you get what you got” and “if you’re born into a shitty life you deserve it”)


    Also, you’ve reminded me of creepers, thanks!

    “That’s a nice everything you have there, be a shame if something happened to it… sssssssss.”

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