Timed right in line with the wonderful Scalia interview in New York Magazine, NETFLIX has a documentary on hell for SWPLs to watch and feel affirmed. "Hellbound?" discusses hell in its variety of forms, its history, modern interpretations, and frames things so that you receive the message that believing in hell is stupid and for fools and psychos.
If one believes in a heaven and hell, which is a relatively new invention per the documentary, there are three views. (Side note: ever notice something 2000 years old is relatively new that can be discarded, but progressive changes after 1968 are established traditions meant to last forever?) There is the classic Dante's Inferno style eternal torment hell, and there is the concept of annihilationism where souls judged as bad are expunged from existence immediately after physical death while the good go to heaven. There is also the concept of universalism, where everyone eventually makes it to heaven. Wait, what??? I was raised Catholic and loved Dante's Inferno, so you can see where my biases lie, but I'll admit, annihilationism sounds interesting and even cool to say, "I am an annihilationist".
The documentary did show multiple angles of the heaven-hell debate, including an atheist who said if he believed in God he would definitely believe in hell (logical). The film starts with the frank talk with the atheist because despite holding a view outside the mainstream of the world, LEAD WITH THE BRAHMIN BELIEF. This was followed up by some Christian theologists and pastors with a super lame pastor who left the church because (paraphrased), "I couldn't *sniff sniff* believe in a loving God who would *sniff* send someone to hell". Well, pastor, he sent them to hell for not following the rules and feeling no remorse. If you sin but feel remorse and ask forgiveness, the love of God will wash away the sin. Oh no, because your personal view is of God being an all loving hippie pussy, you throw away the entire idea of hell. The doc gave airtime to multiple religious writers or former pastors who left the flock because of Christianity's extreme beliefs. Not to mention more atheists. Similar to Scalia's interviewer who described hell frightening, it's as if these mollified modern pansies can't handle any adverse effects to anything. Some hell promoters were shown speaking completely rationally and calmly directly followed by them preaching fire and brimstone. Message: "Even when calm on the surface, these religious folks are crazy over recent inventions like make-believe mythical firepits, and get the soy milk in the frappuccino, SWPL. There is no such thing as hell, enjoy the hedonistic pleasures of modern society."
It was rather striking how some interviewees could not grasp that God could love someone but not let them into heaven if the person was a sinner who did not feel remorse. It's as if these people could not understand why their parents did not forgive their bad behavior just because they were their kids. I was really surprised by the soft spoken pastor who sounded weepy when he could not come to terms with a God that would punish or not allow into heaven sinners. God is not your mom or dad, God is your God. Different relationship. Why give commandments if it doesn't matter if anyone follows them? If there are no consequences for one's actions in our lifetime or the afterlife then what is the point to the rest of your silly little speeches pastor?
Pastor: "Love one another and do good."
Me: "Why fucking bother? Chicks dig jerks, work rewards selfish sociopaths, and who needs long term friends? Now you're telling me there's no hell for me to worry about because your God will just forgive me when I die. The music sucks, too. I'm outta here."
Sounds like that pastor was one of those guys that became a pastor for the attention he'd get, the pats on the head, the prestige, the money and all of the wrong reasons. Jesus didn't do it for the money or fame, and his mom followed him everywhere so he couldn't bang his hooker groupie. The Virgin Mary: the original can't cut the cord, overprotective Jewish mother. I am biased. I am a believer in God, the Devil, heaven and hell. Not just because of Pascal's wager or Scalia's points about Catholic dogma. I've seen too many feats of strength or experienced too many coincidences not to believe there is something behind it all. Enough of my rant on wishy-washy believers and hell, check the documentary out for yourself.