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← Effect of the concept of hell on children

SaganTheCat's Avatar Jump to comment 58 by SaganTheCat

i recently remembered something that must have seriously effected me.

when i was a child, my brother once threw a model plane out our bedroom window while i was outside. might seem like an unimportant detail but it shows how the tiniest thing can blow up into religious terror.

later that night our mother questioned us both on why a toy plane was lying in the front garden. we both denied responsibility, maybe a modern liberal parent would have left it at that, or said however it happened dont do it again or even, your own fault if your toys get lost or broken but our catholic mother would not accept this response.

bear in mind i "knew" i was right, i clearly remember looking up at him as he threw it but this was too big a situation for a mere parent to handle so jesus got involved. we were both made to swear on the bible, dispite the fact she allegedly knew one of us had to be lying but was still happy to put two small boys to trial by god rather than talk to us (as i write this i remember it really was a tiny little aeroplane, didn't mess up the garden that much and the garden was in no great condition anyway).

as a child i had somehow got it into my head that if you tell a lie with your hand on a bible, you go to hell before you reach 21 so for me it was going to be a sad outcome one way or another. as the years went on i was always troubled by this event and wondered why my brother had lied, then wondered if i had lied, then began to wonder if i'd remembered the whole event correctly. maybe i wanted a go so picked it up took it indoors and launched it out the window, in fact i even remembered doing it with me at the window and my brother in the front garden watching. i may have made that memory up or it might have been the truth, either way i became aware it was me that had lied, it was me going to hell and i was going to die before i hit 21.

i lost my faith in my teenage years but right up to my 21st birthday i had nightmares where i was reminded that the devil knew of my "sin" and the clock was ticking. sometimes it was in the form of a vivid dream where i would be in my bedroom but suddenly a lamp would switch on by itself and i'd remember (in the dream) being told that was the sign

so my advice to any catholic children is: clear up your toys.

Tue, 31 Jul 2012 11:38:09 UTC | #950335