Pope says Hell is real. Millions suddenly convert to Catholicism.

The Pope must be feeling lonely cause he decided it was time to start scaring the Hell out of people again:

Addressing a parish gathering in a northern suburb of Rome, the Pope said that in the modern world many people, including some believers, had forgotten that if they failed to “admit blame and promise to sin no more”, they risked “eternal damnation – the inferno”.

Hell “really exists and is eternal, even if nobody talks about it much any more”.

The Pope, who as cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was head of Catholic doctrine, noted that “forgiveness of sins” for those who repented was a cornerstone of Christian belief.

If you can’t trust a man in a tall, pointy, silly hat then who can you trust?

Personally I find it somewhat amusing that he has to remind people about one of the more fundamental aspects of their supposed religious belief. “Now remember! Hell isn’t something we made up because it sounded all scary, it really IS scary, and you should believe it because it sounds really scary.”

25 thoughts on “Pope says Hell is real. Millions suddenly convert to Catholicism.

  1. Hymn 42 from Monty Python’s “Meaning of Life” springs to mind here….

    Oh Lord, please don’t burn us,
    Don’t grill or toast your flock
    Don’t put us on the barbecue
    Or simmer us in stock

    Don’t braise or bake or boil us
    Or stir-fry us in a wok …
    Oh please don’t lightly poach us,
    Or baste us with hot fat

    Don’t fricasse or roast us
    Or boil us in a vat,
    And please don’t stick your followers
    In a rotissomat …

  2. Hey Les…I know I am more a lurker than a active member but I always feel with such great comments, mine would always be repetitive. But yours is an excellant blog and I would like to take this commercial moment to invite all to My blog …The Ranting Raven and as soon as I figure out why My links dont work I will be happier…http://tauraven-the ranting raven.blogspot.com   this shameless commercial was truly intended. thanks Les for being south of Me…LOL.

  3. How else is their scam gonna work if they don’t use the threat of hell?
    It’s not as if you can apply conventional logic to the invisible man delusion.

    I can’t help myself. LOL
    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.
    This article suggests Joe is an intellectual as well as having headed (  wink  ) The Inquisition for a few years.
    I suppose the inquisitors rationalised and forgave themselves of their barbarity in the sincere belief they worked for god and ‘whatever it takes’ was an acceptable motto.
    Sick fuckers, eh?

  4. I’ve always wondered if churches could be prosecuted under the RICO statutes

    Racketeering activity means:

      * Any act or threat involving gambling, murder, kidnapping, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act), which is chargeable under State law and punishable by imprisonment for more than one year;

    What’s a bigger example of bribery/extortion than the threat of eternal damnation contrasted with the promise of paradise?  wink

  5. APPlet – :LOL: Liked it

    quote within article: Hell “really exists and is eternal, even if nobody talks about it much any more”.

    I wonder how he knows the first point. The second one isn’t true – a concept like that doesn’t date much because as it’s belief is not dependant on us following old ways of life, the things that get you there might date, but nearly every religion seems to need a hell – whether or not it would actually be necessary in the real deal I don’t know (they may not necessarily need to suffer to understand what they did wrong under a different set of rules), but it seems a kind of perverse satisfaction for people to think that bad people are going to suffer, because it may/may not be necessary, I don’t know, at least they would need to know what they are being punished for and let out once they made a change, otherwise there is no point short of sadistic satisfaction in torturing them eternally

  6. It’s the worlds biggest, strangest protection racket.

    “Hey youse… You be nice to us… ya know.. generous on da collection plate and ahh… we’ll put in a good word for ya for the afterlife… ya know… Keepin dem demons off ya back…  You don’t? well den we all knows that bad things can happen…. Eternal damnation you know…..  Be a shame…”

    Worse than the mafia apparently, since no one has been able to return and tell us how bad this damnation really is…. or even that it’s occuring.  Even the mafia had to make examples of people.  The Pope is apparently a lot more believable.

    All of this because we have to repent for something few of us understand and no one remembers doing.

    If it wasn’t a religion, all of the church leaders would be arrested for running a scam.  But we tolerate it because….. what, we have to respect all scams….er.. religions?

  7. swordbane: and no one remembers doing.

    Good point, it’s how we presently are that counts, the past can only affect the future if people let it and so long as it’s remembered. If we did something wrong in the past but since learned from it, to me there would seem no need to even remind the person that they did that thing – it would just embarrass them. It would make more sense for me if it was only the things we hadn’t dealt with that were adressed. Hypothetically the idea in some religions of ‘life review’ can remind people and associate rewards/punishemnts (via feeling) with individual actions, but for what they realise as regrettible mistakes it wouldn’t seem fair for me for those ones to be reiterated

  8. Besides, if Hell is separation from God, and Earth isn’t, then we don’t seem to have a choice about this whole “I’ll do something nice for you because Jesus aready did something nice for me.” thing.

    That’s like being able to put $1000 dollars a day into someone’s bank account without them being able to find out who did it, then coming to the guy after a few months and demanding they compensate you for it, and if they don’t you say “Well I’ll just flog you and be on my way.”

    The way I see it, God and Jesus have no right to demand anything from us because of something they gave to us freely and without coersion, and I’d be much more willing to return the favor somehow if their followers weren’t always in my face telling me I had to “or else”

    And didn’t Jesus already balance the books when he was nailed to a tree for being nice to people? 

    OTOH….You know…. he old testament God was kind of an asshole… Maybe the whole crucifixion thing was just Jesus getting sent to his room for being a hippie and the Second Coming is going to be a real bitch.

  9. Swordsbane: Besides, if Hell is separation from God, and Earth isn’t, then we don’t seem to have a choice about this whole “I’ll do something nice for you because Jesus aready did something nice for me.” thing

    As we don’t observe god now, then i would say that if god did exist, we are seperated from him in one way at least – from knowing he exists. It’s possible that hell is a seperation from god in a different aspect – you might know he exists that time round but you’re seperated from any feeling that he might care. It’s possible to be OK with both forms of seperation, and if all hell was was not being loved it wouldn’t be that severe – it’s the physical pain idea that scares people – but that can only be so if physical pain can be felt in those other dimensions, who knows?

    Anyway I think people sometimes need to be unaware or seperated about an idea in order to be able to think about it, and that might be the point of life and hell via that possibility. However this doesn’t explain why that thought should be necessary – why aren’t people innately perfect if a god with that kind of power existed? – If he did exist then his influence and/or goodness and/or reasoning could not be 100% as a prerequisite for less than perfect conditions in any dimension – in the ideal situation he could make people who were all good, but also had free will. Nethertheless I don’t know why he should have the alignment of wanting people to be good and happy – because the idea of creating individuals in one form or another for an overall happy existence relies on some form of alignment. I wonder if there is some kind of symetry in having alignment – whether there would have to be an equally powerful evil anti-god to counterbalance a good one
    Also I will say that the possibility of oblivion whether god exists or not is a completely neutral thing

    then coming to the guy after a few months and demanding they compensate you for it, and if they don’t you say “Well I’ll just flog you and be on my way.”

    I doubt anything is expected in return if he was genuinely nice, when you do something genuinely with nice intentions it’s free, and be grateful for any acknowledgement you do get. I would hope to be able to give them the credit of not creating us just to worship them, but I simply don’t know enough to be able to do that.

    Also bear in mind we have no choice about coming into existing in the first place, there might be mechanisms for a someone to end existence in hypothetical afterlife dimensions as someone alive is able to end their existence in physical dimensions, but there needs to be the free option of choosing permanent oblivion, because otherwise we are effectively trapped into existence regardless of our will. I agree that there is no right for them to expect good from us, if we are already compelled to exist anyway, because expecting any more would be unreasonable, so it must be a free choice that they must be grateful for, from my perspective.

    And didn’t Jesus already balance the books when he was nailed to a tree for being nice to people?

    Things don’t get balanced in life, if anything they deviate more and more, and whether or not it’s fair stops mattering after a point – it becomes serious enough to only care about minimising the pain. I don’t know whether or not the books are balanced after, and whether there is really a need at all, or whether you’d really want vengence by that point, but the deviations from fairness may just be a side effect of life that has to be accepted in order to do stuff

  10. distant claws:  I just think it’s very rude to expect us to repay something after A) something was supposedly done for us without our knowledge or consent and B) threaten us with something that is supposedly infinitely BAD if we don’t do it.  Even from a standpoint internal to the church and scripture, it doesn’t make sense.

    I was raised (partially by the catholic church btw) to do nice things, but not to expect someone to pay me back because I did something nice for them.  It was up to ME to help people or not and not to come to them later and say “Hey, it’s time to settle accounts.”  That is honorable, they say, so when this “God” I’ve never seen or heard from is supposedly keeping careful notes on what I’m doing to “glorify His name” and worship him and follow his rules (and incidentally pay a portion of my money to the church and pledge my life and soul and yadda yadda to him)… I’m a little confused.

      Besides, wouldn’t he rather I did what he wants me to because I decided it was the right thing instead of switching off my brain and just do what he tells me?  My mother (who was raised catholic) told me: “The day you grown up is the day you stop doing what I tell you and start doing what’s right.”  You know who she got that from?  Her church.  Of course, in order to actually DO that, we need to be told WHY it’s right instead of just “Because I said so,”  Not only do they tell us we don’t know why God does the things he does, but they tell us we CAN’T know.

      It’s one thing to be waiting for your kids to grow up.  It’s quite another to tell them constantly that they never will…. Unless they go to heaven that is…. maybe..  Oh yes.. Make your choice now before you fully understand the choice you’re making.. and by the way.. it will affect your entire life… sure… THAT makes sense.

      And to make matters worse, the more we figure out ourselves, the less right and more wrong God starts to look.

      The wager goes “…if you believe in God and God doesn’t exist, you’ve lost nothing.”  but that’s wrong.  You’ve lost the life you would have had if you hadn’t given in to the BS the church has been spouting and since their’s no afterlife, there’s no way to make up for it….  Oops.

      I don’t want to do what I’m told just because the one who told me has ultimate power over me and gave me all this cool stuff.  The only thing that proves is that I take orders well and recognize who my sugar-daddy is.  It says nothing about what kind of person I am.  Now which do you think is more important?  This is why I’m not a member of any religion.  The existence of heaven, hell, god or the devil doesn’t enter into it for me.  No matter how many rocks we turn over without finding God, there will always be more rocks and God could be under then next one.  Ultimately, that doesn’t matter.  God can exist for all I care and the bible could be 100% right (although that would be a trick because then some parts of the bible would be in paradox), but that wouldn’t change anything.

  11. swordsbane: I just think it’s very rude to expect us to repay something after A) something was supposedly done for us without our knowledge or consent and B) threaten us with something that is supposedly infinitely BAD if we don’t do it.

    Agreed, as I said, our first coming into existence isn’t our choice so they should be grateful for any good we choose to do, and infinitely bad punishment for anything isn’t reasonable, and the punishment should be directly linked to the action so people know what they’re being punished about and it should only last as long as needs be

    It was up to ME to help people or not and not to come to them later and say “Hey, it’s time to settle accounts.”

    Agreed, as I said, people do genuinely nice things expecting nothing back, and are grateful for any acknowledgement they do get

    so when this “God” I’ve never seen or heard from is supposedly keeping careful notes on what I’m doing to “glorify His name” and worship him and follow his rules

    As I said, I would like to be able to give him the credit that we weren’t made just to worship, that would be shallow satisfaction, but I simply don’t know enough to come to a conclusion. If there were rules, or more a set of consequences for actions, then it wouldn’t be reasonable of hypothetical god to expect people to abide by things they either don’t know, or don’t understand, and things are not always clear cut enough anyway for rules, it depends on a person’s intentions given what they knew that counts in my book

    Besides, wouldn’t he rather I did what he wants me to because I decided it was the right thing instead of switching off my brain and just do what he tells me?

    Agreed, this is the more likely intention because earth-based religions are only human-created theories, and god wouldn’t have much reason to care how strictly someone followed something

    It’s one thing to be waiting for your kids to grow up.  It’s quite another to tell them constantly that they never will…. Unless they go to heaven that is…. maybe..  Oh yes.. Make your choice now before you fully understand the choice you’re making.. and by the way.. it will affect your entire life… sure… THAT makes sense.

    It’s not fair of parents when they do tell their children this, as they do, and I’m of the opinion that given time and the right conditions anyone can learn anything, so I would never write anyone off as the concept of eternal hell does. People can and do change, and there are very few things that are permanent – only the things that affect your vessel of existence in the dimension your in (ie your body, or hypothetically a soul body)

    And to make matters worse, the more we figure out ourselves, the less right and more wrong God starts to look

    Agreed, I wonder if existence at all was a good thing, and as I said, he cannot be 100% powerful and good and reasonable, at least one of those things has to give to explain the imperfections we experience

    The wager goes “…if you believe in God and God doesn’t exist, you’ve lost nothing.” but that’s wrong.  You’ve lost the life you would have had if you hadn’t given in to the BS the church has been spouting and since their’s no afterlife, there’s no way to make up for it….  Oops

    If you put limitations on yourself through not questioning things then you have lost something, but if all you do is keep open the possibility that he might exist then you don’t.

    I don’t want to do what I’m told just because the one who told me has ultimate power over me and gave me all this cool stuff

    And I wonder why a hypothetical god would want you to just follow orders, there wouldn’t really be much reason for god to care what happens here (as they don’t affect him), he could just be playing a game to satisfy boredom. If we live to think then orders are not the reason for life.

    It says nothing about what kind of person I am

    Only that you don’t follow orders without clear reason, that’s all, and that’s not a bad thing

    This is why I’m not a member of any religion

    It doesn’t have to be fixed categorisation, have your own personal flexible thoughts on stuff

    No matter how many rocks we turn over without finding God, there will always be more rocks and God could be under then next one

    If god resides in dimensions that we don’t observe, no physical based machine will detect him because they only operate within the dimensions that we do observe. If god was able to interact with the universe, we would observe an apparent violation in thermodynamics providing it wasn’t balanced out nearby. But he would need a mechanism to interact, I have ideas on how this could be done with only violating a probability term, entropy.

    God can exist for all I care and the bible could be 100% right (although that would be a trick because then some parts of the bible would be in paradox), but that wouldn’t change anything

    The bible is one human created theory made around one time period with lots of oppertunities for changing and manipulation. There is more out there and it theological thought doesn’t have to be regimented

  12. I once dated a girl who was very catholic, a marked contrast from my own atheism.  We often talked about religion, and when I understood that she honestly and sincerly believed that Hell is real, and further that the devil was actively trying to get her.  It blew my mind, because I’d always just thought of hell as a quaint little notion to scare people.

  13. If Jesus died for my sins do I have a quota, or are all sins covered? It’s a sort of reverse Pascals Wager. What is the point of being good- the sins have already been taken care of? If I have the right card can I check my sin balance at the cashpoint? Are all sins equal- is one night of sex equal to 3 wanks? There’s a spoof website waiting to be writen- check your sin balance.

  14. If Jesus died for my sins do I have a quota, or are all sins covered? It’s a sort of reverse Pascals Wager. What is the point of being good- the sins have already been taken care of? If I have the right card can I check my sin balance at the cashpoint? Are all sins equal- is one night of sex equal to 3 wanks? There’s a spoof website waiting to be writen- check your sin balance.

    Well if you include all the extra standards there apparently are for people like Falwell and Haggert, then your score card will take an accountant to figure out, so you’ll probably still be screwed by a missed decimal place when talking to St Pete.

    If course if accountants and lawyers don’t make it to Heaven (and if we’re really being honest then I have my doubts) then EVERYONE’s screwed.

  15. I’m a wargamer. I can argue the toss on rules in a rulebook 20 pages long where the author is trying to be as unambiguos as possible, always with an eye on the clock to make the pub in time. You are going to give me a rulebook 100s of pages long written by blokes starving in the desert, and I have eternity…

    And I’ve argued with accountants and lawyers, and told them I’m write, do it my way.

  16. Sry I havent been on as much guys, I been booked with work, good to see the KKK emulators are at it again.  We can watch cardinal nazi-nger(fyi, he was cardinal joseph ratzinger), i mean pope benedict arnold the 16th, decieve millions of sheep. 

    Its gotten to the point where i believe that the christian leaders who inspire paranormal and divine fear into masses of innocents have betrayed their fellow humans, and as such should be regarded as traitors to humanity.  Not the victims, but the leaders, people like the pope, pat robertson, people who use their sway to inspire boundless fear and line their pockets with gold, these are parasites in human skin. 

    Also, leave it to the whores for order and domination to drive any faiths with true serenity and kindness into the ground.  They take anything they cant tax, bind, restrict or bend and obliterate it, remove the glimmer of hope from the eyes of the world. 

    And to seal away the whole of humanity, they declare that every person, no matter who they are of what they’ve done, is responsible for two mythical ancestors’ misdoings, the misdoings being the pursuit of knowledge of all things!

    Leading catholicism to its victory would subjugate humanity to an era of ignorance and hopelessness.  The dark ages must not have a second coming.

  17. WhiteBlood, I like reading well thought out shafts into the evil CEOs of xianity.
    Cardinal Nazinger.  LOL

  18. Whiteblood: Its gotten to the point where i believe that the christian leaders who inspire paranormal and divine fear into masses of innocents have betrayed their fellow humans, and as such should be regarded as traitors to humanity.

    If only they realised, things are inverted by the nature of influence

    Also, leave it to the whores for order and domination to drive any faiths with true serenity and kindness into the ground. They take anything they cant tax, bind, restrict or bend and obliterate it, remove the glimmer of hope from the eyes of the world

    It needs to keep a voice, because benevolent faith is a less destructive alternative for those who are at a point where they want to believe, we are fortunate that the internet puts limits on how subdued communication can be, but certainly if you are only allowed to see one thing then that is all you have to play around with, but to some extent it is partly what exposes xianity as what it is, for those willing to look. The truth generally tends as such a sadder alternative, it’s somewhat understandable that people hold onto illusions

    Leading catholicism to its victory would subjugate humanity to an era of ignorance and hopelessness.  The dark ages must not have a second coming.

    I’m not sure it can be prevented, and even if it happens I wonder whether it is really a bad thing? People will suffer at the hands of the ignorant, who may take the view that it doesn’t matter when you couple ‘ignorance is bliss to that individual’ with ‘focus on No1’, but I wonder whether anything really matters if we’re all gonna die anyway, if it doesn’t seem to really matter if we face oblivion/heaven/hell/anything else to another person or the system as a whole, I wonder why it should matter to myself, it only really boils down to a game of choice and consequences, given how you interpret them

  19. Not a bad thing?  Call me an extremist, but I think an age illusion is taught as truth and knowledge is hated is something worth preventing. 

    Also, it’s true that people will suffer at the hands of the ignorant, but isnt it worthwhile to try and cut down the ignorance for the sake of the truth, or even for the knowledge of future generations?

    Finally, fore I go to get more caffiene, I thought bout what if someone said, “Who am I to wreck someone’s happy illusions and remind them of their shitty life?”
    Well, to a question a question: would anyone here rather be remembered as a coward or a champion?

  20. Whiteblood: but isnt it worthwhile to try and cut down the ignorance for the sake of the truth, or even for the knowledge of future generations?

    If you engage with the feelings of the victims then it is worth it for your own peace of mind, if you don’t then you only need to affect those who affect you so as to make your own life easier, providing that to you the effort this takes seems a worthwhile deal. I personally am inherantly selfish – when I do help others it’s for my own peace of mind, and it’s possible that this applies to all people to all people – concience is a personal feeling just as all others, so like all feelings the motive to satisfy it is always selfishly driven even if it does benefit other people on the way

    Well, to a question a question: would anyone here rather be remembered as a coward or a champion

    There is a third potential – to be forgotten
    It all depends on how important to your personal feelings the opinion of others is, but so long as it holds some importance you are putting yourself under a psychological pressure to achieve something, and that can be destructive to self. If people were completely liberated of what people thought of them it wouldn’t matter how they were remembered, particularly if there was oblivion after death so they wouldn’t be aware of what people thought, and if it nolonger matters then why want to make people feel like they have to remember you – that only prolongs feelings of loss and makes it more difficult for them to move on and let you go from their mind

    Forgetting people seems the kindest way of breaking links, it doesn’t hurt the person forgetting, and need not hurt the forgotten

  21. Not a bad thing?  Call me an extremist, but I think an age illusion is taught as truth and knowledge is hated is something worth preventing.

    Also, it’s true that people will suffer at the hands of the ignorant, but isnt it worthwhile to try and cut down the ignorance for the sake of the truth, or even for the knowledge of future generations?

    Finally, fore I go to get more caffiene, I thought bout what if someone said, “Who am I to wreck someone’s happy illusions and remind them of their shitty life?”
    Well, to a question a question: would anyone here rather be remembered as a coward or a champion?

    You have to be careful.  That is dangerously close to telling people what to believe.  That said, you can’t ‘wreck’ a superstitious belief.  Like any belief, if they have evidence, then they can present it and debate it.  If they have no evidence, they you are simply informing them of a different opinion.  If you ‘convince’ someone to leave their religion, did you wreck their beliefs of save them?  I suppose it depends on how they feel about it.

    I submit that if your religious faith is so fragile that it is shaken by mere truth, you shouldn’t have joined in the first place, and you deserve to lose your faith.  And it’s either our duty, or our right to entertainment, to poke you with a clue stick to see which one you are. smile

  22. Swordsbane: If they have no evidence, they you are simply informing them of a different opinion

    I think that’s pretty much the best we can do this side of death anyway given no other info. There are several possibilities, being aware of them all and extrapolating on them should leave nobody too surprised

    did you wreck their beliefs of save them?

    They will re-adjust, and cling onto what they can so long as it is still a valid possibility. This is because of what it means in terms of psychological security when you see inevitable death aproaching

    I submit that if your religious faith is so fragile that it is shaken by mere truth, you shouldn’t have joined in the first place, and you deserve to lose your faith

    Religion isn’t only for the fundies, indeed those who aren’t are more open minded and surely that’s preferable. Even if religion is weak, the psychological pulls towards atheism have a different founding and won’t apply to someone who has an unsatisfiable need for the security and hope that faith promises

    Again, it’s a matter of clinging onto what you can. The amount of truth we can probe has it’s limits and it will be impossible to ever be fully sure of knowing, also some things might be completely outside observed dimensions and that is unprobable by physical means. However I hold that if NDEs genuinely do happen, then they need to be explained to my satisfaction, and you can still venture slightly outside the physical whilst still keeping within a completely self-contained godless universe. If what NDEs suggest was true then reason would have to point towards it as being possible as described, so filtering through every issue, even the ones that make it look more and more bleak, is part of that quest. It’s just a hope that it would be completely reasonable, though I have doubts that it would be if it’s necessary for things to be as they are. An unreasonable god/mode of existence is also a valid possibility.

    And it’s either our duty, or our right to entertainment, to poke you with a clue stick to see which one you are

    Go ahead, i’m not that responsive but eager to discuss, in hope that it will clarify things in the directions I hope, and why it needs not to if it has other direction.

  23. Given that Les has now revealed his Godhead, can I (as Lord High Arch-Pope) not just Il Papa out.

    Round 1- Produce your God.  I can get mine to turn up (I might need help for the plane tickets- Les do you have a passport?  Perhaps the Pope can come to you)
    Round 2- Rattybugger may demand you produce a Miracle.  Now I’d be happy to accept “It’s a miracle that I haven’t fermented bloody Revolution against Bush”, but I don’t think that’s what the Big P will have in mind.  However, I will demand no Round 2 while his guy is a no-show.

  24. dated a girl who was very catholic

    Doesn’t this mean “Sat in different rooms while a priest told me I had impure thoughts”?

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