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August 31, 2021 19 min

I was brought up in a church that taught God is angry, vengeful, and male. And that I am going to hell for being gay. There, with Satan, I will suffer eternity roasting on the Devil’s fiery spit. Eternity is forever. Forever is hard to imagine. To make it easier for me, a child, to visualize burning in hell endlessly, a Sunday school teacher told the class to imagine a turtle. Picking up one grain of sand in its beak on the Atlantic Ocean side of the United States, the turtle slowly walks all the way across the country and puts the grain of sand down on the beach at the Pacific Ocean. The turtle then picks up a grain of sand from the West Coast and turns around to walk all the way back to the East Coast. One grain is deposited and another picked up. Over and over the turtle schleps one grain of sand back and forth, for eternity. 

In this episode, I imagine Jesus would say:  

  • Why, in my name, is there a widespread misconception that to create a path to heaven for yourselves, it is acceptable to create a living hell for others?
  • I questioned those in religious authority and challenged the information I received, and so should you; and
  • Christians must courageously grapple with complex issues concerning what they believe and how those beliefs form their attitudes toward themselves and others. 
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