Secular Ethos

Hell Visions

The horrific visions of hell described to me as a child
took many years to leave me.The graphic detail of the tortures and horrors
I would face for eternity never should have been inflicted on a child. My
earliest childhood memories are filled with night terrors of the hell that
awaited me if I was to have the slightest hint of doubt. Who is this god
that would torture me forever? How I am to love that which I am to fear?
Being raised in a family already splintered between sects, made for delusions
of every stripe. The fundamentalist mixed with some new age theosophic mysticism
was like Lovecraft meets Tolstoy. The vagaries of the mystics was bad enough to
break your senses. But when you mix it with vivid and horrific descriptions of
fire and brimstone melting your flesh, a child’s psychological well being is
dead on arrival. The hell you are to face is made even more real in your nightmares
by your family knowing and using all of your natural and personal fears in their
descriptions. Afraid of the monster under your bed? No worries it’s just Satan’s
demons coming to eat you for the boner you got at the lake that day. Nothing
to be afraid of though, all you have to do is ignore everything that is natural
and makes you who you are. And pretend to love the guy who will allow all this
to happen to you if you don’t fear him.

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