A Rant on Books About Heaven, Written for Children

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses books about Heaven, written for children:

You can read more about the book in question here:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Scudman

    Re-classify the Bible..lol. Good one.

  • viaten

    What about showing kids what Hell looks like? No one does things like that. Well maybe the Virgin Mary, but other than that it’s only described in words.

    • fredmccree

      Apparently you have never been to a Hell House.

      • viaten

        Good point. I didn’t think of that. Do they have a lower age limit?

  • http://beingatheistinachristianusa.org/ Aubrey Adrianson

    I would even argue that teaching about Heaven and Hell is harmful. A couple of reasons for that are that it teaches that death is not permanent so life is devalued and it teaches that God will forgive atrocities.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Yep, that’s a highly untrustworthy belief, because it amounts to saying that life is just practice with infinite “gimmes”.

  • busterggi

    The Book of Revelation says that the kingdom of god will be a humungous gaudy jewel-encrusted cube of gold right here on Earth from which Jesus will rule the world. Damn shame all those souls in heaven will be separated from Jesus for all eternity just like those poor souls in hell whose worst punishment is supposedly being separated from Jesus – damned if you’re saved & damned if you aren’t.

  • Bitter Lizard

    They aren’t all bad. I thought this one had all sorts of practical information…

  • Racena

    I disagree, Hemant. I think the more they write this stuff as “truth” the more people will see through it. Just like I love when on the early morning cable channels Televangelists are on right before and/or after depilatory products, face creams, and floor shammies. Puts their “product” right where it belongs.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    Little Billy (walking through heaven with a smiling Jesus): Jesus?

    Jesus: Yes, my child.

    Little Billy: Where’s Grandma?

    Jesus: Well, she was a jew and she didn’t believe in me. So while, I’m here walking with you, I am also torturing her forever and ever in a lake of fire.

    Little Billy: And Mom?

    Jesus: Pre-material sex. Ditto with dad. So I have no choice to to torture them. You understand.

    Little Billy: My sister, susie?

    Jesus: She stub her toe, and took my name in vain. So,… torture.

    Little Billy: Rex, my dog?

    Jesus: Pissed on the pearly gates, so…. torture. Who wants icecream?

    • Robin

      Thanks for the laugh but now my coworkers are looking at me funny!!!

    • viaten

      And then Little Billy gets his mind altered so he sees the perfect, glorious justice of it all. (That’s what the ice cream does.)

    • Jim Jones

      > Jesus: Pre-material sex.

      God allows pre-material sex?

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Isn’t that where He came from?

    • SansDeus

      Little Billy: Wait a fucking minute. You’re a Jew.

      Jesus: ….

      • Hat Stealer

        Although to be fair, there was torture for Jesus too. Just not quite as much of it.

        • McAtheist

          How did that go again? A bad day, dead for another day, and then ‘up an’ at ‘em’ again on Friday just in time for happy hour?

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Brilliant!

    • http://avoiceinthewilderness-mcc1789.blogspot.com/ Michael

      Animals don’t get into heaven to begin with, which is enough for animal lovers to disclaim it.

  • Anna

    I can’t even watch the video because books like this make me so upset. It’s not just evangelical publishers, either. Assumptions of heaven creep into secular books all the time. You have to be careful if you’re buying a picture book about death because often you’ll find a declaration that Fido, Fluffy, Grandma, etc. went to heaven smack dab in the middle.

  • Robin

    I have always said the bible was a story book, a collection of short stories. Fiction from begining to the end. Should be titled “how to control a world population and come out looking like a good guy”

  • Alexis

    I remember when the local mall had christian books under the title religion, and all other religious books (mostly zen) under philosophy. Now there are multiple categories with a large one being religious fiction. I walk by and :think shouldn’t they all be under religious fiction?”

    • Spuddie

      Isn’t “religious fiction” a redundant term?

  • Buster Fixxitt

    I’d like to suggest as a topic/video: “Stop tithing!” Let’s encourage all the liberal and moderate Christians to demand their church change to reflect their humanist beliefs by NOT tithing. When the collection plate comes around, instead of money, put in a note that says, “You’re not getting any more of my money until you resolve X.” Pick one battle at a time.

    Let’s support Christians in dragging their churches by their purse-strings into the 21st century.

  • Ann Onymous

    When choosing books for summer reading, I considered the fix I could put my school in if I chose to read the Bible. If they let me use it as my fiction book – oh boy. If they told me it was nonfiction…
    But I don’t hate my school that much. Maybe someday, if the high school is truly terrible.


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