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Those of you who've read my book probably know that this is a major psychological issue for me - the undiluted existential horror inherent in the Abrahamic religions, particularly the Protestantism in which I was raised.

Of course, most Protestants, in my experience, don't think of their religion as a religion of horror. Their God, after all, is a God of love and freedom and closeness and empathy and such. But isn't that worse?

I mean, H.P. Lovecraft's mythos had bizarre alien gods that crushed humans like gnats, but at least they didn't care. Elohim, ostensibly, is primarily characterized by His love for us, and yet because such love requires the existence of free will, He then had to send us all to be tortured inescapably forever. He then found this state of affairs so unsatisfactory that He had to sire/manifest Himself as a human being - a trick He could evidently only do once - then allow Himself to be tortured to death... and, by even the most lenient and tolerant definitions of "Christian", that still only saved about 1/3 of us. I don't know about you, but no school I ever attended accepted 33% as a passing grade.

I can't speak for the entirety of Christendom, but when I was a child, I could shunt this horror into the back corners of my mind because I didn't really know any non-Christians. All my friends and family went to the same churches I did, so the entire issue of hell for non-believers was scary, but nicely abstract. I think one of the primary boundaries between what I consider my childhood and my adulthood was the adoption of close, real, non-Christian friends.

Of course, Gina has had non-Christian friends for a while now, so she doesn't have the luxury of not thinking about it...


(Saturday night, INT: hallway outside EB and JH's apartment)

NP: So, in the digital age, we can assume practically everyone has at least heard of Christianity. That means that billions of people are going to hell - not because they're Hitler, but just because they happened to be born into the wrong religion and didn't switch out of it in time before they died. Billions.
GU: Yeah.
NP: Why would you believe such a horrible thing?
GU: Well, like you said, belief isn't a choice! You don't think I'd swap the universe over to Buddhism if I could?
MH: Wow. Being a Christian is depressing as shit.
NP(slightly shellshocked at the concept): Billions of people. The majority of the human race, tortured for eternity. Could God commit a sin so heavy even He couldn't forgive Himself?
GU: Well, now, it's not a sin. It's not even God doing it, necessarily, it's a natural result of sin being inside you. His holiness won't allow sinful things to go unpunished.
MH: Wait a sec. Does God not have free will? I'm pretty sure God is supposed to have free will.
GU: You were pretty sure God was a bearded Caucasian who wanted me to use all of my orifices a second ago, I really don't think we're on the same page, God-wise.