*and Asian and Austrian and other non-Christians.
I remember when I was younger having a conversation with an adult. I am going be vague about who this adult is because who she is isn't really important. Suffice it to say that she was someone whose opinion on things about religion and god I felt was authoritative. I was very curious about this whole "being saved" deal.
She told how it worked and what it meant and that was fine, but of course I get to a point where I ask about other people.
"Can anyone be saved?" I asked.
"Yes, of course." She said. "As long as they hear the word of god."
"What if they don't hear it?" I asked.
"Then they can't be saved." she added. "But everyone knows about god."
"What about babies in Africa or China (which were the far away places to me then), what if they don't hear it because they can't read English or don't have TVs and they don't know." I asked, I was worried about innocent babies burning in hell.
"Well they won't be saved." she said. I think she knew where I was taking this.
"That's not fair, what about people in the Dark Ages in Japan that never heard this and never would have? Did they all go to Hell too?" I was not happy.
"I don't want to talk about this anymore." She finally said.
Babies. Burning in hell. That's what I learned about a so called loving and caring god.
Now before you assume this was a one off deal, I had the same argument with friends in high school and then again (only with more agreement) with friends in college.
I remember asking people variously about Ghandi, or other ancient "good" people or kids that never did anything wrong. Yup according to Christians, each and everyone of them is in Hell getting ass-raped by Beelzebub.
My first reaction was one of typical pre-teenage/teen rebellion, fuck that shit. If this so-called god wants me to bend over and kiss his ass he can kiss mine!
Of course later, when I got over that, I realized that this whole idea of hearing the word of god to be saved was made back in the time when the world was different place, where the only people you wanted "saved" were the ones near you. The early Christians really didn't care about their neighbors and then could only think in terms of a few hundred miles, not the size of the world as we know it now (though the Greeks did know back then).
Christianity fell apart for me on it's hypocrisy. Once I looked into it then the other religions also began to fall apart for equally valid reasons.