Who’s Going to Hell?
Newsweek reports on an interesting online survey conducted by Beliefnet about beliefs in hell:
Conservatives are more confident than liberals that they’ll avoid hell—and that they know someone who won’t. Liberals are less confident about their own chances of escaping hell and less sure they can identify the damned. These are a few results from an unusual online survey Beliefnet conducted this month among 10,000 of its members….
Do you know the doomed? 61% of men said they knew some hellbound folks, compared with 54% of women. (It’s unclear whether the results show that men are more judgmental, better judges of character or hang out with more evil people.) Most people said the doomed are “acquaintances,” but almost 25% said the hellbound are members of their own families. Women were more likely to consign family members to hell, quite possibly because they spend more time with the family. And why are these people going to fry? The answers reflect one of the oldest theological debates: which matters more, faith or good works? For instance, 60% of born-again Christians (almost all of them Protestants) said the unfortunates didn’t have the “right beliefs,” compared with just 19% of Catholics who said that. 80% of Catholics said it was because of the person’s immoral actions, compared with 40% of born-agains. The same split persisted politically: liberals said damnation was determined by bad behavior; conservatives, by a smaller majority, thought beliefs mattered most.
Most interesting finding? That those who believed that their family members were headed to hell were more likely to see hell as a place of fiery torment….