Many Christians highlight love and mercy as the point of their religion. That's undeniably appealing. But is it true to Christianity? In the end, isn't the belief all about escaping God's violent wrath? Aren't those that are unable to accept the system's contradictions and absurdities promised suffering and eventual destruction as punishment for their disbelief?

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I think the Christian religion is so disjunctive right now..

-There are liberal christians who have accepted evolution as fact, think the bible is up for "interpretation," and it's just one big "metaphor." When they haven't even read their bible.

-Then you have conservative christians who think the world is 6000 years old. And they think evolution is evil and satan planted fossils. Or that jesus and the dinosaurs lived together like it was an episode of the fucking Flintstones.

-Others go to church for show, b/c if they didn't go to church the neighbors would start to "talk." I think those are the Methodists and Protestants.

-Baptists are fire and brimstone, they want to scare you, because they think they are right about everything and if you disagree you'll go to hell!!! (But they love you)

-Catholics are just weird... sorry. The guilt thing...why is divorce so bad to them....and the creepy priests who touch little children...eh..

-Jehovah's witness - cult w/ only 144,000 tickets to heaven - better act now.

-Mormonism - cult, complete with magic underwear.

-Scientology - cult, that will kill you and steal your money.

They all want your money, so they scare you with idea of hell. If you can get people to believe that if they screw up they'll go to hell and suffer for all eternity.. well you can make them believe anything and you can make them do anything. It's about power and manipulation. That's why when church and state come together we get the Dark Ages. The church puts the fear of god into the people, and take their money. The state uses this fear and the money to make their people do whatever they want. Yay!

Religion didn't start this way... I think it began once hominids realized that they were mortal; that they would one day die and those that they have seen die will never come back. This probably made them very sad, I don't know how complex our emotional range was when we but mere hominids, but I'm sure they felt some sort of pain or anger when one of their own died. I think at that point they may have come up with an idea that there was "something bigger out there." Who knows... It began with our ancestors fearing death and them wondering about what happens once you die.. (flash forward a [insert facetious inflection] *few* years later) Then when we became "civilized" the state used this fear of death to their advantage.
>>>>>>>>>They all want your money, so they scare you with idea of hell.

They don't just want your money, they want power. Even the Church of Scientology wants to take over the world, and even had a plot to overthrow the Moroccan government. The US churches want to influence policies, and are used to withhold votes when the republican party isn't giving it what it wants.

The Catholic Church does a lot of underhanded deals, and has even influenced the US governments policies. It was no coincidence that the person who was leading South Vietnam was Catholic, in a country that is overwhelmingly Buddist. The Catholic Church, along with the Luther, was a large part of what Marx was basing his hostilities towards religion.
Yikes, I was typing something here, and went somewhere and came back here, and the text is gone.

>>>>>>>>>>They all want your money, so they scare you with idea of hell.

It's not just money, its power. The US protestant church's often will withhold their vote when the republicans are not giving them everything they want.

The Catholic Church has influenced US policies. An example is that during the Vietnam War, the person who leading the South Vietnam government was Diem, who was also a Catholic. Catholics were often adverse to communist countries because they often restricted Catholic Church, often because the church has a strong leverage in their membership. It was the Catholic and the Lutheran Church that Marx was concerned with his hostilies towards churches.

Then there is one subject that I has suddenly find myself fascinated, but sickened by lately, and that is the Church of $cientology. They keep thier members on a tight leash; something that Jim Jones was thinking why he never thought the same thing. The L Ron Hubbert was even plotting to overthrow the government of Morocco, until the US got a hold of that information.
Oh yeah..Fascinating in a creepy way...Same for me when Anonymous started posting those videos...I had to learn more and I did.
http://www.xenu.net/index.html
http://www.xenu.net/news/20080210-picket_signs.html
This reminds me of one of my ex-customers (lawn service). Their ministry was called "Refined by Fire." I never thought about it, but i guess this is about fear of hell? They help prisoners with jobs and stuff, and sometimes travel to different areas to preach, sing, etc. Check 'em out > http://refinedbyfire.la They put on a play/presentation called "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames" at Angola prison here in Louisiana. >> http://refinedbyfire.la/ministry.htm
This is similar to Scientology

I think it's the typical carrot and stick message. Join us now because if you don't you'll burn in hell. If you do join us you'll see how merciful and loving God really is. Ultimately I do think that it's the fear of God's wrath coupled with the belief in an afterlife that keep many people in Christianity that might otherwise be drawn to other wordviews.

I recently had a conversation with a friend who has hardcore fundies on her husband's side but was raised in a more moderate household. I believe she is on the verge of becoming an atheist but still fears the proverbial 'bolt of lightning' of God's wrath to strike her down at any moment.
It's a mix of things.

Fear,
Hope,
Afraid of facing our selves,
And the mystery of the spiritual experience- in which we try to answer with our limited knowledge. In those times, the only answer was superstition, mythic beliefs and deities.
Bastard Fairies! Yaaay!

I downloaded their CD from their website.
Me too. An xtain friend told me once that separation from god was what hell was...Well I guess us atheists are already there then.
But in a nutshell,I agree that religion is the tired old carrot and stick thing.
Me too!!!!
I'll be the one with a fat rat on my shoulder serving up the baby back ribs.
And as George Carlon says,if this god loves us so much,why would he have a hell?

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