Thursday, September 29, 2011

Is Ghandi in Hell?

Despite what the Bible says about "salvation," apparently American Christians are more willing to forgive people for not accepting Christ than God is:

The most striking divergence from orthodoxy, however, was first revealed in the 2007 US Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. That comprehensive survey of 35,000 Americans found a majority of Christians saying that people of other religions can find salvation and eternal life.

So they've figured out what atheists already knew: sending good people to Hell is bad!  But if you don't have to believe in Christ to get out of going to Hell, they why do you have to believe in Christ at all?  It's not just everyday Christians anonymously admitting their disbelief, there's a controversial pastor preaching this message too:  (I love his quote that Christian theology teaches that Jesus rescues his followers from God!)  He wants to believe that Ghandi made it to Heaven.  He also acknowledges how messed up Christianity is, and then he love-bombs.

I think the love-bombing and social network of Christianity outweighs all other considerations for a lot of Christians.  I overheard a coworker say that he gets really anxious when he travels unless he knows there's a church nearby.  That's crazy.  If he's one of God's children and God is everywhere, what difference does it make if there's a church around the corner?  The difference is that Christianity is a salve for his anxiety disorder, not a pathway to Heaven.  After all, if Heaven is so great, why not just off himself and hurry upstairs before he thinks some heretical thought and ruins his chances?

Evangelicals may be their own undoing.  There are so many splinter "denominations" and start-up churches founded by one person (like Rob Bell's) that people can pick and choose whichever one they like, or make up their own theology and appoint themselves the head of a new church.  Any storefront will do.  I've seen a jillion of these.  The megachurches are the opposite end of the spectrum.  They're not under the thumb of a central authority, either.  Even the Southern Baptist conference is losing its grip.  Mean-spirited bigotry may finally be driving believers away, but they can't let go completely, so they hook up with nicer churches.  And these new churches provide what people who no longer need to feel "chosen" need for psychological fulfillment:  a social network, a feeling of being loved, and some guidance on what constitutes right and wrong.

I admire the trend.  These people will be easier to live with than the monsters who are trying to undermine the First Amendment, turn the military into a Christian crusader army, and set science back by hundreds of years.  Now if only they will take on their nastyass cousins in court and get them to STFU about the "Christian Nation," maybe we can move on as a culture.


Infidel753 said...

Fundies and other fanatics aside, the much-touted religiosity of most Americans is about a millimeter deep. To them it's a feel-good security blanket not to be examined too closely. People know that many non-Christians are good people and the thought of them nevertheless going to Hell makes one feel bad, not good, so it has to be fudged, even if non-Christians getting into Heaven calls the whole point of being Christian into question. This has even reached the point of many people vaguely feeling that all religions are similarly valid, almost interchangeable, and need to just get along with each other -- an attitude inconceivable for old-school true believers to whom any other religion is a deception that leads people to Hell.

if Heaven is so great, why not just off himself and hurry upstairs

And this is why so many religions make suicide a mortal sin, lest they lose too many of their most obedient and useful dupes who happen to think of this rather obvious point.

L.Long said...

When I finished 'Job:A Comedy of Justice' I decided to go to hell. It is a more interesting place and all the best people are there! I'm looking forward to meeting Issac, Robert, Bertrand, Steve, and many others.

LadyAtheist said...

Yes, Infidel, it's a psychological valium, not a fleshed-out theology for most people.

L.Long, Heaven sounds so boring! I suspect it's not heavily populated, either, for the same reason that nobody got raptured on May 21: there are no *true* Christians.