Verified by Psychology Today. The Secular Life. It truly was a vault of horrors: blood, pain, anguish, wounds, gashes, torn flesh. Carcasses everywhere. And she was terrified. It was about eight years ago. Our older daughter had a school assignment to visit a California mission. Built by the Catholics in the s and s, the California missions are a vital part of California history.
And so we were excited to take our daughters to check one out, about 20 miles from our home. And the mission was lovely: beautiful landscaping, old buildings, indigenous flowers, a trickling fountain. The space was full of crucified Jesuses. Every wall, from floor to ceiling, was adorned with wooden and plaster sculptures of Jesus on the cross: bloody, cut, and crying in pain. Some were very life-like, others more impressionistic. But all exhibited a tortured man in agony. My daughter had no context to understand it; she had no idea what Christianity was all about and had never been exposed to this most famous killing in history.
She just saw what it objectively was: a large torture chamber. And she burst into tears and ran out. I followed her outside, and once I had caught up with her in the courtyard, she wanted any explanation. But how does a secular parent explain such gore to a five year old? Um, well, you see…there are millions of people who think that we are all born evil and that there is an all-powerful God who wants to punish us forever in hell -- but then he had his only son tortured and killed so that we could be saved from eternal torture. Get it? The whole thing is so totally, horrible, absurdly sadistic and counter-intuitive and wicked.
Not to mention baldly untrue. This is a terrible thing to teach children, not only because it is false, but because it is the exact wrong message children should be taught, which is that they are intrinsically wonderful, noble, and lovable, and that they have boundless goodness inside them. A most dangerous demon. This horrible falsity infuses their childhood with needless fear and dread, and teaches them that the world is a dangerous place, with a malevolent demon lurking in the wait.
In other words, we are evil, and by killing his own child, our evil is somehow wiped away and forgiven. Our guilt is cleansed. But how does that work? If I abuse my wife, and then a cop comes over and kills my son, does that atone for the wickedness I committed against my wife? How so? Only I can atone for my own wrongdoings and harmful actions. If I abuse my wife, I need to make amends in order to earn her forgiveness. Does he require a blood sacrifice, like some pagan ogre?
This can cause children to feel smug, superior, self-righteous, judgmental, and to look down upon and condemn others — be they kids on the schoolyard, neighbors, or even relatives. It is not. It is natural, normal, and healthy. And pleasurable. Teaching children to feel guilty or ashamed of masturbating, teaching them that doing so is disapproved of by a son-slaying God, and can even land them in hell — this is all nonsense, but more than that, potentially abusive. I would certainly not argue that all forms or manifestations of Christianity are harmful; I myself attended a progressive Episcopalian Christian summer camp every year of my childhood — and loved every minute it.
The camp was full of smiles, warmth, and water fights, with nary a word about devils or sins to be heard. But we know all this. The notion that Christianity is good for kids has been trumpeted for centuries, virtually unchallenged and uncontested. As a secular parent, I believe that we need to talk more openly about the potential harm Christianity can do to kids — not just the potential good.
I'm sorry, I got through a couple of our bullet points and realized that you're extremely biased. No hate, but I simply don't think you know very much about Christianity, and you're so obviously against it which I guess is the premise of the article that you can't see that the idea behind Christianity is not violence, evil, and hate; it's love. I see a lot more hate, violence, and evil in secular culture than in Christian culture - and by Christian I mean actively following Christ, not just saying that they are, which is the majority of Americans.
All respect to you, though, I can see that you're a smart guy. Perhaps your idea of Christianity is one of love, but what makes your version THE version of Christianity. I think what Zuckerman is arguing is that regardless of what Christianity might be 'supposed' to be, the way that it is taught to millions of people has been harmful. You are born evil, you have a chance at redemption because an all-loving god tortured and slayed his son, you ought to be fearful of the devil, and eternal torture awaits when you give in to some of the basic human desires, such as sex before marriage.
This doesn't even mention how much more traumatic it must be if the indoctrinated person is gay--he or she might as well be double-damned. Perhaps your version of Christianity is benign and should be celebrated, I do not know, but wouldn't this put you in accordance with Zuckerman's criticism of harmful versions? I think you could use to worry less about who wrote a criticism and more about whether or not what they say is true. If Charles Manson said that love is an important part of life would you disagree simply because of who he is?
All you need to ask yourself is whether or not you find these teachings--employed by many Christians--to be harmful? If yes, then you should stand in agreement in curbing their spread, and if not then you need to demonstrate that they are not in fact harmful. Now I wonder what Mr. Zuckerman was talking about. If your child sees someone tortured to death and you cannot explain it, thats up to you not the artist?
Why don't you tell the story of the artist? I also don't see why you want Christianity to be other than the Biblical ideal which the first century Church practised. That is what we all aspire to. If you see the less than spiritual piety which is sanctimonious and you criticise it then it is because you know its phony and there's something better.
There is nothing harmful about what I learnt as a child in Christianity. Understanding the Bible in context is better than what most Atheists think. God did not sacrifice His Son. We sacrificed Him. This is what the Prophets wrote.
Heaven and Hell in Christian Thought (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
God gave His Son to us to show His true nature. The fact was we had killed lots of people who tried to preach to us. Yes indeed the so-called best of us when told that we are wrong get peeved. It was a suicide mission as those who told us there was a God who loves us were killed how much more the one who came to demonstrate that love. He was not to use His Divine powers to harm us but allow us to do what we want to Him.
That is God's sacrifice.
Christianity and violence
God abhors human sacrifice. He destroyed nations for it. His sacrifice was to do what is right to the point of death so that by His rising to life He may show the reward of following His Way-eternal life which can survive physical death and lead to positive self-subsistence. If these things are not simple enough, consider that Moses years ago was given instructions to build a Temple unlike any other.
One not based on astrology but rather on Psychology. The Tabernacle in the desert was a model of the function of the brain. The Bible is more complex than you or your cohorts think. If you read the Bible very well you will discover that established human psychology backs it up real well. For a while we were not talking about humans being intelligent beings while the Bible maintained we were rather emotional beings.
Can a person, whom God made, be truly evil?
Yes the sight of the Crucifixion is meant to demonstrate man's wickedness even in his so-called goodness. It goes against the so-called inherent goodness theory of Mr Zuckerman. We all know how many a good man is destroyed by perceptibly good in fact better people. Christ was just an unlearned carpenter with an elementary school education who was preaching some new doctrines. That is no mean feat. If a wandering preacher is arrested by the Marines and sent to the Supreme Court and sentenced to Death and the President approves the execution the crime must be serious!
Oh wait all He said was that He was God. As a psychologist, Mr Zuckerman would have prescribed drugs. No only His Death would satisfy on this occasion. So lets be serious. Atheism may be your religion or you may just be a true secularist but that does not mean Christian theology was written yesterday by goat-herders who did not know a thing about life. In fact they knew much more than we think. Just listen to what you are saying. Torture and death by someone you portray as an artist and judging from the content you have written I would disagree with your assessment that you had not been harmed as a child learning Christianity, unfortunately you just have not realised the damage yet.
You have to firstly understand religious doctrine just like that you have mentioned is manipulated by people such as yourself to justify the biblical stories, sacrifices and taking of lives and then fed to children exactly like it was handed down to you. In regards to the death of Christ, history records many people of all religions were killed for believing and preaching for the wrong God, I guess this is tough love for religious belief and guess what Unfortunately this behaviour is psychological and human nature learned through the evolution of man and the difference is you and I may have learnt tolerance, right and wrong and belong to a civilised society and we simply just slam the door in the faces of those views we do not want to hear.
So lets be serious as you suggested. Your comment inferring that atheism is a religion, so who is the God these people worship? Darwin or maybe Richard Dawkings comes to mind but in all seriousness this comment sums up the quality of your whole article.
2. Evil hearts are experts at fooling others with their smooth speech and flattering words.
SKL It seems you wrote in blind fury. Darwin was a Christian.
I am a scientist. I find no need to either worship Science or a hero of Science. The Empiricist philosophy which underlies Atheism is much older than you think. As old as the Ancient Greeks. Atheism is NOT the opposite of religion either as borne out by its study in theological seminaries rather than business, science or engineering colleges. You can learn about Atheism in Theological seminaries much more easily than religion in fact. The so-called religious that you deride are very similar in attitude to you.
Atheism is non-theistic like Bhuddhism or Confucianism but it still IS a religion. One of the funniest doctrines most of you hold is that its not. If you were so desirous of doing an honest assessment of my words then you will see that I was not focussed on proving either my sanity to you or the demerits of Atheism. I just wanted the writer to realise that sometimes their experience is not the whole story. If you see the picture of someone dead from an accident is that abuse? Then newspapers should be banned from publishing them.
It however does not make sense to send a child to see the Crucifixion and NOT be able to explain it in a coherent manner untainted by religious bias. If you read the Parable of the Tenant Farmers alone it will clear this misconception. The Crucifixion is a clear indication that we are not inherently good neither are we inherently evil.
It shows us that we have a limited ability to judge fairly.
- Can You Be A Wicked Christian? | Theology Mix?
- Women Mystics and Sufi Shrines in India (Studies in Comparative Religion);
- Charlie the Purple Giraffe Was Acting Strangely.
I agree. I am now agnostic and making sure my daughter has a knowledge of the doctrines of the major religions of the world. She is 7 and knows the story of Jesus, from birth to death and what Christians believe about him. I think there should have been some preparation done, knowing that especially in a Catholic mission they'd be seeing crucifixes everywhere.
I think what shocked both mother and child the most was the sheer number of them all collected in one room. And I am sure the mother did explain them to her as best she could, and her question of "how do I explain it" was more rhetorical, to point out the raw brutality of the theology. Way not to go Amy!!! By the time your daughter grows she will be very confused. Jesus Christ is the truth. Have you ever talked to Him and look for Him with all your heart.
Tomorrow is late, do it today. Excuse me. THAT A. Christianity does not make sense to you because you have not met Christ. So if you see millions of people from all the cultures who deny themselves to their own sinful nature, have promised they had an experience with God through Jesus Christ, many have been murdered by their faith and are known among their societies as good workers, family members and citizens. Do you think they all are wrong? Don't you find this a curious fact? In that case, it would be wise to research the evidences and basis for the historical Christian faith rather than offend Christians and call evil the only hope and life-changing truth in the whole world.
Please consider an honest research of the Christian faith so you can find the right answers for your own life and for other. Have a good day. This is not an intimidation or threat about the future. If you go to the doctor and he diagnoses an infection you may take his information as a threat but the reality is that if you don't take the right antibiotic you will not get better.
In the same way, the cure for sin and its consequences is God's forgiveness through Christ. There is no other way to get to heaven but the only way provided by God to save you. If you ever realize that you need God don't hesitate to invite Christ to come to your heart with a humble spirit.
Gill said of the strategy. Gill , other prominent gay-rights donors and then-Vice President Joseph Biden. At the time, Mr. Gill said he was focused on defeating then-North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, in his reelection bid. McCrory had signed a state law regulating public restrooms, locker rooms and other intimate facilities on the basis of biological sex.
Opponents of the legislation said it discriminated against transgender people. Second, there is an assumption that although some "bad" people may need punishment, most people are generally "good" and, as such, are entitled to heaven. Third, there is the view that entrance into heaven is on the basis of merit our works rather than God's grace.
5 Indicators of an Evil and Wicked Heart
Fourth, related to the question about heaven is the implicit suggestion that hell, if it exists at all, is really only for a marginal few who are responsible for particularly evil acts. Let's briefly look at these points. That God exists is an obvious component of the Christian worldview. He not only exists, but is also creator, designer and sustainer of the universe and everything in it. Not only is He ever present, all knowing, and all powerful, God is also all loving.
He is a personal being active in His creation, but distinct from it. Those who argue that all good people go to heaven then make the case that a loving God would not turn away good and sincere individuals. Instead, they reason, it's obvious that He would allow them into heaven. This position, however, fails to consider the broad spectrum of the nature of God. While we may glean general principles about Him from what He has made Romans such as His existence, power and moral nature, we learn specifics about Him from the Bible—His special revelation.
It is here that we learn that God is indeed merciful Deuteronomy ; Daniel , but also just Job ; Psalm ; Isaiah He is also completely holy. These aspects of His nature, particularly his justice and holiness, mean that anything even remotely sinful cannot dwell in God's presence. The next assumption is that although some "bad" people may need punishment, most are generally "good" and entitled to heaven. The position that views people as generally good and entitled to heaven tends to make the error of viewing human nature as basically good.
Biblical evidence as well as experiential evidence show this view to be false. As the Bible explains, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Psalm comes across even stronger: "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Biblically speaking, most people are not "good.