Yeah, so the title is the only part that rhymes. This one gets deep. I apologize if this causes offense. But ideas like this are my motivation for a lot of what I do. In the end, it’s about love.
I love you. Your pain hurts me. The rules I put into place cause you to feel an eternity of pain if you don’t subscribe to the right idea of me. You will burn continuously in spite the fact that you were taught from a young age that your idea of me is right. I am perfect, infallible, and all-knowing. But you must save yourself from this eternity of pain. I tell you to love each other, all the while causing a large portion of you to be tortured because your beliefs are not accurate. But this punishment is not behavior modification. I do not hope to change your behavior by causing you to feel this pain. I intend for you to feel pain for eternity as a result of your ideas during your short life on Earth. No changing of your heart will relieve you of this pain. You were inaccurate in your understanding of me and will be punished forever, with no hope of release.
…Do we really want to believe this? We aren’t talking about good versus evil here. We are talking about understanding of God. Still, I hear on occasion that the only way to avoid “Hell” is to accept Jesus. Come on people. Does this even make sense from a completely unwavering perspective?
And what of “evil” acts among humans? We are taught to believe that belief in the correct idea of God is not enough to deliver us from an eternity of pain. We must also be good people. This thought that God will punish those who hurt us is comforting to some of us. This idea gives us solace when it comes to dealing with those would seem to engage in uncompassionate or rapacious behavior. This belief encourages us to hold on to hurt caused by others, to not forgive, understanding that they will be punished for their actions. We feel a sense of justice in the thought that “evil” people will be punished for all of eternity. Revenge may work as a powerful motivator. But this attitude is detrimental to our species. We will not coexist peacefully until we break these competitive and judgmental shackles which paint a higher power as one of bias and condemnation.
If God is a god of love, our different perspectives of the world and of him/her/it are not reason for punishment or reward. They are simply products of his/her/it’s beautiful creation and should be celebrated, not condemned.