I started out in life being told that I was a vile worm of a boy, who if left to his own devices, would turn out to be a sin-filled, lustful, degenerate man; that the only hope for me was to repent of my sins and accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior; that if I would do so Jesus would miraculously change me from a hell bound sinner to a heaven bound saint. Like most saved, sanctified, bought-by-the-blood, filled-with-the-Holy-Ghost Christians, I spent most of my life trying to live according to the impossible teachings of the Bible and the church.
I was born skeptical, and was bored as a kid when I got the rote religious instruction. What is more, my professional life has been spent amongst, mostly, other well-educated people. Thus, it was a shock to me when I moved to a seminary town in North Carolina and discovered that there are people who take seriously the Genesis Creation tale, The Flood, Original Sin, on and on. And, because I didn’t grow-up inside Christianity’s sick cult of self-abasement, it was easy to see how damaging it is and how much human waste it entails.
No matter how big a smiley-face the pastor puts on it, there is no escaping the degradation at the bottom of Christian thought: “You’re no damn good, and the only way to escape the eternity of torture you were born deserving is to join my club.”
Nor is there any avoiding it, even if you reject it. That teaching seeps into the culture; even if you avoid church, you cannot avoid the screwed-up human beings it creates. There is a reason the so-called Bible Belt is a target of scorn and ridicule, and that’s because Christianity can sustain itself only by degrading and eating people.
UPDATE: Don’t miss the comments.