Terrorist Religion? Or Strong, Hearty, Good Religion?
While it is not toward to slander other religions, frankness is a heathen value, and those of us who have been through the imposition of a religion have the right to speak of it genuinely. The following comments apply mainly to fundamentalist Christianity. There are forms of Christianity, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, who do not believe in hell, but merely death. These comments do not apply towards them. The language in this piece is strong, but strong words are needed to challenge ettinish ideas. When our Christian friends no longer dogmatically assert nonsense that clearly goes against all common sense, encouraging notions that make for bad citizens, these words can be withdrawn. But as heathens, we are committed to the truth, and that means we must speak our mind.
Christianity is a religion of terrorism. It tries to force obedience through terrifying people about the punishments of hell, taking cynical advantage of the natural human fear of death and uncertainty of what comes after. It would be hard to define more of a niding approach to religion. There is nothing strong, courageous, or confident about this approach at all. Religion through ultimatums -- obedience or eternal torture -- is terrorism, plain and simple. It is the same, cowardly mindstate of those too weak to confront policy either in the marketplace of ideas nor in the open, honest field of campaign, who threaten violence with ultimatums for demands in this world --- though terrorist religion has often manifested real-life terror in this world, too --- just look at the Inquisition!
Now it's not true that there were no heathen ideas about punishment in the afterlife --- but these were not used as a battering ram to force obedience, either. A heathen accepts responsibility for allactions. And those who choose to live their lives entirely against the good will get theirs -- of that there is no doubt. But we are called into the good, not terrorized into perfection, and it is the goodness of our deeds, not the perfection of our doctrine or belief, which will be judged, and they will be judged by good gods who know well the flaws of humanity, without holier-than-thou judgement, and who want us to live a good life, in every sense of the word, in this world, and that is the criteria for our station in the next. The gods are fair and kind and discerning, and they look at the whole picture : in balance, in our life, with allowance for errors, follies, and some good, honest mistakes, was it a life well-lived --- for all concerned?
Yes, it is true that Voluspa says that Nastrond is full of oathbreakers and murderers --- but it nowhere says that everyone who breaks an oath automatically goes there. It's just that one's chances are high if one lives that kind of life. The emphasis is on the goodness lived out in, and therefore given to, this world. It has nothing to do with doctrine, belief, or perfection. It has nothing to do with grovelling for pardon for things we damned well know need no pardon. And if we make mistakes, we also damn well know it is our responsibility to pay that scild in our lifetime, and make up for it, to the best of our abilities. Nastrond holds criminals who lived criminal lives and never bothered to correct their own mistakes and crimes. They didn't need to beg pardon from anyone. All they needed to do was heal the ill into the wholesome, by righting what had been wronged, to the best of their ability, with right, good will. No terrorism or submissive obedience involved or required at all.
The gods may ask us where we could have done better -- and that's fine, we call can do better -- but that is a point for edification, not condemnation ; wisdom, not perfectionism.
We know that only immature brats and cowardly dogs (no offense to dogs) would resort to terrorism to enforce and impose their insecure, pathetically desperate ideas of spirituality on others, and we also know that the strong are under no obligation to tolerate nidings --- and such niding doctrine should not be tolerated. We can say unequivocally and boldly, with no reservations nor regrets, that such tactics have nothing to do with genuine spirituality, and everything to do with mind control. And as good, healthy people, wanting to live in a healthy world, we don't care to be surrounded by mind-controlled fools who have been literally terrified out of their wits.