Friday, June 12, 2009

Lack of Loyalty in Christianity

The lack of loyalty or sense of kinship and friendship in Christianity is just astounding. A heathen who had a friend who was atheist or of another faith, so long as that friend was a good person while alive who had not committed certain heinous crimes, would expect to see that person in the Sunny Fields of Bliss in the afterlife, where they would commune with them in hall.

Yet in Christianity, a friend or loved one who does not adhere strictly to sectarian beliefs is commonly stated to go to hell! Talk about disloyalty! "Hey, sorry, I loved you with all my heart in life, but now you're dead, I won't lift a finger for you and shake my head a bit that you are in places of torture."

It is monstrous to believe this sort of thing, that good friends, kinsmen, loved ones whose deeds overall in this world were good and not heinous,shall be separated from oneself and consigned to eternal dungeons of torture! Frankly, I am surprised that more fistfights and brawls have not erupted over this issue! This must certainly be the result of an overstrained and extremely courteous tolerance on the part of heathens. I cannot say that I would exhibit such saintly restraint were someone to press the issue about loved ones of mine who have passed. Duke (or King, depending on the account you read) Radbod in fact backed away from the baptismal font and refused to be baptised when he was told by the clerics that his own ancestors and fallen kinsmen were in hell, for he, a good heathen, wished to be nowhere else but with his loved ones.

Assuming our loved ones have in fact been loving to us (ample exceptions are made for those in openly abusive households), this is an entirely natural sentiment! If we presume an afterlife, where else would we want to be but with those we love dearly? Certainly the communion of many others, now unknown, who may become precious to us, cannot be begrudged, but that we would lose our frith with those with whom we managed to maintain it throughout our lives is odd at best and perverse at worst.

Yet I can remember being told as a child at my church-school that unless I tried to convert my agnostic father, not only would he go to hell, but it would be upon my conscience that I hadn't even tried to convert him. What kind of monsters tell children this kind of thing? Yet however you try to soften or liberal it up, a Christianity consistent with the New Testament would seem to mandate such sectarian fanaticism. In fact, it is hard to shy away from the conclusion that Christianity, as an organized scriptural religion, cannot be anything other than sectarian fanaticism. (This is, of course, not true, because many good souls inhabit Christianity, and good souls find a way to bend even the worst laws towards more moderate ends, and kudos to these folks.)

There are elements of Christianity that can be stunningly inspiring, as well as challenging to a world that has become complacent to its own injustice and malice. When it champions Golden Age values and virtues, it does so beautifully. Its ability at times to inflect the best of both Jewish and Pagan sensibilities into a vision of a renewed world is lovable. Yet its afterlife doctrines are consistently those of a callous and cultish bully. And heathens don't brook bullies.

Our Heathen Iranian cousins, the Zoroastrians, assign the evil to 9,000 years of torment (where, it is true, each day subjectively feels like 9,000 years, so subjectively speaking it is a long time), but afterwards, they, reformed and purged, are joyfully restored to the arms of their loved ones. Only Christians have been so terribly controlled by resentment that they have imagined torment as eternal. We can only conclude that this horrific resentment on their part is fired by their one-sided rejection of their wholeness in favor of some saintly ideal that more often produces hypocrisy and repression than it does saintliness.

I have many good things to say about Christianity, and many good things to say about good people who are Christians, many of whom are kin and friends, but it is Christianity itself that has thrown down the gauntlet in terms of its afterlife doctrine, and here, and here especially, the perversity of its sectarian fanaticism prove it to be wrong.

Yet here Christians are in luck, because in heathenism, you can be as "wrong" in your creed as you wish, and as long as your deeds are still good, you can join the rest of us in the Blissful Ancestral Fields. It would be wise, to consider, however, that propagating this kind of hate, disloyalty, and fear might constitute a very cruel deed indeed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautifully put, like your last half-dozen posts.
What one believes can influence one's deeds--but it is still the deeds that matter. (Including, of course, what one says to the young about where their beliefs will land them.)
I was raised by atheists/agnostics who did some cruel and senseless things back then, from which I may never be fully recovered, though we are in a much better position now. I am officially an agnostic, and decided I didn't want to look in the mirror and see someone who had done certain vile deeds. So I try for better deeds.

5:46 AM  
Blogger SiegfriedGoodfellow said...

Thank you! You're most certainly right that one of the most important thing is to be able to look in the mirror and like who you see, and that comes through integrity. Keep coming back!

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Ananta Androscoggin said...

There's only one coin which will purchase a person's loyalty. That coin is loyalty itself -- it must be a two-way proposition among all the parties involved, or it is not loyalty, it is servitude.

And servitude to the ambitions of their fundamentalist fanatic preachers is what too many of the Christianist churches demand, with nothing going back to the serfs in the congregation unless it gains more publicity for the leadership.

8:20 AM  
Blogger SiegfriedGoodfellow said...

Welcome, Ananta. I'd say that cultish attitude is found widely in cults, not just Christian ones. See my post on Gurus and Mannaz. Why do you think Odin so frequently encourages a healthy dose of "mannvit", "street smarts" or "common sense"? Because spiritual hoodwinking is so widespread.

9:06 AM  

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