Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hell on Earth is Just More Hell

"Given the tendency in fundamentalist circles to redefine 'love' as 'treat a person in a harsh and controlling way in order to make them behave in the way you think is best', it’s only a matter of time until someone jumps in all 'No, we’re talking about lovingly pummeling you with rocks until you die! Because the fear of being brutally killed by your community might make you not have gay sex!' or something equally inane."
(this was a comment on Libby Anne's recent piece on Christian arguments against gay marriage)

This. As I became more liberal and stopped spouting traditional Christian dogmas, some Christians in my life (not all) decided that using things like manipulation and verbal abuse were fair game because it would keep me in the fold through fear. They could treat me any way they wanted if it resulted in me believing and acting in a way they believed best for me, the way that kept me from the fires of Hell, the way that kept me from backsliding. When you come from a mindset that you have to stop someone from going to eternal torment, it's easy to jump from there to, "I should use everything within my power to prevent that. Momentary pain on earth will be nothing compared to what they'l experience in Hell." I don't agree with conservative Christian theologian Russell Moore on most anything, but he once made a pithy point: sometimes Christians fight like the Devil to please the Lord. But the battlefield is littered with broken people. Creating Hell on earth just means more Hell.

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