I confess I like pagans, atheists and anarchists, having adhered to all of those philosophies at some point in my life. I don’t agree with them, but I feel where they’re coming from.
It’s about freedom and we all love freedom. The hitch comes when a philosophy doesn’t set you free, but rather boxes you into its own tenets; you can no longer consider any other options, because you now have all the truth, you have identified the enemy and if only that enemy can be destroyed, peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars. This is the basic logic which has resulted in most human suffering from the Inquisition to Stalinism to Islamic jihad.
I am a Christian and, of course, atheists say that I am enslaved by fear. Funny, I don’t feel the least bit fearful. That’s because I am laboring under a delusion they say, the delusion of my imaginary friend. “Hmmm,” I reply, “He is imaginary because I can’t feel him or see him? My best friend, Angela, has moved to another state. I can’t feel her or see her. Is she my imaginary friend?” “No, because with a little effort, you could reach her “And with a little effort,” I reply, “you could reach God.”
I get that “Christianity” has used fear to control people, as have all other ideologies. Controllers will use whatever they have at hand. If Cain slew Abel with a stone he found in a field, are stones evil? Or was Cain’s deed evil?
My friend Angela had a sticker on her computer to remind her to save her documents periodically. It said, “Jesus saves and so should you.” “Jesus saves” is actually redundant, since Jesus means salvation. The Hebrew word contains the root meaning, “wide open and free.” The idea is that if an enemy is pursuing you, you want wide open spaces in front of you so you can get away. What is the enemy that pursues us? Our own dark side. C’mon admit it, you have a dark side. Or maybe I’m the only one?
Not only do I not feel the least bit fearful, I feel like life now stretches out before me like a green field in the morning sunshine. It would do us all a world of good to throw off the rags of our constricting ideologies and run naked in that field.