preaching hate as a virtue
If you look hard enough, you can find meaning in anything. The great - and bad - part of humanity is that the meaning can change from person to person. A rock may be a paperweight to one person, a weapon to another.
It's all in the interpretation and, for the most part, people interpret things to fit their own needs. Some people look at Harry Potter and see evil and witchcraft and the icon that will bring our children to hell. They see that because they need evil to be personified. They need to shove something in the face of their kids and say "see, this is what is going to bring you to your knees in front of satan!" Rather than give them something good to emulate, they would rather give their kids something bad to fear.
Fear and loathing are both awesome tools. When you hate and fear something at the same time, the mere mention of that thing will send you running for the holy water and garlic. Those emotions will eventually rule your life and you will most likely spend that life teaching others the same feelings.
It is unfortunate that most of the time, these teachers of negativity base their knowledge of what is wrong, evil and immoral in religion. To them, religion is power, a means to an end. If they can't rule the world, they may as well rule a small fraction of it. Prey on the weak and vulnerable, prey on the slight of mind, feed on those who already had the seeds of hatred sown within them. And do it in the name of God, because when you invoke God, no one will question you, right?
At LetGodBeTrue.com, religion and the teachings of Jesus have been entwined and mingled with hatred, bigotry and fear. Mixed in with the psalms and sermons all available with a click of your mouse, are words that teach just the opposite of what was probably Jesusí intention. Ignorance, bigotry and intolerance were probably not high on the list of virtues that Jesus had in mind. Yet here, on this site proclaiming to be "dedicated to the glory and praise of the true and living God and His Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior," we find the following:
It is a terrible tragedy for the seven astronauts and their families, for whom we have prayed. But it is a very modest judgment for a nation that condemns public prayer, requires the teaching of evolution, kills over one million babies each year, caters to moon-worshipping Muslims, promotes Harry Potter, protects sodomites, allows witchcraft, defends labor unions, entertains itself with unbridled fornication, fosters rebellious children, loves pleasure more than God, and only has a form of godliness, among many other sins.
There is a God in heaven! What if He is just half of what the Bible describes? He is very angry at this wicked nation. This was not an accident; it only appears so to us. It was another warning of impending and irremediable judgment.
I may be an atheist, but I had been involved in organized religion for enough years to recognize twisted words and judgment when I see it.
When I was growing up Catholic, it was at a time when the idea of a vengeful god was more prominent than the idea of a loving and graceful god. We feared him, we were made to feel as if he were watching our every move and judging us accordingly. If you fell and skinned your knee or caught a cold, it was because God had seen you do something wrong. You were being punished accordingly.
I did not welcome the idea of a vengeful god. I was sure that if such an entity did exist, he would not kill people on purpose. Why would he kill the very thing he created? I asked a priest that very question once and he replied, "Because he can."
I am no longer part of the church and declared myself an atheist a long time ago. But I still recognize the fact that as much as I can be right that there is no god, I can still be wrong. And I'm pretty sure that if a god does exist, he would not wantonly kill seven innocent people in order to prove a point that America is a bad, bad country.
The point here is I have a special place in my pity file for people who feel the need to use religion as a vehicle for hate. Not only do these dark souls live each day consumed by hatred and bile, but they drag others into it. They manipulate and twist words until the weaker minds they are working on no longer know what the truth is; they are brainwashed into thinking that animosity and loathing are virtues when they are aimed at those who do not think like you.
If I am wrong in my non-belief and there is one all-powerful, all knowing entity who greets you at the gates of the afterlife when you die, I can only hope that when the people who preach intolerance make their way up there, they are summarily kicked in the teeth and sent packing to the darkness where they belong.