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Monday, January 9, 2023

Religious Fear

 Usually I think of religion as a means to have faith and release fear. I can recognize that evil has no power over me. Identifying as a Christian, I know that I cannot really be harmed, my life is in God's hands. Even if I die, I am safe in His arms. But that's how my faith works.

My perspective is that there are those who claim to be Christian (in fact they claim to be the only “real” Christians) that for some reason need to legally enforce their moral laws on all others of any religion. I can only imagine this is driven from fear. If you truly had Faith, why would you need to enforce it in man's laws. If  you believe you have everlasting lift through the Christ who lives in and through you, what do you have to fear? Even death can't touch you.

Then there is also the idea of the breadth of God's love. You can believe that all people are God's children, regardless of how they identify God. Or you can believe your specific group is the only one that is chosen and everyone else is damned. Maybe you believe you're the only one and you feel  compelled to make other's believe exactly as you do. How crushing is that?

I tend to believe in God who has a broad love. He appears different depending on each one who believes, even to the point that he has many manifestations and can seem to be many gods. I don't need anyone else to believe this. It's not my business how you relate to God. Why do others believe they should be able to dictate my faith?

Having a Christian basis has been a tough slog for me. Who wants to believe that no matter what you do, you'll burn in hell? “Just don't be gay,” is beyond my ability. I can't say I won't burn in a lake of fire for 1000 years, but I can say that God wants what's best for me. So if 1000 years of fire is how I live my best life, I'm OK with that. If everything ends when I die, I'm fine with that. I'm good no matter what because fear has no place in me because of my faith. I live now and want to help others live now. I don't want to punish people with whom I don't agree. I want everyone to live their best life while we live. That does not depend on faith, color, sex, or sexuality. But I will reserve the right to defend myself from unwarranted attacks. I will not live in fear. I want you to also be free of fear.

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