Saturday, February 2, 2013

Morality Based on Consequences

In the fundamentalist teachings I grew up in, we were taught that we were sinners.  Vile, filthy sinners.  Everything that we did in life that would be considered good by human standards was worthless.  We were nothing without God.

God had killed his son, Jesus Christ, because there was obviously no other way he could forgive us of our sins, without Jesus' blood lovingly washed over them. (Ah...the fixation on blood to clean stuff.  I won't get into how asinine that idea is.)

Unfortunately for us, God just killing his son and running the blood all over the place to do it's cleaning work, wasn't enough.  We still had to say we believed in the whole idea.  If we didn't, we went to hell. Yep.  An eternal slow cooker, thrown into a bunch of fire, along with all these scary spirits called demons.  Never mind that only the privileged few that could read or simply be in the right spot at the right time to hear the truth caused billions to be thrown into hell without ever having a chance.

Hell scared the shit out of me for a while.  I heard sermon after sermon, telling me that my sins were bad enough to take me there.

Only problem, I wasn't so bad.  Sure, I lied a bit (Mama tried to convince me that every word that passed my lips was a falsehood), I stole a few mechanical pencils from the reseller, Banks, and I laundered money from a school fundraiser in 5th grade.  I apologized for all my infractions and actually paid back the money and pencils that I had stolen, but God told me that everything I did to make amends was crap.  I was going to go to hell simply because I was born human.

Until I asked Jesus into my heart.

Yippeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I was SAVED!  Now I was going to heaven whether I sinned or not!  All my sins were no longer in the record books.  I could murder, be gay, commit suicide, lie, cheat, steal, drink beer, along with millions of other sins, and yet I was safe.  I had my "get out of jail free card".

Then I rejected all of Christianity.  Every bit of it.  The warm and fuzzy, non-Bible based stuff too.  The arguments that said you could lose your salvation.  Hell, no hell.  Every last bit of that religion.

Did I become an immoral person then?


Which would you rather have?  A person who bases their morality on how their actions will affect themselves or others, like I do?  Or, a person who looks beyond life and considers their current existence as pointless, counting on some deity to look the other way when they commit infractions against themselves and other human beings?

Personally, I'd pick me.  I've been to hovels of Christianity and seen morality based on God's forgiveness.  I want none of it.  Zilch.  Nada.


  1. I think I would be an atheist too if I had such a simple and shallow understanding of Christianity. Fortunately I don't and am therefore still a Christian.

  2. Yes. Because the more abstraction layers of pretzelified theology you pile on top of a simple understanding of Christianity makes it all the more palatable.

  3. I always think the Christian understanding of grace and forgiveness ends up being just a cheap way to do whatever you want and then go 'god forgives me now you have to!' And the 'we're all vile sinners' is just a way a lazy person can disparage someone who actually makes an effort to be a little better than the lazy person, since 'well, it's all about whether or not you believe in Jesus.' Either way, why not actually just... judge people for how they behave?

  4. Agree. I am still a Christian in a liberal sense, but I don't base my moral scale on the existence of God, nor do I doubt the ability for an atheist to be moral.

  5. By all means. But you don't need religion for that.