Mike's Common Sense
When our founding fathers started our great country, it was based on the tenet that all men are equal, regardless of their religion or creed. This is something we all outwardly want; nobody wants someone else to tell them what to believe. The problem is that there are way too many of us who have no problem telling others what they should believe. I believe this is called hypocrisy.
Most major religions outwardly preach that if you don't belong to their church that you are doomed to Hell. I grew up Catholic, and back in the '60s they instilled this upon us, over and over. As I got older and went to college, I grew to be more of a free thinker. The reason the religions hang Hell over your head, like the Sword of Damocles, is to keep control over you. If they can keep you afraid of going to Hell, you will follow their laws, keep giving them money, and never leave them.
We need to stop being afraid.
The government uses fear to regulate us, and the churches have been doing it for millennia.
Fear also breeds intolerance. The major problems of our world are all rooted in intolerance between the different faiths. Each faith is dead set that they are right, and will fight to the death to prove it.
Any faith can pull out some obscure line from their important book to justify killing others. I have heard it from all sides. They even pull up lines to condemn homosexuals, people of color, and just about anybody else they don't like.
Instead of looking for obscure lines to justify sin, remember the main premise of all religions: Love God, love yourself, and love thy neighbor. It's not that hard. Be yourself, follow whatever religion you choose...but allow your neighbor the right to do the same.
When I was a little boy, I'd much rather they taught me that than about Hell. I would have had a lot less sleepless nights. .