(Editorial Comment from host RJ Evans on his American Heathen® radio show – Air Date 07/28/12)
It was supposed to be a night of fun. Friends and families gathered together for the sake of entertainment, a night of personal pleasure for all. But, lurking in the darkness was the face of jealousy, rage, retribution, and fear. In a single moment, trumpets sounded in the form of explosions and gunfire. Vengeance was unleashed.
5:2 – For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
5:3 – For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
10:34 – Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
One night in a Colorado theater is all that is needed to expose an undeniable fact about people and religion. One cannot love if one demands fear. And one who fears cannot give love. Love and fear in religion is a blinding contradiction that no one can ignore. The contradiction is so apparent that it has given rise to the sacred deception known as apologetic s. Apologetic s is a theological shell game designed specifically to hide the contradiction of love and fear from view by redirecting the attention of the observer. The contradiction is there, but it is conveniently hidden within the clutter of a deceitful mosaic. Look closely at the great love and fear contradiction of the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The Old Testament speaks loudly and forcefully to jealousy and vengeance.
34:14 – For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
1:8 – In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
1:9 – Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
The New Testament speaks of love and forgiveness.
22:39 – …Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
6:37 – Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
One of my biggest gripes with religion, and in particular fundamentalism, is the great hypocrisy of this contradiction and how utterly blatant it is. Love Me or Fear Me. And that, my friends, is THE foundational methodology of religious belief. Consider the context with which fundamentalism utilizes the contradiction of love and fear. The context presents the contradiction clearly. In order to be loved, you must beg for it by praying, groveling, denying your humanity, subjugating yourself, humiliating yourself, and allowing yourself to be enslaved by an entity that demands worship because it suffers from the all too human dysfunctional qualities of insecurity, jealousy, and vengeance… and you better do all of it or you will be denied said love. And as a special side threat, you will be condemned to an eternity of torment and pain. When condensed down to these five words, Love Me or Fear Me, the hypocrisy is very clear. Religion considers these five words to be of virtuous character; the same five words that are used by abused spouses and beaten children to describe their dysfunctional familial relationships. And nowhere, nowhere, will you find genuine compassion or empathy associated with this so-called “love”. How can there possibly be any when a loaded gun is pressed against your temple and an ice-cold voice is whispering into your ear ordering you to surrender yourself to someone else s will?
Hypocrisy always reveals the lie.
That is a truth you can count on. And the truth in this case is that the word “love” has been bastardized by religion. The word is used to chum the waters of ignorance. Once the unsuspecting are caught by it, a gun is carefully and silently placed against their temple as religion quickly redirects the conversation away from love to obedience under threat of the trigger pull. In point of fact, religion is no more capable of love than the Colorado shooter, or anyone else who uses fear and intimidation to get their way. The shooter was incapable of knowing love because, just like the deities, and the men and women of religion, he was insecure in himself and jealous of love. And, just like religion, the shooter sought to instill fear and elicit terror from his flock in retribution for their lack of unquestioning devotion to his bruised ego and inability to feel love.
Love cannot exist in a vacuum. A troubled, insecure mind or belief system is such a dark, dank, empty vacuum. It is closed off, devoid of logic, reason, and focused on selfish ideals. It lives in fear, creates fear in others, and then feeds on all of it in order to survive. But, fear is incapable of eliciting love. It can only intimidate and terrorize people into feigning love for the sake of their own survival. If “Love Me or Fear Me” is taken to its logical conclusion, the victims of this heinous, despicable contradiction will never know what love is. They will live their lives in total fear, wasting away in the throes of their willful ignorance, and eventually die as slaves to religion’s greatest contradiction and it’s even greater hypocrisy. Love Me or Fear Me. I choose to love. I will never choose to fear. And, what’s more I know because the hypocrisy of religion always reveals the lies.