Don recently commented upon the disturbing way in which Christianity commands belief for salvation:
One of the most disturbing features about Christianity is that the way to save your soul is to believe in God and in Jesus. The problem is, we cannot choose our beliefs. It isn’t possible. If it was, people with low self-esteem could simply choose to believe they were efficacious and worthy. Our only choice is to think and accept whatever conclusion we are led to by reason, or to evade and accept whatever beliefs happen to be in our subconscious. This is a religion of love? Condemn man at birth for a sin he did not choose to commit, condemn him while he is alive for not living up to a moral code he cannot live up to, and condemn him for eternity after he dies for not making a choice he was incapable of making. As JS would say: Give me a break.
Not long after reading that post, I was reminded of the explicit way in which Christians require such belief with this proposed prayer on the fundamentalist “Truth for Youth” web site:
Dear Jesus, I know I am a sinner and cannot save myself. I believe that you are the only son of God. You died on a cross and gave your precious blood so that I could be saved. I am willing to turn away from my sins. Jesus, right now, I invite you to come into my heart and life and be my personal savior. Wash my dirty sins away with the blood you poured out when you died for me on that cross. Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul. Since you died for me, I will live for you!
Wow, I feel dirty just reading that.
By the way, that “Truth for Youth” group seeks to smuggle Bibles into the public schools, rid the internet of pornography, and so on. Here’s the general method they propose using:
God spoke it bluntly to the Prophet Ezekiel: He declared, “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word of my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, thou shalt surely die; and thou givest them not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, BUT HIS BLOOD WILL I REQUIRE AT THINE HAND. Yet if thou shall warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou has delivered thy soul! (Ezekiel 3:17-19)
I found them via a link to this truly bizarre comic warning children away from the evils of Harry Potter.