Many Religions Are Based on Fear

We all want to believe that our own religion is based on goodness, truth, unity, and love. That is what most religions ostensibly teach. However, this message is undermined by the fact that most religions are actually based on fear.

How could this be true? you ask. My religion preaches "love your neighbor" and "forgive," you say. But underlying these religions is the ultimate fear: that you are separate from god and that you may be separated from him forever if you don't obey his laws. This is the essential problem with religion, and the reason why we don't have peace in the world, even though it is dominated by religions. Let's look at this more closely.

If a religion teaches that we are unworthy, like the christion religions do, that is essentially saying that we are separate from god. God presumably is not unworthy; so, if we are told we are unworthy, that could only mean we are separate from god. The christian religions also teach that Jesus is a savior. That begs the question; what do we need to be saved from? The only answer is, we need to be saved in order to be with god. Again, this means we are inherently separate from god.

The christian religions also teach that we will go to hell if we don't lead good lives, i.e, if we don't obey god's laws. So, the ultimate threat - and therefore the primary purpose - in our lives becomes avoiding hell, where we would be separated forever from god, that is, from love. If you don't think religions are based on fear, then how would one understand the prescription in Islamic law providing the death penalty for converting from islam to some other religion? Being forced to believe in the principles of a religion or face death is very much fear based, obviously.

This central fallacy of religion that teaches we are separate from god then leads to all killing, war, and division among humans. For if we are separate from god, and he has chosen some people and made heathens of others, then surely humans are separate from other humans. If god chose you, and didn't chose them, then of course logically you can kill them, because they are not good like you. It is very peculiar that people believe others worship false gods, but don't see that their own worship is idolatrous as well.

In truth, if christians believe the central tenets of their religion - love you neighbor, forgive, turn the other cheek - then no real christian could ever support war in any fashion. Given that the United States is a christian nation - despite our wall between church and state, we do have Christmas as a national holiday, and more and more christian influence in the government - it is certainly inconsistent with any teaching of love to participate in war in any way.

A religion based on love would teach that we are one with the Universe, or with god, if you prefer. This oneness is love; unity is love. Such a religion would never teach that we are or could be separate from god or the Universe. Indeed, we are not separate; we are love, peace, perfection, and part of the oneness that is.