This was posted on Facebook by RAWSTORY: 10 reasons Christian heaven would actually be hell. On the RAWSTORY post, it shows that it's a reprint from an AlterNet post of the article by Valerie Tarico.
On the Facebook post, I posted the following comment, which garnered response from one person (so far). I will also include the back and forth to date and may or may not post updates, as I suspect Kirill Pyatetskiy thinks he already knows it all. It would be very refreshing were anyone to actually study to find out.
Tom Usher: I read the whole article, understood all of it in terms of the points the author attempts to make, learned absolutely nothing from it, and generally disagree with it entirely. The author thinks that I lack imagination while I say the author is one who is stuck in a lower language-state.
The author is very down on Fundamentalists while he ironically approaches the topic utterly literally.
Expand your mind to where you can even begin to discuss this issue intelligently.
Kirill Pyatetskiy: Ok. Why do you need a God to exist in order to function in society?
Tom Usher: You aren't phrasing your question to reflect your intention. Why does one need to believe in a creator before that one functions in society? Atheists function in society. The questions then would be about functioning and society. The article dismisses as hellish functioning (being) in society (Heaven).
So, what's your point? It doesn't appear to me that you have one.
Kirill Pyatetskiy: Do you need a God to be a moral, loving person? If you do, why? I do not. I assume since I function in society, I am in "Heaven?" Except society is not very heavenly. You know, except for the ones that are mostly secular. Explain to me the purpose of religion, if not to control the dim-witted with a bigger bully than they could ever be?
Tom Usher: It is easy for me to think from your perspective. You, however, don't do the same concerning mine. That's because while I can speak your language, you have yet to learn mine. Christianity is a language.
To be moral within the perspective of Christianity, belief in God is necessary. What separates us in the mundane sense here is your concept of morality versus mine. Mine encompasses yours but goes infinitely further. You stop short.
As for functioning: therefore Heaven, your context of Heaven is simultaneously viewing Heaven as a continuum from the worst evil to the greatest good while failing to know the connotation of Heaven as solely the greatest good. I can speak of both contexts and connotations at the same time and not run into any insurmountable paradox and without ignoring anything.
That you hold that the most Heavenly societies are the most secular shows your limited understanding and/or usage of the term "society." In Christianity, Jesus said: "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:20).
To understand that, it is necessary to understand the full meaning of his name. To do that requires study and the ability to grasp concepts that to date for you, are likely completely foreign.
Your assignment of bullying to God is your failure to understand the argument that's unfolded in the scriptures concerning the true nature of God. I suggest you start here: "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:14)
If you are completely sincere in your desire to know the answers to the questions you've posed rather than assuming you already know, you'll undertake an exhaustive examination of the scriptures. If you do that and are able to grasp the language and then adhere, you'll be following Jesus not into some dystopian nightmare but rather what he said awaits.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." (Matthew 5:3-11)
Hellish, bullying, really? No.
The invention by those who are anti-Christ of the idea that Christianity is only to control the dim-witted is itself dim for if everyone becomes truly Christian, all those blessings will be here on Earth and the whole of society will not be as you say, "society is not very heavenly," but completely Heaven itself, one with.
It will happen. That's faith in certainty: truth.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
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Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
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- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
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Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)