So I was in the shower, today, and I was thinking about churches, and those beautiful stained glass windows, and I had a thought I’d never really had, before. The windows are beautiful, certainly. But, the downside is that you can’t see out of them. And I got to thinking, that’s really kind of the problem with churches in general, and the reason I left Christianity, when I was oh, 13 or so. (And really, I think these issues hold true in regard to all organized religion. I'm just talking about Christianity in particular because it’s what I was raised with, so naturally I’m going to be most familiar with the ways in which I disagree with it.) It imposes these boundaries that are very grand (or terrifying) and forbids you to really look past them. Don’t do this, don’t think that, don’t disagree with us or you’ll go to Hell.
And if you take these boundaries to heart, this keeps you from experiencing and living in and dealing with the real world. It’s the mental equivalent of living your whole life in this one building and never going--or even looking--outside. And that’s really just not a healthy way to live.
It’s like those maps from Vespucci’s day: oh, don’t go past here--here, there be dragons. Don’t go past there, you’ll sail off the edge of the world. Meanwhile, there are no dragons, and the world is a lovely sphere where you can just keep going and going and going. You’ll see places you’ve seen before, yes, but you never have to stop. The tiny world bounded in Hell that I grew up with is just another outdated map. Hell’s just another dragon.
They say “Oh, abortion is wrong!” but tell that to a 13 year old girl who was raped by her father. Tell that to the woman who knows she would not be a good mother or be able to give a child a life where it (or she, for that matter) could be happy, but one night the condom broke. They say “Oh, being gay is wrong!” when all it is is another, natural form of love (and one that helps the overpopulation problem, frankly). And I think with all of these antiquated boundaries, people forget the core of their Christ’s teachings: Love.
And really if you think about it, if God (or whatever’s out there) really is Love, then there can’t be a Hell. Would anyone who truly loved you want to see you punished for eternity for something you did over the span of ten minutes? Because if you look at things from an eternal standpoint, that’s as much as a human life is. Less, even!
It’s people who invented Hell, and people, with all of their flaws and pettiness, who want to see you burn forever. Not God (or whatever‘s out there). I think we invented Hell, partially as a scare tactic for social control, and partially because of our own arrogance. We can’t imagine our actions not having such enormous consequences. We’re terrified of a reality in which we don’t somehow live forever, even if it’s being punished.
But, people, take comfort and wake up: We aren't that important. We aren’t the center of the universe. Heck, we’re not even the center of the galaxy. That’s a black hole, last time I checked. We’re just ants crawling on a cantaloupe somewhere off in left field. We’re just cells in this greater organism called Earth. (Honestly, I can’t help feeling like we’re cancer cells, most of the time.) And yet, for all of that, we are as free as we choose to be. We have no boundaries but for those nature itself sets, unless we make them up or choose to accept those that other people made up.