Whenever I hear Jesus referred to as loving or merciful, I wince. While the gospels do contain some benevolent teachings, these are completely overshadowed by Jesus’ recurrent threat of unending torture for anyone who fails to accept his message. One cannot expect praise for preaching love while simultaneously executing divine blackmail. An objector might arguing that hell is only a metaphor and that Jesus’ threats weren’t meant literally. To this, I respond that this isn’t the Jesus of Christianity but instead a sanitized caricature of Jesus that has been altered in response to moral progress of the past twenty centuries. To claim that the vast majority of Jesus’ followers throughout history have totally misunderstood him and that the true message of Jesus perfectly corresponds with modern western humanistic values is to engage in completely unsupportable historical revisionism.
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