I mentioned in my Trauma Nation post about the establishment of inferiority complexes in members of the church. I didn't call it that, but that's what it is. Let's talk about that a moment. Or three.
The basic premise of "the church" is that people are shit. Now, this is actually a crazy idea when you break it down, so let's do that...
"god" is supposed to be a perfect being, right? "He's" all powerful, all knowing, all everywhere (yeah, sure, I could just say omnipresent and do the whole "omni-" thing, but it's funnier this way). And this god made everything, which is supposed to be a perfect creation. Stay with me, because this is where the mental gymnastics come in.
god is perfect and can't make things that are imperfect and, yet, man, his greatest creation, the being he (I'm just using "he" for ease of pronoun usage, at this point, and because that's what "christians" call it) breathed a soul into which, supposedly, he didn't even do for the Angels, is so flawed that he had to make a pit of fire to toss these immortal souls into because of how messed up they are. Mosquitoes (which, according to a recent study, have killed more humans than anything else in creation) don't go to Hell, yet man does. And I'm just going to add in here, how can you credit any being who would willingly create the mosquito with perfection?
Now, "christians" will tell you that god did indeed create man perfect; it's only that man chose to become imperfect through sin. And I'm going to go back to the "all knowing" part and say "what the fuck?" And apply some logic, because logic is good, right?
If you were an omniscient being creating something you wanted to be perfect and have a relationship with, would you make it with some kind of fatal flaw? On purpose? I mean, that's the kind of thing writers do to create tension for their audiences so, unless "god" has some audience of other "gods" and this is all some kind of weird galactic stage play, creating man with a "fatal flaw" is just spiteful. Cruel. It's messed up, man.
The other option is that it was an accident, making "god" not so perfect after all.
At any rate, "christians" would have us believe that man's imperfection is by design, so they choose the "that's fucked up" option. Then they beat it into believers because you only need "god" if you are, indeed, fucked up.
But, wait, I'm not through.
See, the reason that god made man all fucked up and imperfect is so that man would require the assistance of god to become perfected and be... just like him. Which is where the next part of the mental gymnastics comes in.
See, the idea is that god was hanging out up in heaven and got lonely. Which kind of does away with the galactic stage play thing because you'd think if there were other god-beings to hang out with then you wouldn't need people. Oh! Oh! But wait! There's more. Because god had a kingdom full of angels, already! And this is the screwy part: the angels were no good for hanging out with because they were too much like god. So, evidently, god needs something less than perfect to hang out with to give him some mental stimulation. Although, all things considered, how much mental stimulation can you get from an ant? Have you ever tried hanging out with ants, having philosophical conversations with and whatnot, and, maybe, firing up the grill and stuff? Oh, wait, we know what happens when you invite ants to picnics.
Now we have all sorts of problems because, according to "christians," god can't hang with less than perfection. So god needs some imperfect humans, but god can't deal with imperfect humans. It's like someone with lactose intolerance staring at a triple cheese pizza.
And, so, god creates man and puts him in a situation where he can't help but fail, causing man to be no better than shit. Shit that god needs to toss in a fire because god can't deal with the imperfection. Did I say that was fucked up? Because that is fucked up.
Let me tell you, what I want to do most as a creative individual is make art that I have no better purpose for than burning. Yeah, that's how I want to spend my time; how about you?
But this is the proposition proposed by "christians":
1. god created man, a perfect being, to "fellowship" with "him."
2. god put man into a situation where man would "sin" and become an imperfect being and, thus, interesting.
3. But god can't "fellowship" with imperfect beings and, also, imperfect beings will damned to Hell for all eternity suffering for their imperfection (which god caused in the first place).
4. However, god made a way for man to become perfect again which will allow him to "fellowship" with god once more, not that god has any interest in that, having plenty of perfected beings around himself already that he has no interest in, but, hey, it does save you from perpetual burning.
And, yes, the "church" can help you with the secret to that (for, you know, $20 in the offering plate on Sundays). Which is why they spend so much time on convincing people about how messed up they are. And kids who grow up in that environment? Well, they become convinced pretty early on that, on their own, they're not worth a whole a lot. Even people who don't grow up in it become convinced of it:
You're no good without "god."
In fact, you are an inferior person.