The premise of Christianity is awful. It really is. But it’s all about framing. This video illustrates the principle very well. Nothing the narrator says about the standard Christian story is untrue. And unless you’re a Christian, it’s not going to strike you as especially biased, either. It’s even got inspiring music behind it, which is a powerful priming tool.
Still, when you watch this video, it’s hard to imagine what could possibly be good about either the Christian God or the “plan of salvation.” This brings up an interesting question: If Christianity is so wonderful and good, why does it always have to be presented using powerful non-rational psychological tools? That is, why does it sound so horrible when it’s presented without sexing up the language or playing music in the background?
Think about it. The elements of a church service are all designed (whether consciously or not) to elicit favorable emotions and unconscious acquiescence. From the aesthetic design of the church itself to the musical accompaniment to the hypnotic patterns of speech used by the preacher, it’s all designed to make us more compliant and less rational.
Also, the message is tailored to the recipient. Why is that necessary? If it’s the right answer for everybody, why doesn’t the same message appeal to everybody? For the children, it’s all about Noah’s ark, Samson and Delilah, Moses’ rescue from the basket, and the Garden of Eden. For the teenagers, it’s Christian Rock, being a “rebel” and choosing not to live like the rest of the world, and all the power you have when you use the name of Jesus. Then suddenly as adults, it’s all about filling the void in our life, fixing the things that have gone wrong, finding solutions to our problems.
Sure, we can say that some parts of the message are too complicated for young children to understand, but which parts? If the sacrifice of Jesus was the most wonderful, loving thing ever done in the universe, why can’t we just say it in straightforward terms to children? “Child, Jesus loves you so very much that if you don’t tell him how much you love him, he’ll burn you forever.” Straightforward, accurate, and perfectly understandable, even for very young children.
But that’s just the point. When Christianity is distilled to a straightforward, simple message, and stripped of all the fluff, music, hypnotism, and group cohesion, it’s a horrifying concept! So simple and horrifying that even a child can understand how despicable and evil the God character is.
If it needs that much perfume, it must be a pile of shit.