"In exchange for obedience, Christianity promises salvation in an afterlife; but in order to elicit obedience through this promise, Christianity must convince men that they need salvation, that there is something to be saved from.
Christianity has nothing to offer a happy man living in a natural, intelligible universe. If Christianity is to gain a motivational foothold, it must declare war on earthly pleasure and happiness, and this, historically, has been its precise course of action.
In the eyes of Christianity, man is sinful and helpless in the face of God, and is potential fuel for the flames of hell. Just as Christianity must destroy reason before it can introduce faith, so it must destroy happiness before it can introduce salvation."
- George H. Smith
Quote Source: Atheism - The Case Against God (The Skeptic's Bookshelf)
It's all elaborated to atempt to keep society in some form of order by making the weak minded fear divine punishment for their "sins". The intelligent human harm no one unless harmed, just like any other animal in this planet.
I believe Christianity has in fact declared war on all earthly pleasures! Why anyone would want to swear off all of the good things in life for the promise of an afterlife which may not even exist is beyond me.
Exactly! It teaches anything and everything that brings pleasure and happiness that does not directly involve groveling to Sky Daddy is immoral and wrong, and that your only fun should be in uncritically believing in an imaginary tyrant who refuses to show any actual, verifiable evidence of his existence, and yet he will sentence you to an eternity of pain and torment if you don’t accept it without question.
I am appalled at times when I still feel shame for committing certain actions that I was told repeatedly were wrong when I was a theist despite these actions being perfectly normal and 'happy'. Even though I have been anti-theist for years I am still combating the indoctrination I went through - this shows how deep religion can impact a person's psyche and really distort their concept of happiness.
I know what you mean Lauren, I too have battles with what was ingrained into me before I began to suspect the wiser of the church. I know better but still somethings make me feel uncomfortable even though there is no logical reason why they should.
I don't know how I haven't seen or even heard this one yet! It's incredible and the thoughts that it invokes are enough to strengthen the non-believers.
I think governments all around the world are catching on to this age old tactic of christian dominance.