^ truth be known
Exactly how I feel.
I wrote this about it a few years ago:
The wages sin pays is death
The notion of being a sinner is one that I struggle with. Religion plays its trump card in this area. Getting people to accept that they are somehow guilty of something they have absolutely no control over is, quite frankly, astonishing. Furthermore, that you deserve eternal punishment for this thing that you have no control over is also quite something.
The acceptance that you are a sinner puts religion in control from the outset. Accepting this ideology means that you now have to find a way out. A way to ‘atone’ for your inherent sin. This is where religion comes in. Your way out of sin is to practise or exercise faith in the particular religion which has convinced you that you are a sinner in the first place. But the modern day manner of exercising faith is fairly easy, by comparison. What do I mean? Well, the bible goes on at length about what gods people had to do thousands of years ago to atone for their sin. Animal sacrifice was a massive part of it. This costly and inhumane manner of worship apparently made the people constantly aware of their need to atone for their sin.
And that's just it for me. That's where religion has you right where they want you. The need for repentance and atonement puts religion at the forefront of your mind, day after day. In the case of Jehovah’s witnesses, you are duty bound to perform as many ‘fine works’ as you can. Preaching, teaching, going to meetings and assemblies are all ways in which you exercise faith in Jesus sacrifice. Yes, by convincing you that you are a sinner, the religion conveniently fills the gap that is required to ensure your salvation.
Previously, I referred to the scripture at Romans 5:12. This is used, along with the Genesis account, to explain why human beings grow old and die. But, it would strike me that animals also grow old and die. Yes, they die of the same or similar illnesses as humans. So, what is the reason for that? Or is it the case that cats and dogs just aren't intelligent enough to come up with a conscious explanation? What makes humans so special that we are to gain a way out of death and the animals aren't?
The blame apportioned to humans for their own death, which they have no control over is completely unjustified. To teach that a person is a sinner, despite having absolutely no control over it, yet again just doesn't make any sense to me. But the creation of the ideology as far as religion is concerned really does add up. It creates a reliance on something or someone else to ‘save’ a person – religious organisations and Jesus Christ.
Moving on from the idea of inherent sin is personally liberating. It removes any need for or reliance on a religion. It takes control away from religion entirely. It also creates a feeling of worthiness within a person. That you are worth something. That you are valuable. That you don't need or deserve to be subservient to an invisible God, simply to get by every day or to secure a future for yourself or your family. It empowers you to work out your own destiny, not waiting for someone else who is more powerful to do it for you.