The doctrine of sin which is an act of free will that offends God is actually an incitement to hatred and children should not be encouraged to believe in it. Belief in wrong is different.
There is no need at all for believing we have the power of self-determination in such a way that we freely do good or evil without any inner or outer forces making us do it. There is no reason to believe then that we have free will. What we have when we deny free will, is that we all seem to feel free but we are not really free for inner and outside influences cause us to do what we do and we cannot do otherwise than what we do. When free will cannot be proven it means that religion is slandering us when it accuses us of being sinners.
This view that free will does not exist still values trying to influence people and advising them for these things are part of the way in which the behaviour of people can be changed.
The only real excuse for believing in free will is that it seems to back up the right to give rewards and to punish.
What matters is not what evil a person has done but how to stop them hurting others now and in the future and hopefully get them to reform. We can do this by finding out if a person did evil consciously and we can do it without judging them as persons.
Instead of punishing, we should be trying to correct them thorough providing discipline. We can still treat criminals the way we do now with the only difference being the motive. Punishment wants to pay them back what they have earned in doing wrong while correction wants to make things right.
The denial of free will does not do away with rewards for you don’t need to have free will to be rewarded. Young children, it is agreed do not have real free will, and we reward them. They deserve the reward not because they have done good of their own free will but because they are valuable beings. Rewards are not given because the person did something terrific with their free will but to encourage their achievement and to encourage that of others. They are about motivation and affection.
So religion only needs to believe in free will to justify punishment.
Punishment is supposed to be making the victim pay for crime without violating that person’s rights. Revenge is supposed to be making a person pay without concern for them as persons. The motive makes the difference.
Believing in free will and propagating the belief for the sake of being allowed to punish is a vicious reason. It shows that when religion tells the state to punish and issues punishments that it is taking revenge for it cannot prove that punishment is right.
Sin is using your free will to offend God. It is very important that children not be exposed to nonsense about sin for if God is good then he hates sin and we are to be like him so we have to hate the sinner. You cannot love the sinner and hate the sin. You cannot say anybody has bullied you without meaning that they are a bully. The sinner is the sin. Sin reveals the person as bad. To hate the sin is to hate the sinner. And if you can love sinner and hate sin then there is no point in believing in free will in the first place for you are saying that sin is not part of the person but something that comes into existence through the person.
The Bible, which is claimed and which claims to be the written word of God, implies that violence on religious grounds is not always wrong and that it is okay to insult women and homosexuals. It is not a good example for children. Children should not be exposed to the Bible. It is very impressionable on children. Even to censor parts of it and let them see the rest runs the danger that they will be more devoted to it than people who know how vicious this book is. They will be conditioned to think the book is good and infallible and when they find out the truth they may not let go and become insecure fanatics.
The Bible God says that a man who lies with mankind must be put to death by being stoned. He insults those who live together without marriage by protecting marriage to the extent that he commands that adultery be punished by stoning to death.
The very fact alone that God is always described as male insults women.
The violence in the Bible which is eulogised as sacred and commanded by God desensitises to how terrible violence is and rouses violent urges.
Hate is the urge to hurt another person just because you want to see them hurt. Most who discourage hate argue that it is to be avoided for it gets too easily out of control and your perception gets distorted more and more all the time as it becomes a habit. Your view of others becomes polluted and bitter. Most people see hate as a Pandora's Box and this is their main reason to oppose hate. Such a view suggests that hate is not bad in itself as long as it can be kept within boundaries. This makes you suspicious of those Christians who claim to believe in hating the sin and loving the sinner - they are trying to smugly hide their hate and are examples of passive aggressive hate. And there are people who seem - who seem! a seem does not amount to an are! - capable of restraining hate. Incredibly, religion claims to be good while it makes the desire to hurt sin or hurt people far more fierce.
If God is good then he comes first so nobody has the right to do whatever undermines this principle. For example, the state should ban atheists from expressing their opinions if there is a God. If you believe in God it follows that you have the right to persecute those whose beliefs your God does not like.
I discovered by experience that if one turns to faith in religion for meaning in life that the reason it works is that one is not satisfied with the people around one. They are not liked and cherished enough and so one cannot find meaning by loving and helping them and one feels the need for a God to love. Being religious is intrinsically misanthropic and to help people with the motive of pleasing God is to put the wishes of God above them. They end up used not valued.
How could you believe that Christians love the sinners and hate the sins when their foundation is a misanthropism that leads them to love God more than or instead of people? They certainly cannot love the sinner when they only care about God! Hate the sin is indirect or hidden hatred of the sinner.
Human nature remembers somebody's wrongdoing better than the huge amount of good they do. We all know people who sacrifice hugely for others only to be condemned behind their backs for one concession to vindictiveness. Why do we do that? If we feel we are worse than what we are we will feel the same way about others. We will think they are a bit too good to be true. Or is it because we suspect that those who claim to hate and oppose sins and not sinners are liars? And they are for nobody sane can be expected to believe that a sin does not show the badness that is part of the person.
If as many believe, religion is immune to rationality and cannot be realistic, then it is clear that encouraging a child to be religious is child-abuse. Anything can happen if a bad attitude is taken to reason. We need reason and reality to be well-grounded both for ourselves and others.


But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.


Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.


In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.


For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment;


if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;


if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;


and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless


(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)—


if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.


This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority.


Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings;
yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord.


But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.


They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.


With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood!


They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness.


But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.


These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.


For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.


They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”


If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.


It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.


Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,”and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”



St John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Statues 1,7:

Paul is not ashamed, and does not blush, after the many and great signs which he had displayed even by a simple word; yet, in writing to Timothy, to bid him take refuge in the healing virtue of wine drinking. Not that to drink wine is shameful. God forbid! For such precepts belong to heretics. For [Paul] does not simply say, “use a little wine;” but having said before, “drink no longer water,” he then brings forward his counsel as to the drinking of wine. And this expression “no longer” was a manifest proof, that till then he had drunk water, and on that account was become infirm. But since our discourse has now turned to the subject of blasphemy, I desire to ask one favor of you all, in return for this my address, and speaking with you; which is, that you will correct on my behalf the blasphemers of this city [those who say wine is evil in itself and is not a good thing that is abused - and thus insult God]. And should you hear any one in the public thoroughfare, or in the midst of the forum, blaspheming God; go up to him and rebuke him; and should it be necessary to inflict blows, spare not to do so. Smite him on the face; strike his mouth; sanctify your hand with the blow, and if any should accuse you, and drag you to the place of justice, follow them thither; and when the judge on the bench calls you to account, say boldly that the man blasphemed the King of angels! For if it be necessary to punish those who blaspheme an earthly king, much more so those who insult God.

No Copyright