From Captain Cassidy
Threats are a constant and deeply-woven part of Christian culture. Even the really nice parts of the religion use them in implicit form. That’s why we often talk around here about Christians’ use of threats. They make promises as well, promises that touch on the natural and supernatural worlds. I thought it’d be interesting to pull together some of their favorites–and offer up some link love in case anyone wants to read further about them.
Obviously, the biggest and most potent threat at a Christian’s disposal is the threat of an eternity of being tortured forever and ever by demons. This threat didn’t originally appear in the Christian mythos; it was added much later, and it was added specifically to frighten people into line.
The terrible part about this threat is that it is devastatingly effective.
More than two thousand years later, Christians still use this threat willy-nilly. It’s their go-to threat, in fact. It’s used so often and so freely that sometimes the Christians using it don’t even realize that non-Christians view what they just said as a legitimate threat. They use it that often because it is very effective against people who aren’t aware of its many shortcomings. About all that’s changed over the last couple of millennia is the degree of graphic details added to the threat scenario.
Even years out of the religion, ex-Christians sometimes suffer from a fear of being tortured for eternity–thanks to the “loving” Christians around them who constantly deploy this threat.
The promise that Christians make to counter their threat of Hell is, obviously, that compliance with and adherence to their religious demands–a very earthly subservience masked by the Christianese phrase acceptance into one’s heart of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ–will allow their new victim access to Heaven instead of Hell.
In its turn, Heaven is, according to Christians, the most wonderful place in the universe though to non-Christians that description often doesn’t sound quite so accurate.