Man has always tried to control everything within his reach: we have tamed wild horses, caged ferocious lions, ridden the backs of elephants and conquered the skies. The things that man has not been able to control he has tried desperately to understand and has done a masterly job of grasping with his mind the things he has not been able to grasp with his hand. Nevertheless there are things in the universe which are far too mysterious to be fathomed by man's mind, nevertheless man has, despite this, arrived at explanations for these things which he is able to observer yet has not been able to understand.Man's rational mind has caused him to arrive at the explanation that there must exist somewhere, a being that is bigger and far more powerful than himself. This is man's way of explaining the rumble of the sky during a storm, the split- second lightning lighting up the night sky, the pouring rain, raging hurricane winds and the overwhelming majesty of the ocean. Man has witnessed and experienced the power of nature long before he understood what caused such things, long before man knew anything about Science, and so these were happenings that man was compelled to acknowledge as being well beyond his ability to control. But man is unable to accept that there is anything absolutely beyond his understanding, he therefore must show that although he does not understand the power of nature he understands its origin. He therefore assumes there must be a living being who is in many ways like himself. This being he named God.Some primitive men assumed that there must be many Gods.
Man has not only had a history of controlling the material things around him, he has had a history of controlling and using his fellow human beings whom he has enslaved for his own selfish gains. The slave owners early learned that if they were able to make their captives fearful, these captives could be kept in subjugation forever.There is no bondage like fear. This is where the colonial slave masters saw some benefit to the religion they embraced. The teachings of the Christian Religion became a rather useful tool for holding African slaves in captivity. There was nothing more frightening to the slave( who had been branded sometimes several times with hot steel)than mental images of a sizzling, burning, everlasting Hell; images that were drilled into their minds in order to make them behave.The slaves were taught that Hell was a place to which rebellious slaves went after they died. Slaves, therefore, were awfully afraid of dying while being rebellious runaways gunned down by the master's bullets and tumbling headlong into a burning Hell from which there would be no escape.
It worked against the slaves. But children of former slaves are now asking reasonable questions about the religious teachings of their fore-parents' slave masters.Why would a loving God that you have preached to us permit the creatures he so loves to roast like barbecue for all eternity?What crime have these beloved creatures of God committed that causes them to deserve so brutish and severe a punishment( since Hell is a punishment station, a type of torture chamber to which people are banished for doing wrong) It now seems to the children of former slaves, that no loving father in his right mind would ever permit such cruel thing to befall even his most rebellious child. That would be more like the behavior of a heartless, brutish moron.
The Jesus-worshiping slave owners explained to the enslaved that Hell-bound slaves did not have to do anything that was awfully terrible in order to end up in the flames. Slaves were taught that a rather long time ago, a man who lived in a lovely garden known as Eden disobeyed God and ate a fruit given to him by his wife. The children of slaves are now asking reasonable questions such as, "why should anyone be punished for an offense that someone else has done?" The idea of consequence of wrong being inherited makes no sense, especially in a situation where people will be actually banished into to Hell by the slave master's God.Diseases may be hereditary, but certainly no one can inherit banishment to an eternal Hell; and simply for the harmless matter of not believing in the God introduced to us my the masters of our forefathers.
One hears the argument, "well, we have a choice, either accept the God of the slave master or reject him",we hear that the choice is fully ours, but is this a choice with all the meaningful qualities of choosing? It cannot be a choice simply because someone tells us that it is. An offer to accept the carrot or be beaten with the a stick is not a choice, it is a display of cruel power. Why would an all powerful God offer mankind the limited option of either a Heaven or a Hell? It is tantamount to a mother having a gun held to her head by a thug while being told that she has the choice of either handing over her baby or being blasted to kingdom come by a bullet.
Aside from this, shouldn't punishment be commensurate with the gravity of the crime committed?If so, how then does disbelief merit the eternal roasting of humans in the pitiless flames of Hell? Could this ever seem like the doings of a just and righteous father that the masters of our forefathers imposed upon them?What have little boys and little girls who have reached the mythical "age of accountability" done to merit the damnable eternal flames of a torturous burning Hell?
The whip of Hell, once used to make slaves behave is losing its effectiveness. The descendants of slaves is arriving slowly at a place where frightful images of Hell are becoming useless as a whip that once made descendants of African slaves behave themselves.