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Sin: Religion's Straw Man

By Lilly Black ~

In Christianity (and other religions), sin is a huge problem. It forms the backbone of the entire belief system. We have sinned, and thus need a savior of some kind to save us from our sin and the punishment for it. People who follow that belief must overcome "sin" with the help of the deity. Without this sin, there is no need for the deity or the religion.

It's a straw man: It creates a problem that doesn't exist so that we need a deity with a solution that is not needed. Sounds a lot like politics, actually. We are saved from a problem that does not exist, and thus we think we are free- even if we have actually been bogged down with more restrictions.

When I was a missionary in Scotland, we took classes on evangelism so we could witness on the street. One thing we learned was that "The cure is worthless until people understand the disease." Before we talked about the "gift of salvation", we had to make people understand that they were sinners, otherwise they wouldn't want Jesus. We would ask people if they considered themselves a good person. If they did, we would take people them the 10 Commandments to show that they were indeed NOT a good person after all, in god's eyes. Then we would explain the cross and how Jesus came to save us.

Without sin, this whole belief falls apart. There is no need for god, no need for hell.

I no longer believe in sin. And honestly, I have never felt more free in my life. I once thought Jesus set me free, but in reality I was just being brought into a system where most of the things I wanted to do were wrong. I no longer have to worry for my "unsaved" friends because there's nothing for them to be saved from, they are wonderful just as they are. I can be happy for my gay friend's marriage, and I don't need to witness to people in the attempt to make them like me.

I can have friends that are not "projects": people to be eventually won to god through "friendship". I don't have to hand out gospel tracks on the streets or feel guilty for being bored during long sermons. I can watch Game of Thrones, listen to Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert, read romance novels, and love every minute of it. Atheists don't threaten me, and I no longer shy away from logic or science.

I am truly free- and I love it!