Given the choice I would rather go to hell. It can’t be worse than living with people who have no compassion. It starts with assuming that some people are less than human, but I still don’t understand why people without conscience in these matters will treat their animals better. They probably didn’t think of burning their dogs or horses alive? Did they think Jesus would approve of their actions? If it was alright to behave in this way what did they think an afterlife spent in the presence of a being who approved of such actions would be? A beautiful garden where you sing hymns and torture babies all day in the name of Christ the savior?
It all begins with designation of people as other than completely human. If the others are less than human and this somehow means they are more dangerous than your friends who are weaponized and sadistic, but Christian because they attend church or read the bible. War is not and never will be Christian. Torture is and never will be Christian. Anything but love and the propagation of peace and non-judgmental compassion, turning the other cheek and loving your enemy or at least giving your best shot can be considered Christian behavior. If you are doing anything else you are falling short. Everyone falls short because we are human. But if you torture, maim and kill or even mistreat others you and claim to be a Christian you are a hypocrite or a fool and most likely being used by some powerful people to gain something from someone that they have no right to.
Jesus said, if you believe the Bible, in the book of Matthew:
” Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungry, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. if you mistreat anyone you are mistreating Jesus. There are no easy outs to this: following orders, fear of retribution, losing your job, or simply being to tired to deal with it are not gonna cut it if you want to behave in a Christian way toward others.
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
I am not a Christian, but I find it hard to believe you could be a Christian reading this passage and think somehow you are bound for heaven knowing you did far worse for and to the least of these than not feeding and caring for them.
The Spanish who participated in the genocide of the native people of the West Indies called themselves Christians and we have a president, a man who would never consider turning the other cheek or loving anybody but himself, and people that support him that call themselves Christians, some of whom have read this passage in the Bible, and are doing the “Lord’s” work even now.
The way I see it is you can choose to be a good person and choose love and compassion or give into greed, or fear, or whatever drives people to treat others in despicable and thoughtless or even horribly cruel ways, but to support your cause with the words or name of Jesus, makes me want to believe in a place where you get to live with the people who behaved as they did in life. You could call it heaven or hell or whatever you like, but I know I wouldn’t want to spend eternity with a lot of people who believe in heaven and can’t what to get there, but fill their lives full of hate, fear, and cruelty. I can’t think of less heavenly place.