The holy doctrine I and so many others were asked to swallow says I must do certain things that are forbidden. Confusion, right?
There's killing and stealing, love but also hate your family and friends. Good deeds get you into heaven, but no, you just have to really believe. You're responsible for your behavior, no you're not because Jesus takes that away.
Confusion brings fear, that brings hatred, that brings suffering.
For it's several thousand pages, the Good News Bible I was issued contains 18 or more commandments. Missing: A commandment to be kind to your children and any prohibition on slavery. In fact there are various instructions on how to be a good slave owner, in the eyes of God.
It seems true that the best book to read to become an atheist, is a bible. Consider the doctrine. Read Deuteronomy 22 - stoning women. THEY STILL DO THIS.
They still do this, and this shit may have been believable or followable 1,000 years ago, but Holy Shit, it's 2014. Most people believe, or respond that they then axiomatically believe that most of the rest of the world is going to hell. They also don't actually believe that, which is the problem.
There are many studies on the accuracy of polling. But instead of polling, let's use the word professing.
If a questionnaire calls you on the phone to inquire about the importance of fabric soften in your life, you will probably give a great answer that you never second guess. They pay people money to find out what you think. What you think is valued by other people.
But if on the other hand, the pollster asks you if you believe in God and consider yourself religious... your amygdala's fear response fires up. God is watching you. God is testing you. St. Peter is about to debit or credit your heavenly account according to your response. Your response is quick, without thought, "Yes, I'm a Christian" is a likely response to such a question in the United States in 2014.
This nature of this response is interesting from several points of view, and I'll see if anyone has read this far or not. The point is this: Religious believers have been tricked into being abused, and vice-versa.