Tag Archives: guilt in church

GUEST POST: The Role of Fear and Guilt in Religion

The following is a Guest Post. If you’re interested in having your story or article featured on the Secular Writings of David G. McAfee, please contact me at David@DavidGMcAfee.com. The subject of your e-mail should be “Guest Post.”


The Role of Fear and Guilt in Religion

By Jim Coufal of Cazenovia, NY

In the pre-scientific age it was easy to believe the creation story of Genesis was true; it was told to you by authority figures that you held in awe and there was no reason to believe otherwise, except for those who knew the creation stories of other religions and why theirs was no more valid than the others. In our scientific age, if you believe the creation story is Genesis is true and also believe science finds there is no evidence to support this belief, you are left in a quandary. You have what psychologist Leon Festinger identified years ago as “cognitive dissonance”, a feeling of uncomfortable tensions, which is the result of holding two conflicting thoughts in minds at the same time. The tensions increase with the importance of the subject, with how strongly the thoughts conflict, and with our inability to rationalize or explain away the conflict. This example is an entry into looking at the role of fear and guilt in religion. Continue reading

Questioning the Faith: Letters from a Christian

 Questioning the Faith

By David G. McAfee

                Frequently, the e-mails I receive from religious people are not peaceful in nature; that is to be expected with the nature of my work. But occasionally, I receive a message from a religious person with an open mind who wants to learn more about the problems with their canon specifically, or even with religious affiliation in the general sense.  These people are often those who have been raised with religion or live among those with similar ideologies, but they can still question the doctrine upon which they base their lives. In hopes of reaching more people in similar situations, I’ve obtained permission to post a correspondence with a long-time Christian who came to me seeking advice— You will see my response posted below. Continue reading