Understand, please, that I'm neither promoting a literal interpretation of the Bible nor giving you a sermon. I'm just pointing out a fascinating fact that most everyone seems to have missed, religious folks included.
In this case, I’m referring to a passage that comes at the very end of the book, where a list is given, itemizing the kinds of people who will be condemned to “the second death.”
Who would you expect to stand at the top of the list? Murders? Idolators? Maybe adulterers?
Nope, none of those. The first people heading off to destruction are “the fearful.”
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Not what you expected?
You can look it up if you like. That's from Revelation 21:8 (King James Version). And I even checked the original Greek: fearful is the right translation.
Fear as a Tool of Damnation
I'm not going to get into theological engineering here, but yes, this would mean that the promoters of fear are sending people to hell.
And, considering that we live in a fear-based culture, that's an interesting thought indeed.
Now, if you want to be truly bold, think about this: Who is it that currently promotes fear?
We know the answer, of course. The people who live on fear are the majesties of the age: politicians being chief among them but followed by the entire 'law enforcement' complex, military and intelligence organizations, television news-readers, religious bosses, newspaper operators, and, increasingly, anyone who wants something and has access to the public stage.
If the Bible is correct, people who profit from fear are profiting from the destruction (nay, the damnation!) of their fellow men and women.
Religion Isn't Necessary, of Course
The conclusion that fear is the enemy of mankind doesn't require religion, of course. We can reach the same conclusion just by recognizing that fear (and especially the chemicals associated with fear) damage our health.
Literally, people who make you fear are making you sick. (We covered this in issue #38 of Free-Man's Perspective)
Beyond that, it is clear that fear is the number one tool of manipulators. If you want to get large numbers of men and women to do your will, scare them. Every tyrant in history has known this and used this technique.
What To Do About It
First of all, start paying attention to your feelings and notice when things make you afraid. Stop your thinking and pay attention to the whole fear process. If you do, you can deal with most of these attacks quickly, rather than leaving an indistinct fear to roll around the back of your mind all day.
Second, start analyzing the words that convey fear to you. Are they really true? Is the response the fear merchants deliver to you really the only course of action? The hard part of doing this is that the words come too fast; by the time you're ready to analyze one statement, another one is halfway complete. Analyzing them in writing is far easier, or getting a live speaker to slow down and go one phrase at a time.
Third, start discounting the people who consistently throw fear at you. If that's all they have, they're not worth paying attention to. Turn off the TV; excuse yourself from the conversation; walk away. You don't have to take it.
Finally, start pointing out these things to other people. They may be defensive at first, but isn't that worth facing, to clear the minds of your friends and family? Why should they suffer under the lash of fear all their lives?