"Conversion is supposed to banish the deepest dreads, fears and anxieties of human existence, including the fear of death. This is the central message we are told to impart to potential believers. But along with this message comes a disorienting mixture of love and fear, of promises of a warm embrace by a kind and gentle God that yearns to direct and guide the life of the convert toward success, wealth and happiness, and also of an angry, wrathful God who must punish nonbelievers, those who are not saved, tossing them into outer darkness and eternal suffering. The message swings the faces of this Janus-like God back and forth, one terrifying and one loving, in dizzying confusion. The emotions of love and fear pulsate through the message. God will love and protect those who come to Him. God will torment and reject those who do not come to Him. It becomes a bewildering mantra."
(from pages 52-53 of American Fascists)
Hedges has it right on. Good God/Bad God. A familiar tactic practised by propagandistic versions of Christianity, whose purpose ultimately is to alienate us from God. The very suggestion that God might love us now and forever, unconditionally, is rejected with contempt, that unmistakable curl of the lip that proudly cannot endure salvation if everyone is going to receive it. Surely somebody must be damned in the cosmological economy of spiritual Darwinism, or how can salvation be worth anything?!