The recent hubub over the new Mel Gibson movie, "Passion", brings to mind something that has always puzzled me. According to Christian doctrine, Jesus died on the cross to save us from sin and eternal damnation. That sounds to me like a good thing. Why then be angry with the Jews for killing Him? (I know, I know, it wasn't the Jews, it was the Romans, but that has never stopped people from being mad at the Jews.) I mean, if the Jews (or whoever it was) hadn't killed Jesus He might have grown old and died of cholera or some other unpoetic natural cause, and we might all be condemned to roast in hell forever. If any emotion at all is justified (and that is highly questionable 2000 years after the fact) it should be gratitude, not anger. But Christianity has never let logic get in the way of a good witch hunt.
The fundamentalist Christian outlook on life is full of this sort of hypocrisy. For example, if you really believe that your soul is saved and that when you die you go to spend eternity with God, then death ought to be something to be embraced, even rejoiced, not avoided and mourned. And yet it is fundamentalist Christians who are typically at the forefront of "right to life" movements. I don't get it. Why is life such a big deal when you have the afterlife to look forward to?
You actually find this more sanguine attitude towards death in Eastern philosophies, particularly Zen Buddhism. Also, Muslims have lately managed to convince a fair number of young and impressionable people of the foregoing logic to unfortunate (in my opinion) effect. One of the nice things about not believing in an afterlife is that you don't have to wrestle with these issues. This life has value because that's all there is.