Speaking of religion as I was the other day, my sketchy knowledge of the subject was that it always had something to do with being good and just. That is, if you were a good and just person and did unto others as you would have them do unto you, and loved your neighbor as you love yourself, and give to the poor, and cast not the first stone, and looked for the sty in your own eye and told the truth, you were assured of a place in Heaven. Where ever that was, it was never clear, but somewhere over the rainbow seemed like a good guess.
I didn't find out about the being saved part until later. Then they hit us with besides being a good person, we had to accept Jesus as our personal savior, and THEN we could get into Heaven.
I think that's where they made their big mistake. That's where a certain kind of Christianity parts company from other religions or even "secular humanism." In order to accept Christ as a personal savior, you have to be willing to give up free will and independent thought. You have to believe you NEED to be saved. That you are a sinner, and if you don't accept Christ, you will be lost forever.
Then the Fundamentalist "Born Agains" got into the act, and they got heavy with the personal savior stuff, but seemed to bypass the be good to your fellow humans and don't lie stuff.
Now we have George Bush, who's motto should be "Believing in God means never having to say you're sorry." No matter what. Lie, cheat, steal, kill, Covet all you want. It's OK. God wants you to.
Correction, God wants George Bush to. Screw the other poor sinners in the world. George is on God's short list. In fact, he probably thinks he's the Third Coming.
I like to think the Midwest kids I went to Sunday School with practice a different form of Christianity. I like to think if Jesus did come back to earth, he'd give George a little of what he gave the money changers in the temple. But then, I don't believe.
I just keep my eyes open.