> Hmm, well, let's start with Jesus. Outfitted with a crown of thorns,
> whipped, humiliated, crucified. Offered a vinegared sponge when he
> complained of thirst. Famous for his sacred bleeding heart. The
> faithful are supposed to identify with his suffering -
The central theme of Christianity is not the crucifixion, but the resurrection. Christianity, as a superposition of various religions from Gnosticism to Roman Catholicism to Fundamental Protestantism, always revolves around the resurrection, as allegorical myth or literal reality. The message of virtue preached by the character Jesus is a path to salvation and/or enlightenment, which is represented or "proven" by the resurrection. The fascination with the crucifixion is a relatively modern, western, conservative manifestation. Christian villages in Iran and Iraq are quite far from the Christianity portrayed here recently as sado-masochistic (kmart can you comment?).
> and anticipate
> the eternal suffering of the wicked in Hell.
Again that is only found in very specific Christian religions. More progressive (and ironically, more Gnostic/Judaic) versions of Christianity have none of the "eternal damnation"/"fire and brimstone" components.
Are there sado-masochists who manifest their fetish in a religious structure? Certainly. Does that make the religion intrinsically sado-masochistic? I fail to see how.
-- Matt Cramer <cramer at voicenet.com> http://www.voicenet.com/~cramer/ The world is weary of statesmen whom democracy has degraded into politicians.