It is because of their irrational, dogmatic system of "faith" that these religious authorities must use fear to establish, maintain, and control their flock. The fear of going to some fiery Hell, fear of being separated from your loved ones in the hereafter, fear of being some part of the unworthy who live outside their flock of the "elect." Ultimately, their argument can be boiled down to a very simple statement: If you are not with us, you are against us, and ultimately against God. To be against God is, to the religiously inclined, is the greatest fear of all.
I believe not in the Fear of God, but in Loving God. I believe in loving God with every fiber of my being. For me, God is both Transcendent and Immanent: beyond the furthest star, and closer than a whisper, all in the same instant. I experience God in: the nighttime sky; the laughter of children; the lady bug who lands on my hand; the smiles of my friends and family; when I take a deep breath in the morning and smell that afternoon's rain; in the song of every bird; in every sunrise, and every sunset. The Gospel of Luke 17:21 states "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you," and that to truly love God is to love all of Creation, which, like the masterwork of any great artist, contains so much of the Artist within it.
Years ago on PBS, I saw Henry Fonda playing attorney Clarence Darrow in a one man show, which I believe was titled "Clarence Darrow for the Defense." Mr. Fonda ended the show with a quatrain from Omar Khayyam, which expresses both the poet's love of man, and his service to God by serving man:
"That I be written in the Book of Love,
I care not so much for that Book Above:
Erase my name, or write in it what you will--
That I be written in the Book of Love."