Continuing the discussion with John W. Loftus.
Christianity, as you noted, begins with bad news. There is someone before whom we will have to stand accountable for our actions. Even "good people" aren't good enough. There is no room for excusing or justifying the wrongs we have done, no softening the blow by favorable comparisons with other people, "I thank God that I am not as other men." I'd certainly prefer a religion that would take seriously the kind of crap I like to tell myself about the fact that I am not such a bad guy after all, that while I may be worse than X, I'm certainly better than Y. But, but, I'm nice to my friends and family, and who told me I had to love those XXXs over there anyway. They don't coun't, they're just, well, XXXs. Besides, look at all the rules I successfully follow, at least on my good days. And as a human race, well, we'll be OK, if my party wins the next election, or when the Dialectic of Matter brings in the Classless and Stateless Society.
Although most atheists adhere to a moral code, Christian morality is tougher, and not just with respect to sex behavior. I remember reading C. S. Lewis's chapter on pride for the first time and getting mad at him. No religion built to suit our wishes would make Pride the first of the Seven Deadly Sins.
Islam tells me that if I follow the Qu'ran I can make it to Paradise by my works. If I do the Five Pillars, I'm in pretty good shape. And, I can look down on all those people who don't follow the rules as well as I do. Hinduism says that if I mess up in this life, I've got a lot more chances.
For Christians who take sin seriously, human history is no surprise. Overthrow the French monarch, and you can expect the guillotine in the streets of Paris. Overthrow the Czar, and end up with the Party Purges.
A secularist who has a guilty conscience has the chance of appealing to relativism to justify his answers. Moral codes are invented by human beings for their own benefit, so if I screw up, I at least didn't offend the Creator of the Universe.
I never said Christianity was not emotionally appealing. No belief system could survive without some emotional appeal. But there are a lot of ways that I could make Christianity more emotionally appealing than it is.
If you go on my site, you will find a few atheists making the case that there is an emotional upside and a downside to Christianity. What needs to be argued for is that there is something special about the emotional appeal of Christianity that is subversive to the fair examination of the evidence, that is somehow not present on the atheist side.
Further, you haven't come to terms with my observation that many of us tend to get suspicious about things that are too good to be true. Our desire to believe does have a tendency to bias us in favor of a belief, but it also makes us suspicious at the same time, especially if we have already heard that wishful thinking might undermine our rationality. In fact, people very often overcompensate in the direction of pessimism.