Words are like terrorist weapons these days, bombs thrown at various topics by those who don't care what damage they inflict upon anyone reading or within listening range. Instead of being utilized as the building blocks to form ideas or the brushes to paint mental images, they are exploded to exploit emotions and capitalize on fears.
Listen to anyone wanting to influence people now, and I don't care what moral or political stance they take or what they call themselves, they are all doing the same thing. They all play up the chances of their audience losing something precious to them. From the National Rifle Association (N.R.A.) to the pro-choice lobby, everybody has taken to practicing the fine art of fearmongering as their primary means of rhetoric.
Fear-based rhetoric has a fine history in politics and certain fire and brimstone branches of religion. What politician running for office hasn't painted pictures of doom and gloom if their opponent should be elected? The late President Johnson of the United States was able to defeat his Republican competitor, Barry Goldwater, in 1964 by depicting him as being more than willing to plummet the world into a nuclear holocaust. With the Cuban Missile crisis fresh in people's minds, it was enough to secure him his victory.
A little piece of political folklore I read in a book by the late Hunter S. Thompson has Johnson telling the campaign manager, for some office or another in Texas, to accuse their opponent of having sexual congress with pigs. When told that it wasn't true, Johnson said he knew that, but they should make the guy deny it anyway. Making your opponent have to reassure the public of their integrity always makes them look weak and on the defensive.
The image of the fiery preacher standing up in front of his congregation warning them of the perils of sin and threatening them with hellfire is one we are all familiar with from either literature, movies, or late night evangelical shows on television. Two o'clock in the morning was usually the haven for either "B" movies or hell fire preachers on independent television stations back in the 1970s and early 80s. This was long before the days of mainstream acceptance of people like Oral Roberts and the invention of the infomercial made their offerings of the bad hair set and scream queen redundant and replaceable. But in their prime, these preachers ensured that people learned to fear their God, pray for forgiveness, and dread certain days of the week.