Who says that one must either be Christian, Jewish, or Muslim? Are we not ALL God's children? Does God really care which religion we are? I don't think so. I don't think God cares if we believe Jesus was the Savior or one of the - if not THE - greatest Prophets of all time. That is merely a matter of religious dogma and personal faith. Would God rather have an evil devout person than a good person who believed in God but spent their life questioning matters of religious dogma for themselves? I think not! God cares much more about who we are inside than what we proclaim on the outside. How dare we preach love and tolerance if we hate another of God's children?
Now I'm not preaching tolerance of radical Islam, Judaism, or Christianity (all religions have radical elements). I guess it comes down to a modernized version of the Golden Rule - Treat others as you'd want to be treated but work to defeat the radical elements of all faiths, not always by fighting but also by faith, prayer, and love. As Walter told me in email about a totally different situation, sometimes the best way to deal with someone who hates you is to be nice! Let God deal with the technicalities. Every last one of us - good and evil - will have to stand at the gates and answer to God (or maybe the gatekeeper LOL) for what we have done. Who knows if hell exists, or if we all have to spend some time in an individualized version of jail based upon the depth of our evil, or we are allowed to walk through the gate forgiven without punishment there. Maybe purgatory exists, maybe it doesn't. Maybe hell exists, maybe it doesn't. Honestly, I think maybe both do. Hell is for the inherently and irredeemably evil like Hitler and those who kill other children of God's in the name of religion or worse in God's name. Maybe purgatory is for ordinary shmoes like us who tried to lead good lives, help our neighbors, showed those of other faiths that not everyone of our faith is hateful towards them, but made some mistakes along the way. Maybe it's a time for the soul to learn from the mistakes made here on earth even more than it is a place to pay your dues for what you did. I don't know. If I knew I wouldn't be an ordinary shmuck. I'd be rich and famous and have a book deal!
So here's my point. I honestly don't care if your Christian, Jewish, or Muslim - or what sect or denomination thereof either. I REALLY DON'T. I have plenty of Christian friends, including denominational and non-denominationals. I have had the pleasure of meeting and befriending a couple Jews along the way, and a couple Muslims too. It doesn't matter what label we attach to ourselves. God doesn't read labels. God reads hearts. And if we are trying to follow by example, shouldn't we do the same? Shouldn't we live to treat people the way they treat us, if not better? Shouldn't we try to make this hellhole of a planet a little better while we're here? God loves us all - no matter what religion, ethnicity, or gender. God is the ultimate in NONbiased love. And not just ordinary love. Unconditional LOVE. Trust me - if God can love a bumbling nutcase like me, you're loved too. Just ask. You'll see. ;-)
So let's all resolve to be better subjects of the eternal "boss" instead of focusing solely on doing as one particular religion tells us. Let's not condemn each other for mistakes others make in the name of their religion or mistakes their ancestors made. All religions had bungles and grievous errors in judgement in their history, Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike. No one can claim "holier than thou" status. Well, no human that is.
And remember two things - and yes I know they're part of Christian texts, but they're not just for Christians.
1. Vengeance isn't ours to own or use.
2. The greatest gift is LOVE - share it!