Sometimes I’m baffled by the way we humans think. We tangle ourselves up in the strangest ideas. One of the oddest, as far as I’m concerned, is the idea that faith is a demolition derby where religions must bash each other until a single, righteous winner remains.
Can one set of beliefs really fit all? We each have different physical needs. I tend to plumpness. You might have a hard time keeping weight on. We react differently to medicines. What cures me might kill you. We’ve had different life experiences. Some of us are blessed with kind, loving parents. Others – not so much. Some are raised with wealth and privilege. Others face soul-crushing discrimination. We have different strengths, weaknesses and tastes. If we didn’t, we’d all wear the same clothes and compete for the same job.
And yet oddly enough, we think that everyone should have the same approach to life as we do. If we’re fundamentalists, we think everyone must embrace our kind of God and literal reading of The Bible. We declare that those who disagree are condemned to a fiery hell. If we’re atheists, we may argue – sometimes loudly and nastily – that anyone who doesn’t shun God is an idiot. Those Bible-thumping fools, we declare, are already in a hell of stupidity and foolishness.
But what if our competing religions are nothing more odious than appropriate responses to different life situations?