Should I believe that Jesus is my personal savior? Or should I believe that God made a covenant with the Jews requiring every Jew to keep the commandments of the Torah? Should I believe that Mohammad was Allah’s last prophet and that Ali, the prophet’s cousin and husband of his daughter Fatima, ought to have been the first caliph, or that Mohammad was Allah’s last prophet and that Ali was the fourth and last caliph? Should I believe that the resurrected prophet Moroni dictated the Book of Mormon to Joseph Smith? Or that Ahura Mazda, the benevolent Creator, is at cosmic war with the malevolent Angra Mainyu? And on and on it goes. Only the most arrogant provincialism could allow someone to believe that the holy documents that happen to be held sacred by the clan he was born into are true, while all the documents held sacred by the clans he wasn’t born into are false. 
Who is the final arbiter for which Source is the correct One and Only with the correct ideas, correct rules, correct laws, and correct expectations? Who among us has the final say over which Source is indeed The One and Only Super Bowl Champ of Deities?
“Well obviously, it’s my own … [God/Allah/Whatever]” doesn’t make for much of an Answer. especially when countless numbers of other supplicants are making the same claim about their One and Only. Gets a bit crowded on the Deity Highway….
So we must all contend with the consequences flowing from this as yet and probably forever irreconcilable conflict. None of the various and competing groups of believers seem to recognize the sincerity or depth of belief and commitment which any of the others harbor about their own Deity of Choice and/or their associated tenets. That doesn’t help alleviate some of the tensions….
Why don’t religious leaders understand this problem when they speak of others and their versions of a god? Is there more than One “out there”?! (I’m being only partially flippant: this is a fundamental and utterly confusing/nonsensical issue constantly ignored.)
Christians assert with absolute conviction and certainty that their God is The One. They are no different than Muslims who insist that their “Allah” is The One. Start your engines and let the wars begin! Hello! (Your “Duh!” Moment is waiting on Line Three.)
Who is to say Christianity is morally superior to other religious narratives? The danger with the Christian Right is their absolutist mentality; that Christians – and certain Christians at that – have a monopoly on knowledge and American identity. Even worse, they claim to have a monopoly on the nature of God Himself. 
Are any of these fundamentalists paying any attention at all to the sheer absurdity of their respective positions? Their intractable beliefs guarantee endless conflict. This is a good thing? Why?
History has buried millions of bodies in this fruitless and absolutely insane quest to prove others wrong about the Deity they worship. If One does exist, It must be terribly disappointed by the incredible stupidity, extremism, narrow-mindedness, and irrationally judgmental behaviors routinely demonstrated by Its inferior creations—up to and including today.
How can anyone win a fight on behalf of competing deities?!
Whenever the inane, absolutist positions which religious extremists adhere to about the superiority of their Deity are shared with us in whatever fashion seems most convenient, I’m reminded of the species of predatory bird which in some instances will so focus on its struggle with a competitor that the combatants will lock talons and crash to the ground—killing themselves—rather than give up or give in. (That’ll teach ‘em!)
To put it as charitably as I can: this is idiotic! We ought to consider the possibility that we’re better than we’re demonstrating, and then demonstrate that fact.
A choice. Life Will Answer.
[NOTE: Next post will be on March 4]
~ My Photo: sunrise at Long Beach, Rockport, MA – 08.22.05
 Rebecca Newberger Goldstein: Thirty-Six Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction. Pantheon; 2010 http://www.randomhouse.com/pantheon/authors/goldstein/
 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-considine/america-as-a-christian-na_b_8408346.html; America as a “Christian Nation” Doesn’t Ring Historically True by Craig Considine – 10.29.15
~ ~ ~
In 2014, I published an eBook entitled Life Will Answer. It’s an exploration of life, religion, and the tenuous connection one has with the other—at least as has been defined to date by the various theologies of past and present-day believers.
I don’t pretend to be a religious scholar. I am at best a casual observer of some religion-based behaviors, but given that I have also authored a book discussing those matters, perhaps that makes me more than a casual observer.
A fundamental point of the book is that Life has been established to honor and answer the choices each and all of us make—whatever they are and however they may be judged by the standards and guidelines we as a society have established. I do not accept the notion that there is a God or another Deity of choice offering wildly arbitrary thumbs-ups and thumbs-downs, or that this Deity has edicts we’re free to abide by or not (although if we don’t there will be hell to pay).
I wrote that book on the premise that there is more to this life than the narrow-minded, conflicting, and occasionally dangerous notions various religions offer. Given the large number of them each claiming passionate followers, it’s absurd for any collection of humans to insist that their Deity assures them It is the One and Only. Countless Peers and their own loyal adherents take issue with that.
Every day we are witness to the absurdities—and too often, the atrocities—committed in the name of some Deity or another by adherents convinced that they and they alone are privy to the guidance and dictates of that One and Only. There is little room, if any, for reason, logic, or rational thought. The absence of an intelligent component guiding their beliefs and conduct—replaced as it as by fears and justifications untethered from reality—carries its own set of consequences.
Are we really to believe that we’re all commanded or obliged to above all else obey and honor and worship one Supreme Being [among many]? How stultifying! This Magnificence is so needy and weak that It needs us to do things to satisfy It? Hello!? How did It manage to survive all those billions of years without us?!
Magical thinking is not a shield to the inevitable harm which results when irrational and mindless behaviors collide with reason and fact. We have some choices to make, and a future to concern ourselves with.
Re-establishing this blog is my own contribution to wiser problem-solving than what seems to be the norm. Too many are in position where their delusions carry heavy and needless consequences to all of us.
~ ~ ~
Looking Left and Right: Thought-provoking inquiries & observations about the conflicts arising from, and bolstered by, our increasingly polarized nation.
~ ~ ~
The Middle Age Follies: An occasional column offering a slightly skewed look at life for those of us on the north side of 50 … far north, actually.