“We All Pray To The Same God”

A little piece in the “Faith and Reason” section of USA Today tries to report on attempts to reconcile various religions from a political perspective. One report indicates that of the 4 major Christian groups (comprising 75% of the country) – White Evangelicals, African-American Protestants, Mainline and Catholics – the majority in each group have a conciliatory approach to gay and lesbian issues.

The report found that majorities of four major religious groups favor laws protecting gay and lesbian people from job discrimination, and favor allowing gay and lesbian people to serve openly in the military. Majorities of mainline Protestants and Catholics support some form of legal relationship recognition (either same-sex marriage or civil unions), as do white evangelicals under the age of 35.

Aside from all those old white evangelical bastards with their well thumbed Bibles and their bookmarks in Leviticus, it seems like most humans try to poke through the stifling nature of religious teaching for some fresh air of …humanity. (And why should we be concerned about the old evangelicals anyway? Nature will take its course with them in the long run.) It must be difficult reconciling your beliefs, as set forth in your 3000 year old book, with your flesh and blood gay friends, relatives and acquaintances. That’s the true hallmark of morality – empathy, and when empathy with real people smacks you in the face, those dusty old beliefs must be hard to hang onto. Only 35 and older white Bible thumpers are able to resist, which probably explains their attraction to evangelicalism in the first place. It’s an attractive haven for those with innate bigotry.

But I digress.

This is not what struck me about this piece. It was a comment I read below the fold. The commenter said:

All religions pray to the same God.

To me, that’s the same thing as saying:

There is no god.

If all religions – Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Shinto, Pagan, ancient and modern, small cult and large mainline – all pray to the same god, what does that say about god? How badly did he fuck up in getting his message to his people, you know, the ones who all pray to him, about who he was and what he expects from us? How did we get such a variety of books, scriptures, treatises, apologetics, interpretations and forms of god spread throughout the world, all contradicting each other not just in minor ways, but in the big picture, if we’ve all been praying to the same god?

Implicit in this sentiment is the idea that all we need to do if put our little heads together, come to some agreement that we all believe in the same god, even though we have different names for him and different understandings about him, and all will be right with the world. Easy, eh?

Not so fast. Our old Theologian-in-Chief, George Bush, tried this back in 2007. The Old White Bastards were up in arms:

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, was quoted in the Baptist Press as saying the president “is simply mistaken.”

According to a Washington Post account, Land said in an interview: “We should always remember that he is commander in chief, not theologian in chief. The Bible is clear on this: The one and true god is Jehovah, and his only begotten son is Jesus Christ.

The Rapture Ready crowd agreed:

You probably think you already know how I’m going to answer the question in the title of this article. But instead of answering that question with “no,” I thought of another way to arrive at the same point by saying, “Yes, all religions do pray to the same God.” This a true statement because there is no other God to hear our prayers, save the God of the Bible.

Then there is this.

So, if the smartest people in the various religions cannot agree on god, what does that say about him? All of the religions ascribe super-human powers to him, even though they don’t all agree on what they are and when and whether he actually uses them. But to listen to them, he at times is capable of doing anything by just thinking about it. His magical powers are limitless, and he has the ability to know everything and be everywhere at all times. So why can’t he show himself in some obvious way that makes his existence irrefutable, so that we can all simply agree that we are praying to the same god? And if he doesn’t, and in the meantime allows his adherents of different religions to fight and kill each other for the sole reason that they believe a different story about him than their counterparts do, I think it’s safe to say he doesn’t exist. One of the other attributes that most of these religions will ascribe to him is that he is the epitome of goodness. Would a perfectly good god allow us to fight over him?

That commenter needs to edit his comment to say:

We all pray to the same non-existent god.

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13 thoughts on ““We All Pray To The Same God”

  1. So, if the smartest people in the various religions cannot agree on god, what does that say about him?

    Wrong question. What does it say about them? Does each godder’s god amazingly like the same things they like, and hate the same things they hate, and why do they all need one in the first place?

    I’m glad you included the RR quote, because that was what I figured they all meant by they all pray to the same god. The statement may sound inclusive and nice, but it’s actually a subtle “I’m right, you’re wrong, ha ha!”

    Anyway, like it or not, the Out campaign works. Gays are everywhere. All you should need is to have a friend, co-worker or relative be gay and you’re going to see they deserve equal rights, regardless of what’s said in their Bibles. The holdouts mostly just need some good Bible passages, interpreted “correctly” to say it’s ok not to hate. The rest, well, they’re gonna hate gays no matter what their Bible says, just like they hate the browns, blacks, and whoever else.

  2. I’m with Philly on this. I don’t care whether they all pray to the same god or to different gods. I’m annoyed that they pray to any gods whatsoever.

    When they say, “we all pray to the same god,” atheists are automatically excluded. Some of us don’t pray at all.

  3. It is my observation that most people seek a deity and “ism” of their prevailing cultural religion that reflects themselves rather tha they reflect what they purport to be their deity.

    It is interesting to hear my dotty relatives and the church members where my openly gay cousin is “Minister of Music” talk about him:
    He’s not REALLY gay, he just wants attention… He just THINKS he’s gay… He’s one of the “GOOD” (what the Hell!!??) gays… He just needs the right girl…
    There are other statements, but you get the point.
    Anyway, it’s the OTHER gays that want chastisement and death.

    “So, if the smartest people in the various religions cannot agree on god, what does that say about him?”
    Well, the more entrenched believers I know get a far away look and knowing frown on their faces grave but earnest tones babble some horse shit about “a test of faith”.

    When I’m feeling mean and want to provoke a primitive response, I tell some of my twice-born interlocutors that it is written that Brahma says that whatever deity you purport to worship, you are actually worshipping HIM.

    Sometimes I just like to hear people squacking incoherently in anger and frustration.

  4. There was a time when I would have said something pretty much like the Rapture Ready guy. When I was fairlyconservative, I would have said that non-Christians, even if they were sincere in whatever faith they held, were doomed. I didn’t like it, but, hey, what could I do (other than preach at them)? I didn’t make the rules, I just lived by them (self-righteous much?). Yeah, I was a snot; you would have hated me.

    In my liberal phase, I would have said that
    a) even those people who were other-than-Christians could still get to heaven as long as their hearts were in the right place, and
    b) rather than judging people myself, I’d leave it up to god to decide who was righteous.

    Of course, I’ve seen the light since then.

  5. “I’m annoyed that they pray to any gods whatsoever.”

    Well, Larry, here’s a scoop for you… I really don’t give a fuck.

    And, as I intimated on the other thread, we don’t all pray to the same God. You won’t catch me praying to Dawkins or Darwin or Hitchens like you polytheistic infidels do. Oh, and whatever ‘god’ you pray to, Cori, isn’t anything I know or want to know. I suspect whatever god it is will be very compliant to your every whim and desire, or he/it will be looking for another job real quick!

    Too bad you morons can’t see the firefights I get into with these nut-job “fundies” as you like to term them, when I correct them on their shoddy theology. God isn’t going to spare any practicing homo from death no matter what any of the touchy-feely, politically-correct gits say. I love it when people try to rewrite scripture to suit their particular agendas. God’s agenda is to purify and rebuild a world ruined by infidels and pseudo-Christians, and if it isn’t a part of His agenda, it isn’t going to fly. Men boinking other men/dogs/cats/knotholes in fences, etc, isn’t a part of the grand design. Simple as that.

    A self-seeking, self-justifying attitude is the main thing standing in the way of understanding God and His purposes. Nowadays, (and I’m sure that SI understands this particularly well, being a divorce court shyster n’ all) people are only concerned with what is best for them and not others. It’s always the other guy’s fault. Naturally, whenever they run across something that hurts their grandiose opinion of themselves in scripture or from the pulpit, they denounce it as bullshit and fallacy and move on. In other words, they’re telling us if you’re not here to stroke me, fuck off!

    Fags are especially self-centered, and I have a fairly extensive list of left-wing fag blogs and websites that practically breathe death and destruction against Christians and anyone or anything associated with their hated Enemy, Yahweh. Any encounters I’ve had with these psychotic diseased freaks has always shown their true political and social agenda, which is to destroy the image of God and remove Him from the consciousness of society. They destroy His image by perverting the proper male/female sexual and matrimonial union, replacing it with the sullen and degrading practice that they engage in, and then they attack and intimidate those (usually through the courts) that would criticize them when they attempt to justify their lewd acts, quoting scripture taken more than just a little out of context.

    SI, the basis for your blog seems to be centered upon the threats that the fringe element (i.e. the queer community) perceives is out there against them, and upon the comical yet dangerous lunacy that prevails in the evangelical world. You really aren’t hitting the target by focusing on these laughable issues. You have a lot of ex-Christians visiting this site that have been damaged by the politically-expedient and correct and the virulent offshoots in religion and society. These do not in any way represent the true nature of God or His plans for the restructuring of society and the world. They are just nutcases, pure and simple, and you let them rule over your opinion and judgment.

    I doubt you let any other issues in life influence you so much as you allow organized religion to.

    • You really aren’t hitting the target by focusing on these laughable issues.

      So tell me, what target should I be aiming at?

      You have a lot of ex-Christians visiting this site that have been damaged by the politically-expedient and correct and the virulent offshoots in religion and society.

      From where I sit, that sounds a lot like you. But I assume you don’t include yourself in that category, because you, unlike them, are a True Christian™.

      They are just nutcases, pure and simple,

      Do you even own a mirror?

      I doubt you let any other issues in life influence you so much as you allow organized religion to.

      It’s exactly the opposite. All other issues in life influence me more than organized religion, because organized religion is vacuous nonsense.

  6. “So tell me, what target should I be aiming at?”

    Depends. If you’re only interested in hearing yourself talk and receiving the praise and adulation from similar vain and self-centered individuals, by all means, you’ve got ‘er nailed, son. Don’t change a thing.

    Otherwise, I’d say that focusing on the ignorance and foolishness of others erroneously proclaiming God’s ‘will’ is just an exercise in futility. And, no, I don’t include myself in the growing number of pseudo-Christian illiterate, because I have no political or social agenda. I am not a part of the ecumenical movement or the pro-Zionist mafia, I am a believer in the Word, a member of the last-day remnant loyal to the one true God as outlined in Revelation 3:7, not the Laodicean majority that rules today.

    As for me being a nutcase, well, that’s what every proponent of the truth has been labeled by the self-important and self-aggrandizing, over the ages, so I’ll be taking that as a compliment. Everything that I say can be proven by scripture on it’s own merit and without any other private or so-called ‘expert’ annotation or interpretation. The Bible was written for the common man and not exclusively for the purview of self-styled, self-proclaimed intellectuals.

    Vacuous nonsense is a relative description, too, son. I might say that your beliefs and views are tantamount to such… but, then, I’d be pissing into the wind saying that here, wouldn’t I?

  7. I would respond to that comment “All religions pray to the same God” in a slightly different way: not all religions even believe in God.

    Most Buddhists, Hindus, Shintoists and many other animistic and shamanistic religions do not believe in a single omnipotent and omniscient creator, much less pray to such a being. So the premise of the comment is wrong to begin with. Unfortunately, predictably, most religious people do not understand what other religious people believe.

    • Well, actually, that’s was sort of my point. With there being one and only one god, why such widespread diversity of religion and beliefs? Why is it not absolutely obvious to everyone on the planet exactly what the fuck we’re supposed to be doing in the nature of religion? Couldn’t a god pull that off?

      One would think.

  8. At one time there was only one faith, one ‘religion’ as you term it, however, as time progressed and men fell away from that one true faith, more and more insidious knock-offs began to crop up in it’s place so that now those knock-offs are considered older than the original. Darwinism, which is actually a modernized form of nature-worship (paganism) of course, being one of those upstarts. As a result, and with the depravity of man ever on the rise, it’s getting practically impossible to distinguish truth from error outside the purview of faith and the scientific and archaeological evidence that supports the Christian view. Interesting that there are so many similarities in the various beliefs… one of the most common is the account of a world-wide deluge as described in Genesis 6.

    Of course there will always be room for the determined infidel to doubt and scoff. They never see all of the holes in their own reasoning, though, and why is it that there are so many different theories out there in the so-called scientific community? Why isn’t there a consensus on just one theory outside of a flat denial of God’s existence? Why can’t our marvelously evolved race pull that one off?

    Until you accept that there is a determined front against the truth of man’s origin and ultimate destiny, and that there are those who consider their personal agendas and interests priority over those of the rest of humanity, you’ll always have room for doubt.

  9. Hi, Gideon:
    You never answered my question from the last post, but I see that you’re here now, still preaching. I’d like to join you in attacking these infidels and in adhering to the one true faith. So I’m going to carry my question over from our host’s last post, and ask you again. This is the fifth time, by the way, and I’m beginning to feel as if you’re avoiding me.

    Could you explain — simply and in your own words, please — your complete theology?

    Also, if you could relate it to that original true religion, I’d really appreciate it.

    • You know, Giddy, Larry’s got a good point. You come here mocking atheists, and our “religion” and our “theology”, yet you never really tell us what you believe, just what you don’t believe. Exactly what is the basic theology you ascribe to? Or better yet, if you don’t want to make it too personal, what theology should a True Christian ascribe to?

      And don’t demur on the basis that I’ll delete it. If you look back, I’ve allowed every one of your comments to see the light of day, albeit with some minor edits. I have never deleted a single comment, your belief to the contrary notwithstanding. But if you answer Larry’s inquiry, I promise I won’t even edit it, even the most scatological portions.

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