There is an old adage out there that says “You shouldn’t discuss religion or politics at work or with friends.” However, in our society today both of these topics have become mainstream and not just private or casual discussions. Why is that? Because both politics and religion have gotten more “in your face.”
When it comes to politics, the country is more divided than ever. People have become so fanatically obsessed with their particular brand of politics that they can’t have a civil discussion with anyone that doesn’t agree with them. Even worse, they refuse to listen to the opinion of others. Unfortunately, their knowledge and opinions, if they have one, tend to be based on tidbits or talking-points they see on television and/or hear from a friend, neighbor, or relative without doing their own homework. They either lack the intellectual curiosity to find out for themselves, or they have become intellectually lazy.
*Click here to read my blog on this topic → Americans Have Become Intellectually Lazy
Along this same vein of thought, there are those that form their religious opinions, not necessarily their religious belief, in the same manner. Their opinions, if they have one, tend to be based on what their pastor says at church or they hear from friends, neighbors, or relatives, again without doing their own homework. They also lack the intellectual curiosity to find out for themselves, or they have become intellectually lazy.
Intellectual curiosity means you want to know more than the basics or the common knowledge. It is the desire to invest some time and energy into learning more about a person, a thing, a way of life, or a concept. Basically, it is the desire to learn more.
For a long time now I have watched, listened, and participated in discussions with others about religion and other non-Christian faiths, etc. What I have found is most of these people really don’t know much about religions other than their own. As I mentioned above, they are just intellectually lazy.
So, in attempt to help those that won’t help themselves, I have assembled a basic primer on the following religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. While this comparison of commonalities and/or differences is not all inclusive, it does provide a basic set of knowledge of each that I believe all will find helpful. By the way, it did not take long to put this together. Just a little intellectual curiosity…
Point of Interest: I just finished reading a book about King Richard the Lionheart and the Crusades. Ironically, both sides, the Christians and the Muslims, believed God/Allah was on their side and each considered the other to be infidels.
A History of God | by Karen Armstrong