“Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society which increases earthquakes.” (LINK)
Compare and contrast with:
“And you know, Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French, you know, Napoleon the Third and whatever, and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French.’ True story. And so the devil said, ‘O.K., it’s a deal.’ ” (LINK)
Let’s see if we can figure out a legitimate difference between these two statements.
- Both were spoken by respected authority figures.
- Both were spoken shortly after a natural disaster claimed many lives and caused extensive damage.
- Both represent a god who claims to punish non-believers.
- Both represent gods who boasted about such punishment in their holy books.
- Both believe holy books well over a thousand years old containing howlers of scientific inaccuracy.
- Both espouse religions which have gone on lengthy imperialist campaigns.
- In both religions, there are outspoken critics who say, “But these guys don’t represent true, loving religion!!”
- In both religions, there are outspoken supporters who say, “The world would be better if more people would listen to the TRUE word as spoken by these leaders!”
- Both “religions” are far from unified because there are multiple sects, each claiming correct “interpretation” and each denouncing the others.
I’ve been thinking about the differences, and they seem to be superficial. The names of the gods are different. The descriptions of heaven and hell are slightly different. The worship practices are slightly different. One religion has adapted slightly more to egalitarianism, and lost the power of government enforcement. (At least temporarily.)
So… can anyone think of something I’ve missed? What sort of core difference separates either of these messages, the messengers, or the gods they represent?