There is a lot of angst and conflict on behalf of different religions. This is unfortunate as a good amount of conflict may be done in the name of God, when it is driven by the ulterior motives of a man.
If God [a.k.a. insert deity] is infallible and man is fallible, then we can draw the conclusion that man will relay God’s message imperfectly.
I am of the opinion that each of the major religions of Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam all hold two (primary) common laws:
1. Love God before and above all else.
2. Love thy neighbor as thyself / Treat others the way you want to be treated / Be kind always, everyone is fighting a hard battle / Put yourself in their shoes / “Preach the gospel always, and only if you absolutely have to…use words” / Follow the “Golden Rule”
The second rule has many examples not because they are the same, but because they all have the same general point while encompasses several degrees of meaning.
The bottom line is to love.
Ultimately even justified murder, self defense, and righteous anger are acts of love. The means/motivations to the end are at least equal to the end itself if not more important.
Someone who kills to protect their family or someone else who is not the aggressor amounts to heroism by society’s standards. Someone who kills for fun is considered sickening.
Is it noticeable that we are deeply divided by various ideologies, lifestyle, and religions, but not by these two points?
I bet if you could truly poll everyone on the planet, then you would see that most people want to love and protect their family, and believe in something greater than themselves.
Is it possible that good people can be deterred by the imperfectly presented message that’s run the ancient game of telephone? If so, then we can’t blame them for “refusing the truth” so to speak, and religion would not call for you to blame them. We can’t blame God for man’s handling of the message, but we can accept that we aren’t doing it right. So what do you do with that information? You forgive, and practice your religion on faith. The faith that if we aim to honor God’s instruction, though we falter, and love unconditionally every person, then we will hopefully do well enough to be forgiven ourselves.
Let’s busy ourselves with what matters. Caring for one another and keeping our priorities in order.