"The Qu'ran mentions the Bible twelve times. The verses call upon the people of the Bible - Christians - to follow what God revealed to them in the Bible: to be better Christians."
-- Mohammed Sammak, Secretary General of Lebanon’s Christian-Muslim Committee for Dialogue, speaking at the United Church of Christ's General Synod 28.
No, I don't believe in an invisible magical friend, but it's nice to see examples of religious groups actually reading their respective scriptures, and understanding history. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, in a Pew survey regarding religious knowledge of Americans back in September 2010, religious people in the USA displayed little knowledge of world religions - but more provocatively, Americans did not even know much about their own religions.
Those who scored highest on this survey? Atheists and Agnostics. We really like to read... fiction and nonfiction. And, yes, I've read the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Koran. And a lot about Buddhism. I'm wacky that way.
I am very annoyed by religious people who want to claim all other religions are false, and only theirs is the real deal. As an Atheist, I think all religions are false, for many of the same the reasons a religious person tries to claim all other religions but his or her's are false - but my annoyance also comes from a frustration at religious people ignoring the early tenets of their faith, not knowing their religion's history, and refusing to acknowledge historic and scriptural ties with other religions. I'm particularly annoyed by Christians and Muslims who are oblivious to their historic and scriptural ties to each other and to Jews. I find Mr. Sammak's invitation by the United Church of Christ an excellent example of Christians who are not annoying. Would love to see more of that.