Shewwie... what a can of worms religion spews forth. What is it about religion(s) that gets the blood boiling? Why can't we all just shrug and say, "I don't buy it, but if that's what you believe that's cool." Why do we have to make other people accept our distorted truths?
Yes, distorted. There is always more than one truth. That's my belief anyway. Now you'd better accept it, else I'm going to stomp and shout and scream until you admit that my truth is more righteous than yours.
I've only really been exposed to one religion in my life - Christianity. It was never forced on me, my parents were very adamant about that. If I chose to go to church, I could go to church. If I'd decided to become a buddhist, I think they would've been okay with that to (but I didn't, because Tibet was too far away and apparently there's that vow of silence thing, although shaving off my frizzy hair would've definitely been appealing). Anywho, so I learnt about Christianity and made what I think is an informed choice by naming it my faith.
This is where it gets complicated. You see, I believe in God. I believe in heaven and hell. I also absolutely accept evolution. And I blaspheme on a fairly regular basis. My soul is a seething pit of contradiction.
I don't think that the Bible is THE word. I think it is alegory, fables, street performance on paper - all rolled into one. A whole of lot of stories, ala broken telephone, through the ages. And it makes a good read. I don't believe the universe was created in seven days (although I know people who do wholly/holy prescribe to this - that's a bit silly, but hey); I don't believe that Jacob and his kin lived for centuries.
I don't think that people who don't believe in MY god are going to hell. From what I've been told, MY god is not a vengeful god. He is a personal god. I know 'good Christian' people, 'good' people and 'Christian' people. There is a difference between each. I reckon that when we get to the end (of what?), it'll be up to JC to decide who deserves to be partying behind the pearly gates. Not me - or anyone else in this lifetime.
I may have mentioned my unhealthy passion for Terry Pratchett. In his Discworld all religions are valid: whatever a particular individual buys into is what he receives in the afterlife. If someone believes they'll go to heaven, they do. If they believe in nothing, they drift along in blissful nihility. If they believe we all turn into potatoes on snuffing it, they reincarnate into a happy little spud. Why can't we all just get along?
It matters not how much we argue for our beliefs now, we're not likely to come to a conclusion in this day and age, are we? Sure, at Armageddon, it may all become clear. We may have a few embarrassed, "sorry for calling you and your belief the festering wound of civilisation" apologies. We may all shake hands and have a group hug. Or not.
Maybe we'll never know. Why argue? Right now, I'm going to put on a good tune and try to convince my heathen boyfriend to dance like no one's watching. No point to that either really, but at least it'll make me laugh.