The Same God?

Theologians and logicians have a tapestry to weave
And their task is more annoying than it’s fun
They’re looking at the details that religious folks believe
And they’re asking—are these separate gods, or one?

They’re looking through the histories, the prophets, and the books
They’re attending to what expert scholars say
But I found another resource—one where no one ever looks—
It’s the comments on the internets today

They have a common ancestor, these Abrahamic sects
One god is shared by Christians, Muslims, Jews
It’s clearly in the histories, for anyone who checks
But what about the people in the pews?

Are they one big happy family, with one familiar god,
As the expert theologians all agree?
Are we really, as the pope said, all god’s creatures? See, it’s odd,
Cos it really doesn’t look that way to me

Hee,hee… CNN’s Belief Blog asks the musical question “Do Christians, Muslims, and Jews worship the same God?” And as such articles so often do, they explore the claims of the experts, pointing out similarities and differences, noting the historical common Abrahamic ancestry and current schisms, before taking the easy way out with the concluding sentences:

So do all three faiths actually worship the same deity, whether they call him God or Allah or Adonai?

God only knows.

What is amusing, though, is that the Belief Blog writers pay attention to the experts, to the leaders, to the scholars… and ignore the beliefs of, oh, I dunno, the commenters on CNN’s Belief Blog itself. There, we see the non-scholars (oh, I’m sure there are some scholars commenting as well), certain that their own sect has it right, and that the others are heathens, infidels, idolators, followers of false prophets, and worse.

I remember arguing with my dad about “In God We Trust” on money. He was amused by the thought of “In Thor We Trust”, but really taken aback by the idea of “In Allah We Trust”, even as he was well aware that his own Christian beliefs were cousins to Islam and unrelated (well, mostly) to Norse Polytheism. Sometimes, the closer we are to our neighbors, the more we find the need for fences.

Do they follow the same god? Don’t tell me what they say; show me what they do. And what they do is fight. Are these the squabbles of siblings, or of strangers?

I don’t much care.


  1. R Johnston says

    “God” is so amorphous and poorly defined a concept that it’s safe to say that no two christians, two muslims, or two jews worship the same god. The claim that christians, muslims, and jews generally all worship the same god is several steps beyond ridiculous.

    Even if you mistakenly think those gods are well enough defined that the various sects actually have worshipers worshiping the same gods, those gods are still fictional and are defined by the fictional literature and beliefs of their followers. The jewish god had nothing at all to do with some Jesus character, and the christian and jewish gods are not, by jewish and christian belief, characters out of the Koran. Maybe the Islamic god is a fanfic of the christian god, but fanfic is not canon; it’s a departure defining a separate character based on the original.

  2. Trebuchet says

    Curse you, Cuttlefish. You made me go look at those comments. The latest ones are mostly walls of text in Spanish so I went back to page one. It made basically no more sense than the latest.

  3. machintelligence says

    Sibling rivalries are often the most vicious. The ones that are drilled into children are often the ones that last a lifetime. My mother was worried to her dying day that one of her children or grandchildren would marry a Catholic, yet was barely bothered when my sister, who is nonreligious, married a (mostly nonreligious) Muslim from Iran. There were two wedding services, one Christian and one Muslim, to appease the relatives.

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