This compiled list is just what the title suggests. It is not a promotion of any one of the religions (including my own), nor is it a “aren’t we all just the same” statement. Here is, to the best as I can figure it, the good news according to… well, most of us.
JUDAISM — Good news everyone. There is a God who is supreme and awesome. He spoke to us all through his prophets (Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, et al.) and following his revealed will, death will not defeat you. A messiah is coming to free us, and therefore we can live on forever in paradise.
ISLAM — Good news everyone. There is a God who is supreme and awesome. He spoke to us all through his prophets (Abraham, Ishmael, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, et al.) and following his revealed will, death will not defeat you. You can live on forever in paradise.
CHRISTIAN — Good news everyone. There is a God who loves you and sacrificed himself so that you can have a wonderful life (inside and outside) here on earth. And death will not defeat you. You will can forever in paradise.
BUDDHISM, HINDUISM — Good news everyone. There is a path you can follow through your life, a path of good and perfect goals outlined by the gods/spirits, where all things material don’t matter. Humankind can live in peace and harmony with each other, as well as with all living things. And death won’t defeat you. If you follow the path and achieve the proper goals, you live on.
SIKHISM — Good news everyone. There is one true God and you can spend time with him through meditation, striving for social justice, living an honest life, and seeking unity of all mankind. And don’t worry… no one religion has a monopoly on absolute truth.
ATHEISM, AGNOSTICISM (not really a religion, I know, but not to leave anyone out) — Good news everyone. You don’t have believe any ideas made up by religion in order to be happy and/or die happy/fulfilled. You have the power to love and get along with people and to live a good life on your own. Believing in a god will not change that.
SHINTOISM — Good news everyone. You are a good person. That’s the way you are, and you can connect with goodness, the way of the gods, and a rich past through prayer, meditation, and ritual. Plus, these practices will keep evil at bay. Death will not defeat you. You will become a family spirit, and you might even get enshrined!
I recognize that I may have done a hack job on some of the above, but for me this is simply a practice in understanding, which is one of my most valued virtues. Though I believe what I believe, and though I’d love it if we were all in this same family of faith, I will not simply disparage and mock other religions as a way to legitimize my own. I also admit that I probably left out some big ones (like Taoism), but frankly I was getting tired. So much religion, so little time.
Congratulations The Prince of Egypt. This is your week.
And the Oscar goes to…
Best Actor: Ben Mendelsohn as Viceroy Hegep in Exodus: Gods and Kings. I haven’t seen this movie, but I’m a big fan of this actor.
Best Quote: “A city is built of brick, Pharoah. The strong make many, the starving make few. The dead make none. So much for accusations.” — Moses after he is accused of “raiding the temple granaries” and feeding the slaves with the grain in The Ten Commandments
I agree with my sister about the Red Sea scene in The Prince of Egypt. I remember as a kid being in awe of the effects in the 1956 version, but 1998 was one of the few times I watched a biblical movie and felt emotionally moved by the cinematic presentation of a scene. That was my experience with the animated parting of the sea. Pretty amazing.