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What I've really come to dislike about this particular religious meme is how condescending it is. The message is almost always heard from Christians who are subsuming all other religions as Christianity variants, so "love" is the dominant theme they perceive. We don't normally hear that all religions have the "same basic message" of detaching the self from the material world (a la flavors of Buddhism), etc.

In any case, no religion can claim to be all about love and at the same time be about "salvation" from Hell for those who fail to believe correctly. That's a message conflict when the religion count is still one.


Almost every religion thinks its version of the truth is the ultimate absolute truth and all others are well meaning false pretenders. Often religions might claim to be one thing but in reality portray conflicting practices. How often do we hear Christianity is about a God of Love, yet a high proportion of adherents preach venomous hatred towards those who are not followers of their persuasion. Islam claims to be "peace" yet criticise the Koran, make a film called Fitma, write The Satanic Verses etc and watch how many muslims start rioting and threatening Fatwas on the perpetrators. To the credit of Dutch muslims they did not exploit the situation like those around the globe did.

Christianity claims "Jesus is the only way to the Father (God)" which you can't help but interpret as being exclusive. But go back to the 4th and 5th century and look at the different philosophies of Antiochene and Alexandrian churches and note how different their Soteriologies (salvation) are. Their whole theological emphasis is derived from their Soteriology. That's just two schools of thought within early Christianity. Bring them together and they mutually excommunicate each other and denounce the other as heretics. Things are evidently not"essentially the same" even within the same religion as this example demonstrates so well.

Judaism claims to be tolerant of "the alien and the oppressed" and is even commanded not to oppress the alien "for remember you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt", yet happily bulldozes houses of innocent Palestinian "aliens" in the Gaza strip today. Erecting sniper towers to take pot shots at the Palestinian community who live under this constant cloud of fear and intimidation.

Even adherents within Christianity, Islam and Judaism religions cannot agree on things. Just look at all the denominations claiming to follow Christ, or the 4 main schools of Islam, or the main sects within Judaism. So if people within one religion cannot appear to be "essentially the same" what chance is there of claiming that different religions are "essentially the same"?

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