Please can we get God on the line for an Answer?

I woke to the first news this morning of the brutal gunning down of Shahbaz Bhatti, the Pakistani minister for minorities in the country, who was fighting for the equality of his people. On the back of several other events (...) that have either ended in death or someone having to go into hiding as a result of voicing concerns and views against their particular religious texts, it seems that sometimes all hope is lost for peace in the world when dogmatic religions produce such barbarism.

But when you ask the average Muslim, Jew or Christian in the street what they think of such things, you will get the same answer over again:

'These barbarous thugs do not represent ${religion}. ${religion} is a peaceful religion that promotes tolerance and peace'.

On the face of it, this is reassuring. But the problem is that if you were to ask the extremists what they thought of the average theist on the street, you would get something like:

'These layabouts do not represent ${religion}. They have become lazy and decadent and have lost their way'.

All through the spectrum, from agnostic theist to religious fundamentalist, people all claim to represent their god, and they can't all be right - in the same way that a Muslim will state their belief that theirs is the only true god with the same passion that a Christian or Jew will do the same.

In the absence of evidence, the fundamentalist has just as much right to claim theirs is the correct interpretation as the casual theist, and reliance on holy books that are hugely open to interpretation does not help matters. The only being who can say for definite which group represents the true tenets of whichever religion is the 'right' one, is God.

And unfortunately for some reason, he's staying pretty quiet about things.

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