|The true god is white, radiates purity, and uses cave salt to condition his hair. You can still gain entrance to heaven if you don't believe the last part with perfect faith.|
I don't have statistics, but certainly I must comment more on Christianity than on Judaism. Partly this is because Christian themes are more prevalent in the blogs I read. Christianity is also easier to deal with, as, alas, blogs on Jewish subjects can be so esoteric and irrelevant.
So, I came across a Christian blog that asks "Are Mormons 'Christian'?" With admirable charity, the blogger concludes "sure they are." I am most interested, however, in one paragraph:
I mentioned a while back that I have quite liberal standards as to who I would fellowship with and who I would consider to be “Christian”. Personally, I don’t cast people “outside the camp” who reject the Trinity, the virgin birth, or any number of other doctrinal issues. It has been said that you can not be saved by a false God. That is all good and true but I think it is also correct to say that the true God can save whoever he wants to, and I just don’t see where Jesus taught about orthodoxy being the key to inheriting eternal life.Now, I am no Christian. I have no dog in the fight over whether Mormons are or are not Christians. But this question over who is a true whatever captures for me the whole problem of religion. That problem is the tension between adherence to doctrine and performance of moral behavior.
The writer of the post can afford to be magnanimous toward Mormons only by de-coupling doctrine and morality. One can hold orthodox beliefs and behave in ways that are or are not socially acceptable. One can reject some or all orthodox beliefs and also behave in ways that are or are not socially acceptable. One can behave like a good or a bad person, regardless of the doctrines one professes.
Once we accept that real actions towards others are more important than sectarian beliefs, it's a small logical step to realizing that moral behavior should be valued over any held religious belief. From there, we can ask the real question: what do we need these doctrines and dogmas for, anyway? Can't we just let them go and focus instead on how people act, especially toward others?
In the end, quite literally, the writer is left to weakly offer the carrot of "eternal life." Does anyone really buy the eternal life bit anymore? Really? Hasn't the term "eternal life" lost all sense of force? Does anyone need to be coerced by eternal life into behaving properly?
We need to grow up as a species.