“Of course, the thing I most object to in their religion is the violence of it” said one man to the other. “It seems that they are unable to express their religious views without killing people who disagree with them.”
“I agree” said the second man to the first, stroking his beard pensively. “Their track record of combining their faith with military power speaks for itself. They claim that theirs is a religion of peace and yet we see them attacking others, declaring war, and invading foreign countries in the name of their God”.
“Not to mention persecuting people of their own faith whose interpretation of their scriptures differs from their own!” added the first man angrily.
Both men paused to reflect.
“And then there’s the fact that they always break their word. They make treaties with their enemies and then break them. Always have done, always will. Can’t trust anyone from that religion, history proves that quite well” snorted the second man.
“And don’t even get me started on their contempt for science and progress” said the first man, stabbing the air with an enraged finger to emphasise his point. “The way they persecuted scientists and constantly stand in the way of progress and development. Some of the poorest countries in the world are based on their religion”.
“Too true, too true” confirmed the second man sadly.
“Listen to that, the sound of their religious building calling the faithful to prayer” said the first man.
Both men stopped to listen to the noise of the church bells tolling. The sound, mournful and plangent, echoed from the top of the church tower. They listened sadly, then sat in thoughtful silence as the sound of Christian worship throbbed from the church.
“The thing is, though” said the first man quietly, “I can’t stop thinking about that Jesus of theirs.”
Another pause, then:
“If only they behaved more like him”.