Same Difference Essay, Research Paper
1. Considering what you have read of Sinclair and Armstrong, do you agree or disagree with the idea that all three religions have an equal claim to the scared space of modern Jerusalem? SAME DIFFERENCE It is the ending point of pilgrimages, the site of the Temple, the resting place for the Ark of the Covenant: it is Jerusalem, home of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Three religions all fight for the right to call Jerusalem their own. Ironically, these religions are all essentially the same, so the ownership of Jerusalem becomes more of a fight as to whose interpretation of the Bible is more accurate. Thus, until this question is settled by God, himself, all have an equal right to live on and to worship the land as they wish.Jews, Christians, and Muslims are based on the same principles. Each claims to be a descendent of Abraham. Not only are they monotheistic, but they each believe that only one god, their god, is to be worshipped. All three accept the text of the Pentateuch to be a law binding document. Each firmly believes that they are the chosen people, and therefore, everyone should conform to their ideals. Their ideals, for the most part, are the same. One must be charitable, worship only God, show kindness, only sacrifice animals, and pray. One must not murder, steel, lie, cheat, or worship idols or imagery. Finally, they worship the same God. Whether they call Him, Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah, or even Baal or El, He remains the one supreme ruler, the creator, and the judge. God is able to bring floods to destroy the wicked as well as make covenants with those who are righteous. He expects complete obedience and will not allow the worship of anything but Him. Thus, the basic principles of each religion is not only similar, it is the same. The differences that occur in these religions come with the acceptance of prophets. The Jews do not believe that the Messiah has come. The Christians believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah and the son of God, but they do not accept Mohammed as another prophet. The Muslims accept Jesus and Mohammed as prophets. Basically, if the Bible and the Koran where taken as a whole, the only difference between the religions would be who stopped reading where.Since the establishment of Jerusalem occurs in the first part of the reading, Jerusalem is considered to be sacred land to the Jews, Christians, and the Muslims for a variety of reasons. Jerusalem is where Solomon s Temple, the Second Temple, and Herod s Temple where all constructed and destroyed. The remains from these temples is the Western or Wailing Wall. On Mount Sinai, God gave Moses the Torah. It is believed that the Abraham was going to sacrifice his son on the rock. The stone of Mount Moriah is said to hold back the waters that God cleared from the earth during creation. The tomb of Christ in located in Jerusalem. Jerusalem was even constructed by the dimension of the celestial New Jerusalem with the cube of the Tabernacle and of Noah s ark (Sinclair, 16). Jerusalem is the center for these religions. Its entire being serves as a museum for the Jews, Christians, and the Muslims.
Still, though, land is just that, land: a few rocks here and a few mountains there. Yet, to these religions, Jerusalem is much more than a city. In fact, the goal of the religious quest has always been an experience, not a message (Armstrong, 8). The pilgrimages of the Muslims and Jews and the visitations of the Christians brings each closer to the experience , to the insight, and to God. Jerusalem is especially important because the divine had been revealed there (Armstrong, 9). It is not so much that even the ground is sacred, but the concept is alive in Jerusalem. It is more than a city: Jerusalem was a search for an ideal and a paradise. It transcended that minor spot on the map Its fame was its reality (Sinclair, 2). What had seemed to be an ordinary location had proved to be a spiritual center that provided human beings with access to the divine world (Armstrong, 27). The temples created a religious center so that just being journey to Jerusalem would be the human equivalent of attaining Paradise (Sinclair, 15). Jerusalem is God s City and the Holy City. Going to Jerusalem is not simply walking into the streets of the city, it is the spiritual climb into the arms of God. Thus, the ownership of Jerusalem does not grant a religion a piece of land, it grants that religion the ultimate truth. So, the question then becomes who deserves the ultimate truth? Is it the Christians, the Jews, or the Muslims? It is all. If taking Genesis for granted, as these three religions do, then all people are the children of Adam and Eve. All people ought to be allowed to form a relationship with God.Unfortunately, few believe this to be true. After all, it was their people that were the chosen ones. The tragedy would be that all three say in Jerusalem, the same sacred placed which they needed to dominated for the satisfaction of their pilgrims and the good of their souls (Sinclair, 19). Each had failed to realized that the sacred does not manifest itself only in holy places (Armstrong, 28). Perhaps, if these religions did recognize this, then they could return to their original teachers: love thy neighbor, and thou shalt not kill.The Jews, Christians, and Muslims all fight for the right to call Jerusalem their own. Each claim the same different reason why Jerusalem should belong to them: they are the chosen people of God, and this is the promised land. Ironically, all three religions are based on the same principles; monotheism being the most significant. Jerusalem is considered to be sacred land to the Jews, Christians, and the Muslims for a variety of reasons. For the most part, Jerusalem is God s City and the Holy City. Going to Jerusalem is a tangible journey to God. The pilgrimage to Jerusalem represents ones following in the footsteps of God. Thus, the answer to who has the right to worship God is essentially all people. The Jews, Christians, and Muslim each have a valid claim to Jerusalem, but more importantly, all people have a valid claim to form a relationship with God, and if need be, to journey to Jerusalem.