Which spiritual sibling are you?
See what birthing order reveals about your favorite major religion
While Muslims, Christians and Jews all love and worship the same God, it is unfortunate that many of them pray for the destruction and eradication of the other two religions that worship and love that God. It seems that though they share many fundamental beliefs and moral values, these three religions have historically been divided (often violently so) by what sets them apart – such as the ways they worship and express their faith; who they regard as the Messiah; what countries or races they choose to bully in order to get their way and what ridiculous holidays they coin as an excuse to party.
So why can’t these religious brothers-from-another-mother all just get along? If you think of it in terms of psychological development, you’ll recognize classic signs of a spiritual sibling rivalry. Just look at how each of the sons of God rate in the pecking order, and how their particular inadequacies may have shaped their religious personalities.
Firstborn religion, Judaism, is the quintessential oldest sibling. It was the original center of God’s attention, and therefore feels special, or “chosen”. It aims to please Big Daddy by dutifully obeying Dad’s word, as written in the Torah and Bible. With a deep-seated need to control situations to get their own way, Big brother Jew also tends to be righteous, and doesn’t like to share things – like Jerusalem. And in true eldest fashion, it is likely to play games of divide and conquer with siblings and political allies in order to gain a sense of superiority -- and a well-funded army.
The Jesus Freaks
Christianity, born hundreds of years after Judaism, is the chameleonic middle child. Its followers want to please God, yet they are driven to test the boundaries of his love with rebellious acts of individualism – like forming subgroups and cults, experimenting with miracles like raising the dead, or letting its preachers take a few sexual liberties with students. The middle religion can also be highly competitive, trying to convert its siblings and grab the spotlight with outlandish acts – like protesting the needless death of fetuses by bombing abortion doctors, or making a big play for attention with a half-assed sketch of Jesus Christ on a piece of toast.
Islam is the late-in-life “baby-oops” of the family, having been founded by a Saudi Arabian orphan named Mohammed who was born about 600 years after Christians and Jews started fighting for God’s attention. With an absentee mother and a Dad who had plenty of other heirs, the Islam faith often feels weaker, unfairly treated and expects others to take responsibility – likely why its members are big on the concept of reparations. It hates hand-me-downs, so it came up with its own book of teachings (the Koran). And the social nature and unconventional temperament of most youngest siblings may explain why Islam outdid its older brothers with its month-long signature holiday of reverence and sacrifice that ends in a big, personalized celebration.
Want to follow the rabbit trail? Start here