The false idea that all religions are essentially the same is as old as, well, religion itself. But advances in communications over the centuries – from the printing press to social media – keep giving syncretism a fresh set of legs.
For example, 18th century poet William Blake wrote the seminal book All Religions Are One.
A century later Mohandas Gandhi declared, “Belief in one God is the cornerstone of all religions.”
These days, the Dalai Lama affirms, “The essential message of all religions is very much the same.”
The “all religions are one” mantra reverberates throughout today’s culture, at least in part because it serves as an antidote to the vitriol with which so many religious zealots defend their faith.
Even so, it isn’t true.