Soren: Call it male, call it the way most people live, my bodhisattva friends call it the ego or the little self.

Mary: I call it sick and cruel. But then again I still have three or four eternities to go to work on my compassion for human weakness, especially that of men.

Soren: Not my strong point either. We should discuss it some time. I'll leave you with one last thought—it's getting late and the whiskey has gone to my head.

Why would we ask the question in the first place? Why should I care what God my neighbor is worshipping? Isn't the real, the only question: What God am I worshipping? Is it the God who demands my full devotion and love? Or the one who is happy with lip service? Is it the God who says, "Be interested in other people's faith, and never mind your own?" Or the one who says, over and over: "Do justice, love mercy, love your neighbor, help the poor, respect other people." Any single one of those could take a lifetime to master. Doing all of them will surely take several lifetimes (got to admire the Hindus, they've got that one right).

Who has time or energy left over to worry about what other people are doing?

Mary: Look, I know you're a political nitwit, but even you can see that what other people do is pretty important.

Soren: Politically, yes. Yes yes yes. But not religiously. What those people have asked is not a religious question.

For more conversation on Do Jews, Christians, and Muslims Worship the Same God? visit the Patheos Book Club here.