Your most excellent post Good News Ath and the question, "But won't any religion do?" made me think of my notes from when I led a class on the book Franciscan Prayer by Sr Ilia Delio concerning the God question – pg 55 - 62.
If you are not birthing Christ who or what are you likely to birth?
From: God in a World of Violence by Sr. Diana Culbertson
Overview – Session 1
The Romans had a household god known as Janus. This god was always pictured with two faces – one looking back, one looking forward. He was the god of the past and of beginnings. The doors of the temple of Janus were open at times of war, closed at times of peace. Other versions of this god suggested that he was a god of mercy and of justice. The Persians had two gods: a god of light (Ahura Mazda) and a god of darkness (Ahriman). These two gods accounted for the good and evil in the world. Curiously, many religious believers tend to divide the one God into two: a God who rewards, a God who punishes; a God who curses and a God who blesses. But does the God in whom we believe have two faces? What kind of God did Jesus reveal to us? Was this Abba, this Father of Jesus, just like the God in whom the Jewish people already believed? How was this God different from the God that we project, that we imagine, that we sometimes fear?
Overview – Session 6
The death of Jesus as the innocent victim of human violence, and his being raised to life through the power of the Holy Spirit, reveals the face of God. In God there is nothing but infinite life and love. God has given us his Son who suffered hatred and rejection, who chose to pour out his life so that we could know him and know the infinite love and forgiveness of his Father. Jesus has identified himself with all victims of human violence and all who suffer. Our response to the astonishing love of God for us is to see Jesus in the hungry and the poor, the imprisoned and the weak – all the outcasts of the world. Only the message of the Gospel can heal the world of violence. Only the Holy Spirit can defend us from the evil that threatens to destroy the world that God created out of love.
Sr. Culbertson, an Akron Dominican Sister, is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of Religious Studies at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio and past President of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion. God in a World of Violence - ISBN: 1-56077-710-9 Grade Level: Adult 64 pages