5 Myths You Probably Believe About Major Religions

#2. Muslims Reject Jesus

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Islam is pretty clear about a few things: There is one God, Muhammad is his prophet, and this is absolutely not up for debate. Obviously, Muslims don't worship Jesus as their messiah. That would essentially make them Christians, and we're fairly sure that Muslims aren't Christians. Otherwise, why would they be called Muslims? Airtight logic right there.

But Actually:

There totally is a messiah in Islam. You might have heard of him, he's a dude called Jesus -- or rather, Isa, as he's known in the Quran.

Titian
"Everyone can call me Wank Spanksoff if it gets you all to stop killing each other."

Muhammad was never the only prophet in Islam; he just happened to be the last guy (chronologically) Allah picked for the team, so his was the name that stuck. You might know some of his colleagues, of which he has plenty: Adam, Abraham, Noah, David, Moses, John the Baptist, and, of course, Isa. Isa-Jesus is Islam's al-Masih, messiah, as God personally made him to be the final prophet to the children of Israel. Sure, there are a few differences in how Islam depicts Big J, as opposed to his gig in the Bible: Isa is emphatically not either God himself or his son. However, in exchange for loss of divinity, the Quran gives the guy a sweet set of superpowers Christian Jesus can only dream about.

Extreme Studios
The non-Liefeld version, at least.

One passage has a fresh-from-the-womb Isa instantly stand up in his cradle and lay some smackdown on people trash-talking his unwed mother, Mary (who gets her own book in the Quran, by the way). Another has a bored Jesus dabbling in some light Frankensteining by giving life to various clay abominations. Islam Jesus will also lead God's armies at the end of the world, killing his enemies with his breath, and personally challenging Masih ad-Dajjal -- the Islamic antichrist -- to battle. Isa will then melt the antichrist with some kind of holy laser vision, and stab whatever's left with a spear. Dang. Islam-Jesus should totally be played by The Rock.


#1. Buddhism Has No Heaven or Hell

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The Buddhist cycle of rebirth is pretty sweet. Being constantly reborn makes life a kind of video game level you can just keep retrying until you get it right. Of course, this means there's no possibility for spending an eternity in Heaven, but on the bright side, it also means we won't burn in hell. Which, let's face it, was by far the likeliest of the two.

Roman_Gorielov/iStock/Getty Images
Incognito Mode doesn't work on karma.

But Actually:

No, this is totally right. Buddhists don't have a hell. They have a ton of hells.

The tangled web of cause and effect that is karma does indeed deal out scorecards at the end of your life, but the way you're reborn is by no means limited to a sliding scale between a dung beetle and a Buddha. Your karmic rank may send you anywhere in the Six Realms of Existence, only two of which (animal and human) are even remotely connected to life as we know it. Those with good karma might find themselves reborn in the Heavenly Realms, living a blessed existence as a deva, a holy spirit that exists for 30,000 years of pleasure before entering the rebirth cycle again. Those with really low karma reports will be reborn in Naraka, the Hell Realms. We'd say it's exactly how you imagine it, but we want to give you the benefit of the doubt. Hopefully your imagination isn't this fucked up:

dushi.ca
This is technically Diyu, a Chinese variant of Naraka. But when you're being pile-drived by demons into a giant juicer, why quibble?

Naraka is full of ironic punishments that make Dante's Inferno look like Fluffy's Cuddle Nook of Slight Inconvenience. Murderers will be killed and re-killed for millennia. Adulterers will climb a tree of metal thorns while giant, fiery, razor-toothed women devour them. People who kill animals go to a slaughterhouse and are crushed into a fine pulp. People who like to pick fights get their fingernails turned into flaming swords. Well that last one seems a bit unfair -- wouldn't that just make them better fighters? Hopefully the guy that thought that one up got fired:

Gary, Chooser of Ironic Punishments: "You like picking fights, eh? Let's see how you like being Flaming Wolverine!"

Bloodthirsty Fighter: "It. Is. AWESOME."

Gary, Chooser of Ironic Punishments: "Aw, man! This is worse than the time I sentenced the guy who likes blow jobs to eternal blow jobs. I'm gonna go back to school and get my MBA."


For more on religion, check out The 5 Most Ridiculously Unjust Religious Afterlives and 5 Ham-Fisted Religious Websites.

Buddhism is more badass than most people give it credit for being. Correct this injustice and click the Facebook 'share' button below.

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