17 May 2006

Poor Little Agnostic Brain: Part 2

So after 8-1/2 years together and nearly 6 years of marriage, it has finally happened.

A member of the right-wing, religious-nut side of the family (his family, people, not mine!) has asked The Question.

Five little words: Do you believe in god?

I assumed she meant her god, the Christian one, and answered rather bluntly. I think I even used the word “bunk”. (What!? It was late, I was tired and I just couldn’t think how to put it any more politely.)

She was quietly scandalized and made the mistake of asking for further details. Which I provided her.

I was nice, really, I was. I mean, I have to see this woman again (at least several times a year). She’s my sister-in-law and she’s really a nice person – good mother and stay-at-home-mom to two boys and a girl. And Ms. Three and her daughter just adore each other. In other words, there was some incentive there not to actively alienate her.

So I gave my standard, very succinct and polite-as-I-could-manage definition of agnosticism and tried, successfully I might add, not to get into too much gory detail about how very unlikely I think it is that the Bible is the one and only source of truth in the world.

She kept asking questions and I kept answering – honestly, since I suck at any other kind of answer – while my heart rate had its usual reaction to any sort of question pertaining to my personal belief system. (For some reason, it goes into overdrive. I think this has to do with being a Yankee – religion is NOT a topic for polite conversation in New England. It's about on a level with discussing the details of one's sex life with one's mother. We just don’t go there.) I was eventually saved from the conversation by the fact that they finally had a table ready in the restaurant we were eating at and so far, that's been the end of it. So far.

It had to happen, The Question. I always knew it. And frankly, I feel better about having my answer out there for everyone to be horrified by. The husband is less impressed with how tactless I probably was, but I have no regrets.

Well, maybe one. I did forget to mention the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Shame on me.

Which reminds me: I happened across a very interesting blog about the FSM and apparently, instead of Ten Commandments, he has 8 “I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts”.

Now THAT is my kinda church, people. RAmen!

1 comment:

Queen K said...

I LOVE you!!!!!!!

If the Hubby has issues with what you said you might want to encourage him imagine what I would have said. Uh-huh...he REALLY wouldn't have liked that!! Not that he married me, but he might want reminding that he got the most polite/socially ept of the three sisters. Hee hee hee.

I am disappointed that you didn't mention the FSM, but you were laying the groundwork for her conversion (as she was probably doing to you). You might want to print out some kind of informational flyer for her and leave it laying around the next time she's over. It's important to save people - they won't save themselves!!

Oh - and I love the comment about being Yankee. It is so damn true! Bringing up religion at a Yankee dinner table is akin to me talking about gory birth details in the same location. Or worse - I think a lot of Mainers would rather hear about the birth!!