Sunday, March 23, 2008

God Delusion

Just a quick one today, because I am, as the adage goes, deep behind enemy lines.

It's Easter weekend, and I am at my in-laws with my wife and daughter. I am reading, for the first time, The God Delusion, with some trepidation, considering my surroundings. However, the family is being indulgent and tolerant, and I haven't had to resort to my backup in deference to their superstitions.

Acutally, considering how respectful they are being, I should also be respectful, and refrain from calling it a superstition. I will not retract it, but I will offer a half-assed apology.

At any rate, I am now reading the chapter on the in-group, and how religion breeds intolerance. I find myself marginally guilty of the same crimes committed by the zealots, though obviously less strenuously so. I am trying very hard, but still can't seem to help feeling a little superior.

The intermarriage thing really gets me. Obviously it causes difficulties. I was raised Baptist, and my wife and her family are Catholic. I've since stopped playing, so I have no team affiliation. Mostly, I think, I'm happier, but sometimes I miss having a big brother to look after me (though I must admit that he always did a rather piss-poor job of it).

But I know there was some trepidation around our nuptials, and some members of my family skipped it. I thought they were being bigots. Turns out they were just being lazy. I haven't yet decided which is worse.

But still, there was no pressure to marry within the in-group for us. No external pressure, anyway. I expect Tasha had some misgivings. And probably still does. I don't blame her. I find some of her most cherished beliefs to be silly at best, and although I respect her, and try to understand, I cannot bring myself to respect the Church. Needless to say, that causes some friction. In fact, I got scolded by an aunt for skipping church. She knows my stance, but disapproves. Somehow she still likes me. Most of us can see past it, now. Thank god, I say, not because I do, but because it's a useful phrase.

I'll return to the idea of religious contests another day. I should get back to "passing".

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