THESE TWO GROUPS have lots in common. Atheists and Mohammedans.
They both want to stamp out opposing religions, and they can get downright nasty about it too. What? you say. Atheism is not a religion? Sure, it is.*
Atheism states there is no God, which means they know what happens after death in spite of having not a shred of evidence. Their belief is based on faith alone, which makes it a religion. Tell an atheist he’s a man of faith. It’ll really gall him, which is fun.
Mohammedans want to kill those who do not embrace their religion. Atheists don’t go that far, not yet, but they are ever campaigning to have opposing religions suppressed. They want all manifestations of other religions erased from the public sphere.
Note to atheists: If you oppose organized religion, there is only one logical way to do it, and that’s to embrace agnosticism. It’s not a religion because it does not claim to know what happens after death. Agnosticism accepts cluelessness.
Agnosticism is the only rational opposition to religion. If you’re an atheist, you might as well build cathedrals, appoint clergy and invent a Holy Book.
Some saints would be nice too.
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* Not all atheists are like this. Quite a few are fine people, minding their own business. Let us liken them to gays. Many of them are good people, but many want to put bakeries out of business out of pure spite and meanness.
THIS SATURDAY is somewhat different than most, so I thought I’d gossip with you about it.
Normally, Saturdays are identical. My child bride is in her private kitchen out by the property wall, preparing her pastries for the afternoon sale on the big plaza downtown.
But not today. She’s going to church this morning.
But first, here’s what I’m doing, and it’s not much different than what I do every Saturday morning. I make rounds under the cursed peach tree scooping up fallen peaches to toss out.
Then I sweep the veranda. I hear the shower running in the bathroom, and I hear a lively Mexican tune blaring from the backstreet neighbors. I also hear the electric pump that’s sending water from the underground cistern to the tank atop the roof. And I hear birds. Lots of stuff to listen to.
Soon I’ll be hearing the lawnmower and weedeater because Abel the Deadpan Yardman arrives later to trim the grass.
The sky is blue. The air is crisp. The lawn is wet because it rained quite a spell last night, making sweet sounds.
Now here’s why she’s going to church. It’s to fool God.
Relatives often ask us to be godparents to the endless array of babies they birth because we look like the best deal going in the family. Problem is that our marriage was only a civil one, not a religious one. A judge connected us, and that’s not good enough to be godparents. I suppose we’re seen as living in sin.
There has been a recent spate of new babies among the bunny-breeding kin, so we received at least two new invites to godparenting. I pass. But my child bride really wants to. There’s nothing she loves more than babies.
This morning, she’s pretending to be single to get the proper paperwork, so she can be a godmother without me tagging along. The proper paperwork requires a three-hour instruction from a priest. She’s doing that in a church downtown.
I hope she remembers to remove her wedding ring.
This amuses me while I sweep the veranda and wait for Abel to cut the grass that I’ve already liberated of fallen, rotting peaches.
WE USUALLY don’t answer the doorbell because it’s often passing kids goofing around or someone selling something we don’t want. And it’s almost a two-block round trip from inside the house to the front gate and back. That more than anything.
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A Catholic spell
I come from country people who were never anything but Baptists or Methodists that I know of.
In spite of that, I was deposited in a Catholic school for kindergarten and First Grade in Albany, Georgia, about 10,000 years ago. My mother did it because it had the best reputation in town, education-wise.
My sister was sentenced there too. My sister had imagination, however, or maybe it was just childish ignorance. She came home one day and announced that she’d changed the Holy Water, freshened it up with stuff from the tap.
Neither the priest nor the nuns ever noticed, which tells me that Holy Water’s fame is overstated somewhat.
My mother, before enrolling me, made the nuns promise they wouldn’t try to turn me into a Catholic, and they did so promise because, one imagines, our money looked green.
However, one day I came home with the report that, after having misbehaved in some way, I was made to kneel on rice before a painting of the Virgin and beg forgiveness.
Mother took me out of the school at that point, and I left Catholicism forever if you don’t count that my second ex-wife is a recovering Catholic, and Mexico is full of Catholics.
My child bride does not seem to be a Catholic, but the environment rubs off. Her father was an atheist and her evil stepmother, after father died too young, became a Jehovah’s Witness, one of those pests at your front door.
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Speaking of doorbells
As I was saying, we rarely respond to the doorbell here at the Hacienda unless we are expecting someone.
But my child bride was toiling in her pastry workshop the other day when the doorbell rang — it rings both out there and here in the house — and since there was little walking involved, she opened the little speakeasy portal in the steel gate.
Two ladies were there, and they were not pesky Jehovah’s Witnesses, but Catholics on a collecting mission.
You see our neighborhood church up top? It is very old, and it’s in bad condition. We were informed that City Hall has agreed to chip in a percentage for a much-needed restoration, but residents here in our poor barrio have to pony up too.
We were being asked to pony up, so we ponied.
We learned that the amount one is asked to contribute is based on how well-off you look. In our hardscrabble neighborhood, we look quite well-off, so we were asked for 1,000 pesos.
We paid for the sake of architecture.
I think the Vatican should pay for the entire restoration, but it doesn’t seem that Headquarters pays us much mind.
I hope enough money is raised because I like the church. I see it every weekday morning during our exercise walk. I’ve rarely been inside, but I hear singing at times, and I see funerals and weddings there. All part of the tapestry hereabouts.