It’s been years since I last had a conversation with this guy. My talks with him were some of the most interesting I’ve had no matter how trivial the topic may be: proper way to cook sinangag, single parenthood, fishing, weeds…
This Holy Wednesday, I chanced upon his Facebook status that again I found stimulating. I commented and told him that I like where his thoughts are going. A few minutes later, this chat happened:
HIM: Hi, musta na? If you don’t mind me asking, what is your religion?
ME: Hi. Catholic. Why?
HIM: Nevermind ☺
ME: Hahaha. Now you got me curious. What scared you? I mean, why nevermind? Nabitin ako dun ha.
HIM: Well, I have some very uncommon beliefs that can offend simply by stating it.
ME: I know ☺ (he didn’t realize that I knew about his “uncommon beliefs” from our past conversations) I don’t get offended by other people’s (different) beliefs. I get curious.
HIM: I am an Atheist, but to qualify, I do not hate religion, but seek to end religious intolerance… (there is hope for this guy yet. Hehe) Religious belief should never be the basis for judging people.
ME: I agree. Religion is a creation of man, that’s why there is a tendency to abuse (and misuse) it. Having said that, I would rather say my “faith” is Catholic. I’m not religious in a sense that I don’t practice (or observe) all the rituals except go to mass. (oh, my priest friends may get sad about this)
HIM: I asked my son, “who is a better person — a Catholic, an Atheist, or a Muslim? “ I am proud of his answer. He said, “It really depends on what the person did, not his religion.” People should not be judged on their beliefs or preferences.
ME: You’re not my only Atheist friend. You know what? These are just labels. We all hold on to things we prefer to believe in, and then put labels because we need them for communication. In the end, we all sin. But I know that we are all good people.
HIM: Agree. Ika nga ni Pope, “People will be judged in heaven for what they do, not their beliefs. “ I so admire your Pope ☺
ME: I know, right? He’s such a maverick. Kaya siguro some people label him as the anti-Christ. Hahaha.
HIM: Big step to end intolerance!
And then, to end the chat, he sent me this link: http://www.catholic.org/news/hf/faith/story.php?id=51077
2 thoughts on “Conversation no. 13: losing my religion”
Nung tayo ay mga bata pa, Carmen, hindi mahirap pag-usapan ang religion. Mainly because predominantly Catholic ang mga Pinoys, sa Catholic school tayo nag-aral at mababaw pa tayo mag-isip. Personally, nagsimula akong na-expose sa ibang paniniwala nung iniwan natin ang SJA at napunta ako sa UP. From Colegio de Sta. Rosa to St. Rita College elementary schools na both run by nuns to our SJA eh bombarded tayo lagi about religion. All of a sudden sa UP ni wala kami kahit isang religion class. All I had then was a classmate who was an Opus Dei member and she was my constant reminder of my Catholic religion. This same friend ang nakasama ko sa SGV hanggang sa Easycall at hanggang sa pareho kaming nag-migrate dito.
Mahirap na pag-usapan ang religion ngayon, lalo na dito sa workplace na may iba’t-ibang relihiyon ang iba’t-ibang lahi. Mahirap na pag-usapan ang religion sa parties kahit alam mong pare-pareho namang mga Katoliko ang mga kausap mo. Siguro kasi sa dami na ng mga life experiences na dinaanan ko at ng mga nakakausap ko. Siguro rin sa dami ng scandal ngayon sa Catholic Church. I wonder how my devout friend would explain all these many issues plaguing the Vatican. My dear friend passed away here at age 44 so I have lost that one person who patiently kept me in the “right” religious path. Gaya nga ng kaibigan mo, I also have some “uncommon beliefs” that can offend if I share them here.
We cannot control who gets offended by our beliefs and opinion, although it is tough to find the right words that will not offend anyone. At the end of the day, we just have to remind ourselves and those who do not see our point that we are all entitled to what we believe in.