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