Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I believe in miracles

Do I walk around with a sign on my head saying that I need to be saved? I swear I'm not trying to sound like a character in a Flannery O'Connor novel, this religious stuff just keeps happening.
The Christian who dropped around a Bible while Harley was sick last week asked if he could say a prayer for the baby and I thought, what harm can it do? I said Harley was on the mend anyway but sure, go ahead. He said he would have to hold the baby, if that was alright.
Well, I could hardly say no, and besides the man has seven children of his own. He held the baby, rubbed his tummy, and said some kind of prayer which I assume was in Hebrew. Then he declared, "you are now HEALED through the Lord Jesus" and handed the baby back. As he was leaving he reminded me to start reading the Bible at Matthew and promised he would leave it with me, because he wasn’t “that kind of salesman”. Which I figure at least is an admission he’s trying to sell me something.
As if this wasn’t enough I was speaking with an old friend whose father tries on new religions like they’re going out of fashion, and she said now that they’ve made their seachange from Sydney to a small country town that has a large population of followers of new or alternative religions, her father is keen to preach some new religion he’s into, a religion that amounts to "Christ without Church". (Yeah, I know, it’s too Flannery.)
I start telling my friend about the visits from the Christian and she urges me to read the Old Testament first. Apparently her father’s beliefs centre around the Messianic Judao-Christian worldview instead of, she says it sounds like, my neighbor’s Pentecostal Christianity. She never used to be religious, but living with her father again, an artist who has a very powerful personality, has drawn it out of her, I think.
I say it kind of annoys me a bit how people try and convert me. I say I'm quite happy with my world-view; shouldn’t people respect that? My philosophy is pretty simple: be kind to yourself, be kind to others, be kind to the planet. I see no need for a sky-god, and I don’t need to beg forgiveness just for being alive. As for the seven sins, I think some of them are fun, so I’m probably beyond redemption anyway.