Lately I’ve been seeing a woman—very attractive, met completely randomly. She’s black, which should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following this blog since its beginning. For those who haven’t: I tend to date women who are not white. This isn’t by accident, although it’s not by design either; I’m just more intellectually drawn to people who can teach me something about a culture of which I’m not a part. This is also precisely why I go through passports like they’re double mint gum. I’m interested in things from which I can learn something new.
Anyway, she’s smart, educated, and genuinely curious about an extraordinary amount of things. She’s studying to be a Registered Nurse, but we don’t discuss medical issues; we discuss politics, philosophy, the origins of life—whatever it may be—and Pluto (because why the hell not?!). She’s a great girl, but I’m not here to discuss my dating life.
Actually I’m here to discuss something incredible she said.
Now, let me get this out of the way: She’s black, and black women and men tend to believe in a higher power more often than white, hispanic, or any other ethnic group in the US. She’s no exception, and she believes in Jesus Christ as her personal savior, although, paradoxically she’s not religious. But that’s not the point.
The issue of religion came up, and, after I told her I’m not religious (I’m not ready to tell her I’m a blog-administering atheist until I get to know her a little more), she said she doesn’t have a religion but believes in Jesus…. and she also believes in several other gods.
In my words—not hers—she’s a secular, polytheistic, non-religious Christian.
In her words, she worships Jesus “although I also believe other gods and higher powers exist. I choose to worship Jesus.”
Isn’t that interesting?!
I’ve said a bunch of times that belief isn’t a choice (and it isn’t), but she pointed out to me that worship is.
Although I disagree with her beliefs, I’m sure this will make for some very engaging debates. Maybe this relationship will survive those debates, and maybe it won’t (let’s face it; the odds are against me), but this will be an interesting adventure.
POST SCRIPT: This whole conversation—for the sake of honesty—stemmed from my desire to test the religious waters with her. I think I passed the test, but I won’t know for certain until the word “atheist” passes from my lips. Unfortunately, as stated above, if history is any indication, that word will destroy the relationship. And for the sake of romantic honesty, I admit I have an obligation to use that word at my earliest convenience.