etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
( Jul. 17th, 2013 11:08 pm)
Whether it is a wake or sitting shiva or something else where family and friends gather to mourn the beloved dead, before or after the formal funeral or memorial services, they all have things in common.  People gather to talk and grieve and laugh and love.  To eat and drink and support each other.

I've been to many, and I am certain sure going to be going to many more.  As family, as friend, as supporter, as mourner, to pay my respects and laugh and cry.

I've buried all my grandparents, and most of my great uncles and aunts.  I've buried cousins and friends and neighbors.  This is not surprising.  Everyone is always moving forward toward a certain end point - the only surprise is if it comes sooner rather than later.  My first memory of death is from when I was a junior in high school.  One of the young men in my brother's class died the weekend before he was to graduate from high school.  It was a heck of a beginning to the summer.  I had a graduating class of 147 - three of which I know for certain have passed away - two from cancer, one unclear.

Tonight's grieving ritual was not unexpected - he'd been battling cancer for three and half years, and had been declining slowly but steadily. His daughters and their families were here for at least his last week, and they are there to support their mother now as she tries to navigate life after.  After she lost her partner and lover and husband for the last forty years.

Of the two of them, I knew her first.  But he was always her biggest supporter and fan, and he was always there in the background, a quiet man with a wonderful sense of humor and they turned to each other as if in the other they found their sun.

I will miss him.

RIP JLG 1945-2013
Yahoo news has an article about how most Americans can't answer the simplest questions about their own, and other people's faith. (Take the quiz yourself before reading the article: http://features.pewforum.org/quiz/us-religious-knowledge/)

Read the article:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_rel_religious_literacy_poll

I was raised Unitarian, in probably the most organized of any Unitarian church I've ever seen or heard of (it is also one of the oldest Unitarian churches around). But what they did really really well while I was growing up was giving us glimpses of other faiths, and told us any and all faiths were valid, and should be respected.

I no longer consider myself Unitarian. Or even Christian of any flavor.

But I got a 100% on the quiz - better than 99% of the people who took it. There was only one question I guessed (and guessed correctly) on. The majority of the questions are Judeo-Christian in content, but there are a couple that are (broadly) related to Hindu, Islam, and Buddhism.

Now, I know that the article is about a slightly different test - one with 32 questions, while this quiz only has fifteen, but I still felt pretty good about the score I got. Between my liberal arts education and my Sunday school curriculum I did okay.
etakyma: (Default)
( Mar. 20th, 2008 10:43 am)
I am not feeling at the peak of health today. I've had a sore throat for a few days, and working from home is great in that I don't really have to "look presentable" to do my work. However, it means that I am home all day. Today, a well dressed man holding a briefcase came up to my door and rang the doorbell.

I did not answer the door because I am not dressed for company, and wasn't expecting anyone. He then knocked, and I ignored him some more. Then he toddled off down the street to the house across the street. He did not even approach my sane neighbors (likely home with the twins). But he left something on my door, that I stealthily retrieved.

He was - wait for it - a Jehovah's Witness, and he left me with an invitation to go to Assembly Hall of JW in a town near mine for Easter - although they are very careful not to call it that... Let me see (and I quote):

"This year, the anniversary of Jesus' death falls on Saturday, March 22, after sundown. Jehovah's Witnesses invite you to remember this event with them and to examine why Jesus' sacrifice was the demonstration of a love beyond compare."

Um. Yeah, not so much. Personally, from the JW's I've met I think they're all a little barmy. Some more so than others.

Kinda glad I'm doing the hermit thing this morning and did not get dragged into a theological discussion about what sorts of insane things he believes (and did you ever notice the JW each have a specific thing they harp on over and over, and it is never the same specific thing two JW in a row? Yeah. I have far too much experience with this specific bunch of religious mixed nuts).

Now, I am not against religion. I think as a whole it has done a whole lot of good for a whole lot of people. But it has also done a whole lot of wrong for a whole lot of people too.

I don't believe in organized religion. Mostly, I don't believe in organized religion *for* *me.* As long as you don't bother me with trying to get me to see religion just your way (the right way, they always think and never say), we'll get along just fine.

*tosses invitation into the recycle bin* Not for me.
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