Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Started reading this book called The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks yesterday. I have never really been a fan of the bestselling romantic fiction but the premise in this one seemed interesting - that of a 50 plus man seeking to make his wife fall in love with him again. It began well enough - but the whole goody-goody ness of the book reached its peak when the author devoted two full pages explaining how christianity saved him from being a dull and miserable atheist (after stating that he would not dwell on this aspect of his life). His wife is good and kind and a firm believer who, he proudly states, would not have married him, had she not felt that he would one day turn to Jesus as his saviour.

While the tribal instincts of proselytising religions (may our tribe increase) is inherently irritating, I am always left feeling stunned by the illogical sense of superiority of their proponents. In the middle of a romantic novel you come against this? I can imagine that the "average" reader of this type of fiction belongs to a certain demographic and that has led the writer to pander to his taste. But surely an educated person, claiming a certain level of emotional maturity will understand that there are others who do not share the same beliefs? Apparently not.

This attitude could be forgiven in someone belonging to a century ago - education was more catechism then. But today, no matter what your beliefs, exposure to various cultures should have fostered a sense of respect for differences in beliefs. After all each religion exists merely on the faith of its disciples. There is no external proof of its truth. It is simply stupid then to keep insisting that all those not in your tribe are pathetic. Plus, there are platforms for these rants - take them there.

A girl once gave me a book about a Hindu brahmin who converted to Christianity after the "Holy Cow" chased him down a field with its horns lowered after he offered to feed it. It was a giggle fest for me.
The literal-minded can also be amusing beyond belief. Of course when I offered her a book on the goddess Kali as a return favour, she was offended. :)