I have written about beliefs before (Beliefs Part I and Part II). I am writing about them again this week because one of my isolation mates is a fundamentalist christian. Basically fundamentalism is a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles emphasizing a literal interpretation of the Bible (1). A more complete explanation can be found here.
I suspect many stuck in isolation are learning more about their spouses, partners, children, house mates, etc. than they knew previously. During one of our meals, I asked the older of my isolation mates why she did not attend any of the family birthday celebrations prior to the isolation. She told me she was a fundamentalist christian and did not engage in dance nor drink. She then asked me if I believed in god. I told her that my god was life and not the god of Abraham and Isaac, her christian god. I told her that I was a heathen, (as my mother sometimes lovingly referred to me) meaning that I am a member of a people or nation who does not acknowledge the god of the bible (2).
During the following three weeks she began to send me links to various christian movies, songs and texts. Not wishing to offend my friend, I watched one of the movies and read a few of the links. The information I read was not new to me but I started to feel she was trying to convert me to her beliefs. I told her I was happy with the life I live and not in need or desire of conversion.
The catholic missionaries did a good job of converting the indigenous people of Ecuador to their system of christianity. Pope Francis even apologized for the role of the missionaries and the church upon the people of Educador and South America during his visit a few years back in 2015. He took responsibility for for destruction of multiple cultural religions in existence before the missionaries arrived.
I asked my isolation mate to discontinue sending me christian links and information. I did my best to explain my position of acceptance without offending her christian fundamentalism. I even referenced Jesus’ Sermon On The Mount. I told her I accepted her and her belief as part of who she is and I asked her to accept me, a non believer, for who I am rather than attempting to change me or my beliefs. In her last email she wrote.
Ok. I will stop sending you messages from God.
Strange, I thought the messages were coming from WhatsApp, but it’s a start.
(1) (2) Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, web edition application.