Journal from July 5th 2014
Mum called this morning to ask why I have been so quiet. I still don’t talk to her much but I make a point of calling her at least once a week- and I think more than a week has whizzed past so far. It’s Saturday morning and I was still in bed as she spoke to me of going to church. I didn’t correct her or even lie through my teeth to say that I will totally go to church the next day. I just laughed and let the awkwardness hang in the air.
“You really did stop going to church, didn’t you?” she asks and inside I go like “Hallelujah! Another person has gotten the memo at last!”
To her I admit, “Yes I did.”
Since my brother broke the news to her, we have yet to speak of my religious tendencies- or the lack of them thereof. This is the first time she has actually confronted the fact that I am no longer a Christian. Lately, I’ve been especially worried seeing as I am going back to Mombasa in about a month, and I was wondering whether I should just get a religion to avoid awkwardness on Sundays at my aunts’ places or at home when mum and my brother would wake up to go to church.
Over the phone, mum goes on to say how she hopes I’m still keeping abreast with my spirituality and faith; and even though I think she’s still referring to my Christian faith, I claim that I truly am keeping at it- somehow- just to get over the subject; the same way I have been doing for the past year, lying I’d gone for early morning mass and that was why I could answer her call at 10 a.m. on a Sunday.
However, she made me realize that she’d accepted I’m no longer a Christian, when she made a joke saying, “Whatever religion you’ve moved to, I hope you aren’t sacrificing humans or anything…” And coming from her, it didn’t sound so bad anymore because we both managed to laugh as I vigorously say in other words, “HELL NO!”
She goes on to speak about Harrison Mumia- the atheist who came on TV for an interview- and she says how she totally understands many of the claims he made even though he lost her on some points along the way.
“As long as you’re at peace with what you’re doing- and you’re not harming anyone that is totally fine. Although you may be an outcast in many circles,” she says and adds “but you don’t really care do you?”
And I’m about to say I don’t care; but then I remember telling a pal of mine how I need a religion just for show and to avoid awkward moments with “important” acquaintances, who feel the need to have me pray to begin our “crucial” meeting. But then, mum lays my fears to rest, “Some people are bound to shun you of course, but we are family you know. We could quarrel and fight, or I could discipline you in whatever way but you’re still my baby. Just be happy and at peace with who you are- you are mine all the same.”
And that’s about the best thing I’ve heard the whole of this week that I’ve spent worrying myself silly about my lack of a religion and how the most important people in my life will take it when it finally hits them for real.
But as long as my brother, sisters, my favorite cousins and my mum take me as I am- atheist, agnostic, irreligious, Buddhist or whatever- I no longer care about acquaintances with whom I will have awkward moments when I admit I don’t pray to, worship or care for any god. If the people that matter most accept me as I am, everyone else can suck a dick.
And I am happy for that!