my parents had a mixed race wedding long before it was fashionable or common to do so. they both came from conservative backgrounds, and had nothing- not language, customs or food in common. the one thing they *did have in common was their religious (christian) faith.
growing up, my sister and i saw much of the tension of growing up in a ‘mixed’ family. we’ve always had trouble answering questions about ‘home’, about what ‘culture’ we belonged to and were often suspect because of our racial impurity. looking back, i can only imagine now what a strain much of that must have been on our parents too. they were essentially alone in their marriage, with both their ‘original’ cultures seeing the other with much suspicion. to make things harder, apa quit a promising career to do what he believed their faith told him to. mamma quit *her promising career and followed, though i think she had reservations. this meant financial insecurity and severe intellectual loneliness for years and years. through all of this, they have stayed committed and loving to each other. that is not to suggest they were perfect (far from it), but their commitment to each other has been an inspiration. they themselves have always attributed this commitment to their religious faith, and i believe them.
i do not share my parents religious belief, for reasons more complex than can be handled in this post (or in the comments box, thou would-be savers-of-my-soul). dee comes from a liberal hindu background, and i from a conservative christian one, but we share our non-religious-ness. our wedding hurt my parents, but they have since whole heartedly accepted dee into the family.
the point of all this? well, richard dawkins (among others) tells me that god is a delusion. he may well be right. when one sees the immense destruction religion is responsible for, the religious begin to look sinister. i think it pays to remember, though, that religion is responsible for much construction too. much of the destructiveness, as i see it, comes from the *same principles that make religion so constructive- it is impossible to separate one from the other. i see religion like wind or fire- capable of much healing, yet with the potential for much hurt.
god may be a delusion, but when i look at this picture of my parents, i wonder- is that delusion so bad after all?
NOTE: this is *not a critique of dawkins’ ‘the god delusion’- it is a thinking aloud on religion and my response to it. actually i’ve been too busy with comics to read the book yet, lol.