Ahem. We conclude this evening with a true story:
Two technicians were having a heated debate, one for returning religion to the public schools, the other against. As said conversation was about to go boom, I made the mistake of letting loose a barely audible snicker. This, of course, opened me up as this painfully shallow conversation's arbitrator. *sighs*
I have learned to loathe the question, "So what do you think?" I have yet to find anyone who gives a rat's ass what I think. Yet, people so often feel the need to ask. Why?
Anyway, I gave my opinion: most Americans could stand to learn a little about religion, what with their being so painfully ignorant on that subject (as a rule). (And no, I don't mean Americans as a group to be pointed at and tsk, tsk-ed. I believe that most humans could stand to learn a thing or two, myself included, but, as I said, we were talking about Americans, so I said: Americans. No flames, please).
Moving on, their all-too-predictable response was: we are not!!
As I said: *sigh*
Ignoring the fact that their "we" was meant to represent the whole of the United States (a rather egomaniacal sentiment, but one I am in no position to criticize), I assured them that I had not been speaking of them, per say, but that the fact was, the majority of American citizens could not even name the five "great" religions.
"To easy", came the quick answer, "after all", they began to tick off religions on their fingers, "there's Christianity, yes," a quick glance between them, "and the Jews," (try not to flinch), a longer pause, "umm," *snap, snap, snap of the fingers*, then a quick whispered back and forth, "Abu on the Simpsons? He's, ah, Hindu? Yeah, its like everyone in India." (Again: bite thy tongue). A stronger voice, "Hindu, and...Buddhist!" the second chimes in with a spark of inspiration, "And...and..."
I gave them a full 90 seconds of confused glances, muttered conference and shrugged shoulders before I provided, "Islam."
They seemed to consider this for a moment, passing questioning looks between each other before answering slowly, carefully, "No...no," one tech finally mustered the courage to disagree, "I don't think that's right."
I smiled, "Why not?" The truth is, I would much rather have you challenge what I say then have you pretend to agree when, in reality, you think I'm crackers. :)
"Well," my brave little technician responded, "I think you are confusing a country with a religion."
"Huh?" I did not follow.
So she spelt it out for me, and boy-howdy, was I ever glad that she did, "Islam is a country, not a religion," she explained carefully, "That is who we're fighting the war [on terror] with now."
"Oh," I answered carefully, "Ohh, I see. So that's how it is. Hum." I left the conversation there, opting to focus my attention on verifying prescriptions. I did not laugh. Part of me wanted to fold over laughing. Part of me wanted to cry. But, for the most part, I just wanted to retire, spend the remainder of what will hopefully be a very long life curled as a hermit in my green-carpeted house with my books and my music and my too-testy cats and bury my head in society's proverbial dust. That would make me Happy. *smiles*
Here is to my achieving my goal. :)