They say you shouldn’t talk about religion and politics in polite company, but I think the idiom needs an update. The politics part is fine.
But among friends my age, speaking ill of the church is redundant, like bad-mouthing athlete’s foot. Everybody’s doing it. You’re more likely to offend people by saying you didn’t like the latest episode of Mad Men.
So I’d like to make a new addition to the don’t-talk list. Remove: Religion. Add: Alternative medicine.
Different names, same nonsense.
Replace “Christianity is 2,000 years old” with “India and China are ancient cultures.”
Replace “If you listen for Jesus, He’ll speak,” to “You have to believe it or it won’t work.”
Please note that me banging my head on the table in frustration shall remain the same.
First of all, there is no “alternative” medicine. There’s medicine. Stuff works or it doesn’t.
This is not a battle of West vs. East. Homeopathy started in Germany, for instance, and it’s bunk.
Homeopathy is a good discussion point because there’s no grey. It doesn’t work, full stop.
It says water can “remember” what was dissolved in it if you just shake it up well. And that the more diluted something gets, the more powerful it is.
If homeopathy was true, I’d drop a shot of vodka into my parent’s pool, thrash around a little, and invite some friends over for the party of our lives.
But I’ve discovered it’s not polite to say such things. It gets people upset.
Look, I don’t care whether you agree with me. But people should be able to discuss it without getting personally offended or staring at their shoes like they’re trying to untie them telepathically. How else does one get closer to the truth -- whatever that is?
My mother is a lay minister in the Catholic Church, so I have a lot of experience with being friendly and loving when personal cultures clash.
She called me a few months ago and said, “We have something in common.”
“You’re unemployed,” I said.
“Yes,” she said. “Did somebody tell you?”
“No,” I said. “I just couldn’t think of anything else we have in common.”
We laughed together at that — a long, hearty, satisfying laugh. It was like medicine.