Sunday, May 10, 2009

Atheism - uniting people in begrudgery

I just got home from my little brother's communion party, a function involving Irish people and alcohol, which ultimately lead to a singsong.

Myself and a few others (including the hosts of the party) took refuge in the adjoining kitchen, attempting to keep our conversations going despite the anguished crooning coming from the open doorway. The singers responded to this with outraged and indignant shushing (these are adults shushing other adults, mind), the absurdity of which succeeded in plunging our room into a stunned silence.

A woman of about 30 that I hadn't spoken to all night sidled up beside me:

"Ah Jesus Christ. Can you hear the shite that they're singing?"

"I'm afraid I'm not familiar with that song" I answered in earnest.

"It's fuckin' religious shite... I think."

We stood there for a moment with our ears perked until an agonisingly rendered "Gawd" floated out of the dining room. Vindicated, she turned to me for my facetious reply:

"How appropriate! This is a communion party after all."

She rolled her eyes. "Appropriate? At this hour of the night? At their age? They should know better"

Trying to be diplomatic about the (obnoxious) people I didn't know, I agreed that I found it a little absurd myself.

"I just don't understand the appeal..." she volunteered "...probably because I'm not religious at all."

For some reason, I found myself liking that person.


SeanHn said...

She sounds like a miserable auld bitch to be honest :P

What didn't she understand the appeal of? Singing? Or singing songs that are religious in nature? Are religious songs a faux pas after a certain hour but acceptable before that?

Seriously though, evangelical nut jobs aside, atheists seem more likely to drag religion into a conversation/social situation than 'religious' people, and as an atheist that is really bloody annoying! Surely atheists of all people should just be happy that they've come to their senses and move the conversation to more interesting things like art/music/science.

Sully said...

Well, it wasn't exactly a conversation, just a few comments passed in the middle of some people reshuffling.

It was a pretty odd moment, to be fair. Despite what the title implies, I had no confirmation that she was a non-theist - it's every bit as likely (if not even more so) that she subscribes to some equally nonsensical belief system, possibly one that she cobbled together herself from various odds and ends that she thinks makes herself qualified to assert an air of superiority over the sheep in the world.

Make no mistake, the singers are the villains of the story. Shushing the people responsible for the gathering in the first place? That takes some gall.

As you can see from the post, I didn't encourage her effusions at all, and it's probably also worth noting that I don't have any issues with religiously themed music (although lyrics involving abject supplication bother me immensely).