I wonder if she’ll want me to come to church with her on Christmas eve. To hear her sing in the choir… I’ve gone almost every year (and told her, too, that this was my reason for going – to hear her sing). So that’ll be the test. If she doesn’t say that she wants me to come, now that she knows, something is up. I hope not. 3 years ago
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Really? I don’t care much. But I care about ethics teaching in schools in this city which is in desperate need to ensure and advance understanding between people from different cultural backgrounds.
There was even an article in The Guardian on today’s referendum on whether religious education should have the same status in Berlin classrooms as ethics teaching.
I voted for the status quo: ethic as a compulsory topic, religion as an optional course. The opponents of this law wanted to make a choice between the two compulsory, which might lead to a separation of Protestants, Catholics, and Muslims (mostly) pupils. Not good.
I get to upset about the lobbyists, I don’t even know where to start. For some people, the term “enlightenment” carries no meaning. The concept of “freedom” for them is something they can twist and turn and manipulate. It makes me sick to my stomach. 4 years ago
I’m not sure how she feels about this.
A weird part was when she talked about the possibility of my boyfriend and me getting married in church, and I said, “oh, I have to tell you, this is not going to happen”. For various reasons. But that was when I knew she didn’t have a clue – and it was the moment when I saw tears in her eyes.
She didn’t cry and I managed to bring it all across, my admiration and respect for her, and how there are so many questions I can’t answer yet, such as how to raise children and how to tell them about religion. I have to figure these things out as I, as we go along. And then we quickly moved on to a discussion of people who go to church only on Christmas and ruin it for the regular church-goers, and why they would do that, and how to handle them.
So I’m one of those people, I guess, except I go to church because my mum’s in the choir and I love to hear her voice.
Some weeks later, something hit me. One day, when she is on her death-bed, I will say the Our Father prayer together with my mum, or for her. (I know she did this for my grandfather in the hour of his death.) And the credo. The resurrection of the body. The life everlasting. I know how to say it, but can I even do this for her, how can I bring peace to her when she knows I don’t believe in it?
It makes me cry to even think about it.
I have to talk with my aunts. 4 years ago
Another postponed goal. Subtle or not-so-subtle hints (“I’ll go to church with you…. because of the music”) never lead to anything, not that I expected them to. Now I’m back in Berlin, and of course I can’t do this over the phone. Easter, perhaps? 4 years ago
It unsettles me that she probably thinks I’m a believer, but simply too lazy to go to church. It’s not laziness. And I do have a belief that’s very strong.
I always think of a character in Harry Mulisch’s The Discovery of Heaven, Onno, who says something like: There are people who don’t believe that God exists. I am a person who believes that God doesn’t exist. There’s a difference.
Yes, I agree.
My mother engages in so many churchly activities. She has a different educational background, from a different time almost (1940s/50s). This family has a family bible that goes way back. I understand that for someone like her, to question the concept of religion is basically unthinkable. Skepticism, critical thinking about something that in her family was as natural as breathing? She wouldn’t know how.
I’m not trying to change her or start an intellectual discussion about something that’s very dear to her. I’d just like to explain that my belief, if you will, is different. I’ll tell her that I’ll still come to with her, to hear her sing in the choir. Will that be okay with her? And: My children will not be baptized. I will always be proud of her and honor her belief, but it’s hers.
And yes, I should probably leave my church, too. 4 years ago