No God

I have never been so unwilling to be mistaken for a Christian. It’s been a long time now since I claimed that belief system, and I’ve gotten used to the subtle and blatant ways of cluing the people around me into the fact that I’m not a believer. But here, wow. I didn’t even realize it was happening. All this time in India, throughout North India, all the way down to Trivandrum and back up to Cochi. It wasn’t until we stopped and met some fishers on the beach at the mouth of the river that runs nearby that I realized what was happening. It had even happened before, but I hadn’t recognized it. They thought we were one of them! They – these guys – were Christians, Keralan Christians. The whole way they came up to us and spoke with us and urged us to go out drinking with them and asked to come to our house…it was all so intimate. It was as though we were supposed to know them already. And it was all based on a fallacy. Finally, one of the boys mentioned being Christian and we clarified that we were not. What are you? What are we? In India, being non-religious seems to be the only really strange thing to be. There are religious systems in India, ancient and unique systems, that have fewer than 200,000 adherents worldwide. There are Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, Jews, and of course, Christians. Being as though Goa was ruled by Portugal from 1510 until 1961, it shouldn’t be surprising that there would be so many Christians…but it was. About 75% of the Christians in India live in South India. A Syrian Christian named Thomas Cana, a merchant, arrived in the 4th Century. He had 400 families in[…]

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