Five years ago this week Carol and I were married in an unusual ceremony.
My wife happens to believe in God and the supernatural. I happen to think there is no God and Nature is enough.
In fact, she is a Presbyterian Minister who directs a large Interfaith Council.
I am a former Presbyterian Minister who worked for many years as an Interfaith Chaplain, who now teaches, writes and manages non-profit housing.
We were married at a Zen Center in a ceremony officiated by a Zen Priest, a Christian/Tibetan Minister, a Jewish Rabbi and a Wiccan Witch. . .all of whom are Women.
Friends and family who attended were Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Jewish, Bahai, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Sufi, Agnostic, Atheist, Straight and Gay, ranging in age from a few months to 80.
I said it was unusual, didn’t I?
My wife’s parents renewed their vows with us since it was their 50th Anniversary.
My sister and her husband just happened to be celebrating their 27th on the same day!
Now, before someone concludes that my wife and I are just New Age Californians. . .We are not.
Well, we do live in the Golden State, but we’re from opposite sides of the country, have masters degrees and many years of working with diverse groups of people. We have no tolerance for most of the nonsense that passes for “spirituality,” especially when it’s irrational mumbo-jumbo (which a lot of it is). We live in the epicenter of Guru-land, but don’t give that much thought or attention. Too busy trying to do some down-to-earth helpful things for others, teach and build pragmatic, realistic bridges of cooperation.
When people ask why I usually don’t identify as an A-Theist or Anti-Theist I simply point to my years building relationships. Do I agree with the beliefs of many people including my wife? No. But it is the relationships that matter most. Do we discuss and debate? Sure, sometimes. But usually we’re all too busy trying to find ways of working together and making peace possible to spend time being distracted and divided by beliefs.
The essential belief is in relationships, interdependence and trustworthy living, working hard to create that messy and never-quite-finished slippery thing called “Community.”
So, now you know one major reason why I do not have the time, energy or interest in being anti-religious, anti-god, anti-theist.
I love you, Carol.