*this will be a lengthy post.
never argue about religion.
this is the one thing that i have realized from multiple discussions i had so far. for me, regardless, of how interesting or promising the flow of the conversation may be, i always try to avoid it as much as possible; especially at times, when someone insist it to me.
let us admit it, it is never easy to tackle and question another people's belief. for first, it is simply disrespectful, not only to the individual, but to the long history of the community s/he belongs. and lastly, you will never ever reach a common point. it will always be just an (heated) arguement, rather than a healthy debate or conversation.
religion is the sum total of a long history of beliefs and traditions of a particular community. in sociology, it is believed to be practiced and observed for it is deemed appropriate, or better yet beneficial, for the survival of both human individual and society.
i was born and raised roman catholic. and i can say, that my family is pretty strict and compliant when it comes to our religion. signs of it include the fact that all of us studied in exclusive catholic schools. we observe novena everyday, attend mass during sundays, pray grace to each meal we have (even if its just small snacks and meriendas); and even required (by our parents) to memorize, fully understand and discuss each passages of the bible before we go to bed. i even remember my dad bringing me to a seminary when i was sent to the province to take highschool. but since i was a transferee from manila, the rector did not allow me. nonetheless, i never ended up being religious. but i could not classify myself neither as an agnostic nor atheist. i'd rather prefer being called spiritual.
for me, the belief of (a) god/s is always present. but i can not help myself from doubting some claims whenever it is being interpreted and applied by its institution (or the church) to my life. and other than these, i refuse to elaborate further. for as i have earlier mentioned, i am avoiding crossing other people's boundaries, until that day.
he was my immediate supervisor from my previous job. i never really knew him that well. all i knew was, he seriously wants to be a seminarian and hopefully to be a priest. but since the responsibilty of being the eldest son in the family indirectly called him, he set aside this ambition first and took the role of being the bread-winner of his family. nonetheless, he claims that he kept a spiritual adviser in contact whenever his devotion is put into the test because of work.
"eric, are you a catholic?" he politely asked me while i was busy signing some work-related documents.
"by paper, yes. by practice, no."
"i believe in the presence of god. but i value my free will more than what my church calls for me."
"interesting. but why?"
"i am sorry, boss. but i am really not comfortable elaborating my answer."
"i understand. its okay."
i smiled at him as a sign that i appreciate him respecting my decision. but at the back of my head, i was also itching to know why he raised the question. thus,
"why did you ask?"
"nothing really. i just wondered, how are you with your teammates considering they are... you know.. they are..."
"gays and lesbians?"
yes. all of my teammates, if not for one straight guy , are gays and lesbians.
"i am pretty okay with them. actually, i enjoy their company and i never really considered their sexuality as a problem to their performance or to mine."
"it is surprising that you are pretty open and considerate with this."
"of course, why can't i?"
"you see, personally, i have already accepted this idea (idea??? strike one!), especially in this kind of industry (aha! stereotyping. strike two!). but as a religious person, all i can do is to tolerate. but what i am really against with is the... (he was already twitching just thinking of the word) sex or promiscousity associated with this kind of life style for it is a sin (SIN. strike three. OUT!)."
there goes my queu. gathering all the thoughts in my head, i composed myself and just smiled back at him. for i knew, he would definitely asked for my opinion.
"how about you? whats your stand about this?"
"for me, sex is neither a need or want. it is a drive. and human nature will tell us, that regardless if it is about sex or not, the more you repress or supress something, the more an individual reacts, craves and does it. thus, in terms of the behavior, we perceive it as being promiscous.
i guess, what i am just trying to say is that the behavior is due to the lack of institutional recognition; that is deemed wrong or a sin because of the absence of that one thing that justifies sex: marriage. though i am not really a big fan of the general concept, i still believe that it will definitely be beneficial to the general welfare of the individuals concerned and even to the society they belong; for the fact, still remains, that regardless of how non-traditional the concept may be, all of us are still deeply rooted with a big part of our common traditions and beliefs.
i believe that human nature is not as complex as what we think it is. what we just need to do is to try being more open to the wide variety of possibilities, in order for us to understand it. besides, there is no such thing as a stationary individual or society. each entity evolves based from each needs in order to survive. thus, if a society is faced with such problem, it does not mean that it needs to throw away everything that it has long-established and change entirely. what we are just being called for is to adjust, if deemed necessary, and then move further. for the only thing that changes in this world is time alone."
then i immediately looked at my supervisor's reaction and i swear, i heard a voice inside of my head saying, "nganga!" hahaha!
he did not follow up anything anymore. he just slowly nodded and asked me to go back to my desk. when i sat on my station, T was seated beside me, "what is that about? it took you guys almost an hour."
"nothing. just trying to know each other."
then i saw a subtle smile on the side of his lips.
days after i ended my contract, i received a text message from an unknown number.
"hey eric. how are you? i have heard of what happened. wanna have coffee this weekend?"
it was my supervisor, N.