Friday, May 01, 2015

Dangerously Devout Duennas

Though I dub their quarters a domicile, the more appropriate name for the Draconian Domicile for the Dogmatic Duennas would be a cloistered convent. Lest you wonder how the three highly individualistic duennas came together - seeing as how they have so very little in common from Yoga Ysabel to Sober Sophia, they actually share a single terrifyingly doctrinal religion that governs every single minutiae of their everyday lives.


Excuse the bold letterings but each time they reverently mention the word, it's truly strikingly ... emboldened for want of a better word. For the trio of zealous duennas, Christianity isn't just a mere religion but an entire all-encompassing way of life!

As they spoke so fervently of their religion, I felt as if I'd stumbled into my old college days when the entire Christian Fellowship would come over to strum the communal guitar and sing devotional hymns in my room! For some inexplicably divine reason, my roommates always turned out to be the head of the fellowship which obviously drew the entire flock to my room. Much to my dismay. It's one thing to discuss religion with my newly anointed roommate in the late evenings - and quite another to have a dozen devout apostles in a room chanting verses and sharing weepy testimonies till the wee hours of the morning.

The First Communion? 

So you can imagine my growing horror when Marvellous Mabel started her spiel. For weeks I had been wondering why none of the young fellows in town had managed to draw their feminine attention. It suddenly dawned on me then that the problem with the eligible bachelors in town wasn't their diverse personalities but their opposing religious beliefs.

Mabel : First and foremost, he must be Christian. 
Paul : Any denomination will do? 
Mabel : Yes. 
Paul : So Catholic boys are alright? 
Mabel : Catholics aren't Christians!
Paul : What?! 
Mabel : They just aren't. 
Paul : We'll get back to that shocking issue later - but really that's your first criteria? To be Christian? 
Mabel : I believe we should share similar beliefs, views and goals in life. So if he's already Christian, it would simplify matters. After all 'be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers -'
Paul : Madre de Dios.

Oh dear God.

Faith is wonderful indeed but when it becomes far too rigidly exclusionary, that can be a problem. Rather than preaching tolerance and unifying humankind, faith then draws the diving line with the faithful Us against the non-believers Them. Even amongst the faithful Us, there starts to be minor divisions between those who are seen to be holier and those who aren't. The Holier-Than-Thou Syndrome?

Of course like I said this isn't my first time faced with such religious dogmatism so I told Mabel this.

Paul : Imagine if Jesus were in a room. Do you think he would say you must only marry another Christian? 
Mabel : Yes. 
Paul : I think you better read the Bible again. 


zerachiel said...

catholic aren't christians ? my goodness, bet three of them are jehovah's witness followers, they're the ones who openly condemn the catholics, and they use their own "translated" version of the bible...well, when there's separation in humanity, what else to expect in religion....

savante said...

They're all Methodists actually, zerachiel!

Anonymous Esq. said...

Well, she's got a point Savante. From the Catholic viewpoint, you have the Catholics and the Non-Catholics [read: Protestant, and technically by canon law, Heretics; as well as the potpourri of other cults such as the Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons and Unitarians]. From the Protestant viewpoint, you have the Protestants, the Catholics [which we mainly do not consider to be truly Christian given their many glaring doctrinal improvisations] and the Cults [JWs, LDS etc which are definitely heresies through and through]. From the early days of the Reformation, both sides have been anathemizing each other - and even till today, it is widely acceptable to call a marriage between a Catholic and a Protestant, a 'mixed' marriage. She's quite right about not marrying a Catholic - there is just so much mess to deal with after that - will the child be given a Catholic baptism or will he be raised Protestant? Will it be alright for the child to not attend Catholic Catechism classes, since by canon law the children of a Catholic marriage, including mixed ones, are required to attend these even if one of the parents is non-Catholic. In fact, this consent has to be given if the Catholic party wishes to proceed with the marriage or else the union is not considered valid ipso facto in the eyes of the Catholic Church - and this ecclesiastical approval will mean a lot to the Catholic husband, if he is indeed truly Catholic to begin with. And then we'll be looking at years of doctrinal clashes between husband and wife, and given she's Methodist, that will definitely be happening from Day One. So, shall the child be brought up amongst rosaries, feast days and novenas, auricular confessions, transubstantiated Eucharists, penances and 'other Popish works' or shall be he brought up 'Reformed'. Trust me, speaking from experience, the child will end up growing up very confused with respect to his religious upbringing. So she's in a sense very justified. And yeap - she's got Scriptural writ to back it up too.

savante said...

Well, anon, let's look at it from the point of view of the person who started it all instead. Do you think Jesus would enjoy seeing all his followers split into different camps?

Anonymous Esq. said...

Well Dr, in my humble opinion, I wished there no such sectarianism existed. But the fact is it does, and for reasons that are justified, and I know that these reasons which mainly stem from major differences in doctrine is not too relevant to you. Our Lord would not have desired such sectarianism. But neither would he have condoned the corruption of his teachings or the twisting of Holy Writ by the traditions of mere men. And sadly even his apostles foresaw the rise of heresies even within the first century of Christ's death. I know you have a sincere question but the truth is that Truth and falsehood cannot coexist under the same roof - either one is right and the other an improvisation or vice versa.