I couldn’t quite hear what she was saying from my office so I walked out and closer to her cubicle to get a cleaner ear on it.
“I’m sorry what?” I replied.
“I said: Are you saved?” She repeated.
Let me explain why I have a problem with that question. In case you’re just tuning in – which you are – my coworker, had decided that it was now relevant – no, imperative – to explore the depth of my religious proclivities and dedications. There are several things obscenely wrong with this, in my unhumble opinion.
The first was to assume that I was Christian. This is Kenya; land of the many many. If I had a penny for every time I had wrongly guessed someone’s religion or cultural background, I’d fill a potato sack with pennies and then beat whoever wrongly guessed my spiritual inclination over the head with it. Seriously. Who’s to say I’m not Baha’i or Buddhist? Daoist or Atheist? Or maybe just sensitive about the matter?Nah, she jumped straight in, head first into a pool that could’ve either been acidic or empty with hopes of making a splash.
The second problem with her let-me-interrupt-work-for-this-question is that we’re at work. Hold on, let me climb atop my soapbox and grab an loud speaker and say that again:
Aren’t there more important questions you should be asking me? Could you please come up with a better reason to get me out of my office? And don’t pull that “ice breaker”, “friendly conversation” crap on me. There are only 3 taboos in friendly conversation: religion, politics and finances. You really want to mess up what would’ve been a light-hearted chat with a pal, try ask him about his bank balance while criticizing his stand on the referendum and calling his Holy Book a “boring read”.
But I guess you can’t fault her entirely; it seems that it’s a Kenyan thing. See, Kenyans like to invade spiritual space and land grab religious sanctums so that what was once your relationship with Your God, becomes (y)our relationship with Our God. Which, frankly, is a very 16th Century crusader/missionary mentality.
Let me spell this out for all of you very very very clearly; whether or not somebody other than you is saved is…*ehem*….NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!
Where’s that soapbox?
Again, I completely understand this whole doctrine about spreading the Good Word and all this. And it’s adorable. It really is. But ladies, gentlemen, yonder, on ye wall, ‘ere layeth a calendar. What year, pray tell, is it? 2010, correct? And we are adults, correcter? Tell me why in 2010, as a young to old adult, you would concern yourself with another persons very personal life?
Isn’t it – to some degree – a sign or religious myopia and insecurity to constantly be concerned about other’s faiths? I’d like to think of like this – if I can’t talk to you about the inner workings of my relationships with people, I can’t start trying to explain what exists between The Man Upstairs and myself. It’s not a light matter, nor is it a public one. Likewise, it’s not some stripe on your uniform or some badge of honor you should go around flaunting. I’m yet to read a scripture that says “Now that you’re super-Christian, go forth and brag to your religiously unaccomplished peers. Give them something to look up to.” No. If anything, the Holy Bible, the Glorious Qur’an and several other books preach understanding and open-mindedness. When and where that turned into what happens in our fair land today is beyond me. Church is not a missionary recruitment camp. It’s a place you go to talk to your Father.
Besides, with everything else you have to be concerned with, I feel I should save you the stress of worrying about me and mines. We’re fine thank you. When we need help, we’ll be sure to call. Thank you. Next topic.