One of the hilarious things about Unitarianism is that we occasionally have people up to do homilies whom we have not, er, vetted. Thus it was that about 8 years ago some relatively inexperienced people on the worship services committee decided to have a representative of one of the Abrahamic religions, being a local imam, come and talk to us about Islam.
Islam is much closer to 19th century Protestantism in how long it allows a preacher to go on – hour, two hour long sermons are nothing (I get testy with myself if I go over 18 minutes, but I have the shades of Bareld and Ralph at either ear to assist in preventing me from being the truly windy whelp that I am) and they can be rather emotional and exhortative.
Anyhoo, I wasn’t there – I looked at the service description and thought the brilliant and humane Muslims I know IN REAL LIFE have been sufficient testimony to me of the appeal and strength of Islam as a religion (although, being a wicked atheist, its message cannot penetrate my sinful ears (note shades of atheists past standing guard at such orifices).
The imam lectured everyone in the room for what seemed like days and told them they were all wicked sinners headed straight to hell if they didn’t this minute convert to Islam.
Apart from a little confab with the worship services this had zero effect on our church. There was no outburst, it was just a sad error, and a tiny hiccup in the ecumenical fabric of our lives.
So, this time, we got a woman. She’s a media savvy Canadian Muslim. She had a simple and heartfelt and useful message for us (drop the word moderate in front of the word Muslim, please quit seeing a headscarf as a sign of oppression, remember that Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan have all elected woman leaders, be careful of the language you use and don’t put up with dog whistle language use from people who like to call Muslims THOSE PEOPLE). And she let her kids visit with our RE program. Not because she wants to join our church – because she is not frightened of any message we might teach her children, because she’s already spoken to Unitarians, and really, we don’t bite.
I’ll gloss over the children’s story, except that I mimed having a tummy ache and krept off to the john to avoid it, while the folks at the back smiled behind their hands.
Sandwich lunch after. Audrey’s devilled eggs were sublime. She and I and Marilyn had a lovely chat before church; I in my usual witless way can’t even remember the name of the charming newcomer I ate with afterwards. How to win friends and influence people.
Speaking of which, one of our long term members has dementia. She smiles whenever she sees me, which is encouraging, and then stiffly walks over to me and says things like “I know you but I cannot recollect your name.” or, and it’s her that’s making me remember…. “Allegra! Thank you for wearing your name tag!” and then, mischievously and shyly, “It’s a good thing I get a lift to church, I can’t remember where I live.” She looks like a precious five year old girl trapped in a still beautiful and friendly elderly woman.
If I get dementia, I sure as hell hope I’m like her.
Sue drove me home.
THRILLED out of my mind to hear that Rob W’s lawsuit (arising from the plane crash, wrote about it seven years ago on this blog) has been resolved. Hope to hear more details from him this week.
Katie and Alex are about to head up here, and I for one am looking forward to some time with linoleum lizard lad myself. I should get the coffee on.
3.1 hours and no words whatever yesterday. “We begin again in love”.
At some point today and tomorrow I’ll be off to feed Ayesha.
I am feeling a strong current of affection toward the world right now, but if I ever find the jackass who put fentanyl in marijuana in the Interior, I’m going to scold and withhold that cookie.