That post is the short of the story. Let
me tell you the long of it.
Keng and I do not share the same religion. This information
comes up quite often now that we’re about to get married. Most seem surprised
when they learned of it. A few weren’t really concerned. The most common
question we get, of course, is this: Sino’ng magpapaconvert?
Which, I think, is the wrong question.
When we got engaged, one of the most serious, if not THE
most serious, discussions we had was about religion. You see, I get that it’s a
touchy subject for everyone. You are not supposed to argue about religion even
with your friends, and the best way to make sure you don’t is avoid the topic
altogether. That wasn’t how it is for Keng and myself. We do talk about
it. But I can’t remember one instance
when we argued over it- directly or indirectly. I believe that the secret
is simple: I never thought that I was a better person than him because I am Catholic.
I never felt like he thought he was better than me because he’s Protestant. So
for more than 12 years, we were able to build a relationship around the fact
that we both go to church on Sundays. Only not the same church. I always say I’m
not bothered that he is from a different religion. What’s important to me is
that he believes that there is a God, that he prays, that he strives to live a
purposeful life. I believe that with my whole heart. We both believe, too, that
one of the major factors why we both maintained strong ties with our respective
families is the bond that faith and religion brings. So, at the end of that
important talk, we made the decision that we want to share the same religion before
Going back to the “Sino’ng magpapaconvert?”
question, I feel
uncomfortable answering it. Of course, it becomes easier when Keng jumps in and
, but it seems like a question of who won between us. That since
Keng would be the one to convert I somehow “won”, or that he loves me more
or he agrees that Catholicism is the better religion. But that is nowhere near the essence of this decision.
Like you, I am tired of people pitting religions against each
other. Faith is something very personal. Your religion is a manifestation of
that faith. And because we all have our different ways, we can choose what
vehicle fits us best. That is religion for me- the vehicle. Faith is the core. This
move that we decided on, this doesn’t intend to prove that one religion is
better than the other. On the contrary, we showed that we are on the same page.
We both understand that what’s important is our faith and that we make
nurturing such faith in ourselves and in the family we are about to create a
priority. It just so happened that we think we can do that best if
we are both Catholics.
On a rainy Saturday morning, in a near-empty church, with
both our families present, which is something I greatly appreciate, Keng
received his acceptance and confirmation into the Catholic faith. It was a
short and solemn occasion. After that, we headed to a nearby restaurant for
brunch. No awkwardness or anything. After all, Keng just changed his religion.
At the core, Keng and I, his family and mine- we are all the same.
I've been wondering if after all these years.... KIDDING!
I haven't written anything here for more than a year now. Frankly, I tried but can't seem to finish anything. There's this constant anxious feeling about letting your opinion out there again. Blame it on social media's courtroom i.e. the comments section. It's just so messy these days. But, this is my safe haven- my tiny spot in the vast and harsh world of the world wide web. Here we can agree to disagree silently.
I guess I'm back.