18 July 2010


The other day, my friend and I were in a restaurant. We happened to be talking about something that was culturally sensitive. Since my friend was not raised to be educated in an Abrahamic religion, he asked me to explain some of the basic tenets of Christianity. Of course, I did explain to him in a rather non-religious manner.

When this topic of conversation started, it was just us in the corner of the restaurant, and some other people occupying some tables that were far from us. So for all intents and purposes, the conversation was private.

However, in the middle of the conversation, apparently, there was a party of three who occupied the table behind us. And later on, I overheard the guy sitting behind me complain to his tablemates, "I did not come to this restaurant to hear my religion being ridiculed." Wow. The girl who was part of their party defended me, saying something to him along the lines of us having a private conversation, not meant for other people to hear. And yes, for all intents and purposes, he was eavesdropping. And if he didn't like what he heard, then that's unfortunate.

So, when I realized that the person behind me didn't feel comfortable with the topic of conversation that we were having, I discreetly changed the topic. I figured that I do have opinions, and yet of course, not everyone is welcome to hearing them. In fact, I half-heartedly wanted to get up and apologize to that man for offending him. However, as some of my other friends later remarked, he didn't get up and tell me that what we were talking about was offensive, so I did the right thing by just doing nothing.

I guess what I am disturbed here is that some people ignore the fact that everyone has freedom of speech. I am free to form whatever opinion I have regarding Christianity. And they are free to form whatever opinion they have about it as well. I am so glad that I am not living in a country where belief, specially religious belief, is state-mandated, because that would be tantamount to imprisoning my brain. If that man was offended by my beliefs, I am sorry. However, I did not voice my beliefs publicly and that was not meant for everyone to hear. He should understand that. Because if we watch whatever we say in public, then sooner or later we'll become like a Big Brother state, because I am sure that whatever opinion we have, there is someone out there that will be offended.

There's several billion people out there in the world. I love how diverse people are, and with diversity, there's always conflict. You cannot make every person in this planet happy. That's just an impossible task.

(Close Up of Top View, from my Salineras de Maras Series)

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