Non-Abrahamic Atheism: A Match Made in Heathen

Non-Abrahamic Atheism: A Match Made in Heathen December 6, 2016

Marriage among atheists are not confined to the West.

It’s important to remember that atheism exists in every race, creed, and culture. There is no single atheistic demographic, so you never know when you’ll stumble across fellow heathens.

Last Saturday, Keith and I went on a three-hour tour of the Marina Del Rey harbor. Actually, four hours, but who’s counting? Fortunately, we weren’t shipwrecked on a desert island afterwards. That’s kind of hard when you’re put-putting in a slow circuit of the harbor during a corporate Christmas party.

On Christmas party yacht 2016
Nearing the shore after the Christmas party.

The company that operates the party yachts has never lost a group yet. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if now and again people jumped overboard just to get away from people they can’t stand even at work. That certainly didn’t happen Saturday. But then, the Pacific Ocean around Southern California gets pretty cold, even at the height of summer.

Keith and I began chatting with a Pakistani/Indian couple taking a break from caring for their young children. I don’t pretend to understand the cultural attitudes involved, but apparently it’s a potential issue that she’s Indian, even though he’s of Hindu heritage. You’ll see in a minute why I put it that way.

“Of Jewish heritage” is how I tend to refer to my ethnic background. I never thought about my instinctive phrasing, but one of my doctors picked up on the reasoning behind it.

“Meaning you don’t practice?” he said. After I nodded, he volunteered, “I’m of Christian heritage.”

Keith’s coworker, likewise, is of Hindu heritage.

That was a stroke of luck for him. Indeed, it turned out to be of far greater importance to his future wife’s father than the traditional bad blood between Indians and Pakistanis. When he met his eventual father-in-law, the single most important thing dad wanted to know about him was…

Are you atheist?

In the our parochial Western view, we tend to think of atheism in terms of the Abrahamic faiths. But atheism exists everywhere there is theism. For every superstition, there are people who say, “Are you kidding me?”

For Keith’s coworker,  yes was the correct answer. It was a match not made in Heaven.


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