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July 19th, 2010


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02:20 pm - Religious Preference?
Today, at the hospital, I was asked, in the middle of a blinding array of fast-pitched questions, "Religious preference?"

And I busted out laughing, then said, "None."

I'm not sure why I busted out laughing, but I think it had to do with the momentary absurdity of defining religion as my "preference." Still, I didn't laugh out loud when, twenty minutes earlier, another nurse had asked me if I was sexually active and "with girls, boys, or both?" On balance, I think that's the funnier question to me, since I'd probably have phrased it as "women, men, or both?"

I do know why I said, "None." It's easier than bothering to explain, spell, or repeat the word "Pagan" or "Druid" six or seven times, each time with increasing volume. Besides that, I had a momentary thought of, "How would they even know who to call?" Heck, I'd probably be at the top of their list of Druid or Pagan priests in the area. Listing Maggie as my emergency contact resolves most of that: our Grove doesn't have a listing in the phone book, after all, and Maggie would know to call seamus_mcnasty

Still, I sort of surprised myself with both reactions to the question: distinct reactions that seemed strange to me after they happened.

In the end, it's not a particularly good reason to laugh or to say I don't have a preference in my religion (I do, after all, take my religion pretty seriously and I certainly have a preference in the end), but it stood out in my mind as I thought back on the entire experience as something worth commenting on.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "Volcano", -JB

(7 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:anivair
Date:July 19th, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC)
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What was ... nah, if it's important, we'll hear.

Seriously, though ... I get that. Sometimes it's odd to be put on the spot, even after all this time, for me. I get my religion. I like it and accept it and everything, but knowing that someone else is going to look at you funny makes it weird. (Also, the use of the word preference is funny there. Like you go to the store and pick your favorite religion. "They're all out of Druid, so I got some Malaysian Shamanism ... is that close enough?"

Personally, I always tell people. Sometimes when they don't want to know. If the lady at the craft store says, "Boy you sure are getting a lot of tiki torches, are you planning a party?" I generally tell her it's for a religious ritual. I could just as easily say yes, but here's my thought: she's just never heard anyone give that answer before. And if I don't give it, then she's one less "religious ritual" answer away from just nodding and saying "I get that all the time" when someone is nervous or awkward. So I hope I'm doing someone down the road a favor by making myself a little uncomfortable sometimes.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:July 19th, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
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I suspect that most people will ask "What happened" when the post eventually hits Facebook. It's the reason I continue with LJ over Facebook any day: I prefer the company here :) Centrally, very little of consequence happened.

But yeah. I usually say it, too. Today, I just happened not to. Alone, that probably wouldn't amount to much, but combined with the involuntary laughter at the premise of the question, it bore mention :)
[User Picture]
From:acousticdryad
Date:July 19th, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC)
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*wants to know cause she <3's MJD*
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From:hearthstone
Date:July 19th, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
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I've said "none" in the past, too (haven't been asked in a few years, though), mainly because I'm pretty sure that the reason for asking is that they want to know who to call in "if need be" (Catholic last rites, for example). And there's so much variation among pagan and heathen clergy that the chances of whatever random person they were able to find being an appropriate choice are slim.
[User Picture]
From:wcm
Date:July 19th, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
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The last time I was asked I said none as well. Like you, I just didn't feel like explaining it... I had other things to worry about at the time.
[User Picture]
From:garan_du
Date:July 19th, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC)
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I'd be willing to slay a black cockerel and sprinkle its blood on your heart monitor. What are friends for? For the record, I said "none" when I was in the hospital in April for my spine surgery. It isn't like I want them involved in calling someone anyway. Besides, it keeps any stray evangelicals from peeking in on me.

Edited at 2010-07-19 11:33 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:kargach
Date:July 22nd, 2010 01:55 am (UTC)
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When I went to the ER last December and they asked, I said "Druid" without hesitation, and the lady nodded and wrote it down with no comment. That's Ann Arbor for ya!

(Actually, I think I'm the only Pagan priest currently listed with the UMH chaplain service, and it sure would have been hilarious if they'd called me while I was there to ask me to come visit myself.)

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