Sunday, September 03, 2006


While waiting to pick up O. from kinder school last Friday, I got into conversation with a man waiting for his grandchild. After a bit of small talk he told me that they lived much closer to another school, but his grandchild was denied enrollment there -- the school was catholic, and the child was not.

We stood there, eyes fixed on the entry hall from where the kids would emerge any minute now. “How intolerant those nuns are,” he lamented. I commented that it was indeed a sad state, when a child is denied education because of religion. He seemed to agree, but then proceeded to criticize the catholics with what really seemed like a bizarre glee. This was the same guy who seconds before was complaining about intolerance. “Their pope said, ‘The Catholic Church will survive all trials!’” he continued in an incredulous tone, as if it were the most unthinkable thing in the world.

I wanted to weep.

We both kept looking straight ahead. I told him I went to a Christian church myself, but in my heart believed that whatever happens, there will always be people who will remain Catholic, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish. This wasn’t a “Survivor” contest. “It’s bigotry and narrow-mindedness that’s causing the wars,” I said quietly. He snorted.

The kids came running out through the hall.


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