Monday, December 24, 2007

Religious Tolerance in the Bogart Family

My extended family is made up of Catholics, committed Christians, a huge step-family of Jews, various agnostics and one Buddhist. The other day, Liam and Caitrin discovered that one of their three grandmas is Jewish. Not only that, but all the family related to her is Jewish as well. How did they not know? I was floored. I then found out that Jacob hadn't known until a week ago! I suppose we're all such tolerant folk, it simply hadn't come up in ten years. Or something like that.

The following conversation really took place moments ago in my kitchen.

Noah: My friend Tony is Heathenist. He worships the Norse Gods. My other friend is Jewish so they are going to see "Alien vs. Predator" on Christmas day.

Me: Ha, ha. By the way, you knew that Cathy's family is Jewish right?

N: Cathy's family is Jewish?

Me: You didn't know that?

N: Why would I know that?

Me: I thought everyone in the family knew. It's a complete given to me.

N: We're never with them at Christmas to see that they light the Menorah and not a tree.

Me: Well, they celebrate Christmas, actually, and not Hanukah so that wouldn't help.

N: What?! (laughs)

Johannah: They're not religious Jews.

N: Then why are they Jews?

Me: They're just Jews, like most of the Jews I knew in Los Angeles.

N: But how would we know then?

Me: I guess it's just so obvious to me and it's so well-known that I didn't realize you all didn't know it. Don't you remember how you used to pray for them to become Christians?

N: Yeah, but I just thought they weren't Christians, you know, like Dad's parents.

Liam and Caitrin: What? Dad's parents aren't Christians? What else haven't you told us?

Johannah: Uncle Jimmy isn't a Christian either.

L&C: He's not? What is he?

Johannah: Nothing.

Me: Well, he's not nothing, he's just not religious.

L&C: So what is he? Alive?

Me: Yeah, alive. That works. And he's not Jewish.

L&C: Well duh.

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