Monday, May 28, 2012

Religious Presumption

My family and I decided to visit one of our favorite barbecue restaurants for lunch yesterday.  As always, it was an extraordinarily yummy lunch - I had the brisket with a very cold Blue Moon - and the service in the restaurant was superb.  However, as we all started to peel ourselves out from behind the table, a very presumptuous fellow at the nearest table went out of his way to get my attention.  In fact, I'll just simply refer to him as Mr. Presumptuous.

"Excuse me," Mr. Presumptuous said.  "Excuse me, sir?"

"Yes," I said, turning toward his table.

"I was just wondering.  Does your family attend a church somewhere out here?"

"No sir, we don't,"  I answered, smiling and acknowledging his sudden interest in my family with a friendly hand wave.  Thinking that our lovely conversation with Mr. Presumptuous was over, we all started for the door.

Mr. Presumptuous decided to press.  "Then where do you go to church?  Irving?  Richardson?"

I turned back to him, having lost a bit of my patience, and said,  "Look, you're asking the wrong people.  Okay?"

Now here's when the conversation turned absolutely bizarre.  Mr. Presumptuous asked, "What, you guys from a different country?"  He looked about the table, seeking approval with a derisive chuckle.

I'm sure my face displayed my profound confusion when I answered Mr. Presumptuous with, "No sir...  We're from the United States."  But my wife and I knew this conversation was heading south quickly, so we wrapped our arms around our kids and calmly walked away.

Are you kidding me?  A different country?  REALLY?  Mr. Presumptuous studied my lovely family, as we happily discussed our upcoming vacation over lunch, and arrogantly assumed that he was watching another Christian family.  I admit that I am making a huge assumption by trying to guess what this man's original intentions were, but I can only conclude that he thought we were Christians.  Either that or he thought we needed saving - I mean, I was having a beer on the Sabbath.  Be that as it may, I'm inclined to believe he considered us fellow believers and wanted to know where we went to church.  When I didn't answer his question the way he liked, he became downright belligerent - with my kids standing right there.

First of all, I refuse to allow myself to be pulled into a religious conversation in a restaurant, especially when that conversation borders on the absurd.  And I certainly will not engage in this type of exchange when my children are present.  Second, is this what religious people have become?  Are the religious so arrogant in their beliefs, that the thought of bullying a perfectly happy family is appropriate?  Give me a break...

By the way, my wife wins the reaction of the month award with her quick thinking response to Mr. Presumptuous' question of our citizenship.  And I quote:

"HAAAA HAHAHAHAHAA!!!"

Classic.

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