Ted’s Timor Mortis

It was the second night of RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults), and Ted, the amateur catechist in charge of the class, was on a roll.  The students were an odd lot of fallen-away Catholics, disgruntled Protestants who wanted to become Catholics, and men and women engaged to Catholics who objected to mixed marriages.  Ted began by assuring the class that all religions pretty much worship the same God and teach the same moral code.  A hand went up—the wise guy from the week before.

“What about suttee—you know, the Hindu custom that burned a wife alive with her dead husband?”

Ted allowed as how he did not know much about Hinduism and attempted to go on.

“What about Muslims who have four wives and think they go to Heaven if they murder innocent people?”

“I don’t think you understand much about Islam.  Of course there are fanatics, but the true Islam is a religion of peace that protects all people of the book, as they call Christians and Jews.”

“You’d better not say that aloud in Iran or Pakistan.  But what about Santeria and voodoo or the Aztec religious custom of slaughtering and eating young people?”

That was all the opening Ted needed.  “I don’t think we should continue this.  Our Lord wants us to respect the diversity of all the peoples of the earth. ...

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