My ice cream was already melting when my mother started her talk about how our holiday vacation of sorts in Cebu is reminiscent of that time in 2002, when I spent summer at my uncle’s house in Laguna. My uncle is a church minister, which meant I had to attend services every Sunday during that summer.
I thought, no, mother, this isn’t like that vacation, because now I can choose not to go to church even if someone older than me wants me to. She wants me to join them in their service tomorrow morning, and I said no. I told her I do not want.
My mother asked me why I stopped going to church eight years ago. She told me about the importance of putting God above everything else and all those things one would normally hear from bus and television evangelists.
I asked myself, oh my god, is this it? Is this the moment when I can finally talk to my mother about everything I hate about organized religion? Is it finally time to tell her that even though I believe in the idea of a god, I’m more comfortable being a skeptical agnostic than a blind follower of some faith, that I find it hard to find the meaning behind rituals and mythologies? Is it time to tell her that it’s perfectly okay to be an ethical humanist who cares more about reality than a potentially nonexistent afterlife? Is it finally time to tell my mother that heaven and hell are places on earth, and that certain people are predisposed to pin their hope on religion while others like me are not?
I looked at my ice cream bowl and pondered. The ice cream was already melting, and I thought finishing a bowlful of rocky road was easier than engaging faith with logic.