“I don’t eat bodies:” a new adventure begins.
So D2 started high school this week. We decided to send her to private school after having a terrible experience with sending D1 to (what was supposed to be) one of the best public high schools in the state.
Most of the private schools in the area are religiously-oriented, with most of those being catholic. While it might be argued I’m at least culturally christian, D2 identifies as Muslim. The school actually has some diversity despite its parochial status, with only about 60% of the student body identifying as catholic. So far, however, we haven’t identified other Muslim students at the school. Not that D2 is looking to start a clique or anything.
D2 is encountering some Catholic practices that, to an outsider, are hard to explain. Case in point: in the first three days of school, there’s already been three masses. (Freshman mass during orientation, School year opening mass for all students, and regularly-scheduled Friday mass) All students are required to attend mass, regardless of their own religious orientation. They can regulate their own level of participation, however. (I’m not complaining about this, by the way. At a catholic school, I expect catholic practices.) D2 wanted to know what she should do. Islam forbids acting out the practices of other religions that are in contrast to Islam. I told her that she should participate to the point where she felt comfortable, but not to do anything she felt conflicted with her own beliefs.
Following her first two masses, I got this report:
- “They say, ‘and also to you’ way too much. It sort of sounds like you’re telling someone off. ‘Bless me? No, bless you!‘”
- “I wasn’t going to do the ‘peace be upon you’ part, but then I thought, is that so different from assalamu alaikum? It basically means the same thing. I wonder what they would say if I said that?”
- “One of the teachers blessed me. Not sure what her qualifications are for that.”
- “We could… take a commune?, if we wanted. Not sure what it was called, but it’s the part where you drink blood and eat flesh. Didn’t do that. I don’t eat bodies.”
The next four years should be rife with humor.