Blog Widow and Annie, the new kitten, at the Blessing of the Animals service at Chelsea Community Church earlier today.
An off-topic, i.e. non-gardening, post.
In some recognition of National Coming Out Day, some non-gardening factoids about me:
- I'm an atheist.
- My partner, known as Blog Widow, is an ordained minister, among many other talents.
- People who've known me a long time think that's hysterical.
This is also an opportunity to introduce Annie.
Annie is a six-month old kitten we adopted two weeks ago from Sean Casey Animal Rescue in Kensington. We've been wanting to adopt a second cat, thinking that Ripley, the old soul, would do better with some companionship when we're out during the day. Ummm, yeah. That'll work. Eventually.
Today was Annie's "coming out," as we took her to the Blessing of the Animals service at Blog Widow's church, Chelsea Community Church. Mostly dogs were present; Annie was one of four cats, by my count, in attendance. She even made an appearance on stage when Blog Widow introduced her to the congregation for his general blessing over those assembled, human and otherwise.
SmokeyI shared this story here two-and-a-half years ago. This is an appropriate context to revisit it.
My atheism is life-long, forged in the fires of Catholic catechism during childhood, such as this exchange:
Me: When I go to Heaven, will my dog, Smokey, be there?Smokey was a magnificent animal, a German Shepherd we obtained as a puppy. I named him during the ride home. Sitting in the back seat, trying to hold onto him: a writhing mass of long, shaggy fur all the colors of smoke. He became my companion, my protector, my model of perfect love. Setting aside, for the moment, the overweening confidence that I would go to Heaven, as a child I recognized that any place that would not grant Smokey admittance was beneath my interest and unworthy of my attentions.
Me: Why not?
Nun: Animals don't have souls.
Certainly, there were other, more pernicious, influences that drove me from religious indoctrination. Conversion to active disbelief became a logical extension; without the possibility of evidence, there is no reason to believe. It's taken me a long time to accept that, nevertheless, I am a spiritual person. There's no life after death, but there is life; that's remarkable enough to celebrate it, and reason enough to grieve its inevitable end. Events such as the Blessing of the Animals remind me that, on this point at least, I share some common ground with others, regardless of the differences in our beliefs, or disbeliefs.
Related ContentFlickr photo set
Blog Against Theocracy: Childhood
LinksChelsea Community Church
Sean Casey Animal Rescue