Shoharjoon and I moved into our current home about two years ago and were very excited to live in a quiet neighborhood. A quiet neighborhood where no one would bother us…no one but GOD!!! I mean we have gotten so many special offers and coupons to find Jesus and Witnesses and join churches and groups and etc…that I ended up putting a nice sign on our entrance that reads “NO SOLICITATION. Even for GOD!” And I’m not being mean. It’s just that the way I grew up, hell, I never had a chance at religion…I’ll tell you what I mean;
But before I begin, here’s my disclosure:
The author of this blog, being me, in no way intends to or wishes to offend anyone. Please be aware that the lowest form of wit, sarcasm, will be used in every sentence.
Let me start by saying that I was born into what can only be described as religious chaos!
My Mother, a Catholic woman, married my Father, the most anti-religion person I’ve ever met, whose family is surprisingly very Bahai. I say “very” because apparently my Grandmother’s Father wrote some book that’s now hanging somewhere in some shrine where the floors are made of white marble, the gardens are tended to on the hour, the windows are adorned with diamonds and the columns are made of gold, all while there’s at least 10 Bahai kids in Iran that I know of who barely get to eat everyday, nevertheless go to school or buy clothes…but what matters is that Grandma spent her savings (which is part of what pays for all the glam) on some “tour” to go pray there…
I spent the first 8 or so years of my life in Iran, where on Wednesdays my Mother, Brother and I would attend church. Church was a lot of fun as a child especially when everyone lined up to eat a piece of Jesus’ body! I know that sounds gross but you see Jesus’ body was made out of “Noon Bastani” and I don’t know any kid who would say no to “Noon Bastani”. After the bread thing, putting money in the basket for the poor kids, and promising God to treat thy neighbor as family, everyone would go into the Church Yard to chat…and the conversations were always about what everyone was wearing, why some people didn’t have the sense to wear better clothes for church, whose husband did what for a living, whose wife was the best hostess, how it was that Jaleh Khanoom whose husband was 14 years older than her got to drive a Benz, the fact that Soosan Joon looks like a “mooshe aabkeshide” without makeup, which Armani guy was the best one to order expensive liquor from, and finally who paid the most for their kids’ private school.
I also got to attend Namaz at school. Of course that didn’t last too long since we moved shortly after I started school but it was still fun. During Namaz I got to say a lot of words that made my throat tickle and just like church with all the kneeling and sitting and getting up, it also involved a lot of exercise. But I used to get really scared right before Namaz because my Mother had warned that I can’t tell anyone at school about Church or Monajat because they would come to our house and kill my Dad and probably us too. So everyday right before Namaz I would freak out because I figured my teachers were talking to God and since God didn’t lie he’d tell them about my family.
Now, the best part is the incident Shoharjoon and I recently experienced…it was Saturday night and we went to a Casino in San Diego (thankfully we share the same religious outlook in which playing 5 cent slot machines is not a crime). We sat down at a slot machine and couldn’t help but notice the couple sitting next to us. The wife, who was probably in her early 50’s, was sitting down at the machine while her husband stood behind her. She was wearing every hejab known to man except a “picheh” and the scene was so comical that I couldn’t help but think about it…isn’t gambling supposed to be against the muslim beliefs? and if one’s wearing a hejab doesn’t that mean they are muslim? Now I know that I am not very good at this religion thing but it makes me wonder what it is that can make someone believe so much that they choose to wear a hejab in a society where that makes you the outcast yet oversee the little fact that gambling is haram! I asked shoharjoon, who grew up in Iran, that if one were to gamble and win yet donate all the winnings to charity would it still be haram? He laughed and said “یه داستانی رو برات می گم ولی زشته نری به بابات و مامان بزرگت اینا بگیاااا” (now since none of you are my Grandma or Dad…) and then he told me “a man who had just learned he was ill and was going to die went to an akhund and told him that he had been a prostitute all his life, yet had given all his money to charity and wanted to know if he would go to heaven or hell? and in response the akhund had said: neither, you’re simply stuck with a k**ne paare”.
So I must say “NO SOLICITATION. Yes, even for GOD.