06 March 2010

Making sense of the world

This last week, I had an interesting talk with a colleague about identity, which happens just about every other day in my experience given that it's what I've devoted this part of my life to understanding. Obviously, whenever you start trying to figure out the identity of someone else, you start to think about your own identity. The reflexive nature of the social sciences.

I, of course, do not self-identify as a Christian, but my colleague pointed out that, more-or-less, I live my life orgnaised around judeo-Christian morality. I have one wife, that I married and intend to stay married to until I or she or both of us die. I don't go out and party and get drunk. I work, Yoko stays at home. I make the money, Yoko cares for the kids. The list could continue on for a while. Perhaps more of this has to do with being white, upper middle class from the Midwest of the States... But still, being white, upper middle class from the States, at least for people in my generation, means to be, if not Christian, at least a theist and oriented towards a theistic understanding of the world.

Now, I may not believe in a god, and I may be oriented toward empirical evidence over dogma. But my 22 some odd years of religious life still are embedded in who I am. And with all the Christianity that surrounded me for so long and that is still surrounding me, I am not likely to be completely free from all the trappings of it. This, of course, is not all bad, but it occurred to me for the first time that although I thought I had made a great deal of progress, had emerged from the metaphorical darkness of religion, I hadn't really substantially changed much in life.