I was at work the other day, with a co-worker I genuinely enjoy working with. He's from the Phillipines, and rather devoutly religious. At one point, he turned and asked me, point blank, my religion.
He meant nothing rude about it, so I answered him directly. Though it was rather difficult explaining to him exactly what an "atheist" was. When he finally did get what I was saying, he seemed almost a bit shocked, as if I had confessed to him that I was some sort of demon, intent on destroying his children and doing all of those other things that demons, atheists, abortionists, and telecommunicators are apt to do.
We worked in silence, each more mindful than ever of the gap between us. I am firm believer that religion's primary function is to further subdivide the collective "us" into divided "thems". But I digress.
The stereo played in that sweltering kitchen, until it came time for the Beatles to start singing. "All You Need is Love", John Lennon sang, and I looked over at my co-worker, who was singing along. So was I. We caught each others' eyes, and smiled.
Completely seriously, I l pointed at the stereo.
"You know what? That's my religion. And it's a damned fine one, if you ask me."
He smiled, nodded in agreement, and got back to work. The kitchen was peaceful once more as John Lennon preached.