“So what do you wish to declare as your religion?” the customs officer said.” Here in this country, as you know, we offer freedom of religion to all citizens.”
“And what about freedom from religion?” I asked.
“What do you mean by freedom from religion?” he asked.
“I mean that I have no religion to declare,” I responded.
“Are you saying that you have no faith?” he asked, giving me a bewildered look.
“Oh no, that’s not at all what I’m saying,” I said. “I have faith, but not in religion and not in God.”
“So who do you pray to, then?”
“I don’t pray.”
“That’s blasphemous, sir,” the visibly angry officer said.
“Listen, I know I’ve been out of the country for more than a decade and that a lot has changed since then, but our forefathers fought and died so that we could exercise our right to freedom of religion, including the right not to practice any religion at all, without interference from the government,” I said. “Are you telling me that their fight for that freedom was in vain, that it means nothing anymore?”
“I’m telling you,” he said, “that after the revolution of 2023, when the Constitution II was ratified two years later, our country was declared to be a Christian Nation, and while some minor non-Christian religions are still tolerated, agnosticism and atheism are against the law and against the natural order.
I looked at him and said, “So I cannot return to my country unless I declare my religion to be Christian?”
“Yes,” he said. “The official state religion is Christianity and you are free to declare yourself to be a member any of the approved Christian sects. That is the blessing bestowed upon us by the Supreme Leader of Trumplandia, Queen Ivanka.”
Written for yesterday’s Daily Writing Challenge from Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith. The three words to use are faith, fight, and freedom. And yes, I know I’m a day late, but I had things to do, places to go, and people to see yesterday.