They had a great night chatting about the latest in homework tribulations, current events and even dabbled a bit in philosophical matters. The Captain was deep into the conversational bonding until he started suspecting that she was really just getting around having to finish her homework.
But the lure of father-daughter bonding was great and he gladly bantered about the various subject matters. Until this.
"Hey dad," she chirped. "Are we atheists?"
He considered the question. Ali attends a catholic elementary school but we're not catholic.
"No," he said slowly.
"We don't go to church," she pointed out.
Now, my issues with organized religion are well documented and I count more than a few atheists as my closest friends and people I admire most.
I also admire more than a few of the religiously devout, and a few in-betweeners like myself. I'm honestly not sure where exactly I sit on whether He or She really out there, up there, or wherever a Higher Being might hang. He gave her his position on the matter and discussed his light touch of Baptist instruction during his short-lived Sunday School Days
As I wasn't there to stake a claim, Jeff said he didn't really know what I would say about the Big Question of whether I believe or not. He did remind her of the many hours I'd put in on a Pentecostal pew.
"I'll tell you this, though," he said. "If you were in trouble, or hurt or something awful had happened and we couldn't find you, I bet the first thing your mom would do is pray."
She immediatley disagreed. "I don't think so Dad. I think she'd dial 9-1-1."
I laughed out loud when he told me about it last night and again this afternoon when she confirmed it. She's sticking to her guns about what she thinks I'd do.
For the record, I'm pretty sure I'd hedge my bets and send up a flare as I dialed.