I recently joined a local skeptics group. In response to this news, there was weeping (me) and gnashing of teeth (my husband).
The day of the first meeting, I told him that I was going shopping after work and that I wouldn't be home until late, which is what I'd intended to do. In the end, however, there wasn't enough time to do both, so I skipped the shopping and went to the meeting. It wasn't until the next morning that he noticed that I hadn't bought any milk. I avoided the first "Where were you last night?" but not the second. I hadn't planned to tell him at all, but neither did I intend to lie about where I'd been.
To say that he didn't take it well is an understatement. At one point, he wondered why we should even stay married (a valid but nevertheless painful question), although it's fair to say that he quickly backed off on that issue. He made several derogatory statements about atheists and their kind, and then wondered why I wasn't applying the same intensity to my spiritual life.
These days, I don't tell him when I'm going to a meeting. "I'll be home late," I'll say, and he knows what that means, and then we don't have to talk about it. There's plenty else on our agenda, anyway, enough to pretend that there isn't a gaping hole over there. You can see it, I know. Thank you for noticing it. No, you don't need to draw me a picture. I can see it just fine if I turn my head.
The group itself is a fascinating mix of former Christians and the never-religious. As in any group, there are one or two challenging personalities (not unlike my own church), as well as some really great individuals. I'm not the only member with a Christian spouse who is distressed by their partner's lack of faith, nor am I the only member who doesn't want their face in any photos because of potential fallout to family members.
Religulous opened last Friday, and our group made plans to see it on Sunday evening. I wanted to invite my husband but was pretty certain that he wouldn't want to go with the group (and I can't say that I would blame him). So I asked him on Saturday if he wanted to go see it with me. "Absolutely not," he said, then paused. "Have you thought about the impact it would have on your spiritual life?"
"No, I hadn't," I said. And as it turns out, he needn't have worried.
Although the movie had its funny moments, I was underwhelmed. How many times can you hear someone say that religion is stupid before it begins to wear thin? Not so many, it turns out, but I was the sole minority in this opinion. Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter called it "often hilarious but relentlessly shallow" and that about covers it for me.