Monday, September 6, 2010

Home, Sweet Home and No, I'm really not interested in becoming a Christian...

Arrived back in Melbourne earlier this evening after almost a week away. It's always nice to come back home. Loved Brisbane. It's a really pretty city, and it's built around a river so you can zip across one part of the city to another by ferry. Went on to Mooloolaba (hubby came too), and spent two nights and a day walking, eating, and reading Fiona Wood's Six Impossible Things, which I finished on the plane. It's delightful, charming, witty... well worth your time.

Didn't have Internet access in Mooloolaba, which is why I couldn't fill you in on my last day of the BWF until now...

Friday's session was called 'Let's Talk About Religion' and it was chaired by Belinda Jeffrey, who wrote an excellent book called Brown Skin Blue. She's also just published another one - literally just out - called Big River, Little Fish which I haven't yet had a chance to read. Anyway, the session took place in the Breezeway, which is basically a big red tent set up outdoors between the State Library and the Gallery of Modern Art (where my other sessions were) and it went really well. Not only do I love talking about my book, I also love talking about religion...

Anyway, after the session ended I headed over to the designated author-signing area - has anyone else noticed that school kids rarely line up with the actual book in hand, but with bookmarks, notebooks or scraps of paper to be signed instead? Some just want a bit of a chat, or to ask a question they didn't have a chance to ask during the session. And sometimes it's not the kids, but their teachers, who have comments or questions.

Most of the comments and questions are the sort of thing you might expect, but on Friday after my session something rather bizarre happened. An elderly teacher from a Christian school thought this might be an appropriate time to try to convert me. She wanted to know whether I had considered Christianity, whether I had read the New Testament (assuring me that everything would fall into place if I did), and whether I had delved into what Jesus had to say...

Moving on...

I absolutely loved every moment of my experience both at the MWF (too short) and the BWF, and hope I'll be asked to attend again.


  1. Oof. That must have been rather awkward. How did you respond?

    I wish religions weren't so focused on "recruiting" others. I think sharing one's religion was important back in the day, when a lot of people might not have known about Christianity (or whatever other religion). But now, the world is so saturated and so global that people are aware of their religious options and have numerous free tools as their disposal to investigate them all.

    Nowadays, sharing one's religion in the hopes of converting someone just comes across rude and hardly ever results in "success."

  2. Yes, it does seem rude, but die-hard missionaries don't seem to be aware of that. I also think there's a certain arrogance involved in being so sure your own beliefs are the 'right' ones and should apply to all. I did not say this, however. What I did say was: a) that I'm not really interested in investigating Christianity, as Jesus was Jewish and said he didn't intend to change anything, and b)that I think at their core all religions have the same message - love one another and try to be good.

  3. What a great response Robyn. Most of the people trying to recruit me are family members who discovered religion during a mid-life crisis and want to shove their new-found knowledge down people's throat. Ugh.

  4. I love when people try and push their religions on you.


    Esp at a festival, how rude!!!