The Meaning of Changing Religions

I wonder if there is any meaning in changing ones religion. Why would a person do that, if they have previously embraced a religion? I don’t know anything about statistics on abandoning one religion in favour of another, nor how many times it’s done. It might even be interesting to know in which countries or climates it is most or least frequent. I assume, possibly incorrectly, that most religion changes are for the sake of marriage.

I knew a barber on a personal level. He used to cut my hair at his home for a low price. He was in his 30s, and a very good barber. His name was very Irish; Maxwell O’Leary. He had the typical look of the Irish. Maxwell was a bit taller than average height, quite lean, with radiant red hair, somewhat curly, and his complexion was white as good bone china. One strange thing is, when he spoke, it was with a very distinct, southern Italian accent. He had no idea how he came to have an Irish persona although he was born and raised in Palermo and drank only Chianti. However, I digress…

Max fell in love with a manicurist. She was a beautiful Jewish girl who also had red hair, although it was not authentic like Maxwell’s was. Her name was Cloe Stern, and Max courted her for several months before he asked her to marry him. She agreed that she would if he would convert to Judaism. Max looked into it, and it was complex. The frightening part was not all the studying with a Rabbi, but the circumcision, which was a requirement.

Two important things about the conversion and circumcision; Maxwell had been a devout Catholic and actually went to church every Sunday. Secondly, Max was about 36 years old, and having ones foreskin removed at that age is not as easy as for an infant. However, Cloe said it was convert or no-go. Max loved her desperately, and made plans for the circumcision as a beginning. It required that Max spend a couple of days in the hospital, and some days at home, taking it easy. He followed the instructions, and readied himself for the all the studying of ancient texts.

Maxwell O’Leary did not continue with the conversion. While he was suffering through his circumcision, Cloe Stern changed her mind. Nobody knows why she changed her mind, but it left poor Max without a religion. He had surrendered his devout Catholicism to become a Jew, for a Jewish princess, and she withdrew. He has to live out the balance of his life, neither here nor there. Perhaps he’s an agnostic or atheist now. That would put his mind at ease. As it is, he’s no longer a Catholic and not yet a Jew.

Religion is bogus, anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. Most people follow their parents’ example. Why? God only knows why.


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