My Wife’s Religion
by Richard E. Noble
It is funny, religion is one thing that my wife and I never really talked about. I didn’t ask her and she didn’t ask me. Until one day after we had been married for a number of years, she suggested that we go see the new movie Jesus Christ Superstar. She had heard some songs on the radio and she liked them. So I said okay. As we watched the movie it became obvious to me that my wife was not too familiar with the plot of this story.
“Who is that guy supposed to be?” she would ask.
“That’s Jesus,” I would say.
“No, no; not that one. I know Jesus - for God’s sake! The guy standing next to him?”
“Well, that’s Peter. You know ... Upon this rock, I will build my church.”
“Peter, the apostle? Jesus’s right-hand man?”
“Why is Jesus’s mother following him around everywhere?”
“Her! ... Mary?”
“That’s not Jesus’s mother, that’s Mary Magdalene.”
“Who’s Mary Magdalene?”
“Well ... ah ... she’s kind of like an apostle.”
“An Apostle? She looks like a tramp.”
“Yes, well she is … or was. She was a lady of the night, or whatever. Then she met Jesus and straightened up.” My wife looked at me kind of funny. “Well, I don’t know. That’s the story. I’ve heard from other sources that she might have been Jesus’s girl friend, or maybe even his wife.”
On the way home from the theater, I asked my wife what religion she was raised in. She said she was a Protestant.
“What kind of Protestant?” I asked.
She didn’t know. She said that she would call her mother when we got home and find out for sure.
“Well,” I said to her, “it doesn’t really matter. Did you go to Sunday School or anything like that?”
“Of course I did.”
“Well what kind of things did you learn there?”
“Ahh, I learned how to make nifflies, and roast pork with sauerkraut.”
“That’s good. I like roast pork with sauerkraut. What’s a niffly?”
“Oh those are really good. There like a kind of noodle. You eat them with lots of butter and salt. Umm ummm.”
My wife didn’t know Mary Magdalene from a whole in the wall. She didn’t know why Jesus was on trial. She didn’t know that He was a Jew. She didn’t know about the gates of Heaven being closed. She didn’t know about redemption, original sin, purgatory or what the pope had to do with anything. She knew how to make nifflies, and baked sauerkraut with roasted pork. But yet, knowing right from wrong never gave her a second’s pause. When it comes to right and wrong, I ask her. And she always seems to be right; certainly righter than I am. How does she do that, I wonder?