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Finding Christina Helene

October 2, 2018 – Salta Omnibus Terminal
I’m sitting in the bus terminal having deep thoughts of religion. I’ve been here five minutes while Jordan tries to print our tickets. There is a shrine to Virgin Mary outside the window I’m sitting by, So far I’ve seen three men come up to pray, touch her, sign the cross and walk away.
It’s interesting to me because I’m Catholic, and after so much time in Asia it’s nice to be somewhere with my religion. But we don’t have this prevalence of religion in America. In fact, if say a politician wants to pass a law of no abortion because of Christianity, that’s super not okay with everyone. Separation of church and state. But if the politician had given his reasoning because of budget and how it will save the government so much money in healthcare or some seemingly well thought out reasoning with consequences, counter arguments and how the current legality of abortions is, say, costing the state however much money, then we would be more receptive to his clam than using religion. Using religion just puts a bad taste in the American’s mouth.
My current situation also makes me think of the Jesus is my homeboy t-shirts that were very popular when I was in high school. They were funny, in like an ironic way, but were definitely not a lasting style.
Abortion is not legal here in Argentina. Id say the majority of women in Salta I see are pregnant. It leads one to question health care, access to contraception, legality of contraception, the real presence of religion in government vs. real life, the media of sex here, the fashion of these young women and sex education (are all these preggo women married?)
There is a giant section of the hospital here dedicated just to maternity and infancy It’s a real deal here. But back to religion.
This shrine is very reminiscent of those in Asia. People are actually praying here, much like the offerings or temples in random places in Asia. In Italy almost every street corner has a Madonna. In Asia and Muslim countries, religion is very present in the fashion. What is it about Catholicism that allows us to dress as we please? Even to most churches (not in Italy.) I don’t recall anything about covering up in the bible.

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