Asked to stand as padrino (godfather) for the baptism of five abandoned children who live at the Hogar San Jose, I said ‘yes.’ My experience with the medical brigade had fizzled for a number of reasons, one of which was that I got sick. I am only now regaining my voice. So, in a croaky whisper I told Sor Edith that yes I would be happy to sponsor the children: she would be godmother. The majority of the children’s baptismal pictures are taken in Edith’s element; the church. The children were so happy and excited to be baptized, all dressed up and being the central part of the church’s ancient rites. I was raised a Catholic but years of studying the history of centuries-long realities of religious warfare, lies, corruption and hypocrisy have made me a confirmed atheist. That, however, does not stop me from respecting the spiritual beliefs of others, whether they be muslim, buddhist, animist, quaker, hindu, christian, or whatever motivates the beholder to believe in a spiritual savior. That is their business, just as my beliefs are my business. When I attended the mandatory three-hour orientation for parents (no parents for our kids) and padrinos Friday night I relived the mysteries of the church that were imbued in my own childhood rife with ignorance. No matter, everyone in attendance, some 120, believed fervently in their religion. I participated with their joy. But knowing what I know of the world and of the history of mankind and our evolution, I could only wonder at the tremendous supernatural effort successfully perpetrated by the church on so many people over the centuries. Political parties could learn from that deep and thorough soul-grasping indoctrination; perhaps they have. Nonetheless, Saturday morning was a stimulating experience that unfolded seamlessly as a 2,000-year-old pageant little changed over the centuries. And today I enjoyed participating in the ritual and I will do my best to help these children progress along a spiritual path of their choosing, whatever it may turn out to be.