This morning I spent 20 minutes on a jam-packed train with no A/C, sitting next to two religious nutcases who were loudly babbling nonstop about Jesus, Satan, the flu, police brutality, and other profound topics of the day. I was an Episcopalian in good standing when I boarded the train at DeKalb Avenue, I had become agnostic by Bedford Avenue, and I was a militant atheist by the time I got off the train at Union Square.
Did you know that you can spontaneously cure cancer with a positive attitude and faith in Jesus? Yes, it says so in the Bible. That should come as good news to my father, who is battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A bit too late for my three grandparents who have died from cancer, though. I guess their faith in Jesus just wasn’t strong enough.
I’m starting to think the medieval Roman Catholic Church had the right idea by making the Bible available only in Latin, and only allowing it to be read by an ordained priest during mass. Then maybe any slick-haired flim-flam artist wouldn’t be able to open his own storefront church and present his own warped biblical interpretation as infallible truth to a room full of gullible morons, while sucking them dry of their life savings. That’s the job of a properly-trained bishop consecrated in valid Apostolic Succession, and shouldn’t be left to incompetent amateurs.
Although I remain active in my own church, I’m increasingly finding myself in a love-hate relationship with religion in general and Christianity in particular. (The nice thing about being an Episcopalian is that nobody gives a damn what you believe about God, as long as you know the difference between a dinner fork and a salad fork.) At least you’ll never see a bunch of agnostics flying airplanes into skyscrapers.