By G.D. Maxwell
"God is a concept by which we measure our pain."
In religious terms, a True Believer takes comfort in knowing whatever machinations of Man take place for the three score and ten theyll be kicking around Earth, the dessert table of Life comes in the Hereafter and theyd better keep their noses as clean as possible cuz St. Peterll have their official scorecard come the day of reckoning.
An Atheist says, "Hokum! There aint no God and there aint no Hereafter." This is not to say atheists lead depraved lives, are bad people or dont have an intuitive grasp of the Golden Rule. They just dont buy the hokus-pokus of religion and regardless of how good a life theyve led will, according to the True Believers, spend eternity burning in Hell. Or at least they would have before the Pope more or less put the kibosh on Hell a few years ago.
An Agnostic, the joke goes, is an Atheist who hopes to God hes not wrong.
The world of organized religion, spearheaded by the Roman Catholic Church, is coming to blows with Canadas leaders. This time, inexplicably, over the mortal soul of the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien of all people. Well Big Jean and all the lesser politicians that is. All the elected representatives we sent to Parliament to run the secular government of Canada.
The flashpoint this time is homosexual marriage, husband-husband, wife-wife, partners til death do us part, forsaking all others. You know the drill.
But first, the caveats. You can consider them up-front apologies if it makes you feel better or disclaimers, a writers waiver of liability.
I dont really give a hang whether homosexual men and women get married. Ive been married and Ive lived in sin and quite frankly, I prefer sin. As long as you dont give me any grief about it, Ill oblige you with the same tolerance.
My only point of contention with the same-sex people is their larceny of the word gay. It still pisses me off because it used to be one of my favourite adjectives and now I cant even begin to describe something Ive been to as a gay affair without raising eyebrows and/or suspicions. Most of the gay folks I know are very kind, accepting, people. Theyre enjoyable to be around and I count them as friends. But only sometimes just like the rest of us do they approach that rapturous state of gaiety that truly justifies the word.
And while I dont mean to offend anyone I know who considers themselves Catholic, Im likely to say some unkind things about some of the men who run their Church and bring up, by way of example, some of its more egregious historical travesties. But like the Bishops say when trying to explain away the wave of paedophilia accusations against priests, you gotta get right with the Lord even though some of his messengers are scalawags.