Jamie is a cool guy. You don't even need me to tell you that just look at him. He's got the cool designer clothes, the fashionably cool piercings and an on-again/off-again relationship with a soul patch that would look ridiculous on me but only makes him look even more like a guy who toured the nation as the drummer in a rock band (which he is and which he did). He has also bathed in the immortal blood of the Risen Christ.
Oh, he'd never put it that way and will doubtless be pissed off that I did. His belief system is, as it should be, an intensely personal, private thing. No chrome fish, Chick tracts or self-flagellation for Jamie. He wouldn't be caught dead proselytizing. In fact, I'm 100% confident he literally doesn't know the meaning of the word. A true Art Director, he knows sixty names for the colour blue and none for the hangy thing at the back of his mouth.
So private is he, in fact, that his beliefs wouldn't come up at all if atheists like me weren't such self-righteous bastards. Jamie's called me the most cynical man he's ever met, though that might just mean he needs to socialize more. I hope so, because I don't feel cynical. I have a tremendous respect for the benefits of faith. Without Catholicism, for example, we wouldn't have the Sistine Chapel ceiling, Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, or the naughty schoolgirl fetish all of which have enriched my life beyond measure.
Just the same, I can't help but be amused when people shake their heads at the naïveté of days gone by, when the Greeks thought the sun was Apollo driving his chariot across the sky, Aztecs sacrificed humans to Huitzilopochtli, and Egyptians worried whether, upon their deaths, Anubis would find their hearts heavier than a feather and feed them to a demon. Yeah, those empire-building yokels sure were crazy. Nobody will ever look back on us and shake their heads as they light candles for the Feast of Elvis.
Okay, I might be a wee bit cynical.
This will shock you to learn, but religion is a touchy subject for some people. I unwittingly crossed the line last week when I proposed a concept that, admittedly, would not play well in Vatican City. Jamie rightly called me on it. Of course, other people's beliefs are fair game. He's singled out the Breatharians for mockery, and why not? And we're both amazed by the spread of Scientology, the alien-themed doctrine founded by a science-fiction writer. The day I figure out how he pulled that one off, you can expect to see Mutchinians passing out tracts on a street corner near you.
When you get right down to it, what belief system isn't entirely predicated on faith? Mine has the endorsement of the scientific community but Stephen Hawking might as well by an Arch Druid directly communing with the Absolute, because I just accept what he says without really understanding the slightest thing about singularities or superstring theory. I barely understand sillystring theory, beyond the notion you've got to give the can a good shake before you spray. For all I know, someone else is feeding lines to Hawking's voice box and he can't do a damn thing to stop it.
If Jamie is right, there's a spacious condo with my name on the lease in the city of Dis, with the rest of the Heretics. You can be sure I'll do my damnedest to claw my way up to the second circle, where the Lustful hang out. Those unwed mothers know how to party. That's assuming, of course, that everyone in the ad business isn't automatically consigned to eighth circle of deceivers, seducers and falsifiers.
Thank you for not tracking me down and killing me.
P.S. The hangy thing at the back of your mouth is called the uvula.
Send your feedback, death threats and Catholic school uniform photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm not really that religious. Sure I went to a Catholic school, but so did Graham. I've heard many stories about the crazy misadventures he had in his Catholic all-boys private school. (He once smeared chocolate on the bathroom wall to simulate shit -- I'm sure he had a good reason). Truth be told I haven't been to church regularly since I was 14. My Son has actually asked if we could go to church some day. So far I've dodged that bullet by offering to put on Spiderman or Spiderman2 or filling him up with Spiderman fruit snacks.
Graham is right about one thing, though. Those school-girl uniforms. I never really appreciated them when I was in high school. If I could travel back in time, I'd surely give myself that little piece of information. Along with a slap on side the head for that stupid haircut.
Well, Captain Secular, if you're not that religious, I challenge you to watch the devil movie of your choice with me. My pick would be The Exorcist but, knowing your mortal terror of the genre, I'd let you slide with the 1981 Disney flick The Devil And Max Devlin, starring Bill Cosby and Elliot Gould. You haven't lived until you've seen Dr. Huxtable screaming he's going to rip out your innards and boil them in oil. And, for the record, I've never been to an all-boys school. Also, the Catholic school was a whole different thing from the private school for gifted students where I honed my superiority complex to a razor's edge. The chocolate thing is true, but it was actually Nutella chocolate peanut butter.
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