3 November 2012


I was out tonight. 

At a function. 

I struck up a conversation with an Irish priest. A man of the cloth. He was collared up. His name was Father O'Flaherty. He asked me to call him Patrick. So I did. I like the Irish. Like me, they love to talk. I can talk the leg off a chair. We got on well. He was a fine fella. One of my best mates is Irish. As are my roots. I am used to their gabbiness. 

I enjoy the banter.

Father O'Flaherty had led an interesting life. He had served as a missionary. His job was conversion. At some point of our conversation I confessed I was an atheist. At best an agnostic. Patrick was used to confession. It was part of his job description. This line of talk led to the question of faith. 

I asserted that I tended to put all of mine in things that were tangible. Facts that could be proven. I told him that I struggled with the concept of a faith that is blind. 

The good father countered with the rationale that man needs something to believe in. That humans are fallible. That God is merciful. 

I punched back with the argument that there appeared to be too much wickedness in the world for God to be merciful. I have witnessed some of it. Seen it first hand. The Irish have been party to it. Christian versus Christian. 

Death by devotion.

We discussed and debated for a couple of hours. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was outgunned by the weight of his biblical quotations. He quoted the Testaments. New and Old. Chapter and verse. 

The best I could do was a line from Patti Smith. 

"Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine" 

Not really relevant at all but it gave me a smug sense of satisfaction. 

We agreed to disagree but we parted as friends. 

Our paths will cross again.

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