May 4th, 2009

Soggy Cardboard

So I spent most of yesterday doing religion. First we had our own Sunday morning service in our own home church. Then- for reasons I have to be vague about- we whizzed down to the south of the city for a praise service in Urdu- which was fun. Then we went into a meeting with a couple of evangelical clergymen. Now maybe I began the day feeling a bit tired and grumpy- I believe I did- and that may have skewed my perceptions- but, really I don't think that wholly explains why- by the end of it- I was feeling like I'd had a tabernacle of soggy cardboard erected round me and I needed to punch my way out into the clean air. In the evening Ailz and I found ourselves discussing the God of the Torah- and what a frightful old ogre he is- and how if the story of his relationship with his chosen people were acknowledged to be the fairy story it so clearly is he'd be the villain of it.

It feels cheap to be taking shots at the Torah-  too easy- like punching out wet cardboard- but then I remember how the last US government ran its foreign policy on the basis of the Bible's bronze and iron age predictions- and it seems like something that- however distasteful- really needs to be done.

I go to church because it's a place where there are windows open onto other realities. I like to feel the wind that blows through them. We heard a sermon yesterday on Jacob and the Angel- which is just such an open window. But then the guy has to insist on the story being historically true -and how it represents an undercover appearance of Jesus in the Old Testament- and the effect is as if he'd filled up the window with damp cardboard. 

I like these people. I don't like how they think. It tries my patience. If I didn't have promises to keep I'd walk away.