Tuesday 31 January 2012

The Cat's Strange Church Visit

Being a creature endowed with a great deal of natural curiosity, I thought I'd investigate something I heard recently through Guardy-Ann - one of the more hysterical soothsayers, who parades an exceedingly skewed view of the world, life and everything else.

Among her usual blathering, she was enthusing about a hip, cool and trendy philosopher called Lander Button, whose outpourings she seems to adore. Lander is - among other things - an atheist (for it's been decreed by Those In The Know that it's hip, cool and trendy to be thus). Whatever. Nothing unusual there - but what caught my attention was that this philosopher (a recycler of ancient and oft-discredited thought who presents it as if it were something ground-breakingly new) has put forward a Great Plan to build a Church for Atheists. After all, why should only the God-fearing folk have somewhere to assemble and focus their adoration and devotions?

When I first heard this, I had to cast my mind back to what I'd eaten that day. Had I inadvertently consumed a magic mushroom which had translated my feline mind into some bizarre alternative reality? As I mentally trawled through the diet of the day, I was forced to conclude that I hadn't; I'd actually feasted on a plate of the finest fresh mackerel from the quayside, and that was the sum of the day's intake. Yes - it had lain heavily in my alimentary system for some considerable time. I'd actually heard correctly.

So out of sheer inquisitiveness, I thought I'd see if there were any atheist churches in my territorial patch. After a lot of wandering, I dragged my weary paws into the headquarters of the Streonaeshalch Secular Society, where I could discern that a meeting was in progress. The assembly consisted of a wide cross-section of people of various ages. A man was addressing them from the front of the meeting room, and he was dressed in something which resembled a monk's habit. I supposed he must have been their priest. Strange..

When he called on the gathered throng to take up their Atheist Psalters and sing - and engage in some prayer - I was most intrigued. This simply didn't make sense. Having spent an hour in their meeting (hidden behind a large box, lest my presence should cause any distraction to their devotions), I decided I'd seen and heard enough, so I surreptitiously slipped out of there.

When I got home in the evening, I asked Caedmon if he could explain why these atheists were behaving in a religious way, considering the vehemence of their belief in a non-God. He reminded me that humans have to worship something - even if they profess not to believe in anything - that's why the Psalmist says "The fool has said in his heart 'there is no God.'" He also told me that the writer of Ecclesiastes said that the Almighty has set eternity in the hearts of men.

That explained everything as far as I was concerned. I hope they'd appreciated the offering I left before I departed..

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