"Yes," I said, "that old thing."
"Have you read the whole thing?"
Unlike you, I'd wager.
"Why are you reading it? Just to… re-fresh… your… or…?"
"Yes, I'm one of those. I'm a Catholic."
"I wasn't always Catholic. I was raised Presbyterian, but about five years ago, I entered the Church. I take it you are… interested in the Bible?"
By interested, of course, I mean titillated by your own sophomoric disdain for anything older or bigger than you.
"You mean the official Bible, or the ones that were repressed?"
No, I don't mean the ones that were written later as Gnostic reactions to ancient Christian worship, and which were subsequently rejected by that same body of worshipers for being too old, too weakly linked to the Apostles, and too much at variance with each other, to boot. I don't mean those Bibles, no.
"Ah, yes, I'm familiar with what you mean, but no, I'm reading the orthodox Bible, not the Gospel or Judas or Thomas or anything like that. Do you study religious history?"
As in, do you imbibe as much of the Huffington Post and Youtube clips as your leisure affords?
"Well, I was into history and soash at uni, so… yeah."
"So, you like religious history?"
"I like… facts. I mean, not that there are any."
Well, that's a relief. Here I thought you were challenging my faith based on damning facts about the Bible. Good thing there are no facts with which I must contend, aside, I suppose, from the fact of your visceral loathing for Christian tradition and the very idea of truth.
"Ahh. Okay. Right."
"I'm interested in how society… how social ideas can… influence or shape people's actions. Like Scientology, wow! I saw this amazing documentary on BBC last night about Scientology."
Sweet lamb, if only you realized how the "social determinist" argument cuts both ways. If you turn your read, just so, in just the right light, I can only faintly detect the thread of silver running from Dawkins' blog to the ring in your nose.
"Oh, BBC, they're pretty good."
"Yeah, but, well, everybody's got a bias."
Fortunately, everyone but you, right?
"What are you gonna do?"
"I try not to think about it all. I just want to be happy."