I am an agnostic, which is much like being an atheist without the annoying unholier-than-thou sanctimony. I am also a member in good standing of my parish and the parish librarian. I drive my daughter to choir practice and whatever Lutherans call their mass, but I skip services when I’m on site because they bore me. Instead I surf the net, gab with friends, or strip from the library all the old crap I judge theologically inappropriate–Dobson, Graham, Peale, Baptists because they annoy me, Presbyterians because I cannot fit predestination into my concept of Christianity, and plain ol’ glurge that nobody has checked out in thirty years. Thirty because of the Thirty Years War, of course!
Bear in mind that I came into this world with “Future Jesuit” stamped on my forehead and I’m approaching this purge with the appropriate fervor, setting books aside based solely on their publishers in some cases. Like Scripture Press of Wheaton, IL. I lived for years next door and their mere presence on my doorstep kept my mind full of happy thoughts of stakes and fire. Today I am not remotely religious, but my mind still wanders back to the good ol’ days.
I help these people because they have helped me when I needed it. They are my friends and I agree with most of their mission. Shit, my pastor is the unofficial chaplain to my AA group because he’s willing to conduct their funeral services when nobody else will. That is my understanding of doing God’s work, though I’m openminded regarding which God we’re talking about. See, I like the idea of a God, though not as fond as I am of the idea of many Gods, which would be awesome. And I’m okay with none, and my fellow parishoners who know about are still okay with me.
However, a discussion with the father of one of my daughter’s friends got me thinking. He’s an Atheist and believes me to be a traitor to the Cause because I not only traffick with the Enemy, but even aid them. Of course, his opinion is worthless because he can’t wrap his head around how “evangelical,” as in “Evangelical Lutheran Church,” does not necessarily mean “rabidly conservative psycho.” We leave that to the Missouri Synod Lutherans. But few people on this board are blithering idiots, and I even respect the opinions of some of you. So, just how hypocritical am I?