The old toe rag has committed himself to delivering a sermon on “Mother Mary” to a group that meets at St Andrew’s in the afternoons. The vicar persuaded him.
“His idea is, I can just talk natural-like on the subject, with notes to hand, but I’m thinkin' it will be better to write it out… You know, there are two blokes I especially want to hear this, Kent, and that’s you and my boy Jock. Might bring you both to the Lord Jesus.”
“Maybe it will with Jock, but I can’t make it that day.”
“That’s rough. We’ll get you yet though,” he says with a grin.
“Come on Rick, you know I’m not an atheist.”
“Yeah, but you tend towards the school that says Christ could have escaped the Cross and run off to France with Mary Magdalen. Christ wouldn’t have wanted to escape that wooden Cross, it was his divine Purpose, man. Redeemin’ us each and every one.”
“I don’t even know why you’ll be talking about the Virgin Mary in the first place, Rick. Do you know anything about the subject? You’re not a Catholic, you’re more like Baptist. Anyway, that whole Virgin Birth concept is based on a mistranslation. It should read ‘a young woman will conceive’ not ‘a virgin will conceive’.”
Rick waves this aside but I continue:
“All the while the vicars are aware of these controversies which they don’t bother to pass on to the flock. As long as most of the congregation are saved, that’s the main thing. No need to trouble them with the ins and outs of it. When there was the court case about whether The Da Vinci Code had plagiarised The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, there was very little there in the questions about Christ possibly marrying Mary Magdalen, the Merovingian Dynasty, and the Holy Grail, that the vicars hadn’t tackled at theological college. But they don’t think it’s important for such as you or anyone else, Rick, to know about these issues.”
He scratches his head and I pipe down.
I know he wants me to pledge myself because he’s got a cosy spot in heaven picked out for me. It seems that his other son, David, now follows Darwin and Dawkins, and Rena no longer attends services, but to him that’s no reason why his old mate Kent shouldn’t.
In his way of looking at it I’m not a follower, though I believe in a God of some sort. In my opinion Christ was a prophet whose teachings were hijacked by Saint Paul and others and made into a code which probably still gets you to heaven all right, but requires a lot of blind faith in some dull and exploded doctrines.
Read more about Rick in the new ebook My Mate Ironside.
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A stand-alone short story about Vauclare, the anti-hero of Easy Blood, has been put online at the fabulous Back Road Café. Check it out here.
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