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Nope, sorry

I grew up about two miles from a Footwashing Baptist church. It was where you turned left onto the dirt road that led to home, and by the time we got to that spot (if we were coming from Nashville) my mother and I had been on the road quite a while and were almost always shivering for a pee. I mention this because the church had an awesome brick shithouse to one side. It was nearly as big as the church. With what terrible longing we stared at that great cathedral of a pissoire when we passed.

It was locked, though. We tip-toed up and checked it out once. It had a glass window. And it was an eight-seater. Four holes on one side, four on the other. Visualize that at full capacity, folks.

Where I am now is largely Church of England. High church is basically Catholicism minus the pope. Bells and smells and ancient stone buildings. It is very old and beautiful. It is decorous and English. It seems a whole universe away from an eight-seater brick shithouse up a dirt track.

But it’s not. However much distance there would seem to be between snake handlers and Opus Dei, it is all Christian. They recognize the same sacred verses and celebrate the same holidays. They worship the same light, however much the light is bent through the prism of a hundred denominations. They are deeply related.

I understand how a prosperous middle class Muslim in some leafy London suburb would watch yesterday’s news and say that has nothing to do with me. But it does. Or, rather, it doesn’t, but it is a product of the same faith. A different interpretation of the same words.

Which isn’t to say: feel guilty. More like: choose.

May 23, 2013 — 10:41 pm
Comments: 39