I passed the notice board of one of our local churches the other day. Churches must have had a rough time lately: just when you might want them to comfort you and soothe your furrowed brow along comes something that they can’t explain and that doesn’t seem to appear in God’s guide to surviving stuff. No doubt those who have been in touch with their local member of the clergy have been reassured that this is just another test of their faith and that God does not always have the answer, but instead he will simply cloak us all in an invisible love , which is another way of saying he doesn’t exist so he can’t save us so you, roughly speaking, are on your own. Mate.
As we all know Britain is no longer the God fearing, church flocking kind of country it used to be, and this is exactly why. We’ve been exposed to far too many things over the years to convince many people that religion really matters at all. I’ve run into too many ‘Christians’ that turned out to be wankers to believe that being ‘Christian’ is really that good of a thing to be. We’ve had world wars, nuclear bombs, hideous diseases, organ munching bacteria, political lies, industrial corruption and paedophilia to soak up (for starters) and yet we are still startled when the next bit of shit hits the fan and we say “I can’t believe that’s just happened”. That, I’m afraid, is because we are idiots who have managed to convince ourselves that we must be bright because we’re smarter than apes, when in fact what we need to appreciate is that just because we may well be smarter than apes that doesn’t technically make us clever, but rather just a bit less thick. And being a bit less thick than apes is no great claim to fame. Some days I watch the news and wish I was an ape just so I could flick faeces at my own TV.
So the flock was dwindling anyway and now no one has been in a church for weeks and whether they bother to come back at all remains to be seen. On that noticeboard there was a picture (presumably of the vicar) crouched outside (presumably in her garden) with a deeply rubbish makeshift alter she had bolted together using a shoebox or something like that and the caption read “learning to be adaptable”. And that made me smile. First I found it funny because I’m not sure whether you can strictly learn to be adaptable – you either are or you aren’t, and if you need to adapt you just go ahead and adapt and if you don’t then you are someone who just can’t adapt and, ironically enough, evolution has taught us that creatures that can’t adapt get wiped out. And then isn’t learning just another type of adapting so, again, was our local vicar just adapting by adapting?
Quite what she had achieved by slapping a fourth rate alternative altar in her garden was beyond me. Since she wouldn’t have been able to have people round there could have been no audience, sorry, congregation and if it was her intention to have some kind of half arsed service filmed then why not just do it in the church itself – surely even God wouldn’t lock out so loyal a puppy from His own little house, or perhaps it was His cunning way of get her to learn to adapt and drive the church, the most least adaptable racket in the land, into calmer water. She may well ask herself if it’s all a bit too late to start learning to adapt. We’ll see, but I wouldn’t hold out a lot of hope; religion doesn’t seem to be the answer at the moment, but then religion was never really much of an answer to anything in the first place. Was it? Adapt away, just like a virus.
G B Hewitt. 17.05.2020