Religion (an exchange of ideas)

October 2, 2016

Hello, Michael!

I don’t expect you to read this (literary composition “The Toothbrush”) in its entirety but it might at least qualify as bathroom literature.


PS Some time when you’re feeling especially enthusiastic I would value a summary of your religiosity (I use that horrid word because I want to avoid ascribing a strictly traditional gloss to your thinking although I am of course prepared to hear that you are a traditionalist if such is the case).

October 3, 2016


How quaint to even know that much about tooth brushes, good for you!

I have a spirituality which I express through Anglican worship, which brings with it the expressions of humility and gratitude which I know to be the proper posture for my soul.

Beyond that, I only believe that there is a god who or which does not care if the “g” is capitalised.

There is (sic) virtues, which arise from a divine spark within us (Meister Eckhart’s school – 15th Century) and there are sins which our fears create.

Beyond that, I have little enthusiasm for either mythology or soteriology.

Hope that sums it up.

Also: one meets nice, calm people in church on a Sunday morning and it is interesting to listen to passages from the O.T., the epistles and, of course, the gospels.

At church, there is pleasant music.

If I think od (sic) more, I will advise. Please send any specific questions – but, actually, my system is quite simple. Relaxing.

Mike T.


Liberty Jail

October 3, 2016

Hello, Michael!

Thank-you for your email.

I recognize that my asking anyone about their religion is like asking anyone to explain life, not a exactly a fathomable topic. An explanation of religion is of necessity riddled with hackneyed expressions like “spirituality” and “soul” and what are somewhat more comprehensible words like “tradition” and “ritual”. Unfortunately this want of meaningful expression does little to enhance the subject.

I once heard a rabbi say, “There are two ways to get down a river: either you know where to go or where not to go”. I have chosen to disregard religion in any form or disguise as absolute rubbish. If there are any miracles I expect they are nothing more than the manifestation of the inherent quality of things (such as an explosion of light), which isn’t to say I am entirely scientific rather that there is a discernible reason for everything which doesn’t have to be based on hope and belief only. I have no idea whatsoever what a god is or might be nor do I think the formulation advances life in the least. I find it impossible to engage in the mechanics of worship service as I am not for a minute prepared to avow what I consider nonsense (liturgy which is customarily fraught with goofy language and demonstrations reminiscent of a snake charmer).

As for the “nice, calm people in church on a Sunday morning” I am of the opinion that they are no more endearing than the members of the Rideau Club. The tranquillizing gloss adopted by church goers is a convenient shroud as far as I’m concerned; and I have an admitted disdain for the intellectual capacity or ethical reality (usually mutually exclusive) of the members of any club. Regarding the passages of the Bible, I get a far bigger bang out of Jane Austen or, if one prefers the macabre, traditional French children’s stories.

Finally I have to say that because Christianity is uncompromising (“there is one and only one God”), ascribing to anything short of that is a deceit in my mind. I’ll leave it to Patti Page to conflate religion and “church bells chimin’ on a Sunday morn”. I do however concur regarding liturgical music and architecture.

Forgive me for saying so but I substitute your final observation “relaxing” with “anesthetizing”. I do of course take pain killers and I fashion a lone drive in the car as “relaxing” but to equate that to religion is for me selling it short. I suspect many (even the majority) of the parishioners share your view of Anglican worship which leads me to conclude that it has little to do with religion. Every Anglican Bishop whom I have known drove a Cadillac.



Mormon Memorial Building in Salt Lake City