A neighbour walking his dog alerted us to the news that the county town’s bishop is coming to our village hall to answer questions. The question I immediately thought of asking – that is, if I were to go to the meeting – would be “Do you believe in God?” I imagine the audience would gasp, reel backwards, blench, go beetroot, with a host of different horrified responses to such a question coming from their midst. The audience is likely to be drawn from the local church-goers, for one thing. They must all believe in God. They surely trust that their bishop also believes in God. How could a fellow member of the audience ask such a stupid question?
Yet I think it is a valid question to ask of a religious leader. It would surely elicit an answer that would go some way to explaining why anyone who has risen to a position of leadership in his chosen career in the 21st century can promulgate the thought patterns of a particular band of people from the extremely distant past. It’s the question that tortured Darwin when he kept asking it of himself. And that was more than 100 years ago.
I shall go on with these thoughts when I have the time.