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Atheists in church: the course of true love may now run smooth

Ladies and Gentlemen, I need your help.

I have among my friends (yes, both of them) one who stands out as the type-specimen of the ‘Strident Atheist’.

He’s the kind of man who spends his days hanging around street corners, waiting for the opportunity to heckle street preachers.

The kind of man who, when confronted at his door by missionaries will tell them it’s unlikely they share much ideology since he ‘Worships Satan and all his evil deeds.’ (Note: he doesn’t actually worship satan, that was a joke). Although he was once admittedly impressed by a particular Jehovah’s Witness who immediately whipped out a printed leaflet entitled ‘The lure of Satan.’ Perhaps his joke was not as original as he thought.

Yesterday, I received an invitation. My friend has apparently found a lady who wants to marry him. As astounding as I found this, it was but nothing compared to the fact that the event will be a full-on religious affair at an (admittedly pretty) church in the back streets of Oxford, the unfortunate girl’s home town.

I privately e-mailed my old friend, gently asking him what the bloody hell he thought he was doing.

The dress code suggests linen and Panama hats, but I thought that in his case, a lightning rod might be more appropriate. And I pointed out it would be wrong to annoy a harmless C of E vicar by attracting the kind of Divine Wrath which might result in the poor man’s church being burnt down.

My friend immediately responded thus:

There is no god. Therefore he cannot strike me down.
And if it makes her church-going parents happy then what care I?
Personally I fear the wrath of a mother-in-law in this world more than that of the almighty in the next. [My emphasis]
Fault the logic if you can.
p.s. Oh, and by the way, civil ceremonies are crap.

Fault the logic? To my eternal shame I find I can’t.

You have no idea how irritating this is.

Any ideas?



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