Sunday September 30th 2012
Charles Darwin - whose time on earth was from
the ninth year, all the way until the eighty second year, of the
Nineteenth Century - was once asked the question "Do you believe in
God?" His answer was of course an excellent one. Then, if I
can pause from stalking my fellow Aquarian, look around, it's safe
to say that it's a question that I too have asked myself, because I
don't actually remember anyone asking me the "Do you believe in God?"
question, in a way that I can call discursive. And I say this because I
have a suspicion that there are often confused assumptions
motivating this particular question, otherwise I wouldn't get the sense
that I am being asked whether the world is round as a ball, or flat as a
plate, when everyone knows the world is actually both.
In the company of say the devout Christian, or
Muslim my answer is the serious golfing of an "Of course." In the company of
say devout Atheists my answer is a more jovial "Of course not." It's also
true that occasionally under the spell of evil demons and maybe a few beers,
I have reversed both the "Of course," and the "Of course not." And
such tribulation it can sometimes cause, because as we all know believing in
anything at all has its pride, and its community, both of which can
sometimes be fragile and possessed of a potential I could call
"pissed-offedness." But Charles Darwin, was one of the greatest
minds ever to be given a State Funeral, so his answer to the question was,
as I say, an excellent one. When he died he thought they'd pop him in
the ground, just round the corner from where he lived. But after
petitions to Parliament and strong words from the Royal Society, which in
the Victorian Era was science, and following a great deal of huffing and
puffing amongst the mighty he was buried in Westminster Abbey.
These days, however, given how prissy everyone seems to have become, he
might have got his wish and he'd have been buried in his Parish Church yard,
which in 1492 was Saint Mary Magdalene, but which following The Reformations
of Calvin and Luther, the church was renamed Saint Mary the Virgin.