The New Yorker‘s George Saunders once walked into church and found his priest doing… naughty things.
Even more shocking: This is not an altar-boy story:
Normally on Wednesdays I found Father X working at something in the sacristy. This Wednesday, I came up the aisle quietly, so quietly that I discovered Father X and a nun I’ll call Sister Y in the middle of — well, I couldn’t figure out what they were doing. It appeared to be some particularly athletic form of kissing, involving tongues and a lot of snakelike extraneous limb and torso motion, as if this new kind of kissing were filling them with painful electricity.
I stood watching. (In memory, I am frozen in midstep, one sneakered foot in the air, my mouth a little O, like the mouth on a choirboy in a glass Christmas town.)
Then I backed silently out.
Wow wow wow.
There was no way I had just seen that.
What a world, that contained even this.
By now I knew enough about the time in which I was living to know that one of our fundamental narratives was that a critical moment of disillusion could be followed by a bitter but justified downward slide into decadence. Having seen what I had seen, in other words, entitled me to cry Hypocrites! and leave religion behind forever.
This vignette proved, in effect, that the whole religion deal was a sham.
It did not. Saunders’ faith remained.
Father X and Sister Y eventually left the Church for unrelated reasons (and not at the same time).
It’s a short read written by someone who is still faithful, despite his finding plenty of reason to doubt.
[tags]atheist, atheism, Christian[/tags]