Irradiated by LabRat
“If I thought there was some god who really did care two hoots about people, who watched over ‘em like a father and cared for ‘em like a mother… well, you wouldn’t catch me sayin’ things like “there are two sides to every question” and “we must respect other people’s beliefs.” You wouldn’t find me just bein’ gen’rally nice in the hopes that it’d all turn out right in the end, not if that flame was burnin’ in me like an unforgivin’ sword. And I did say burnin’ Mr. Oats, ’cause that’s what it would be. You say that you people don’t burn folk and sacrifice people anymore, but that’s what true faith’d mean, y’see? Sacrificin’ your own life, one day at a time, to the flame, declarin’ the truth of it, workin’ for it, breathin’ the soul of it. That’s religion. Anything else is just… just bein’ nice. And a way of keepin’ in touch with the neighbors….
…Anyway, that’s what I’d be, if I really believed. And I don’t think that’s fashionable right now, ‘cos it seems that if you sees evil now you have to wring your hands and say “oh deary me, we must debate this”. That my two penny’orth, Mr. Oats. You be happy to let things lie. Don’t chase faith, ‘cos you’ll never catch it. But perhaps you can live faithfully.”
- Granny Weatherwax to the Most Reverend Mightily Oats, from Terry Pratchett’s Carpe Jugulum
ETA: I don’t wholly agree to this- and neither does Pratchett, who usually paints Granny Weatherwax as damaged by her own absolutism- but it’s what constantly pops into my head when Christians lament to me that I take the Bible more literally than they do. To my view, then why have it at all?