In a recent newspaper article, a Maynooth theologian stressed the importance of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her exemplary obedience to God, and also the unquestionable authority of the Church in interpreting the mysterious ways of the Christian God. His comment about the importance of human suffering, though, was much more worrying than confusing.
Given the reputation of that Church for deception, covering up the criminal abuse of children and contriving apparitions, we have to wonder if its hierarchy would still be taken seriously even if they were to preach sensible, tangible and verifiable phenomena.
So who would still believe them that the mother of a first century preacher was also his daughter, and that people whose bones have long since decomposed and been reduced to atoms, will come together again and march into heaven?
But it is even more mysterious that we have lecturers in theology, and university faculties which specialise in the subject. We do know for certain that Jack in the Beanstalk and leprechauns never existed. And for that reason no university would ever appoint an expert on their lives and history or create a Faculty of Leprechaunology.
But we also know for certain that the Christian God does not exist. A being complex and intelligent enough to create humans would have to exist before them and also be even more intelligent and complex than the humans he created.
But the most complex and intelligent creatures in existence are also the most recent arrivals, and such a being could not therefore have arrived yet. And given his reputation as a homophobic, pestilential, misogynistic, mass-murdering racist, we should be grateful that he doesn’t exist.
We know of no evidence either that the central characters in the whole religious story ever existed. And this includes, Jesus, Mary, Abraham, Moses, Adam and Eve. And in the whole history of the Christian religion, not a single theory, postulation, hypothesis or statement of dogma has ever been verified, validated or supported by even a shred of evidence.
So why then do we have theologians and Faculties of Theology?
But there is an even greater mystery.
Why do intelligent, enlightened and well-educated 21st century adults still allow their vulnerable children to be indoctrinated by such depressing, garbled and pessimistic clap-trap in their school classrooms?