Tuesday, April 18, 2006


On Good Friday JC asked me to do this quiz. He'd taken it and discovered that there's a reason why he's so disillusioned with Anglicanism - apparently he's supposed to be a Quaker. And as he said himself, the Internet told him, so it must be true.

I duly took the quiz, complaining constantly, as is my wont, that none of the multiple choice options covered what I believe, or that more than one of them did. When I eventually found my way to the end, the quiz told me that I was 100% compatible with two Christian faiths. One was Eastern Orthodox. The other was Roman Catholicism.

Not to doubt the veracity of a quiz contained on a website that celebrates the spiritual yearnings of Antonio Banderas, but Catholic? Me? Hello? Is this reality on (tap tap feedback whine)?

Let's just run through a few tenets here. Transubstantiation? No. Deification of Mary? No. Intercession from a priest? No. Getting excited about the Pope? No. Insisting on celibate priests, eschewing birth control, and partaking of a proscribed Mass? No, no, and many further instalments of no. I may think that Catholicism has certain elements from which the Protestant church could learn, including their sense of holy mysticism, but that's a long way from muttering Hail Marys, counting a rosary or asking for forgiveness from a man in a dress.

I am 93% compatible with my chosen Conservative Protestantism, so there's no need to sic the church elders on me just yet. And no, I don't know where I'm going 7% wrong... although possibly it has something to do with my refusal to drive a Toyota and/or buy Michael W Smith albums.

My lowest score was for Secular Humanism (9%), which is a relief. It means that if I get caught in a conversation with at a party with a secular humanist, I'm entitled to spend 91% of the time just glaring at them.

Oddly enough, the quiz also told me that I'm 60% compatible with Islam.

Me: No way am I 60% Moslem.

JC: Well you'd probably agree with all but two of the Five Pillars of Islam. That'd be 60%.

Me: Which two?

JC: Making the pilgrimage to Mecca, and revering Mohammed.

Me: So what are the three I'd agree with?

JC: Let's see... prayer, doing good works, and... um... what was the other one...

Me: Blowing up busloads of Israeli schoolchildren?

JC: Er, no.

Me: 'Cause I'm totally up for that. Not that I have anything against the Jews. I just really hate kids.

I got to test drive my newfound compatibility with Catholicism an hour or so later, as we went to the historic St Joseph's church in Wembly for a special Good Friday performance of Mozart's Requiem. The choir and the orchestra were both wonderful, as were the church's acoustics. It was a fairly standard interpretation, with just a few subtle flourishes to give a little extra tone to its beauty. Perhaps the most transcendent moment came, ironically enough, just before the performance started, in a lull during the orchestra's tuning. One of the horns started practicing the first few bars of the Tub Mirum, without voices or any other instruments. It was low and sweet and wistful, and so pure in its solitude, drifting around the dome of the church like a melancholy ghost.

I looked out across the church, at the soaring architecture, the stained glass windows, the old Mediterranean ladies with improbably coloured hair, and the painted statues of major saints, and I wondered if I could give up Protestantism for Catholicism. True, life-sized painted statues are sort of creepy, but then again, they're nowhere near as wretched as the poetry of Helen Steiner Rice.

Perhaps I really could change to Catholicism. All I'd ask in return is that Catholicism make a few tiny changes for me.

Me: I've got one word for these statues.

JC: And what's that?

Me: 'Animatronics'.

JC: I see.

Me: Don't tell me it's not a great idea.

JC: Okay, as long as you don't tell them I'm with you when they set you on fire.


Anonymous JC said...


10:09 PM  
Blogger Jege (Jen) said...

Any religion where you can blow up busloads of schoolchildren is the religion for me.

P.S. - I got a 100% match on Unitarian Universalism....whatever the fuck that means.

12:12 AM  

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