CHOOSE JUDAISM — THE SOUP’S REALLY GOOD
FOLLOWING reports that the threatened dismemberment of the Church of England over the issue of homosexual prelates is apparently persuading hordes of disaffected Anglicans to up sticks and defect to Roman Catholicism, thousands of you have, not surprisingly, written to ask me for my expert guidance in this perplexing matter.
“All right,” you tell me, “we have seen the writing on the wall, any minute now we will find ourselves going into church of a Sunday morning and forced to listen to sermons about making our lives over, starting with the bedroom curtains, and singing Abide With Me to the tune of Candle in the Wind; not for us, thank you, but we do not want to become Roman Catholics either, all that confession stuff, you never know who’s behind the grille, plus wafers not being allowed on the Atkins diet, so are there any other religions you can suggest which might do it for me? I am not what you’d call religious, but it’s useful to have something to put on the form when applying for a road fund licence and so forth.”
A very tricky one this, since I clearly do not have the space here to go into any great detail, but knowing the British people as I do, I think I may at least be able to come up with a few helpful pointers for those in what we major theologians call doubt.
Judaism, for example, has considerable appeal. The soup is good, and you can keep your hat on indoors, thereby making a considerable saving on fuel costs. Also, since you will not be allowed to drive on Saturdays, your car will last about 14 per cent longer than gentile ones. Furthermore, books are read back to front, which means that you do not have to plough through the whole of the new Jeffrey Archer to find out what happens.
Islam, however, may suit you even better, in that if you don’t want to read the new Jeffrey Archer, you can not only publicly burn it, you can apply to have him shot. The main drawback with Islam is that you will have to take your shoes off upon entering the mosque. If it is a big mosque, it may take you all day to find them again.
Buddhism is terrific if you are bald. Nobody will ever know. You can also spend all day walking up and down Oxford Street without ever having to buy anything, and with no socks to wash when you get home. Moreover, the principle of reincarnation is immensely attractive: you could come back as Bill Gates or George Clooney. Then again, you could come back as Jeffrey Archer.
Sikhism, on the other hand, is terrific if you are not bald. Being prohibited from cutting your hair or shaving means that you will never have to visit a barber. You will thus never have to sit in a chair while someone asks you if have read the latest Jeffrey Archer yet, and — whatever your answer — spends the next 15 minutes retelling it.
So there you have it. Good luck, ex-Anglicans, and God, whichever One you choose, bless you. But if none of the above appeals to you, remember that the Mormons are always on the lookout for new recruits. They’re a really nice crowd, with only one major drawback: you have to wear a shiny blue suit and a permanent grin and tell everybody you meet about this truly wonderful book of yours. You will thus run the constant risk of being mistaken for Jeffrey Archer.
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