Reverend Minias

26 03 2009

For at least 20 minutes, Reverend Minias was stationed behind his pulpit. He was ranting and raving about eternal Hellfire, the condemnation of sinners, the death and resurrection of Jesus, and the roads that were paved with gold in Heaven. This was nothing unusual for this particular preacher, and he had given many similar sermons on many similar Sundays.

His congregation was the usual bunch; those that came every Sunday, those that came every now and then, and those that only showed up on holidays. Today was a holiday, Easter Sunday to be exact. Among those in the pews were children, adults, elderly individuals, and everything in between.

Towards the back of the Church a young couple was having a private conversation via electronic wireless methods, and by doing such they were able to appear interested in the hooting and hollering preacher.

“Why is it that we only come on holidays and not every Sunday?” Vivia silently relayed to her life partner of 2 years, Jusef.

“Why is it that we need to come at all anymore?” replied Jusef.

“We need to maintain a minimal level of spirituality, it’s the law.” responded Vivia.

“But why do we need to come to church to maintain that spirituality? Why can’t we just ‘be’ spiritual at home, at work, or where ever we are?”

“That’s not how it’s done. To maintain any level of spirituality, you have to attend an officially endorsed center of religion…the law doesn’t specify how often, it never has.”

“So by doing the bare minimum, we maintain the minimal efficiency? That doesn’t seem right. I can be spiritual without being in a church or a temple. In fact, sometimes I find myself pondering life, existence, salvation, and all the other aspects of existance without even trying.”

“That may be, but if spirituality wasn’t maintained en masse, all aspects of religion would be chaos. How is anybody supposed to be spiritual without any guidance?”

Jusef could see her perspective, but he felt inside that he was on to something.

About this time, the service was over and the congregation began to stand up and slowly meander towards the church exit. Unlike in past days when the church leader would meet and greet his congregation as they exited, it was no longer possible for such an event to occur. Preachers these days didn’t understand the common language. The only reason the members of the church could understand the preacher was because of the universal translators that they all possessed, which were hardwired into their neural matrix. Such was the advantage of being an android in the modern era.

As the congregation exited, Reverend Minias’ handlers approached the pulpit from behind a side curtain, lifted him up, and carried him to the enclosure at the rear of the altar. The handlers opened the door to the good Reverend’s private space, and he jumped through the opening, landing nimbly on his feet and hands. The gate was closed, and a banana was slipped through the bars to the enclosure. Reverend Minias eagerly accepted the fruit with his prehensile tail, took it to the center of his cage, peeled it, and slowly munched on his after-sermon treat.

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