The following is in response to Rick Steigelman’s essay “Godless in London” that I read via Prick of the Spindle, an online literary journal.
In Steigelman’s essay, Rick and his mother tour London, England. The two of them end up at St. Paul’s Cathedral where they unexpectedly have to pay to get in—I share an outrage with Steigelman’s mother; why do you have to pay to enter a church? What would “He” say about this? I love the line “I figure that if Jesus really wants to redeem our wayward souls, He can pop by the pub and make His case over a pint.” There a cool verse from the proverbial rock-and-roll bible for you.
This short essay seems like a small clip of the author’s memory and he helps me into the world of his consciousness with his detail. Rick and his mother participate in a quiz bowl that soon segregates them as the Americans of the group—”But He is not there for us. Mom and I go into a freefall and finish last. We pay our bar tab and leave.” The way the essay rests on this last statement is really interesting. Is Steigelman trying to say that religion creates unnecessary boundaries and splits up the populace?