Sunday, 26 April 2015

Are you a Christian man?

So far I've been asked this question twice.  The first time was a woman I drive sometimes from church to church, so to be asked that question is reasonable as it establishes whether we have a shared interest in Christianity.  As it happens I do have an interest in it, but only from the point of view of skepticism.
Scene of the crime

It was the second woman who asked me the question that was of interest.  Early one Friday evening in March I got a job to pick a woman up from her house, take her to a supermarket in Harlow town centre, wait and return.  In the cab I tried to make conversation but gave up very quickly as she wasn't very talkative and had clearly had a drink or three already.

After a period of silence she asked me out of the blue: "Are you a Christian man?"  I replied that no, I was not religious and thought nothing more of it.

When we got to the town centre she said she would be back in five minutes and went off before I could get her to leave a bag or something as collateral.  I waited and waited, as instructed, then rang the cab company to find out where she had got to.  I followed instructions from them, which involved waiting a total of over 30 minutes before giving up.

From my point of view it would have been much better if she had just run, which would have put me about £4.00 out of pocket.  By getting me to wait she ended up preventing me from working for a whole hour, which was very frustrating on an evening where cabs are much in demand.

The key point of this post is to look into why she asked me whether I was a Christian man.  I can only assume that she planned to do a runner unless I declared myself to be a Christian, which would be a bizarre interpretation of Christian teaching.  Does it imply she was a Christian? Would her actions have been different if I had given a different answer?

I shall probably never know the answers as I am unlikely to recognise her again, having only had one or two quick glimpses of her.  When people get in the back of the cab I often don't get a good look at them, especially in the dark.

We discussed this on the Skepticule podcast, episode 92.  Available at 

Paul Orton, 27/4/15