Mood: don't ask
Here's an update on my online personal ad experience: it went over like a lead zeppelin. I think the primary reason for this is that I resemble a youngish Santa Claus (or, Orson Welles in his later years), only without the bag of swag (or, the movie credits) to compensate.
The other reason, which may be used ostensibly by any woman unable to admit that the first reason is the real one, is that I am not a Christian, which they very often include in their list of criteria for a mate. Not unlike a high-yellow black person in a whitebread world, I can "pass" for one, but I won't lower myself to profess a belief I do not have. My not being a Christian is a deal-breaker with a lot of women, but I think it's a goddamned crock of shit.
The deal is that I was raised as a Christian, but came down on it all at about the age of twelve. In fact, one of the last things I did as a Christian was to get baptized at the urging of a Southern Baptist friend of my older brothers. No one in my family knew about it until many years later and they were rather shocked when I confessed ---er, admitted it. That's because one does not get baptized in Mrs. Eddy's Church, nor does one get married or buried there, nor see any outward signs of Christ's passion. That would, you see, be unbecoming.
The interesting thing is that, as a non-Christian, I know more about the History, doctrines, and aesthetics of the many Churches than probably 95 percent of those who believe. I can quote Scripture for my own purposes and throw fire and brimstone with the best (or, should I say worst?) of them. I have walked every step to the cupola of St. Peter's Basilica and read Christ's message to Peter there. I have stood on the very spot where Paul witnessed to the Corinthians and I have climbed to the summit of the Acrocorinth and looked over the city there. I have meditated on the spot where Thomas a Becket was martyred and I have gazed on the fragments of St. Andrew's skull. I have read everything from Job to Revelations. I have studied Ancient Greek and Latin and have taught as many children as I could the Golden Rule. Are these the actions of an irreverent and irreligious man?
In my Father's house there are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you.
To the Christian, I am an atheist, but that is such a dirty word. The Christian has made it one. He says that no one comes to God except through Jesus and that there can be no morality without either. But, what does he know? He knows the word and the beliefs of men ---mere men. He does not accept the possibility of moral and ethical behavior in a man who is not yoked as he is. Well, that's on him. And her.
I got your shibboleth right here, mama. Come and let me hear you try to say it right.