A confession.

A couple sitting in front of me. At the coffee shop. At a small table. She’s around 25. Long light brown hair. Her boyfriend’s wearing a “Mustangs” baseball cap. I don’t know who The Mustangs are. I’m looking at his back. She’s facing me. They aren’t drinking coffee. Water, and two plain croissants. Why aren’t they drinking coffee?

The young lady. Beautiful. Is it okay to write that I think she’s beautiful? She’s so much younger than me. Do I sound like a pervert? 

It’s okay. Because her kind of beauty is objective. It’s a fact that she is beautiful. Just like Brad Pitt is handsome. I’m not gay, either. He just is.

They are reading a Bible. Together. A leather bound one. He reads to her for a minute or so. Then he hands it to her; then she reads. I can’t hear what they’re reading because it’s loud in here. I have this thought. Oh, please. Do you have to bring your Bible with you and read it out loud to each other in public? Then I wonder if there’s something wrong with me. Because I once thought reading The Bible in public was a virtue.

Why do I judge them?

I think it’s because of the religious kooks. I don’t know what else to call them. Religious zealots? Religious fanatics? That sounds better. The religious fanatics that will often hijack public space to force their narrow view of Christianity down people’s throats. Most of the religious fanatics I’ve run into over the decades bring their Bibles to public places. As some kind of shield of protection. As some kind of magical force or something. All that stuff about The Word of God being sharper than any two-edged sword. I think some people bring that Bible-sword into public places, just in case they get attached. No, they often attack.

So it’s guilt by association. Religious fanatics bring their Bibles to public places. They brought their Bible to a public place. Therefore, they are religious fanatics. Then I realize that this line of reasoning is a logical fallacy. Specifically, it’s called affirming the consequent. Google it it you want. People do it all the time.

I just did.

Anyway, she just noticed me looking at her. Crap! I was looking at her Bible. Not her.

Okay, I was looking at her a little.

Is there something wrong with me? It’s a free county. They can do what they want. Why does this bother me?

Then I get it. I don’t want to be a part of the religious fanatic part of Christianity. This lovely couple is fine. You can see it. They’re  normal.

They get up to leave. They’re adorable together. He’s wearing HE>i socks. Navy blue ones. I saw that brand for two years before I could figure out what it meant.

The Mustang hat says Cal Poly on it. Now I’m not sure whether it’s Pomona or San Louis Obisbo.

These days, I wonder more and more about the virtue of a private faith.

Is it okay to have a private faith?