the church murder case (part eighteen)

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"At some point, when this business with your brother is resolved, I would like to interview you. The fact that you've decided to break from the church–"

"I'm sorry to interrupt, Miss Sleet, but we are not breaking from the church. This is, to us, not an academic distinction. We are going to continue, the congregation and I have agreed – at least most of them agreed – that we will continue here, as we have been. The great likelihood is that the bishop will continue in the course he has chosen, but there is a possibility that he will change his mind, seeing our resolve and hearing our reasons. If not, the final decision will be his, not ours. As I said, that distinction matters to us."

She nodded. "I can see what you mean. In any case, I would like to interview you, and probably write an article. This situation is unusual and newsworthy. We can wait to publish it until the final decision is made, if you prefer." She smiled. "And we can also debate the existence of god."

He chuckled. "I would enjoy doing an interview, but I'm fairly certain that neither of us will change the other's mind about God."

"I expect you're right. But you were talking before about intellectual rigor, and the importance of study and contemplation. I would add discussion and debate to that list. When I talked to Ron outside the church, as I reported to you, I mentioned 'intellectual rigor, methods of argumentation and debate, and the importance of respect.' This is what I was talking about. Put your best arguments on the table, I'll do the same, and I bet we'll both learn something." She turned to Ron, who was clearly still bored, though she had started to pay a bit of attention when her name had been mentioned. "You don't have to come, Ron."

"You mean tomorrow?" she asked.

Jan laughed and ruffled Ron's hair (which Ron hated). "No, I mean when I interview Father Frank. You still have to come tomorrow and help clean up."

Ron shrugged. "It was worth a try."

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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