by Niall Doherty

Way back in early October last year, I was stopped in Durham hanging out with the legendary Anthony from Man Vs. Clock.

One afternoon, between web-work sessions at the city library, we were strolling along the cobbled streets when a young college student approached and asked if we’d like to partake in a quick survey. He was an Asian chap named Chawie, which we assumed was the typical Chinese mispronunciation of Charlie, but then his English was otherwise flawless. So I’m not sure what that was about.

Anyways, in that survey we partook.

It wasn’t long before we realized that Chawie was actually part of some Christian association, and the survey was a front to try recruit new members to their church. In a very serious and concerned tone, he asked us questions like…

If you were sitting at a bar, and God sat down next to you, what would you ask him?

… and…

What do you think happens after you die?

After playing ball for a while, Ant and I decided to ask Chawie a few questions of our own. I recall asking him if he really thought all Muslims were going to hell because they didn’t believe Jesus was the son of God.

Chawie nodded, lowered his gaze and replied quietly, “Unfortunately, yes.”

I voiced my disagreement, and Chawie ended up challenging me to read the Bible. I, in turn, challenged him to read the Koran.

Stalemate.

We about left it at that.

The Church of I Don’t Know

When folks inquire about my religious beliefs, I like to tell them that I’ve formed my own church: The Church of I Don’t Know.

It’s a nice, friendly, and non-existent church that doesn’t claim to know the unknowable. The church advocates no specific beliefs, because, when it comes to beliefs, there is no true and false, only useful and detrimental.

The church has no symbol, nothing to compete with the crucifix. But if it did, I imagine it would be the image of a dude shrugging in front of a giant wooden question mark. And instead of trying to provide answers to the big questions, the Church of I Don’t Know likes to keep it honest and humble…

— Is there a god?
— I don’t know.

— What happens after you die?
— No idea.

— Why are we here?
— Beats me.

— Is Elvis still alive?
Uhh…

It’s a tough sell though, this Church of I Don’t Know. As you can see from the video above, shot on the streets of Kathmandu, my recruitment spiel needs a bit of work 😉