Since our garage doesn’t have the detritus of a whole life of kids and deceased grannies, there is space enough to store a nativity scene. So it has been decided by Mark and his parents. This is surprisingly depressing for a young atheist.

One of the differences between me and the love of my life, is that the love of my life does not, like yours truly, definitely discount the existence of God. Uttered at two in the mornings, there have been such things as “Well, I believe there’s something out there.”

As the son of someone who did an intervention when I, at age fourteen or so, wanted to read a bible, I am far more fundamentalist about my atheist beliefs than this one-day-to-be scientist and Nobel laureate. Mostly religion doesn’t come up at all, but when it does, the difference between us is funny.

Actually, I would say that Mark is not atheist at all, but agnostic. He does not bother himself with trying to prove or disprove the existence of god. He thinks the question is fairly pointless because, as he puts it, “whatever we have thought up for social and economic control is going to be wrong”.

I, however, cannot move him from that statement to the next logical position that if this is the case, then it is clear that the concept of deities is an invention by humans at a time when they were much less clear about the nature and the laws of the universe. If it is clear that the dogma is an invention, then it is clear that concepts like Christianity or Islam or even Hinduism are meaningless.

But… his stance makes it so that he can happily help the Anglican church set up a nativity scene in a dinner hall, and he can think nothing of storing that nativity scene in our garage. And I will feel like our garage has become slightly radioactive as the energy of faith emanate from the boxes and the cartons in there.

I will just have to make the sign of the cross to ward off the evil influences as soon as I go in there now.