Rating: PGish, just a few curses.
Characters: Edward (FMA), Azrael (my own character from my world of 'Paradis')
Warnings: Religious ideas discussed.
About/Other:Just a random little drabble that got stuck in my head today. There are a few references to some films ('Dogma' included), but this is mainly just characters chattering. Um, a bit of a warning, really devout religious folk might wanna keep away, coz this is is a bit of a exploration on Ed's atheism.
Also, the character of Azrael is of my own creation from my own stories, and is completely (C) me, so please don't steal him.
Drinking Buddies –Shoeless Wanderer
It was the third Sunday of the month in Red Bank, NJ. Most people on Sundays will go to church. Some people go to the track. Some people go to the beach. Other people go to the bar.
Ed actually didn’t frequent drinking establishments. If he did go to a bar, it was for some sort of social call, not to get drunk. Getting drunk was what all the Diet Coke with Lime at home was for.
A long while ago Ed had been introduced to a friend of one of his students, and that friend was extremely intelligent. That friend also seemed to take a liking to Ed, and before long the two had managed to become drinking buddies. Refering to themselves as such was ironic, as Ed only had a glass or two of wine, and his friend actually never drank.
Azrael swept into the bar clad in a long sleeved black shirt and baggy jeans that dragged along the floor as he walked. His mud colour eyes swept over Murphy’s bar area, and met the gold eyes of Edward. Ed’s arm shot up and waved Azrael over. Their drinks were already on the table.
Az flopped down into the wire chair opposite of Ed. Azrael’s reddish-brown hair went “fwoosh”, a sure sign that even though his hair was shoulder length, it was in desperate need of a trim. Ed’s hair was back and braided, as always, although it looks fairly ratty to Azrael. Of course, never insult a man’s hair was something Az had learned a very long time ago from a very vain friend, so he said nothing of it.
The two exchanged pleasantries for a bit and caught themselves up on life, the universe, and everything, and then got into a favorite pastime, philosophical discussion.
“So then you’re saying that you don’t believe in any form of a higher being?” Azrael’s rust coloured eyebrows rose slightly.
”It’s impossible,” Ed parried.
Azrael grinned slightly, “Care to explain?” He took a short sip of his virgin Mary.
”Simple. The Big Bang Theory, we all know that everything came from one small atom. Scientific research actually shows us the universe is expanding.”
”Mmm,” Azrael pondered thoughtfully for a moment or so, “You’ve heard of anti-matter yes?”
”You mean that stuff from Angels and Demons? ‘Course I’ve heard of it, but it can’t be used to actually prove biblical theory.” Ed propped his feet up on the table.
”No, no, I’m not referring to proving Genesis at all. Genesis is based off a poem called Ode to Creation, if I remember correctly.” Azrael loved to toy with mortals and their theories on God. Being down in Hell for a couple of millennia did that do you. Metatron had warned him old habits die hard, and this was one of those habits that refused to shuffle off the mortal coil. “My point is, yes, we have evidence that proves the Big Bang, but what caused the Big Bang? And that’s where it’s okay to have a leap of faith or two.”
”So? Every single religion never accounts for what happened before there were Gods Azrael. It’s one of the biggest inconsitancies in just about every religion. Even in Greek myths, you have the Earth and the Sky, but that implies the Earth and the Sky were always there which they weren’t.”
Azrael nodded in agreement, “True. So you’re saying that people create Gods.”
”People create Gods in their own image and likeness as far as I’m concerned,” Ed shrugged. His fingers played expressively with his wine glass. “Every time someone uses religion as propaganda, they say ‘God says this’. That isn’t true. That’s what they want their God or Gods to say. The Bible’s a great example of it! Everything just jumps around, God says this, God says that, God’s a hypocrite of himself. “Thou Shalt Not Kill”, but HOLY CRAP SMITING LEFT AND RIGHT!”
Azrael felt a pang of guilt but swallowed it. The smitings were one of God’s weaker points. “Mm, true. But what makes you say that God would apply the Ten Commandments to himself?”
”Well, one has to assume that God is a benevolent deity, and by issuing those ideals, that is what God stands for, right?” Ed felt confident of himself as he spoke. He had every rhyme and reason to prove that there was no Higher Being, in fact, he was sure of it. There was just something about Azrael that didn’t put him at ease though, a certain glow the man always seem to have.
”Consider what people were doing though,” Azrael suggested. “Like Sodom and Gomorrah.” Azrael felt free to talk of those two towns because he was not responsible for their demise. That was all Loki. “People were screwing everyone and everything in sight.”
”Yes, but then Lot’s two daughters have sex with him, which is what the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were punished for.”
Azrael nodded slowly, “Mind you, they weren’t aware that there were other people even out there.”
”That isn’t the point,” Ed hunched himself over the table. “The point is that the Bible, Old Testament and New, is hypocritical of itself and has glaring inconsistence. The fact that people actually choose to believe in this hypocritical nonsense amazes me.”
“So then you’re saying the reason you don’t believe in a higher being is due to the inconsistencies in the literature the religion presents.”
”Somewhat. You also have people taking those religions and making them even worse, what with televangelism, terrorists, you get the idea.” Ed’s mind flashed back to his encounters with Scar. An easy silence hovered over Azrael and Edward. Azrael finally cleared his throat.
”What of their morals and ideals?”
”To hell with them,” Ed snorted indignantly. A small smile danced across Azrael’s face. Ed continued, “They all teach the same thing, but none of them can agree with each other because everyone’s worshipping the wrong God. That’s another damn good reason not to believe in any deity. If there were any, they’d be warring with each other to get the masses to worship them.”
”The masses do it for them,” Azrael chimed in. “There’s no need. People blow shit up for religion, people fight for it, people are about religion. They use it to fill in the gaps. The gaps that Science leaves.”
”Impossible,” Ed shook his head. “Science will answer everything in due time.”
”People don’t have all the time in the world Edward,” Azrael commented drly. “It’s taken millions of years for us to discover the Big Bang since life on this planet began. Science progressed over hundreds of years, not days. Religion is used to fill in some things that I don’t think science will ever answer, like the reason we’re here, and what is the true human nature. Science can’t answer those questions. That’s why religion was invented Ed. It explains things that we can’t believe otherwise.”
”People in the old days didn’t have what we have now!” Ed shot back. He had a nasty feeling that Azrael was now just playing with him. “It’s easy: Time and Science progress, but people are stuck in their archaic institutions worshipping a false idol. There is no higher being no matter what anyone says. It defies logic!”
Azrael took a final swig from his Virgin Mary and rose from his seat. “Some things aren’t logical Edward, and they aren’t meant to be logical.” Ed glared up at Azrael.
”Do you have proof of a higher being?” Ed spat this at Azrael almost mockingly.
Azrael paused for a moment. Of course he had proof. He was a freaking angel for Christ’s sake! Wings? Yeah, he had those. He could also show off the fact that angels were completely androgynous down to the lack of reproductive organs, but that might be a bit disgusting and imply something that certainly wasn’t there, or he could just inform Edward that ‘I happen to be an angelic being in the service of God’ but realized that if he said that then Edward would just call Azrael in a nice padded room. Azrael could also relay Edward’s life in minute detail, but that would just be bizarre, not to mention a totally invasion of privacy, Azrael sat back down in silence. Ed glared across the table, “Yeah. Thought so.”
”All men have need of Gods,” Azrael murmured.
”Homer. The Odyssey.”
Azrael lifted up his shirtsleeve and stared at the time. ‘God, 9 AM ethereal time.’ “I’ve got to split. I paid the tab last time, yeah?”
”Yeah,” Ed nodded. “I’ll pick it up. See ya… Az?” Ed looked up from thumbing through his wallet to find that his drinking buddy had all but disappeared. “What the hell?” he thought out loud.
Author's Note: I am hopelessly addicted to Diet Coke with Lime.
Comments and Critque are welcomed and loved.