“So, I had a question.”
Father Will had convinced me to stay for cookies and hot chocolate. “Go on.”
“Demons are angels who rebelled because they wanted the same free will as mortals, right?”
“So, how come no demon chooses to be good?”
“…you know, most people never even ask that question.”
“It’s probably because I’m not Christian and not kind of indoctrinated into the way you people do things.” A pause. “Does that mean you don’t have an answer?”
“It means I’ve never thought of it that way. Mark Twain once asked who had the courage to pray for the one sinner who needs it the most.”
“Meaning, yes. Lucifer. Satan.” Father Will sipped at his hot chocolate. “He had a point. Here’s the thing. If, no matter how good you are, you’re still condemned to eternal punishment, would you be good?”
I shook my head. “No. But doesn’t that make it God’s fault?”
“I suppose it does. But there’s a lot of evidence in the Bible that while God is good, He has a temper. Look at Jesus throwing the moneychangers out of the temple.”
“Odin has a temper too,” I couldn’t resist saying.
“I’ve read a couple of stories that do rather indicate that.”
Thruor had said we felt everything more. Maybe that went for the Christian God too. “I think gods are more…emotional. More passionate. More…”
“That sounds like the Greek philosophy of gods. Take human traits and exaggerate them. But…”
“But if God has a temper, then…maybe that’s a necessary part of Him being the good creator?”
I’d never resolved in my mind all of the conflicting creation stories. But then, none of them matched scientific reality. Maybe something didn’t have to be literal in order to be true.
“Maybe it is. You’re a strange young woman, Jane.”
If I told him who I was, he’d never let me in his church again. “You’re a strange priest.”
He laughed. “Or maybe one that understands that if God has to tell us not to put any other Gods before him, that rather implies He’s worried about other Gods.” A pause. “I know you don’t serve God. I know you never will.”
“I never can,” I admitted.
“Hence the asking about demons and free will. Here’s the real question: Are you being true to yourself?”
“I think so.”
“Then you are making the right choices, and using whatever free will you have in the right way. Now, if you need my help with…”
“I’ll let you know.”
But I was still thinking about the stuff about demons and free will even as I left.