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I do not normally add author's notes to my stories, but this time I am having a hard time keeping from holding a little discussion in my own voice, because the characters brought up some things that are deeply important to me.
When Channing and I write stories, readers may or may not be getting the views of the authors in the typing sense. Rather, our stories are dictated, and as such there are bound to be differences in character versus writer viewpoint. All of my stories, including "A Fair Start", have been told in the voices of the characters within.
Anne's stories have been the first chance I have had to hear from a person new to, and highly interested in, Christianity. She has given some of her experiences in "When on Earth" and "A Fair Start", and I, being close to this topic myself, feel that I would like to add a few things from my perspective.
First of all, I must thank Channing for having introduced me to Ginger. When it was discovered what a blessing she would be for Anne, Chan and Ginger and I had a long discussion, during which she mentioned her rebellious, pro-SCABS and SCABS-pride nature and the reasons for her refusal to join any kind of organized religion.
I am sure that it has caused Ginger no end of pain, being without a loving Supreme Being in her mind, just because her parents told her that to denounce their particular church was to denounce God. She considers herself to be anti-God, when she is, in fact, anti-organized religion, and there is a big difference. Christianity is a set of beliefs. Catholicism is a religion (and, incidentally, the religion I was raised in).
Anne has now entered a Catholic church building twice within the context of a written story, and I would like to point out that, while probably better-educated on God and Catholicism and other forms of religion than your average practicing Catholic, she does have a few things confused. This is fine-- I don't think we need to go into all of them. I would just like to say that, should the people in that church be true Catholics, then Anne need not worry about being lovingly accepted. Yes, the Catholic church has some irrational rules and contains some irrational people. But the word "Catholic" means "universal". The Church is open to all-- whenever possible, the buildings are open physically. Some buildings have had to lock their doors on a regular basis due to thieves and vandals. Others are still able to stay open twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year.
I would like to mention something for the benefit of anyone who was curious about the details of the church and has not been told of nor read the Gospels... According to the Bible, Christ did not have His legs broken. Anne knows that, actually, but at the time of the attack the following things ran together in her mind: The image of Jesus struck her as exhausted, and she had read and heard of the historical accounts of other crucifixions. In these crucifixions, the victims' legs were broken so that they could not get strength to raise themselves into a position where they could draw breath. Anne was herself feeling suffocated at the time, due to the injuries to her face, and with Ginger having suffered an injury to a leg the images ran together until Anne was essentially seeing herself, the Christ and Ginger as similar or even one and the same. Anne and I are both aware, under normal circumstances, of the passage in the Bible which states that they shall "break none of his bones", according to Scripture. I mention this detail because I have no wish to confuse anyone who may be interested in the traditions of the Catholic church, even if they are just curious.