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Finley Peter Dunne [1867-1936] has nothing to do with this.


Well, not entirely nothing.

I believe that art, religion and most other institutions our kind have created are performing their best service when—never better put than by my fellow Chicagoan Finley Peter Dunne—they “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

With that thought foremost in mind, I would gladly attend and pay attention to a religious service at Christ College, Cambridge, when next I find myself in the U.K. Why? Because the rector there is likely to be Progressive (i.e., not Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson). I am not a Christian, nor am I a card-carrying member of any religious persuasion, so save your energy by not trying to “save” me. I’ll get by. But I must also add that I find great Truths in religion, as well as the greatest pile of crap passing for wisdom ever conceived by the mind of man or woman (because that’s where it came from).

Why Christ Chapel, Cambridge, you ask? Because, when the sermon tended toward the arid (which I’m hard-pressed to imagine it would) I could look at the altarpiece by artist Tom de Freston. And in doing so, I would be both comforted and afflicted. And I would be a better person for the encounter.

The Installation Of Two New Altarpiece Paintings At Christ's College Cambridge

[Used here without permission from the artist’s website]


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