Reverend Rosemary Lain-Priestley, Minister to Women  
Friday, 13 November, 2009, 08:13 AM - Invisible magic stuff, Priestley
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Churches are doing their bit to combat the spread of Swine Flu. Vicars rub their hands in alcohol before handling communion and congregations are dunking their wafers in the wine, a bit like a Rich Tea biscuit in a cup of tea. One vicar has even invented a magic water dispenser, to prevent contamination.

We're not used to thinking of magic water or magic wine being the subject of infection. That's because they're magic. At root, this is because we tend to isolate the real world from the imaginary world. The real world has the washing up to do and is full of dirty things like germs and going to the toilet, whereas the imaginary world is all clean and sparkly and no one ever has to do the washing up ever again.

This, of course, is terribly silly. The imaginary world is just as real as the real world. Just because it's imaginary doesn't mean you can ignore it or forget about it, or pretend that it's not real. We have to live in the real world so that we can get to the imaginary world.

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