“I’m interested in how religion and anti-religion cloud truth. Take, for example, the Colossus of Rhodes. Thanks to Shakespeare, it is a popular belief that the giant statue straddled the entrance to the harbor, one foot on each shore. Historians know better. So do engineers. It was probably more like the Statue of Liberty. But can you imagine what it would be like it this was a religious question. You would have some people claiming that it straddled the harbor miraculously and skeptics saying it didn’t even exist.”
I had just given a talk on the Shroud. I had explained why I thought it might be real. Now I found myself being lectured to by an atheist, whose brother was a Catholic priest who did not think the Shroud was real. But Lenny did. And he had very strong opinions about why it was so difficult to accept it. That evening and early the next morning, I sat down and reconstructed as best I could the conversation I just related. It was longer, punctuated by jokes, interrupted at points by others with questions of me or members of the church offering coffee and more lemon squares. I also compiled Lenny’s opinions as distinct points.