A. Imagine that you could lift up into the air, and soar through the sky, just by gently fluttering your arms.
B. Yes, I’ve dreams like that. Lovely.
A. Where would you go?
B. Hmmm… I’m not sure. Maybe a cruise over the ocean to Rio?
A. What?? You seriously think you can flap your way to Brazil? What sort of lunatic are you?
As verbal entrapment goes, it’s hardly very clever or subtle. But A-san’s logic is identical to that from a recent Church of England press release.
The Church commissioned a survey which asked
“Irrespective of whether you currently pray or not, if you were to pray for something at the moment, what would it be for?”
19% of their interviewees were unwilling or unable to address this hypothetical scenario, either saying that they never prayed or that they didn’t know.
On the strength of this data, the Church announced that “Four out of five British adults believe in the power of prayer”, a statistic which is now making its way through the UK press.
I have just written to the CoE press office, reminding them of the Ninth Commandment: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour”.