"You're Catholic? After what you said about the church? After what I know about the church? It was the church that suppressed magic and slaughtered magickal creatures."
"It's how I was raised," he said. He finished his drink and shoved the bowl of crackers to one side. "I follow the rituals, I say the prayers, I speak to the priest. I can't say I'm one-hundred-percent Catholic anymore, but I believe."
"In what?" asked Daisy. She had drifted away from her own very loose Presbyterian upbringing years ago, and could barely remember going to church at all, and then only when her grandmother was in town.
"God," said Sean Patrick. "Gods. Creation."
"The world is only six thousand years old?" she said, not bothering to keep the scorn out of her voice.
But he only laughed. "Look out there, Daisy," he said, waving to the seemingly endless seas beyond the balcony, "Really look. Now consider the enormity of it, of that sky up there and then beyond it to the land. On that land, all around this world, there are over seven billion people. Seven billion people, Daisy. How many do you see in front of you right now?"
"One," she said.
"This world is so vast and enormous no one person can comprehend it. Now consider it's only one world in one tiny solar system in a universe so vast we're barely even a speck on a speck of a speck of dust," he leaned forward, getting intense as he spoke, his large eyes sparkling, "Of course there are gods or a God or something, but when we as humans try to understand or comprehend him or her or it or them, we have to put them into a box, with borders that we can understand. We put God into a book with limits that we as primitive humans could understand and put a date on it but we can't do that because God is infinite. Humans can't understand or grasp infinity, so they try to hide their own limitations behind sheer dogma. They put human limits and human borders around God and can't understand or comprehend the infinity of God.
"They also," he continued after a moment, sitting back and taking a deep breath, "have an inflated opinion of themselves and humanity. They put too much into what equally limited humans wrote in a book about God. Or gods, depending. Have you ever read a book called American Gods?"
"Of course," she replied. "Neil Gaiman. It was pretty good."
"It was an amazing story. I've re-read it a couple of times. But the singular theme, that gods don't exist without people, is a staggering idea. Certainly that's been touched on before, maybe dozens of times, but the craft of it was amazing, and the reality of living, breathing gods and how they think and feel and live in this world—I believe it all, from the benevolence and strength of Ganesh the Remover of Obstacles to the all-powerful God almighty, no matter what he's called. You know, that one God, the God of Abraham, God of Moses, he never said 'Thou shalt have no other gods,' he said 'Thou shalt have no other gods BEFORE ME.' He wasn't saying he was the only god, just that he was the most important one."
"You've put a lot of thought into this."
"I have," he said. "You want another drink?"