As it's Sunday and i am obliged to write one article a year about religion that doesn't ridicule the whole God thing, i usually leave it to December and hide it amongst articles about Santa and reindeer's with red noses but this year i thought i would get it out the way early and do it in November.
That was the plan anyway but as i dropped to my knees, clasped my hands in front of my face and prayed for some inspiration, i began to wonder, what is the hand clasping thing all about?
I asked my neighbour who is a Reverend and should know if anyone does but he never and instead tried to get me to write about all the good things religion does in the world but i was on a mission so ignored him.
I asked a Buddhist, a Muslim and a Jew but it was a Chinese atheist who shone light upon it as a sign of submission.
According to her, the gesture goes back to the very early days of Christianity when the Romans were feeding lions on a diet of shackled Christians and the lion's lunch would offer their joined hands to the Romans in the hope that by submitting to their fate the Centurions would pity them and spare them.
Pretty sure that didn't work out so well for them and it just made the job of tying the hands of the prisoner even easier but apparently it's an act of waving the white flag, or surrendering themselves to their fate stating you are submissive to your God or Roman guard, whichever is most fitting at the time.
Happy with the explanation she then said that it could also stem from the traditional way of greeting someone in many south-east Asian countries from the same time when people wore loose garments with large sleeves and was specifically to demonstrate that they are not concealing any weapons within those sleeves, much in the way the handshake originated as a way to show you were not holding a weapon in early Western society.
I'm happy that it is a sign of submission to your chosen deity as if saying: 'Look God, i gave up a Sunday morning lie in, i'm kneeling on a hard floor in a draughty Church singing about rowing a boat ashore and listening to someone in a frock bang on for an hour about talking bushes..i give up!'
Righty, that's that out the way so next Sunday the story of how if you give a man a sandwich you'll feed him for a day and if you give him a religion, he'll starve to death praying for a sandwich.