How we cite our quotes:
I could not imagine God pausing in His guidance of unimaginably vast worlds to bother with me. (1.4.157)
God is a busy guy (thinks Richard). He’s got universes to run, floods to schedule, and football games to watch. What does he care about a little boy writing stories in the South?
In the black Protestant church I entered a new world; prim, brown, puritanical girls who taught in the public schools; black college students who tried to conceal their plantation origin; […] snobbery, clannishness, gossip, intrigue, petty class rivalry, and conspicuous displays of cheap clothing...I liked it and I did not like it; I longed to be among them, yet when with them I looked at them as if I were a million miles away. (1.6.68)
Notice that none of the words that Richard uses to describe the members of the church are relate to virtues. But Richard is so lonely that even clannishness and gossip are appealing.
There was no mysticism, no invoking of God, merely a passionate identification of all present with a will to right wrongs. It was a simple, elemental morality. Communism had found a moral code that could control the conduct of men, yet it was a code that stemmed from practical living, and not from the injunctions of the supernatural. (2.19.371)
Communism doesn’t need religion to make people act morally. It’s got something even more powerful: peer pressure.