| Quote #1
But no sooner had the preacher arrived than I began to resent him, for I learned at once that he, like my father, was used to having his own way. (1.1.269)
Even though preachers are normally associated with the "Heavenly Father," all Richard sees in this guy is his earthly father. He wasn’t quite so saintly, if you know what we mean.
| Quote #2
We did not object, for church was not where we learned of God or His ways, but where we met our school friends and continued our long, rambling talks. (1.3.71)
For Richard, church is more about hanging out with friends than about God. Hey, even Jesus had friends.
| Quote #3
The elders of her church expounded a gospel clogged with images of vast lakes of eternal fire, of seas vanishing, of valleys of dry bones, of the sun burning to ashes, of the moon turning to blood, of stars falling to the earth, of a wooden staff being transformed into a serpent, of voices speaking out of clouds […] dramas thronged with all the billions of human beings who had ever lived or died as God judged the quick and the dead. (1.4.1)
These weekly sermons rival the most fantastic sci-fi novel. No wonder Richard has such a healthy imagination—and that he’s so scared of sleeping in a dead boy’s bed.