Intense, single-minded, fanatical, Brian Buckley is possessed by a vision of salvation that can only be achieved through direct communication with Jesus Christ. His unorthodox views have become an obsession, which makes him the kind of person others avoid instinctively because they can tell by the look in his eyes that he’s going to harangue them if given half a chance.
He is a minor character with a major role in The Cosmic Chicken as the stand in for those whose vision becomes tunneled by an unshakable belief in the biblical narrative of Original Sin and the need for Salvation, which can only be achieved through the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The gravity of this belief holds all of Brian’s attention and bends his will utterly to the cause.
But his is a deviant version of Christianity, which finds its home in a splinter sect called The Church of Divine Inspiration, which believes that salvation is only assured for those who establish a direct channel from the world of physical experience and sin to the world of spiritual reality and salvation. Jesus – as the only perfect physical being after the Fall of Adam and Eve – was the only human who could enter Heaven through the ‘Portico of Paradise’, called The Garden of Eden in the Bible. Eden was established by God to evolve creatures that would replace the fallen angels, led by Satan. The First Couple’s sin implicated not only humanity, but all living forms.
Christ’s meditative call to believers is a spiritual beacon that will guide truly connected souls to the real Promised Land of the afterlife. This, advocates of Divine Inspiration believe, is the only way to achieve Salvation. The benediction of priests, memorizing of biblical texts, prayers to anonymous deities, all of the ‘trappings’ of religion will not work without this one-on-one and intimate connection to Christ. All the rest is preparatory, and unless followers have actually Engaged in the direct conversation, they are damned.
Achieving Engagement requires strenuous spiritual exertion. All other successes in life have to be seconded to this aim – in other words, the purpose of our earthly existence is to connect with Christ and achieve Forgiveness and Salvation. Why Brian has chosen this road is hard to say, and is a question that will not be answered in The Cosmic Chicken.