In 2003 football hard man and actor Vinnie Jones admitted assaulting an airline passenger and drunkenly claiming he could have a flight crew "murdered for £3,000". Jones became incandescent with rage when a fellow passenger, Stephen Driscoll told him he was being "annoying", sparking a tirade of aggressive threats from the celebrity. Jones was given 80 hours community service and fined £800.
Despite this, Vinnie is a man of prayer. Surprised? In Vinnie the Autobiography, Vinnie explained his faith like this:
"Yes, granddad was special. So special that, since we lost him, I've always believed he was still in touch. I am convinced he is my spiritual guide. I remember saying out loud: I'd love to be a professional footballer, granddad. A footballer. One chance. Anything, anywhere. If you can help....."
In 1986, Vinnie scored a goal against Manchester United. This is how he prayed during the game:
"It might seem strange, but at that moment I said another little prayer: 'Come on granddad, come on, please let it stay at 1-0.' And he did. United did bring on 'Pop' Robson, but there was nothing Captain Marvel could do to spoil my incredible day.
How would a committed materialist respond to this story?
"Superstitious nonsense. Spirits do not exist because everything is physical."
How would a relativist respond?
"If you believe it, it is true for you."
How would a pagan respond?
"There are many spirits, including granddads, which respond to prayer....so carry on Vincent."
And a Christian response would be:
"Vinnie you need to repent of both your violent, uncouth behaviour and praying to a dead person. Unlike Jesus, your granddad, Arthur, did not come back from the dead!"