Friday, October 9, 2009

Joe the Unbeliever meets God

Imagine for just a few moments that the Christians are right, and that there IS a God, just like in the Bible, and there is a Heaven and there is a Hell. It’s not a pretty thought, but just use your imagination for a minute. We, as unbelievers, would be in a great deal of trouble, right? There’s no question that, IF it was all true, we’d be prime candidates for a reallllly bad time.

What would those first few moments be like, right before demons impaled you with pitchforks and tossed you screaming into the Lake O’ Fire? With any luck, God would give you a minute or two to state your case—not that it would do any good, but I have to think that a God who puts the stamp of approval on something as monstrously obscene as Hell would have just enough mean-spirited humor to hear you out.

Here’s how it would go:

God: “Anything to say for yourself before your eternal damnation commences?”

Joe the Unbeliever: “Yeah, if you don’t mind. This is totally bogus.”

God: “You had your chance, kid. I gave you every opportunity to worship me.”

Joe: (fighting panic) “Yeah, sure, God, but you never gave me a reason to!”

God: “What, burning for all eternity is not a good reason to worship me?”

Joe: “There’s so many things wrong with that statement, I hardly know where to start. I mean, even if I did believe in you when I was alive, the threat of eternal torment doesn’t exactly fill me with love for you! Fear, sure, but—“

God: “Fear, love, whatever. The choice was simple, and it was yours to make. You chose poorly.”

Joe: “But that’s not my fault! You’re the one who gave me the ability to choose! You set me up! I’m like… I’m like a metaphysical fall guy!”

God: “Metaphysical fall guy. Hah.”

Joe: “I’m glad you can laugh about it. My point is, there was absolutely NO indication that you were anything but a fairy tale. All the Christians had was their old book, and no one with any sense would take it seriously. It’s full of—“

God: “That’s your mistake, not taking it seriously.”

Joe: “Apparently so, but come on! I was saying, it’s full of crazy, nonsensical… well, nonsense! The world was created in seven days, the—“

God: “Six days. I rested on the seventh day.”

Joe: “Okay, six days, then. Man was made out of, what, clay or something and woman was made from his rib? I mean, we’re supposed to take that seriously??”

God: “I fail to see why not. It IS the divine Word of God, after all.”

Joe: “But you made the rules, God, you made the rules and then you used them against us. You gave us the intellect to examine things and think critically. You’d have to know that, doing that, we’d eventually dismantle the stories in the Bible and reveal them for the crap they are!”

God: “You’d better watch your tongue, kid. You could wind up in a lot of trouble.”

Joe: “How much worse could it be?? I’m in Hell, for Christ’s sake.”

God: “Don’t take the Lord’s name in… oh, never mind.”

Joe: “And then there’s making the sun stand still for an entire day. Come on, man, if you’re real, then that means you’re responsible for the laws of physics and all the other rules that govern the universe, right? So what’s with this ‘making the sun stand still’ thing?”

God: “The rules of physics don’t apply to me. I’m God, right?”

Joe: “Well, that’s just great, thanks for that terrific insight. Are you so powerful that you can make a stone so heavy that—“

God: “That even I can’t lift it? Get some new material, kid, I’ve heard that a thousand times.”

Joe: (nearly frantic now) “Look, here’s my point. You gave us the knowledge of right and wrong. You gave us free will, to choose whatever path seemed right to us. You set up the irrefutable laws of nature (although maybe not SO irrefutable, apparently), and you did all this knowing FULL WELL what would happen in the end.”

God: “I think I know where you’re going with this, but please do continue.”

Joe: “Of course you know where I’m going with this. You ALWAYS know where everyone is going with everything. You’re omnipotent. And that’s my point. If you knew that granting free will and knowledge of good and evil would lead to more people rejecting you than accepting you, why did you do it to begin with? Huh? Answer me that one!”

God: “Kid, do you really think that your ability to think critically is the most important thing about you? Faith, kid, that’s the key. Faith and love for me, your loving God.”

Joe: “I led a good life, God. I was kind and decent to other people. I always tried to do the right thing.”

God: “The right thing? You mean, like, that time you stole from your mother?”

Joe: “Oh.”

God: “Or when you lied to your girlfriend about what you did that time when you visited Los Angeles? Sure, what a good guy you were.”

Joe: “Okay, so I wasn’t perfect. But I always tried. I always did the best I could, and I never deliberately hurt anyone.”

God: “Well, good for you, kid. What do you want, a medal? Here’s the irony of that: if you’d accepted my boy Jesus into your heart, you could have lied and cheated and stole until the day you died, but guess what? You’d be in Heaven right now.”

Joe: (silent for a long moment, stunned. And then--) “Wow. You… you’re kind of a big bastard, aren’t you? You set us all up to fail. Are you psychotic?”

God: “Keeping talking, kid.”

Joe: “Never mind that question, I know the answer. You ARE psychotic. Anyone who’s even GLANCED through the Old Testament can see that. You’re jealous and petty and… evil, even. You know what, God? Even if there WAS proof of your existence when I was alive, I think… I think I STILL would have rejected you.”

God: (chuckles) “So. No regrets, then?”

Joe: (stoically, even though he’s shaking in his boots) “No. No regrets. I rejected you then, God, and I reject you now.”

God: (shrugs) “That’s too bad. I was ready to give you another chance, up in Heaven, but if you have your mind made up—“

Joe: “What? Wait a sec—“

But God pushes the shiny button, and off Joe plummets, to eternal damnation.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

'bout Goddamn time!

Hellooooo, temporary lay-off!
Time to kick the writing into high gear, finally. Between doing work for Real Detroit Weekly, finishing up two novels, and various short stories and essays, I should stay pretty busy, right? There's a new bit I put up over there in the "Novels" section, even.
So happy! Whoo! Let the productivity begin!