Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bullshit Pulpit: God gives a statement

Last Tuesday, God came down to Earth and delivered a statement to set the record straight on a few issues. Before speaking, the deity proved its divinity by levitating a woman several dozen feet into the air (and bringing her down safely), conjuring lights in various shapes from thin air at the request of various onlookers, and transmuting a cloth shirt into solid gold (mass spectrometry has confirmed that the shirt is indeed gold, and it has since been un-transmuted and returned to its owner). The entire text of the address follows:

"Good afternoon, everyone. Is this thing on? [God laughs] Yes, OK. Wow, this is going to be awkward. I just got back from vacation, and I see you folks have made a right mess of things. Well, you've done some things remarkably well - congratulations on the Human Genome Project, and good luck to you with the Large Hadron Collider - but there are some other things that haven't gone so well, and I believe it is my duty to tell you where you have gone astray.

"In the first place, I want to apologize for all the awful things that have been done in my name. Really, I am so very sorry, and I don't expect you to forgive me for all of them. But now I want to help set things right, so everyone needs to listen up.

"All holy books are wrong. I mean, most of them have some good stuff in them, but that's largely an accident, and you shouldn't really trust something just because it's in a holy book. You need other reasons besides that to believe something, and you don't even need the holy book to get started. Really, you can probably throw them all out tonight, and everything would be fine. All this religious confusion, I'm sorry to say, is a joke that I took too far. I tried starting up the One True Religion after teaching you speech, but whenever the folks I was working with started putting words in my mouth, I would just abandon them and move on to a different people who I thought might listen better. Eventually, I started telling people any crazy old nonsense that came to mind, since I figured you'd do whatever you felt like anyway - but then some of that nonsense got taken way too seriously, and I guess I have to take responsibility for that. I realize now that you people never listen - or, rather, nobody listens perfectly forever - and I should have been more patient with you all. My bad.

"Also, I don't really know how to say this, but I'm not perfect. Now, I know a bunch of you faithful folk are going to say, 'Oh, well if he's not perfect, then he can't be God,' but you need to listen to me right now: I'm not perfect and I never have been. I said that I was, back in the day, but I was a different sort of person back then. I've had some time to mature, I've gotten over my bad self, and I realize now that it was wrong of me to tell you that I was perfect, especially considering how seriously that's been taken and all the evil that's been done in my name ever since.

"I don't know everything, and I can't do just anything I want. Sure, I'm pretty powerful, but I don't even know how that power works. Kind of like the way that you can digest food with your stomach without knowing how all of that works, I'm just able to do some of this stuff, and I don't know what else to call it but magic. You guys actually know more now about the world than I ever did, in terms of how it works, so keep it up! For my part, I've been using my powers to go from world to world, uplifting life forms to make a galactic civilization one day. Keep it up with your science, leave no stone unturned, and maybe we can all work together in a great galactic federation some day.

"Also, I left Earth in what you now call the fourth century CE. I got fed up with feeling like nobody listened, and so I just left. I went to the Antennae Galaxies, I watched the Death Star Galaxy for a little while, I uplifted some life forms on other worlds to sentience and started better religions that made better societies, I did a whole bunch of things. I think this time away really helped me grow as a person, but I also realize now that it was wrong of me to up and leave you all without so much as saying goodbye. Totally my mistake.

"I cannot apologize enough for the things that I have screwed up in the past. I'm truly sorry, and I humbly ask your forgiveness for the childish ways I've behaved toward your ancestors. I thought you would have left all that nonsense behind you and moved on to a better way, but apparently I was wrong on that, too. At any rate, this is all past, and there are plenty of things that you folks are doing wrong right now, and we need to fix these right away before you all kill each other.

"Most importantly: you are all people. I can't stress that one enough: you're all people, you all have flaws, you all mess things up, but there's nothing more 'wrong' with any one of you than any other. You need to learn how to live with each other and accept each other, no matter how different you are, because you will always be different. If you take nothing else away from this speech here, then please at least understand that it is always, always, always wrong to think of another person as less than you, for any reason.

"There's a whole lot that follows from this, so I'm just going to list a few of those things. Gays should be allowed to marry - shame on you, California, for taking that away from them; and shame on you, Utah, for funding the effort. There have been other noteworthy examples of this evil discrimination - I'm looking at you, Alabama - but California was the biggest one. Marriage is not about children, it's not about man and woman, it's not about anything at all except the love between two or more people. Yes, 'or more.' You're all grown-ups, and if two married people want to bring a third person into their love, or a fourth or a fifth or a twentieth, there is nothing wrong with that. Just be aware that each person only has so much love to give, and it is very hard to divide that up among people in a fair manner. In a way, polyamory is love on 'hard mode,' insofar as it's much more difficult to do right, but it can be much more rewarding if you succeed at it - and way more frustrating when you fail.

"OK, that was the big one. What else... oh, right. Don't kill each other. Ever. It's always wrong. Even if you're defending yourself from someone, you should try to incapacitate your attacker, if possible. There's actually no Heaven or Hell, I don't know how you all came under that impression, but this life is all you have, and taking that away from someone is the worst thing you can do, because it stops them from living a better life and making good on all their mistakes.

"Don't oppress each other, either. Whenever you start saying that it's OK for one group of people to do something, but another group of people can't do that thing, that's when you know you've screwed up somewhere along the way. Don't keep women down, don't keep gays down, don't keep blacks down, don't keep anybody down. You're all people, and so you should all treat each other with dignity and respect.

"Next up, don't trick each other. Everybody tells little white lies now and again, and we shouldn't have to, but sometimes that just works out best. It's still bad, and you should feel bad about needing to do it, so that you don't do it unnecessarily. And even bigger lies, like ponzi schemes, or that thing with Enron a while ago, those are really, really bad. I don't think I need to elaborate further on this one.

"Don't hate each other. This one's the hardest, but the simple fact is that you're all different from each other, and that's OK. If your neighbor does something that you don't like, but nobody's getting hurt - and I mean 'might need medical attention' hurt - then it's probably not a problem. Remember that 'offense' is not the same thing as 'harm.' To actually harm someone, you need to endanger their physical wellbeing, or steal or wreck their stuff.

"And last on the list, don't be meddlesome. Nobody likes being meddled with, and nobody's entitled to meddle with anyone else's life. If you want to do drugs, or have crazy sex, or say naughty words, or play violence-themed games, that's all fine and good as long as you're not actually harming other people. And again, 'offense' is not 'harm.'

"I have to go soon, because I told some people I uplifted on another world that I would be returning, and it's going to take me a while to get there. And I'll come back for you folks, too, in a couple hundred years. Just make sure you stop believing that hogwash from the Bronze Age, and all the new hogwash based on that older hogwash, too. That should make it a lot easier for you people to work together, and then maybe once you've learned to live with each other, you can learn to live with the people from other planets, too.

"This brings me to my closing point, a note about the future and your place in it. You people are really messed up, and part of that is due to me, because I'm messed up. But you were my first people, so you'll always have a special place in my heart. This does not mean that you have a special place in reality, though, and make sure you remember this when you start dealing with other people from other planets. They don't all look like you, some of them aren't even close, but you can't be racist at all when you start dealing with other planets or you will ruin everything. You folks are special to yourselves, and a little bit special to me, but that doesn't really count for much. The other people I've worked with, they're special to me, too. I love them very much, and I will be very upset with you if you don't treat them with respect and dignity.

"Final remarks: stop listening to Fred Phelps. That guy's an idiot. So is Bill Donohue, and the Pope, for that matter. Ahmadinejad's an idiot, too, and so is that Bin Laden guy. So-called 'president' Mugabe, the guy who's ruining Zimbabwe, he's also an idiot and nobody should listen to him. In fact, if this were fourteen hundred years ago, I'd probably be smiting all those people right about now. But they're still people, so I won't. It's up to all of you to stop listening to those idiots and start teaching them about what it really means to be civilized: you accept other people despite their differences, and you work at getting along even when you can't get your way. That's really all there is to it.

"OK, I have to go now. I'll be back in a few hundred years, just don't kill each other in the meantime and maybe we can get things right this go-round. What do you say? Well, I guess I'll just warn the other people about you if things go sour, so don't screw up or you'll be left out of the galactic party. Capisce? All right, I'm gone."

With those last words, God disappeared inexplicably.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm reminded of RTP's'Conversation' piece. Nicely done.

Typhinius said...

Damn your liberal eyes. That wasn't God, that was the Devil. If it had been God, He would have supported my beliefs and He didn't so it obviously wasn't Him. My best guess is that God let the Morningstar come up and talk to us as a test of our faith. If we hold true to the Lord's true laws (that are never contradictory) in the face of this new lie then we will be rewarded.

D said...

...dammit.

You win. :)

jemand said...

hmmm, I think god forgot to mention psychological and emotional harm and *don't do that either*

But if we don't figure that out ourselves I'm sure he'll mention it in a couple hundred years.

D said...

Blast! I - I mean, God knew that I - I mean, he forgot something!