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                                                                                             Chapter 3


                                                                                  The Trouble With God



School Chaplain:  Oh Lord.  Ooh you are so big.  So absolutely huge.  Gosh we’re all really impressed down here I can tell you.  Forgive us, O Lord, for this our dreadful toadying.  But you’re so strong and just so super.  Amen.  Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life 1983


School Chaplain sings:  O Lord please don’t burn us.  Don’t grill or toast your flock.  Don’t put us on the barbecue.  Or simm our arse in stock.  Don’t braise or bake or boil us.  Or serve our arse in a rock.  ibid.



Either God exists or God doesn’t exist.


   ‘Do the gods exist or do they not?’ posed Cicero.  ‘There is a God,’ responded that twentieth-century rapier of philosophy Sarah Palin.


If God doesn’t exist, we rot in the ground, and worms and maggots eat our flesh and bore into the marrow of our bones.  We fittingly provide fodder for further families of flowers and bees and dickies, and not forgetting of course jolly good grass. 


If God exists, why bother?  Why take an interest in God when God takes so rare an interest in us?  We stagger home, we grab en pissant another beer from the sideboard, we lean out the window, and release not only the beer but our bugbear: ‘Look, Lord, I intend to watch Network when I get around to it.  But rest assured, I’m mad, and I’m not going to take this any more.’  


That should get God quaking in Her boots, hey?


Why would God bother to be God?  Why would God want to be God?  Did God have a choice? asked Albert Einstein.  Why would God not rest the hump part of the week in Her favourite armchair and huff-’n’-puff the stiffest, spiffiest trumpet? (not asked by Albert Einstein).  The scientific burning-bush question is not whether Life exists elsewhere in the universe, but where in the universe can we unearth a planet blessed with weed more wickeder than the weed we’ve been allotted.


What’s God’s job description?  What qualities does God need to be God? 



God required for seven billion people.  Minimum wage exempted.  Must have own transport.  Psychopaths and sociopaths considered.  Will involve some Sunday shifts.  Experience of plagues and famine desirable.  Main duties will include not answering prayers, dividing the sheep from the goats and non-executive director on Spurs board.  Pension scheme available.  Heaven Inc is an equal opportunities employer. 


We quietly dissemble and back-engineer God to find what traitorous and other admirable traits for the job does your fascist sociopathic intergalactic empire-building mass-murderer need to qualify as God. 


   'You couldn’t meet a nicer bloke than God.

   He really is a thoroughly good guy.

   He doesn’t ever ring you

   When you are in the bath,

   And if your haircut’s lousy

   He never ever laughs.'  Spitting Image s2e2, Conservative Party at prayer


How might we tell the difference between God and a fascist intergalactic empire-builder? 


   'Who are you carrying all those bricks for anyway?  God?  Is that it?  God?  Well I’ll tell ya.  Let me give you a little inside information.  He’s laughing his sick fucking ass off.  He’s a tight-ass.  He’s a sadist.'  The Devil’s Advocate, Al Pacino as Satan


How to tell the difference between God and a fascist intergalactic empire-builder is a material question as the God of the scriptures shows little sign of being God and every sign of being a fascist intergalactic empire-builder. 


   'There can be but little liberty on earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven.'  Robert G Ingersoll


A slurry of souls are so flushed to believe in God, it doesn’t make a pull-chain of difference how fascist and fickle their God threatens to be.


   'I can’t believe that God created parasites in order to torture small children.'  David Attenborough


Epicurus sets the job-test for any fancy-space-hopping-dan out there fancying a stab at being God: ‘Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?  Then he is not omnipotent.  Is he able, but not willing?  Then he is malevolent.  Is he both able and willing?  Then whence cometh evil?  Is he neither able nor willing?  Then why call him God?’


Picture a slime-green alien landing a small space-craft on the lawn of the White House.  ‘I am God,’ squawks the slime-green alien in pigeon English, green veins bulging Her thick neck and bobbing Her Adam’s Apple.  Are you a believer?  What should be the proper level of proof?  More than just a few party tricks?  An open-palmed exposition pulls the first rabbit from the hat.


Does it matter what God looks like?  A snake-God tends to shed skin on the red carpet.  A good hat, a God who doesn’t wear flared trousers with sandals, and a God who doesn’t dribble green slime at award ceremonies are admirable traits for the big job.


   Q:  You’re dead.  This is the afterlife.  And I’m God.


   Picard:  You are not God!  Star Trek: The Next Generation:  Tapestry s6e15


A vox populi survey of readers might reveal the required qualities of a God and democratically compile God’s Job Description.  What percentage of readers would prefer God to be perfect?  Perhaps we should hesitate on humanitarian grounds before forcing God to be perfect.  We recall the faults bedevilling the Greek gods, and the mad killing sprees beloved by the God of the Hebrew Bible.


   'I am in contact, in communication, with those at the highest levels of Creation who are passing on this information ... with the Being we call the Godhead, certainly.'  David Icke, televised interview


Nay, sisters and brethren, God forbid we give up the ghost and allow God to escape blame-free to a spiritual sanctuary with no street-law of right and wrong, and claim God-given immunity against the war-crimes, and the mass slaughters and the plagues and the famines and the hunger for sacrificial animal blood: ‘If God says something is right that isn’t right, God’s wrong.’  Professor Colin McGinn