Nomination for Best Deity in a Comedy

For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. (Psalm 33:4)

I give God a lot of grief, mostly because he deserves it. (Blasphemy is an act of faith too, you know.) But in my criticisms of the divine administration I try to be constructive, offering helpful hints on how God might improve his efficiency, his consistency, and, maybe most importantly, his public image. After all, it doesn’t matter how great you are if the folks in Muncie think you’re a schmo. I wish I could report that my input has been appreciated by the Power that AM, but, to be perfectly frank, I haven’t gotten much feedback from the Opal Office, unless you count the rather cryptic “Kingsford” I heard whispered in my ear one late night last October. I’m still not sure what it means.

As I say, there are lots of ways God could improve his performance. For one thing, he could start answering the phone. Most of the time when you dial him up you have to leave a message—and I don’t think he checks them all that often. I know he’s a busy deity (just negotiating with the Jews is a full-time job, not to mention keeping the Muslims preoccupied), but would it hurt him to return a few calls once in a while? Then there’s the whole free-will/predestination thing, a sticky wicket if there ever was one. He’s obviously been avoiding the issue for a few thousand years now, which has allowed all kinds of theological pundits and crackpots (it’s hard to tell which is which) to royally muck up the works. It’d be nice if he’d clear up the line of authority. And then there’s the nagging problem of evil. You’d think he’d explain that one at least. Maybe he’s still working on the equations; it is hard to get published in some of those theological journals.

But being a fair and balanced religious operative, I’m going to set these things aside for the moment and go on record as saying that God is still the classiest act in the cosmos. Forget about absolute power, infinite knowledge, and eternal stamina; those things are mere accidents of deity. What really puts God over the top is his sterling moral qualities. You may take issue with his policies from time to time (it’s a venerable occupation), but you cannot question his spotless rectitude. Without a doubt, our Supreme Being is supremely supreme in supremacy. As he himself is fond of saying, “Ain’t nobody like me.” He’s got that right.

First, God is always right. We’re not talking political inclination here. God always thinks, says, and does the right thing. There’s an old question that asks: Does God do it because it’s right, or is it right because God does it? But since I quit smoking pot, this question doesn’t interest me anymore. Who cares? The point is that God never does anything wrong. Ever. Though his idea of what right actually is may be a little tilted, you can always count on him to do it.

Not only that, God is definitely into the truth thing. Now, he may mess with your mind every once in a while, but that’s mostly just for fun. Being God can get boring sometimes, so he’s not above joking around a bit (the Emmaus schtick still kills me). Overall, though, God tells it like it is. Of course, if the way it is sucks, you’re not likely to welcome divine confirmation—God has been known to pour a little lemon juice on a paper cut. He tries to be nice about it but can kick your teeth in if that’s what it takes to get through to you. You wouldn’t believe how much dental work I’ve had to get done.

Finally, and maybe the best of all, God is über faithful in all that he does. He does what he says he’s going to do no matter what. When you’ve got unlimited power you can pull that off. The trick is to know what God actually said he would do. This is one of those read the fine print deals. There’s this idiot standing on the edge of a cliff. He says, “If I jump, God said he can catch me.” So he jumps and plummets 1000 feet to his splattery death. When he gets to the celestial lobby, he whines at God, “I thought you said you could catch me.” God replies, “I did, but I didn’t say I would.” Look, God may be gonzo faithful, but before you go jumping off cliffs, I recommend you go through the contract with a fine-toothed comb. Just saying.

So I’m voting God as the coolest eternal being ever. What the Academy decides is anybody’s guess.

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