Saturday, September 16, 2006

Putting the Fun in Fundamentalism

God. He's so damned sensitive—have you ever noticed?

In case you haven't, here's your update: when it comes to institutional religions, God has a really bad attitude and an even worse temper. He always seems to be walking around in Heaven with a massive chip on his shoulder, ready to strike out violently at the mildest offense. You know, a cartoon in a newspaper or an action movie set in a French museum.

Or a few words in a speech by a former member of the Nazi youth who thinks the Harry Potter novels are the work of the Demon. Yeah, that guy, the Pope.

So the pundits of Islam are now slinging knives of resentment at the Pope, and the rest of us are sitting ringside, amazed anew at how easily God takes offense. You diss God, and he'll draw his T-bolts of retribution on you faster than a street druglord. If you dare say or suggest publicly that God's prophet or other designated spokesman might have been a tad too violent than is appropriate for a spiritual teacher, then you're gonna pay, homeboy.

An old black book with gilt letters on the cover; a saint or a prophet who's been dead for centuries; a stone monument or two carved with the laws of a primitive age and culture—diss any of these in the blandest, most circumspect terms, and you are one with Satan. No punishment is too severe for you; no Crusade, no jihad, too violent a response to your crime. Deal with it, G: that's justice on The Holy Street.

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