I wrote this one primarily for the more fundamentalist-leaning people out there, as you will see, but some of you might get a kick out of it. It's a little more story-based and satirical than most of my stuff, but I think it's worthwhile. If nothing else, I had a lot of fun writing it.
GOD'S PEP TALK
It was on the eve of the Sixth Day of Creation, and the Lord God had assembled together all of the souls and spirits that were to inhabit all living things of the newly created world. The Lord stood tall at his great heavenly podium with the sea of souls before Him. He shuffled His papers, adjusted His spectacles of His heavenly nose, cleared His throat, and in a deep, divine voice began to speak.
"Greetings, all manner of life. Greetings, those who will inhabit the men, the beasts, the plants, I bid you welcome to your new home. Know that I am the Lord thy God, and that you have been created to further My grand design. Verily do I know that ye be not well versed in the specifics of this most Hallowed Design, so forsooth shall I describe it to you before I send you down upon My Creation."
The entire congregation leaned closer to hear what they were sure would be an awe-inspiring speech.
"Ye shall be sent down naked, frail, and weak." God began. "I shall not give ye any information upon thy arrival, no, the nature of My universe shall be for you divine. I shall give ye no indication of My existence, for indeed do I wish thee to posess and exercise free-will throughout thy life. Proving my existence to you upon the Earth would handily destroy free-will.
However, I shall not allow ye to exercise free-will in any way I do not deem fit. Though I shall give you no hint of My existence, if you deny My existence ye shall be cast into the Pit of Eternal Fire. Though I shall allow evil to run rampant in the world, allow the malicious to prosper, and allow the iniquitous to trample over the righteous, if ye should harbor evil thoughts or desires yourself, ye shall be cast into the Pit of Eternal Flame.
Copulation will be a neccesary part of life, as it will be the sole method of ushering new souls into the fold. I give it to thee as a gift to be cherished and enjoyed, as long as ye take no enjoyment from it. Though it is pleasurable and neccesary for My Grand Design, if ye harbor impure thoughts, or engage in copulation for pleasure, ye shall be cast into the Pit of Eternal Flame."
With this, the collected mass of souls began to look uneasily from side to side. It was quite a challenge their benevolent Creator had stacked up for them.
"But despair not, loyal subjects," God continued, "for indeed shall I place a Vessel of My love for thee upon the Earth. I call this Vessel 'The Church.' It will provide thee with My message and My guidance throughout thy lives."
Some members of the congregation began to look more hopeful. Perhaps they would not be fending for themselves in a cold world after all! Their God really cared for them!
"I shall put My collected messages to thee in a Book." God explained. "This Book shall contain naught but Truth, as I thy Lord cannot mislead, nor lieth I to any man. However, belief in My Truth shall require disbelief in the observed truths of the universe. For you see, My children, My Truth shall run contrary to logic and all observable fact. Statements in My most Holy Book shall seem impossible and delusional to some, but if thy just apply a new meaning to such statements, My Truth shall remain undistorted. It is in this method that My Church shall remain correct in all ways. Indeed, in order to accept My complete Truth into your lives, you must reject rational truth. Education leads to the idea of rational thought, so I urge thee to abandon educated ideas and join me in the Light of Religious Belief."
At this point, some of the more free thinking souls shifted restlessly. Just what had they gotten themselves into?
"In addition, and as a direct result of free-will and self-determination, you will find many other churches on Earth, each claiming to be the vendors of My Truth, each with their own Holy Book they claim to have been written by My guidance! Know that these false religions are abhorrent before My eyes, and their practicers shall, of course, be cast into the Pit of Eternal Fire. And, in accordance with the laws of free-will, I shall give you no hint as to which Church is the One True Faith. May I suggest a coin toss? The basic premise of the Creation is simple: I value free-will, and give it to you as a gift, but under no circumstances are you allowed to use it. If you do, it's off to the Pit of Eternal Fire."
Now many members of the congregation began to realize with horror the extent of the test which God had prepared for them. Some winced involuntarily as the Lord continued.
"Some of you may be wondering just how I will go about punishing or rewarding you when I will not show Myself to you upon Earth. You see, when you are born into the world, your body will slowly decay and eventually die. It is then that I will give my Eternal Judgement. In exchange for a few short, blind, ignorant, uninformed years, you will either get eternal pain or eternal bliss. There is no middle ground.
Also, I will instill in you a dread for dying that surpasses any other emotion. Whenever you think rationally about dying, your blood will turn to ice and your heart to water. So, the point is, don't think rationally about dying. Believe in my church. This innate fear of death combined with no definite proof of an afterlife should be enough to convince you to have divine faith. It is only through the abandonment of logic that you will find true peace. Find peace, find bliss, in the wonderful gift of unwavering irrationality. For I am the Lord thy God!" He finished with a boom that resonated throughout the entire building.
The mass of souls sat in shocked silence.
"So, let's open the floor to some Q&A, shall we?" God said.
A particularly outspoken soul, possibly named Alexander, raised his figurative hand and asked:
"Do you realize that nothing you just said made any sense? You give us free will, but punish us when we use it? You intentionally don't reveal yourself, but punish us when we come to the conclusion that you don't exist? You put us in a world of logic and rationality, where the only way to live is through logic and rationality, and insist that we follow a path devoid of logic?"
And the Lord God spake, saying "Shut up your mouth. Next question."
Another soul raised his figurative hand.
"What if I am willing to sacrifice free-will in exchange for eternal bliss? What if I value knowledge over happiness? What if I don't want to be punished for figuring things out myself?"
And the Lord spake, saying "Tough. Next question."
A third soul raised his figurative hand.
"What's the point to all this? You create us, and the whole point is that we either burn forever or live forever? Why? What's your motivation for all this guesswork and suffering on Earth?"
And the Lord spake, saying "Uhhmmmm.... yeah....... ah, yeah. The thing about that is--"
And the Lord deftly darted His sacred Fingers under the top of the podium and pressed the small red button hidden there. There was a great flash and suddenly all the souls were gone, transported to their new "home."
"Have a good time, guys." Said the Lord. Well, that was fun. What should I do now?...... I guess I could dream up new ways to destroy the Earth, but that's SO overdone. I know! I'll finish my game of Solitaire!