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The fall of (giving) a damn

The Scene: An expansive penthouse office in heaven. YAHWEH sits at a desk, happily munching on a bowl of peanuts and playing The Sims.

YAHWEH: Oh I know the stove is on fire, little Sim dude. But somebody sold all the doors and windows out of the house, so now the fire department can’t get in! Not so cute to complain about your lack of entertainment now, is it, you fucker? (He laughs wickedly).

(An alarm goes off. After waiting for a few moments, irritated, YAHWEH finally storms to the door to his office, throws it open, and enters an anteroom where panicked angels and archangels are screaming into phones, waving around reams of paper, and generally not looking happy. Somberly, one angel wipes the number ’8′ from a whiteboard entitled ‘THIS PLANET HAS GONE __ DAYS WITHOUT A LOSS OF INNOCENCE’)

YAHWEH: Does someone want to tell me what the holy fuck is going on here?

(Gabriel, an archangel, quickly dismisses the person on the other end of the phone, hangs up, and approaches YAHWEH, clipboard in hand)

Gabriel: Bad news, boss. We’ve got a code black.

YAHWEH: A meteor is heading toward the planet?

Gabriel: No no, we haven’t scheduled that for (checks clipboard) another few thousand years or so. You said it would be funnier if we let the planet get populated with sentient creatures before we completely wiped it out.

YAHWEH: (Chuckles whimsically) Oh yeah. So what’s the problem?

Gabriel: We’ve got a problem with the human. Details are sketchy here, but I’m getting calls about missing fruit and a talking snake.

YAHWEH: (Instantly attentive) Did you say missing fruit?

Gabriel: (Quizzically) You did hear me say the words “talking snake”, right? A snake. That talks. Despite having no larynx. And a tiny brain. And no lips.

YAHWEH: Hmm (scribbles down the words ‘Ann Coulter’ on a Post-It). Sorry, go on. Tell me more about this missing fruit.

Gabriel: Well like I said, the details are pretty sketchy, but it looks like patrols at the Tree of Knowledge are reporting an errant fruit, and they can’t account for its disappearance. Around the same time, we momentarily lost track of the humans. (A cell phone at his hip buzzes. He looks at it, irritated, picks it up and flips it open, peering intently at the screen and tapping some buttons). Okay, so security just picked them up in the fig grove. They’re… this can’t be right. It says they’re covering their genitals with leaves. That’s got to be autocorrect.

YAHWEH: They ate… from the tree… of knowledge? (He stifles a smirk, and adopts an angry face) GET THEM IN HERE!

(Moments later, Adam and Eve are ushered into YAHWEH’s office, naked except for some strategically-placed fig leaves)

YAHWEH: Guys… what have you got to say for yourselves?

Eve: I’m not sure what the prob…

Adam: (Interrupting) It was her fault! She made me eat it! A talking monkey told her to do it, and then she made me do it!

YAHWEH: I thought it was a talking snake?

Adam: Snake! Right. It was a snake. And it talked. To her (pointing at Eve). And she ate the fruit from the tree. And then she made me do it.

Eve: Okay that’s totally not what happened. Adam came to me with this fruit that had a bite of out it and…

Adam: (Interrupting again) Shut it, rib! (To YAHWEH, laughing, gesturing with his thumb) Look at her, thinking that she can talk. (To Eve) Ribs can’t talk, stupid.

Eve: Oh, but snakes can? (Adam glares at her, she rolls her eyes)

YAHWEH: I gave you one instruction. I said you could do whatever you want. You had paradise! Adam, I don’t even want to talk about the stuff you did with Steve. (Adam blushes, Eve smirks) But noooo, you couldn’t follow one simple order! Do you have any idea how much trouble you’re in?

Eve: Just want to throw this out there – you created us without the capacity to judge good and evil, so… no. No we actually don’t know how much trouble we’re in, because until we ate that fruit we had no idea that disobedience was wrong.

YAHWEH: That’s not the… um…

Adam: Boom! Got you there, dude!

YAHWEH: That’s it! Adam, dude, you are from this day forward cursed to have to toil in the fields. No longer will the garden be available to you – you’ll have to work to get your food!

Adam: Aww…

YAHWEH: And you, smartypants. From now on… um… hmm. Okay. Yeah. Periodically, when you and Adam get it on at certain times, you’re going to get a tiny human growing inside one of your organs. And it won’t work properly every time, so sometimes it will get lodged in your OTHER organs, killing you in horrible pain unless you avail yourself of the intervention of medicine that you won’t figure out for thousands of years, and even then I’ll get some people to tell you that it’s immoral for you to have it and picket outside the only places you can get it!

Eve: What the f…

YAHWEH: (continuing) Not only that (he realizes he’s smiling, and quickly puts his stern face back on), not only that, but also you’re going to start getting old and sick and start dying. And so will your kids when they grow up. And their kids. And their kids. And basically everything is going to fucking suck for everyone forever. All because you broke the ‘no fruit from that tree’ rule.

Adam: Your mercy is just and righteous, oh Lord.

Eve: (Looking at Adam incredulously) Are you high? No it’s not! You trick me into eating some fruit and now all of a sudden I’m going to have tiny versions of you exploding out of my body? Fuck that!

YAHWEH: Thus is the will of God! (Thunder claps, Adam and Eve disappear in a puff of smoke)

(The door opens, Gabriel enters)

Gabriel: She kind of has a point there, boss. I mean, you kind of put them in a ‘no-win’ situation there. Give them free will, and then punish them for exercising it? Not exactly sporting.

YAHWEH: (No longer able to restrain his laugher) I know, right?! It was just a matter of time! I got those fuckers!

Gabriel: You did that on purpose?

YAHWEH: Of course! I’m omniscient, man. Or did you forget that? Don’t bother answering – I already know what you were going to say. You were going to say “Fucknuggets”.

GabrielFucknuggets?

YAHWEH: See? (Taps the side of his head) Omniscient, motherfucker.

Gabriel: Okay, I’ll bite. Why? Why put them in a situation like that where there was no chance of them following your instructions?

YAHWEH: Hi, we must not have met. I’m Yahweh. The guy who put the planet on an oblong orbit and a wacky axial tilt so that massive parts of it would be all but unliveable. The guy who made the sole source of energy contain tons of super-harmful rays. The guy who made mosquitoes spread malaria rather than THC. The whole point of making this planet was to make these fuckers sweat.

Gabriel: Why didn’t you just kill them and make new ones? It’s not like you don’t love killing things.

YAHWEH: This way is way more fun.

Gabriel: Yeah, but here’s what I never understood about this. Why make these rules at all if you know they’re just going to break or ignore them, and then punish them for these tiny transgressions of obviously-abitrary…

(A loud crashing noise is heard through the door. Jesus pokes his head in)

Jesus: Whoops, sorry dad.

YAHWEH: How many times have I told you not to bring your carpentry projects into the office? You have a whole workshop!

Jesus: I said I was sorry! Fuck, dude. Chill out! (He leaves, closing the door behind him)

Gabriel: Right there! Right there! How come Jesus doesn’t get punished for breaking the rules?

YAHWEH: (Grinning diabolically) Oh don’t you worry… I’ve got a plan for him.

If the word “evil” means anything, the concept of ‘original sin’ and the supposed fall of Adam fits the bill exactly. Generations of suffering for untold millions of people, all implemented vicariously because a mythical ancestral pair supposedly broke an arbitrary rule that made no sense to begin with. Even if it weren’t completely nonsensical as an example of “justice” or “mercy”, it would be so morally reprehensible as to beggar belief, and yet it is passed off as sophisticated theology.

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