Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mr. God Takes a Vacation

It appears that our God in Heaven went away on vacation in or around the Year 1, shortly after the death and then the disappearance of his son. He left no forwarding address.
A source said that God was despondent over the loss of his only offspring, Jesus Christ, and worn out from the demands of the public. He was reportedly particularly exasperated by the continuing obtuseness of people in positions of trust. Having brought his son back from the dead, he was disappointed, the source reported, that the disciples still wanted proof that he was Jesus the Chosen One.
God’s mood went from depression to anger, those close to him said, to the extent that he considered another flood; friends and associates, however, talked him into taking some time off.
Apparently God left sketchy, at best, instructions for subordinates to carry on in his absence. The ship of state sailed on under its own momentum for some time, then began to founder during the so-called Dark Ages; it has continued to take on water ever since.
God’s place of retreat is entirely unknown to this day. His date of return is likewise a mystery, but concerned constituents should bear in mind that two thousand years is but the blink of the eye in eternal time. It may be that God is just now opening his beach bag and putting on sunscreen.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth!

(Picture: Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who both died July 4, 1826.)
On this day we’re reminded that our Founding Fathers consecrated “the pursuit of happiness” as one of our sacred blessings and inviolable rights, and vexed us ever afterward with the question: What is happiness?
Disregarding all those many whose notions of happiness are no more than those of a pig in a trough, what makes us happy? A placid existence, unruffled by care? Aside from the near-certainty that no one has ever experienced it, should that really stand as our ideal of happiness?
Wealth and fame? But don’t we all know by now of the tribulations of the rich and famous, which console us for being neither? And besides, should mere ambition and the grab for money represent and epitomize the pursuit of happiness?
How about a sense of purpose? This is probably what the Founders meant, more or less, by their vague phraseology. In the new world they were building they expected everyone to take part in the endeavor, to exercise his freedom to seek happiness in a way that would contribute to the common good. But when the sense of such a purpose is stifled or overwhelmed, or is nowhere to be found in an anonymous mass society, then people will look elsewhere, and the religious impulse may take hold. It bids us, in our pursuit of happiness, to worship the unseen, to believe in the unbelievable, to trust in a life to come in which wishes will be reality. So “happiness” becomes the idiotic mooning over something that never was and never will be.
Our Fathers decreed that we were endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, but they disagreed about the nature of that creator and whether it even concerned itself with the affairs of men. They saw that for us to be free we must be free of superstition and fear, and that for us to be happy we must find our own purpose in this life, the only one we can be sure of.