God is apparently quite busy. Between trying to soften the hearts of the hateful, sow peace and brotherhood throughout the world, and prevent a new episode of “The Bachelor” from appearing on American TV, the Almighty also takes the time to speak to George W. Bush.
According to the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, Bush told Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that God had told him to attack al-Qaeda and then Saddam Hussein.
I know some folks say anyone who claims to hear the voice of God is crazy, but don’t count me among those people. After all, I spoke with God this morning, and man is she pissed.
Although Bush’s supporters insist there must have been a mistranslation of the President’s remarks, God says that’s exactly what Bush claimed, even though she never told him any such thing. She’s considering a libel suit.
As God explained to me this morning: “I didn’t say “attack Hussein,” I said ‘attack Houston,’ what, do I mumble or something?”
I had e-mailed God asking for an interview, not really expecting to hear back. After all, there’s a lot going on nowadays and I’m not really in the press pool, so to speak. I was hoping to ask the Lord about a few things, especially another recent comment by the President, in which he taunted Iraqis angry with the U.S. occupation of their country, saying “bring “em on,” when asked about snipers who might try and kill American troops, as several indeed have.
When the phone rang I thought it was a telemarketer. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be God.
“I mean, what is with this guy?” God asked, as if she didn’t already know. “Is this what conservatives mean by “support the troops?” Good Me, isn’t this the same putz who said Jesus Christ was his favorite political philosopher during the 2000 Presidential campaign?”
“Yes,” I confirmed. Bush had said that.
“See, that’s what I’m talkin’ about,” God continued, clearly getting worked up. “Where do you get “bring it on’ from Jesus?
“Or what was that other thing he said, about that asshole bin Laden? What was it? ‘Dead or alive?” Me almighty, what in the name of Me was I thinking when I breathed life into this blithering idiot?”
There was no stopping her now.
“In fact, wait just a minute; let me put you on three-way calling for a second. I’ve gotta call Jesus and ask him about this. Let’s see, where’s my Day Planner? Ah yes, here it is, now let’s see, “Prince of Peace,” “Prince of Peace,” oh wait, I’ve got him on speed-dial. This should only take a second.”
I waited, the phone rang, Jesus answered, and before he could say anything, God piped up.
“Hey Yeshua, when you were standing on that hill giving that sermon, did you dare the Romans to “bring it on’? Did I miss something?”
“I know, I know,” Jesus responded. “If I wasn’t so committed to that “turn the other cheek’ thing, I’d return to Earth just to set that guy straight. As a matter of fact I did say “bring it on,” but only once, and I wasn’t taunting anybody. It was right after I fed the multitudes from that one loaf of bread. I was asking for some margarine, as in, “bring it on, can’t a brotha’ get some margarine up in here?” I don’t know how he got it all twisted around.”
“Me love him,” God replied, letting out a heavy sigh, “he’s as thick as a post.”
Seeing as how I’m an American, I think God almost felt sorry for me.
“Me bless you,” she said. “You all are in one Me-awful mess down there, aren’t you?”
I thanked her for her concern, and then noted that the President was currently traveling in Africa.
“You think I don’t know that?” she snapped. “I watched him get off the plane in Senegal earlier, turn to one of his aides and ask “Is this the capital of Africa?” Jeeezus H. Christ!”
“Yes?” Jesus replied, still on the line.
“No, no, not talking to you. It’s just an expression,” God explained. “Sorry.”
“So, do you think the President’s AIDS package for Africa will do any good?” I inquired.
“Well,” God replied, “I really can’t talk about the future. But I sure hope he doesn’t dare the virus to “bring it on.” The people of sub-Saharan Africa have suffered enough without your President challenging a deadly disease to a game of chicken.”
“Hey listen,” God continued, “I really have to wrap this up. I’ve got a live interview on Fox in a second. Gonna give O’Reilly fits. I’m thinking about the old Tower of Babel trick, where I garble up all of his words so no one can tell what in the name of Me he’s talking about. Or maybe the locust thing, I don’t know. So many curses and plagues, so little time.”
“O.K.,” I said, ‘one last question: seeing as how you created the universe and all, how do you feel about the President’s environmental policies?”
“What environmental policies?” God asked sarcastically. ‘You mean the one where he tells global warming to “bring it on,” because he’s from Texas and can take the heat? That environmental policy? He’s really starting to piss me off. In fact, I’m thinking of taking out a bulletin board smack dab in the middle of the hole in the ozone layer that says, “I burned one Bush, I can burn another one. Don’t test me, frat boy.”
I thanked God for her candor and then, wondering how she might react decided to throw in one last thing. “You know,” I said. “George W. is convinced you’re a man. In fact, most people apparently think so. To be honest, I guess I did too.”
“Oh for the Love of Me! What is it with you fellas? What, you think creating a cosmos is something you can do just because you took a class at Home Depot or something? Hah! I’d like to see you try it. To make a world from scratch you’ve gotta have patience, you’ve gotta have humility, you’ve gotta have spatial relations for My sake! Most guys can’t even pack their own suitcase without help. If I’d been a man, Jupiter would be sitting on top of Pluto right now, because “Who cares, it’s permanent press!”
“Those are all good points,” I interjected, as if God needed my approval for her logic. “Maybe you should try and clear it up for everyone,” I suggested.
“What do you mean?” she asked. “Should I go on Oprah or something?”
“No,” I said. “I don’t think guys like George W. watch Oprah. She encourages people to read.”
“Hmm…” God wondered aloud. “O.K. then, better make it The Super Bowl. That way, both Jesus and I can make it real clear to these clodhoppers that we had nothing to do with them winning the big game. We couldn’t care less, so stop thanking us.”
“Better yet, maybe I’ll just show up at the next meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, right about the time they decide to discuss that whole “women should submit graciously to their husbands’ thing. Oh yeah baby, time for God to “bring it on.” This is going to be fun.”
TIM WISE is an essayist, activist and father. He can be reached (and/or forgiven) at firstname.lastname@example.org