Dear God/Buddha/Allah/[insert Deity here],
I write to you on behalf of the entire Human Race, in the hope that the words I set down here may make some small contribution to preventing you from raining down hellfire and damnation on our species. I know that literally millions of people are offering up prayers/homilies/blood sacrifices to you on a daily basis, but it strikes me that a large percentage of these will, invariably, contain at least an element of self-serving motivation. Nothing takes the edge off of the sincerity of praising your all-seeing omnipotence like ending a prayer with “…and please grant me the strength not to punch that evil bitch on the checkout at my local shop”. Rather than adopt a similar tack, I thought it was about time, for the sake of humanity, that at least one of us contacted you and said “sorry”. I know that at first glance, humans appear to be the most heartless, violent, egocentric, vapid, shallow, heartless and inconsiderate species it has ever been your displeasure to rain almighty heavenly smiting upon, but I’d like to try to show that at least a small minority of us feel bad about how we’ve made a monumental cock-up of everything.
Despite all the evidence to the contrary, we as a species can (when pressed) tell you exactly what virtues we should be seeking to emulate in order to find approval from the pantheon of Gods. We know all about loving our fellow-man, not being greedy or hateful, offering charity to others, helping the poor and the weak, telling the truth … the majority of humanity could probably cite at least six or seven of these creeds to you at the drop of a hat. Part of the problem we face though, is that while we are very good at reciting these like a brain-washed six-year-old at a beauty pageant, most of us are appallingly lax at actually DOING any of them. We pay effective lip-service to our chosen religions, then pretty much ignore any of the teachings that we don’t quite get along with, or find awkward to defend to others, or which inconvenience us in any way whatsoever. I’m going to attempt to explain to you why we seem to be terribly insincere about all of this, in the hope that you’ll stay that bolt of righteous justice for a few more years at least.
You see, we are victims of our own circumstances. When we were all primitive savages, living in caves and scratching pictures of buffalo on rock walls in our own faeces, religion was a strong and healthy concern. As we progressed over several thousand years (or not, depending on your particular view of creation) we reached a point where the entire planet based nearly everything it did on religion. Nearly every major conflict we had with each other was based on religion, and literally hundreds of ‘holy wars’ were fought between people who couldn’t agree on whether their God or your God would win an arse-kicking contest. One of these wars was the Hundred Years War, which shows you we were taking this shit pretty seriously. We had Inquisitions to root out evil-doers, every town of more than six people had a church, we burned a whole shit-tonne of witches for you, and people threw salt over their shoulders seriously believing it would blind the Devil. In short, we might have had a few faults and hiccups along the way, but we pretty much had the devout observation thing nailed (sorry for the pun, Jesus!). Of course, that was then and this is now. We’ve moved on a long way again since then, and I’d be the first to admit that we’re severely lacking in some areas of demonstrating our inherent goodness. It might even be prudent of me to apologise for a few specific slights, so outrageous are they.
Anal Bleaching. What the ever-loving hell is that all about, then?? One can only imagine what an omnipotent deity looking down on Earth thinks of a race that is so vain about its own appearance that we try to brighten our own buttholes to make them more visually appealing?? More importantly, perhaps, is WHY?????? Are people popping out for a quiet social drink with colleagues, and then dropping into conversation “Hey, check out my asshole – look at the shine on that baby!! You could eat your dinner off of that!!”. I suspect not. As an example of how we put personal appearance above other, more worthy considerations, it’s a pretty damning indictment. OK, certain ‘beauty’ treatments are justifiable – keeping clean, maintaining your teeth and so on – but when someone spends enough money on a facelift to feed a starving African village for two months, you’d have to be pretty emotionless to argue we’ve got our priorities right. Especially when that facelift often leaves someone with a facial expression that looks like they just received an involuntary anal bleaching with no warning.
It would also be quite remiss of me to try apologising for humanity’s failings without confessing that we’ve all become terribly, terribly lazy. Rarely does a day go by when I don’t see some advertisement or another for the latest labour-saving device that makes a simple job simpler, or even does it for me. Just the other day, I saw a machine into which you loaded raw vegetables and water, that then proceeded to make soup for you. Fucking SOUP!!!! Because let’s face it, who needs the complicated scientific process of boiling water, after all?? There was once a time when the honest hard work inherent in the simplest of daily tasks not only gave mankind a sense of self-satisfaction, but helped to teach us the value of things and the effort it took to get there. These days, where everything is designed to involve the minimum amount of effort possible and everything is disposable, we’ve lost sight of why it’s important to strive towards our goals, why the effort is worth it, and why we shouldn’t be wasteful. How many of us in our 30’s or 40’s have our own children now, and have seen them treat with almost casual contempt expensive items like iPhones or computers, items our parents would have saved months if not years to purchase?? What messages and values are they going to pass on to their kids about being wasteful, about working hard to achieve a goal?? Yeah, it worries me too.
Then there’s the stupidity – oh holy hand grenades, Batman, the stupidity!! – that we’ve sadly come to accept as the daily standard under which we operate. Humankind used to be so much more suspicious, more distrustful, of things about which we knew nothing. If someone made a statement of fact, they were expected to back that statement up with facts and figures, to PROVE that statement to an extent where others knew beyond reasonable doubt that they were right. These days, with media being the huge business that it is, we’ve become a bunch of sycophantic sheep who accept everything that’s beamed into our homes at face value without thinking about whether it’s accurate. Governments and multinational corporations are replacing religious leaders as our fountains of truth, and they manipulate what we’re told, knowing that few of us retain enough common sense to question what we are seeing. If you don’t believe me, try this; pick a major worldwide story reported on one of the major networks. Some are worse than others but we won’t name any names (cough, cough, FOX, cough). Read all they have to say about it. Now go and look for that story as reported in smaller ‘off-the-grid’ countries and news sources – invariably, you will find much more detail and accuracy in the smaller reports. Governments have realised that we’ve stopped questioning, and will now censor and/or control your news to tell you what THEY want you to know. Doubtless whatever deities may be watching us as a species are terribly impressed that instead of faith and strong belief, we now have politicians telling us what moral compass we should measure ourselves by.
I’m waffling, a habit I freely admit to being prone to. Possibly due to being foolish enough to try to apologise to a panoply of vengeful, all-powerful, omnipotent and omnipresent Gods for the failings of mankind. The Avengers have got nothing on me, y’all. If you’re out there picking up on this half-hearted set of excuses, your
holinessess worshipfullnesses God dudes, then lets just take it as read shall we that we’re also sorry for a whole raft of other unfathomable, seemingly illogical bullshit we’ve been responsible for as a species, shall we? You know, all the little stuff; slavery, racism, prejudice, hatred, gluttony (mmmmm, gluttony……..), pollution, poverty, starvation, crime, the atom bomb, all that petty stuff. We would, of course, obviously have some kind of holy penance in store for some of the more heinous crimes humanity has perpetrated; Furbies, spray-on cheese, reality TV and saxophonist Kenny G all spring to mind. I cannot suggest that as an experiment in how higher thinking mammals would form a society, we don’t deserve Armageddon to hit the reset button on our game and force us to respawn from our last autosave point. But occasionally…..
We show a rare, beautiful, shining, pure moment of what truly makes us, humanity, unique; love, art, philosophy and scientific endeavour; helping someone elderly walk half a dozen steps, or running halfway round the world to help feed someone born with less than you; a veritable rainbow of emotions from anguish to ecstasy that form and shape each one of our tender, fragile, unimportant lives in millions upon millions of different paths; an endless sea of different thoughts and inspirations, yet fiercely proud and united as one in the face of adversity. We might get things terribly, terribly wrong a whole lot of the time, but when we get it right, we shine. So all I’m asking you for, oh mighty deity, is just a little more time. Time to turn things around. Time to heal wounds and make friends. Time to show you that we CAN get this thing right. Time to grow from a footnote in the history of the universe to the kind of people legends are made from.
Time to invent a God-slaying hammer.