Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" It's just a beautiful day in this neighborhood today, although I hear to my chagrin that many parts of the nation are being scorched. Why, it's as if Satan Himself sat down on the nation's bread basket for a nice long session of suntanning!
But Satan has better things to do. Like causing the murders in Aurora, Colorado.
Just out of prurient interest, I belong to several conservative Christian online magazines. There's one for women, and another called "Fire in My Bones" that seems to be for men, but not exclusively.
Today's "Fire in My Bones" cover story? You guessed it. Those killings in the movie theater? Work of Satan.
Here's what we in the writing biz call the "nut graph" from the story, author J. Lee Grady:
I’m not a crime
sleuth. But if you ask me, the devil’s fingerprints are all over this
This got me wondering if anyone has ever fingerprinted the devil. How would I know? So, reluctantly, I put in a text to one of my oldest "Gods Are Bored" interviewees, Satan. (Just like Floppy, Satan is sensitive about His name. With that in mind, I have agreed to call him "Mr. Applegate.") Please give a tepid and/or mildly hostile "Gods Are Bored" welcome to Mr. Applegate.
Anne: Please extinguish all smoking devices, Applegate. This is a smoke-free work place.
Applegate: No can do, Anne. Get your netbook, and we'll go outdoors.
................. *done, and no one harmed in the process*
Anne: Well, you knew it was coming, didn't you?
Applegate: Yep. More predictable than the weather.
Anne: We all know that guns don't kill people. People kill people. So, is that young man in Your back pocket?
Applegate: Swear on my forked tail, I have never had a petition or even a casual nod from that kid. He's not one of Mine. Let's be logical for a minute. If I were to decide to initiate the killing of innocent people, I could start a World War, just by choosing the right human leadership for the job.
Anne: Have you ever done this?
Applegate: Last time was the Walls of Jericho. Pinky swear. As you point out, people kill people. Then they blame me, after the fact. I'm a convenient whipping boy, a useful target, a "round-up-the-usual-suspect" mark ... *weeps*
Anne: I've never seen anyone wallow in self-pity the way you do. Then again, you do get a lot of bad press, much of it undeserved. Not all of it undeserved, but some of it. In this particular case, I think it's undeserved.
Applegate: It was not my praise and worship team that created gunpowder. It was my praise and worship team that started using it to kill people ... but the humans always credited God for their use of firearms. Like it was okay with Him, He even supported the slaughter.
Anne: "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord." Hmmm mmm mmmm.
Anne: "Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war..."
Applegate: You made your point. You're going to bore your readership.
Anne: Mr. Applegate, I'm sorry to say that at this juncture of my life, I tend to look for hidden messages and motives in many things. Today's place-the-blame on You just reeks. I can just imagine that many readers of J. Lee Grady's "Fire in My Bones" probably own firearms ... strictly for hunting and protecting their families from hoodie-wearing thugs, of course. These Christian readers don't like to think that guns are dangerous things, and that gun users can kill people completely free of Your guidance. I'd be willing to bet that, for many "Fire in My Bones" readers, guns are considered a good thing. So, used wrongly, guns become Your weapons of choice.
Applegate: Yes. The logic breaks down. Either all guns that can kill people are evil, or none of them are evil. No such thing as a good gun, if you ask me.
Anne: This killer in question planned his rampage very carefully and amassed $15,000 worth of firearms. And You say You had nothing to do with the carnage? You never whispered in his ear?
Applegate: He was a neuroscience major, for God's sake. Try finding a neuroscience major who believes in Me. There are some, of course ... but the data skews to atheism or agnosticism, not to Satanic Panic.
Anne: So, what do you think actually did motivate that shooter?
Applegate: Misplaced rage. White-hot fury that years of boring book learning, studying for amazingly difficult exams, and living the poverty-level student life could afford him neither a job with a decent wage in his chosen field nor the prospect of studying further, because neuroscience gets so damned hard at the graduate level that you have to be a titanic genius to make a dent in the work load. I'm no psychiatrist, but I don't even think the kid is crazy. He just blew his stack at The Man ... and he couldn't find The Man.
Anne: However, he could find $15,000 worth of weaponry on the Internet and in stores. He purchased everything legally.
Applegate: Now just remember, Anne. Guns don't kill people. People kill people.
Anne: Actually, Mr. Applegate, I don't believe that. My philosophy is "production for use." Guns are produced to be used -- to kill people.
Applegate: Well, you can also shoot locks off things, like safes and doors.
Anne: Splitting hairs, Applegate. People don't buy Glocks to shoot the locks off safes.
Applegate: Just playing devil's advocate for a moment. *knocks head on wall* I hate that term!
Anne: I'm going to go on record absolving You of any credit for the Aurora shootings, Mr. Applegate.
Applegate: Thank you.
Anne: On the other hand, I see Your work abundantly in the messy paws of pedophile priests. ... ... Applegate? Applegate? Where did He go? He was here one minute, gone the next! Gosh, look at the singed hostas! Why didn't I remember that He's hell on flower beds and upholstery?