Monday, July 16, 2012

Better Bible Stories

I like to write.  I once had delusions of being a writer, and I still entertain those delusions.  Right now that's slowed down a little bit, as having a toddler son keeps me a bit busy.

I wrote my first stories when I was in third grade.  It was basically just a ripoff of Superman with a bunch of other stuff that I borrowed from various cartoons and TV shows.  I kept writing about the same characters over the years, in both prose and comic book form.  Ultimately, I started working my faith into my stories when I first got into college.  Basically, I needed a decent origin story for my superhero.  Like Superman, he was from another planet, but I wanted to come up with a fresh reason why the people from his planet were superhuman.  And that's where my faith came in.  Essentially, I set up the idea that the whole Adam/Eve/Garden of Eden/Forbidden Fruit scenario was a test that God had set up on more than one planet.  The difference was that their "Adam and Eve" made the right decision, so they weren't plagued with all of the troubles that best our Earth.

So, the prologue to the story was basically the tale out of Genesis (with a definite Christian leaning, as the Serpent was most definitely Satan) only it ended differently.  Essentially the man and woman tell Satan off, and he is banished from their world forever.  (And yes, I realize - now - that even this presents all sorts of issues that I won't get into now.)

I ran into some problems though, as I wanted to continue the story of these two people.  The problem with them though is that since they're perfect, they're basically kinda boring.  I was able to do something interesting with that as they came to Earth and were puzzled by the way things went, but still a character is only interesting if he's conflicted, and it's difficult to come up with a believable conflict for a perfect person.

I haven't done anything with this story since graduating from college.  Obviously, as I lost my faith and my perspective changed, it was difficult to keep going with this.  Still, I think that the idea might have some potential yet, and I have a few notions as to where I should go with it.  Will I ever get around to it?  Who knows?

But in the meantime, the whole "Bible Story with a Twist" idea has been swimming around in my head ever since summer started and I had time to write for my blog a bit more regularly.  There are stories and parts of The Bible that I like just fine, but there are some parts that I think are just pure crap.  Yeah, to me it's mythology, but there's good and bad mythology.  (In other words, I also have some issues with parts of The Aeneid and its relentless pro-Rome propaganda.)  I figure I have about three or four of these that I can write, but I'll start off with a quick one:

Abraham was hanging around one day, and God said to him, "Hey, Abraham!"


"You know your son?"


"No, the other one."


"Yes, that one."

"You sure you don't mean Ishmael?"

"Of course I am sure.  What a strange question.  So, your son, Isaac.  I have something I need you to do."

"You got it, Yah--I mean, God.  Whatever you need, I'll totally do.  I'm loyal and true that way."

"Glad to hear it.  See, I will need you to kill him."

"Kill him?  What?  Did he do something wrong?"

"Every one does something wrong at one time or another, but no, that is not the reason."

"Then why?"

"I am the Lord, your God, and I am not to be questioned!  I demand that you sacrifice him as an offering to Me!  Will you do this thing or not?"


"You defy me?"

"Yeah, it looks that way.  He's my son.  I love him.  If you really demand a human sacrifice, then let it be me, okay?  If I were to kill him, then I would no longer want to live."

"You are willing to live life like all of the other people of the world?  Without my protection and favor?"

"Well, I don't really want to follow you if I have to do that."

"I ask you one more time, Abraham.  Will you do this thing for me?  I demand that you sacrifice your son!"

"No.  Can't do it.  Go ahead and smite me.  I will not kill him."

"What about Ishmael then?"

"No, not him neither."

"A goat?"

"Yeah, sure, but isn't that a little strange too?  Why do you need me to kill one of your creatures for you?  I don't think it's as bad as killing my son, but it's still strange, don't you think?  Now that I think about it, nah, I'm not going to do that either."

"Step on a bug?"

"Now you're just being weird."

"Very well then, Abraham!  You have defied me, your Lord!  And for this, your punishment shall be...nothing."


"No.  Nothing.  You were right.  That was a pretty fucked up thing to ask a person to do.  Only an evil being would ask such a thing.  You are also right about the goat thing.  That is strange.  My pal Zeus always wants that sort of a thing, and..."

"Zeus?  Who's that?"

"Never mind!  The point is, the test was to see if you'd give the proper response.  If you had said yes, then I would have struck you down and made sure your sons were raised by somebody who had a better sense of values than you.  However, you have chosen wisely, and you have done what any good father would do.  Now let me show you how to make beer."

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