Saturday, January 26, 2013

Better Bible Stories: Job

Some time back, I wrote the first of my "Better Bible Stories".  It was a retelling of the story where Abraham was told by God to sacrifice his son and somehow, agreeing to do it was the right thing to do.  Today, I thought I'd write my own version of the Book of Job, mainly because it gets to the heart of pretty much everything that I think is wrong with religion.

In the land of Uz, which was not too far from Oz, there was a fella named Job.  The dude was hella rich and stuff.  He had sheep, oxen, donkeys and camels.  Man, did the guy have some camels.  He was also really faithful to his God, which in this case is Yahweh, the god of the Jews, who also  happens to be the one, true god, unlike that Huitzilopotchli asshole.

One day, Yahweh was bragging to Satan, who may or may not take the shape of snake from time to time, about how swell Job was and how much Job loved Him.  Satan pointed out that it was only because of the fact that Job had a really great hedge, the kind you'd see on the front cover of Better Homes and Gardens.

Then Satan had an idea, and before he could speak, Yahweh replied:

"Forget it."


"What you're about to propose."

"I didn't even get to say it!"

"Yeah, well, I'm omniscient, remember?  I know everything."

"Oh yeah, then what was I going to say?"

"You were going to suggest that if Job didn't have that really great hedge, he'd start to curse me.  Then you were hoping that I'd be all: 'Go for it.  Take it away.' And then you'd take away the hedge and do all sorts of nasty things to him like make him sick and kill his family.  And his camels.  You were going to kill his camels.  Your hope would be that he'd then curse me."

Yahweh paused as Satan sat there, astonished, which was stupid of Satan, because by now he should be aware of the fact that Yahweh was omniscient.  But then Satan explained that he only pretended to be astonished as the reader needed some kind of a reminder that being omniscient was an impressive thing.

"That about right?"  Yahweh asked.

"Yeah.  So, let's give it a go then, okay?  I bet that he'll curse you if you let me completely ruin his life."

"He won't."

"How do you know?"

"Omniscient, remember?"

"How do I know that you're not lying?"

"What do I give a crap what you think?  You refused to bow down before Adam, according to one major branch of the Abrahamic faiths."

"You're just scared that I'm right."

"No, you're wrong.  I know you're wrong, and being that I'm not only omniscient but omnipotent, I'm now also going to make it so that you know that I'm right in the same way that I do."  Yahweh then said the secret, magic word that he uses when he does all of his tricks.

"Whoa."  Satan said.  "You're totally right.  He could go through totally unimaginably awful stuff and still be faithful."

"Kind of messed up, isn't it?"  Yahweh said.

"Messed up?  How do you figure?  Seems reasonable to me."

"Reasonable?  I let an evil being ruin his life and kill his children, and yet he still remains loyal to me?  He's like one of those abused children or spouses who makes excuses for their tormentors.  Can you imagine if a parent let some guy beat the crap out of their kids just to see if the kids would still love them?  How messed up would that be?"

"Messed up, I guess.  But I'm the devil, and I'm evil, so I dig that sort of a thing."

"Figures."  Yahweh sighed, which is bizarre because he's an incorporeal being who doesn't have lungs.  "I'm going down to talk to Job to give him a bit of a lesson on how to respect himself.  Geez...he'd still worship me after his kids were killed.  His kids!  It's like they're just props in some kind of sick farce.  And don't get me started on the camels.  I like camels."

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