There seem to be two gods floating around nowadays. One is called god; the second, Gawd.

God is the one that many of us grew up with. Many years ago he finished his work making this universe and since then has gone off to start several billion other universes by doing something called The Big Bang.

Although many of us address him in love or in desperation, he rarely replies. Not to be bothered. If you were off building another cosmos, you'd probably do the same.

Those who want to question god might as well forget it. One sage asked "If god is all wise, all seeing, and all compassionate, why is there so much pain, misery, suffering, and agony in the world?" The answer: to thicken the broth.

Despite this fecklessness, many of us are rather fond of our divine. We are given the freedom to live more or less the way we wish, knowing that if we don't go around killing or hurting others (or ourselves), god will probably leave us alone --- or at least won't be bothering us with questions about our nighttime habits.

We, in exchange, promise not to bother him (or her or it) with silly paradoxes or needs: "What's the meaning of life?" "Why, indeed, are we here?" "Could you please fix my backache (or my bank account)?"

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There is another divine whose name is Gawd. He works for Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, and other folk who are called Evangelicals. They have a direct line to His office because they are forever and a day reporting back to us what He thinks about us which is mostly bad.

Many years ago, Gawd wrote a book called the Bible. It says that no matter how kind and good and loving we are, we are all Sinners. The only way to stop being Sinners is to go to Evangelical's church and tithe money so they can buy airplanes to fly around the world and tell other people that they are Sinners.

Gawd had a son Jay-sus who is about three inches tall and spends much of His time riding around on the dashboards of Evangelical cars. At one time He liked poor people but that was before they decided to improve the Bible to make it more modern and up-to-date. Nowadays poor people mostly cheat on welfare, get pregnant without getting married, and don't tune in to the 700 Club enough.

Gawd doesn't like people to have babies when they aren't married, but He also doesn't want us to be rid of them before they get born. In fact, Gawd mostly doesn't like what the Bible calls "slaying." There are exceptions to this.

People who are in prison for being bad can be slayed if they are real bad. People can also bear arms and slay other people who try to get in their houses and steal television sets. We can also slay our enemies in what are known as Just Wars. These wars are mostly done in other countries so none of us will get hurt in this one.

Gawd blesses America. This is why we put him on our 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollar bills. You might think that with Gawd on all our money, He would love all of us equally but He is mostly fond of Evangelists who put Him in their daily flag-pledge and have wives who stay at home and cook and change diapers without complaining.

People who follow Gawd are known as Bornagainchristians. Despite the name, they aren't returning from a previous life like Buddhists who come back here to suffer more. Instead, Evangelicals get bornagain at Revival Meetings and get saved.

People who are saved are required to go to Prayer Breakfasts and eat waffles and sausages and sing a lot. They are also required to hector their friends and relatives to be bornagain too.

Bornagains always go to heaven. They know that the rest of us are going to hell because we don't attend Prayer Breakfasts and thus aren't saved. The truth is we don't mind getting saved but we can't stand waffles and sausages and don't like to hear people singing with holy fervor, out of key anytime before noon.

We also figure god doesn't want people ringing him up every time they have trouble with their backs or their bank accounts while he's busy digging more Black Holes and orchestrating bigger and better Big Bangs.

--- A. W. Allworthy

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