Retrieved from the 27th August 2006 online edition of the Boston Globe-copyright to the New York Times 2006:
And God sayeth unto man: I've had it!
By the Reverend John Hudson, 23 August 2006
MAKING HIS first public remarks in more than 1,000 years, God appeared in the heavens yesterday and ordered all world religions founded in His/Her name to ``immediately take a well-deserved and long overdue time-out." At the crowded press conference, hastily called by the angel Gabriel with a trumpet blast, God's tone switched between anger and sadness as He/She described being frustrated with the boundless cruelty and violence committed in His/Her name.
``It's not like I haven't been patient," said God, who is also known as Lord, Yahweh, Allah, Creator, and the Unnamed One. ``I make and give to humans this beautiful gift called Creation. I give them the ability to think and love and imagine. I send them messengers who teach. I provide food for all, sunsets, cute babies, music, even the Internet! But the minute I turn my back, they all start fighting. Holy War this, Crusade that, and Jihad, blah, blah, blah," He/She said.
Citing the recent war in Lebanon as the final straw, God declared that, until further notice, each of the world's major religions would be punished. God then sent the religious leaders, with their faiths, to their rooms so they could ``sit and think about all the ways they've been bad. They can take their sacred books with them to read," continued God, ``but that's it. No TV, no cellphone, and no iPod."
God was quick to assure the world that the good works of religion, including peacemaking, disaster relief, healthcare, education, and aiding the poor and downtrodden, would not be affected by the time-out order.
``It's not that everything they do on my behalf is bad," noted God. ``They do a lot of good. But just when you think humanity gets it and has learned how to live with one another, they start bombing each other. They stamp their feet and say, `My faith is better than your faith, my country matters more than your country.' They act like each owns me and knows my mind. But not anymore. I'm back in town and taking charge!"
Responding to questions, God offered various opinions about life on earth, including reality TV (``No comment: Ask the Devil"), global warming (``I didn't turn up the thermostat"), and the recent Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees series (``I had to turn it off. It was too painful to watch").
Asked when religious leaders and their faiths might be allowed down to the dinner table, God responded, ``When they learn how to share and get along."
Leaving the press conference through a hole in the clouds, God failed to respond to questions about when He/She might return. The clerics, struck speechless, went to their rooms.
Around the world, wars ceased, poverty plummeted, and millions of people used the time they had scheduled for criticizing others -- in God's name -- instead to clean up the earth, get involved in their communities, and wipe out disease.
And, truly, it was good.
The Rev. John F. Hudson is the senior pastor at the West Concord Union Church (United Church of Christ) in Concord .