God Only Knows
Sam North who ponders
a life after God.
the Canadian novelist wrote a small collection of stories called
Life After God. He portrayed our contemporary society as
one in a post-god world, where there is no guidance, no foundation,
no certainty anymore. He, like many other writers throughout the last
century saw the west becoming ever less entangled with medieval Christianity
and much more enamoured with materialism. We are now, officially lost
souls in a sea of pretty useless things and those who ask where God
went (who are few) get only one answer, he went to hell in a handbasket.
We are on our own now and the second coming may not find programming
space on the multi-channel world we have carved out for ourselves- after
all which would you watch, the Simpsons or some guy with loaves and
fishes (assuming God and his son will appear amongst the poor of Brazil
or Africa where those kind of tricks would go down well.)
If God could talk, people would listen, but its always kind of
been unfortunate that the kind of people who do hear him tend to be
crazed loners, nuns who beat children or Dictators on deathbeds. Of
course there are people who ingest various mind-expanding substances
to be able to see God, but I am not sure this isnt cheating and
sometimes if you overdo it God ends up looking pretty similar to the
bad guy. Either way, someone tends to end up giving some pretty bad
advice, which generally leads to world destruction or mass suicides.
This is to be avoided at all costs. God doesnt call you, so give
him space and dont call him, it is only fair.
According to the Church of England, so many potential Christian
couples no longer get married, so they are considering lifting the term
living in sin to attract more punters to church on Sundays.
(It might be better that during communion they also dispense the morning-after
pill as well to kill two birds with one stone, as it were. In fact the
idea of sin is being totally refined.
Taking a lead from our Prime Minister and his cronies who have taken
to heart the Christian message God helps those who help themselves
to taxpayers money, sin clearly needs a new PR makeover. Now try
to attempt to write ten new commandments for the modern age and you
will realize that this may be harder than some would think. One comes
to realise that it was NO accident that Moses went up the mountain to
fetch them from the big guy. Its hard. (Quite how he got back
down carrying the heavy stone tablets beats me, but thats showbiz
as they say).
If God really is dead, why hasnt society disintegrated? If we
are in a post-Christian world, what will the next one be like? Is consumerism
here to stay and if so, why arent people happy? What is holding
us together besides inertia? These are the things that worry those who
worry about these things. (Again they are few in number but very influential
in the BBC).
So after swallowing large amounts of mind-expanding lattes I am having
a go at a post-Christian
Ten Commandments or a Hack Guide to Moral Lives:
1:Thou are damned if you do and damned if thou dont
2:Christmas should not start until December 20th. January sales should
start in January.
3:Thou shall not spam unless it is to major corporations who suck the
intellectual life out of our young. (Thou shall not wear their labels
on the outside of garments)
4:Thou shall not love thy neighbours wife, daughter or covert their
car, swimming pool or double glazing unless you cant help it and
see it as a cry for help.
4A:Thou shall endeavor to minimize your tax exposure and maximize your
5:Thou shall struggle against hypocrisy expose investors in people
for the sham it is and run a mile from anything that has passed a British
Government quality inspection.
(God was very particular about that one).
6:Thou shall respect others opinions creeds or beliefs unless they are
really stupid, ignorant or inhuman.
7:Thou shall believe all Government statistics about hospital cleanliness,
operation waiting lists and care for the elderly, annual increases in
academic examination results, and inflation figures.
8:Thou shall endeavor to join the right sports club and live in the
correct catchment area.
9:Thou shall not kill defenceless animals which would probably get better
and live a healthy life if left alone to their own devices.
10:Thou shall be the judge of what is a safe speed limit on a motorway
10A:Thou shall only cheat if you think you can get away with it. (This
is for Ronnie)
Armed with these guidelines how can you fail to succeed in life?