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God Only Knows

Sam North who ponders a life after God.

Douglas Coupland 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 it’s 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 isn’t 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 doesn’t call you, so give him space and don’t 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. It’s hard. (Quite how he got back down carrying the heavy stone tablets beats me, but that’s showbiz as they say).

If God really is dead, why hasn’t 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 aren’t 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 don’t
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 can’t help it and see it as a cry for help.
4A:Thou shall endeavor to minimize your tax exposure and maximize your credit rating.
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?

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